We’ve got a night of special coverage planned leading up to the President's Oval Office speech on Iraq. We’ll discuss the military and political lessons learned as well as President Obama’s challenge as he speaks to a war-weary America. And National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones will join us to discuss the future of Iraq. Plus, the parents of a fallen sailor remember their son’s service in Iraq. Tune in TONIGHT @ 7p ET!
Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:
What you see here is an example of why it is fun – and important – to listen to and respect all perspectives in politics. Erick’s conservative leanings tug his instincts to what the right sees as the pressure points of the campaign season; John is a student of the political middle, and as such woke today wondering about broader questions raised by three every different events/developments.
Erick’s note reminds me of a day late in the 1988 campaign when Michael Dukakis, after months of ducking the “liberal” label, finally embraced it. He lost, but he was a more happy warrior in the final days. And in John’s first point, an important reminder: Iraq was a driving force in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles. Pelosi would not be speaker if not for the anti-war fervor that helped Democrats in 2006 and you could argue Barack Obama would not be president had Senator Clinton not voted to authorize the Iraq war. This year, it falls low on the list of issues voters say matter most, a big change. - John King
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
- Iraq Oval Office Address – It’s no ‘Mission Accomplished” but it is a sign of promises kept. President Obama’s second Oval Office address marks a major milestone, a move toward sovereignty and, just maybe, stability (with 50k US troops staying in place). It should be a moment for national unity, but I have a feeling that history is going to pay more attention to what’s said tonight than contemporary Americans.
- Terror Attempt and anti-Muslim Anxieties – Two men arrested after flying from Chicago to Amsterdam with suspicious items in their luggage may have been planning a terror attack. With the 9th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, it’s a reminder that we are still at war against Jihadist terrorists. But with arson at a mosque under construction in Tennessee, the Park 51 debate and unhinged rumors over President Obama’s religion, anti-Muslim overtones are beginning to disfigure our domestic politics in a way they did not during the Bush years.
- DC Mayor Under Primary Pressure – A Washington Post poll shows incumbent DC Mayor Adrian Fenty losing the next week’s Democratic primary, despite residents’ thinking that he has done a good job for the city generally. Why is this more than a local story? Fenty and his school chancellor Michelle Rhee have been close partners of the Obama administration in backing merit pay and charter schools. If Fenty loses it will be a measure of the Teacher’s Union political strength and could send a chilling message to mayors who have been embracing education reform nationwide.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
- Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius wants more voter "re-education" on health care. Every time they do it, voters hate it more. Bring it on, I say!
- An old word becomes new again. Republican ads around the country are starting to use one long ago abandoned pejorative - "Liberal." It warms my heart to hear it. In a few more weeks, we'll be back to San Francisco Democrats and Jeanne Kirkpatrick will smile from Heaven.
- Marco Rubio and Sharron Angle are driving Democrats crazy by saying politicians do not create jobs. Democrats who mock them do so at their peril because most voters agree with Rubio and Angle. The stimulus is the voters' evidence.
The Cure, "Last Dance"
The Doors, "Soul Kitchen"