John and Elizabeth Edwards on Hardball, MSNBC.
** JOHN EDWARDS PREPS THURSDAY MOVES. Former Senator John Edwards, the Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee, is getting ready to announce his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. His campaign has said it will be sometime next week, in the unusual setting of New Orleans, where he is expected to emphasize the plight of the poor in Hurricane Katrina as emblematic of his Tale of Two Americas theme. While the campaign has not said when the announcement will take place, Edwards has scheduled a special town hall meeting in Iowa for Thursday, which sounds very much like part of a presidential announcement tour.
While the media has beey focusing almost entirely on the phenomenon of Barack Obama, until two years ago a state legislator in Illinois, and frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Edwards, runner-up for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, has been getting short shrift. But he is an experienced and attractive candidate, with real strengh in early states like Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina.
** ARNOLD BREAKS A LEG. You know the old show biz saying, a wry wishing of good luck prior to a performance: “Break a leg.” Well, that’s just what Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did today. Break a leg. On the ski slopes of Sun Valley. Here’s the statement from his communications director and deputy chief of staff, Adam Mendelsohn:
“This morning while skiing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho, Governor Schwarzenegger suffered a fracture to his right femur. After the accident the Governor was taken to a local hospital for x-rays and was soon discharged. He is currently at his home in Sun Valley, Idaho with his family. When the Governor returns to Los Angeles from his scheduled Christmas trip, he will have surgery to repair his femur. No one else was involved in the skiing accident.”
** OBAMA TIED WITH EDWARDS IN AN IOWA POLL. Senator Barack Obama‘s media phenom surge continues, with a new poll for a Des Moines TV station showing him tied with John Edwards for the lead in the 2008 Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses, 22% to 22%. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and the frontrunner for the nomination, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, trail with 12% and 10%, respectively. On the Republican side, Arizona Senator John McCain has 27% and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has 26%.
** GROW UP AND BE A PRISON GUARD. LA Times reporter Dan Morain has a jaw-dropping story today on by far the highest paid public employees around … California’s unionized prison guards. Over 6,000 of them make over $100,000 a year. More than 1600 make more than members of the state Senate and Assembly. How? Two reasons. Prison overcrowding and policies are leading to a lot of overtime. And the contract that the prison guards union struck with administration of former Governor Gray Davis is highly lucrative.
** PELOSI SAYS NO TO C-SPAN. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s widely proclaimed glasnost in congressional affairs will not extend to allowing C-SPAN to run its own cameras. The cable public affairs network requested control of the TV cameras in House proceedings, but on Friday the San Francisco Democrat said no. The shots currently allowed by the congressional leadership don’t really show what’s going on, restricted as they generally are to tight, static shots of whomever is speaking. As you can see from NWN videos, there are much more interesting and telling shots to be found at political events than the official view would have you see.
** Track global and national energy prices via Bloomberg. Crude oil prices are around $62 per barrel on expectation of warmer than normal weather in much of the US. Prices would probably be lower but for the usual spike in driving over the Christmas holiday.