* Breaking this Morning: The latest poll out of Iowa, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out this morning, has Hillary leading the Hawkeye state with 30 percent versus 28 for Sen. Obama and 26 for Sen. Edwards. And a new NBC/WSJ poll shows Hillary with a 22-point national lead in the Democratic primary.
* If You Read One Thing: The NYT looks at Sen. Obama’s state senate voting record and notes that instead of voting yes or no, he voted “present” 130 times, an option that allowed him to avoid taking stands on many issues important to Democrats. Sen. Obama’s present votes contrast with the image he tries to convey of being a leader who will take on the tough issues, even if it means telling people the ‘hard truths’ they do not want to hear.” Read it: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/us/politics/20obama.html?hp
* Making News Today: On the final day of the “Every County Counts Tour,” Hillary travels around IA today with Wesley Clark and Richard Holbrooke to discuss her top priority: Ending the war in Iraq. Get the full details of today’s events here: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4805
Tomorrow, she takes the blitz to New Hampshire: http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Clinton+launching+New+Hampshire+campaign+blitz&articleId=b3cd086b-768e-443d-8e1f-287c9fc8d46c
* More “Presents:” Complete with festive holiday wrapping, the campaign launched a new holiday-themed ad entitled “Presents” in NH and Iowa yesterday. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzBvQ9EeF3k
* Major IA Endorsement: In a show of growing momentum, Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro endorsed Hillary Clinton at an event in Des Moines last night. “I have watched this race closely. We have some great candidates, but one stands above the rest. Hillary Clinton doesn't have a learning curve. She can say, 'give me the keys now,’” he said. Read it here: http://www.kptm.com/Global/story.asp?S=7522878&nav=menu606_2
* In the papers today: Former DNC Chair Don Fowler, whose wife is currently the SC Democratic Chair, endorsed Hillary yesterday. A local write-up of Hillary’s visit to Independence, IA yesterday details her focus on delivering quality health care to every American, noting that her plan would not only cover all Americans, but 307,000 uninsured Iowans. And Hillary had a long, wide-ranging interview with the ED board of Iowa’s Quad-City Times yesterday featuring both laughs and serious policy discussions. Read it all on the HillaryHub, www.hillaryhub.com .
* Getting Buzz Online: When the Politico reported that a questionnaire Sen. Obama filled out as a state senate candidate revealed different positions than those he holds today, his campaign said a staff member had filled it out incorrectly. Now, allies of Sen Obama from the group sponsoring the questionnaire call that explanation “ridiculous.” Get the full story... In a newly uncovered video from 2003, Sen. Obama calls Ted Kennedy "a little old" and says that he should "get some spine." Read more here: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2007/12/obama_called_se.html
Read the Politico item here: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1207/Chicago_activists_doubt_Obamas_answers_on_questionnaire.html
* Obama’s ’08 payroll”: A new story in The Hill opens: “Three political aides on Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) payroll were registered lobbyists for dozens of corporations, including Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and Lockheed Martin, while they received payments from his campaign, according to public documents. The presence of political operatives with long client lists on Obama’s campaign contrasts with his long-held stand of campaigning against the influence of special interests.” Read it here: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/lobbyists-on-obamas-08-payroll-2007-12-20.html