The day after New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was released by British commandos, a new poll finds growing opposition to the UK's troop commitment to the war.
Democrats dominate in Massachusetts, but a small GOP field, possibly including Andrew Card from the Bush administration, will try for the seat.
He points to new poverty rates indicating that the number of Americans without health insurance is growing.
For GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the takeaway is that the president and the Democrats are poised to move without them.
In his speech Wednesday night, Obama has promised clarity on key issues and will try to regain control of the healthcare debate.
As Obama calls on Congress to pass reform, the Democrats are still split on the need for a public health insurance option.
Even before Monday's speech, conservatives had started to dial back the rhetoric. White House has suggested Republicans overplayed their hand.