Politics around the country...

Behind The News
January 7, 2008 12:28:07 PM PST
What exactly is local news? That question has been rattling around my noggin today, as I scan the list of where our troops are. We have two reporters in New Hampshire, one in Oklahoma, and an anchor in Israel. They're all covering what we consider local news. There's a former New York Mayor running for President as a Republican and a current U.S. Senator from New York running as a Democrat. That's why our N.J. Burkett and Dave Evans are in New Hampshire for tomorrow's primaries - primaries that have turned into remarkable events and have energized so many new voters. (As an aside, my two kids -- ages 15 and 12 -- watched the debates.)

The current Mayor of New York is in Oklahoma, where he's speaking at a forum about the Independent movement in politics. Will Michael Bloomberg use this as a launching pad for his own Presidential candidacy? That's why Jeff Pegues is in Oklahoma.

And President Bush -- seven years after he came to the White House -- is finally going to Israel, in what seems a last-minute effort to forge some kind of peace that transcends his tenure. That's why Diana Williams is in Jerusalem for us.

Talk about thinking globally and acting locally.

We'll have reports on all these stories, tonight at 11.

And we'll take a closer look at what has become the talker on the campaign trail -- did Hillary Clinton cry? Or come close? Does it matter? Is it a good thing? Or does it doom her? In the first 10 minutes after the report came out about her choked-up moment in New Hampshire -- there were 25 different opinions about what it would mean.

There's no question all the candidates are exhausted, including Sen. Clinton. But I've seen the choked-up moment several times now -- and I think it shows her to be human. She was not crying, she just got a bit emotional. She showed she has emotions. Would be interested to hear how you all feel, after you see it - -and I suspect you will see it plenty in the next few hours. Email me to let me know, and let me know if I can use your name: Bill.S.Ritter@ABC.Com.

We're also following developments in the Persian Gulf, in the Strait of Hormuz, where three U.S. Navy ships, operating in international waters, were approached by five Iranian small boats. The Pentagon says the Navy ships did not fire, even though the military says it would have been justified because the boats "maneuvered aggressively in close proximity." Why did the Iranian vessels come so close? It's a source of much debate and discussion. And thank heaven, say many experts, that the Navy commanders were restrained. We'll have the latest on the encounter, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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