The Ticket

What to watch for Thursday in politics

The Ticket

It's day one of the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering in Washington, D.C., of thousands of Republican activists. Thursday speakers include: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and House Speaker John Boehner. All three days will be covered by a hefty delegation of journalists, including Yahoo! News reporters. One topic that's sure to be hot at this year's conference: The Obama Administration's decision to force employers affiliated with religious groups to offer health care insurance plans that cover birth control free of charge.

Mitt Romney will be in Washington on Thursday. He has a policy roundtable and a fundraiser at the JW Marriott  Hotel, which is at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. That puts the hotel about three blocks from where Romney would like to be living a year from now — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Rick Santorum will be campaigning in Oklahoma, which holds its primary on March 6, Super Tuesday.

New Gingrich's and Ron Paul's schedules were not available on their campaign web sites. Paul, for sure, is looking ahead to Saturday when results of the Maine caucuses will be released. He has campaigned more in that state than his rivals.

Gary Johnson's Thursday schedule was available. The Libertarian Party candidate will be in Florida.

President Obama meets Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the White House at 2:45 p.m. EST, and Vice President Joe Biden will be in Columbus to address the Ohio Newspaper Association at 11 a.m. EST.  Ohio is a battleground state in the general election.

On Capitol Hill, the House is expected to begin debate on a bill banning members of Congress from engaging in insider trading. The bill passed the Senate last week.

And then there is this: Thursday is  the second anniversary of first lady Michelle Obama launching the "Let's Move!" campaign, which is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.

Sources: Yahoo! News, Associated Press.

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