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SOTU Sneak Peek
December 15th, 2011
05:20 PM ET

SOTU Sneak Peek

A sneak peek of some stories we’re following today, but what will be leading the headlines on Sunday morning?

All quiet on the Iraq front? After almost nine years, nearly 4,500 Americans lives, more than 30,000 wounded, and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed, the military declares an official end to the war in Iraq in a ceremony in Baghdad on Thursday. Just 200 troops will remain as part of the diplomatic mission along with almost 15,000 U.S. Embassy personnel. Questions remain about the future of a country marked by almost a decade of violence, a fledgling new democracy and a strained infrastructure. Will the pullout of US troops bring a resurgence of bloodshed?

Haven’t we been here before? The government once again heads toward shutdown just days before Christmas. The continuing resolution that kept the government from shutting down a month ago expires on Friday, once again taking the fight down to the wire, this time with gridlock over payroll taxes or rather – how to pay for it. With just hours before the deadline, will one side blink first or will they find compromise?

The Rise of Ron Paul? Front runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are battling for the GOP nomination, but candidate Ron Paul could upset in the Iowa caucuses. In a race marked by GOP flavors of the month, Ron Paul’s numbers have continued to climb with a new poll putting him within striking distance of Gingrich. Paul’s well organized campaign and multitude of devoted supporters offer a serious challenge to the front runners. Even with his rise in the polls and a possible Iowa upset, the question of electability remains for the often unconventional candidate.

The last word. Just three weeks before the Iowa caucuses Republican candidates will face off one last time in Iowa. The debate is the last chance for candidates to make their pitch to Iowa voters before the first in the nation Iowa caucuses on January 3rd and before many voters tune out over the holidays. Who will come out ahead and who will offer an ‘oops’ moment?

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