Morning Buzz: Feb. 26, 2007

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One of the two Iraqi vice presidents survived an assassination attempt this morning when explosives were detonated inside the office building in Baghdad where he was speaking, the AP reports. Ten people reportedly died in the blast, which knocked the Shiite leader, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, to the ground but did not significantly harm him.

Meanwhile, the president of Iraq, 73-year-old Jalal Talabani, was hospitalized yesterday after he fell ill and was flown from Iraq to a hospital in Jordan, where he is conscious and in stable condition. Talabani, a member of the Kurdish minority in Iraq, is largely a ceremonial leader.

Back home, former vice president Al Gore won an Academy Award at last night's Oscars for his documentary on climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth." Gore's victory, however, was largely overshadowed in this morning's headlines by the best director award, which went to Martin Scorsese, who finally won an Academy Award for his eighth nomination, "The Departed."

New on this morning, Dan Gilgoff offers an inside look at the Evangelical base of the Republican Party and its search for a presidential candidate who can take up its causes. Meanwhile, Gilgoff writes, the Democrats appear more comfortable talking about faith than they have in recent memory.

Coming up at the News Desk 10 a.m. ET: Analysis of a new Gallup poll finds which 2008 presidential candidates are most and least popular among members of their own party.

Etc.: Bedard: Could Al Gore Bankroll His Bid?, on