Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)


Thursday, April 3, 2008



Donald Lambro - Democrats: the fix is on

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean has a plan that will produce a nominee before his party's convention in August, avoiding what he fears could be a "really ugly and nasty" fiasco.

... Dean, whose polls show the party's internecine warfare is hurting its chances in November, has been talking to party bigwigs about a deal and now says the delegations will be seated before the nominating roll of the states is called.

... That plan calls on the remaining 350 or so undeclared superdelegates to break their neutrality sooner rather than later, providing enough votes to produce the 2,024-delegate majority needed to clinch the nomination. "There is no point in waiting," Mr. Dean said, adding that he has been "talking to a fairly significant number of — by and large — nonaligned people about how we might resolve this."

see also: Dean: Dems 'committed' to seat Fla. delegates

DNC convention stance surprises campaigns

The Democratic National Committee said Tuesday that Florida and Michigan members will be seated on the three standing committees — including the critical Credentials Committee—at the party’s 2008 national convention, a position that could affect the selection of the Democratic nominee.

... Senior advisers to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as several party rules experts with experience from prior presidential campaigns, expressed surprise when informed of the DNC’s stance.


Clinton, Obama campaign advisers tied to lending crisis

On the campaign trail, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have proposed cracking down on the predatory lending that they say helped fuel the foreclosure crisis.

Both presidential candidates, however, rely on close advisers who had oversight roles at financial institutions that went bust because of subprime loans...









John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Dobson: McCain still a problem

”I have seen no evidence that Sen. McCain is successfully unifying the Republican Party or drawing conservatives to his fold. To the contrary, he seems intent on driving them away,” Dobson, founder and chairman of the influential conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family, said in a statement published in The Wall Street Journal...



McCain economic advisers draw fire

...even some advisers close to McCain said they wonder if such lightning-rod public figures should be so closely identified with his candidacy. "I, for one, have thought about it a lot," said one McCain adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "And that's all I will say." ...

McCain hits Hillary with his own '3 am' ad

John McCain's presidential campaign wasted no time on Wednesday responding to Sen. Hillary Clinton's "3 a.m." attack ad by preparing a Web video of its own. Late Wednesday, the campaign circulated a script of the soon-to-be-released clip with the much talked about 3 a.m. White House emergency theme. ... Watch the video HERE.

McCain shies away from religion talk

Raised Episcopalian, McCain now attends a Baptist megachurch in Phoenix. But he has not been baptized and rarely talks of his faith in anything but the broadest terms or as it relates to how it enabled him to survive 5 ˝ years in captivity as a POW.
In this way, McCain, 71, is a throwback to an earlier generation when such personal matters were kept personal. To talk of Jesus Christ in the comfortable, matter of fact fashion of the past two baby-boom era presidents would be unthinkable.




McCain urges military growth

"The former Secretary of Defense disagreed, and we waited too long to begin that build-up," said McCain. "Had we begun to do it right after 9/11, as we realized that we were now in a global struggle against a malicious enemy, or as we embarked on two wars, or even when it became clear to many of us that our flawed strategy and inadequate troop levels in Iraq were going to result in that conflict lasting far longer than anticipated, we would not be in the situation we are in today."

The Arizona Senator ruled out the use of a draft to accomplish this goal, but cited one way was to increase the presence of ROTC groups on University campuses across the nation. He went on to scold those schools that deny the ROTC "privilege" as being "disgraceful".

see also: McCain urges volunteerism





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Bill's blow-up, illustrated?

Here's an image of Bill Clinton
and Rachel Binah in what looks
like fairly heated conversation
at the California Democratic
Convention Sunday.




Hillary keeps her Pennsylvania lead

Hillary Clinton holds a nine-point lead in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. But it is the survey's general election numbers from three key swing states that may do more to bolster the New York senator's campaign.

see also: Obama gains on Clinton in Pennsylvania

Hillary to Bill Richardson: He cannot win

Sources with direct knowledge of the conversation between Sen. Clinton and Governor Bill Richardson, prior to the Governor's endorsement of Obama say she told him flatly, "He cannot win, Bill. He cannot win."

Richardson, who served in President Clinton's cabinet, disagreed.

Bill compares Hillary to RFK

"Ted Kennedy's for Senator Obama, Bobby Kennedy's kids are for Hillary. It's fascinating. But if you listen to them, and listen why each made the choice they did, you will see what your choice is. Cause Senator Kennedy said, my candidate's like my brother, he is symbolizes change, he gives us a feeling that we've begun again. And that's true. And Bobby Kennedy's kids said yes, but we're glad Hillary has our father's seat in the Senate because she's more like him. She makes change in other people's lives," said Clinton.

Hillary's new '3 am' ad - on economy

Hillary says she's ready for the 3 am phone call announcing an economic crisis -- and John McCain is not.








Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama gets Penn. AFL-CIO endorsement

Barack Obama was endorsed Wednesday by a labor union and two Democratic superdelegates, as a poll showed he has cut Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania almost in half since mid-February as he strives to deny her a resounding victory in the state's presidential primary.

The Illinois senator peeled off an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed Clinton. The Philadelphia-based local of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees has about 16,000 members.

Its president, Henry Nicholas, announced the endorsement while introducing Obama at a meeting of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Obama loses his cool on the trail

One particularly aggressive person -- who, according to the campaign, may be a professional autograph seeker/seller who needed 'proof' that he actually been with the candidate in order to sell the Senator's autograph(s) online -- seemed to fray Obama's nerves as the Senator made an unadvertised stop an Italian market in Philly on Wednesday.

Watch the VIDEO HERE.

see also: Persistent picture-seeker irks Obama




Jane Fonda endorses Obama - there goes his crossover vote

Jane Fonda, the actress and ardent anti-Vietnam War advocate who visited North Vietnam during those hostilities, has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.

... Fonda was eating out last night and exited the restaurant, ignoring as celebrities often do the assembled press contingent.

But a video camera was rolling as she approached the street and someone, perhaps just trying to get her to turn around for a picture, shouted out at her back, "Who are you going to vote for?"

There was a moment of silence. Then, the actress did turn around toward the cameras, paused and with a smile said simply, "Obama!" Then she got into a car and drove away.




Obama to McCain: 'I repeated exactly what he said'

Barack Obama glossed over his past distortion of John McCain's position on Iraq while appearing Wednesday on Hardball’s "College Tour."

"John McCain got upset, I think today," Obama told MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "apparently because I repeated exactly what he said, which is that we might be there for 100 years if he had his way."

While there are occasions when Obama has accurately characterized McCain's support for keeping a U.S. troop presence in Iraq out of harm's way, Obama's comments on MSNBC overlooked occasions (such as Feb. 9 in Bangor, Maine) when he explicitly accused McCain of having said that "he wants to fight a hundred year war." 

Rather than calling for a century-long war, McCain has talked about maintaining a U.S. troop presence in Iraq following the cessation of hostilities similar to the way the U.S. has stationed troops in Japan and South Korea following wars in those countries.

Obama says he'd consider Gore for Cabinet post

"On global warming," a woman asked the Democratic candidate, "would you bring Al Gore in to a cabinet position to deal with the issue?"

Obama said he would consider the former vice president and 2000 Democratic nominee for a cabinet position, and also offered up another simple promise.

"Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem. He’s someone that I talk to on a regular basis, I’m already consulting with him in terms of these issues," Obama said.

Obama to play ball in Indiana

Barack Obama will play three-on-three with a former Indiana University basketball star and four students, tapping the state's rich basketball tradition to help get out the vote for next month's primary.

Teresa Heinz Kerry joins Michelle Obama on the trail

Teresa Heinz Kerry joined Michelle Obama at a rally at Carnegie Mellon University today, saying she hoped the state would support Obama the way it had voted for both of her husbands.

... It was Heinz Kerry’s first event on Obama’s behalf; her husband endorsed him before the South Carolina primary. The rally was also Michelle Obama’s first campaign stop in Pennsylvania.

Obama savors some very special pork

Ezekial Ferguson, one of the workers and a self-described big Obama fan, held out a slice of pata negra, a fancy Spanish ham, explaining that it had only recently been legalized in the United States. "What do you mean just legalized? It's so good it's like a drug or something?" said Obama. "Pretty much, yeah, just wait," said Ferguson.

He explained that the ham came from a type of black-hoofed Iberico wild pig that wanders around eating acorns, "which turn into delicious fat in its muscle tissue, and also make it really healthy for you." That drew a chuckle from the reporters Obama had brought along. "All I know is it tastes good," said Obama. "That was delicious."





Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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