Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Monday, April 14, 2008


BitterEliteGate: Obama comment coverage

Obama, McCain trade jabs:

Obama: "Now, Senator McCain and the Republicans in Washington are already looking ahead to the fall and have decided that they plan on using these comments to argue that I’m out of touch with what’s going on in the lives of working Americans. I don’t blame them for this -- that’s the nature of our political culture, and if I had to carry the banner for eight years of George Bush’s failures, I’d be looking for something else to talk about too."

McCain's Mark Salter: “It’s hard to keep a straight face when you’re accused of being out of touch by a guy who thinks the whole country is worried about the high price of arugula*  or that you hunt ducks with a six shooter."

* read arugula quote here

ABC's Jake Tapper: Obama and allies dodging the point

... they've attempted to focus their pushback away from the most controversial part of his remarks to an elite crowd at a San Francisco fundraiser.

While the description of small town Pennsylvanians as "bitter" is certainly impolitic, many political analysts say it's what follows that adjective that is potentially so alienating -- the notion that small town folks "get bitter" after which "they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

But Obama allies are trying to focus on the "bitter" part alone.

MSNBC FirstRead:

"What this controversy has done, however, is cement the opposition narrative
for Obama should he become the Dem nominee -- that he is an elitist, out-of-touch snob."

Newt Gingrich compares Obama to Dukakis in '88

This is the closest Senator Obama has come to openly
sharing his wife’s view that “America is a mean country”.
Not since Governor Dukakis have we seen anyone so
out of touch with normal Americans. It makes perfect
sense that it was in a fundraiser in San Francisco that
he would have shared the views he has so carefully kept
hidden for the entire campaign.



Obama: You know, I probably could have said it better

“I didn’t say it was well as I could have,” Obama confessed [Saturday] during a town hall in Muncie, Ind., in response to the controversy he described as a “political flare-up because I said something that everyone knows is true.”

"...if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that..."

Hillary: Obama comment could cost Dem party the election

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) asserted Sunday night that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), through his recent description of sentiments in small-town America, reinforced a stereotype of "out-of-touch" Democrats that doomed the party's past two presidential nominees. We had two very good men, and men of faith, run for president in 2000 and 2004. But large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand or relate to or frankly respect their ways of life," Clinton said at Messiah College, referring to former vice president Al Gore and Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.). She repeated her view that Obama had been "elitist . . . and, frankly, patronizing."

Obama: Shame on 'Annie Oakley'

"Shame on her," Obama said, echoing one of Clinton's own attacks on him. "Shame on her, she knows better."

Obama said he was disappointed with her for her response and then launched into a new criticism of Clinton over her recent admission of being a hunter, and compared her sarcastically to Annie Oakley.

"She’s running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she values the Second Amendment, she's talking like she's Annie Oakley! Hillary Clinton's out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday, she's packin' a six shooter! C'mon! She knows better. That's some politics being played by Hillary Clinton. I want to see that picture of her out there in the duck blinds."


Obama gaffe sounds Marxist

“The danger, frankly, is that Democrats will be perceived as disingenuous,” said Laura Olson, a Clemson University professor who focuses on politics and religion. “What I really would be concerned about there is that Republicans could really spin this and they could say Obama is a Marxist. That’s what Marx said [about religion]: It’s the opiate of the masses.”

Bill Clinton weighs in

"Folks, I was shaking hands and taking a few pictures backstage. This fellow looked at me and he said, 'I just want you to know, the people you're about to see are not bitter. They're proud,'" Clinton told an applauding audience.



Israel snubs Carter,
declines security help

Israel's secret service has declined to assist U.S. agents guarding former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during a visit in which Israeli leaders have shunned him, U.S. sources close to the matter said on Monday.

Carter angered the Israeli government with plans to meet Hamas's top leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Syria, and for describing Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territories as "a system of apartheid" in a 2006 book.

Defends meeting with Hamas

Carter said he feels "quite at ease" about meeting Hamas militants over the objections of Washington because the Palestinian group is essential to a future peace with Israel...

Carter will not endorse until the convention

Former President Jimmy Carter confirmed in an exclusive "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos that he will not be endorsing any time soon. "The only thing I know is that, I have not made an endorsement, and don't intend to, until the time of the convention."





John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain raising cash off Obama's 'bitter' comment

In an email titled "A bitter America?" McCain manager Rick Davis uses Obama's comments to raise coin...

If Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee in the general election, the American people will have a clear choice between two different visions - Senator Obama's liberal, elitist philosophy and John McCain's faith in the small town values that continue to make America great. John McCain will not forget them or write them off. Neither should Barack Obama. ..


McCain says USA in recession

While McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said he thinks the country is in a recession, he noted that he is more worried about helping people who are facing “enormous challenges,” rather than figuring out what the technical definition of a recession is.

... “I think that there’s plenty of that blame to go around, including very greedy people that happen to be in Wall Street today ... like the CEO of Bear Stearns who decided the day before he was bailed out by the federal government to cash in millions of dollar's worth of stock,” he stated, adding that there needs to be “a lot more accountability” on Wall Street.


DRUDGE story - McCain: Hillary can still pull it off

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has confided to his inner circle that Hillary Clinton may yet be the Democratic nominee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, a development the senator from Arizona would personally welcome!

"Look, I know something about long odds, they had me written off last summer," McCain explained over the weekend, according to a top source.

McCain would prefer to go up against Clinton in the general election, insiders reveal.


DNC want to force action against McCain on public money

The Democratic National Committee is set to file a complaint in federal court against the Federal Election Commission, saying the regulatory agency has failed to act on a request to investigate and take action against Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential-nominee-in-waiting, for reversing his decision to use public money in the general election...



McCain keeps his faith out of politics

The religious intentions of Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama were dissected after he publicly explained his decades long relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., but the senator from Arizona likely will talk little about the details of his own spiritual path other than to acknowledge that he is on one.

"The most important thing is I'm a Christian," Mr. McCain told reporters in September on the campaign trail when asked about his religious affiliation.



McCain more conservative than his image

The independent label sticks to John McCain because he antagonizes fellow Republicans and likes to work with Democrats.

But a different label applies to his actual record: conservative.

The likely Republican presidential nominee is much more conservative than voters appear to realize. McCain leans to the right on issue after issue, not just on the Iraq war but also on abortion, gay rights, gun control and other issues that matter to his party's social conservatives.

McCain helping Rudy retire debt

Looks like Rudy Giuliani's decision to quit the primary after Florida and immediately endorse John McCain is paying off for the former mayor.

On Friday McCain manager Rick Davis sent an e-mail to the senator's top fundraisers requesting that they help Hizzoner retire the debt he incurred from his lackluster campaign.





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Hillary takes 20-point lead in Pennsylvania

Clinton 52, Obama 41...

What Clinton wishes she could say

Rip off the duct tape and here is what they would say: Obama has serious problems with Jewish voters (goodbye Florida), working-class whites (goodbye Ohio) and Hispanics (goodbye, New Mexico).

Republicans will also ruthlessly exploit openings that Clinton — in the genteel confines of an intraparty contest — never could. Top targets: Obama’s radioactive personal associations, his liberal ideology, his exotic life story, his coolly academic and elitist style.

This view has been an article of faith among Clinton advisers for months, but it got powerful new affirmation last week with Obama’s clumsy ruminations about why “bitter” small-town voters turn to guns and God.

Hillary: 'not relevant' last time I went to church, fired gun

After a weekend spent making direct appeals to gun owners and church goers, Hillary Clinton said Sunday a query about the last time she fired a gun or attended church services "is not a relevant question in this debate”...




Hillary hires more women than McCain, Obama

Among the three senators remaining in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has the most women on her staff by nearly a 2-1 margin, according to the most recent Senate report on congressional personnel...

Hillary launches 9-day blitz to win PA

Hillary Clinton battled to keep her White  House hopes alive Sunday as she headed into a tense nine-day stretch that could define the end game of her enthralling Democratic tussle with Barack Obama...

Hillary hires more women than McCain, Obama

Hillary takes a shot of whiskey in Indiana

"My campaign drives people to drink," Clinton said with a smile.

Then she turned to her ABC and CBS embedded campaign reporters.

"The only bad thing about this wonderful time with you is that every bite I take is recorded for posterity," she said. "These two young people are really very very nice but their job is to get something on film that looks really weird, so I try to accommodate them as much as often."




Bill Clinton, China linked via his foundation

A firm that has donated to the president's charity is accused of collaborating with the government in its crackdown on Tibetan activists. Hillary Clinton has spoken out against China's actions...




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

CodePink bundles for Obama - over $50,000

The co-founder of the radical anti-war group Code Pink has “bundled” more than $50,000 for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and pro-troops groups are demanding that he return the money.

Jodie Evans, a Code Pink leader, gathered at least $50,000 from friends and associates and donated it to Obama’s presidential campaign, according to information compiled by the nonpartisan watchdog group, Public Citizen.

Evans and her son, a student who lives at her Southern California address, each also gave the maximum individual allowable donation of $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.

The donations have raised questions about Obama’s association with the more radical elements of his base. Code Pink has harassed, vandalized and impeded military recruiters across the United States in a campaign it calls “counter-recruitment.” The group also gave $600,000 to the families of Iraqi terrorists in Fallujah, whom it called “insurgents”  fighting for their homes... and have met with dictator Hugo Chavez...

Obama linked to Rezko 2004 party

Stuart Levine, the prosecution's star witness, said he and Obama were at a party Rezko threw at his Wilmette mansion on April 3, 2004, for Nadhmi Auchi, a controversial Iraqi-born billionaire who Rezko was trying to get to invest in a South Loop real-estate development...

Kentucky congressman slams Obama

"I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."

then apologizes:

In a letter to Obama, which a Davis aide provided to Politico, Davis apologized for his "poor choice of words."

Wall Street Journal: The other Obama

... Mr. Obama's unreflective condescension is reminiscent of the famous 1993 Washington Post article that described evangelical Christians as "poor, undereducated and easy to command."

And the fact that he said it so naturally in front of a San Francisco crowd suggests that this is what he may truly believe. This is Mr. Obama's inner Mike Dukakis.








Obama gets unexpected support

As strong and consistent abortion foes, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer are anomalies in a Democratic Party that has overwhelmingly advocated abortion rights. Yet both are backing Sen. Barack Obama, whom one conservative blogger dubbed "the most pro-abortion candidate ever."

Obama's former pastor criticizes media at funeral

...  America’s founding fathers “planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic,” and adding that Thomas Jefferson wrote, “ ‘God would punish America for the sin of slavery.’ I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic,” he said to the cheers of the congregation.

... Wright thundered, “Fox News can’t understand that. [Bill] O’Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity’s stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham’s] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed.”

At that point, congregants nearly drowned Wright out with a booming standing ovation.

Wright also referred to Fox News as “Fix News.”





Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




view more past news & headlines




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