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Thursday, April 17, 2008



Debate coverage

Outrage as ex-Clinton staffer runs debate

More than 7000 viewers posted comments on the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news website criticising the "biased" and "superficial" questions posed by Stephanopoulos, the network's Washington correspondent.

Stephanopoulos helped run Mr Clinton's 1992 election campaign and acted as his press secretary and advisor on policy and strategy before joining the ABC.

Stephanopoulos defends: "We asked tough but appropriate questions"

Not a good debate for Obama, period

This was not a good debate for Obama, period. But it wasn't a great debate for Clinton either. Of course, that may not matter to Team Clinton. In a twp-way debate, it's not about which candidate narrowly wins -- but which candidate gets pummeled in the post-debate reviews. And Obama will get pummeled because well he did get pummeled, a little bit by Clinton and a little bit by the moderators.

... This debate is going to lead a lot of Obama supporters to ratchet up the calls on Clinton to either withdraw or tone down the attacks. Clinton supporters will point to this debate as proof that he's not yet ready for the general, that's why she should stay in, and that's why superdelegates should overturn the winner of pledged delegates.

see also: Obama's honeymoon over, and it shows

Clinton, Obama won't vow to put loser on as veep

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both declined Wednesday night to pledge a spot on their ticket this fall to the loser of their epic battle for the Democratic presidential nomination...

Obama kept on defensive during debate

Sen. Barack Obama faced his toughest grilling yet in a presidential debate Wednesday night, spending the first 45 minutes of his last scheduled meeting with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton defending his own words and his associations with several controversial figures.

The clear loser is ABC

ABC News moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos seemed to be playing a game of gotcha at last night's debate...

... For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes


Democratic debate turns personal

Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took their hard-fought battle for the Democratic presidential nomination down to a deeply personal level in a nationally televised debate last night, questioning each other's honesty, appeal to working-class voters, and electability in November.

Clinton, seeking momentum in the dwindling weeks of the primary campaign, accused Obama of associating with controversial figures, including his own former preacher. Though she called Obama a "good man" and said, after some prodding, that he could win the White House, Clinton said he would have many liabilities in the fall campaign.

... The first 45 minutes of the nearly two-hour debate - broadcast by ABC from Philadelphia's National Constitution Center - were devoted solely to politics and electability.

Debate is a slugfest

The debate not only covered recent controversies over comments Obama made about small-town America and Clinton's exaggerated claims of landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, but also ranged far afield to Obama's association with former Weather Underground member William Ayers and President Bill Clinton's clemency for two other members of that Vietnam-era radical group...

Obama is pressed in Penn. debate

... The encounter, particularly in the early stages, seemed more like a grilling of Obama on a Sunday-morning talk show than a debate between the two candidates.

... Pressed to answer directly whether Obama can win, [Clinton] responded: "Yes. Yes. Yes." But she added: "I think I can do a better job."

see also: Obama had the tougher night

Clinton revisits Wright's role

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton charged her rival has failed to fully explain his longtime ties to the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., calling it deplorable that Mr. Obama didn't leave the church after his pastor made disparaging remarks about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama was treated as the front-runner he has become by winning more state primaries and caucuses. He was hammered by the ABC News debate moderators and by Mrs. Clinton for his misstatements and personal associations and was peppered with questions about his positions.

Obama forgets writing on gun questionnaire

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., maintained at Wednesday's ABC News debate in Philadelphia that his handwriting does not appear on a 1996 questionnaire stating support for a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns. The Democratic presidential frontrunner made this claim even though a copy of the original document suggests otherwise...






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

AP/Yahoo poll shows McCain winning back unhappy Republcians

Republicans are no longer underdogs in the race for the White House. To pull that off, John McCain has attracted disgruntled GOP voters, independents and even some moderate Democrats who shunned his party last fall.

Partly thanks to an increasingly likable image, the Republican presidential candidate has pulled even with the two Democrats still brawling for their party's nomination, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo news poll released Thursday...

McCain outlines broad proposals of U.S. economy

There was a dash of populism, as Mr. McCain criticized executive pay and corporate wrongdoing. There was a strong supply-side bent, with Mr. McCain focusing on cutting corporate taxes and making permanent the Bush tax cuts that he once opposed. And there was a decidedly less hawkish note on deficits, as Mr. McCain called for spending cuts but did not mention balancing the federal budget.

McCain's economic speech transcript

National poll: McCain even with Obama, leads Clinton

McCain 45, Obama 45

McCain 46, Clinton 41

McCain narrowing his veep choices?

McCain's comments during "Hardball" regarding whether his running mate would have to pro-life.

MCCAIN: I don't know if it would stop him but it would be difficult.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But why that one issue? Why is there that one litmus test?

MCCAIN: I'm not saying that would be necessarily, but I am saying it's basically the respect and cherishing of the right of the unborn is one of the fundamental principles of my party and it's a deeply held belief of mine.




Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Newsmax/Zogby poll: deadlocked in Pennsylvania

With just five days left before Democratic primary voters go to polls to decide who they want to be their presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are locked in a battle that is too close to call, the latest Newsmax/Zogby telephone poll shows.

Bill tells Hillary: 'block out' media

Bill Clinton has sent out a fundraising e-mail disclosing that he tells Hillary to “block out” the media and asks supporters to do the same.

In the e-mail addressed “Dear Friend,” Bill writes: “I’m going to give you the same advice I give to Hillary: block out the distractions — the skeptics, the media coverage, the beltway chatter — and keep your eyes on the prize.








Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama picks up 3 more, now LEADS in overall delegates

Barack Obama has now moved past Hillary Clinton in terms of announced support from elected superdelegates (governors, senators and representatives).

He picked up three more on Wednesday.

Obama still trails Clinton slightly in overall superdelegates, 257-234.

But in overall delegates he leads by 141, 1,650-1,509. This according to the authoritative NBC count.

Obamas' income for 2007: $4.2 million

Campaigning for president has been very good for Sen. Barack Obama's pocketbook, with his household income jumping from $991,296 in 2006 to $4.2 million in 2007, tax records show.

... The couple paid nearly $1.4 million in federal taxes last year, and made $240,370 in charitable contributions. Their largest gifts were to the United Negro College Fund ($50,000), the international relief organization CARE ($35,000) and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago ($26,270).

Obama critical of Carter-Hamas meeting

Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized former President Carter for planning to meet with leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas as he tried to reassure Jewish voters that his candidacy isn't a threat to them or U.S. support for Israel.

The Democratic presidential candidate's comments to a group of Jewish leaders were his first on Carter's controversial meeting scheduled this week in Egypt.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, earlier in the week called on Obama to repudiate Carter's meeting.

Obama endorsed by gun group on anniversary of V-Tech killings

Timing is everything in politics and, for Barack Obama's campaign, today's endorsement by the American Hunters and Shooters Association showed both good and bad timing.

The good news, for Obama: the support of this gunowners' rights group may help him overcome the controversy over his suggestion that small voters "cling to guns and religion" because they're "bitter."

The bad news?  Today was the anniversary of the deadly Virginia Tech massacre.

Obama: no earmarks for 2009 the Senate funding request deadline approaches and the final primaries of the Democratic nomination process draw near, Obama's staff told CNN the junior senator from Illinois will request no earmarks for fiscal year 2009.

The dramatic change is in line with a statement Obama issued last month in connection with an amendment calling for a one-year moratorium on earmarks in the Senate.

The amendment, sponsored by federal earmark foe Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, was shot down by a vote of 79-21.

Michelle Obama rejects elitist characterization

"I am a product of a working-class background, I am one of those folks who grew up in that struggle. That is the lens through which I see the world," Michelle Obama told a cheering crowd at Harrison High School, the first stop of a three-city campaign swing ahead of the state's May 6 primary.

"So when people talk about this elitist stuff, I say, 'You couldn't possibly know anything about me.'






Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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