Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Weekend Report, April 19-20, 2008



Gallup poll Sunday:

Obama retakes lead nationally

Obama 47, Clinton 45

Gallup poll Saturday:
Hillary takes lead nationally!

Clinton 46, Obama 45


Pennsylvania voter registration hits record high for primary

the Pennsylvania Department of State announced a record number of voters registered for the primary election...

Since January, 218,923 new voters have registered: nearly 70 percent of them as Democrats; 18 percent as Republicans.



Carter holds second meeting with Hamas chief

Former US president Jimmy Carter and Khaled Meshaal, exiled chief of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, held more talks in Syria on Saturday focused on a possible truce between Israel and Gaza militants and the release of an Israeli soldier, Hamas said.

The two men held a lengthy meeting on Friday, strongly opposed by Washington and Israel who view Hamas as a terrorist organisation despite its victory in Palestinian elections in 2006.









John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Will McCain's temper become an issue?

"Does he get angry? Yes," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who supports McCain's presidential bid. "But it's never been enough to blur his judgment. . . . If anything, his passion and occasional bursts of anger have made him more effective."

Former senator Bob Smith, a New Hampshire Republican, expresses worries about McCain: "His temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him."

McCain overcomes rank-and-file concerns

Although some prominent conservatives continue to have deep reservations about McCain — a few still say they won't vote for him in November — interviews with a dozen conservative leaders confirm that the Republican base is largely coming to terms with the party's new standard-bearer.

“We’ve all had our differences with John McCain,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who intends to endorse McCain prior to Indiana’s primary. “But Sen. McCain is reaching to the right, and the right is reaching back.”

McCain camp planning to widen the battlefield

Senator John McCain’s political advisers said Friday that they believed his potential appeal to independents could make him competitive in up to two dozen tossup states, twice as many as Republicans seriously contested in the 2004 presidential race.

The campaign is working to expand Mr. McCain’s electoral map by employing an unusual, decentralized structure in which it will dispatch 11 regional campaign managers across the country, assigning some to traditional closely fought states like Ohio and Florida, others to states they hope to pick up, like Minnesota, and a couple to some less common targets for Republicans, including New Jersey.


McCain campaign's next stop: 'forgotten parts of America'

John McCain plans to spend next week reaching out to African-Americans, displaced factory workers and people living in poverty — voters not usually associated with the Republican Party.

Starting Monday, the presumptive GOP nominee for president will stop in Alabama's "Black Belt," then move on to the struggling steel town of Youngstown, Ohio, and the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The Arizona senator is also trying to make it to New Orleans, which is still recovering from 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

"I want to tell people living there that there must not be any forgotten parts of America, any forgotten Americans," McCain told newspaper editors this week.





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Hillary hits Obama for 'whoop-dee-do'

"I don't want to just show up and give one of those whoop-dee-do speeches and get everybody whipped up," she said. "I want everyone thinking."

Chelsea hits the gay bars

Chelsea Clinton stopped traffic Friday night as she wandered the streets of Philadelphia on a gay bar crawl, winning rave reviews for both her politics and her appearance.

Led around the neighborhood by Gov. Ed Rendell, Chelsea was mobbed by local gays and lesbians, as she walked from one club to the next. They ran up to hug her, posed for pictures and certainly invaded her personal space.

“I grabbed her ass,” one young woman exclaimed to her friends after snapping a picture with her arm around the former first daughter...

Clinton friends depart - Disloyalty or deserved comeuppance?

After nearly two decades building relationships with a generation of Democrats, Mrs. Clinton has recently suffered a steady erosion of support for her presidential campaign from the party stalwarts who once formed the basis of her perceived juggernaut of “inevitability.”

Some of it is just business, practical politicians putting aside ties to the Clintons to follow the will of the voters in their states or making a calculation about who seems best positioned to win.

... But one person’s “disloyalty” is, to another set of eyes, well-deserved “comeuppance.” And there is no shortage of powerful Democrats who are quick to accuse the Clintons of defining loyalty as a one-way street, with little regard for the sacrifices they have made for a couple whose own political needs seem to their critics always to come first. ..

Many Clinton donors maxed out

...her big-dollar fund-raising apparatus that was once the envy of the political world is encountering obstacles as many of those in its regular networks of donors have reached the maximum on their personal contributions or grown tired of the relentless press for donations.

The campaign is actively hunting for new wellsprings of cash, while tapped-out donors who want to give more are contemplating financing independent efforts on her behalf that are not bound by contribution limits. So far, however, the independent efforts have been halting at best...

Hillary gets 3 new superdelegates

Hillary Rodham Clinton added a new trio of superdelegates to her tally on Friday.

Two former New Jersey governors, Jim Florio and Brendan Byrne, endorsed Mrs. Clinton last year, but they were only selected to be their state’s add-on delegates Thursday. As such, they have the same voting rights as superdelegates and don’t have to vote with the popular vote winner of their state (although Mrs. Clinton won New Jersey anyway).

Representative Betty Sutton of Ohio also came out in support of Mrs. Clinton. The district she represents is in northeastern Ohio.


Clinton questions Obama's toughness

Heading into the final weekend before the crucial Pennsylvania primary, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton questioned Senator Barack Obama’s toughness, a tactic her campaign called an 11th-hour message to uncommitted superdelegates who may have lingering concerns over his electability.

Angelou puts prose to Hillary Clinton

Angelou read, “You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies, you may tread me in the very dirt but still like dust, I’ll rise. This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wit’s end. But she is always risen, always risen. Don’t forget she has much to the dismay of her adversaries and to the delight of her friends risen.”  Clinton gave Angelou a big hug after the prose and the meeting.




Clinton says '08 campaign has broken barriers

Hillary Rodham Clinton put aside her differences with her Democratic presidential rival Friday night, saying both she and Barack Obama have been inspirations for every American child to believe he or she can be president...

"Certainly Barack and I are instruments of this historical happening, but it is much deeper and broader than both of us," she said.

Noonan: next time she runs, she will wear skirts

"This is what I think will happen. At some future point Mrs. Clinton will leave, and at a more distant one she will try to come back. But more than one cycle will have to pass before she does. She'll need more than four years to shake off the impression she made in 2008. And this is how you'll know she's making another bid for the presidency. She will wear skirts."




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama: Can't swift boat me

The Obama campaign is planning to expand its research and rapid-response team in order to repel attacks it anticipates over his ties to 1960s radical Bill Ayers, indicted developer Antoin Rezko and other figures from his past. David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, tells NEWSWEEK that the Illinois senator won't let himself be "Swift Boated" like John Kerry in 2004. "He's not going to sit there and sing 'Kumbaya' as the missiles are raining in," Axelrod said...

Maureen Down: Brush it off

Obama has to prove to Americans that, despite his exotic background and multicultural looks, he shares or at least respects their values and understands why they would be upset about his associations with the Rev. Wright and an ex-Weatherman. ..

Obama linked to gun control effort

before he became a national political figure, he sat on the board of a Chicago-based foundation that doled out at least nine grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to groups that advocated the opposite positions.

The foundation funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners’ rights, as well as two groups that advocated handgun bans. And it paid to support a book called “Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.” ...

Malkin: Elitism is a corrupted state of mind

The odor of elitism is like onion breath: It's quick to acquire, hard to mask. Try as he might, Barack Obama cannot camouflage the political stink he exhaled when he dissed small-town Americans as "bitter" Neanderthals "clinging" to their guns, faith and belief in strict immigration enforcement...

Beltway elitism isn't about biography. It's a corrupted state of mind. Mr. Obama can at least console himself with the knowledge that he has plenty of out-of-touch company in both parties in Washington...

Kudlow: Why not blame Obama?

...In effect, Obama's economics are bad and his social circle is very limited. This is one of the many reasons why a quarter of the Hillary Democrats are telling pollsters they'll likely move to John McCain in the general election.

Obama's real agenda is far-liberal left. It's an ideology that places income redistribution above economic growth. That's his real message. And it's the same one that sunk Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry...

Obama's secret weapon: the media

The shower of indignation on Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos over the last few days is the clearest evidence yet that the Clintonites are fundamentally correct in their complaint that she has been flying throughout this campaign into a headwind of media favoritism for Obama.
Last fall, when NBC’s Tim Russert hazed Clinton with a bunch of similar questions—a mix of fair and impertinent—he got lots of gripes from Clinton supporters.
But there was nothing like the piling on from journalists rushing to validate the Obama criticisms and denouncing ABC’s performance as journalistically unsound.

Crowd breaks Obama record in Philly

Sen. Barack Obama drew 35,000 people at a downtown rally tonight in Independence Park, local security officials told the campaign, making the crowd at this evening's event his largest ever. The sea of people sprawled across nearly three city blocks.

That's 5,000 more than the nearly 30,000 people who showed up for Obama and Oprah Winfrey at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., in December.






Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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