Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

 Monday, April 21, 2008



Obama $42M for primary at start of April; Clinton $9M

Barack Obama began the month of April with a 5-1 cash advantage over a debt-saddled Hillary Rodham Clinton, setting the stage for his lopsided spending in the crucial primary state of Pennsylvania.





In Pennsylvania, white male vote tomorrow is key

White men are a critical group of voters for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and the most ambivalent...





Dem party chiefs plan push to avoid long fight

...some party leaders are quietly planning to try to end the clash, said people familiar with the matter. After the primaries end in June, these influential Democrats -- led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- plan to push the last uncommitted party leaders to endorse a candidate, in hopes of preventing a fight at the August presidential convention, party insiders say.


Undecided superdelegates don't feel bound by primaries

Many of the Democratic superdelegates who are still undecided say the most important factor in their decision is simple — they just want a winner in November.

... That's good news for Clinton, who cannot catch Obama in delegates won in the few remaining primaries and caucuses.


Carter: Hamas is willing to accept Israel as neighbor

Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to "live as a neighbor next door in peace," former President Jimmy Carter said today.

Carter said the group promised it wouldn't undermine Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to reach a peace deal with Israel, as long as the Palestinian people approved it in a referendum. In such a scenario, he said Hamas would not oppose a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Hamas, a militant Islamic group that both the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist organization, calls in its charter for Israel's destruction. It has also traditionally opposed peace negotiations with the Jewish state.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, later said Carter's comments "do not mean that Hamas is going to accept the result of the referendum."

Carter's comments came after his much criticized meetings with the top Hamas leaders in Syria in last week.

see also: Carter strongly hints he supports Obama...






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts


Based on new financial disclosure reports released Sunday, and interviews with his finance team, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee will instead accept taxpayer money to finance his general election and share other costs with the Republican National Committee.


McCain visiting poor areas of U.S.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain spends this week visiting economically struggling areas of the United States to show Americans he is a different kind of Republican.

McCain's trip is part of a bid to attract more independent voters who could be crucial in the November election...

McCain claims racial high ground

McCain aides ... are acutely aware of the unique challenges that would come in running against the first African-American nominee and the need to stake out turf early that makes clear to both blacks and whites that a) he still won't forfeit any vote and b) he will appeal to, as Lincoln said, "our better angels" and keep his campaign on the racial high ground...

McCain reports improved fundraising but still lags

The Arizona senator raised $15.2 million in March, his best fundraising performance of the campaign. His finances still significantly trail Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the two Democrats in the race.

Rick Santorum: Republicans should support McCain

Now the question for conservatives is whether McCain fits the Reagan Axiom that someone you agree with on 80 percent of the issues is your friend, not your enemy....

As for the Reagan Axiom, given his opponent, McCain is close enough to 80 percent for government work. That is why I am going to vote for my friend - John McCain.

McCain spokesman: Obama 'recklessly dishonest'

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said: "It is clear that Barack Obama is intentionally twisting John McCain's words completely out of context. Obama is guilty of deliberately distorting John McCain's comments for pure political gain, which is exactly what Senator Obama was complaining about just yesterday."

McCain alleges Obama radical ties

Asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether he has any doubt that Obama shares his sense of patriotism, McCain brought the subject up.

“I'm sure he's very patriotic. But his relationship with Mr. Ayers is open to question,” McCain said.

“He became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen,” McCain said. “Does he condemn them? Would he condemn someone who says they're unrepentant and wished that they had bombed more?” 

McCain eases proposal for alternative to U.N.

McCain first proposed a league of democracies last year, describing a formal organization that could use military force as well as economic and diplomatic pressure. It would be organized by the U.S., much like NATO after World War II...

... Now, however, McCain says the group would not use military force, and would be an informal organization in which democratic nations come together in different groupings, depending on their concerns....
DNC goes after McCain on economy

The DNC is going after McCain in a paid TV spot starting April 22nd on national cable. It attacks McCain for saying it could be argued that we’re better off now than before the Bush presidency. The DNC uses McCain’s words at a debate, splices that with ominous-sounding (almost Exorcist-like) piano music and titles on screen combating McCain’s economic outlook.




Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Zogby Pennsylvania poll: Hillary gains in final weekend

She gained two points over the past 24 hours as Obama lost one point, and she now leads 48% to 42%, the latest polling shows.

Hillary needs record margins, turnout to catch Obama

To overtake Barack Obama in the nationwide popular vote, Hillary Clinton needs a bigger win in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary than she has had in any major contest so far. And that's just for starters...

Pennsylvania undecideds flock to Clinton

Undecided Democratic primary voters who wait until Election Day before choosing a candidate have overwhelmingly gone with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — a trend that she needs to continue in tomorrow's crucial Pennsylvania primary to claim a decisive victory.

Mrs. Clinton of New York bested rival Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois among voters making last-minute decisions by an average six-point margin in previous primaries, exit polls show, and about 9 percent remain undecided here.

Hillary slaps Obama for praising McCain

“Senator Obama said today that John McCain would be better for the country than George Bush,” Clinton said. “Now, Senator McCain is a real American patriot who has served our country with distinction, but Senator McCain would follow the same failed policies that have been so wrong for our country the last seven years.”

“We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain. And I will be that nominee,” Clinton said.


'Vast right-wing conspiracy' leader's paper backs Hillary

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton was endorsed Sunday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, whose owner and publisher, billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, personally funded many of the investigations that led to President Clinton's impeachment in 1998.

Forced to buy health care? 'Bull' says Bill

He paraphrased the claims in Obama’s ad, saying, “‘Oh, it’s the end of the world. Oh, you’re gonna be forced to buy health care you can’t afford.’” He quickly added: “That’s bull. The only way you can afford it over the long run is that everyone is covered.”



Paglia: Why women shouldn't vote for Hillary

"...All women, on pain of excommunication from the feminist claque, must now support Hillary. Never mind her spotty record or her naked political expediency. Any woman with the temerity to endorse Barack Obama (as I do) is condemned as a "traitor" to her sex. "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life," trumpeted Steinem earlier this year in an article promoting Hillary in the New York Times. Barriers of race, class or economics are waved away as mere frippery..."

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...




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama: 'I'm not predicting a win'

Obama says on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh this morning:

"I’m not predicting a win. I’m predicting it’s going to be close and that we are going to do a lot better than people expect," he says.

Michael Moore endorses Obama

MOORE: "I don't get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn't get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote -- and yours -- on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama? ..."

Obama sharpens his tone; criticizes Clinton's negative turn

The Pennsylvania race has forced Obama to rewrite his script from earlier contests, with the result being a more aggressive tone and style in the final hours of this campaign than had been the case in previous states. Far more than at any other time in the campaign, Obama has applied pressure to Clinton, both on the stump and in his increasingly negative advertising...




Obama: McCain would be better than Bush

"You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain," Obama said to cheers from a rowdy crowd in central Pennsylvania. Then he said: "And all three of us would be better than George Bush."

Obama: Hillary throwing 'the china' at me

In Downingtown, Pa., Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., took the remark by the Clinton campaign -- that she would be employing the "kitchen sink" strategy against him -- a step further.

"You know, over the last several weeks since she fell behind, she's resorted to what's called 'kitchen sink' strategies," Obama said, per ABC News' Sunlen Miller. "She's got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me...

Novak: What's the matter with Obama?

Clinton's effort to brand Obama as elitist has failed to move the polls... Nevertheless, Democratic pros feel that the San Francisco incident halted an Obama surge in Pennsylvania that might have won him the state and ended Clinton's campaign tomorrow. What really worries them, however, is the impact on independents and Republicans who had been entranced by the young man from Chicago. Now, they wonder whether the appealing unifier is really a divider.




Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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