Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

Monday, August 18, 2008




Washington Post admits Obama 3:1 coverage over McCain;
'This is not just a Post phenomenon'

Deborah Howell, Washington Post ombudsman:

Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party's presumptive nominee June 4. Obama has generated a lot of news by being the first African American nominee, and he is less well known than McCain -- and therefore there's more to report on. But the disparity is so wide that it doesn't look good...

This dovetails with Obama's dominance in photos, which I pointed out two weeks ago. At that time, it was 122 for Obama and 78 for McCain...

This is not just a Post phenomenon...


McCain to hold Aug. 29th rally in Ohio -
the day after  Obama's acceptance speech

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to get underway in the Twin Cities on Monday, Sept. 1, just three days after the Dayton, Ohio rally.

Some GOP strategists not working for the McCain campaign believe that announcing a running mate the day after Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., gives his acceptance speech in Denver, Colo., could help dampen any momentum that Democrats have coming out of their convention.


McCain: Obama tried to legislate Iraqi failure

John McCain told fellow veterans on Monday that his Democratic rival Barack Obama tried to legislate failure in Iraq and has refused to admit he erred when opposing the military increase there last year.

McCain said Obama placed his political self-interest ahead of his country's, a theme the Arizona Republican has often repeated. McCain told a friendly convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars that Obama's positions have changed as his political ambitions grew.

"With less than three months to go before the election, a lot of people are still trying to square Sen. Obama's varying positions on the surge in Iraq. First, he opposed the surge and confidently predicted that it would fail. Then he tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge," McCain said.

"Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure."


Obama tears into McCain -
calls McCain a continuation of Bush

A day after Barack Obama and John McCain exchanged an embrace during a faith forum at a California megachurch, Obama called the U.S. economy a disaster thanks to "John McCain's president, George W. Bush," and chided his Republican rival's campaign team for trying to make him look unpatriotic and weak...





Faith Forum gives preview of presidential debates

John McCain and Barack Obama appeared back-to-back at an evangelical church here this weekend, showing very different styles in response to identical personal and policy questions.

When asked the classic question, "Why do you want to be president?" Sen. McCain's response was in line with a central theme of his campaign. "I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest," he said.

Sen. Obama's reply to the same question was "You know, I remember what my mother used to tell me. I was talking to somebody a while back and I said the one time that she'd get really angry with me is if she ever thought that I was being mean to somebody or unfair to somebody."


The contrast between the two men may have been sharpest on abortion. Mr. Warren asked at what point a "baby" is "entitled to human rights."

Sen. McCain gave the answer most in the crowd wanted to hear: "At the moment of conception."

Sen. Obama didn't directly answer the question: "I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

see also:

Bill Kristol: Showdown at Saddleback

McCain shines at Saddleback Forum




The curious Bob Barr

Bob Barr allows that a Bob Barr presidency is "unlikely," but he sketches his dream nonetheless. Bob Barr as president would not sign any bills appropriating money to the United Nations. Bob Barr as president would advocate against a Department of Education. And, because the United States is not a "charity," Bob Barr as president would attempt to stop the practices of hospitals offering medical care to illegal immigrants and schools educating illegal immigrants' children. Most of all, he'd shrink government and taxes.

"Whatever step would be required for Bob Barr as president to cut back by 10 percent the executive office of the president would be done," he says, with Barrlike formality.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Phil Gramm returns to McCain camp

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, formerly a national co-chair of the McCain campaign, made his first appearance back with the candidate Thursday in Aspen, Colorado.

Gramm removed himself from the campaign after making controversial statements at the beginning of July. Speaking at the time as McCain's economics adviser, Gramm said that the U.S. recession was not as bad as people were saying, and that Americans were whining about it.

Jindal says no to possible McCain veep choice

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., closed the "window" Sunday on if he would accept an invitation to join the Republican ticket this election.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Jindal, who is rumored to be on Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., vice presidential short list, said he hopes to run for a second term as governor of Louisiana, instead.

"We’ve already said in private and public we’ve got the job that we want," Jindal said. "I don’t want to be vice president. I’m not going to be the nominee."

McCain evolves into supply-sider

This weekend, Mr. McCain took his place with the Republican Party's most fervent of supply-siders.

"I don't want to take any money from the rich; I want everybody to get rich," he said at Saturday's forum at the Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. "I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth."

McCain reopens the national security gap

July's NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll found that three in four Americans believe McCain can "handle" the role of commander in chief, while only 19 percent said he "cannot," compared to a 50 percent to 42 percent split for Obama.

When asked which party is more capable of "dealing with the war on terrorism," 40 percent of respondents to the latest NBC/WSJ poll said Republican while 29 percent said Democrat. The parties had been effectively tied as recently as January of this year, and the 11-percentage-point gap is the largest since 2004, the last year these numbers shifted so dramatically and, not coincidentally, the last presidential election year.

McCain v NBC: accuses network of pro-Obama bias

John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis asked Sunday for a meeting with Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, to protest what the campaign called signs that the network is "abandoning non-partisan coverage of the presidential race."

Davis made the request Sunday in a letter that is part of an aggressive effort by McCain to counter news coverage he considers critical.

In this case, the campaign is objecting to a statement by NBC's Andrea Mitchell on "Meet the Press" questioning whether McCain might have gotten a heads-up on some of the questions that were asked of Barack Obama, who was the first candidate to be interviewed Saturday night by Pastor Rick Warren at a presidential forum on faith.

Warren told the audience that McCain was being held in "a cone of silence" so he wouldn't hear the questions, which were similar for both candidates...

Ben Smith blog/Politico: Cone of silence - not so much

Ben Smith:

I'm not sure this really has much impact on the credibility of either of the candidates, but if Rick Warren were running for president, this wouldn't look awful good:

"We have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence," he said, when that was not in fact true.

Byron York: How McCain won Saddleback

This was not your usual political TV show. Warren — Pastor Rick, around here — asked big questions, about big subjects; he wasn’t concerned about what appeared on the front page of that morning’s Washington Post. And his simple, direct, big questions brought out something we don’t usually see in a presidential face-off; in this forum, as opposed to a read-the-prompter speech, or even a debate focused on the issues of the moment, the candidates were forced to call on everything they had — the things they have done and learned throughout their lives. And the fact is, John McCain has lived a much bigger life than Barack Obama. That’s not a slam at Obama; McCain has lived a much bigger life than most people. But it still made Obama look small in comparison. McCain was the clear winner of the night.







Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama declares Clarence Thomas unfit for Supreme Court - the Wall Street Journal's editorial

The Wall Street Journal editorial:

“So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court.”

Obama, on the other hand, “isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note [with] his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a ‘community organizer’ and law school lecturer,” The Journal observed.

“Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's presidential résumé by any measure.”

Stephanopolous: Clinton's veep chances 50:1

...the most intriguing longshot may be Obama's former rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"You could never say never," Stephanopoulos said. "If you give me 50-1, I'd take it."

Obama at San Francisco fundraiser: I will win

A confident Barack Obama raised an extraordinary $7.8 million Sunday at three California fundraisers, most if it in large checks to a Democratic Party committee.

“I will win. Don’t worry about that,” he said to the crowd of about 1,300 at his third event of the evening, according to the pool report.

He was warmly received by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called him "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time."

Obama facing attacks on all sides over abortion record

... chairman of a Senate committee, in 2003, voted against a "Born Alive" bill that contained nearly identical language to the federal bill that passed unanimously, including the provision limiting its scope.

The group says the documents prove Mr. Obama misrepresented his record...

Obama meets with 'Swift Boats' bankroller T. Boone Pickens

At the Summit Casino-Resort, Sunday morning, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., met with oil man T. Boone Pickens, now a proponent of weaning the United States from foreign fuel, who was a funder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that helped defeat Sen. John Kerry's Democratic presidential run in 2004.

"How does it feel meeting with someone who tore down your Democratic colleague in the last election?" a reporter asked Obama.

"You know, he has a lot longer track record than that," Obama said. "He has been doing -- He is, you know, a legendary entrepreneur and there are a lot of things that I think we have to unify the country around -- it is having an intelligent energy policy




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