Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008


Wisconsin primary is today
(and Hawaii for Dems only)


Obama, Clinton in dead heat in Texas

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll suggests the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois is a statistical dead heat in Texas, which holds primaries March 4.

In the survey, out Monday, 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Clinton as their choice for the party's nominee, with 48 percent backing Obama.

Dems divided over Florida, Michigan delegates seating

the battle rages over the DNC ruling not to seat Florida's and Michigan's delegates...






Mike Huckabee... today's headlines with excerpts

Huckabee: "I may be killing my political career"

"People ask me, 'Are you doing this for your future and your career?'" a worked-up Mike Huckabee said to a crowd of about 400 college students in the Green Bay area.

"Look, I may be killing my political career," he said.

"But I know this, if we don't start thinking about solving America's problems, we're killing all your careers that are standing here today as students, and that's unacceptable."

Huckabee driving hard in Wisconsin

The man trying to slow Sen. John McCain's march to the Republican presidential nomination left the campaign trail Friday for Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands to give a paid speech Saturday to a young leaders group.

Huckabee, despite his brief break, has hit the trail harder in Wisconsin than McCain, whose delegate lead is huge.

Huckabee supporters aren't slowing down in Texas

About a dozen Huckabee backers on Monday stood midway between the Capitol and the Governor's Mansion — one of four such events in the state — to remind voters that despite the political arithmetic, the race for the Republican nomination isn't over...

Huckabee not concerned with Bush 41 endorsement of McCain

Former President George H.W. Bush may have endorsed John McCain, but Mike Huckabee is not flinching.

"Believe me, everybody likes endorsements," Huckabee said to the crowd of about 150 who had braved the windblown terrains of central Wisconsin to see him. "But this isn't about endorsements, this is about principles."

Huckabee wins W. Virginia GOP convention - gains 18 delegates

Mike Huckabee won 18 delegates Tuesday as backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney from capturing the winner-take-all GOP state convention vote.




John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Clinton backers may find an alternative named McCain

Far from the pumped-up Obama rallies, centrists who voted for John Kerry last time now say they are considering John McCain — especially if the Democrat is the vaporous Obama...

McCain still short of nomination

The rules vary state to state. But in general, Romney has little authority over his delegates after he releases them. The vast majority haven't been named. Once they are, most will be free agents at the convention, free to support whomever they choose.

Huckabee has said he won't quit until somebody reaches 1,191 delegates. And a few more Huckabee victories in upcoming primaries could prove embarrassing for McCain.

George H.W. Bush gives McCain a strong endorsement

“His character was forged in the crucible of war,” Mr. Bush said. “His commitment to America is beyond any doubt. But most importantly, he has the right values and experience to guide our nation forward at this historic moment.”

The endorsement marked another turning point in the complex, evolving relationship between Senator McCain, of Arizona, and the Bush family.




Ron Paul... today's headlines with excerpts



Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama's wave stuns Clinton's black supporters

Hillary Clinton's black supporters -- especially the most prominent ones -- hadn't expected their candidate to be in a dogfight right now. They thought Barack Obama was an election cycle or two away from being serious presidential timber. They thought Bill Clinton's presidency and the close relationships the Clintons had forged with African Americans would translate into goo-gobs of votes in '08. They were wrong.

Remember all the commentator chatter last summer: Is Barack Obama black enough?

Well, he's black enough now.

Obama says Hillary using HIS phrases

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson accused Obama of plagiarizing Patrick, and that's particularly troubling since Obama's appeal is based in large part on his rhetorical skills.

"Now hold on a second. Let's see - I've written two books, wrote most of my speeches," Obama told reporters at a news conference after touring a titanium plant.

"I'm happy to give Deval credit, as I give credit to a lot people for spurring all kinds of ideas," he said. "But I think that it is fair to say that everything that we've been doing in generating excitement and the interest that people have in the election is based on the core belief in me that we need change in America."

Asked whether he wished he would have given him credit given the criticism he's facing, Obama responded: "I was on the stump, and he had suggested that we use these lines. I thought they were good lines. I'm sure I should have - didn't this time."

"I really don't think this is too big of a deal," he said. He said he's noticed Clinton using his phrases sometimes, like "it's time to turn the page" and "fired up, ready to go."

see also: Clinton in war of words with Obama

Politico's Roger Simon: Hillary targets pledged delegates

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.

This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides.

What? Isn’t that impossible? A pledged delegate is pledged to a particular candidate and cannot switch, right?


Pledged delegates are not really pledged at all, not even on the first ballot. This has been an open secret in the party for years, but it has never really mattered because there has almost always been a clear victor by the time the convention convened.

But not this time. This time, one candidate may enter the convention leading by just a few pledged delegates, and those delegates may find themselves being promised the sun, moon and stars to switch sides.




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Clinton aide accuses Obama of plagarism

Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign's communications director, accused Barack Obama of committing “plagiarism” in a speech in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

.... Obama closely echoed a passage from a speech that Deval Patrick, now the Massachusetts governor, used at a campaign rally when he was running for that office in 2006.

The Clinton campaign circulated a pair of YouTube links of the two speeches on Sunday.

see also: Obama says Clinton using HIS phrases

Hillary's struggle vexes feminists

As Hillary Clinton struggles to regain her momentum in the presidential race, frustrated feminists are looking at what they see as the ultimate glass ceiling: A female candidate with a hyper-substantive career is now threatened with losing the nomination to a man whose charismatic style and powerful rhetoric are trumping her decades of experience.


UPDATE: ClevelandLeader posts story... posts story of supposed Obama gay/cocaine liaison

The electrifying presidential campaign of Barack Obama faces a new challenge – a Minnesota man who claims he took cocaine in 1999 with the then-Illinois legislator and participated in homosexual acts with him.

When his story was ignored by the news media, Larry Sinclair made his case last month in a YouTube video, which has now been viewed more than a quarter-million times. And when it was still ignored by the media, Sinclair filed a suit in Minnesota District Court, alleging threats and intimidation by Obama's staff.

Sinclair, who says he is willing to submit to a polygraph test to validate his claims, will now get his chance – thanks to a website offering $10,000 for the right to record it and $100,000 to Sinclair if he passes.

"My motivation for making this public is my desire for a presidential candidate to be honest," Sinclair told WND by telephone. "I didn't want the sex thing to come out. But I think it is important for the candidate to be honest about his drug use as late as 1999."


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