click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008
GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES with excerpts
This is it - Super Tuesday
43 presidential nominating contests in 24 states today
For Republicans, two states could end up determining whether the race goes on from here: California and Massachusetts... Should Mr. McCain win in Massachusetts and hold on to California, that would probably be the lights-out moment at the Romney headquarters....
For Democrats, watch California, Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Arizona and New Mexico. If Mr. Obama wins California, that is a real momentum blocker for Mrs. Clinton: There are few states in the country that are more identified with the Clinton presidency than this one.
Shock poll: Obama takes 13-pt lead in California; Romney up 7
In the Republican race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney held a 7-point advantage on Arizona Sen. John McCain in California, while McCain added to commanding double-digit leads in New York and New Jersey.
for Dems, Super Tuesday results likely to be close, inconclusive
“The nominating battle is likely going to continue well past tomorrow’s [today’s] voting, past the primaries of March 4 and maybe even beyond to Pennsylvania [April 22],” said Howard Wolfson, Mrs Clinton’s campaign manager. “The Super Tuesday results are likely to be close and inconclusive.” David Axelrod, Mr Obama’s campaign manager, also lowered expectations, saying he expected the race to continue for several weeks at least. “We need rough parity [in delegate numbers],” he told Politico, the Washington-based publication.
Voting machines in Hoboken, NJ malfunction
Presidential candidates are ready for Super Tuesday. Voters are ready. Some voting machines in Hoboken, however, are not.
CBS 2 HD has learned that several voting machines are not working Tuesday morning. Voting officials are trying to fix the problem.
The site which saw technical difficulties was where Governor Corzine intended to vote.
DNC urged to end fight over delegates
The woman who oversaw the documentation of voter disenfranchisement during the disputed 2000 presidential election has asked the Democratic Party to settle a fight with Florida and Michigan to avoid damage to the party.
Mary Frances Berry, who served as U.S. Commission on Civil Rights chairwoman until 2004, is concerned that there will be a battle at the August convention over the seating of delegates from the two states. The Democratic National Committee stripped the states of their delegates as punishment for moving up their primaries before Feb. 5.
"There will be a challenge at the convention and there will be a big, bloody fight with everybody arguing," she said in an interview. "And at the end of the day you have people going away angry and it's hard to get them together for the general election."
Democrats' superdelegate info
Republicans' delegate info
Utah's Mormons loathe Huckabee
The wellspring of Huckabee hate is a now-famous Dec. 16 New York Times Magazine interview in which the former Arkansas governor, in an “innocent voice,” is reported to have asked, “Don’t Mormons ... believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”
Huckabee compares himself to the New York Giants
Mike Huckabee compared his underdog status to that of the New York Giants before their upset victory over the New England Patriots.
In a nasal tone of superiority, Huckabee imitated the naysayers who said the Pats were already the Super Bowl champs. But then, Huckabee said, "the New York Giants showed up and decided the game wasn't over until they decided it was over."
Huckabee: Romney not ready for 'starting lineup'
.. in regards to Romney’s statement that the first rule of politics is "no whining," Huckabee said, "I'm hoping he'll live up to that. 'Cause he's the one — every time he spends millions of bucks on John McCain and me and then we push back, then he jumps up and down and just screams and hollers and says, 'Oh it's a personal attack! It's a personal attack!' "
"No, this is running for the presidency. It ain’t beanbag. So, if he's going to throw a few at our heads, he needs to know that when he comes into play, he's going to see some 98-mile-an-hour fastballs coming back. That's how it goes. If he thinks this is tough, he ain't seen nothing 'til he faces Hillary or Obama in the general election. So that's why I don't think he's the best guy to put on the field in the starting lineup for the big game."
Romney in last bid to derail McCain
The former Massachusetts governor told voters in a series of coast-to-coast stops that hardcore Republicans were telling him: "We don't want Senator McCain; we want a conservative."
WashingtonPost: Top Romney flip-flops
1. Abortion. In October 2002, campaigning for governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney said he would "preserve and protect" a woman's right to choose. He now describes himself as an abortion opponent.
2. Gay rights. In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, who advocate gay rights, he said he was in favor of "gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly" in the military. He now says it would be a mistake to interfere with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
3. Gun control. Campaigning for the Senate in 1994, he said he favored strong gun laws and did not "line up with the NRA." He joined the National Rifle Association in 2006 while pondering a presidential run, and he praised the group for "doing good things" and "supporting the right to bear arms."
4. Campaign finance. In 1994, he advocated a spending limit on congressional elections and the abolition of political action committees. In 2002, he supported public financing of campaigns from a 10 percent tax on private fundraising. This year, he said the McCain-Feingold law limiting campaign contributions is an attack on free speech.
5. Immigration. In a November 2005 interview with the Boston Globe, he described an immigration overhaul advanced by John McCain as "reasonable." He now denounces it as an "amnesty plan." In December 2006, he signed an agreement authorizing state troopers to round up illegal immigrants.
Rocked, Romney hangs on
Romney told reporters aboard his campaign plane yesterday, “I don’t think it’s going to be over Tuesday night. I wish it were over in my favor, I hope it’s not over against me.”
The ex-Bay State governor declared himself the true heir to “the house that Reagan built” and said he won’t quit the race no matter how he fares today, the Associated Press reported.
Romney puts ad on Limbaugh show
"John McCain, he's been in Washington a long time," the announcer says, before the ad cites conservative commentators and the National Review.
Limbaugh, while not explicitly endorsing Romney, has been warning his listeners for weeks that McCain's nomination would destroy the Republican Party. He repeated those warnings again yesterday. Romney and McCain have been sparring over who is the true conservative.
Romney stumps for Thompson voters amidst tip dispute
Mitt Romney came out firing against competitor John McCain this morning at Pancake Pantry, looking for supporters in what he called “Fred Thompson country.”
Romney was in Nashville for the first time this year, stumping a day before Tennessee’s presidential primary at the well-known Nashville breakfast stop.
... After the meal, the waitress who served Romney and a manager said Romney’s group did not appear to tip on their bill.
Gail Gitcho, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, said that a member of
Romney’s group left a $4 tip on a $10 meal. She said she did not know
if it was left on the table or added to the bill.
At some recent John McCain campaign rallies, John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” have been booming out over the speakers. Uplifting heartland rock must have seemed like a smart pick, but there’s just one problem: Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat. And, until recently, he supported John Edwards – who had been playing “Our Country” and “Small Town” at his rallies. Mellencamp hasn’t yet made a public response, but his reps are quietly reaching out to McCain and asking him to stop playing his tunes.
Pataki endorses McCain
GOP front-runner Sen. John McCain has won a key endorsement from ex-New York Gov. George Pataki, in a last-minute show of support that may sway some Super Tuesday voters.
McCain ad casts Romney as anti-Reagan
John McCain assailed Mitt Romney's conservative credentials on the eve of the Super Tuesday presidential primaries, going on national television with a new campaign ad that claims Romney "was against Ronald Reagan before he was for him."
...The 30-second ad airing on national cable television shows Romney distancing himself from Ronald Reagan, patron saint of modern conservatism, in a 1994 debate when he was challenging Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
"Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush," Romney says in the ad footage. An announcer then intones, "If we can't trust Mitt Romney on Ronald Reagan, how can we trust him to lead America?"
WashingtonPost: Top McCain flip-flops
1. Taxes. John McCain was one of two Republican senators to vote against President Bush's tax cuts of 2001, saying that he could not support cuts that benefited the rich rather than the middle class. He now favors making the tax cuts permanent.
2. The religious right. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he attacked Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance." He withdrew that remark in a 2006 interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying that the Christian right has a "major role to play in the Republican Party."
3. Immigration. Last year, he sponsored a bill that would combine a temporary-worker program and a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants while also increasing border security. He now emphasizes securing the borders first.
4. Roe v. Wade. In August 1999, he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would "not support repeal of Roe v. Wade" because it would force women to have illegal abortions. He has subsequently said that he was speaking about the need to change the "culture of America" and that he supports the repeal of Roe, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
5. Ethanol. In 2003, he said that ethanol "does nothing to reduce fuel consumption, nothing to increase our energy independence, nothing to improve air quality." Campaigning in Iowa in August 2006, he described ethanol as a "vital alternative energy source, not only because of our dependency on foreign oil, but its greenhouse-reduction effects."
Dole scolds Limbaugh, defends McCain
Bob Dole, the former Senate Republican leader, wrote an insistent letter to Rush Limbaugh on Monday and suggested that for the good of the party, the conservative talk-show host should stop his strafing of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
On Monday's show, Limbaugh asserted that McCain has "lied about his reason for opposing the Bush tax cuts," and added: "I think McCain has an animus toward the Republican Party. I think ever since South Carolina 2000 he's had it in for the Republican Party, and one of his objectives is to destroy it and change it."
Limbaugh continues McCain bash
Rush Limbaugh has been relentless in his criticism of John McCain, prompting suggestions that he may have to soften his stance if the Arizona senator wins the nomination and faces off against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. But if that happens, Limbaugh said in an interview over the weekend, he would rather see the Democrats win the White House.
"If I believe the country will suffer with either Hillary, Obama or McCain, I would just as soon the Democrats take the hit . . . rather than a Republican causing the debacle," he said. "And I would prefer not to have conservative Republicans in the Congress paralyzed by having to support, out of party loyalty, a Republican president who is not conservative."
When it comes to the McCain mutiny, Limbaugh has plenty of company on the right side of the dial. Laura Ingraham endorsed Mitt Romney last week, saying, "There is no way in hell I could pull the lever for John McCain." Sean Hannity, who also endorsed the former Massachusetts governor, regularly rips McCain.
Hugh Hewitt is urging the audience for his syndicated radio show to fight for Romney against what he calls a media-generated "McCain resurrection." But with a program heard on 600 stations, including Washington's WMAL, Limbaugh is the loudest and brashest voice inveighing against the man he derides as "Saint John of Arizona."
... Yesterday Limbaugh said the candidate had "stabbed his own party in the back I can't tell you how many times."
No public funds for McCain
The Arizona senator’s rejection of the presidential public financing program he once defended is just the latest evidence of how ineffective the post-Watergate reform has become in an era of multimillion-dollar candidacies.
Ron Paul, revved and ready
Several thousand people turned out to hear GOP candidate Ron Paul at the University of Minnesota the night before Super Tuesday. Though running well behind, he seems undaunted.
... Paul acknowledges that his message has been better received in Minnesota than in other places. That's why he spent the final evening before 21 GOP contests across the country here. His reason was simple.
"I saw it as an opportunity, saw it as a good state," Paul said. "Our money can go further."
As important as Super Tuesday is in determining who will secure the Republican nomination, Paul said today is far from a make-or-break day.
Instead, he simply wants to continue gaining momentum. "There were 11 candidates and now we're down to four," he said. "I don't think we're in fourth place at all. We started low, and we keep going.
"If I dropped out, my supporters wouldn't be happy."
Hillary can't stop coughing today, ends taping
a scary coughing fit forced the end of a live TV interview on Super Tuesday.
Clinton was addressing the nation's healthcare needs live on San Francisco's KTVU-TV.
The drama comes 48 hours after taping had to be delayed Sunday on ABC 'THIS WEEK', when a Clinton coughing fit alarmed producers. Concerned Host George Stephanopoulos told the senator to get some "tea and lemon".
"Every New Yorker has a sore throat after last night," Clinton explained to talk-show host David Letterman during her appearance Monday on 'LATE SHOW', trying to deflect any health concerns.
For cryin' out loud! Hillary turns on the tears again
It was another two-hanky day on the campaign trail yesterday, as Hillary Clinton teared up at an event targeting female voters on the eve of the Super Tuesday elections.
After she got a warm introduction from an old friend, Clinton's eyes welled up and glistened under TV camera lights. She paused and gathered her composure.
She didn't choke up - as she did at a similar event on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, a moment that Clinton now says may have helped her snag a critical victory last month by making her appear human and vulnerable.
But there were enough similarities between the two teary instances that skeptics wondered whether the whole thing was contrived...
Clinton chairman says Obama would be good running mate...
Appearing on NY1's "Inside City Hall," Clinton Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe praised Barack Obama’s ability to “excite people,” adding that Clinton “needs to make sure the next, whoever the next vice president is, could take over if anything happened to her” — though he said it was too early to seriously discuss potential vice presidential picks.
When he was asked directly whether adding Obama to a Clinton ticket would be a good idea, he responded: “Sure it would. Absolutely. How could you deny consideration of someone who has excited so many people?”
Republicans for Hillary
She has long loomed in the Republican imagination as the savior of 2008, and there's been a desperate wishfulness to it. But now it just might be true.
... Obama may give inspiring speeches at campaign events thronged by thousands, but for Republicans, there's only one candidate of hope: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Hillary on Letterman Show
Appearing on the "Late Show with David Letterman," Sen. Hillary Clinton, asked by Letterman about what role her husband would play in her administration, said, "in my White House, we will know who wears the pantsuits."
Sen. Hillary Clinton has nearly twice as many endorsements as Sen. Barack Obama from lawmakers representing districts that campaign strategists consider the most important on Super Tuesday, according to an analysis by The Hill.
Clinton has received endorsements from 29 lawmakers representing districts with an odd number of delegates, giving her an important organizational advantage in the most contested battlegrounds of the states holding elections Tuesday.
Obama has received endorsements from 13 lawmakers representing districts with odd-numbered delegate totals.
Hillary has support in stronghold of Obama (Yale)
Standing among a group of Yale Students for Hillary, Timothy Orr acknowledged that they are outnumbered on campus by Mr. Obama’s boosters. An informal poll in his dormitory showed Mr. Obama winning “by a significant margin,” said Mr. Orr, a 20-year-old junior. “Most college campuses are for Barack.”
He and his companions on the sidewalk are nonetheless staying loyal to Mrs. Clinton. Traits that others might consider flaws, such as her reputation for pragmatism, they applaud.
“I like the way she tones down the rhetoric and goes for the practicalities,” said Rek LeCounte, a Yale freshman who described himself as an “Army brat” from Virginia. “The fact that she comes off as calculating,” he said, does not trouble him. “She’s very strategic and weighs all options and is not quick to jump to conclusions. She’s not dogmatic in her politics, and that’s good.”
As for Mr. Obama, Mr. LeCounte said: “He’s a great candidate. I hope he’ll be veep.”
NY Post: Hillary's losing women
According to Gallup, Clinton's lost 8 points among women, while Obama's gained 13. No other recent polls show such a gender swing, so Gallup's numbers may be exaggerated - but Obama couldn't be gaining ground at his current rate without cutting into Clinton's female support.
Obama: we're probably going to see a split decision tonight...
The fact that we've made so much progress I think indicates that we've got the right message, and the question is are we going to be able to pull some states out," Obama said on NBC's "Today Show."
"No matter what happens though, we're probably going to see a split decision tonight," Obama said.
Just call him the Ba-Rocket
Obama surges in new polls -- takes the lead in California...
Obama's celebrity army
Oprah isn't the only one. Voters in many of the Super Tuesday states, particularly on college campuses, shouldn't be surprised to see celebrities such as Robert DeNiro, who appeared today with Obama at a New Jersey rally, Kerry Washington, Usher, Chris Rock, Brendan Routh, Kate Walsh, Kal Penn and Tate Donovan speaking on Obama's behalf. Voters in California are getting phone calls from Ed Norton and Alfre Woodard; caucus goers in Colorado might hear from Forest Whitaker. Enrique Marciano, who stars in USA's Without a Trace, is campaigning for Obama with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Minnesotans might be shocked to see Scarlett Johansson knocking at their door.
see also: George Clooney backs Obama
Kennedy: Vote for Obama is like vote for JFK, RFK
Polls show Obama surge in California
Sen. Barack Obama has surged in California and substantially narrowed or erased the double-digit lead once held there by Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to three polls released this weekend.
Obama shooting for every delegate he can get
He flies from city to city, speaking to cheering crowds. He sends out his biggest celebrity endorsers and then surprises voters with another celebrity nod. He bought an ad to air in Feb. 5 states during one of the most-watched television events of the year, the Super Bowl.
But his task Tuesday, when 22 states hold primaries and caucuses, is to win on the smallest scale: hunting delegates one congressional district at a time.
Slate: How Obama could win over white working class voters
Obama's answers on the question of race and class will go a long way toward determining whether he can put together the Kennedys' old coalition of working-class whites and blacks, and in the process erase Hillary's advantage with working-class and poor voters. Obama has done a tremendous job of matching the Kennedys on passion and charisma. To win over voters from the white working class who aren't falling for the inspirational speeches, he needs to add urgency about class inequality to the equation.
Obama more than doubled Hillary in fundraising last month
RE Clinton's $13.5 million for January... A lot of money by most measures, but less than half of what Obama's claiming for the month.
Tough-guy DeNiro a softy for Obama
Robert De Niro, the dean of "Goodfellas" thuggery, just made a surprise appearance at a New York rally for Barack Obama, using words that we didn't know were even in his vocabulary.
"I've never made a speech like this at a political event before. So what am I doing here?" De Niro said. "I'm here because finally one person has inspired me. One person has given me hope. One person has made me believe that we can make a change."
France backs Obama
Thirty-eight percent of French people back the 46-year-old Obama’s bid for the White House nomination, compared to 36 percent who support the former first lady Clinton
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