Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008


Romney quits race, eyes 2012

The presidential race Mitt Romney planned for years crashed to a halt Thursday, stopped in its tracks by the surprisingly durable John McCain campaign and by Romney's failure to quell concerns about his shifts on key issues, his political persona and his Mormon religion.

Making the dramatic announcement at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at a Washington hotel, Romney clearly hoped to preserve the goodwill of his party for another possible bid in 2012. He intends to run again in four years, according to a senior member of his inner circle.

"He should be president. 2012," the confidant e-mailed after talking to Romney.





CPAC tells convention goers, "Don't boo McCain"

CPAC it seems, is directing its loyal goers to not boo McCain. They must be more excited that McCain has finally signed on to appear after years of snubs than they want to let on.

During registration last night at the Omni Shoreham a registrant was asking to upgrade his CPAC package and then proceeded to ask what time GOP front-runner John McCain was going to speak today. “Oh good,” he said to the response — answer: 3 p.m. today — “I hope they boo him out of the room.”

“No, no no no no” came the reply from the person registering him. “We’ve been instructed to tell participants not to boo McCain.”

“Are you kidding me?” the shocked CPAC-goer asked.

“Well, we want to seem above Democrats and we don’t want the booing to be the story,” the CPAC person declared. When asked for a response, CPAC's Ian Walters told us: “We would hope that our folks would be polite and give him a fair opportunity to be heard.”

Role of talk show hosts questioned -- Limbaugh, Hannity...

...yesterday, some on the left were quick to declare victory. "Super Tuesday's Biggest Loser: Rush Limbaugh" blared a headline on the liberal, referring to the nation's most popular conservative radio host.

Michael Harrison, publisher of the talk radio trade magazine Talkers, said he has been deluged with calls from reporters, asking if Limbaugh has lost his influence. Harrison's take: No. Because Limbaugh, he says, probably did not expect to sway the vote.

"Talk radio's job is not to get people elected," Harrison said. "Talk radio's job is to seem involved in the electoral process."

... Limbaugh's genius this election cycle, Harrison said, is that he found a way to insert himself into the political conversation.

... When Bob Dole, a former senator and GOP presidential nominee, rushed to McCain's defense in recent weeks, some radio hosts fought back vociferously.

"A four-time loser is going to lecture talk radio and tell them to be quiet?" national host Laura Ingraham said at the time. "Are you kidding me? Is that really how you think we're going to move the conservative movement forward?"

Super Tuesday turns into super stalemate

Only one thing for the Democrats was clear: there will be no rest for either candidate in a competition awash with historic possibilities. Mr Obama could credibly claim that his chances of becoming the nominee and possibly the first African-American president were marginally improved. But Mrs Clinton's dream of rising to become the first female commander-in-chief remained more than alive.

Clinton-Obama dead-heat 'not good news' says Dean

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on Wednesday voiced concern over the prospect of a brokered convention at the end of the party's White House nominating contests.

"The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario," Dean said according to excerpts of an interview with NY1 television.

... "I think we will have a nominee sometime in the middle of March or April. But if we don't, then we're going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of an arrangement," said Dean, "Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention -- that would not be good news for either party."

Call for Florida, Michigan go-overs

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean is pushing Florida and Michigan to hold new elections so their delegates can get seated at the national party convention - an act that would snatch two disputed victories from Hillary Rodham Clinton


Upcoming Primary/Caucus Dates
DEM goal 2,025       GOP goal 1,191

Saturday., Feb. 9



Louisiana (67)   Neb. (31)   Washington (97)   Virgin Is. (9)

Kansas (39)   Louisiana (47)   Washington (40)

Sunday, Feb. 10


Maine (34)

Tuesday, Feb. 12



District of Columbia (37)   Maryland (99)   Virginia (101)

District of Columbia (19)   Maryland (37)   Virginia (63)

Saturday, Feb. 16


Guam (9)

Tuesday, Feb. 19



Hawaii (29)   Wisconsin (92)

Wisconsin (40)

Tuesday, Feb. 23


American Samoa (9)

Tuesday, March 4



Ohio (161)   Rhode Is. (32)   Texas (228)   Vermont (23)

Ohio (  88)   Rhode Is. (20)   Texas (140)   Vermont (17)

Saturday, March 8


Wyoming (18)

Tuesday, March 11



Mississippi (40)

Mississippi (39)

Tuesday, April 5


Virgin Islands (9)

Tuesday, April 22



Pennsylvania (188)

Pennsylvania (74)

Saturday, May 3


Guam (9)

Tuesday, May 6



Indiana (84)   North Carolina (134)

Indiana (57)   North Carolina (69)

Tuesday, May 13



West Virginia (39)

Saturday, May 17


Hawaii (20)

Tuesday, May 20



Kentucky (60)   Oregon (65)

Kentucky (45)   Oregon (30)

Tuesday, May 27


Idaho (32)

Tuesday, June 3



Montana (24)   South Dakota (23)

New Mexico (32)   South Dakota (27)

Saturday, June 7


Puerto Rico (63)

Saturday, July 12


Nebraska (33)




Mike Huckabee... today's headlines with excerpts

Gamble paid off for Huckabee on Tuesday

While John McCain's victories in major states across the country cemented his front-runner status, Huckabee's strong showing allowed him to again make the case that he is the conservative alternative to the senator from Arizona, a position that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has also tried to claim.

"Huckabee was a surprise," said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), a McCain supporter. "Any state where he could have had any strength he performed very well."

... Huckabee will spend the next couple of days in Kansas, where he hopes the state's large number of evangelicals will carry him to victory on Saturday, before moving on to Virginia for a Tuesday contest in another state with a sizable evangelical electorate. Huckabee will be in the District on Saturday, when he will attempt to rally conservatives to his cause in a speech to the influential Conservative Political Action Committee.

Good Huck charm

Huckabee's strong showing fuels speculation that John McCain is considering him as a vice-presidential running mate to shore up support among religious conservatives.

... Political strategists say Huckabee has no real hope of capturing the nomination. But by splitting conservatives with Mitt Romney, Huckabee has ensured McCain's cruise to victory. The wheeling and dealing has led to speculation that McCain and Huckabee are in cahoots.



Mitt Romney... today's headlines with excerpts

Romney quits race, eyes 2012

The presidential race Mitt Romney planned for years crashed to a halt Thursday, stopped in its tracks by the surprisingly durable John McCain campaign and by Romney's failure to quell concerns about his shifts on key issues, his political persona and his Mormon religion.

Making the dramatic announcement at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at a Washington hotel, Romney clearly hoped to preserve the goodwill of his party for another possible bid in 2012. He intends to run again in four years, according to a senior member of his inner circle.

"He should be president. 2012," the confidant e-mailed after talking to Romney.


Romney faces long odds in bid to overtake McCain

With 499 total delegates up for grabs through March 4, Romney would have to win more than 80 percent of them to catch McCain, assuming the Arizona senator won none. And, even if Huckabee won them all, he would still trail McCain. Dividing the total among the three candidates makes over taking the front-runner more difficult still.

Pundits: Romney may soon be out

“I think Romney will probably not be in the race that much longer,” said Republican media consultant Todd Domke, who is not affiliated with any GOP campaign. “He performed below expectations. Romney has raised the expectations so high that when he failed it was all the more devastating.”




John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain to conservative critics: 'Just calm down'

Republican presidential front-runner John McCain yesterday urged his right-wing critics to "calm down" as he tried to persuade wary conservative activists to back his candidacy.

"I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there are areas that we can agree on for the good of the party and for the good of the country," said McCain, referring to radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, following his coast-to-coast Super Tuesday victories.



McCain seeks truce with ring wing critics

The effort to win over, or at least blunt the opposition, of talk-radio hosts and other movement figures who resent McCain’s maverick style and past departures from conservative orthodoxy involves both high-level surrogates and the candidate himself.

Its targets include the most influential talk-radio voice, Rush Limbaugh, who has been contacted in recent days by a McCain emissary, according to Republican sources.

The McCain campaign is also wooing Sean Hannity. At least two top McCain supporters, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), made the pitch to Hannity, who has a radio show in addition to co-hosting his nightly Fox News television program.

see also: McCain gets his party's cold shoulder

              McCain hasn't reach end of rocky road

              McCain needs to woo the right

              McCain bids to blunt conservative 'animosity'

Politico's Roger Simon: McCain crowned, now what?

He is certainly the undisputed Republican front-runner. But how does he spend the crucial weeks and months ahead?

Does he try to win over Republican conservatives who still distrust him in order to build a strong foundation within his own party?

Or does he make overtures to moderate and independent voters, those people who might be the margin of victory in November against the Democratic nominee?

see also: Does McCain have the Right Stuff? [TIME]

Sen. Brownback courting right for McCain

After quietly bowing out of the presidential race last fall, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) launched an aggressive effort to court socially conservative leaders who have expressed skepticism about the candidacy of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Brownback is heading McCain’s outreach to Catholic voters and is also one of McCain’s chief advisers on judicial nominations, helping to organize meetings between the candidate and national social conservative leaders. Brownback has met with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Father Frank Pavone, a leader in the anti-abortion rights movement, to enlist their support. 

On Thursday, Brownback will attend Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual convention of conservative activists in Washington, to tout McCain. He will then travel home to persuade voters to support McCain in the Kansas caucus scheduled for Saturday.

McCain misses vote on economic stimulus in senate

John McCain skipped a difficult Senate vote Wednesday on whether to make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks as part of a proposed economic stimulus package.



Ron Paul... today's headlines with excerpts

Ron Paul to stay in race despite poor showing on Tuesday

Ron Paul did not have a stellar showing on Super Tuesday. But it was good enough for him to stay in the race.

In most states with primaries where Republican voters voted for their Republican nominee preference, he got no more than 5 or six percent of the vote. He runs a distant fourth in the all-important delegate count.





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Hillary loans campaign $5 million

Hillary Clinton personally lent her cash-strapped campaign $5 million late last month, and some top staffers are now going without pay, officials acknowledged yesterday.

The moves were revealed as Clinton and Barack Obama hunkered down for a war of attrition for the Democratic nomination after Super Tuesday failed to crown a winner. And a series of contests in the coming weeks seem likely to favor the Illinois senator.

"My opponent was able to raise more money, and we intended to be competitive and we were. I think the results last night proved the wisdom of my investment," Clinton told re porters yesterday, after spokesman Howard Wolfson confirmed the loan.

[from] Five reasons Hillary should be worried

1. She lost the delegate derby

2. She essentially tied Obama in the popular vote

3. She lost more states

4. She lost the January cash war

5. The calendar is her enemy

Michael Moore weighs in: morality prohibits vote for Hillary

Michael Moore on Larry King the day after Super Tuesday 2000: "I am morally prohibited from voting for Hillary in the primaries because of her war votes, I mean that not as a personal attack against her, but I simply can't side with somebody who participated, whether willingly or unknowingly, as she claims, in something that has been so evil."

Overlooked Asian voters boost Hillary

Asian Americans, whose voting power has been much less scrutinized than of African-American and Hispanic voters, were a significant factor in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s victory in Tuesday’s California Democratic primary.

Asian American voters made up 8 percent of the Democratic vote in the Golden State and supported Clinton by a 3-1 margin. They are now poised to be a factor in upcoming contests as the battle between Clinton and Barack Obama continues.



Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

'Yes We Can' video goes viral - over 10 million views

Black Eyed Peas' frontman,, leaked a new song and video on Friday (February 1), just before Super Tuesday (February 5) in support of Democratic primary Barack Obama and to date has been streamed a staggering 10 million times via YouTube and its website,

The viral video features clips of Obama in New Hampshire delivering his January 8 "Yes We Can" stump speech, accompanied by a slew of A-list actors, musicians and athletes -- including Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock, and Common, among several others.

During the video, which is in black and white, the celebs sing, mouth and recite Obama's messages about hope, change and social uplift against a plain black backdrop.

Obama on pace to raise another $30 M in February

Barack Obama’s campaign is on track to raise another $30 million in February, sources close to the Illinois senator say, while Hillary Rodham Clinton’s spokesman revealed Wednesday that she had loaned her campaign $5 million.

Insiders in both campaigns say the growing financial disparity virtually ensures that Obama will be able to significantly outspend Clinton in the critical primaries to come.

Obama raises $3M post Super Tuesday

Barack Obama has raised $3 million for his presidential campaign in the 24 hours since the first polls closed on Super Tuesday night.

Obama, riding a wave of fundraising both from large donors and small Internet contributors, also raised a stunning $32 million in January.

Obama issues 'super threat' to top Dems [superdelegates]

Barack Obama fired a warning shot over the heads of lawmakers who get to cast crucial votes at the party's convention as uncommitted "superdelegates" - saying they shouldn't override the will of the voters in their states.

Obama said superdelegates "would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, 'Obama's our guy.' "

The message: If you're an elected member of Congress, and your district backs Obama, casting a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton could be bad for your political career.

Obama delivered the message at a Chicago press conference yesterday - after he battled Clinton to a draw in yesterday's Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, carrying 13 states and barely besting her in the count of pledged delegates.

But when superdelegates who have pledged support for Clinton are counted, she gets the lead. ..

Obama making inroads, but fell short of fervor

... If there is a difference between these two parties, it is that Clinton Democratic voters tend to have a history of being more likely to vote, particularly compared with younger voters and, as was the case this week, black voters. That in part might account for the enthusiasm fall-off between the campaign trail and the voting booth that Mr. Obama has to deal with.





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