Weekend Report, June 7-8, 2008
GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES with excerpts
Rasmussen national poll shows Obama bounce:
Clinton bows out, throws 'full support' to Obama
“I endorse him and throw my full support behind him," Clinton said, after announcing that she had suspended her campaign. She called on her supporters to "take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States."
... The suspension of Clinton’s campaign means that she is still able to raise money to retire a reported $30 million in debt, but she has effectively withdrawn from the race.
Clintons, an old dream finally fades
Private Obama-Clinton meeting took place in Sen. Diane Feinstein's D.C. home
With nothing but a couple glasses of water and two plush chairs to sit in, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton sat privately for an hour last night in Sen. Dianne Feinstein's living room trying to come to grips with their historic and contentious 17-month battle for the Democratic presidential nomination...
Clinton women bloc becomes the prize for Nov. 4
With Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ending her campaign for the Democratic nomination, the presumptive nominees are moving to claim her followers, especially her signature bloc, the millions of women who cast primary votes for her.
Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is positioning itself as the rightful heir to these Democratic voters. Senator John McCain’s strategists are plotting to convert them, particularly older women who are skeptical of Mr. Obama’s thin résumé. Even the Democratic National Committee chairman is avidly trying to make up for accusations that he allowed sexism in the race to pass unchallenged.
Edwards rules out VP slot
John Edwards has ruled out being Barack Obama's running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket, according to interviews carried by two leading Spanish newspapers on Friday.
"I already had the privilege of running for vice president in 2004, and I won't do it again," Edwards was quoted by El Mundo as saying. El Pais, the country's other leading daily, carried similar comments.
Dean remains DNC chairman
Acting swiftly as his party's presumed presidential nominee, Barack Obama is keeping Howard Dean at the helm of the Democratic National Committee, while bringing in one of his top strategists to oversee the party's operations
see also: DNC bars Washington lobbyist money
Tom DeLay calls Obama a Marxist
Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay (Texas) called Barack Obama a "Marxist" on the Mike Gallagher radio show Thursday.
Explaining that Obama clinching the Democratic nomination is a good thing for John McCain, DeLay said Obama's "weakness" is that "nobody knows him."
"And if McCain does not define him as what he is — hey, I have said publicly, and I will again, that unless he proves me wrong, he is a Marxist," DeLay said.
McCain attacks Obama on perceived J-town shift
Sen. Barack Obama is being perceived as shifting on his policy on whether Jerusalem should be the "undivided" capital of Israel....
Sen. John McCain was asked his position on whether Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel, and for a reaction to Senator Obama's remarks on that subject this week.
"I can't react to every comment that Senator Obama makes, because it probably will change as it did on sitting down and talking unconditionally with (Iranian president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and other dictators," McCain said. "But the point is, Jerusalem is undivided. Jerusalem is the capital. And we should move our embassy to Jerusalem before anything else happens. The subject of Jerusalem itself will be addressed in negotiations by the Israeli government and people."
McCain economic advisor derides Bush
Doug Holtz-Eakin, who has been McCain's top adviser and spokesman on economic issues, made the comments as he attempted to distance McCain's economic policies from those of the president.
"The only thing that he shares in common with President Bush is the understanding of good tax policy," Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "Sadly, it seems that is all President Bush understood in the economy."
Advisor ways McCain backs Bush wiretaps
A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.
McCain says it's unclear whether Bush wiretapping was legal
McCain's first ad of general election - war heroism themed
In the ad, McCain says: "Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war. ... I was shot down over Vietnam and spent five years as a POW. ... I hate war. And I know how terrible its costs are. I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe. I'm John McCain, and I approve this message." The ad is posted here.
$21.5 million is a record for McCain
Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign raised at least $21.5 million in May — its best fund-raising month yet — in a sign that its effort to draw donations in tandem with the Republican National Committee is yielding dividends...
McCain would like to see man on Mars
Presumptive Republican White House nominee John McCain said Thursday he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a "better set of priorities" for NASA that would better engage the public.
At a townhall event in Florida, the Arizona senator was asked about funding for the US space agency's shuttle program, which is due to end in 2010.
He said he "would be willing to spend more taxpayers' dollars" to continue the program but argued that NASA must do a better job of inspiring the American public, as when it sent a man to the moon in 1969.
Hillary bids farewell to staff
Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff showed up to her house in Washington Friday afternoon for a private farewell party and a celebration of her presidential bid as it winds down. Several high-profile supporters of Mrs. Clinton were on hand, along with hundreds of younger staff members clad in flip-flops and spring attire.
... Today Mrs. Clinton will officially end her White House bid at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and will endorse the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama.
Clinton's exit: when push came to shove
In the end, the same man who ushered Hillary Clinton into electoral politics nine years ago pushed her out.
Wednesday, Clinton was asking supporters to wait – it was unclear for what — and to give her time to gather her thoughts. Many seemed willing to accede to the request, but Charles Rangel, the blunt, 77-year-old dean of New York’s congressional delegation, had had enough.
In public statements and on a crucial afternoon conference call, he told Clinton it was time to go. And Rangel, for reasons of state politics, personal history, and race, was not a man Clinton could afford to ignore...
Obama assails McCain over Everglades vote
McCain explained that he voted last year against a measure that would have helped restore the Everglades because it was an omnibus spending bill larded with congressional pork. But McCain made it clear that he supported restoring the wetland and would have voted for it in a stand-alone piece of legislation.
Obama's campaign quickly attacked McCain's statement, saying the Arizona senator didn't know what he was talking about. "When it's clear you don't even know what you're objecting to, it's simply unbelievable to claim that your objection was based on principle," said Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Obama: I'll be in White House for Chicago Olympics in 2016
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama dropped in on the Chicago 2016 Olympics rally on Friday and declared he is confident that he will be winding up his second term in the White House when Chicago hosts the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Such bravado about his own future is not typical of Obama, even in private. And, in the highly scripted world of modern politics, today's last-minute appearance was unusual. Obama had told CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery on Thursday night that he had intended to ''chill out'' at home for a few days.
RNC calls Obama a former "street organizer"
The Republican National Committee's new video about Sen. Barack Obama describes the former community organizer, who worked in the 1980s with churches and depressed areas of Chicago to provide job training and other projects, as a "street organizer."
The word choice has some on the Left up in arms.
Over at The Nation, Chris Hayes writes, "Nice. Frankly, in order to elicit the maximum degree of racial stereotyping I would have gone with 'ghetto operative' or 'slum captain' but I suppose that would have been too obvious."
Obama denies Michelle 'whitey' rant video
Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it.
“We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”
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