Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Change vs. experience
all over again

Welcome to change vs. experience, Round Two.

Speaking at the fairgrounds here at the start of his economic tour, Barack Obama stood in front a banner on which the word "Change" was spelled out in huge letters, with "That Works for You" in smaller print. But weeks before Obama started his general election campaign, John McCain began to try to cast the Illinois senator as a great speaker who has a thin resume and little experience on national security issues.

Though Hillary Clinton and John McCain are very different political figures, in many ways the Arizona Senator's match-up with Obama will resemble Clinton's.


Obama adviser faces scrutiny over mortgage deals

James A. Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO and consummate Washington insider, is leading Sen. Barack Obama's vice-presidential search process. He just conducted an early round of interviews on Capitol Hill today. But Johnson also is proving a ripe target for Republicans looking to spot hypocrisy in Obama's pledge to reject business as usual in Washington.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Johnson had received mortgages worth more than $7 million from beleaguered lender Countrywide Financial, including at least two loans below market average. The article noted that the transactions may have been perfectly aboveboard -- but several could prove too cozy, depending on how much they overlapped with Johnson's Fannie Mae tenure.


Dems can't afford lobbyists/PACs contributions ban

Sen. Barack Obama’s ban on contributions from lobbyists and PACs has irritated Democratic lobbyists and fundraisers, who say that Democratic congressional candidates can’t — and won’t — turn their backs on such a steady stream of campaign cash. 

... At a campaign appearance in Virginia last week, Obama said that lobbyists don’t fund his campaign and “will not fund our party,” either. The Democratic National Committee will play by Obama’s rule, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said last week that they would continue to accept contributions from lobbyists and PACs; spokesmen for the committees said new ethics rules already provide plenty of transparency. 


Angry HRC backers worry Dems

A newly released CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that if Obama does not select Clinton as his running mate, 22 percent of her supporters would stay home this fall -- and another 17 percent would vote for McCain...


Tom DeLay: years to rebuild GOP

... former Republican leader Tom DeLay says conservatives haven't bottomed out from their 2006 election losses, Democrats are "cleaning their clock," and it will take years before the Republican Party can compete with the operation Democrats have built.

... "I think it's going to take years to rebuild the party," he said. "It is a party that will try to find itself as to what kind of party it is, and it will depend on what kind of leadership emerges from this rebuilding, as to what it ultimately is."



Networks wary of convention coverage

Gone are the days when the broadcast networks' extensive coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions was the only game in town, competing on late summer nights with a handful of television re-runs. As network viewership has declined and the political junkies have fled to cable, prime-time network coverage of the convention has dwindled.

Indeed, the Big Three each devoted just one hour in prime-time during three of four convention nights in 2004, with no live programming of that now memorable Tuesday night when Obama arrived on stage at Boston’s Fleet Center





John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain says Obama is running for Carter's second term

In an interview on Nightly News, McCain tells NBC's Brian Williams that while Obama might criticize him for representing a third Bush term, Obama seems to be running for a second Carter term...

Playing the Carter card

There are good reasons to tie Obama to Carter. 

First, there are fewer convenient and resonant Democratic bogeyman.   Even if Ted Kennedy wasn't suffering from brain cancer, McCain wouldn't use him; the two are close friends and have worked together. Then there are the Clintons -- McCain can't hardly go there when he's trying to court Hillary's disaffected supporters.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid just aren't that well-known among average Americans.   So who does that leave?

Well, how about a president whose administration is recalled by conservatives (and others) as one marked by high gas prices, weak national security and a perception of favoring Arabs over Israelis.   Not a bad combination given McCain's message against Obama.

Lastly, it gives McCain something snappy to say in response to the equally snappy Bush-third-term attack.

McCain using Google to vet veep candidates

Republican presidential candidate John McCain joked on Monday that Google, the popular Internet search engine, had made investigating his list of potential candidates a little bit easier.

"You know, basically it's a Google," he said to laughter at a fund-raising luncheon when asked how the selection process was going. "What you can find out now on the Internet -- it's remarkable."

McCain returns to gas tax holiday proposal

At a fundraiser here, Sen. John McCain told donors that Obama "derided" his idea for a three-month holiday from federal gas taxes at the risk of alienating low income voters and truckers.

"I tell you, they say it matters," McCain told the gathering of about 40 people, each of whom had donated or raised $10,000 for the honor of being at the reception. McCain said he doesn't "pretend that it's an answer to our energy problems." But, he said, he believes the people
who are hardest hit by the hike in prices "deserve a break."

Billy Graham: no contact with McCain campaign

After a report on indicated Sen. John McCain had rebuffed an offer to meet with the Rev. Billy Graham, the McCain campaign sought to clarify the matter.

Christian Ferry, McCain’s deputy campaign manager, tells Newsmax the campaign has been in the process of setting up a meeting between McCain and Graham.

Ferry said a misunderstanding of McCain’s intentions apparently arose...

John McCain's Ohio disconnect

As the architect of Ohio's ballot measure against gay marriage, Phil Burress helped draw thousands of conservative voters to the polls in 2004, most of whom also cast ballots to reelect President Bush. So Burress was not surprised when two high-level staffers from John McCain's campaign dropped by his office, asking for his help this fall.

What surprised Burress was how badly the meeting went. He says he tried but failed to make the McCain team understand how much work remained to overcome the skepticism of social conservatives. Burress ended up cutting off the campaign officials as they spoke. "He doesn't want to associate with us," Burress now says of McCain, "and we don't want to associate with him." ...

Group files FEC complaint against McCain

A group that supports public financing of campaigns filed a federal complaint against John McCain’s presidential campaign Monday, calling for an investigation into two financial transactions involving two top McCain aides.




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama's missing birth certificate has internet buzzing

Having done some Obama-rumor debunking that got praise from Daily Kos (a sign of the apocalypse, no doubt), perhaps the Obama campaign could return the favor and help debunk a bunch of others with a simple step: Could they release a copy of his birth certificate?

Reporters have asked for it and been denied, and the state of Hawaii does not make such records public....

...Rumor one: Obama was born in Kenya.

...Rumor Two: Obama’s middle name is not “Hussein” but “Muhammad.”

...Rumor Three: His mother did not want to name him after his father, and his birth certificate says “Barry.”

Obama ramps up search for VP

Barack Obama ramped up his search for a running mate on Monday, consulting with one congressional ally by phone and dispatching members of his vice presidential vetting team to the Capitol for meetings...'s Thomas Sowell:
Cocky Ignorance

Barack Obama has written a letter to the Secretary of Defense, in a tone as if he is already President, addressing one of his subordinates.

The letter ends: "I look forward to your swift response."

With wars going on in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a Secretary of Defense might have some other things to look after, before making a "swift response" to a political candidate...

Obama on economic tour, criticizes McCain

Senator Barack Obama opened a two-week tour of battleground states on Monday, attacking Senator John McCain’s economic policies and moving to focus on the ailing economy as the central theme of the general election campaign.

... Mr. Obama said that a McCain presidency would be a continuation of President Bush’s faltering economic policies. And he highlighted his own proposals to aid economically beleaguered Americans: tax cuts for middle-income families and retirees, a $50 billion economic stimulus package, expansion of unemployment benefits, and relief for homeowners facing foreclosure.

see also: Obama calls McCain tax plans 'outrageous'

Pat Buchanan: How Obama won - and may win

Barack is a natural, a Mickey Mantle, a superb political athlete like JFK, who has looks, charm, youth and a speaking style that can move crowds to cheers or laughter.

Barack was thus able to unite the McGovern wing -- young, idealistic, liberal, anti-war -- with the Jesse Jackson quadrant of the party, black folks, and defeat Hillary's coalition of working-class Catholics, women, seniors and Hispanics...

Obama's June contributions may reach $100 million

Leading Democratic fundraisers predict that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will raise hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few months if he opts out of public financing and begins raising money for the general election.

Specifically, they say Obama could raise $100 million in June and could attract 2.5 million to 3 million new donors to his campaign.

Obama sets up Internet 'war room' to fight slurs

A crack team of cybernauts will form a rapid response internet “war room” to track and respond aggressively to online rumours that Barack Obama is unpatriotic and a Muslim...

Obama supports national fingerprint registry

Sens. Diane Feinstein and Mel Martinez authored a bill (with 11 co-sponsors, including Sen. Barack Obama) that was incorporated into a housing bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee 19-2 before the Memorial Day recess — a bill that creates a national fingerprint registry.






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