Wednesday, June 18, 2008
GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES with excerpts
Reuters Poll: Obama has narrow lead on McCain
Democrat Barack Obama has a narrow 5-point lead on Republican John McCain in the U.S. presidential race, but holds a big early edge with the crucial swing voting blocs of independents and women, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
McCain, Obama clash on terrorism
The campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama on Tuesday engaged in a heated exchange over the rights of terrorism suspects, with each side accusing the other of embracing a policy that would put the country at risk of more attacks in the future.
... "He's advocating a policy of delusion," Randy Scheunemann, a McCain adviser, said of Obama. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr. said Obama's attitude "ignores that we are in a war against terrorism."
Scheunemann described Obama as having the "perfect manifestation of a Sept. 10 mind-set," saying he "does not understand the nature of the enemy as we face it."
... "Let's think about this: These are the same guys who helped engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," Obama told reporters on his campaign plane. He said his statements about Guantanamo Bay were intended to suggest that suspects have a right to be heard, not freed, and accused McCain (R-Ariz.) of playing political games on national security.
Huckabee says don't denigrate Obama
"Republicans will make a fundamental if not fatal mistake if they seek to win the election by demonising Barack Obama," Huckabee told a news conference on a visit to Tokyo.
The former Arkansas governor said that, having grown up in the segregated South, he never thought he would see an African-American win the nomination of a major party for the US presidency.
"I do not want to have anyone misrepresent or miss the opportunity to celebrate what I think is a landmark achievement, not just for Barack Obama, but for the United States of America," he said.
McCain to Obama: you're just like Carter
Speaking in Houston, where many energy companies are headquartered, McCain said of Obama, "He supports new taxes on oil producers. He wants a windfall-profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas.
"If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big-idea tool - and a lot of good it did us..."
Politico: McCain plays with fire on offshore drilling
By calling for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, John McCain is placing a risky bet. He is wagering that skyrocketing gas prices have finally reached a tipping point, a threshold moment that has led voters to rethink their strong and long-held opinions against coastal oil exploration.
The stakes couldn’t be higher: If he is wrong, McCain will have seriously damaged his chances in two key states with thousands of miles of coastline — California and Florida — and where opposition to offshore oil drilling has been unwavering. And he will have undermined some of his closest political allies in those states and others, including potential fall battlegrounds such as Virginia and North Carolina.
Fla. Gov. Crist supports McCain's call for offshore drilling
The governor said he reversed his position because of rising fuel prices and states' rights. Crist is considered a possible running mate for McCain, the Republican presidential nominee.
"I mean, let's face it, the price of gas has gone through the roof, and Florida families are suffering," Crist said Tuesday. "And my heart bleeds for them."
McCain seeks to break with Bush on environment
McCain’s central message ... was that he was not President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney, and that he would not pursue the environmental policies of his two fellow Republicans in the unpopular administration.
... In a speech to oil industry executives and business and community leaders in Houston, Mr. McCain implicitly criticized Mr. Cheney, who dismissed conservation as a “personal virtue” in 2001. Instead, Mr. McCain said the next president would have to break with the policies of the current and past administrations to free the United States from its dependence on foreign oil. speech transcript
Club For Growth balks at helping McCain
Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said this week that his economically conservative group might sit out the 2008 presidential election and focus on congressional races.
The Club has had an antagonistic relationship over the years with Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the GOP candidate for president.
... The Club played a significant role in the 2004 election, airing millions of dollars’ worth of ads supporting President Bush and opposing Sen. John Kerry
Obama, Clinton will make joint appearance to unite donors
There are several indications that tensions remain between supporters of the two candidates. At an Obama rally in Detroit on Monday evening, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, a former Clinton supporter, drew loud and sustained boos from Mr. Obama’s supporters when she mentioned Mrs. Clinton. Asked about that moment on Tuesday, Mr. Obama said: “I shut that down and made very clear that Senator Clinton deserves respect. She ran a great race, and we are moving forward because we want to win in November.”
When the Obama campaign announced Monday that it had hired Patti Solis Doyle, the Clinton campaign manager who was ousted in February, several Clinton supporters expressed outrage.
Muslims barred from picture at Obama event
Two Muslim women at Barack Obama's rally in Detroit Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women's headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.
The campaign has apologized to the women, all Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.
"This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers."
Michelle Obama to get subtle makeover
...her husband's presidential campaign is giving her image a subtle makeover, with a new speech in the works to emphasize her humble roots and a tough new chief of staff. On Wednesday, Michelle Obama will do a guest turn on "The View," the daytime talk show on ABC, with an eye toward softening her reputation.
... Barack Obama often blurs identity lines; much of his candidacy has seemed almost post-racial. Michelle Obama's identity is less mutable. She is a descendant of slaves and a product of Chicago's historically black South Side. She burns hot where he banks cool...
The case for Webb as Obama's running mate
The excitement among Democrats about James Webb, the senator from Virginia, is understandable. Having a Vietnam-war-hero-turned-Reagan-administration-official-turned-Iraq-War foe on the ticket would lend Barack Obama a stiff dose of military experience, not to mention manly toughness.
But most speculation about Sen. Webb misses just how radical, risky and historic a choice he would be...
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