Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


, June 20, 2008


Politico: "Obama has adopted the reform mantle when it's been convenient, but his rejection of public financing isn't his first such reversal this cycle."

Obama breaks pledge with McCain
- will decline public financing

Sen. Barack Obama reversed his pledge to seek public financing in the general election yesterday, a move that drew criticism from adversaries and allies alike but could provide him with a significant spending advantage over Republican rival John McCain. Obama will become the first major-party presidential nominee to reject the public funds, passing up nearly $85 million in taxpayer money...

... "This is a big, big deal," McCain told reporters while touring a flood-ravaged area in Columbus Junction, Iowa. "He has completely reversed himself and gone back, not on his word to me, but the commitment he made to the American people."

see also:

Obama opens a new front with McCain with public financing reversal


Obama camp tries to get in on
McCain finance conference call

Hoping to dilute McCain's aggressive push against Obama for reversing his position on public financing, the Democrat's campaign has taken the unusual step of trying to get in on conference call that McCain aides set up for 5:30 tonight between reporters and counsel Trevor Potter.

In an email to McCain communications director Jill Hazelbaker that was blind copied to their entire press list, Obama spokesman Bill Burton wrote  the below.  

Jill – hope you’re well. We’d like to add our campaign counsel, Bob Bauer to your conference call with Trevor Potter so that we can arbitrate some of the disagreements that the two of them have over the meeting they recently had. If you can please shoot me the dial-in, Bob is available to join for the first bit, go over his notes from the meeting with Mr. Potter and would be happy to take questions from him, the press corps or whomever. Sorry for the late notice. 

We’re of course willing to split the cost of the call.

Hazelbaker declined Burton's offer -- and returned fire.

"We'd actually prefer to set up a meeting with the two candidates at 10 town hall meetings of Obama's choosing now through the convention, so we can fully discuss Barack Obama's abandonment of his pledge to take public financing," she said.  



GOP third-party effort nonexistent

...less than five months before Election Day, there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group...

... T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oilman who gave $3 million to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and who numerous GOP sources said was being looked to as a funding source this year, is sitting the race out.

“He is not giving anything to 527s involved in the presidential race this cycle, and has communicated that…to Republican strategists and operatives,” said Pickens spokesman Jay Rosser.

... Also staying out of the third-party effort this time is the powerful Republican public affairs firm, the DCI Group.


Clinton supporter planning "holy chaos" for Obama camp

Ed Hale and his feisty flock are nearing action. The Texas rancher's website ( for Hillary Clinton supporters planning to back John McCain over Barack Obama has attracted thousands of supporters along with ridicule and investigations online.

Now he's launching a 527 political action committee intent on sending a message to the DNC: put Clinton at the top of the ticket or her die-hard supporters will defect to the GOP.

Below is an excerpt from Hale's website:

Our Plans

Ok, it is time to get serious and let the DNP know that we are not coming home in the fall. One of our members said it was time to take action and Ii agree.

I think what we need to do is run a 1/2 or full page ad in the Chicago Sun Times letting the whole dam world know that we are full of the BS that Obama and the DNP is feeding us.

If we do this in Chicago, then the Obama camp will shit a brick. We will go into his own backyard and mess with him. That would be fun because the shoe would be on the other foot.

Let our ad show that there is over a 2 million of us who are unhappy and will vote for John McCain if Hillary is not the nominee. Also we will vote a straight Republican Ticket if Hillary is not the nominee.

[IPW NOTE: liberal bloggers are identifying Ed Hale as a Green Party member, not a Democrat. However, Hale has been confirmed by the Texas Democratic Party as a state party convention delegate. See FoxNews story, June 5, 2008]






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain meets with Hispanic leaders

Republican presidential John McCain assured Hispanic leaders he would push through Congress legislation to overhaul federal immigration laws if elected, several people who attended a private meeting with the candidate said Thursday.

Democrats questioned why the Arizona senator held the meeting late Wednesday night in Chicago. But supporters who were in the room denied that McCain held the closed-door session out of fear of offending conservatives, many of whom want him to take a harder line on immigration.

Aides: McCain refused to cancel Iowa flood trip

An aide to Iowa's governor said Thursday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain ignored the governor's request to cancel a campaign visit amid a massive flood recovery effort in the state.

McCain toured flood-damaged sites in Iowa on Thursday, including the town of Columbus Junction in the southeast.

Patrick Dillon, Gov. Chet Culver's chief of staff, said the governor was concerned that McCain's trip would divert local law enforcement from the flood recovery effort to provide security for McCain.

[IPW NOTE: Iowa's governor is a Democrat.]

McCain raises money the hard way

McCain's fundraising has improved dramatically since he secured the nomination in early March. But unlike Obama, he's had to do it the very hard way, slogging through fundraiser after fundraiser, shaking hand after hand.

By the count of some reporters who trail him daily, McCain has attended more than 90 fundraisers since March 5, flying around the country to court high-rollers in hotels and private homes.

McCain stumps strategists by playing up his unpopular stance on free trade

With Americans increasingly anxious about the effects of trade on the sinking economy, John McCain heads to Canada today, where he plans to herald free trade and argue that Barack Obama's "protectionist" policies could be harmful to U.S. alliances.

McCain's advisors believe the border crossing will show McCain in his best light -- as a leader on the world stage unafraid to embrace an unpopular position and optimistic about the new jobs that trade could create.

But some political analysts wondered why McCain would choose to highlight his position in attention-grabbing trips -- whether to Canada or to economically depressed areas like Youngstown, Ohio. The Arizona senator's campaign needs to win the support of independent voters, many of them blue-collar workers worried that the North American Free Trade Agreement will cost them their jobs.

Cindy McCain: families not fair game

Cindy McCain, traveling in Southeast Asia, said in an interview with CNN's John King that doesn't think "spouses and family members ... are fair game."

Asked why she had once invoked Michelle Obama's comments about pride in her country, McCain said it had been unplanned.

"I'm an emotional woman when it comes to service to our country," she said. McCain called Michelle Obama a "fine woman" and "good mother." 




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama team weighs Nunn, Edwards as running mates

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, said members of her caucus asked her to forward the names of Edwards and Nunn when she met Wednesday with Obama's vice presidential search team. The team, Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, indicated the two were on the list.

Obama, Clinton to campaign together next week

Obama and Clinton will appear together on Friday, June 27, but the Obama campaign gave no details about the event...

Obama: nuclear power worth considering, not panacea

During a meeting with U.S. governors, Obama noted that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases and therefore the United States should consider investing research dollars into whether nuclear waste can be stored safely for its reuse...

Bloomberg defends Obama before Jewish voters

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Jewish voters to denounce the whisper campaign that for months has pushed the false rumor that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.

Bloomberg warned a Jewish group in Boca Raton, Fla., on Friday that the attempt to portray Obama as a shadowy Muslim with a hidden agenda often targets Jewish voters online and with e-mails.

The deceptive campaign against Obama, who is Christian, "threatens to undo the enormous strides that Jews and Muslims have made together in this country," the New York mayor said....

Obama says sorry over scarfs

Sen. Barack Obama extended his personal apologies Thursday to two Muslim women who were nixed from sitting behind him at a Michigan event because they wore head scarfs.

Campaign volunteers barred Hebba Aref and Shimaa Abdelfadeel from appearing behind Obama at a Detroit rally because they feared the women's traditional head coverings would create a negative impression of the candidate on national TV...

Obama's first general election ad touts patriotism

Senator Obama's first television ad of the general election campaign is an attempt to quell the fears of some voters that Mr. Obama is unpatriotic...





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