Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

Friday, June 27, 2008


Obamas give Clinton $4,600 towards debt

Senator Barack Obama said on Thursday that he had written a personal check of $2,300 to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a good-will gesture intended to nudge his top donors to help ease Mrs. Clinton’s campaign debt and help the two Democrats move beyond their rivalry to focus on the fall contest.

... “I wrote my check to the Hillary for President Committee,” said Mr. Obama, who was greeted with booming applause. His wife, Michelle, also contributed $2,300.

“I recognize that this room shares the same passion that a roomful of my supporters would show,” Mr. Obama added. “I do not expect that passion to be transferred. Senator Clinton is unique, and your relationships with her are unique. Senator Clinton and I at our core agree deeply that this country needs to change.”

see also:

Pool report from Clinton-Obama event at the Mayflower



Supreme Court affirms gun rights in historic decision

Silent on central questions of gun control for two centuries, the Supreme Court found its voice Thursday in a decision affirming the right to have guns for self-defense in the home and addressing a constitutional riddle almost as old as the republic over what it means to say the people may keep and bear arms.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and imperiled similar prohibitions in other cities, Chicago and San Francisco among them. Federal gun restrictions, however, were expected to remain largely intact.

Obama reaction: straddle 

Barack Obama, straddling both sides of the issue, said merely that the court did not find an unfettered right to bear arms and that the ruling "will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country." But another Chicagoan, Democratic Mayor Richard Daley, called the ruling "very frightening" and predicted more violence and higher taxes to pay for extra police if his city's gun restrictions are lost.

McCain reaction: landmark victory

John McCain welcomed the ruling as "a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom."


GOP aims at Obama after gun ruling

The Republican National Committee and John McCain's campaign seized on the ruling and used it to frame Democrat Barack Obama as a radical liberal on the issue of gun rights, in the first step toward a media and advertising push in more rural battleground states that “highlights that Barack Obama is the most anti gun candidate in American presidential history,” according to RNC spokesman Danny Diaz.

“This issue is a big fat wedge in target states,” said Matt McDonald, a senior adviser to McCain, citing Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. “Obviously it is an issue where he is at odds with working-class voters.”






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain tries to balance energy issues, votes

After fending off ocean drilling critics in California, Republican John McCain on Wednesday stiff-armed opponents of a Nevada nuclear waste repository as he outlined ways to resolve the nation's energy crisis while seeking votes in another swing state.

The presidential candidate reiterated his call for building 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 — and a total of 100 at some point beyond that — during a speech at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Despite the waste they might generate, McCain said they are part of a comprehensive strategy he has taken to calling the "Lexington Project," for the Revolutionary War site.

McCain didn't repeat his recent suggestion that the waste site at Yucca Mountain may be rendered unnecessary if the world can agree on a location for a foreign repository. That comment in Texas drew cries of disbelief from critics who accused him of pandering after long supporting Yucca...

John McCain isn't taking much of a Big Apple bite

While Barack Obama's campaign is busy gearing up to offer at least the pretense of competing in all 50 states, here's a sure sign that John McCain is being a bit more selective -- his New York headquarters is located in New Jersey.

Russell Berman of the New York Sun reported that on Wednesday the McCain camp opened what it "billed as a 'New Jersey/New York regional campaign headquarters' in Woodbridge, N.J., a 30- to 40-minute drive from New York City."






Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama: change agent goes conventional

Barack Obama has crafted an image as an unconventional candidate, a change agent and a post-partisan politician who represents a dramatic break from the status quo. But since securing the Democratic presidential nomination, when confronted with a series of thorny issues the Illinois senator has pursued a conspicuously conventional path, one that falls far short of his soaring rhetoric.

Faced with tough choices on fronts ranging from public financing and town hall meetings to warrantless surveillance and the Second Amendment, Obama passed up opportunities to take bold stands and make striking departures from customary politics. Instead, he has followed a familiar tack, straddling controversial issues and choosing politically advantageous routes that will ensure his campaign a cash edge and minimize damaging blowback on several highly sensitive issues.

Obama's 50-state strategy

As Plouffe describes it, the much-discussed "50 State Strategy" is pretty close to being just that. While he admitted that only a few staffers will be placed in some states -- one of them likely being Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country -- Plouffe said that in some states unlikely to vote for Obama, such as Texas, there are "tens of thousands of people who want to help" in some way, like working at phone banks. "The reality is we've got a lot of volunteers in these states," Plouffe said, "and we want a productive way to use them."

AFL-CIO endorses Obama

After months of holding back, the AFL-CIO endorsed Barack Obama today, saying it would put more than $50 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteers to work helping elect the Illinois senator after he defeated the primary candidate whom the coalition's biggest two unions had endorsed, Hillary Clinton.

AFL President John Sweeney said in an interview that the coalition was highly confident that its efforts on Obama's behalf would prove more successful than its work on behalf of Al Gore and John Kerry, elections that left the labor movement facing an administration hostile to most labor demands.




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