Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

Donate Online Now it's easy!!


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


Saturday, March 1, 2008


'Red Phone' ad wars:

Hillary Clinton's
Red Phone attack ad

Barack Obama's
Red Phone response ad

Clinton, Obama in cold war-style ad blitz

In the most explosive moment yet of the Democratic race, Clinton debuted a negative television ad, dripping with Cold War-style menace, suggesting Obama would be found wanting in a dead-of-night foreign policy crisis.

... "It's 3:00 am and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing," the male narrator says.

"Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call."

'Red phone' response could decide Texas

Barack Obama's response to a new ad casting doubt on his readiness to lead in a crisis could determine the outcome of the Texas primary. And if he responds successfully, the exchange may form a template for a general election against John McCain...

Hillary Clinton's 'red phone' ad could spark scare tactics charge

Clinton fired first with a chilling new ad featuring images of sleeping children...

Obama quickly cut his own version of the red-phone ad, also featuring sleeping children, hammering home his "judgment and courage" to oppose the Iraq war.

Obama manager: Clinton already had her 'red phone' moment

"Sen. Clinton has already had her red phone moment ... in 2002. It was on the Iraq war, and she and John McCain and George Bush" displayed the same judgment, Plouffe told reporters on a conference call Friday

Clinton's 'red phone' ad a sure backfire?

Does this ad cut to the heart of an Obama weakness, or is it likely to backfire?



Obama has slight lead in Texas, close in Ohio

Barack Obama holds a slight lead on Hillary Clinton in Texas and has almost pulled even in Ohio before contests that could decide their U.S. Democratic presidential battle, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle poll released on Friday.


Obama, Clinton flush with cash from February

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each had a record-breaking month of fund-raising in February, bringing in more than $80 million combined, but with Mr. Obama again far outraising Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Obama’s campaign did not release an official estimate of its February fund-raising on Thursday. But several major donors estimated it to be about $50 million, based on their calculations and knowledge of tallies during the month, when on many days the campaign took in as much as $2 million.



Sunday Talk Show guests:

CBS Face the Nation: Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson

CNN Late Edition: Howard Dean

Fox News Sunday: Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Karl Rove

NBC Meet the Press: roundtable on '08 race with James Carville, Mary Matalin, Mike Murphy, Bob Shrum

ABC This Week: roundtable with David Brooks, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, George Will

Bloomberg's Political Capital: Robert Novak, Margaret Carlson






Mike Huckabee... today's headlines with excerpts

Lubbock supporters like Huckabee's message

Supporters seemed undeterred by the Arkansas governor's underdog status, with many waving signs and cheering in support of his campaign.

"We believe in everything he believes in," said Jenifer Davidson, who attended the rally with her young son. "Obviously I believe it, or I wouldn't be here."

Huckabee says Texans can make difference for him Tuesday

"It's obvious that there's some question marks about just how many delegates there are. What we do know is if we can win Texas next week, it probably keeps this thing going, and that's what we're counting on," said Huckabee





John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain gets hell for embracing armageddon sect

John McCain continued his quest for conservative bona fides by embracing millionaire televangelist and leader of the "End-Times" Evangelical movement, Pastor CEO John Hagee.

In addition to believing that we are the last generation before God destroys the earth and that "international television" is a sign that Christ's return is nigh, Hagee has maligned the Catholic Church as 'The Great Whore' and 'a false cult.'  Accordingly, the Hagee endorsement has raised the ire of Catholic activists who claim Hagee is a bigot who regularly preaches anti-Catholic hate and blames the Catholic Church for the Holocaust.

In an interview with Glenn Greenwald, Catholic League Director, William Donohue, warned that there would be hell to pay for McCain's embrace of Hagee...

Christian right not yielding Texas to McCain

John McCain may have the Republican nomination all but sewn up, but some Christian conservatives seem determined to put up a fight for Mike Huckabee in the Lone Star State.

"Texans have never worried about the odds when it comes to standing for what's right," said Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, a coalition of about 175 area pastors involved in politically conservative causes...

Huckabee will need all the religious conservatives he can find in Texas. CNN exit polls from the 2004 presidential election found that 25 percent of white voters described themselves as Christian conservatives. That number jumps to nearly 40 percent in a Republican primary, said Austin GOP pollster Mike Baselice.

McCain goofs, calls himself  a proud conservative liberal...

Even though John McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, he has kept up a brisk campaign schedule. By Thursday, the Arizona senator was showing signs of fatigue. During a town hall-style meeting in Richardson, Texas, he described himself as "a proud conservative liberal Repub -- " and then froze mid-word, realizing he'd just said the L-word.

"Conservative Republican," he corrected. Wiggling his eyebrows and drawing out his words for comic effect, McCain added, "Hellooo, easy there," as the audience laughed

Skirmishes between McCain, Dems heat up

McCain has targeted both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but has focused much of his fire on the latter after he emerged as the Democratic front-runner by winning 11 contests in a row.

McCain on Friday faulted the Democrats for wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"I believe that those agreements should be kept,'' McCain said in Round Rock, Texas.

"And I believe that when someone -- as Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton have said -- would renegotiate a treaty which went through years of negotiations with our leading trading partner Canada without consulting or without the agreement of our Canadian partners, I think it sends the wrong message to the world."

McCain enters the autism wars

At a town hall meeting Friday in Texas, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declared that "there’s strong evidence" that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that was once in many childhood vaccines, is responsible for the increased diagnoses of autism in the U.S. -- a position in stark contrast with the view of the medical establishment...

Bill would remove doubt on presidential eligibility

Senator John McCain said Thursday that he had no concerns about his meeting the constitutional qualifications for the presidency because of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone. A Democratic colleague said she wanted to remove even a trace of doubt.

The Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, introduced legislation that would declare that any child born abroad to citizens serving in the United States military would meet the constitutional requirement that anyone serving as president be a “natural born” citizen.




Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts

Nader's running mate was not such a fan in '04

As a prominent Green Party member, Mr. Gonzalez was asked how he felt about Ralph Nader taking another shot at the presidency. And what he said back then could make things a little awkward on the trail now that he’s Mr. Nader’s 2008 running mate.

One of the students, Jesse Abrams-Morley, wrote this about Mr. Gonzalez’s remarks:

“I’m not that enthusiastic about his campaign primarily because I think we’ve already been there a couple of times,” he said, referring to Nader’s bids as the Green candidate in 1996 and 2000. “I would like to see somebody else run.”

Gonzalez said he would favor activist and former California gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo, though he added that he might change his mind if Nader, now running as an independent, starts pushing more policies Gonzalez supports.




Ron Paul... today's headlines with excerpts





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Bill Clinton to get mariachi boost in Texas

During Bill Clinton's two-day swing through the state this week to campaign for his wife, nearly every rally featured a mariachi band.

At Austin Community College, nine-member Mariachi en Fuego helped warm up the crowd before the former president arrived. Marlo Soliz, who plays the small guitar-like instrument known as the vihuela, said the band had been booked to play three Clinton events. And the band was getting its usual $480-per-hour fee.

The leaner-and-meaner Obama campaign requested an appearance, added Soliz, "but they didn't want to pay us." Mariachi en Fuego declined the gig.

David Broder: Hillary Clinton's flaw -- a failure to connect

My sense is that in the following months of campaigning, voters were often frustrated by their inability to discover the real person behind the notably buttoned-up candidate. 

...Her inability to break through the scar tissue -- the accumulated wounds of a demanding father, a wayward husband and countless political battles -- may cost her the chance to be president.

Hillary talks about stepping up effort in Afghanistan

“I will also be a commander in chief who refocuses on winning the war in Afghanistan,” she said. “I will do everything in my power to reverse our declining position in Afghanistan,” she said, vowing to make it clear to allies in NATO “that this is their war too.” Toledo, she reaffirmed the task in Afghanistan: “When you hire a president you are really hiring someone for that job and in this case it is someone who manages two wars, a war to end in Iraq and a war to win in Afghanistan.”





Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama's message reaches out - to men's urinals

Obama's cadres of aides also pay attention to the smallest of details. And that was on vivid display tonight at the candidate's rally in San Antonio.

Every urinal in the men's rooms at Verizon amphitheater was outfitted with a door hanger that not only urged support for Obama, but had an explanation of the "Texas two-step" voting procedure -- how those who really want to make a difference on Tuesday first should cast a primary ballot, then show up for local caucuses.

It's unknown whether locales for the hangers were found in the women's rooms; understandably, The Times' Mark Z. Barabak was unable to obtain firsthand knowledge of that.

Bush hits Obama on foreign policy

Setting aside his stated reluctance to enter the presidential campaign, President Bush on Thursday strongly criticized Barack Obama's expressed readiness to meet with foreign leaders cast as tyrants, warning that such discussions "can be extremely counterproductive" and "send the wrong signal."

He also challenged Democrats' skepticism about the North American Free Trade Agreement, and reminded Obama that Al Qaeda has been seeking to establish a base in Iraq "for the past four years."


Obama aide: Clinton will 'fail' Tuesday

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe predicted flatly Friday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will “fail” to make meaningful progress toward the presidential nomination in the big Ohio and Texas primaries on Tuesday.

“They have a huge task in front of them, which is to try to erase this pledged delegate lead,” Plouffe said on a conference call with reporters. “They are going to fail by that measure. … This isn’t whether they can skate by and win the popular vote narrowly.”

Michelle Obama: 'Don't go into corporate America'

“We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”

What she doesn’t mention is that the helping industry has treated her pretty well. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office. And that does not count the money Mrs. Obama receives from serving on corporate boards. She would have been O.K. even without Jack’s magic beans...

Michelle: name Hussein is 'the fear bomb'

"They threw in the obvious, ultimate fear bomb," Obama said today of her husband's 2004 Senate race. "We're even hearing [that] now. … 'When all else fails, be afraid of his name, and what that could stand for, because it's different.'"

The senator's wife said that rivals use innuendo to play on fears. "Just as they're saying it now," she said.

Even when he lectures them, the crowd goes wild...

"It's not good enough for you to say to your child, 'Do good in school,' and then when that child comes home, you've got the TV set on," Obama lectured. "You've got the radio on. You don't check their homework. There's not a book in the house. You've got the video game playing."

Each line was punctuated by a roar, and Obama began to shout, falling into a preacher's rhythm. "Am I right?"

"So turn off the TV set. Put the video game away. Buy a little desk. Or put that child at the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don't know how to do it, give 'em help. If you don't know how to do it, call the teacher."

By now, the crowd of nearly 2,000 was lifted from the red velveteen seats of the Julie Rogers Theatre, hands raised to the gilded ceiling. "Make 'em go to bed at a reasonable time! Keep 'em off the streets! Give 'em some breakfast! Come on! Can I get an amen here?"

Whooooooooooooooooo, went the crowd. "You know I'm right," Obama laughed. "And, since I'm on a roll, if your child misbehaves in school, don't cuss out the teacher! You know I'm right about that! Don't cuss out the teacher! Do something with your child!"


Obama cutting into Clinton's edge among superdelegates

The Clinton campaign said Thursday that it had the support of 258 of the 795 superdelegates (not counting those from Florida or Michigan, whose delegations are the focus of a dispute), while the Obama campaign said it had the support of more than 200. It said it had won the support of 39 since Feb. 5, including four that formerly supported Mrs. Clinton.

Obama walks a difficult path as he courts Jewish voters

Campaign advisers said they approached Jewish voters the way they did others, confident that once they knew more about Mr. Obama, they would be reassured. At the same time, they acknowledged that many Jewish voters were “vigilant” in testing candidates for president, particularly on Israel.

... The campaign in recent days has moved to shore up Jewish support, with Mr. Obama speaking last Sunday to an influential group of Jewish leaders in Cleveland and addressing their questions about Israel, Mr. Farrakhan and even his church in Chicago, whose pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., has been viewed with suspicion.







view more past news & headlines




paid for by the Iowa Presidential Watch PAC

P.O. Box 171, Webster City, IA 50595

about us  /  contact  /  homepage

copyright use & information