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


Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Texas, Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island vote today


Obama wins Vermont - Clinton wins Rhode Island

Texas, Ohio still close to call...

Hillary Clinton signaled that her campaign would continue on no matter the results later in the evening.

“My husband didn't get the nomination wrapped up until June (in 1992). That has been the tradition," she said. "This is a very close race."

McCain wins Vermont, Texas, Ohio - passes delegate threshold

Huckabee drops out...

“It’s now important that we turn our attention … to now what must be, which is a united party," Huckabee said.”

President Bush will host McCain at the White House Wednesday to offer his official political blessing.



Day of reckoning for Clinton, Obama

Spending the night in the same Texas city, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama expressed confidence in their chances. But both teams acknowledged that split decisions and close votes could prolong the battle for at least another month—or more.

"We know this has been an extraordinary election. It continues to be. We're working hard to do as well as we can," said Obama, who planned to await Texas returns in San Antonio.

"I'm just getting warmed up," Clinton told reporters, a clear sign that she expects to press the campaign on beyond Tuesday no matter the outcome.

see also: Obama, Clinton in key face-off

              Texas Dems expect no knockouts

              Surveying Ohio's Democratic landscape


Contests in four states today - easier tracking

With just four states voting — Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont —there is less to keep track of compared to the mega-dose of 22 states last month.

But with so much at stake, especially in Ohio and Texas, and with the proceedings in Texas more complicated than a simple primary, there will be no shortage of facts and analysis as the evening unfolds.

Iraq casts shadow on Ohio, Texas votes

Ohio and Texas have something more tragic in common - high numbers of military casualties in Iraq.

Combined, Ohio and Texas have sustained roughly one-eighth of all U.S. troop deaths...






Mike Huckabee... today's headlines with excerpts

Huckabee: debate not BBQ

Huckabee criticized McCain Monday for serving barbecue to reporters on the day Huckabee had asked him to debate.

"I think his time would have been better spent at a debate and I think the people of Texas should take that into consideration when they vote either today or tomorrow," he said at a press conference. "They ought to think about, you know, what would be a better use of his time, being in Texas having a debate on issues that affect Texans or serving BBQ to the media?"Not only did he think he is a better candidate, he said he's a better cook. "Actually I would put my ribs to the test of anybody's, they're pretty darn good," he said. "But you know, we've been campaigning non stop and working hard because we feel like the people of Texas deserve this discussion, this debate, and I'm disappointed we never had that debate that we should have had.  I think Sen. McCain should have come to Texas, we should have had the debate on television, and let the people hear the differences. If they they then decided differently, the would have made an informed and intelligent decision."






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain seeks winning number in Texas today

McCain has 1,014 delegates to the Republican National Convention, according to a tally by the Associated Press. To secure the nomination, he must win 1,191. The primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont on Tuesday will award 256 delegates, giving McCain the possibility of wrapping up the most wide-open GOP nomination fight in decades.

McCain blasts Russian election

John McCain issued a harsh critique of this week's Russian elections, going well beyond the White House reaction, in a news conference aimed at showcasing his foreign-policy credentials.

The near-certain Republican presidential nominee also was critical of the United Nations for failing to condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, actions that prompted Israel to retaliate with a major offensive, again taking a harder stance than President Bush has.

Republicans like McCain most, but Obama not too far behind

Republicans like Sen. Barack Obama nearly as much as they like their own likely presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, according to a new Fox 5/The Washington Times/Rasmussen Reports poll.

The survey determined that a quarter of self-identified Republicans rated Mr. McCain most likable, but nearly as many — 23 percent — chose Mr. Obama as most likable. And among all adults surveyed, Mr. Obama was rated likable by more people than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. McCain combined, underscoring the Illinois senator's appeal to voters across the political spectrum.

McCain looks to California

John McCain and his aides are already thinking about which states to target in the fall and one tops the list: California.

"I want to compete in California," the Arizona senator said Monday, saying his outlook on such issues as the environment will be a help in the traditionally blue state. McCain also enjoys the support of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.








Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts

Bill O'Reilly: Nader - perennial thorn in the Left's side

I’ve known Nader for decades and he is a hard-core socialist, a man who fervently believes the government must control evil corporations, regulate wages and even set prices for what consumers buy. Nader has far more in common with Raul Castro than Howard Dean. He thinks the Dems are almost as bad as the Republicans when it comes to exploiting folks.

That’s why Nader’s presidential announcement was a one-day story. No New York Times profile for him, not this year. No NBC News feature story. Ralph Nader is going to be mighty lonely on the campaign trail because the far-left has abandoned him.

Feeling sorry for the guy, I called him a few days ago and asked him to appear on my syndicated radio program, heard on more than 400 stations. At first, Nader’s “person” was excited. Free media! But a short time later she told us Ralph was “unavailable.” Perhaps a conference call with Raul?

The reason, I believe, that Nader passed on the Radio Factor was that he knew I would poke a bit of fun at him. Let’s face it, Jane Fonda has a better chance of winning the presidency than Ralph. But unlike the lefty media, I have no problem with Nader running. He entertains me. I never know what he’s going to say or whom he’s going to hammer. Give him points for that.





Ron Paul... today's headlines with excerpts





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Limbaugh urges Hillary vote

El Rushbo's plan, as heard from the Golden EIB microphone:

"The strategy is to continue the chaos in this party. Look, there's a reason for this. Our side isn't going to do this. Obama needs to be bloodied up. Look, half the country already hates Hillary. That's good. But nobody hates Obama yet. Hillary is going to be the one to have to bloody him up politically, because our side isn't going to do it. Mark my words. It's about winning, folks!"


Hillary Clinton does the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

"Tomorrow is perhaps one of the most important days of your life, and you've chosen to spend the night before talking to me," Stewart told Clinton, who was beamed in by satellite from Austin. "As a host, I'm delighted; as a citizen, I'm frightened. Senator, your response?"

"It is pretty pathetic," she dead-panned...


Roger Simon: Clinton plays victim and victimizer

She not only is vigorously attacking Barack Obama but simultaneously portraying herself as a victim.

It is a nifty political two-step.

She is a victim because a male-dominated press corps has counted her out, she says, and has lavished praise on Obama without submitting him to any real scrutiny.

... And along with victimhood, Clinton has finally found a powerful theme, the same theme that George W. Bush used at his convention and in his reelection campaign in 2004: Vote for me or die.

With her “3 a.m. phone call” ad, she is saying exactly what Bush said: I will protect you and your children, and the other guy will not.

ABC/WashPost Poll: should she stay or should she go?

Democrats by more than a 2-1 margin say Hillary Clinton should stay in the presidential race even if she loses either the Texas or Ohio primary on Tuesday. But if she fails in both, fewer than half say they'd want her to fight on.

Clinton aims to push beyond Ohio and Texas

Should the senators split the states' contests -- or if Sen. Clinton wins, but only by narrow margins -- the debate will turn to how to interpret the results. Two smaller states, Rhode Island and Vermont, also vote today. Clinton aides have started to imply that even just one big win today would allow her to claim she had broken Sen. Obama's momentum, justifying a continuing competition.

Clinton hits Obama vetting as just the start

Hillary Clinton yesterday said damaging stories swirling around her rival show that the true vetting of Sen. Barack Obama has just begun, and she predicted that a strong finish today in Ohio and Texas will revive her run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton's hawkishness ruffles feathers in Obama camp

In a weekend interview, a retired four-star general, Jack Keane, said that when he briefed Mrs. Clinton in late 2006 and January 2007 on the counteroffensive strategy known as the surge, she "generally supported the surge strategy in the sense she wanted it to succeed but she was skeptical about its chances."

The Obama campaign yesterday seized on the general's comments after they appeared in an article on The New York Sun's Web site, with the chief spokesman, William Burton, issuing a statement saying: "Senator Clinton needs to explain to the American people what she said to the architect of George Bush's surge that made him think she wouldn't end the war."






Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama campaign disputes anti-trade rhetoric

The Canadian government denies a report that the Obama campaign reassured a high-level official that the senator is not sincere about his anti-NAFTA rhetoric; Sen. Clinton's campaign is demanding Obama clarify the issue.

... "Nobody reached out to the Canadians to try to reassure them," Obama said...


Obama Republicans carry weight

Barack Obama is courting an unlikely constituency to try to deliver a knockout blow to Hillary Clinton today: Republicans and independents who supported President Bush.

In the final days of his campaign, Sen. Obama has turned his attention to wringing extra votes out of big cities and their suburbs. Today's Democratic primaries in Texas and Ohio, as well as Texas' caucuses, are open to Republicans and independents, and with Arizona Sen. John McCain nearly wrapping up the Republican nomination, Republican voters may be looking more closely at the contested Democratic race.

Many eyes on Rezko trial

The Sun-Times, in its Eye on Rezko blog, also came upon an interesting tidbit: a woman taking extensive notes on jury selection who was identified as attending court for Senator Obama. The woman apparently identified herself when a security officer asked everyone in an overflow courtroom to disclose his or her organization.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, confirmed for The Caucus that the woman was with the campaign. He said in an email that she was gathering information about the trial because the campaign has received so many questions from reporters about it. He said she would not be attending the entire trial.

Obama's Web marketing triumph

Prominent advertising executive Rishad Tobaccowala says Obama's surprise performance is partly attributable to a superior Web strategy:

"He is a digital candidate while she is the analog candidate... his Web site is amazing. It's completely and continually updated. It feels alive and energetic..."

"... with over a million donors contributing, they position the entire campaign as one owned by the people. That's what makes it so authentic. While both teams spin stuff, Clinton's team tends to be rather unsubtle in their use of spin and attack and this really does not work as well these days. It's so much harder to control the message with the Internet so widely used now. The spin comes back to bite you. I think the Clinton staff haven't really understood. Every time they try to spin stuff, they look like jokers..."






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