Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Monday March 10, 2008



Mississippi Primary is tomorrow


SNL spoofs Clinton campaign's '3 am' tv ad

In a parody of the Clinton campaign's '3 A.M.' television ad, the opening sketch of Saturday Night Live poked fun at Senator Barack Obama.

The sketch portrays a frazzled President Obama calling Hillary Clinton at 3 A.M. to ask for advice on how to deal with Iran, as well as how to fix the White House heating system.



Will Dems' battle end in brokered convention?

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said today he's willing to step in to avoid a brokered convention in Denver on Aug. 25-28 that could hurt the party's chances in November.

"If we have to sit the two candidates down together, or their campaigns down together, and try to figure out how to make peace and have a convention that's going to work, then that's fine," Dean said on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "That is my job, and we'll be happy to do it."

see also: Infighting threatens to divide Democrats

              Lawsuit eyed by Sharpton over Florida




Superdelegates' choice may hinge on electability

Super delegates look at tangible factors such as the pledged delegate count earned in primaries and caucuses, and intangibles such as momentum. They also look at where the candidates are winning and how they are winning...


Who would the GOP rather face?

McCain's aides say now they don't know which one they'd rather face...

The RNC, meanwhile, will handle the nastier end of things -- making sure that voters have at least some negative associations in their minds with whoever emerges with the Democratic nomination, whenever the race ends. But there, too, strategists seem content for now to let Clinton do their dirty work on Obama, or vice versa; why get in the way when your opponents' aides are calling each other monsters or saying they aren't ready to handle an international crisis?

From the GOP perspective, the race has taken an even weirder turn lately, with Obama lumping McCain and Clinton together in his speech Tuesday night after losing Texas and Ohio, calling them both opponents of his hope for change. Not to be outdone, Clinton implied Thursday that McCain was more qualified to be commander in chief than Obama.

In fact, the Democratic campaign may be providing McCain with a plan for the fall no matter who wins. To the GOP, the lesson of Clinton's comeback is simple: attack, attack, attack. "She went on the attack on about three fronts and got him on the defensive," Black said. "What you're gonna find out now, we're gonna find out how tough Obama is. If he has a glass jaw, she just broke it." Winning in November on a platform built on cheering for an unpopular war will still be hard for John McCain. But it'll be a lot easier if his opponents help him out along the way.


New York Gov. Spitzer is linked to prostitution ring

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who gained national prominence relentlessly pursuing Wall Street wrongdoing, has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a law enforcement official and a person briefed on the investigation.

The wiretap captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan. The person briefed on the case and the law enforcement official identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer, a first term Democrat, today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.” He did not address his political future.






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

VP stakes high for McCain

John McCain's age and past health problems may be concerns as he chooses his running mate.

... The names most mentioned are energetic, young governors, including Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah, and Charlie Crist of Florida.

McCain, in a recent joint appearance with Crist, said, "I think there are many ways for him to serve the country."

On his program "This Week" today, ABC's George Stephanopoulos told Crist it seemed that McCain was hinting that he might be considering putting the Florida governor on his short list for vice president. ..

see also: Calling Condi


McCain sees pork where scientists see success

If you've heard Sen. John McCain's stump speech, you've surely heard him talk about grizzly bears. The federal government, he declares with horror and astonishment, has spent $3 million to study grizzly bear DNA. "I don't know if it was a paternity issue or criminal," he jokes, "but it was a waste of money."

A McCain campaign commercial also tweaks the bear research: "Three million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. Unbelievable."

Actually, it was a scientific and logistical triumph, argues Katherine Kendall, 56, mastermind of the Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project.

McCain uses breathing room to focus of coffers

Mr. McCain said last week that he viewed the next couple of months as an opportunity to “get our own house in order,” and that he planned to use the time to travel overseas, roll out new policy proposals and deliver speeches.

His first order of business, though, will be an intense focus on raising money, with some 20 or 30 events a month. His campaign was nearly doomed last summer by overspending and its failure to raise enough money to keep up...





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Andrew Sullivan: The Clintons, a horror film that never ends

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, they are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway...

... The further away you are from them, the easier it is to think they’re fine. Up close they are an intolerable, endless, soul-sapping soap opera...



Dick Morris to Hillary: It's over

Hillary won’t withdraw. That much is for sure. The tantalizing notion that 800 insiders can offset a season of primaries and caucuses will drive both Clintons to ever-escalating rhetoric. Will their attacks hurt Obama? Likely all they will achieve is to give him needed experience in the cut and thrust of media politics...

see also: It's time to call in the hatchet men against the Clintons

Sniping by her aides hurt Clinton's image as manager

The divisions in her campaign over strategy and communications — and the dislike many of her advisers had for one another — poured out into public as Mrs. Clinton struggled in February to hold off Mr. Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But even as Mrs. Clinton revived her fortunes last week with victories in Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas, the questions lingered about how she managed her campaign, with the internal sniping and second-guessing undermining her well-cultivated image as a steady-at-the-wheel chief executive surrounded by a phalanx of loyal and efficient aides.




Family ties offer boost to Hillary in Pennsylvania

Mrs. Clinton's run in Pennsylvania gets an added boost from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who spent more than a decade forging steely bonds with the state's political heavyweights, including Gov. Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, both Democrats who endorsed her.

... The latest Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows Mrs. Clinton, of New York, ahead by 12 points in Pennsylvania. A Rasmussen Reports survey last week showed her up by 15 points.

Hillary and the invisible women

What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twentysomething daughters don't share their view of her heroic role. Instead they've been swept up by that new Barack magic. It's not their fault, and not Hillary's, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House...




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama replies with scorn to Hillary's veep talk

"I won twice as many states as Sen. Clinton. I won more of the popular vote than Sen. Clinton. I have more delegates than Sen. Clinton. So I don’t’ know how someone in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone in first place. If I was in second place I could understand but I am in first place right now."

He referenced comments from Bill Clinton in 1992 that his “most important criteria” for vice president was that person must be ready to be commander in chief.

“They have been spending the last two or three weeks” arguing that he is not ready to be commander in chief, Obama said.

“I don’t understand. If I am not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president?” Obama asked the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during his defense. “I don’t understand.”

“You can’t say he is not ready on day one, then you want him to be your vice president,” Obama continued. “I just want everybody to absolutely clear: I am not running for vice president. I am running to be president of the United States of America.”

Obama favored over Clinton in Mississippi

Sen. Barack Obama won the unusually robust Wyoming caucuses Saturday and heads to Mississippi today looking to regain some of the momentum he lost last week when Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed victories in the Texas and Ohio primaries.

The Illinois senator is favored to win tomorrow's Mississippi primary, where more than one third of the state's electorate is African-American. The primary is also open to Republicans and independents, who have favored Sen. Obama but who polls show may favor Sen. Clinton in the state.

Sen. Obama leads his rival 58% to 34% in Mississippi, according to a poll Friday by American Research Group.


Obama accuses Clinton of deception

Obama's camp sent out a memo to supporters titled "Doing Whatever It Takes to Win." It characterized Clinton's strategy for victory as "tearing Barack Obama down" and said her campaign "should stop telling the American people things that they know aren't true."

Obama's pastor's sermons may violate tax laws

Mr. Wright, who will be ending his 36-year tenure as the church's senior pastor in June, has previously been criticized for comments deriding President George Bush and lauding Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. Now Mr. Wright's and his successor's repeated enthusiastic promotion of their famous parishioner may be running afoul of federal tax law, which says churches can endanger their tax-exempt status by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.





Obama in Senate: star power, minor role

“I’ve been very blessed,” Mr. Obama told the crowd assembled in March 2006. “Keynote speaker at the Democratic convention. The cover of Newsweek. My book made the best-seller list. I just won a Grammy for reading it on tape.

“Really, what else is there to do?” he said, his smile now broad. “Well, I guess I could pass a law or something.”

They were the two competing elements in Mr. Obama’s time in the Senate: his megawatt celebrity and the realities of the job he was elected to do.






Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts










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