Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Thursday, March 13, 2008



Bush predicts GOP sweep in November:

"I think 2008 is going to be a fabulous year for the Republican Party.

"And the reason why I believe that is because when the American people look at our ideals versus the ideals of the Democrats, when they look at what we believe versus what they believe, they're with us.  We represent the values of the American people.  Our ideas are the ones embraced by the folks.  They may not be the ones that the pundits listen to, but they're the ones who are out working every single day to make America a great and hopeful place.

"I firmly believe that we can retake the House.  I know we'll hold the White House.  And I know it's necessary for the United States of America that we do both."




Iraq War support grows

Fifty-three percent of Americans now believe "the U.S. will ultimately succeed in achieving its goals" in Iraq, according to new poll.

Superdelegate tally remains slippery

While Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama wage an intense contest to win the support of "super delegates" who may decide the party's nomination, getting an exact count of those elected officials and party insiders depends on the day of week.

Vacancies, deaths, elections and even moving from one state to another can alter the super-delegate rolls...


Clinton, Obama at odds over plans for Florida, Michigan

Mrs. Clinton, speaking to a Hispanic business group Wednesday morning in Washington, argued that the Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated based on the results of the primaries. The Democratic Party has stripped the states of their delegates because they held primaries in January, earlier than party rules allowed.

Mr. Obama said his campaign would work with the Michigan and Florida delegations to find an “equitable way” to ensure that they would be represented at the Democratic convention in August. But he said he would not go along with plans to accept the January results or to conduct a vote by mail.


Michigan Dems propose do-over primary paid for by donors

... with Democratic leaders including Govs. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Jon Corzine of New Jersey promising to raise money, there could be a mechanism for a state-run primary paid for at party expense. It would require the Legislature’s approval.

The possibility of a mail-in contest remains on the table as well. Sen. Carl Levin has called it the most practical approach, though the Obama campaign has raised concerns about ballot security, access and tabulation of the ballots with no system currently in place to hold such an election.

Florida Democrats propose June 3 vote

[Ben Smith/Politico] "My colleague Amie Parnes obtained a copy of a memo from Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Karen Thurman, which was distributed to Democratic leaders tonight. It includes a detailed draft proposal for voting by mail, which it describes as the "best option," and a budget of between $10 and $12 million, as well as a date: June 3."

see also:

Florida Dems offer detailed revote-by-mail plan

Florida's mail-in primary plan opens rifts in Washington, Tallahassee






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain, GOP may have cause for hope

Rarely have the stars aligned so squarely against the party in power in elections for the White House as it has for Republicans, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll bears out. Ultimately, voters choose a person for president, not a party, and Sen. John McCain seems to give Republicans a fighting chance.

A couple findings in the new poll capture how conflicted Americans are. By a 13-point margin, 50% to 37%, registered voters say they would prefer a Democrat to be elected president. When asked to choose specifically between Arizona Sen. McCain and either Democrat, the results in each case are a statistical tie. (Poll results)

McCain hints at Mitt

John McCain would not rule out Mitt Romney as a possible running mate yesterday, noting that the former Bay State governor ran an effective primary campaign and is a rising star in national politics.

“Millions of Republicans voted for him,” McCain said during a swing through New Hampshire. “He’s earned himself a place in the future of the Republican Party.”

McCain said he is just beginning his deliberations on a running mate and that it’s premature to say whether Romney is among the names he’s considering. During a national TV interview Tuesday, Romney said he would be “honored” to be selected by the Arizona senator.

Tony Perkins says McCain has 'work to do' to win evangelicals

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said a number of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s policies and actions in the Senate have rubbed socially conservative evangelical voters the wrong way, and he will need them and their “enthusiasm” to win the White House.

“It’s not automatic,” Perkins said.



Unions unveil McCain attack

the A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced the start of a campaign attacking Senator McCain on economic issues, part of a $53.4 million grass-roots mobilization effort.

The anti-McCain effort will include leafleting at workplaces, knocking on doors, direct mail, phone banking and a Web site, Union activists also plan to confront Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, at his appearances in the coming months.

McCain under fire for lobbyist ties

The inquiries and implications began when the Pentagon announced last month that it would award a $35 billion contract for new Air Force tankers to European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., instead of to Seattle-based Boeing Co.

McCain had pushed the Pentagon to open the bidding process to EADS, and some question whether the three former EADS lobbyists who are on his campaign staff had anything to do with that. "Mr. Clean has a bunch of lobbyists that work for a company that won that contract," House Democratic Caucus chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said. "Some people claim the way the specs were written, it was all but certain that the company that his campaign lobbyists worked for couldn't but get that contract."




Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Ferraro steps down from Clinton campaign

Geraldine Ferraro stepped down Wednesday as a surrogate and member of the finance committee for the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"She made the decision that she wants to continue talking about this and didn't want to do this in a way that would cause the campaign problems," a Clinton campaign source told ABC News.

... After speaking to Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to the campaign, Ferraro, 72, Wednesday sent an e-mail to Clinton, saying:

"Dear Hillary —

"I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign. The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren. You have my deep admiration and respect.


Ferraro cries reverse racism

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” Ferraro told a California newspaper. “And if he was a woman [of any color], he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”

After this set off the proverbial and predictable firestorm, Ferraro responded by saying: “Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”

Hillary apologizes to black voters

Of Ferraro's comment, Hillary Clinton told her audience: "I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn't speak for the campaign, she doesn't speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee."

TIME: Hillary Clinton's experience debate

... the former First Lady claims at least a share of the credit for a wide range of the Clinton Administration's signature accomplishments, both domestic and overseas. Does she deserve it? The Clinton and Obama campaigns spent this week arguing that question with dueling memos and talking points.

TIME decided to cut through the spin with a series that will take a closer look at the claims candidates make. As Senator Clinton is fond of saying, It's time to get real. We kick off the series by evaluating three of the achievements she mentions most often:


Children's Health Care... THE BOTTOM LINE: The record suggests Clinton did indeed lobby for children's health coverage but that many others were responsible as well. And it also shows that her husband nearly killed the idea before it ever got off the ground.

Northern Ireland...  THE BOTTOM LINE: Clinton played a role in hearing the concerns of Irish women left out of the peace process, and in encouraging them to put pressure on their countrymen to pursue negotiations. But that does not mean she rolled up her sleeves and conducted or led the talks that resulted in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Macedonia Refugees...  THE BOTTOM LINE: In the case of Macedonia, Clinton engaged in personal diplomacy that brought about change. But securing the return of American business partners is not the same as the opening of borders to thousands of refugees. That accomplishment was a result of broader U.S. and European efforts during the war.




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama's response to Ferraro's comment(s):

Obama’s response to Ferraro’s remarks was fairly mild. “The quickest path to the presidency [is not], ‘I want to be an African-American man named Barack Obama.’”

Obama camp casts him as underdog in Pennsylvania

Maybe Pennsylvania won't be the decider.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign, casting him as the underdog against Hillary Rodham Clinton, sought to downplay the results of Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.

"Our campaign will not be defined by Pennsylvania," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said.

Eyeing Obama coattails

A Southern House Democrat who faces a difficult reelection this year said Obama “has the potential to bring more folks to the polls and swell the ranks of Democrats.” The lawmaker, who has not endorsed either candidate, declined to speak on the record because Clinton may become the nominee.

Lawmakers have begun looking more closely at how the nominee may affect their own reelections or influence races in their states. Sensing this, Obama supporters have pushed their colleagues to consider how Obama and Clinton would impact Democratic candidates in November.



Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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