Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

Donate Online Now it's easy!!

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


Friday, March 21, 2008



Security breach on McCain, Clinton & Obama passport files

An embarrassed State Department admitted today that the passport files of all three presidential candidates -- Sens. John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- have been breached by its employees.

The bombshell announcement came within hours of the admission that Obama's personal file was improperly accessed several times earlier this year -- and no one was notified of the breach.






Poll: McCain gains from Obama/Clinton battle

1 in 5 Dems to defect to McCain if their candidate loses

The lengthy Democratic primary contest bodes well for Republican chances of holding the White House, a new poll suggests.

As Democratic Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York slug it out for the nomination, many of their supporters -- at least in Pennsylvania, site of the next major primary -- aren't committed to the party's ticket in November, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Among Obama supporters, 20 percent said they would vote for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, if Clinton beats their candidate for the nomination. Among Clinton supporters, 19 percent said they would support McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee. (See poll)


Obama sets single-month record: $55M

Hillary Clinton upped the tempo of her fundraising and her spending last month, only to be eclipsed by rival Barack Obama. At month's end, with debts of nearly $9 million, her money was nearly spent and he was sitting atop $30 million in available cash.

Obama's campaign spent at a rate of nearly $1.5 million a day in February, a crucial month that began with the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday and ended with both candidates marching to a showdown March 4 in Texas and Ohio. Clinton, riding her best fundraising period yet, spent about $1 million a day on average.

But reports filed with the Federal Election commission late Thursday showed that Obama set a single-month fundraising record, with more than $55 million in contributions.

'O' what a lucky break this fellow is getting... "The very week he faces his toughest obstacle ever - one that may still derail his candidacy - Obama gets a near-game-ending pot of gold."

Obama-rella: a bad week turned good...

McCain getting crushed by Obama in money war...


Pennsylvania voter registration skyrockets

Since November, statewide Democratic enrollment has grown by more than 111,000, an increase of about three percent. State Elections Commissioner Harry VanSickle told the Associated Press that such growth appears to be unprecedented. Democratic registration is approaching 4 million, which would be a record.

Clinton has 16-pt lead in Pennsylvania poll


Michigan ends revote bid

With Florida Democrats already all but giving up on a new contest, the Michigan state Senate's decision to adjourn yesterday without acting on a new primary left in limbo a Clinton strategy that relied on a string of victories in the remaining contests, to be capped by victories in the Michigan and Florida revotes, to help her gain ground in both the pledged-delegate and popular-vote totals against Sen. Barack Obama...


Clinton, Obama are Wall Street darlings

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who are running for president as economic populists, are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions from the troubled financial services sector.

It is part of a broader fundraising shift toward Democrats, compared to past campaigns when Republicans were the favorites of Wall Street.

Some Democrats worry that the influx of money will make their candidates less willing to call for increased regulation of financial markets, which have been in turmoil after a wave of foreclosures on sub-prime mortgages.





John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain ahead in some national polls

...the latest Gallup tracking poll showed good news for Mr. McCain, who has clinched the Republican nomination. The Arizona senator has erased Mr. Obama's once double-digit lead in hypothetical matchups and now leads the Democrat 47 to 43. He also leads Mrs. Clinton of New York 48 to 45. The Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll for yesterday had Mr. McCain ahead by even wider margins — 49-42 over Mr. Obama and 51-41 over Mrs. Clinton.


John McCain: International man

For the past week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been front and center on the world stage....

Unofficially, campaign aides said the international journey was an opportunity for McCain to appear statesmanlike as he confers with world leaders on issues of international importance, including national security and the terrorism.

McCain aide circulates Obama/Wright video, is suspended

An aide to John McCain was suspended from the campaign today for blasting out an inflammatory video that raises questions about Barack Obama's patriotism.  

Soren Dayton, who works in McCain's political department, sent out the YouTube link of "Is Obama Wright?" on twitter at 12:31 today with the tag, "Good video on Obama and Wright."  It has since been taken down.

Twitter is an online device that allows users to send out short messages and links en masse through computers or PDAs.

McCain, PM Brown discuss Iraq war

Sen. John McCain on Thursday conceded that the British public is "frustrated" over the war in Iraq, but warned that the battle is not won despite recent improvements in the security situation.

"The fact is Al Qaeda is on the run. They are not defeated; they are not defeated. And we're going to have to continue training Iraqi military and doing what we've been doing," McCain said after meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a foreign policy swing through the Middle East and Europe.




McCain moves towards public financing

McCain’s campaign stressed Thursday he hasn’t decided whether to participate in the public financing program. But this month, he filed papers with the Federal Election Commission creating a separate campaign account that would enable him to make the public money go further.



Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Hillary Clinton's passport file also breached

The AP reports that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that her passport file was breached in 2007.

Clinton's office broke the news in a statement that carried none of the outrage of the Obama campaign's statement last night on a similar breach of Obama's file.

The statement from her Senate office:

This morning, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contacted Sen. Clinton in order to inform her that the senator's passport file was breached in 2007. The State Department will be briefing Sen. Clinton's staff this afternoon to provide details about the recent unauthorized breaches of passport records. Sen. Clinton will closely monitor the State Department's investigation into this and the other breaches of private passport information.

Hillary treats Obama pastor with extreme caution

Clinton advisers have asked their allies not to talk openly about the [Obama/Wright] issue, for fear it could create a voter backlash and alienate black Democrats. They also say Mr. Obama, of Illinois, is in enough trouble over Mr. Wright that they do not need to foment more...

Hillary Clinton's experience is debated

Hillary Clinton's trip to Egypt as First Lady in 1999 offers a case study of her foreign policy role during her husband's presidency. While traveling across North Africa, she devoted little time to heads of state and negotiated no agreements, but instead met community leaders, explored local issues and culture, hit major tourist sites and gave speeches on women's rights and other topics important to her.

Whether that has made her "tested and ready" to be president from the first day, as she now claims, is a burning issue on the campaign trail.

Obama camp says Hillary Clinton misrepresented her support for NAFTA

Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday accused Hillary Clinton of purposely distorting her position on the North American Free Trade Agreement, pointing to newly released White House schedules that show Mrs. Clinton attended several meetings on the trade pact while first lady.

... In a conference call with reporters, Obama advisers described Mrs. Clinton’s White House meetings as evidence that she had misrepresented her support for NAFTA. She has said that she has been a critic of NAFTA “from the very beginning.”




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama grandma gaffes... "typical white person"

Obama didn't do himself any favors Thursday, speaking about his white grandmother in a Quote We'll Read Again: "She is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, well there's a reaction that's in our experiences that won't go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it."

"Obama aides rushed yesterday to clarify the 'typical white person' remark," Michael Saul reports in the New York Daily News. Said Ben LaBolt, an Obama spokesman: "His intentions may have been misconstrued."

watch video of Obama's explanation



Minister's remarks unlikely to fade soon

"He can give a speech a week, and it's not going to make the issue go away," said Chris LaCivita, a Republican adviser who helped create the "Swift Boat" ads that severely damaged John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

In his much-discussed speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday, Obama strongly condemned Wright's most controversial statements. But he did not repudiate Wright or his overall ministry, saying the man who officiated at his wedding is like a family member.

The decision will haunt Obama, LaCivita said, because his political success is built on his image as a uniter and almost messianic figure who eschews divisive strategies. When that image is juxtaposed to Wright's outbursts comparing the United States to the Ku Klux Klan, among other things, voters will wonder if they misread Obama and his true character, he said.

Obama campaign leaks photo of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright to NY Times

During one of the most difficult periods in the presidency of Bill Clinton, he addressed a group of clerics at an annual prayer breakfast in September 1998 just as the Starr report outlining his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was about to be published.

Among those in attendance, was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who is seen shaking hands with Mr. Clinton in a photograph provided by the Obama campaign...

...In providing the photograph to The New York Times, the Obama campaign appeared to be trying to divert some attention to the Clintons after a week in which Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Wright has left him facing one of the biggest challenges of his campaign. There is nothing in the picture or the note that addresses whether Mr. Clinton had met Mr. Wright prior to the White House meeting or whether he or Mrs. Clinton knew anything about Mr. Wright’s views...

Clinton aide: Obama pushing Wright photo 'pathetic'

Bill Richardson endorses Obama

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a ''once-in-a- lifetime leader'' who can unite the nation and restore America's international leadership.

Richardson, who dropped out of the Democratic race in January, is to appear with Obama on Friday at a campaign event in Portland, Ore.

Richardson's key line, from the endorsement announcement: "There is no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama has the judgment and courage we need in a commander in chief when our nation's security is on the line."

Obama's passport files violated; 2 workers at State fired

Two State Department employees were fired recently and a third disciplined for improperly accessing electronic personal data on Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Bush administration officials said.

The officials, all contract workers, used their authorized computer network access to look up files within the department's consular affairs section, which processes and stores passport information, and read Mr. Obama's passport application and other records, in violation of department privacy rules, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Obama camp calls for complete investigation

Spokesman Sean McCormack said the State department itself detected the instances of "imprudent curiosity," which occurred separately on Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14. He would not release the names of the employees.

... Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama's presidential campaign, called for a complete investigation.

... "This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama's passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach," he said.

see also: Motive sought for Obama passport breach

              Rice to Obama: sorry



Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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