Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Wednesday, March 26, 2008



Rasmussen poll:
22% of Dems want Clinton out; 22% want Obama out

Twenty-two percent (22%) of Democratic voters nationwide say that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that an identical number—22%--say that Barack Obama should drop out.




Southern Dem warns party to avert disaster

Chief among the voices of warning is Phil Bredesen, the two-term governor of Tennessee.

If Obama were denied the nomination by Democratic insiders after winning the party’s popular vote, Bredesen said, “There would be hell to pay in the party for a long time to come.”

Bredesen is doing something about his concerns. He was in Washington this week to promote his idea for holding a “superdelegate primary” in June, in which the 795 party bigwigs would gather to hear one last time from Clinton and Obama before casting a final vote.

Rather than allow the horse-trading and bloodletting go on all summer, he’d get it over with during a two-day business meeting in a neutral, easily reached city like Dallas.


Harry Reid predicts nomination will be decided before summer convention

“I had a conversation with [Democratic National Committee Chairman] Governor [Howard] Dean today,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Las Vegas Review Journal last week. “Things are being done.” He did not elaborate as to what those “things” were.


McGovern: Hard to elect female president

George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, said Tuesday it would be easier for a black man to be elected to the White House than a woman.

"I have a feeling that in this country where we're at today in our thinking, it's going to be harder to elect a woman than to elect a black man," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I wish that weren't true ... I'd love to see Hillary as president."

McGovern says he occasionally chats with men who don't think a woman is ready for the responsibility.

"Some guy will say, 'Well, I think that's too big a job for a woman, I don't think she can handle those terrorists,'" he said, adding that he seldom hears the same thing said about a black man.


Mike Gravel to run for Libertarian nod

Fed up with being excluded from the debates and otherwise marginalized, former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska announced today that he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

That’s right, we said Mike Gravel, who had been running as a Democrat – not Representative Ron Paul, who has run on the Libertarian ticket in the past, but recently submitted his name to appear on the ballot in the remaining Republican primary contests.

Skyler McKinley, a Gravel spokesman, said that Mr. Gravel would try to pursue the Libertarian nomination at the party’s convention, which will be held in Denver on May 22-26.






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Nancy Reagan endorses McCain

After meeting McCain privately in her home, Nancy Reagan kept her comments short.

"Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided and then we endorsed," Reagan said, per AP.  "Well, obviously, this is the nominee of the party."

Of course, it's less the words than the picture that matters to the McCain folks.



McCain talks housing crisis in Los Angeles

John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans' anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis and was open to ideas for addressing the problem, but he rejected the sort of activist approaches proposed by his Democratic rivals for the presidency.

... McCain cited the $30-billion plan by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to aid homeowners and communities threatened by foreclosures, saying that it sounded "very expensive" and that he would "like to know how it's paid for."

Bush haters won't stop McCain

It turns out that President Bush may not be as large an albatross around John McCain's neck as many people think, after all...

Chavez says U.S. relations could worsen with McCain

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and fierce U.S. critic, warned on Tuesday that relations with Washington could worsen if Republican candidate John McCain wins this year's presidential election.

... "Sometimes one says, 'worse than Bush is impossible,' but we don't know," Chavez told foreign correspondents. "McCain also seems to be a man of war."








Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Insulted military blasts her serial 'sniper' lies

Hillary Rodham Clinton's lies about risking her life under sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia as first lady have infuriated the US military brass and troops.

"She has no sense of what a statement like that does to soldiers," fumed retired Maj. Gen. Walter Stewart, the former head of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

"She is insulting the command in its entirety," he said

Hillary says she erred -  'I'm human'

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire in Bosnia 12 years ago, as rival Barack Obama's campaign continued to challenge her credibility.

In a recent speech and interviews, the New York senator described a harrowing scene in Tuzla, Bosnia, in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit in But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which a young girl greeted the first lady on the tarmac.

Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that she erred in describing the scene, which she now realizes after talking with aides and others.

"So I made a mistake," she said. "That happens. It proves I'm human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation."

Hillary on Rev. Wright: "he would not have been my pastor

Hillary Clinton ended her silence on Barack Obama’s pastor on Tuesday, sharply criticizing Mr. Obama for not leaving the Chicago church where the pastor made inflammatory remarks about the United States, spread conspiracy theories about the government and made sensational comments about Mrs. Clinton.

“Given all that we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor,” Mrs. Clinton, of New York, said on Tuesday of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., at a news conference in Greensburg, Pa. She made similar comments earlier in the day in an interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “While we don’t have a choice when it comes to our relatives, we do have a choice when it comes to our pastors or our church,” she said.

Hillary reminds Obama's pledged delegates that they're welcome to switch sides

In an interview with the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hillary Clinton said:

"... remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They're just like superdelegates... There are different ways to become a delegate, there are delegates from caucuses, there are delegates from primaries, and there are the appointed delegates, they're all equal, they all have an equal vote--those are the rules of the Democratic Party."

Hillary pledges to go the distance

“I think that what we have to wait and see is what happens in the next three months. There’s been a lot of talk about what if, what if, what if. Let’s wait until we get some facts. … Over the next months, millions of people are going to vote. And we should wait and see the outcome of those votes.”

Chelsea Clinton startled by Monica query

Chelsea Clinton had a quick retort Tuesday when asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business," Clinton said during a campaign visit for her mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Watch video








Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

In Obama's new message, some foes see old liberalism

Barack Obama offers himself as a post-partisan uniter who will solve the country's problems by reaching across the aisle and beyond the framework of liberal and conservative labels he rejects as useless and outdated.

But as Obama heads into the final presidential primaries, John McCain and other Republicans have already started to brand him a standard-order left-winger, "a down-the-line liberal," as McCain strategist Charles R. Black Jr. put it, in a long line of Democratic White House hopefuls.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has also started slapping the L-word on Obama, warning that his appeal among moderate voters will diminish as they become more aware of liberal positions he took in the past, such as calling for single-payer health care and an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. "The evidence is that the more [voters] have been learning about him, the more his coalition has been shrinking," Clinton strategist Mark Penn said.

The double-barreled attack has presented Democratic voters with some persistent questions about Obama: Just how liberal is he? And even if he truly is a new kind of candidate, can he avoid being pigeonholed with an old label under sustained assault?

Dem congressional challengers do not yet believe in Obama

Despite Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) promises, many Democratic congressional candidates in conservative districts remain unconvinced that he can redraw the general election map by competing in red states.

While Obama is popular among some challengers seeking an edge in contested primaries, other non-incumbents have shied away from endorsing him. Most are staying out of the fray, endorsing neither Obama nor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Obama's ex-pastor cancels speeches

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, presidential candidate Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, has canceled plans to speak at three services at a Houston church on Sunday, the church's pastor said.

... Wright also canceled his appearance Tuesday in Florida at a Tampa-area church. The hosting church said it asked Wright to cancel his scheduled three-day appearance because of security questions.

Wright had been expected to be in North Texas over the weekend to be honored by the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, but it was unclear whether he would still be attending.



Taxes: Obamas prospered as he soared

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle pulled in $3.9 million from 2000 through 2006, according to tax returns posted Tuesday on his presidential campaign’s website.

They gave $148,000 to charity in that span, including $27,500 to Trinity United Church of Christ when the polarizing Rev. Jeremiah Wright was leading the congregation.

... In 2005, Obama’s first year in the Senate, the Obamas enjoyed their most lucrative year.

In addition to the $1.2 million Barack Obama received from book-related payments that year, Michelle Obama saw her salary from the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she works as an administrator, more than double to $317,000.

see also: Obama releases 7 years of tax returns




Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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