Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Thursday, March 27, 2008


McCain leads by 10 over Obama, Clinton

John McCain continues to lead both potential Democratic opponents. McCain leads Barack Obama 51% to 41% and Hillary Clinton 51% to 41%. McCain is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 41%. Obama’s reviews are 46% favorable and 52% unfavorable. For Clinton, those numbers are 44% favorable, 54% unfavorable.





Joe Klein: Give it to Gore

A prominent fund raiser told me, "Gore-Obama is the ticket a lot of people wanted in the first place." A congressional Democrat told me, "This could be our way out of a mess." Others suggested Gore was painfully aware of his limitations as a candidate. "I don't know that he'd be interested, even if you handed it to him," said a Gore friend. Chances are, no one will hand it to him. The Democratic Party would have to be monumentally desperate come June. And yet ... is this scenario any more preposterous than the one that gave John McCain the Republican nomination? Yes, it's silly season. But this has been an exceptionally "silly" year.

see also: Lasting harm feared in Dem battle



GOP looks to 'McCain Democrats'

A new analysis of March polling data suggests that John McCain's cross-party support surpasses that of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

... The new analysis, calculated from a compilation of the Gallup Organization’s daily polls between March 7 and 22, seems to indicate that there are more “McCain Democrats” than the much-ballyhooed “Obama Republicans” — or “Obamacans,” as they are sometimes referred to.



Bush rakes in millions for GOP

President Bush this year has already raised nearly half the amount of money for the Republican Party and candidates he did all of last year, in a role in which the lame-duck leader still excels despite his low job-approval ratings.

Mr. Bush, after a $2 million fundraiser Tuesday night at the Virginia home of a finance director for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, had raised $30.1 million this year for various Republican Party groups and candidates, compared with $66.6 million in 2007, according to numbers provided by the Republican National Committee.






Conservatives more liberal givers

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.


Ann Coulter:

"In liberal-speak, only a Democrat can be swiftboated.
Democrats are 'swiftboated'; Republicans are 'guilty.'"






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain, Romney to campaign together

John McCain was getting some help Thursday from former Republican rival Mitt Romney, a pairing that two months ago seemed improbable as the two fought bitterly for the party's presidential nomination.

In their first campaign swing as allies, Romney planned to meet McCain at the airport in Salt Lake City and appear with the likely Republican nominee at a fundraiser. The two then were traveling to Denver for a second fundraiser.

McCain, who has struggled to raise campaign money, is on a weeklong western fundraising swing.

Novak: McCain could score with payroll tax cut

...As part of Democratic obsession with making a progressive tax system still more progressive and redistributing income, Obama actually would raise the $97,500 cap on the payroll tax, and his $500 tax credit would not change payroll tax withholding for employee or employer. There is an open field for John McCain, if he has the wit and will to enter it.

McCain: Collaborate more with allies

John McCain on Wednesday called anew for the United States to work more collegially with democratic allies and live up to its duties as a world leader, drawing a sharp contrast to the past eight years under President Bush.

"Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed," the likely presidential nominee said in a speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. "We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies," McCain added.

speech transcript

see also: McCain: We can't do whatever we want

McCain works to answer age, health questions far, McCain has kept any doubters at bay with a tough work schedule. He holds lengthy town-hall meetings that include a speech and question-and-answer session, and he holds court with reporters on his bus on the way to events.

McCain impresses his much-younger aides with his stamina...

.. McCain is known to take the medication Vytorin to keep his cholesterol low. He also takes vitamins. For exercise, he hikes up and down the hills near his Sedona, Arizona, ranch.

Doctors say there is no reason why McCain would not be able to serve as president.

But they note that certain health risk factors come into play for Americans in their 70s, such as the potential for heart disease and cancer.

McCain's unpredictability worries conservatives

If there's one constant to his 25 years in Congress, the last 21 in the Senate, it's that McCain has voted with conservatives often enough to have a legitimate claim to have been, as he frequently puts it, "a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution."

But he's also bolted from the right often enough to invite suspicion from true believers. Asked if McCain could be trusted as a conservative, for instance, Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, smiled and said, "I'm going to dodge that question."

Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, praised most of McCain's votes on guns, but quickly added, "We've had some high-profile disagreements."






Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Poll: Hillary hits lowest

As expected, one of the two major Democratic candidates saw a downturn in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, but it's not the candidate that you think. Hillary Clinton is sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign. Moreover, her 37 percent positive rating is the lowest the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.



Elton John/Hillary fundraiser - illegal?

According to the FEC, FECA "prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment."

The question now is whether Elton John is contributing "indirectly" to Mrs. Clinton's campaign and whether the candidate herself has sought to "solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations" from a foreign national, which is unlawful.

Clinton donors warn Pelosi on superdelegate rift

A group of prominent Hillary Clinton donors sent a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asking her to retract her comments on superdelegates and stay out of the Democratic fight over their role in the presidential race.

Pelosi responds:

Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), responded late Wednesday night to a letter by supporters of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton urging his boss to stop making comments about the superdelegates respecting the will of Democratic primary voters and caucus-goers:

“Speaker Pelosi is confident that superdelegates will choose between Sens. Clinton or Obama — our two strong candidates — before the convention in August," Daly said. "That choice will be based on many considerations, including respecting the decisions of millions of Americans who have voted in primaries and participated in caucuses. The speaker believes it would do great harm to the Democratic Party if superdelegates are perceived to overturn the will of the voters. This has been her position throughout this primary season, regardless of who was ahead at any particular point in delegates or votes.”

Bill Clinton to lead wooing of California superdelegates

Nearly eight weeks after New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won California's Democratic primary, former President Bill Clinton will return to the state Sunday for some unfinished business.

He'll be trying to persuade undeclared "superdelegates" – Ed Espinosa among them – to vote for his wife.

Officially, Clinton is the featured speaker Sunday at this weekend's California Democratic Party convention. The San Jose gathering will draw 2,000 Democratic activists, at least five rumored 2010 state gubernatorial candidates and scores of other hopefuls seeking election to political office in California.

Bubba talks tough in West Virginia:

Bill Clinton said yesterday in West Virginia:

"If a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office. If a football player doesn't want to get tackled or want the risk of an a occasional clip he shouldn't put the pads on."






Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Pastor Wright flap hasn't hurt Obama

The racially charged debate over Barack Obama's relationship with his longtime pastor hasn't much changed his close contest against Hillary Clinton, or hurt him against Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Journal/NBC polls with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, called the latest poll a "myth-buster" that showed the pastor controversy is "not the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign."

Obama's plan for economic woes

To fix the economy, Obama proposed relief for homeowners and an additional $30 billion stimulus package to address the nation's economic woes.

... Obama dismissed Republican rival John McCain's approach as pure hands-off. On Tuesday, McCain derided government intervention to save and reward banks or small borrowers who behave irresponsibly though he offered few immediate alternatives for fixing the country's growing housing crisis. Obama said McCain's plan "amounts to little more than watching this crisis happen."

Instead, Obama said, the next president should:

     Expand oversight to any institution that borrows from the government.

     Toughen capital requirements for complex financial instruments like mortgage securities.

     Streamline regulatory agencies to end overlap and competition among regulators.

Bloomberg, Obama meeting fuels endorsement rumors

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will stand side by side with Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama for the second time in four months Thursday. Bloomberg will introduce the Illinois senator at a speech on the economy at Cooper Union College.

They have spent time with each other in the past, but Bloomberg's latest appearance with Obama is fueling speculation about whether the mayor will officially endorse the presidential candidate.

The billionaire mayor had considered his own independent presidential campaign, but said last month that he had decided not to run. He said his focus would be on getting the candidates to embrace a bipartisan approach.




Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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