Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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


Weekend Report, March 29-30, 2008


Obama to Clinton: Stay in the race

“My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run
as long as she wants,” Mr. Obama said
at a press conference in the high school
gymnasium here. “Her name is on the ballot.
She is a fierce and formidable opponent
and she obviously believes she would make
the best nominee and the best president.”





Reid to candidates: 'Cool it.'

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, is among the Democratic party leaders concerned about the tone of the presidential campaign. In an interview, Mr. Reid said that Democrats fretting over divisions in the party “need to relax and cool it a little bit.”

He said he has had separate conversations with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and former Vice President Al Gore recently and is confident that the nominating fight will end naturally.

“People should not lament what is going on,” Mr. Reid said. “This will be over long before the convention. Does it mean June 5 or two weeks from now? I don’t know, but this will all be just fine.”


Gore thinks Dem race will resolve itself

He's increasingly mentioned as a potential Democratic powerbroker, but former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday he still expects his party's heated White House race will resolve itself.

"What have we got, five months left?" Gore told the Associated Press after delivering a speech at Middle Tennessee State University.

"I think it's going to resolve itself, but we'll see," he added.


Dean wants superdelegates to decide by July 1

DNC chairman Howard Dean: “Well, I think the superdelegates have already been weighing in. I think that there's 800 of them and 450 of them have already said who they're for. I'd like the other 350 to say who they're at some point between now and the first of July so we don't have to take this into the convention.”

see also: Dean: Dem race too personal


Sunday talk shows:

Bloomberg's 'Political Capital':

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama discuss economic issues (in separate interviews)

ABC 'This Week':

Clinton supporter Gov. Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania); Obama supporter Sen. John Kerry; McCain supporter Sen. Joe Lieberman

CBS 'Face the Nation':

Obama supporter Gov. Bill Richardson

NBC 'Meet the Press':

CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden

'Fox News Sunday':

war in Iraq

CNN 'Late Edition':

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson (Florida) discusses his controversial plan to abolish the Electoral College





John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain guru linked to subprime crisis

The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.



McCain launching 'biographical' tour

Reintroducing himself to voters as the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, Senator John McCain will visit several states next week in what his campaign is billing as a biographical tour.

Each stop will represent a chapter in McCain's life and military career and be used to emphasize a "service to America" theme and to highlight issues and aspects of his character...

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.

McCain targets Obama in new general election ad

The ad, is called "624787."

That's not some weird new zip code;
that was McCain's Navy serial number
which you see him rattle off from
his hospital bed as a North Vietnamese
prisoner of war.       watch it

McCain's ad prompts chatter

Generating the most attention, though, is the ad's final line: "John McCain: The American president Americans have been waiting for." It appears to be an allusion to Obama's much-quoted line that "we are the ones we have been waiting for." But it has also sparked an online debate about what is meant by "American president."

Bloggers and commenters on political Web sites wondered what other kind of president American voters would be selecting. Is "American" a harmless patriotic modifier, or is McCain seeking to raise doubts about Sen. Barack Obama, a potential opponent who has an exotic African name, spent much of his youth living in a Muslim country and attended a church run by a pastor known for his occasional anti-American rhetoric?





Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Cash-strapped Clinton fails to pay bills

Hillary Clinton's cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys, but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small business circles...

Hillary: the people want me to fight to the end

"There are millions of reasons to continue this race: people in Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina, and all of the contests yet to come," Clinton told reporters Friday. "This is a very close race and clearly I believe strongly that everyone should have their voices heard and their votes counted."

The former first lady weathered a two-pronged blow Friday, with influential Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. endorsing Obama and another Senate colleague, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, urging her to step aside. But to hear Clinton tell it, it was just another day in an epic primary battle whose result is still not known.

"I believe a spirited contest is good for the Democratic Party and will strengthen the eventual nominee," she said. "We will have a united party behind whomever that nominee is. ... I look forward to campaigning over the next several months."

In Pa., Hillary's got a friend in Murtha

...she owes him. When Murtha announced last week that he would endorse the senator from New York, he gave her a uniquely valuable gift. No politician is better positioned to deliver votes when Pennsylvania holds its presidential primary on April 22 than Murtha, who has lived in the same Johnstown neighborhood since winning a House seat in 1974.

Many constituents and local politicians revere Murtha for his loyalty in bringing new business to a region abandoned by steel, coal and Coca-Cola. Others fear his reputation as an old-school politician given to shouting matches and backroom dealings. But almost everyone in this corner of Pennsylvania agrees: Usually, it's wise to follow Murtha's lead.

"When the congressman speaks, we listen, and we pretty much do as he says," said Rich Kasunic, a state senator. "He is the type of politician that comes around once every 50 years in Washington. He has an incredible presence, and his word means more than anyone's to us."

Chelsea says mom would be better prez than dad

"Well, again, I don't take anything for granted, but hopefully with Pennsylvania's help, she will be our next president, and yes, I do think she'll be a better president," Ms. Clinton said.

Bill Clinton praises McCain... again

For the second time in a week, Bill Clinton offered high praise for Republican presidential nominee John McCain — the candidate who could end up squaring off against Clinton’s wife Hillary.

At a stop in rural Pennsylvania on Thursday, Bill told the gathering that McCain is a “moderate” who “has given all you can give for this country without dying for it.”

He said McCain is on the right side in opposing the torture of enemy combatants and on the global warming issue, which “just about crosses the bridge for [Republicans].”

Clinton also told the audience that the race should not about the past, but about who is going to do more for the country in the future, ABC News reported. That person, he said, is Hillary.

One week ago Clinton expressed similar sentiments at a gathering in North Carolina, calling McCain a war hero who had demonstrated his love for his country.

Clinton noted that McCain supported campaign finance reform and “he doesn’t think global warming is a myth … so it is not going to be all that easy to beat him.”

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.







Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Gallup poll: Barack is back in the lead

Today's Gallup Poll Daily tracking update finds Barack Obama with an eight percentage point advantage over Hillary Clinton (50% to 42%), this gives him a statistically significant advantage for the first time since before the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy.



Obama's 'Big Oil' ad draws fire

In his second new TV spot of the day — this one now playing in Pennsylvania — Barack Obama takes a strong stand against Big Oil, saying he “won’t let them block change anymore.”

... Mr. Obama proposes putting a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies, and he says he’ll end American dependence on foreign petroleum. He can take aggressive steps against Exxon Mobil, he points out, because he hasn’t accepted donations from oil companies or lobbyists.

... Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign was quick to send out an e-mail accusing Mr. Obama of making false statements in his ad, saying he has received more than $160,000 from the oil and gas companies.

... Bill Burton, press secretary for the Obama campaign, reaffirmed the ad’s message, saying “Senator Obama is the only candidate in the race who doesn’t accept campaign contributions from special interests PACs and Washington lobbyists, and that includes oil companies and oil lobbyists.”

Obama vindicated on law school title

As the first in a bill of particulars titled "Just Embellished Words: Senator Obama’s Record of Exaggerations & Misstatements," the Clinton campaign charged earlier this week: "Sen. Obama consistently and falsely claims that he was a law professor. ...

But the University of Chicago Law School has now posted a statement declaring his claims semantically sound: "The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as 'Senior Lecturer.' From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."


Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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