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Weekend Report, May 3-4, 2008



Sunday TV, one hot rivalry fuels another

another rivalry will play out when Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton sit for competing hourlong interviews on Sunday morning. It is the one between their interviewers, Tim Russert of NBC News, who had scored a coup by having Mr. Obama sit down with him on “Meet the Press” two days before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, who announced on Thursday that he would interview Mrs. Clinton on “This Week” about the same time.


Republicans crossing over to vote in Democratic contests

Since the start of the primary and caucus season in January, Republican voters have been crossing over in increasing numbers to vote in Democratic contests — supplying up to 10 percent of the vote in states that allow such crossover voting — and they are expected to play a pivotal role in the fiercely contested primary in Indiana. What is less clear, however, is the motivation for their behavior: are they genuinely attracted by the two Democratic candidates? Or are they mischief-making spoilers, looking to prolong a divisive Democratic fight or support a candidate Mr. McCain can beat in November?



DNC coffers dry amid flood of Dem cash

Despite record hauls by Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the DNC has raised less than half the amount taken in by the Republican National Committee.

According to the latest Federal Election Commission reports filed through the end of March, the RNC had $31 million in cash on hand while the DNC had only $5.3 million. The RNC has raised $36.5 million this year while the DNC has raised $17.7 million.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain blames bridge collapse on earmarks - then backs off

This week, McCain blamed earmarks for the deadly 2007 collapse of a Minnesota bridge. According to the Associated Press, he told reporters that the bridge "collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

... According to AP, McCain backtracked somewhat Thursday, stating that he couldn't be sure if redirected spending would have prevented the tragedy. "Do I know specifically whether it would have replaced that bridge in Minneapolis? No, but I know that funding would have been available for higher-priority projects," he said.

McCain swings outreach to right

After courting traditionally Democratic voters, Republican John McCain will tend to his conservative roots for a new round of voter outreach.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has scheduled speeches on judges and gun rights — two issues that have fueled the success of conservative candidates going back to Ronald Reagan...

McCain's 'Mission accomplished' misstep

"To state the obvious, I thought it was wrong at the time," said McCain. "I thought phrases like 'a few dead-enders,' 'last throes,' all of those comments contributed over time to the frustration and sorrow of Americans because those statements and comments did not comport with the facts on the ground."

The veracity of McCain's claim about how he felt regarding the banner, which appeared behind President Bush on the deck of the USS Lincoln on May 1, 2003, was challenged Thursday when the Democratic National Committee unearthed video of McCain talking approvingly of the banner in a June 11, 2003 Fox News interview.



Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Clinton touts support from 7 former DNC chiefs

One day after a former Democratic National Committee chairman switched his endorsement from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Senator Barack Obama, the Clinton campaign sought to reclaim ground Friday afternoon by releasing a letter from seven former D.N.C. chairs –- and the family of an eighth -– making the case for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy to Democratic Party leaders.

Hillary dishes to People magazine

Hillary Rodham Clinton is still eating jalapenos, she follows the practical advice given by ladies’ magazines, and she’d hang out with Abraham Lincoln if she could go on a date with any famous person, alive or dead.

People magazine interviewed Senator Clinton last Monday in Greensboro, N.C. and asked her 25 questions ranging from the serious to the silly. Read the highlights from the magazine’s latest issue: click

Clinton pulls even with Obama nationally

THE NUMBERS - Pew Research Center:

Barack Obama, 47 percent   Hillary Rodham Clinton, 45 percent

Hillary town hall to be hosted by Stephanopoulos

Just hours before the Indiana and North Carolina presidential primaries, ABC NEWS has offered to air a 'town hall' meeting with Hillary Clinton -- to be hosted by former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos!

...Stephanopoulos helped run Mr. Clinton's first presidential election campaign and acted as his press secretary and advisor on policy and strategy before joining ABC NEWS...







Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Another Dem ex-chairman
to declare 'Obama'

the Obama campaign rolls out another former DNC chairman's endorsement on Friday: Paul Kirk, a superdelegate who led the party from 1985-1989, is coming out for Obama -- a day after Joe Andrew's switch...

Pruden: Has anybody got a flag pin?

Barack Obama, hotly pursued by his preacher and the crazy preacher's aggressive racism, has revised his stump speech. His once formidable polling lead over Hillary Clinton has dwindled to the single digits. The man who wouldn't wear a tiny American flag on his lapel is looking for a flag pin the size of a bass fiddle.

... the senator's own dream, which only a fortnight ago looked so dreamy, has begun to feel more like a nightmare. He was leading in North Carolina by 25 points — unrealistic then, to be sure — and yesterday that lead had shrunk to 14 points (Rasmussen), 12 (Public Policy Polling) or even to 5 (Survey USA), depending on which pollster you believe.

Worse, a poll taken for New York Times-CBS News shows a spectacular decline in the number of voters who think Sen. Obama is the inevitable Democratic nominee. (Hillary was once inevitable, too, so inevitability is not always reliable.) A month ago, nearly 70 percent of the Democrats expected Sen. Obama to be their nominee; now barely half (51 percent) do.

Will voters accept Obama's gas plea?

The presidential candidate has staked out a politically treacherous position by opposing the three-month suspension of the federal gas tax proposed last month by Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, and embraced by Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton...

North Carolina: a pulpit-and-pews gulf on Obama's ex-pastor

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., under fire for statements that have embarrassed Senator Barack Obama’s campaign, has found staunch support in the pulpits of black churches around North Carolina. The people in the pews, however, are far less accepting.

Obama holds big lead over Clinton in North Carolina

Five days before the important Democratic presidential primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, Barack Obama of Illinois enjoys a substantial lead in one state and remains tied with Hillary Clinton of New York in the other, a new Zogby daily tracking poll shows.

Obama leads by a 50% to 34% margin over Clinton in North Carolina, while the two are tied at 42% support each in Indiana.







Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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