RE: Obama takes black support from Clinton (Full Version)

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matthewforan -> RE: Obama takes black support from Clinton (1/5/2007 5:50:49 PM)

That is intresting, Gore is doing something big this week i forget what it is but i heard it on the radio and it would be the perfect time for him to declare. And good luck to him.

Rgirvan44 -> RE: Obama takes black support from Clinton (1/5/2007 6:58:45 PM)

If Gore does announce that knocks Edwards out - they appeal to the same base in the Democratic party. It would be clever of him to hold back, let the others tear at each other then step in as the best last hope to win the White House but with global warming almost becoming a ideological viewpoint in America (and yes thats stupid) he will be seen by the right how Bush is seen by the left.

The Republicans are excellent at two things. Changing the focus of an arguemnts and changing the issues in an election - they are already primed for Clinton (notice how quiet they are about her - the attacks will start the second she gets the nomination, if she does of course) and I'm sure they would attack Gore just as hard.

I just don't know if this is something he wants to commit to, not to mention that if a Democrat does win it would be stupid not to make him Enviromental Sec.

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Obama takes black support from Clinton (2/5/2007 3:50:36 PM)

If Gore declares it would throw the race wide open.  According to my friends I have no life whatsoever to be getting excited about this but who cares, this is exciting.  I only wish British politics could be this engrossing.  If Gore doesn't declare and Obama or Clinton wins, surely Gore is the only candidate for Environment secretary.  Who could they possibly get other than Gore to be environment secretar?.  Cant wait for the nomination!

matthewforan -> RE: Obama takes black support from Clinton (2/5/2007 4:05:45 PM)

Yeah Soph you have a point i even started to buy the Times during the last one, which my mates thought was weird. Then again when you're living on your own and you usually spend all your money on booze it probably is a bit strange. I'm not sure who i want to win, but you've got to admit it would be interesting to see Gore win.

Woger -> RE: The Race for the White House - 2008 Election (4/5/2007 10:16:21 PM)

Important questions are being asked.

LB Jeffries -> Guiliani toast? (8/5/2007 2:12:18 PM)

Rudy Guiliani suffered a massive setback to his hopes of securing the Republican nomination when it was revealed made SIX seperate donations to Planned Parenthood during the 90's:


Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the '90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country's leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.
Federal tax returns made public by the former New York mayor show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.
The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani's support for Planned Parenthood -- along with e-mailed copies of the returns -- was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.
Giuliani's old contributions could echo throughout the 2008 GOP nomination battle, as he seeks to lessen the political impact of his support for abortion rights -- an unpopular position among the social conservatives who in recent elections have weighed decisively in the primaries and caucuses.

Guiliani will crucified in the primaries because of this and with Fred Thompson waiting in the wings to be the salvation of social conservatives (who dislike pretty much all the Republican front-runners) it could make all the difference.

Woger -> RE: Guiliani toast? (10/5/2007 9:49:26 AM)



Rudy Guiliani suffered a massive setback to his hopes of securing the Republican nomination when it was revealed made SIX seperate donations to Planned Parenthood during the 90's:


Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the '90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country's leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.
Federal tax returns made public by the former New York mayor show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.
The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani's support for Planned Parenthood -- along with e-mailed copies of the returns -- was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.
Giuliani's old contributions could echo throughout the 2008 GOP nomination battle, as he seeks to lessen the political impact of his support for abortion rights -- an unpopular position among the social conservatives who in recent elections have weighed decisively in the primaries and caucuses.

Guiliani will crucified in the primaries because of this and with Fred Thompson waiting in the wings to be the salvation of social conservatives (who dislike pretty much all the Republican front-runners) it could make all the difference.

So did Romneys wife.

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Guiliani toast? (13/5/2007 7:39:15 PM)

This is so much more interesting than Brown convincing the country he can actually crack a smile.  It'll be interesting to see who the Republicans choose.  Roll on next year.....

LB Jeffries -> Bloomberg About To Throw Presidential Race Wide Open? (15/5/2007 8:10:19 PM)


Bloomy Tops Rudy In Battle Of The Titans
Michael Bloomberg is not only a better mayor of New York than Rudy Giuliani - he'd make a better President, too.
That's the result of a Daily News poll released today that asked the voters who know best - New Yorkers - which man belongs in the White House.
City voters overwhelmingly chose Mayor Mike over America's Mayor as their pick for President, 46% to 29%.
"I feel in my heart Bloomberg is a better man," said Jaen Garcia, 53, of Highbridge, the Bronx.
Bloomberg insists he's not running for President, even though he has dropped more than a few tantalizing clues, including traveling around the country, pushing national policy changes and reviving his Web site.
If he decided to enter the race - most likely as an independent - Bloomberg and his billions could cast a huge shadow.
But whether he's willing to take on GOP front-runner Giuliani remains to be seen. Giuliani enjoys a national reputation as the man who cleaned up New York and held the country together in the devastating weeks and months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Here at home, though, it's a different story, The News' survey shows.
Some 56% of voters said Bloomberg has been as the more effective mayor, and 29% picked Giuliani. An additional 10% ranked them about the same, and 5% didn't know.
"I like that everything Bloomberg said he is going to do for the city, he did. There are more charter schools and I like that," said Sharran Roberts, a 30-year-old mother from Bushwick, Brooklyn.
"[Giuliani] did over his wife, he did over [New Yorkers] and he is not going to do it with the country," Roberts said.
Blum & Weprin Associates surveyed 503 registered voters in a Bloomberg-Giuliani showdown and the 2009 mayoral race for The News. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
In the poll, Bloomberg trounces Giuliani among every demographic group as a better mayor and potential President except Republicans and voters under age 30.
"I'd vote for them as a presidential team, but egos get in the way," said Dan Ricciardi, a 54-year-old doctor from Brooklyn Heights. "[Bloomberg] is more of an elitist, but he is an excellent mayor."
The survey found Giuliani's biggest weakness as mayor was with African-Americans, where he trailed Bloomberg by 64% to 20%.
"Giuliani was a very hostile person to the African-American community," said Michael Lewis, a 58-year-old African-American from the upper West Side. "I don't particularly like Bloomberg, either, but he is less rigid."
Not surprisingly, Bloomberg's greatest vote of confidence for President came from the richest voters - those earning more than $100,000 annually - who prefer him, 61% to 31%.
"I just see [Bloomberg] as a better person," said Susan Gershen, a 63-year-old upper West Sider. "And I'd be interested in what he has to say if he runs for President.

Bloomberg '08 - When Not If

The announcement of a Bloomberg for President campaign in 2008 increasingly appears to be less a matter of "if" and more a question of "when."
The hints dropped by Mayor Mike and his aides are coming so thick and fast you have to duck to avoid being hit upside the head.
On Friday, Bloomberg traveled to Texas and Oklahoma - two states that just so happen to have the most difficult ballot access and where any independent presidential candidate would be wise to get an early start.
While in Houston, Bloomberg delivered a speech to business leaders about national energy policy - hardly a top concern for a contented mayor - and slammed Washington lawmakers for "passing the buck" on energy reform.
The multibillionaire mayor then flew to Oklahoma City on his private jet (no campaign plane funded by special interest donors for him), where he visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum - a not-so-subtle reminder that New York has its own memorial to build.
He insists he has no designs on the White House but just relaunched his Web site from his successful mayoral campaigns.
Today, Bloomberg will lobby state lawmakers in Albany on his controversial congestion pricing proposal - part of a bold bid to make New York City greener that has drawn accolades from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who could prove to be a key ally in a state rich in electoral votes.
Need more proof of Bloomberg's '08 aspirations?
How about his national coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns?
What about those meetings between Bloomberg's top political adviser, Kevin Sheekey, and state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay, at which the topic of a nationwide ballot access strategy was discussed? These get-togethers, first reported here three weeks ago, were picked up by the Daily Telegraph of London on Saturday.
Pundits say Bloomberg is unlikely to run if the Republican presidential nominee is Rudy Giuliani, despite the fact that the results of today's Daily News poll show more New Yorkers think the current mayor would be a better commander in chief.
"This is not going to translate to the rest of the country," warned Blum & Weprin Associates President Mickey Blum, who conducted the Daily News poll. "Nationally, people think of Giuliani as the person who cleaned up New York City. They don't necessarily credit Bloomberg with much of anything. They just don't know him."
But with the $500 million to $1 billion the mayor is speculated to be willing to spend if he runs, he could get known. And fast.
"Politics is a function of time and resources, and he has both" said Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf. "He's the luckiest guy of all, because he can sit by, watch and make decisions on his own timetable. While the others are engaged in combat, all he does is get stronger every day."


Bloomberg/Hagel 08?

The Republican Party has been "hijacked" and led away from its core values, Chuck Hagel, the Republican Senator from Nebraska, said Sunday on Face The Nation.
Hagel, who is still considering his options for the 2008 race, left open the possibility of becoming an independent and sharing a ticket with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"I am not happy with the Republican Party today," Hagel said. "It's been hijacked by a group of single-minded almost isolationists, insulationists, power-projectors."
Hagel said he will not decide if he is going to run for president until late this summer. He did not say if he would run as a Republican or as an independent. Asked by Bob Schieffer if independent candidates would be good for the political system, Hagel said they would be.
"What America will be looking at and wanting and demanding is honest, competent, accountable leadership," he said. "We need some new, fresh, independent ideas to lead this country forward."
After dining with former New York's mayor, who is also said to be considering a run for president as an independent, Hagel said people might want to consider the two on a ticket.
"We didn't make any deals, but I think Mayor Bloomberg is the kind of individual who should seriously think about this," Hagel said. "He is the mayor of one of the greatest cities on earth. He makes that city work. That's what America wants."
He said, "It's a great country to think about - a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation."
The Washington insiders on the Face The Nation roundtable said they could see the attraction of a third-party ticket.
"It's the kind of thing that it's so tantalizing, I think it meets a need not just with the political system but with the public," said Michelle McQueen Martin of National Public Radio. "I mean, you see a yearning within the public for another option."
But prospects for a third-party victory don't appear to be strong.
"Third-party candidates tend not to win," Martin said. "What they do tend to do is change the dynamic of a race to favor somebody who's already in the race."
Congress's handling of the Iraq war funding bill appears to be the breaking point in the Republican party.
"For the senators, it's particularly important, because they have to rely upon independent voters," said Jeanne Cummings of "And independent voters in New Hampshire and in Minnesota and some of these places where there're going to be very tough races, they have shifted. They're anti-war."
Hagel, who has already broken ranks with the president over Iraq, said the White House is running out of time with its war policies.
"The president may find himself standing alone sometime this fall where Republicans will start to move away, and you're starting to see trapdoors and exit signs already with a number of Republicans," Hagel said. "The 11 House Republicans that went to see him speak for more than just 11 House Republicans. That's just the tip of the iceberg."


Bloomberg Poised For Third-Party Campaign

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is prepared to spend an unprecedented $1 billion of his own $5.5 billion personal fortune for a third-party presidential campaign, personal friends of the mayor tell The Washington Times.
"He has set aside $1 billion to go for it," confided a long-time business adviser to the Republican mayor. "The thinking about where it will come from and do we have it is over, and the answer is yes, we can do it."
Another personal friend and fellow Republican said in recent days that Mr. Bloomberg, who is a social liberal and fiscal conservative, has "lowered the bar" and upped the ante for a final decision on making a run.
The mayor has told close associates he will make a third-party run if he thinks he can influence the national debate and has said he will spend up to $1 billion. Earlier, he told friends he would make a run only if he thought he could win a plurality in a three-way race and would spend $500 million -- or less than 10 percent of his personal fortune.
A $1 billion campaign budget would wipe out many of the common obstacles faced by third-party candidates seeking the White House.
"Bloomberg is H. Ross Perot on steroids," said former Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner. "He could turn the political landscape of this election upside down, spend as much money as he wanted and proceed directly to the general election. He would have resources to hire an army of petition-gatherers in those states where thousands of petitions are required to qualify a third-party presidential candidate to be on the ballot."
Senior Republican officials -- including those supporting declared Republican presidential nomination contenders -- and several top Democrats told The Times they take the possibility of a Bloomberg candidacy as a serious threat in November 2008.
The Bloomberg team is studying the strategies of Mr. Perot, the Texas billionaire whose 1992 presidential campaign helped President Clinton to win the White House with 43 percent of the popular vote.
"Mike has been meeting with Ross Perot's most senior people about how they did an independent run in 1992," the Bloomberg business adviser said on condition of anonymity so as to avoid appearing to speak for Mr. Bloomberg.
Talk of Mr. Bloomberg as a third-party candidate comes as Republican voters are deeply divided over their top-three declared candidates -- Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- and are casting longing glances at former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
"Some of the people on McCain's [presidential campaign] staff have been calling me to see if Mike is running because they are ready to leave the McCain campaign, which is a biplane on fire and spiraling down," the Bloomberg adviser said.
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, another independent-minded Republican, dined recently with Mr. Bloomberg and suggested on CBS' "Face the Nation" over the weekend that he and Mr. Bloomberg might make an independent run for the presidency.
But in Albany, N.Y., yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg downplayed that suggestion.
"I think he was probably joking," the mayor told reporters. Mr. Hagel "speaks his mind. ... He's not happy with the same things that I'm not happy about."
Republicans who say they are girding for a Bloomberg entry note Mr. Bloomberg has a 68 percent share of his privately owned company, Bloomberg LP. The company is worth $20 billion (and about $30 billion if put on the block for public bidding) and earns $1.5 billion annually in after-tax profits.
"If Bloomberg runs, he could have more money on hand than either of the two major party nominees," said Mr. Toner, the former FEC chairman. "It would be the first time that happened in the modern era."
A New York Daily News poll of the city's voters finds that Mr. Bloomberg, twice elected mayor as a moderate Republican, is far more popular than Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor who leads in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination.
Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday he was flattered by that result but downplayed it at his Albany press conference, saying, "The current mayor always has a real advantage."
Social conservative leaders have told The Times they are determined to block Mr. Giuliani from becoming the Republican presidential candidate but that they can't stop Mr. Bloomberg from making a third-party run.
"This much I know, if Giuliani gets the Republican nomination, that is the ticket for the Democrats to get the White House in 2008," said Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative Family Research Council. "Many pro-life voters who have been voting Republican will not vote for the top of the ticket if it's Giuliani."
Other top social and religious conservative leaders, in separate interviews and discussions last week, told The Times their movement has decided to support Mr. Thompson for the Republican nomination. They said he has satisfied them that he is reliably supportive of religious-conservative positions on key issues.
"A third-party candidacy is almost inevitable" in 2008, said former Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman, who pointed out that third-party candidacies have affected the outcome of five of the past 10 presidential elections -- including George Wallace in 1968, John Anderson in 1980, Mr. Perot in 1992 and '96, and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000.
"If the Republicans nominate someone the press can tag as a pro-war social conservative and the Democrats pick an anti-war liberal, Bloomberg will run up the center," Mr. Goldman said. "If conservatives don't rally to stop Giuliani they will get a third party socially conservative candidate who will only help elect the Democrat."

ilovebeerme -> RE: Bloomberg About To Throw Presidential Race Wide Open? (16/5/2007 12:49:26 PM)

A serious third party challange would be fascinating to see.  it would probably end up splittig the Democrat vote more than the Republican though...unless they run Guliani.

LB Jeffries -> Guiliani - The $16m Man! (17/5/2007 1:50:49 PM)


Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani reported a whopping $16.1 million in earned income over the past 16 months, most of it in speaking fees, according to financial documents filed Wednesday.
Democratic hopeful John Edwards reported earned income of $1.25 million, the biggest single source of which was a hedge fund that employed him part time. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reported $29.5 million in assets, including millions invested in the hedge fund _ the Fortress Investment Group.
Giuliani's report provides the first detailed picture of his vast holdings and income since his term as mayor of New York ended more than five years ago. Since then, Giuliani parlayed his image as an in-charge mayor during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks into lucrative speaking fees and business enterprises. He reported $13 million to $45 million in assets, including his share in Giuliani & Co., a partnership that provides an array of consulting services.
He also listed income from dividends and interest on many of those investments of at least $411,332 and as much as $3.3 million. The reports were part of a flurry released Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission. The deadline for filing was Tuesday, though several candidates received 45-day extensions, including Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans Mitt Romney, John McCain and Tommy Thompson.
Republican Jim Gilmore asked for and received a 30-day grace period. Sen. Barack Obama's report showed a surge of interest in his writings as he drew closer to a presidential bid, earning more than a half-million dollars in 2006 in royalties for one book and an advance for another. The Illinois Democrat received $572,490 for the books _ his best-selling memoir, "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," an account of his political journey.
Giuliani's biggest single source of income between January 2006 and February 2007 came from speaking engagements around the world. He grossed $11.4 million in speeches, which includes fees retained by the Washington Speakers Bureau. He typically charged $100,000 per speaking engagement and as much as $200,000 on occasion. After speaking at an event in Louisiana for the PGA Tour, Giuliani donated $80,000 to New Orleans charities working on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Giuliani reported income of $4.1 million from Giuliani & Co., and $1.2 million from Bracewell & Giuliani, a law firm that also provides lobbying services for its clients. Giuliani also received $146,092 in royalties for "Leadership," a book about his experiences during and after the terrorist attack on New York. His assets include a personal loan of $250,000 to $500,000 to Kenneth Caruso, a senior lawyer at Bracewell & Giuliani, and a decades-long aide to Giuliani.
The disclosure forms do not provide a precise accounting of the candidates' assets and investment income, requiring only that filers list those amounts in ranges. However, the Edwards campaign supplemented its reports with more detail, including the value of the couple's total assets. Edwards, who has made fighting poverty a signature element of his campaign, said his work for a fund that generally caters to the wealthiest of investors was designed to educate him about the way financial markets operate.
Fortress paid Edwards $479,512 for his consulting services. The candidate and his wife had $1 million to $5 million in the Fortress Investment Fund III, a Fortress subsidiary that invests in businesses in the United States and Western Europe. He had lesser amounts in other investment funds. Edwards received about $395,000 in paid speeches _ most of them at colleges _ and was paid $40,000 salary for work at the University of North Carolina Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.
The Edwards family donated more than $350,000 to charity, including the International Rescue Committee and Habitat for Humanity. Edwards' largest holding was a conservative investment: $5 million to $25 million in a money market fund, Columbia Cash Reserves. Edwards also received $333,334 in royalties for his book "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives." The money was donated to charity. The former North Carolina senator owned several properties in his home state, including buildings in Raleigh worth $500,000 to $1 million each. He also owned land in Raleigh valued at $50,001 to $1 million. Edwards listed only two liabilities: a variable line of credit from Bank of America of $500,001 to $1 million and a mortgage on one of his Raleigh buildings, worth $15,001 to $50,000.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported assets ranging from $457,000 to $1.14 million _ far more modest than most of the other leading presidential candidates. The Obama campaign announced Wednesday that the couple this year transferred about $180,000 in assets they held in the Vanguard Wellington Fund to Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund after discovering that a small amount of the Vanguard Wellington Fund is invested in an oil field services company active in Sudan.
Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, an outspoken critic of the violence in Sudan, also divested his stock portfolio of companies that do business with the African nation. The Kansas senator listed sales of nearly two dozen investments, several of which were mutual funds whose holdings include companies active in Sudan, according to a financial disclosure report he filed Tuesday. Among them was a mutual fund in the name of Brownback's wife, Mary, valued at between $50,000 and $100,000. Other Sudan-related investments were in the names of the couples' children.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential candidate who has called for a dramatic reduction in the use of fossil fuels, reported holding $250,000 to $500,000 in stock options from Valero Energy Corp. for serving on the company's board of directors from March 2001 to June 2002. Richardson also held $100,000 to $250,000 in Valero common stock. In his report, Richardson, who was energy secretary in the Clinton administration, said he intends to divest himself of the Valero stock if he is elected president.

Mycroft -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (17/5/2007 11:02:15 PM)

"Enhanced Interrogation Techniques", you can't make this stuff up. It really does seem like Republicans live in an alternate reality sometimes, with these ridiculous single-issue and fear politics. Who's in the lead at the moment? Romney, McCain, Giuliani? Ron Paul seems to be getting alot of buzz on the internet as the only one not talking complete bilge, but not much real world coverage

matthewforan -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (18/5/2007 10:30:16 PM)

I thought Rudy Giuliani had some type of cancer, how on earth can he be considering a run for POTUS the only thing he has is the fact that he was major during 9/11,

lulu karma -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (21/5/2007 3:58:11 PM)

An interesting thing this morning on the radio...

Former President Jimmy Carter said during an interview that he considers the current administration one of the worst in history in regards to economics and international policy.  The White House responded by saying that Carter is increasingly irrelevant.

Is it just me or is that the most childish rebuttal?  Amazing.

Felix -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (21/5/2007 4:01:47 PM)


ORIGINAL: lulu karma

An interesting thing this morning on the radio...

Former President Jimmy Carter said during an interview that he considers the current administration one of the worst in history in regards to economics and international policy.  The White House responded by saying that Carter is increasingly irrelevant.

Is it just me or is that the most childish rebuttal?  Amazing.

I saw this, thought that was a terrible response. The White House needs to watch more Scrubs...

Ex US President Jimmy Carter: "The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including (those of) George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me"

White House spokesman Tony Fratto: "And so's your face."

lulu karma -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (21/5/2007 4:19:47 PM)

Hahaha! [:D]

It's exactly along those lines.  What a bizarre response.  They would have done better to just simply not responded at all but they look even more the horse's ass (if that is even possible) by saying he is more irrelevant.  According to who?  A lot of American's think Carter is the closest thing to Jesus because of his humanitarian work since his time in office.

LB Jeffries -> News Round-Up (21/5/2007 8:45:03 PM)

Gore - 'Bush Has Repeatedly Violated The Law For Six Years'

When former Vice President Al Gore hosted "Saturday Night Live" in December 2002 he appeared in a skit that compared his vice presidential selection process from two years before to the dating reality TV show "The Bachelor." In one scene Gore appeared in a hot tub with a faux Joe Lieberman, both of them shirtless, drinking champagne, arms locked, romance in the air. Anyone then looking for clues to see if Gore would run for president in 2004 probably had no trouble discerning that an exploratory committee was not in the cards.
Almost five years later, Gore still says he has no plans to run for president, but his latest book, "The Assault On Reason," is so searingly critical of the Bush administration it's hard to discern what his plans may be.
On the one hand, Gore has written an un-nostalgic look back at the previous six years that lays out his case as to how the world might look today had the chads fallen another way -- a world where U.S. troops would not be fighting in Iraq, Abu Ghraib would just be a town's name and the nation would have been better prepared for Hurricane Katrina, global warming, and, yes, perhaps even Sept. 11.
But on the other hand, "The Assault On Reason" is an assault on President Bush, 308 pages of professorially rendered, liberal red meat that shuns the cautious language employed by any politician standing to the right of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and the left of Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

Gore: 'I'm Not a Candidate'
"I'm not a candidate and this is not a political book, this is not a candidate book," Gore told Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Monday. "It's about that there are cracks in the foundation of American democracy that have to be fixed."
In the book, Gore is accusatory, passionate, and angry. He begins discussing the president by accusing him of sharing President Richard Nixon's unprincipled hunger for power -- and the book proceeds to get less complimentary from there. While Gore stops short of flatly calling for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, he certainly gives the impression that in his view such a move would be well deserved. He calls the president a lawbreaker, a liar and a man with the blood of thousands of innocent lives on his hands.
Most of Gore's ire stems from, not surprisingly, the war in Iraq, a war that Gore opposed from the beginning. Bush, he writes, "has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack because of his arrogance and willfulness."
"History will surely judge America's decision to invade and occupy (Iraq)…as a decision that was not only tragic but absurd," Gore writes.

The Democratic Conversation
"The Assault On Reason" begins as an academic discourse about the one-sided, corporate-controlled television medium with no interactivity.
Gore argues that television not only creates a dynamic that runs contrary to Thomas Jefferson's desire for a "well-informed citizenry" but lulls viewers in a partially immobilized state and allows unreasoned communicators to sell false bills of goods, such as, say, that there was a connection between the Sept. 11 hijackers and Saddam Hussein.
As an example of the failed democratic conversation, Gore said Monday that prior to the war in Iraq, "if we had a full debate and a full airing of the pros and cons of the invasion that brought out the fact that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with attacking us on 9/11 then we would have been much less likely to have these troops trapped over there now in the midst of a civil war."

Sept. 11, Iraq and al Qaeda
But in the book Gore sheds his inner Marshall McLuhan for his inner Michael Moore, saying that if "Bush and Cheney actually believed in the linkage (between Iraq and al Qaeda) that they asserted -- in spite of all the evidence to the contrary presented to them contemporaneously -- that would by itself in light of the available evidence, make them genuinely unfit to lead our nation. On the other hand, if they knew the truth and lied, massively and repeatedly, isn't that worse? Are they too gullible or too dishonest?"
(Gore said Monday that the 2006 midterm successes of the Democrats were not an example of democracy's conversation failing, but "a belated response to some of the perceived mistakes of the current administration. But I think the threshold for change was way too high.")
Gore writes that since "Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack…then that means the president took us to war when he didn't have to and that over 3,000 American service members have been killed…unnecessarily."
When asked if that meant U.S. troops had died in vain, Gore said Monday that "those who serve our country are honored in memory" but that the issue is "there is hardly anybody left in America…who doesn't believe that it was a terrible mistake to invade a country that didn't attack us. But all of the evidence necessary to make that judgment before we invaded was available…We have been making a series of really important, really big mistakes, and the question is how can we reinvigorate the role of 'We the People' in American democracy so that we're part of the conversation and so that those (in power)…are listening to reason, are looking at the facts and not brushing past them."
It seems likely that even if Gore opts not to run for president in 2008, this book may serve to drive presidential candidates, including Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former Sen. John Edwards, even further to the left, both in rhetoric and substance. The former Tennessee congressman and senator accuses his former colleagues on Capitol Hill of complicity with what he sees as nefarious deeds committed by the Bush administration. The book opens with Gore wondering why Senate Democrats were so silent during the debate before going to war in Iraq and toward the end faults them for being so silent about the administration's warrantless surveillance program.

Naming Names
He doesn't assail any Democrats by name. Bush, however, he names. Over and over.
"President Bush has repeatedly violated the law for six years," Gore charges, regarding the warrantless surveillance program. He argues that the president does not need the enhanced domestic surveillance powers he has sought and received, often in secret, but that the competent use of the information already available would have been sufficient. Such as, for instance, the fact that Sept. 11 terrorists Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almidhar were already on a State Department/INS watch list.
He does not flatly state that Sept. 11 would not have occurred during a Gore administration. But, he writes, "Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable, it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes."
Then, using a study from the Markle Foundation, Gore shows how better and quicker analysis -- not the increased data sought by the Bush administration -- would have led to other hijackers. Salem Alhazmi, then Mohammed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi. And so on.
But instead, Gore writes, incompetence rules the day and Bush has pushed for Orwellian powers a la "1984."
What might cause some to speculate that Gore isn't ruling out a third White House run (he also campaigned as a centrist "New Democrat" in 1988) is the cautious wording he uses about two claims against the administration, sensitive ones regarding Bush's religious views and whether or not the war in Iraq was a war for oil. Gore raises them, but even among his many incendiary charges, doesn't claim them as his own.

Gore's Charge to the Nation
As for what now? Gore says the nation, indeed the world, is at a fork in the road. Gore calls for the United States to rejoin the international community and lead the war on crises involving global warming, water, terrorism and pandemics such as HIV/AIDS. He calls for a repeal of the Patriot Act, and for the Bush administration to disclose all of its interrogation policies. He wants more transparency in political TV commercials and an expediting of the shift from television toward the Internet as a method of communication.
Gore told ABC News Monday he's focused not on running for president but on solving the climate crisis, but "in order to solve the climate crisis, I'm convinced that we're going to have to address these cracks in the foundation of democracy, these basic problems with the way we're approaching decision-making."
After Random House published 200,000 copies of "Putting People First: How We Can All Change America" -- the soporific campaign tome purportedly written by then-Gov. Bill Clinton and then-Sen. Al Gore -- the ill-fated re-election campaign of then-President George H.W. Bush filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. Republicans alleged that the book deal constituted an illegal corporate contribution to the Democratic ticket, which didn't directly profit financially from the book though the publicity certainly didn't hurt. How quaint that book must now seem to those Republicans.

Florida Leapfrogs Other State Primaries
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Monday moving Florida's 2008 presidential primary up to Jan. 29, leapfrogging several other states in a change that could dramatically alter the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating campaigns.
The move puts Florida's primary, which had been scheduled for March, behind only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and on the same day as South Carolina's Democratic primary.
Florida has by far the largest population of any of the early voting states set for January and is the most expensive in which to campaign, giving well-funded candidates an even greater advantage and possibly drawing attention away from the smaller states.
"This is going to require the serious candidates to spend very, very large amounts of money and time in Florida," said Merle Black, a politics professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "If you can't compete in Florida, that's going to be a sign that you're not a serious contender."
Crist, a Republican, and other state GOP leaders have argued Florida's diversity and size merit more influence in deciding the nation's leadership. The delegate-rich state decided the disputed 2000 presidential election.
"We may not be the first in the nation, but we're at the forefront," Crist said after signing the bill. "We will be the first megastate to weigh in on the next leader of the free world."
Florida's early election could also have implications in the Feb. 5 primaries scheduled in a dozen other states, including New York and California.
A win in Florida is a big prize because the state is seen as a microcosm of the nation with its diverse population, so it shows how a candidate might do in other states.
"The candidates who finish first in Florida would presumably be the strongest candidates the party could put up in the November election," Black said. "And in building momentum for a campaign, the candidates that do well in Florida would get intense media coverage leading into the next week's events in early February."
Under both Republican and Democratic party rules, states are penalized for moving their primaries earlier than Feb. 5.
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Stacie Paxton said the state would lose 50 percent of its delegates and all its superdelegates _ typically members of Congress. Any candidate who campaigns in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 will be ineligible for receiving any of the state's delegates, Paxton said.
She added that the DNC hoped to work out a separate plan with the state party, such as a caucus, to avoid the penalties.
The Republican National Committee has warned it will strip 50 percent of Florida's delegates if the state's primary is moved.
"The rules are inflexible and it doesn't matter who is running the RNC, those rules will be enforced because they are part of the rules that were crafted at the last convention and they can't be changed," RNC chairman and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez said Friday.
Party leaders say the rules are in place, in part, to keep states from constantly leapfrogging over each other to gain a greater say in selecting a president.
South Carolina Republicans, for instance, are now considering moving up their primary ahead of its tentatively scheduled Feb. 2 date in order to keep it the first GOP primary in the South.
"It's always been said the Republican primary in South Carolina is the primary that makes presidents," said Neal Thigpen, a political scientist with Francis Marion University in South Carolina.
Thigpen said Florida's earlier primary now "blunts" the lure of South Carolina's elections, taking away what has traditionally been a bright spotlight there.
However, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler said Monday an early Florida primary would not diminish her state's role in the process because candidates have to bring a personal touch there.
"South Carolina's a state in which candidates can have a real impact because it's small. In Florida, candidates have to spend millions of dollars on TV to win," Fowler said. "Here, they can come and get to know the voters."
Candidates don't seem to be threatened by the potential penalties from the national parties.
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was already campaigning in the Miami area on Monday. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will also continue to campaign in Florida, said spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani told a crowd during an Orlando luncheon on Friday that he, too, would continue to campaign here.
"I know how important your state is," the former New York mayor said. "It's going to do wonders for your economy because we're going to spend millions and millions of dollars on television."
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain also plans to be a frequent visitor.
The bill Crist signed also requires a verifiable paper trail for all voting machines throughout Florida although they won't be in place for the January primary. Currently, 15 of Florida's 67 counties use paperless touch-screen voting machines. The remaining counties use optical scan machines where a voter marks a paper ballot with a pencil and it is electronically scanned.
Florida's voting system attracted national attention in 2000 when dimpled, pregnant and hanging chads on punch card ballots held up a final count in the presidential election. Florida was eventually decided by 537 votes after the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in, handing the election to George W. Bush. The state has since banned the punch cards.

Richardson Officially Joins Presidential Race

LOS ANGELES - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson vowed to repair the "ravages" of the Bush administration Monday as he formally announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The former congressman and Cabinet secretary said his track record makes him the right person to lead the country through a pivotal time. He played up his experience to set him apart in the field with some more famous and better-funded rivals.
"Some are rock stars," said Richardson, who represented New Mexico in Congress and served as President Clinton's energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations. "I am not, but I have a proven record.
In Spanish, he said, "With pride, I hope to be the first Latino president of the United States."
Richardson made the announcement during a news conference at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in the same room where he said his hero, President Kennedy, accepted the Democratic nomination in 1960.
"I'm proud of my record of getting things done," Richardson said. "And I'll put that record up against anyone's."
Richardson said he would repair "damage done here at home and to our reputation abroad," first by removing U.S. troops from Iraq and using diplomacy as the primary instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
"The challenges we face are not acts of God or accidents of fate," Richardson said. "They're man-made and they're deliberate. Whether it will be willful ignorance or an ignorant will, we are left with the ravages of an administration that will take years to rectify. But we can do it."
Richardson has been running for president for months, but he had only formed can exploratory campaign under federal election rules. He is running against Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden; former Sens. John Edwards and Mike Gravel; and Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
He raised $6.2 million in the first three months of the year — about a quarter of what Obama and Clinton brought in and less than half of what Edwards raised. But his campaign always said he would focus more intensely on fundraising after the first quarter.
His decision to stage a formal launch in Los Angeles was meant to highlight his Hispanic roots and his leadership of a Western state. Richardson also wanted to showcase his roots in California, the nation's most delegate-rich state which has moved up its presidential primary to a new position of early influence on Feb. 5.
Richardson was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, thanks to some careful planning by his father. William Blaine Richardson Jr., an American banker living in Mexico City, sent his Mexican wife there to give birth to ensure there would be no questions about his child's citizenship.
Richardson's announcement came in the midst of a dispute with the mother of a Marine from New Mexico killed in Iraq over details surrounding his death.
Richardson often talks on the campaign trail about how he was inspired to create a $250,000 death benefit for fallen New Mexico National Guard members because of the low amount Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin's mother got from the federal government.
Austin's mother, De'on Miller, of Lovington, N.M., told The Associated Press in an interview she never mentioned money to Richardson at her son's memorial service. But Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley said Sunday that the governor stands by his story that Miller thanked him for an initial $11,000 in federal death benefits she had received.
Miller, however, continued to deny Richardson's version of the story.
"Bill Richardson needs to stop pushing this lie," Miller said in an e-mail to the campaign and The AP. "Aaron's name had better not be used again in any way. Not mine either. A full written apology is due me for this."
Shipley acknowledged that Richardson got the details wrong sometimes when telling the story. Richardson said at least once that the Marine's name was Sean Austin and at least twice that he was 17 instead when he was 21. He also has called Austin the first New Mexico soldier to die in Iraq, but he was the third.

matthewforan -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (21/5/2007 11:35:13 PM)




ORIGINAL: lulu karma

An interesting thing this morning on the radio...

Former President Jimmy Carter said during an interview that he considers the current administration one of the worst in history in regards to economics and international policy.  The White House responded by saying that Carter is increasingly irrelevant.

Is it just me or is that the most childish rebuttal?  Amazing.

I saw this, thought that was a terrible response. The White House needs to watch more Scrubs...

Ex US President Jimmy Carter: "The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including (those of) George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me"

White House spokesman Tony Fratto: "And so's your face."

[sm=happy07.gif]Your mama too. Love the Av by the way.

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (23/5/2007 7:41:24 PM)

I've heard from a friend of mine, whos Politics editor for my student paper, that the Democrats are planning a West Wing style 3rd person nomination for Gore at the Democrat convention, like they did for Eric Baker in TWW.  Wouldn't that be something!  Also out of interest, if we were American and we were voting in the election, who would you vote for.  Democrats or Republicans? For me, fairly obvious, I'd vote Democrat.

Rgirvan44 -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (23/5/2007 11:30:31 PM)


ORIGINAL: Sophloz2104

I've heard from a friend of mine, whos Politics editor for my student paper, that the Democrats are planning a West Wing style 3rd person nomination for Gore at the Democrat convention, like they did for Eric Baker in TWW.  Wouldn't that be something!  Also out of interest, if we were American and we were voting in the election, who would you vote for.  Democrats or Republicans? For me, fairly obvious, I'd vote Democrat.

I really don't think Gore will do this, everything he has said in regards to the race suggests he isn't going to run. This could make him the potential king maker at the convention. Whoever he puts his arm around is going to get the Democratic base and thus the ticket.

Mind you a Gore/Obama ticket would be a brilliant and hard to defeat ticket.

Woger -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (24/5/2007 9:20:46 AM)


ORIGINAL: Sophloz2104

I've heard from a friend of mine, whos Politics editor for my student paper, that the Democrats are planning a West Wing style 3rd person nomination for Gore at the Democrat convention, like they did for Eric Baker in TWW.  Wouldn't that be something!  Also out of interest, if we were American and we were voting in the election, who would you vote for.  Democrats or Republicans? For me, fairly obvious, I'd vote Democrat.

Do you think its a case of Democrat good, Republican bad, or vice versa? Most Democrats supported the war in Iraq, and now when public opinion has turned they are against it, bunch of weather vanes. I still can't get my head around a country of 300 million having two main parties.

Erlenmeyer Flask -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (28/5/2007 1:01:36 PM)

I presume bloggers and the youtube generation might play a pretty big role in this election, at least a bigger one than they did in terms of their reach, I mean.

LB Jeffries -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (28/5/2007 1:39:35 PM)

YouTube has already played a huge role in this election and probably determined who won overall control of the Senate in last November's mid-term elections. George Allen (R-Virginia) was comfortably leading Jim Webb (D) in the Senate election in Virginia when Allen was caught on camera making a semi-racial insult toward an indian student who was working for Webb. It was filmed, posted online and Allen lost enough support and it energised Webb's campaign enough that he edged Allen 51-49 on election day. This was significant as it gave Dems overall control in the Senate, it also knocked George Allen out of the race for the White House. Allen was an early favourite to win the Republican nomination as he was the most conservative of any of the front-runners (Guiliani, McCain, Romney) as well as being loyal to the President and appealing to grass-roots Republicans. There's no doubt in my mind that if he doesn't lose his Senate seat he runs and wins the nomination.

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (28/5/2007 3:09:06 PM)

I can see the word 'YouTube' being interred into the OED sooner or later, such an important player it has become in social and political issues.  It is constantly at the forefront of the news, led to the downfall of celebrities and politicians.  Who remembers the two Labour MP's who got into trouble after filming a video ridiculing David Cameron's disabled child, posting it on YouTube.  Candidates would be mad to not use this new platform to communicate with the public, in the process gaining votes.  The campaign trail starts with YouTube.

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Guiliani - The $16m Man! (28/5/2007 3:10:24 PM)

Also maybe we should muse the West Wing appreciation thread and this one together seeing as we all know each other already through the West Wing thread!

LB Jeffries -> Weekend 08' News Round-Up (29/5/2007 3:14:15 PM)


Obama Tops All 08 Candidates
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Democrat Barack Obama is the top 2008 presidential contender in the United States, according to a poll by Zogby International. At least 46 per cent of respondents would support the Illinois senator in head-to-head contests against four prospective Republican nominees.
Obama holds a three-point edge over Arizona senator John McCain, a six-point lead over former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a 17-point advantage over both former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson.
In other contests, both New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former North Carolina senator John Edwards lead Romney and Thompson, but trail Giuliani and McCain. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is virtually tied with Thompson, leads Romney by three points, and trails Giuliani and McCain.
On May 27, Obama pledged to provide proper assistance for active duty soldiers, declaring, "We’re falling far short in addressing the mental health care needs of these heroes, and that’s inexcusable. I believe strongly that there is a sacred trust between this country and those who serve it. That trust begins the moment a service member signs on and lasts the duration of his or her life."
In American elections, candidates require 270 votes in the Electoral College to win the White House. In November 2004, Republican George W. Bush earned a second term after securing 286 electoral votes from 31 states. Democratic nominee John Kerry received 252 electoral votes from 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Bush is ineligible for a third term in office. The next presidential election is scheduled for November 2008.

Polling Data
Possible match-ups - 2008 U.S. presidential election

Rudy Giuliani (R) 42% - 48% Barack Obama (D)
John McCain (R) 43% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 35% - 52% Barack Obama (D)
Fred Thompson (R) 35% - 52% Barack Obama (D)

Rudy Giuliani (R) 48% - 43% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
John McCain (R) 47% - 43% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 40% - 48% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Fred Thompson (R) 41% - 48% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

Rudy Giuliani (R) 47% - 43% John Edwards (D)
John McCain (R) 46% - 41% John Edwards (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 36% - 50% John Edwards (D)
Fred Thompson (R) 40% - 48% John Edwards (D)

Rudy Giuliani (R) 50% - 35% Bill Richardson (D)
John McCain (R) 52% - 31% Bill Richardson (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 37% - 40% Bill Richardson (D)
Fred Thompson (R) 40% - 39% Bill Richardson (D)

From the

Clinton/Vilsack 08?
Sioux Center, Ia. - Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has assumed a role in Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign unlike any of the New York Democrat's other national advisers.
He campaigns for her in Iowa and other key states, spends hours each week on the phone with donors and elected officials and has helped forge policy ideas Clinton presents on the campaign trail.
In this way, Vilsack has made the quick and seemingly effortless transition from a one-time Clinton rival for the 2008 nomination to a go-to player in her campaign.
Aides acknowledge privately that Vilsack's work for the campaign has the look of a rehearsal for the role of running mate, should Clinton win the nomination.
But while he embarks on a busy summer for Clinton, no prospective No. 2 on a hypothetical Clinton ticket has a higher bar than Vilsack, whose first task is to ensure the senator's success in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.
Clinton and Vilsack in separate interviews with The Des Moines Register declined to discuss any collaboration beyond the nominating campaign, more than seven months until the caucuses launch it.
However, both acknowledge the depth of commitment by Vilsack, whom Clinton described as "one of the most effective and committed people in the country working for me right now."
"I think it's fair to say he is involved in every aspect of the campaign," she added during the Register interview, between weekend stops in northern Iowa.
Party activists
Last week, Vilsack campaigned for Clinton in New Hampshire and met privately with party activists who supported his own short-lived presidential bid.
Look for Vilsack to become a leading campaign voice on rural issues, an assignment discussed at a recent Clinton campaign meeting called specifically to determine how to divide his time this summer.
Clinton said Vilsack's work during his two terms in office has been influential in her approach to renewable fuel and the basis for her campaign's proposals on universal preschool and government reform.
And it was Vilsack, along with his wife, Christie, who urged Clinton to take her Iowa campaign into the state's smaller towns and rural areas.
"In that sense, he has the ability to play both a public role and a behind-the-scenes role," senior Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said.
Vilsack endorsed Clinton a month after ending his own bid for the party nomination.
Their personal connection through Christie Vilsack's late brother, Tom Bell, and Vilsack's loyalty to Clinton for campaigning with him at a key point in his 1998 long-shot bid for governor, were key to a decision aides described as automatic.
Clinton named Vilsack a national co-chairman, but has counted on him for more tasks than the two others with the same title, aides say.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe was named co-chairman in January. He is a "hands-on" member of Clinton's national team, but concentrates more on fundraising than tactics and policy.
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who was named co-chairwoman in April, is a close Senate ally of Clinton and is seen as an asset in cultivating support from women.
Vilsack has been a surrogate for Clinton in South Carolina and was the first to campaign on her behalf in her home state of Illinois, opening for her at an April fundraiser in Chicago.
"To some people, it's primarily an honor and you lend your name to the campaign and that's pretty much it," Vilsack said in an interview. "That's not the way I operate. We are very committed to this campaign. We are as committed to this campaign as I was to my own."
Vilsack's unvarnished assessment of Clinton's progress in Iowa got the attention of a roomful of top campaign donors this month. He told the group in Washington, D.C., during a strategy session about Iowa that Clinton was not winning in the state.
"They were more intrigued by him and his perspective on the dynamics of the Iowa caucuses," said Chris Korge, a Florida donor for Clinton who had met Vilsack previously. "He was explaining to us we have our job in front of us."
Of the several breakout sessions at the meeting, Vilsack's had the largest audience, with roughly 60 of Clinton's most loyal donors in the room.
Vilsack later explained he had to establish credibility with supporters accustomed to reading polls that showed Clinton leading.

Leading and trailing
Clinton has led in all national polls of Democrats and nearly all surveys in early primary states. But she has trailed former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and sometimes trailed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in Iowa surveys of Democratic caucusgoers.
"This is not being disloyal to the campaign. In fact, I think it's being quite loyal," Vilsack said of his assessment. "Because it's basically telling people who need to know that we're telling the truth, so that when I come to you in December and say, 'You know what, we're going to win this thing,' you know I'm not blowing smoke."
Clinton and Vilsack talk on the phone, and often in person, at least once a week, and are said to be genuinely comfortable working together, as they were before the campaign.
Both are lawyers and share a reputation for wonkish interest in the minute details of policy.
Last year, Clinton and Vilsack collaborated on a domestic agenda for the Democratic Leadership Council, a policy-oriented group for which Vilsack served as chairman last year. Before that, they shared ideas during the creation of the federal children's health care program in 1999.
The two also have been described by party activists in Iowa and other states as warm and engaging in person, although they also are sometimes characterized as lackluster speakers.
One of their strongest ties is to Tom Bell. Christie Vilsack's brother, a charismatic lawyer who died in 1996, was a political inspiration to Tom Vilsack and a longtime friend of Clinton, who worked with Bell on the 1974 Nixon impeachment proceedings.
Vilsack often mentions the connection, and Clinton's political help to him in 1998, as examples of the personal side of the candidate he has seen.
"It's not just her heart, it's her spirit," Vilsack said while introducing the candidate in Sioux Center on Saturday.
National observers expect Vilsack, a finalist to be John Kerry's running mate in 2004, to be a top consideration for any would-be Democratic nominee next year.
Other likely vice presidential prospects are Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who also were presidential prospects before stepping aside last year.

Politically astute
New Hampshire Democrat Gary Hirshberg, an influential activist in the leadoff primary state, said a Clinton-Vilsack pairing would be convincing and politically astute, for what they share as well as what differentiates them.
Hirshberg said Vilsack's two terms as a Midwestern governor in an electoral swing state would give balance to Clinton's strong association with Washington, D.C., as a former powerful first lady, and a strongly Democratic East Coast state.
"I think it fits," said Hirshberg, who had endorsed Vilsack's presidential bid. "Also having a trusting partnership, they would have that going into it together - an established partnership."
Vilsack has his work cut out for him to convince activists who had endorsed him to support Clinton.
The bigger test of this most critical role for Vilsack will be in Iowa, where some influential former backers of his campaign, such as Des Moines-area real estate developer Bill Knapp, have endorsed Clinton but others are still neutral.
Former state Democratic chairman Gordon Fischer, who backed Vilsack for president, is not yet convinced Clinton can win the election. But a "Clinton-Vilsack ticket makes more sense than any other pairing to me," the Des Moines lawyer said.

From The Arizona Republic

McCain Targets 'NASCAR Dads'
CONCORD, N.C. - If there ever was a major sporting event tailor-made for Sen. John McCain, Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race here at Lowe's Motor Speedway was it.
The U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team descended onto the track.
An over-the-top mock military maneuver included soldiers, helicopters and even an operating howitzer.
A 1,500-soldier contingent from North Carolina's Fort Bragg paraded.
F-22 fighters soared overhead.
And that was just the pre-race show.
McCain, a former prisoner of war from Arizona whose bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination relies heavily on his military and robust foreign-policy stances, fit right in at the Memorial Day weekend spectacle.
Clad in a Coca-Cola hat and red race shirt, McCain served as the race's honorary starter.
"It's truly amazing," McCain said of the speedway crowd of an estimated 200,000 people and the elaborate pre-race salute to the military, which also included country star LeAnn Rimes' rendition of the national anthem.
"I was invited, but I jumped at the chance."
Most politicians in McCain's shoes would.

Chasing 'NASCAR dad'
The so-called NASCAR dad fully emerged as a targeted political constituency during the 2004 presidential race between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Political strategists heralded the primarily Southern voter as a conservative counterweight to the more liberal "soccer mom." Besides their enthusiasm for stock-car racing, "NASCAR dads" are said to put a high premium on national security issues and traditional conservative social values.
"These are very patriotic people," McCain said. "They should be ours."
They showed up in droves at the Coca-Cola 600, which is part of NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series and is a regional attraction. Surface streets around the speedway were clogged with trucks and cars with license plates from South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and other Southern states. Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen was the race's grand marshal.
On the track infield, McCain encountered spectators eager to shake hands and pose for photos with him and his wife, Cindy. He was greeted with extended applause when introduced from the stage.
But some racegoers expressed skepticism about McCain. They suggested that McCain hurt his chances by collaborating with Democrats after Bush defeated him in the 2000 Republican race.
"I think this is a good thing for him, but, I tell you, I definitely feel like I wasted a vote on him back in 2000," said Justin Mullis, a 31-year-old Republican from Savannah, Ga. "I'm on the fence now. He probably has my vote, but at the same time I hesitate to give it to him because I feel betrayed from 2000."
Jeb Cleveland from Fayetteville, N.C., was a little more charitable.
"I don't have a problem with him," said Cleveland, who described himself as "historically" a Republican. "I know he's a veteran and everything, and I respect that. It just seems that sometimes he tries to appease the other side too much. It makes me wonder which side he's on."

The stereotype debated
Although McCain's appearance at the Coca-Cola 600 likely was a coup, experts disagree on the influence and reliability of the "NASCAR dad" political stereotype.
"I've always thought the whole idea of the NASCAR dad was another one of those made-up phenomenon," said Michael Bitzer, an assistant professor in the history and politics department at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.
"If you're talking about typical Southern White males who like to watch cars run around a track and make left turns, they're going to naturally lean Republican. But if they are hurting economically, they would consider themselves up for grabs."
But Kyle Longley, a history professor at Arizona State University who has written on 20th-century politics in the South, said the generally blue-collar NASCAR dads are a legitimate Southern demographic.
"If you blend it with the evangelicals, you pretty much have the White voting bloc, ages 21 to 55 and predominately male, though not exclusively," Longley said. "And it is a potent voting force, especially among the Republicans."

Immigration issue
Longley also noted the racial undertones and suggested that McCain's support of a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform plan could damage his standing with the group. Many conservatives have decried McCain's approach because they consider it too lenient toward people who broke the law to enter the country.
"I think the immigration issue is going to kill him with these people," Longley said.
McCain doubted that anybody would bring up immigration at the Coca-Cola 600.
"Most of them really are race-car fans, and I'm not really sure how much attention they're going to pay to that, at least on a day like today," McCain said.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a well-known NASCAR devotee, chuckled when asked about the political and cultural implications of the fast-growing motor sport.
"It's kind of silly, but it is amazing to me how the elite in this country have failed to notice an awful lot about the United States of America," said Kyl, who is McCain's Arizona presidential campaign chairman. "Between San Francisco and Boston, there's a lot of country, and a lot of us like to watch NASCAR races."


Social Conservatives Bite The Bullet And Back Rudy
Rudy Giuliani, whose positions on abortion and homosexuality mark him as the most socially liberal Republican presidential candidate in more than a generation, is so far winning the contest for the support of social conservatives, according to a new analysis of recent polls.
Widespread perceptions that Giuliani is the most electable Republican in this year's field are driving his support among social conservatives, according to the analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
If the trend holds, this apparent willingness to support a candidate who fails what were once regarded as litmus-test issues would mark a landmark shift in the political behavior of a constituency that has been a pillar of the modern GOP.  Already the shift is spurring sharp debate among prominent Christian conservative leaders, some of whom warn that Giuliani backers are abandoning core principles.
Forty-four percent of social conservatives in the Pew analysis believe that the former New York mayor has the "best chance" of becoming president in 2008. Less than half that figure, 19 percent, regard Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as the most viable, despite twice as many social conservatives stating that McCain “comes closest” to their view on abortion. All other Republican candidates lagged far behind.
These calculations about electability are helping propel Giuliani over McCain among social conservatives, even though the Arizonan shares the opposition of most of these voters to abortion rights.
Giuliani is winning 30 percent of the social conservative bloc, compared to 22 percent for McCain. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney captured just 8 percent -- a figure that puts Romney in fourth place, behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is currently not a declared candidate.
No supporter of abortion rights has run competitively in GOP nominating contests since 1976, when Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan.
"A significant number of social conservatives have adopted a pragmatic line," says John Green, a senior fellow at Pew who compiled the polling. "Pragmatism can be seen on the one hand as a good thing, because it produces results, and on other the hand it can be seen as a bad thing because it involves compromising one's principles, and that's just a tension social conservatives have had since the days of Ronald Reagan."
Green carried out his analysis at the request of The Politico using data from Pew's March and April polls of the general electorate. To capture the mood of social conservatives, he focused on white, Republican or Republican-leaning Christians who attend church at least weekly. Social conservatives make up about 42 percent of the total Republican vote.
Some Christian conservative leaders acknowledge the willingness to back a candidate with opposing views on basic principles is a major moment -- and for some, a traumatic one -- in the history of their movement.
"I would not vote for (Giuliani)," says Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "My conscience will not allow me to do it. I'm not saying that others won't. I think there are a lot of evangelicals who would look on Giuliani as the lesser of two evils."
It is a calculation that has frustrated one of this year's GOP candidates, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has been counting on his own socially conservative views and background as a minister to be a political springboard.
"If social conservatives don't coalesce around issues that brought them in, then they really do no longer serve a political constituency that has clout. If they become just another Republican special interest group then they really are no different than the Republican women of Pulaski County, Ark.," Huckabee says.
Social conservative support has proven central to the making of the modern Republican president since 1980. That year Jerry Falwell, who died this month, rallied millions of social conservatives from the political hinterlands to play a vital role in Reagan's election.
Twenty-four years later, George W. Bush won social conservatives by equally large margins. Three in four Baptists or evangelicals also backed Bush nationally when he ran for reelection in 2004, according to exit polls.
"I would think that the Republican Party would want to hesitate before changing a formula that has brought them incredible political success from 1980 until now," says Gary Bauer, a former domestic adviser to Reagan and longtime social conservative leader.
With the primaries a half year away, the pushback within evangelical leadership may still trickle down to the grassroots. But thirty-one percent of social conservatives have given the 2008 presidential candidates "a lot" of thought. Only 23 percent of other Republicans have given the race the same level of scrutiny.
Giuliani has tried to appeal to social conservatives, embracing their agenda by pledging to appoint "strict constructionists" to the Supreme Court, using Justices John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. as examples. Conservatives expect "strict constructionists" to determine that the Constitution does not mandate abortion rights.
But, like Dwight Eisenhower's in 1952, Giuliani's national security stature after the Sept. 11 attacks more likely explains his continued popularity within the religious right, whose voters have long held hawkish positions on the issue.
"These voters care about moral issues, and many of them are conflicted because understandably they see the defense of Western civilization being perhaps the most important moral issue of all," Bauer says.
Perhaps the strongest variable favoring Giuliani thus far among his party's conservative wing is that none of his competitors have caught fire.
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson could be an appealing figure to the religious right, but he has yet to enter the race. Romney and McCain, the other two top tier GOP candidates, have yet to energize social conservatives.
"McCain is about as pro-life as you can get, but the problem with him is his unpredictability," Land says. McCain has challenged social conservatives in the past. In 2005, McCain infuriated conservative Christians when he led an effort to block the "nuclear option," a conservative effort to ensure conservative Supreme Court appointments.
In Romney's case, Bauer and Land say many social conservative leaders accept his recent conversion to the antiabortion fight. But Romney, who has also been accused of suddenly veering right on issues like gay marriage, still has failed to win over conservative Christian voters. But polls indicate Romney leads among Republicans in Iowa and may still gain ground among social conservative voters there.
Giuliani's early success with the religious right has brought dire warnings about what his nomination could mean. Huckabee believes it is a "very likely scenario" that if Giuliani is the nominee a significant portion of the social conservative base will not mobilize for Republicans in the general election.
Land doubts such an outcome.
"The perfect is not the enemy of the good," he says, arguing that Giuliani is still significantly closer to social conservatives on key issues than leading Democrats. After all, Land adds, social conservatives "understand they are voting for commander in chief, not Baptist in chief."

From The Associated Press

Democratic Hopefuls Woo 'Superdelegates'
It's more than half a year - and a few snowstorms - until the first votes in Iowa, yet Democratic presidential hopefuls have already captured some of the delegates critical to winning the nomination.
Not just any delegates - "superdelegates," the party's top echelon of elected officials who can back a candidate at any time no matter what the calendar, caucus-goer or primary voter says. Candidates have been pursuing endorsements from Democratic governors and members of Congress, knowing these individuals will have a direct say in choosing the party's nominee.
The 235 Democratic House members and nonvoting representatives, 49 senators, the District of Columbia's two "shadow senators" and 28 governors total 314 - about 14 percent of the 2,182 delegates a candidate will need to secure the party's presidential nomination at next year's national convention in Denver.
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, the Democratic front-runners, have established sophisticated "whip" operations to woo undecided colleagues. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has engaged the talents of his campaign manager, a former House Democratic whip, to court the uncommitted.
With eight months to go before voters begin choosing delegates through the primary process, many Democrats view the early accumulation of superdelegates as savvy planning for the future. Unfortunately for the presidential hopefuls, superdelegates can be fair-weather allies who aren't formally bound to any particular candidate and can shift their loyalties at will.
Phil McNamara, director of delegate selection for the Democratic National Committee, put it this way: "These people are politicians. In the end, they'll support whomever is the nominee and they'll still get to go to the convention."
Even so, the candidates are all pursuing the support of superdelegates, making personal appeals and enlisting the help of colleagues.
Clinton has mounted the most aggressive program to court superdelegates, winning endorsements from 37 so far, including three Senate colleagues and the governors of Maryland, New Jersey and New York. She's even deputized several House members as "whips" to woo uncommitted colleagues. The group includes Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and New York Reps. Nita Lowey and Joseph Crowley.
In an interview, Crowley said the effort has morphed a bit since it began in March, when the Clinton whips initially tried to target lawmakers from specific states.
"We have an initial strategy of breaking it down into regions, but more often than not it's based on your own relationships with people, that level of comfort," Crowley said.
Part of the sales pitch, Crowley said, is emphasizing that an early endorsement is usually remembered as more meaningful than signing on later in the campaign.
"You say it's always good to be in early. Clearly, when you have a lot of good candidates out there, regionality comes into play, but she has a broad wingspan beyond New York," he said.
Clinton's lead rival, Obama, tries to frame his campaign as a grass-roots, bottom-up enterprise. But he, too, has been courting endorsements and has picked up 22, including his Illinois Senate colleague Dick Durbin and the governors of Virginia and Illinois.
The campaign also has its own whip operation, with Alabama Rep. Artur Davis, Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Florida Rep. Robert Wexler playing prominent roles.
In an interview, Wexler said his courtship of undecided House members on Obama's behalf was so intense, "It's almost a joke - but in a nice way."
As an example, Wexler said he had spoken extensively with Rep. Russ Carnahan about Obama before the Missouri Democrat made his endorsement.
"He sought me out and asked questions, asked why I got involved so early," Wexler said. "For some members of Congress who are neutral and still making up their minds, it provides a degree of comfort knowing there are other members of Congress, not from Illinois, who are strongly supporting Sen. Obama."
Edwards counts 15 congressional endorsements so far, including several House members from his home state.
Edwards' campaign manager David Bonior, a former Michigan congressman and House Democratic whip, called the endorsement effort "one piece of a very large puzzle." He said he spends considerable time on it, both on the phone and in frequent visits to Capitol Hill, including one Tuesday. He also relies on help from several members who have already endorsed Edwards, including Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.
"These people are validators who are telling voters that John Edwards is a great candidate to be president," Bonior said. "When people agree to endorse you, it's very much what they're saying."
Among the other Democratic candidates, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd has eight superdelegates, including all the House Democrats from his home state. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has one so far: his home state colleague in the Senate, Tom Carper.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who served 15 years in the House, has won endorsements from New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman and three House members.

LB Jeffries -> Thompson set to announce candidacy (30/5/2007 5:46:29 PM)


Fred Dalton Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations, Thompson advisers told The Politico.

Thompson, the "Law and Order" star and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, has been publicly coy, even as people close to him have been furiously preparing for a late entry into the wide-open contest.  But the advisers said Thompson dropped all pretenses on Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with more than 100 potential donors, each of whom was urged to raise about $50,000.

Thompson's formal announcement is planned for Nashville. Organizers say the red pickup truck that was a hallmark of Thompson's first Senate race will begin showing up in Iowa and New Hampshire as an emblem of what they consider his folksy, populist appeal.
A testing-the-waters committee is to be formed June 4 so Thompson can start raising money, and staffers will go on the payroll in early June, the organizers said. A policy team has been formed, but remains under wraps.
The supporters on Tuesday's call make up a group the campaign is calling "First Day Founders." When launched, the campaign will have offices in Nashville and Northern Virginia, the advisers say.

Campaign officials said they have every indication Thompson will declare his candidacy, but cautioned that he could still decide not to run or to postpone the announcement. Mark Corallo, the campaign spokesman, said: "He is seriously considering getting in and doing everything he has to do to come to a final decision."

A member of Thompson's inner circle, who insisted on anonymity, said the former senator will offer himself as a consistent conservative who can unite all elements of the Republican Party. "The public is increasingly cynical and disenchanted with government," this adviser said. "Competence is at the heart of what people want from government, and they need to have a sense that government can do the things they care the most about. They want a reason to continue Republican governance. Thompson can be seen as the adult with a firm hand on the tiller."

Thompson urged the supporters to muster a major show of financial force in early July, just after the June 30 deadline for second-quarter financial reports to the Federal Election Commission.
Thompson's top rivals — Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney — will have a formidable advantage for the current quarter, so he plans to show his muscle right after that.

Similarly, several Thompson advisers are urging him to skip the Iowa Republican Straw Poll in Ames on Aug. 11, since his campaign will have such a short time to prepare. Instead, Thompson could campaign 30 miles away in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fair, which will be taking place at the same time.

Since Thompson began hinting he might get in, polls have generally showed him tied for third with Romney. In the most recent average of national polls on, each had 10 percent of the vote, behind Giuliani at 26 percent and McCain at 18 percent. Since those polls were taken, Romney has shown increasing strength in early-voting states.
The chief operations officer will be Thomas J. Collamore, a former aide to Vice President George H.W. Bush and former vice president of public affairs for Philip Morris Companies Inc. In the George H.W. Bush administration, Collamore was an assistant secretary of commerce under Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher. In the Reagan administration, he was special assistant to Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige.

That reflects the pedigrees of some of the key Republicans who are likely to join the campaign, advisers say. Republicans from the grass-roots level to President Bush's inner circle have expressed frustration with the current field of candidates, and so Thompson initially will likely get a lot of fawning attention from party leaders and the news media. But it is not clear that he can turn his celebrity into a solid candidacy. Supporters realize the potential liabilities: the late start after many endorsements; donors and activists have been locked up by other candidates; a reputation for an aversion to hard work; his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer; and a bear-like physique that makes him look his 64 years.
Organizers were encouraged by a donor meeting in New York City on Thursday afternoon that was attended by some of the best-known names in state and national politics. Without disclosing his specific plans, Thompson plans to keep the momentum going with an appearance in Richmond on Saturday at the Commonwealth Gala, headed by Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Ed Gillespie.

In a preview of the campaign to come, Thompson plans to show he is a candidate acceptable to all elements of the conservative coalition. He will make it plain to the attendees and a large press corps that, as one adviser put it, "The Fred has landed."
Thompson lives in McLean, Va. Tickets for the dinner, to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, start at $125. Sponsors who pay $1,000 to $10,000 will be able to get their photo taken with Thompson at a reception an hour before the dinner.

Thompson, who plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on the NBC series, was a senator from 1994 to 2003, elected to finish Al Gore's term when he resigned to run for vice president. Thompson then won a term of his own, and did not seek reelection in 2002. He gained national exposure in 1973 as a minority counsel to the Senate Watergate committee. He eventually became chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, where his investigation of Democratic campaign-finance activities left many Republicans disappointed.

Now a senior analyst for ABC News Radio and substitute host for the legendary Paul Harvey, Thompson savaged the White House immigration proposal in a commentary last week. "A nation without secure borders will not long be a sovereign nation," he said. "No matter how much lipstick Washington tries to slap onto this legislative pig, it's not going to win any beauty contests."

Sophloz2104 -> RE: Thompson set to announce candidacy (2/6/2007 10:54:38 AM)

So Fred Thompson has announced he will run for the Republicans.  I know that he is a great choice for the Republicans as he's far more conservative than Guliani or McCain but surely the Republicans need to put a more moderate Republican forward.  They've done the conservative bible bashing candidate and see how that turned out.

LB Jeffries -> Dems Clash During Primary Debate (4/6/2007 5:01:39 PM)

Democrats Clash During Primary Debate
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Democratic presidential candidates clashed on Sunday on Iraq and over the security of the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, trailing both New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in national polls, criticized their cautious approach in forcing President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq.
While some members of Congress spoke out "loudly and clearly" last month against legislation to pay for the war through September but without a withdrawal timetable, "others did not," Edwards said.
"They went quietly to the floor of the Senate, cast the right vote. But there is a difference between leadership and legislating," Edwards told his rivals during the second Democratic debate.
Both Clinton and Obama voted against the bill _ which passed _ but without making a strong case against the legislation.
"I think it's obvious who I'm talking about," Edwards said.
Clinton disagreed with Edwards, both in his comments on her role on Iraq and in his characterization of Bush's global war on terrorism as a "political slogan, a bumper sticker."
As a New Yorker, "I have seen first hand the terrible damage that can be inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists," Clinton said.
Still, she said, "I believe we are safer than we were."
At the conclusion of the two-hour debate, the candidates were asked what their top priority would be for their first 100 days in office:
_ Edwards: "travel the world" and "re-establish America's moral authority."
_ Clinton: bring home U.S. troops from Iraq.
_ Obama: bring home U.S. troops and push for national health care.
_ New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: upgrade U.S. schools and push a $40,000-a-year minimum wage for teachers.
_ Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: end the war in Iraq and defuse tensions with Iran and North Korea.
_ Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: help "reshape the world for peace" and end all nuclear weapons.
_ Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel: Remind Congressional leaders they can end the war in Iraq now.
_ Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: "Restore constitutional rights in this country."
The candidates sought to highlight their own differences on the war in Iraq.
Obama told Edwards, who voted in October 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq but now says that the vote was a mistake: "John, you're about four and a half years late on leadership on this issue."
Obama was not in the Senate at the time of the vote but had voiced opposition to the war resolution at the time.
Edwards conceded, "He was right, I was wrong" on opposing the war from the beginning. And Edwards sought to highlight his change of heart on his vote with Clinton's continuing refusal to disavow her vote for the war resolution.
Said Clinton: "That was a sincere vote."
She again declined to say her vote was wrong.
Kucinich said the war on Iraq should not just be blamed on Bush, but on the Congress that authorized it.
U.S. troops "never should have been sent there in the first place," he said. Rather than debate timetables and benchmarks, the Democratic-controlled Congress should "just say no money, the war's over," he said.
To a question on whether English should be the official language in the United States, only former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel raised his hand in the affirmative.
But Obama protested the question itself, calling it "the kind of question that was designed precisely to divide us." He said such questions "do a disservice to the American people."
All the candidates raised their hands when asked by moderator Wolf Blitzer if they would get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military instituted by President Clinton.
Was it a mistake? Clinton said her husband's 1993 formulation "was a transition policy," but one that is no longer valid.
She said it is being "implemented in a discriminatory manner" and has been used to discharge Arabic linguists when such translators are in short supply.
Asked what role former President Clinton would play in a new Democratic White House, she said, "Bill Clinton, my dear husband, would be sent around the world as a roving ambassador."
Obama ducked the question. Richardson said he would send the former president to the Middle East as a peace envoy. Gravel said, he would use him as a traveling goodwill ambassador. "He can take his wife with him, she'll still be in the Senate," Gravel said to laughter.
Edwards also challenged Obama, who recently unveiled his health care plan, on the need for universal coverage. Edwards was the first Democratic candidate to offer a proposal and he complained that Obama's plan falls short of offering universal coverage.
Candidates also split on ways to pressure the government of Sudan to end violence in its Darfur region, where more than 200,000 people have been killed in four years of fighting between local rebels and government forces.
Richardson suggested leaning on China _ up to a possible threatened boycott of the 2008 summer Olympics _ to pressure Sudan to allow in more U.N. peacekeepers.
Clinton declined to say whether she would use military force in Darfur, saying she didn't want to "talk about these hypotheticals."
The candidates squared off as a new national poll found Clinton maintaining a significant lead over her rivals. The Washington Post/ABC News poll found the former first lady leading the field with 42 percent support among adults, compared with 27 percent for Obama and 11 percent for Edwards.

LB Jeffries -> Obama Outraises Clinton Again (7/6/2007 10:02:58 PM)


Obama To Beat Clinton In Second-Quarter Fundraising


The Huffington Post has learned from sources close to both candidates that the Obama campaign will surpass the Clinton campaign in second quarter fundraising. "It's a matter of pure mathematics," an Obama fundraiser told HuffPost. "We had 104,000 donors in the first quarter; Clinton had 60,000. And while 75 percent of Hillary's contributors had maxed out, only 50 percent of ours had. So we had had a lot more potential to grow -- and we did." The fundraising period for this quarter ends on June 30, and campaigns have until July 15 to disclose their numbers. "Even though there are over three weeks left," a Clinton source told HuffPost, "it will be next to impossible for us to make up the difference. The machine we have at the $2,300 level is a superior machine, but the Obama campaign continues to beat us with small donors and on the Internet."

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