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Appetite for Self-Destruction

Appetite for Self-Destruction

By Steve Knopper
$19.76

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Tag: Campaign

Pelosi and Reid
citizenship.typepad.com

Choosing for Us

There’s an ugly possibility out there: The Democratic race could be so close it would be decided by the 796 super delegates (governors, members of Congress and the like) and not the people who voted and caucused. Party Chairman Howard Dean says he will do everything possible to avoid such a turn of events and Democratic strategists mostly agree that it would be a disaster for the party, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the super delegate notion to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Romney
mcclatchydc.com

Romney Faces Facts

Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential campaign Thursday, but you’ll probably still have him to kick around, as he hinted that he might run again. He said he made the difficult decision because he didn’t want to help the Democrats—and, by some illogical extension, the terrorists—win: “And, frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Division Problems

The Super Tuesday primaries were a test of strength that demonstrated weaknesses in both parties and pointed to problems each could confront in the fall.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


So Much for Conventional Wisdom

Super Tuesday, Super Duper Tuesday, Plus-Size Tuesday, Vastly Engorged and Rotund Tuesday turned into a serious case of political bulimia. Never before have so many gorged on such huge portions of political expectations only to find themselves purged the next morning.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton’s Pragmatic Appeal

Kitchen-table worries trumped even the charisma of Camelot. This theme has sounded again and again since the Democratic primary contests began, yet neither the national media nor, apparently, the Obama campaign can hear it.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
jossip.com

How Is Obama the Underdog?

Somehow Barack Obama has managed a political hat trick. He appears to have won the most delegates on Super Tuesday, he certainly has the most money (Clinton loaned herself $5 million while Obama is on track to set more records), and yet somehow he’s also winning the expectations game.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Clinton
AP photo / Chris Carlson

Once Again, It’s Close

As the dust settles from Tuesday’s “national primary,” we know two things: John McCain is the Republican front-runner and the Democrats still have a race on their hands. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama swapped states all night. Obama won more states overall, but Hillary took home the big prizes of California and New York. Updated

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Oprah
smh.com.au

Super Oprah Saves Desperate Voter

When Oprah Winfrey heard that a woman at a precinct next door wasn’t allowed to vote, she pledged to stay with the frustrated voter until she got to cast her ballot: “She [Winfrey] just kind of stood there and then as soon as I got to vote she left and she said, ‘I’ll call you later to make sure that you voted.’ And probably about an hour later I was sitting at my desk and she called my cell phone.”

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Salvation

Democrats are divided this year not by the issues but by a feeling and a theory. This helps explain why the preferences of voters in the Democratic presidential primaries so far have gyrated so wildly.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary’s Baggage

When you Google the phrase “unconstitutional third term,” you get references to a rogue’s gallery of strongman leaders—Vladimir Putin, Alberto Fujimori, Olusegun Obasanjo, Islam Karimov, Hugo Chavez—who in recent years at least have flirted with the idea of holding on to power beyond statutory limits. Now the name Bill Clinton pops up, too.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton
wsvn.com

Fact-Checking Clinton’s ‘35 Years of Change’

Hillary Clinton has made much of her “35 years” of “working to bring positive change to people’s lives,” but when McClatchy’s Washington bureau investigated the claim, it found that the “bulk of her career” was spent “at one of Arkansas’ most prestigious corporate law firms, where she represented big companies and served on corporate boards.”

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


It’s an Air War

There’s a reason campaigns are more expensive than ever: commercials. Although they try, the candidates can’t be in every Super Tuesday state at the same time, and the most effective way of reaching millions of people in one state is the same for politicians as it is for Tylenol. Even Barack Obama, who has bet big on his grass-roots organization, spent around $4 million on ads in the last week of January.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


Obama, Clinton and California

Down to the Wire

Super Tuesday, when 22 states and American Samoa could decide the Democratic nominee, is one day away and no one knows what is going to happen. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dead even nationally. Clinton led by as many as 15 points a month ago. But it’s the biggest prize of the contest, California, where only a week ago Clinton led by 17 points, that has everyone guessing.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


rove and clinton
dudehisattva.com

‘Push Polling’ Taints Campaign in California

New polls show Barack Obama closing in on Hillary Clinton’s lead, nationally, in California and among women voters, which may be why either the Clinton campaign or some ally is engaging in that unsavory campaign tactic, the push poll.

Posted on Feb 3, 2008 READ MORE


Middle East Tunes In to the Campaign

The Mosaic Intelligence Report follows the Middle Eastern media as they report on the U.S. presidential campaign with rapt attention. After all, this is the future head of the world’s only superpower (one that has taken a keen interest in the neighborhood) we’re talking about here.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Obama supporters
Original: AP photo / M. Spencer Green

MoveOn, L.A. Times Endorse Obama

Barack Obama had cause for celebration Friday. Though he still trails Hillary Clinton in most big states, he picked up two endorsements that will undoubtedly have an impact. MoveOn says it is already mobilizing its 3.2 million members—more than half of whom live in super Tuesday states—on behalf of Obama. The Los Angeles Times was flattering of Clinton, but, as the editorial board put it: “Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long—a sense of aspiration.”

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
todbrilliant.com

The Platform John Edwards Built

Paul Krugman argues in Friday’s New York Times that if the Democrats win in 2008, it will be because of their big ideas, and for that, Krugman writes, “they’ll have Mr. Edwards to thank.” He’s got a point. Does anyone remember that John Edwards was the first one out of the gate with a bold health care plan that bears a striking resemblance to the bold health care plans that followed?

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Coulter

Coulter Would Campaign for Clinton Over McCain

OK, so clearly Ann Coulter is not above leaning heavily on hyperbole to raise a few eyebrows and sell a few books, but this time she even managed to shock us a little with her announcement on Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” that she’d go to bat for Hillary Clinton if she’s up against John McCain for the presidency, because, Coulter said, Clinton’s “more conservative” than McCain. 

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Giving Israel a Pass

The former “60 Minutes” producer laments the unfortunate tendency to treat any criticism of Israel as an attack on the Jewish people and a denial of their past suffering.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Rocky Mountain Realities

The eight states between California and Kansas often get written off by political snobs, but the electoral complexities at play there will almost certainly swing the next election.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


The Ups and Downs of Electability

Now that the presidential field has been winnowed to four—barring a miraculous return by one of the contestants recently voted off the island—the new national pastime is gaming the electability factor.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE



nytimes.com

Schwarzenegger Backs McCain

California’s celebrity governor has thrown his muscle behind the McCain campaign. Despite the occasional pander, McCain still plays better with California’s moderates than Mitt Romney, who appears to have been embraced, if reluctantly, by the more conservative elements of his party.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Between a Veteran and a Visionary

The Kennedy clan, like many families across the country, is divided. It’s a struggle between the appeal of experience and idealism, and will ultimately decide the Democratic race.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Step Back, Mr. Clinton

The most likely motive for Bill Clinton’s reckless political performance in recent weeks, ironically and sadly, is to redress the terrible humiliations he inflicted on his wife in years past.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Giuliani
proof7.com

Giuliani to Endorse McCain

Rudy Giuliani is expected to endorse John McCain at the Reagan library in California on Wednesday. The man who suffered one of the most dramatic campaign implosions in recent memory explained his collapse to supporters this way: “You don’t always win, but you can always try to do it right, and you did.” Although doing it a bit earlier, too, wouldn’t have hurt.

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


Beating the Odds in Florida

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Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

McCain Wins in Florida

John McCain won the Republican primary in Florida on Tuesday with a decent lead over runner-up Mitt Romney. Rudy Giuliani, who bet it all on the Sunshine State, came in a distant third.

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


Again, a Sudden Shift in the Campaign Winds

Only a week ago, a soaring Hillary Clinton was on a trajectory to close out the nomination. Now her campaign is struggling to refocus on what had drawn voters to her.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


Cards From a Worn-Out Deck

Playing the race card against Barack Obama didn’t work out quite the way Bill Clinton had hoped. Neither did a reported last-minute personal appeal to keep Ted Kennedy, venerable guardian of the Camelot flame, from joining the Obama crusade. The question now is whether the Clintons understand how the country they seek to lead—and, regrettably, I do mean “they”—has changed.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama supporter
Flickr / Joe Crimmings

Looking Beyond Race

Although racial politics apparently still has a place in the national discourse, there are times when an emphasis on unity is necessary. According to Boyarsky, Barack Obama’s win in South Carolina last weekend reflects his appeal among voters across a broad demographic range and among the diverse volunteer squad rallying support for him in California.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Hangs Tough

Although her chief rival and her husband stole the headlines the last few days, Hillary Clinton is still the favorite heading into the Feb. 5 primaries, mostly because of her leads in key big states. Most polls, however, are out of date at this point and probably won’t catch up until it’s time to vote.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

McCain Predicts ‘Other Wars’

He’s not exactly clear on this point, but what Sen. John McCain doesn’t achieve through specificity he drives home through sheer repetition: America can expect “other wars” in the future. In this clip he delivers that warning to his “friends” at a campaign stop in Florida.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy
wikimedia.org

Two Kennedys Back Obama

It’s been a pretty amazing weekend for Barack Obama. After winning the South Carolina primary by 28 points, he managed to score the endorsements of Caroline Kennedy, who said he has the ability to inspire Americans much as her father did, and Sen. Ted Kennedy, who had been neutral but was so upset with the Clinton campaign’s tactics that he phoned the former president and gave him an earful.

Posted on Jan 27, 2008 READ MORE


The Perils of Pandering

After equating homosexuality with bestiality, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was attacked by a gay tiger.

Posted on Jan 27, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Bill Clinton: Hillary Chummy With McCain

Wow, Hillary Clinton’s husband has been très vocal of late, running the gamut of campaign tactics with such alacrity that it almost seems he’s done this before.  Bill Clinton’s latest message is one of unity—specifically, between Hillary and the man who could be her Republican rival on the presidential ballot, John McCain.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Ideas Bill Forgot

It was a remarkable moment: A young, free-thinking presidential hopeful named Bill Clinton sat down with reporters and editors at The Washington Post in October 1991 and started saying things most Democrats wouldn’t allow to pass their lips. Updated

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Message From Third Place

Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys took the stage at a rally for John Edwards in South Carolina on Wednesday, and out of a clear sky it started raining metaphors.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

Top 10 Election Videos

PoliticsTV has assembled the 10 most noteworthy videos from the campaign so far. So relive the memories as Obama gets inspirational, Hillary gets personal and Tancredo just gets weird.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Kucinich
flcikr / abstract plain

Kucinich to Quit Campaign

Dennis Kucinich is expected to announce Friday that he is dropping out of the race for the White House. The Ohio congressman faces four challengers in the primary for his seat in the House. Kucinich’s congressional campaign sent out an “urgent personal appeal” to supporters for donations on Wednesday.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Co-Presidency

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Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
cnn.com

Clinton Gets Negative About Negativity

On the same day that the Clinton campaign premiered a new attack ad in South Carolina, former President Bill Clinton tried to blame the Obama campaign and the media for heating up the rhetoric. Bill has been dispatched to South Carolina to hold the line against Obama while Hillary shores up support around the country.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Snoozes During MLK Speech

The campaign trail takes its toll on even the most robust constitution, as evidenced by this footage of Bill Clinton nodding off during a Martin Luther King Day speech.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


Thompson
nytimes.com

Thompson Drops Out

Fred Thompson was supposed to be the political savior of his party, but instead he sputtered and fizzled his way through a disappointing few months of campaigning. After poor showings in every primary and caucus to date, Thompson has decided to call it quits. Next up, Rudy Giuliani?

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton, Edwards and Obama

Show Me the Money

The issue of campaign financing was raised once again during Monday’s debate between the Democrats, so we thought we’d check the numbers and see how much the candidates are getting and from whom.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


What’s Gotten Into Bill?

Six months ago, Bill Clinton seemed to be settling comfortably into roles befitting a silver-maned former president: statesman, philanthropist, philosopher-king. Now he has put all that high-mindedness on hold—maybe it was never such a great fit, after all—to costar in his wife Hillary’s campaign as a coldblooded political hit man.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


Crunch Time for McCain

John McCain is feared by Democrats and liked by independents. That, paradoxically, is why he may yet be rejected by Republicans, even though he has bent over backward to satisfy conservative demands.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


How Much Is That Superpower in the Window?

The satirist reports that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is still trying to decide whether to buy the U.S. presidency, with the sticking point being the steep price.

Posted on Jan 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
abcnews.com

Obama Puts Bill Clinton on Notice

Barack Obama has tried to infuse his campaign with a certain loftiness and positivity, but he has grown frustrated by what he describes as “unbelievable falsehoods” coming from Bill and Hillary Clinton. Expect to see a more aggressive candidate who has already promised to “directly confront Bill Clinton when he’s making statements that are not factually accurate.”

Posted on Jan 21, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
washingtonpost.com

Clinton Wins Nevada Amid Confusion Over Delegates

Hillary Clinton won more support among Nevada caucus-goers on Saturday, but the Obama campaign will likely end up with more actual delegates. Clinton drew significant support from Latino caucusers, despite a controversial lawsuit that was rejected by a court Thursday. Defended by both Hillary and Bill, the suit had tried to make it more difficult for casino workers, many of them Latino, to caucus. Updated

Posted on Jan 19, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
washingtonpost.com

McCain Wins in S. Carolina, Avenges 2000 Drubbing

John McCain dashed Mike Huckabee’s hopes of a strong showing in the first Southern primary with a big victory in South Carolina on Saturday. McCain famously lost a nasty contest with George W. Bush there eight years ago. By contrast, Mike Huckabee said his rival’s campaign was “civil and good and decent.”

Posted on Jan 19, 2008 READ MORE


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