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Dems in Cleveland
AP photo / Carolyn Kaster, file

Dems Dropping the Ball on Iraq Debate

I’m afraid Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are giving the game away to John McCain on the most important matter facing the country, the Iraq war. I hate to sound like one of those middle-aged jock-loving MSNBC pundits, but as I sit here on the sidelines I want to scream, “Quit playing defense.”

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Texas
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Obama Gets Grilled

Perhaps responding to accusations made by pundits and politicians that Barack Obama has been given kid-glove treatment by the media, reporters at a San Antonio, Texas, press conference made sure they didn’t invite similar criticism Monday night.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert March 03

The ‘Colbert Bump’ = $$ for Candidates

You know you’ve hit it big when you’re the topic of an academic study on the media.  As it turns out, there’s a demonstrable effect known as “the Colbert bump,” which entails a boost in campaign cash for politicians who make a stop at “The Colbert Report” while on the campaign trail.  Translation: Stephen Colbert can count on a full dance card for, say, the next few decades.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE


Cinton

Clinton’s ‘Pretty Pathetic’ Time With Stewart

Hillary Clinton showed she could dish it and take it from Jon Stewart with her opening zinger in her Monday night appearance (via a not-so-very-synced-up satellite connection) on “The Daily Show,” pronouncing her decision to spend precious minutes with Stewart “pretty pathetic.”

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

What John McCain Should Know

More than any other candidate for president, John McCain should know that peace talks can be stronger and smarter than bombs, that withdrawing American soldiers can be the best way to achieve stability, and that the best way to protect American troops is to bring them home from the war zone.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Bollywood

Obama Goes to Bollywood

Now, mind you, this is not an officially endorsed campaign video for Barack Obama. But we kind of wish it was.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


McCain in NYC
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

What the Times Didn’t Tell About McCain

As Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain twisted briefly in the wind kicked up by that New York Times story suggesting he had swapped political favors for the personal favors of an attractive lobbyist for the telecommunications industry, I kept waiting for the public policy punch line.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee
newsweek.com

Huckabee Yells Out for a Debate, but the Press Goes Deaf

How quickly the tides turn for would-be presidential nominees. Just a few weeks ago, a former Arkansas governor was grabbing headlines, and it wasn’t Bill Clinton. Now, Mike Huckabee is calling for a debate with GOP front-runner John McCain and almost no one in the media is taking note except the six reporters still assigned to trail him.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / J. Pat Carter

McCain Wishes Castro a Speedy Retirement From Land of the Living

Sen. John McCain, campaigning in Indianapolis, said Cuba won’t be better off under Fidel Castro’s fraternal successor, Raul Castro, whom he called “worse in many respects than Fidel was,” and the Republican front-runner voiced the hope that Fidel will meet his commie maker, Karl Marx, “very soon.”

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

NYT Runs Controversial McCain Story, Spat Ensues

Did unwanted attention from a New Republic scribe prod The New York Times into printing its long-awaited story about certain alleged snags in Sen. John McCain’s moral fabric?  McCain’s camp apparently thinks so, but regardless, the Arizona senator’s team is switching into battle mode to counter the paper’s “smear campaign.”

Posted on Feb 20, 2008 READ MORE


Letterman

Letterman on John McCain, Mall-Walker

Americans of a certain age may take umbrage at David Letterman’s characterizations of 71-year-old presidential candidate John McCain as a “Wal-Mart greeter,” a “mall-walker” and “the guy at the supermarket who is confused by the automatic doors.”

Posted on Feb 20, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Bush
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Bush I Backs McCain

John McCain’s recent jockeying to make himself look like a direct heir to Ronald Reagan’s Republican legacy was helped along Monday by George H.W. Bush’s vote of confidence that McCain is indeed the right person to lead the nation as the next president.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

McCain Votes Against Torture Ban

Sen. John McCain has established himself as an outspoken critic of torture, which makes his vote Wednesday against the Feinstein Amendment, which would set limits on the types of interrogation techniques used by American intelligence agencies, all the more puzzling—or, in the case of The Atlantic columnist Andrew Sullivan, heartbreaking.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary4U@Me

Worst. Campaign. Song. Ever.

Let’s just put it out there that this is not a critique of Hillary Clinton the candidate. Having said that, we’ll also say that it’s quite possible that this is the worst campaign song/video of all time. Somewhere, the members of the Jackson 5 are cringing. No parody necessary.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008 READ MORE


Bloomberg: Climate Threat Deadlier Than Terrorism

Although some politicians and media pundits who lean toward the right of the political spectrum regard global warming as an overhyped pet issue that mostly gets liberals hot under the collar, New York City mayor and media baron Mike Bloomberg (who’s moved around quite a bit on said spectrum) suggests that it is potentially much worse than the threat of terrorism. He made the comment Monday at a U.N. climate change conference.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 READ MORE


McCain parody video

Like Hope, but Different

The inevitable parodies of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” video have begun—this one isn’t so much about Obama or Hillary Clinton as it is about Republican front-runner John McCain, whose infamous hundred-year (or more) plan for America’s presence in Iraq is deservedly and humorously lambasted here.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary in Seattle
flickr.com

Clinton Looks Ahead

Sen. Hillary Clinton is focusing on the high points of the last week—her Super Tuesday successes in weighty states like New York and California, for example—and looking to potential wins in Texas and other elections to hold her position in the race for the Democratic nomination in coming weeks.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


Grammy Tops Off Obama’s Winning Weekend

Maine caucus-goers and Grammy voters gave Barack Obama two more wins on Sunday, rounding out a weekend of victories in four states with the Grammy trophy for best spoken word album for his recording of “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”  Here’s the kicker:  Obama beat out former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for the Grammy.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Super Saturday for Obama

Amid speculation that a long road might be in store for Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the tide turned in Obama’s favor Saturday with Nebraska and Washington state caucus victories and a big win in the Louisiana primary.

Posted on Feb 9, 2008 READ MORE


Stewart on Romney

‘Daily Show’: Life Mitt-Out Romney

Jon Stewart bids farewell to Mitt Romney, erstwhile presidential candidate and “man-shaped polymer casing for a spiritual vacuum” (ouch!), and calls into question Romney’s anti-terrorist rationale for bowing out of the ‘08 race.

Posted on Feb 9, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee supporters
AP photo / Orlin Wagner

Huckabee Hangs On

If one thing is clear after last week’s Super Tuesday craziness, it’s that candidates who seemed to score big want to claim victory as a foregone conclusion, while others who didn’t show quite as strongly—like Mike Huckabee, for example—want to challenge the finality of the results.

Posted on Feb 9, 2008 READ MORE


Kucinich
AP photo / Mark Duncan

Kucinich Under Fire

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is back in Cleveland and fighting for his political survival as his longtime corporate opponents finance a Swift-boat-style media onslaught to take over his congressional seat. Here he fires back and makes his case for why Cleveland, and the country, needs his voice in Congress now more than ever.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Bush's budget
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Legacy of Bush II

Curb your enthusiasm. Even if your favored candidate did well on Super Tuesday, ask yourself if he or she will seriously challenge the bloated military budget that President Bush has proposed for 2009.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Georgia voters
AP photo /J ohn Bazemore

Obama Takes Georgia

Record numbers of African-Americans came out to vote for Sen. Barack Obama in Georgia’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, giving Obama a big win at the kickoff of a long evening of waiting for other states’ results.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary
AP photo / Elise Amendola

Clinton Prepares for Fox News Debate

Perhaps regardless of Tuesday’s election results, Sen. Hillary Clinton is looking toward the next debate opportunity—this time sponsored by Fox News—on Feb. 11. Barack Obama, however, hasn’t agreed yet to appear on the conservative channel.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary on Coulter

Clinton Cracks Wise About Coulter

It’s endorsement mania in these final hours before Super Tuesday, and here’s Hillary Clinton taking news of Ann Coulter’s offhanded endorsement in stride, shooting a quick joke back at the “Inside Edition” reporter who apparently hoped to freak her out by cornering her with his Coulter question and his cameraman’s assertive use of his zoom function.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


Cindy McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Being Mrs. McCain

The UK’s Times Online certainly chose a very particular frame for its profile of John McCain’s wife, Cindy, as evidenced by the headline: “Flawed Cindy McCain Has a Grudge List.”  Further down, Mrs. McCain gets a bit more credit when writer Tony Allen-Mills predicts she’d make a “formidable but flawed first lady.” There appears to be a pattern at work here.

Posted on Feb 4, 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


Edwards
observer.com

Edwards Bows Out

Pledging to soldier on in his quest to fight poverty, Democratic candidate John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday. Edwards has not yet endorsed either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. His two former rivals both praised him Wednesday as he made his exit. 

Posted on Jan 30, 2008 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy

Sen. Kennedy Rallies Behind Obama

You’ve heard the news, now watch the speech: Sen. Ted Kennedy was careful to pay tribute to “friends” Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, but Monday’s pep rally at American University in Washington, D.C., was all about Barack Obama, whom Kennedy calls “the candidate who inspires me” and the one most able to “renew our belief that our country’s best days are still to come.”

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


McAuliffe
AP photo / Mike Wintroath

Angling for Edwards’ Loyal Lawyers

Politics mixed with martinis and swizzle sticks as campaign aides from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s camps infiltrated a Puerto Rican resort in an effort to woo John Edwards’ colleagues and supporters at an annual gathering of top American trial lawyers.  Above, one of the weekend’s political players, Clinton lieutenant Terry McAuliffe.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton
jfklibrary.org

Did Bill Clinton Hurt Hillary’s S.C. Showing?

Former President Bill Clinton’s strong words in the days leading up to the South Carolina Democratic primary may have affected Saturday’s results in ways that didn’t help Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls. While polling is under (well-deserved) scrutiny lately, statistics aren’t needed to indicate how risky some of Bill Clinton’s choices have been.

Posted on Jan 26, 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


Obama

Obama Presents Top 10 List on ... Obama

The current crop of presidential candidates are keenly aware of the value of impressing America’s youth with a little ironic self-parody, ideally showcased on the Internet and/or late-night TV shows. Here’s Barack Obama doing his part to make the youngsters laugh by gamely delivering David Letterman’s signature Top 10 list about himself.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate in Florida

What’s to be done about the sagging U.S. economy? What’s with John McCain’s dogged insistence that we’re “succeeding” in Iraq?  Thursday night found the handful of Republican candidates still in the ‘08 race for the White House facing off in Florida.  Here’s what they had to say.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE


Stallone
AP photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

Rambo Adds Muscle to McCain Campaign

What is it with the, shall we say, seasoned action stars endorsing Republican presidential candidates?  First we had Huck ‘n’ Chuck, and now Sylvester Stallone has come out in support of Republican front-runner John McCain.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert

Colbert Mans the Phones for Huckabee

On behalf of his faux-fave candidate, (real) Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, pseudo-pundit Stephen Colbert performs his own brand of negative campaigning, taking to the phones to quiz voters about how their potential support for Huckabee rival John McCain might change if McCain were to have fathered an “illegitimate pirate baby,” among other alarming scenarios.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE


Romney in SC

Romney, Reporter Spar in a Staples Store

Following presidential candidates from state to state as they shake hands, kiss babies (and backsides, some might say, in the figurative sense) and promise to be the Best Prez Ever! must get tiresome for reporters on the campaign trail. In this clip, it’s hard to say if the grind got to AP scribe Glen Johnson or whether Mitt Romney’s claims about eschewing lobbyists made him snap.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Huckabee on the Slippery Slope of Gay Marriage

Here’s further evidence that Mike Huckabee isn’t exactly worried about currying favor with Log Cabin Republicans: In an interview with Beliefnet.com, the conservative presidential candidate made the woefully familiar argument that condoning gay marriage is akin to condoning bestiality.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE


Blitzer and Romney

Romney Hazy on Torture Definition

CNN’s ubiquitous anchor Wolf Blitzer point-blanked Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney last weekend about what exactly constitutes torture and whether techniques like waterboarding are ever defensible, but Romney deferred to the popular national security rationale, implying that in “ticking time bomb” circumstances, a president may elect to use certain unpopular techniques.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008 READ MORE


Ron Paul on Leno

Ron Paul Blasts Fox News on Leno

What was up with Fox News excluding Ron Paul from Sunday’s Republican debate?  Jay Leno puzzles over the network’s decision, and Paul posits some answers:  He’s a “strict constitutionalist” and anti-Iraq war.  Leno points out that Paul’s a “Republican.”  But as for Fox News higher-ups, the Texas politician responds, “They’re not.” 

Posted on Jan 8, 2008 READ MORE


NH debate
AP photo / Steven Senne

The Battleground of New Hampshire

As the candidates press forward in the final hours before the state’s primary, the war and health care stand as prime issues.  But no one is fully facing up to the fact that the latter cannot be properly addressed as long as the U.S. is paying for the former.

Posted on Jan 7, 2008 READ MORE


edwards
AP photo / Charlie Niebergall

Edwards Lays Out Aggressive Withdrawal Plan

When it comes to setting an exact timetable for withdrawing American forces from Iraq, some Democratic candidates are more forthcoming with the details than others.  Take John Edwards, for example, who told The New York Times about his ambitious plan to bring nearly all U.S. troops home within 10 months if he is elected president.

Posted on Jan 2, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee

Huckabee on Homosexuality and Other ‘Aberrations’

As the primaries loom ever closer, presidential candidates are contending not only with each other, firing and deflecting accusations at a furious pace, but with themselves—scrambling to “put into context” (i.e., rationalize) things they have said, or written, as in Huckabee’s case here.

Posted on Dec 31, 2007 READ MORE


Ron Paul

Paul: U.S. Should Keep Its Nose Out of Pakistan

When point-blanked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about how he would handle the current situation in Pakistan, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul blasted U.S. alignment with “military dictator” Pervez Musharraf and accused Washington of fostering unrest among anti-U.S. factions in Pakistan by setting up a “puppet government.”  Rep. Paul was on Thursday’s “Situation Room.”

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. Candidates React to Bhutto Assassination

American presidential contenders from both sides of the aisle sounded off on Thursday about the suicide attack that claimed the life of erstwhile Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as she was campaigning for a comeback following years of self-imposed exile from her homeland.

Posted on Dec 27, 2007 READ MORE


Obama in Iowa
AP photo / Kevin Sanders

Iowa ‘08:  Barack Obama Live

In his first dispatch from the scene of the upcoming caucuses, Boyarsky gets a look at Barack Obama in action as the Democratic presidential hopeful delivers a speech in Des Moines touching on foreign policy and the issue of experience in office.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


huckabee
AP photo / Charlie Neibergall

Huckabee on the Rise

Just two weeks shy of the Iowa primary, the contest for the Republican presidential nomination has shifted into high gear, with former Arkansas governor (note to aspiring politicos: Arkansas is apparently not the worst place to cultivate presidential ambitions) Mike Huckabee rising quickly through GOP ranks to take the lead.

Posted on Dec 19, 2007 READ MORE


Dodd
hoinews.com

Dodd Gears Up for FISA Filibuster

Sen. Chris Dodd is preparing to take to the Senate floor with a filibuster to thwart the legislative advancement of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act if it doesn’t include his proposed amendment, co-sponsored with Sen. Russ Feingold, that would prevent the Bush administration from retroactively letting big telecom companies off the hook for allowing the government to conduct warrantless surveillance on their networks.

Posted on Dec 17, 2007 READ MORE


Romney and Huckabee
AP photo / Charlie Niebergall

Campaign ‘08 Rocked by Outbreak of Accountability

It’s not at all shocking when candidates and their assorted aides take pot shots at each other as they slog through the long and dirty campaign trail, but it’s at least a bit surprising when they ‘fess up to it.  That’s just what happened— twice! —in about 24 hours.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


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