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Playing President

By Robert Scheer
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Tag: Democrat

McCain in crowd

McCain Tries to Cool Anti-Obama Fervor

Here’s the video footage of John McCain attempting to calm his riled-up audience by calling Barack Obama a “decent” person (and also not an “Arab,” as one bewildered audience member claims) during a campaign stop in Minnesota on Friday.

Posted on Oct 11, 2008 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton

Clinton Chats With Seacrest About VP Debate

All right, now this is getting ridiculous. None other than Ryan Seacrest has managed to insert himself into the political mix by scoring a phone interview with Hillary Clinton on his radio show Friday. What’ll it be next, the Obamas and the Bidens sit down with the preternaturally perky Mary Hart on “Entertainment Tonight?” Oh, wait ... never mind.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE

Pelosi Happy, With Pen
The New York Times / Doug Mills

The Bailout: Take Two

On Friday the House approved, after initially rejecting, the $700-billion bailout package for the financial industry in what is likely to be the most expensive government intervention in the nation’s history. This, of course, only slightly surpasses another notable “government intervention”—the nearly $600 billion spent in the war in Iraq.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE

Palin and Biden
AP photo / Don Emmert, pool

You’re No Harry Truman, Governor

Gov. Sarah Palin survived Thursday night’s debate, much to the disappointment of Democrats who hoped she would crumble as she did in her interview with Katie Couric. But she ducked tough questions, gave canned answers, tried to smile her way out of tough spots and cheerfully distorted Sen. Barack Obama’s record.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE

AP Photo / Alex Brandon

Obama Has the Edge After First Debate

Even though the American mainstream media pronounced Friday’s presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain a draw, the UK’s Guardian newspaper tallied up some poll results and found that Obama has gained an edge over McCain as the candidates head into their final month of campaigning.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE

Catholic Worker protester

Fueling the Fire of Real Change

The coals of radical social change smolder among the poor, the homeless and the destitute. As the numbers of disenfranchised dramatically increase, our hope, our only hope, is to connect intimately with the daily injustices visited upon them. Out of this contact we can resurrect, from the ground up, a social ethic, a new movement.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and McCain debate in Mississippi

Obama and McCain Face Off in First Presidential Debate

Thankfully, Jim Lehrer wasn’t left at the moderator’s podium on Friday, as both Barack Obama and John McCain showed up for their scheduled presidential debate at the University of Mississippi to field questions about the economy and foreign policy.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

A Fox to Protect the Henhouse?

Does it really matter which party is in charge when it comes to bailing out the Wall Street hustlers whose shenanigans have bankrupted so many ordinary folks? Not if the Democrats roll over and cede power to the former head of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank at the center of our economic meltdown.

Posted on Sep 23, 2008 READ MORE

Obama's menu

Obama Goes to Hollywood, Take Two

Barack Obama’s fundraising extravaganza in Hollywood Tuesday night raised a whopping $9 million for his presidential campaign and the Democratic Party—the single highest figure ever raised by a candidate in one go, as MSNBC anchor Alex Witt points out in this clip.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Brimley

McCain Bites Celeb Hands That Feed Him

John McCain took the opportunity Tuesday to criticize Barack Obama for consorting with celebrities at a Democratic fund drive in Hollywood that night, but McCain had apparently forgotten about his own celeb-attended fundraiser in Beverly Hills last month. McCain supporter Wilford Brimley has yet to comment on this grievous oversight.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / LM Otero

Obama’s Secret Weapon

While it’s fashionable for the media and some of his own supporters to be mourning the demise of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, they may well be overlooking an important point—that the vaunted McCain-Palin ticket has peaked. What else but such blind optimism could be motivating the unflagging energy of thousands of Obama grass-roots workers?

Posted on Sep 16, 2008 READ MORE

Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Bill Clinton Ready to Work for Obama

Last spring, it seemed like tug of war over the Democratic presidential nomination would never end, but now that seems part of the distant past, as Barack Obama enters the final stretch leading to November’s election. Luckily, his relations with Bill Clinton appear to have improved over time, and the former president now says he’s willing to roll up his sleeves to help Obama’s campaign however he can.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE

Keystone / Eddy Risch

Streisand to Lend Pipes to Obama’s Cause

Barack Obama will get the star treatment from Hollywood denizens (or is it the other way around?) once more before the election, at a two-part fundraising extravaganza on Sept. 16.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama Gears Up for the Next Round

Barack Obama was busy drumming up support—and additional funding—in New Jersey on Friday, readying his response to the McCain campaign’s Palin-palooza at last week’s Republican National Convention and telling supporters he’s ready to scrap it out.

Posted on Sep 6, 2008 READ MORE

Obama on O'Reilly

Obama and O’Reilly Square Off

The first installment of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly aired Thursday, during which the Fox News host drove a hard line about Iran’s nuclear program and the success of the “surge” in Iraq. “Why can’t you just say, ‘I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge?’ ” asked O’Reilly.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Clooney Raises $900K for Obama in Switzerland

He might have steered clear of last week’s Democratic National Convention, claiming that politicians were the proper stars of that show, but George Clooney didn’t miss his chance to charm some $900K out of American supporters of Barack Obama at a fundraiser in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Palin
AP photo / Stephan Savoia

Some Dems Aren’t Buying Palin’s Bridge Story

Last Friday, as John McCain introduced his running mate to the world, Gov. Sarah Palin characterized herself as a scrappy outsider who wasn’t afraid to buck the system when she stridently challenged construction of a $223 million bridge project in Alaska, which she sardonically called “that Bridge to Nowhere.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on Biden, Palin

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama sat down for a “60 Minutes” interview with his vice presidential pick, Joe Biden, to talk about why he chose Biden and what he thinks about rival John McCain’s choice, Gov. Sarah Palin, for whom Obama has a couple of nice words before noting that she “subscribes to John McCain’s agenda.”

Posted on Aug 31, 2008 READ MORE

Biden and Obama

Mosaic: The DNC as Seen From the Arab World

Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as his running mate sent a clear and unpleasant message to the Arab world, as did the absence of former President Jimmy Carter from the lineup of speakers at the Denver convention last week.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008 READ MORE

Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club
AP photo / Bill Haber

Yes We Can Can

New Orleans has figured into this election season as a reminder of the Bush administration’s bungled, uncaring response to Katrina. Yet amid so much talk of hope and change, on this anniversary of disaster, many in New Orleans hope for a change of policy—the kind of federal assistance that can make a dent in crises of housing, public safety, education, health care and levee protection. It makes sense for musicians to kick-start that conversation.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Obama: Ratings Gold

If you’re going to be accused of being a celebrity, you might as well enjoy some of the perks, too, as Democratic nominee Barack Obama did on Thursday night, when some 40 milion Americans tuned in to watch his momentous acceptance speech at Invesco Field.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Matt Sayles

‘We Cannot Turn Back’

In what was perhaps the most highly anticipated (and no doubt the most highly scrutinized) moment of his political career thus far, newly nominated Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was saddled with a huge task Thursday night, but by the end, Obama had both thrown down the gauntlet and risen to the occasion—at least in the eyes of thousands of supporters who came to see his history-making acceptance speech at Denver’s Invesco Field.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


Barkley Shooting for Governor’s Post in Alabama

He wasn’t always known for his coolheaded leadership skills during his 16-year NBA career, but now, after almost 10 years off the court, Charles Barkley is apparently gearing up to compete in the political arena, telling the New York Daily News that he aims to run for governor of Alabama in a few years.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE

CNN Grill

The End of an Institution

I suppose I should be sad to watch the decline of the once mighty political media, an institution that trained and nurtured me. But that’s not how I feel. For this was the institution that cheered when President Bush took us to war. This is also the institution that is getting this Democratic National Convention wrong, obsessed with a phony feud between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, wasting time interviewing that small but vengeful cult, the die-hard Hillaryites.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE

Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Report: Bill Clinton Won’t Hear Obama Speak

According to a one-line report on CNN, a “source close to former President Bill Clinton” has tipped off the news network that, unlike Hillary, Bill Clinton will be conspicuously absent from the crowd watching soon-to-be-official Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE

Anti-abortion activists
AP photo / Bill Ross

Faith, Abortion and the Election

Although the Democratic National Convention officially started Monday, a more significant event occurred 24 hours before at a religious service held several blocks away from the main convention hall.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Strikes Key Chords in Keynote Speech

Family values? Check. Revelatory personal stories? Check. Kudos to Hillary Clinton? Check and check. Michelle Obama delivered on all the important subjects she had to hit (but not too hard) in her keynote address Monday night at the Democratic National Convention—and she had a little help on tugging some heartstrings at the end.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and doctors
AP photo / Charlie Neibergall

Prescription for a Democratic Win

As Barack Obama moves into the Democratic National Convention, he should speak out more clearly and forcefully on an issue that clearly distinguishes him from his do-nothing opponent—national health insurance.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE

AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Madonna vs. McCain

Madonna is no John McCain fan, and the feeling’s definitely mutual. The newly minted quinquagenarian icon is once again playing the provocateur on her latest tour, taking aim at McCain by making some undesirable comparisons between the GOP’s presumptive nominee and certain nefarious world leaders from past and present.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Debuts Clean, Articulate Running Mate

Here he is, the man Barack Obama introduced Saturday as “the next president of the United States of America” (before immediately correcting the slip of the tongue). Following his introduction at the Springfield, Ill., event, Biden wowed the crowd with a sprightly trot to the podium, showcased his facility with the all-important politician’s point and waxed poetic about his personal history.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Biden
AP photo / M.Spencer Green

Obama’s Choose Your Own VP Adventure

The New York Times sheds some light on the back-room dealings, global developments and veep-vetting sessions that went into whittling down Barack Obama’s short list of vice presidential candidates to the final contender, who heard Obama’s final pitch while at the dentist’s office.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008 READ MORE


Lights, Camera, Biden

There were probably some really scintillating attack ads about Barack Obama’s other rumored vice presidential candidates ready to launch, but alas, they’ll never see the light of day.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008 READ MORE

Sen. Biden

Team McCain Ready With Anti-Biden Artillery

By the time Barack Obama officially confirmed that Joe Biden was to be his running mate, John McCain’s campaign had prepped its response—as Obama’s own camp has no doubt done for McCain’s pick from the Republican VP pool. Two candidates = double the attack-ad fodder!

Posted on Aug 23, 2008 READ MORE

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman to Speak at GOP Convention

Here’s some news that’s bound to spark outrage from within the Democratic ranks: None other than Sen. Joe Lieberman, “Independent Democrat” and vice presidential candidate on the 2000 Democratic ticket, is slated to speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Minnesota.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE

obama ad

Celebrity Ad Wars: Obama Edition

Celebrities have become mere pawns in the tussle between John McCain and Barack Obama, both of whom have now released campaign ads accusing the other of being a celebrity and snuggling up to celebrities. Celebrities = bad!

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Dogged by Another Member of the Hollywood Blonde Posse

Just as John McCain was catching flak for bolstering Paris Hilton’s bafflingly resilient showbiz career, another danger appeared on the horizon in the form of that purebred Hollywood golden retriever Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s turned up in a Democrat-sponsored PSA with an angular bob that could slice deli meat and a get-out-the-vote message for expat American voters.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE

McCain 'The One' ad

McCain Campaign Even More Obsessed With Obama

Right, so we’ve just seen the comparisons to Britney and Paris in John McCain’s “Celeb” commercial, one of several ads from Team McCain’s oeuvre that perhaps unwisely focus almost exclusively on the presumptive Democratic nominee instead of on McCain’s own policies and positions. Now, here’s Charlton Heston’s Moses impersonation to ratchet up the Camp-O-Meter in “The One,” a McCain spot that ends by ... saying Obama “might be The One.” Huh?

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Obama on the Brink

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack. Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Sergei Chuzavkov

Obama Humor 101

We all know about this week’s Controversial Satire Attempt by that wicked, bad New Yorker magazine, which critics can now bash for being wicked instead of just elitist. (Boring!) That particular faux pas rocked the ever-intertwined worlds of politics and publishing and seemed to prove that poking fun at a certain presumptive presidential nominee can be a precarious enterprise, if not an absolute no-no.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / Joe Crimmings

A $52-Million Month

As Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, said in an e-mail to Obama supporters, the campaign has developed a “very aggressive strategy” that requires aggressive fundraising efforts as well. Judging by Team Obama’s tally for the month of June, those efforts are quite literally paying off.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Al Behrman

Obama: ‘The Central Front in the War on Terror Is Not Iraq’

Sen. Barack Obama made a key speech on Tuesday in Washington, in which he asserted his position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a 16-month troop withdrawal timetable and outlined his plans for combating terrorism if he is elected president in November.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE

Denver Group ad

Mutiny at the Democratic National Convention?

A defiant new group of Democrats calling itself the Denver Group has started a campaign to make sure the Democratic presidential nomination remains open until August’s convention in Denver, leaving the game open to certain contenders (read: HRC) instead of following the “presumptive nominee Barack Obama” plan.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE

Ted Kennedy returns
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Ted Kennedy Makes Surprise Visit to Save Medicare Bill

Just when it seemed they wouldn’t have enough votes to pass a key Medicare bill, Democratic senators staged a dramatic coup by secretly whisking Sen. Edward Kennedy into the Capitol on Wednesday to cast his vote and make his first congressional appearance since he was diagnosed with brain cancer in May.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE

Pelosi and Congress members
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Congressional Approval Rating Falls to 9%

President Bush hasn’t exactly been basking in the glow of Americans’ approval recently, according to those all-important poll numbers, and now he’s got some company at the bottom of the barrel. Rasmussen Reports finds that just 9 percent of American voters think Congress is doing a bang-up job, and the numbers fall even lower for respondents who don’t identify as either Republicans or Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE

Jim Webb

Webb Opts Out of VP Pageant

He’s hung up his tiara and sash, ladies and gentlemen: Virginia’s Sen. Jim Webb has announced in no uncertain terms that he is officially out of the running to be Barack Obama’s choice for vice president. As Talking Points Memo reported Monday, Webb put out a formal statement declaring that he has made it clear to Obama’s camp that he wants to continue serving as a senator but will still enthusiastically back Obama’s bid for the presidency.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Clinton
AP photo / Charlie Niebergall

A Place Called Unity

Hillary Clinton finally campaigned with Barack Obama, at a rally in the town of Unity, N.H. Never one to miss out on using overtly direct town names—remember Bill Clinton was born in a place called Hope—the Democratic Party may be trying a bit too hard to heal its wounds after a divisive battle in the primaries.

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE

Bush toilet paper

San Franciscans Hoping to Flush in Bush’s Honor

It might be safe to assume that these folks aren’t fans of President Bush: A group calling itself the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is hoping to commemorate Bush as he leaves office by re-christening a nearby sewage station as the George W. Bush Sewage Plant and by urging locals to flush together on cue on Jan. 20, 2009.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008 READ MORE

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