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By Michael Dirda

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Tag: President

John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

McCain’s Past Catches Up in the Press

Along with maintaining the hypervigilance necessary to avoid having one’s gaffes caught on camera and replayed endlessly on YouTube, politicians face a vast array of image-maintenance challenges these days. John McCain encountered a PR problem of the lower-tech variety on Friday, in the form of two newspaper articles focusing on details from his private life that could be gleaned from plain ol’ public records.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Israel Puts Its Foot Down

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Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE    


Obama
AP photo /J im Cole

Playing Down the Middle

Politics is a cruel and disappointing business. This year, Democratic liberals gambled on a young man who offered hope and change. But after those wondrous primary days, they are furious over Sen. Barack Obama’s understandable effort to reach out to an electorate that is, and long has been, planted firmly in the middle of the road.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Jim Webb
webb.senate.gov

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


Election Day
Arts Engine Inc.

Portrait of an American Election

“Election Day” isn’t a film that highlights the horse-race aspect of American politics, nor is it about red or blue states. Instead, director Katy Chevigny and her colleagues from Arts Engine Inc. aimed to capture a much more complex story—or rather, a multilayered and interconnecting set of stories—about an array of Americans from different states, backgrounds and political positions, all taking part in some way in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

McCain and the Media: A Love Story?

The McLaughlin Group takes a look at why, as John McLaughlin claims, Sen. John McCain is “emerging upward”—at least in terms of the press’ treatment of the Republican “maverick,” whom one media source praised for his “zealous, unbending beliefs,” even as another touted his willingness to thumb his nose at ultraconservatives and compromise when necessary. Pat Buchanan, however, is adamant that the McCain “love affair is over.”

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Dear American Voter

A Venezuelan’s Perspective on Campaign ‘08

There’s a great deal riding on this November’s presidential election—and, clearly, not just for Americans. Link TV has put together a new feature called “Dear American Voter” to tell those who will be able to cast their vote in the U.S. what their choices might represent for the rest of the world.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
AP photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Africa Summit Plays Nice With Mugabe

If Zimbabwe’s Thug-for-Life Robert Mugabe had any worry about the reception he would face at the African Union summit at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort on Monday, he can exhale. Mugabe received a leader’s welcome and only modest challenge as he sailed through his first international meeting since being reinstalled as Zimbabwean president after a sham election. Updated

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
AP photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Mugabe Prevails in Sham Election

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has fought tooth and nail to maintain his position of power during the three months since his authority was threatened by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, widely recognized (but not by Mugabe) as the winner of last March’s election, and now it looks like all that hard work and abject brutality has paid off.

Posted on Jun 28, 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


Zimbabwe Election Goes Forward

After months of strife and bloodshed, the presidential runoff in Zimbabwe finally became a reality Friday; however, it hardly seems like an election, considering there’s only one candidate: long-time President Robert Mugabe.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE


Bush toilet paper
allamericanpatriots.com

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


Obama In the Money
patdollard.com

Obama to Pay for Party Unity

Barack Obama is reaching out to Hillary Clinton’s pocketbook, asking his finance team to help pay off at least $10 million of the debt Clinton accrued during her primary bid. The move comes after an announcement that Camp Obama had raised $287 million by the end of May and declined public funding of his campaign.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008 READ MORE


Sarkozy in Tel Aviv

Policeman’s Suicide Hastens Sarkozy’s Farewell to Israel

An Israeli policeman killed himself Tuesday afternoon at the Tel Aviv airport—just as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, were saying their goodbyes to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert before boarding their plane, which suddenly became a quick and urgent exercise.

Posted on Jun 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Hans Deryk

Obama on the Rise

Presidential candidate Barack Obama is currently enjoying a 15-point lead over Republican rival John McCain, according to a new poll conducted by Newsweek, which found that 51 percent of registered voters around the country favored Obama for president, while 36 percent picked McCain.

Posted on Jun 21, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer,file

Obama Taking Clinton on the Campaign Trail

Hillary Clinton will be joining her erstwhile rival, Barack Obama, for a week of campaign support as he ramps up his efforts to defeat John McCain in November’s presidential elections. Clinton will kick off her tandem tour with Obama June 27 in a bid to repair lingering rifts within Democratic circles.

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabe
AP photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Mugabe Henchmen Mutilate and Murder Opposition Activists

In a gruesome killing spree that morbidly illustrates the ongoing election crisis in Zimbabwe, militia members apparently supporting President Robert Mugabe mutilated and killed four young men, three of whom were identified as activists for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the rival party to Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) group. The fourth happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t know Zanu (PF)‘s secret handshake, so to speak.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


Michelle Obama on The View

Fist Bumps All Around on ‘The View’

Michelle Obama visited “The View” on Wednesday, and, following a round of fist bumps with the show’s starring lineup (as well as a few jokes about the “terrorist fist jab” of Fox News fame), Obama addressed some of the rumors and criticisms that have circulated about her recently and weighed in about whether Hillary Clinton should be her husband’s running mate.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain on Kimmel

Dude, It’s John McCain!

Among the various tidbits of personal information we learn about John McCain from this appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is that the Arizona senator’s favorite movie is “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Is it just us, or is that a slightly troubling factoid about a man hoping to be our nation’s next president?

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


Obama button
trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com

Pinpointing Racism at the Texas Republican Convention

Some challenges to Sen. Barack Obama’s potential presidential authority might be considered covertly racist, but here’s one that baldly revels in its ignorance: At last weekend’s Republican state convention in Texas, a vendor booth hosted by Republicanmarket pushed a pin that brought racial politics to the fore in the most blatant and unproductive possible way.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Carolyn Kaster, file

Is Clinton the Ticket for Obama?

Why not Hillary? Not my first choice—Al Gore is—but I find all of the pro-and-con debate about Hillary Rodham Clinton to be beside the point. She is, as Barack Obama said, likable enough, and the Dems are not likely to pick anyone better.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Cusack

John Cusack’s McCain/Bush Pop Quiz

Actor John Cusack is ramping up his political presence during this election cycle with his film “War, Inc.” and now this advertisement from MoveOn.org, in which he points out how George W. Bush and John McCain are remarkably similar in some pretty fundamental ways, regardless of McCain’s recent bids to distance himself from the outgoing president.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and female voters
AP photo / Mel Evans, File

Obama, McCain Court Women Voters

During the final stages of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a common refrain emerged among some of her more ardent supporters: If Barack Obama wins the nomination, we’re backing John McCain. Now that the dust has settled somewhat after Clinton’s concession, Obama is working to clarify the differences between his positions and McCain’s when it comes to issues that impact the lives of female voters.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Obama

Obama’s Father’s Day Message

Here’s a lengthy (run time: 23:49) video clip from Barack Obama’s Father’s Day speech at Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God on Sunday, beginning with his riff about too many fathers from the African-American community being “MIA.”

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE


MIR Bush options

Bush’s ‘All Options on the Table’ Means Only One Thing

In this installment of Link TV’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report,” host Jamal Dajani looks closely at the true meaning of President Bush’s pronouncement on the U.S. stance vis-à-vis Iran, that “all options are on the table.” Could it mean he intends to follow U.N. protocol? Well, no—not from the Middle Eastern perspective, at least.

Posted on Jun 14, 2008 READ MORE


Kandahar prison
AP photo / Allauddin Khan

Taliban-Led Raid Frees 1,200 in Afghan Prison Break

A nighttime raid on Kandahar’s Sarposa Prison, carried out by Taliban operatives Friday, led to the escape of 1,200 prisoners, including around 400 Taliban members. The attack represented a serious security challenge in the Afghan city that’s considered the traditional home of the country’s leaders and the Taliban’s spiritual center.

Posted on Jun 14, 2008 READ MORE


John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

The Other Mrs. McCain

The Brits are in on the American election speculation game, judging by this Daily Mail article about John McCain’s first wife, Carol, which, despite reporter Sharon Churcher’s “tsk-tsk” tone about McCain’s possible philandering and his eventual wife-swap (enter Cindy, beer heiress, pictured), also allows that Carol McCain still cares about her ex-husband and supports him in his political ventures.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton concession

Hillary Clinton Concedes, Throws Her Support to Obama

Hillary Clinton formally stepped off the long road to the White House on Saturday, at least in terms of seeking the presidency herself, by standing before a throng of supporters in Washington, D.C., and announcing she was suspending her campaign. She congratulated former rival Barack Obama and asked the gathered well-wishers “to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.”

Posted on Jun 7, 2008 READ MORE


McCain advertisement

John McCain: War = Bad

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee (still waiting for the handy acronym here, people) John McCain has a new advertisement that makes a play for the anti-war crowd with his bold pronouncement: “I hate war.” All right, but how does his latest incarnation explain the liberties he once took with a certain Beach Boys surf classic?

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Giving Hillary Clinton Her Due

Regardless of the end result of her efforts, Hillary Clinton has endured a grueling trial by fire in recent months in her historic bid for the presidency. The Nation’s Katha Pollitt points out the gains she believes Clinton made for women in and beyond the strictly political realm, arguing that ” ... Women and men of every party and candidate preference, and every ethnicity too, owe Hillary Clinton a standing ovation, even if they can’t stand her.”

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


Mofaz and Rumsfeld
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Israeli Official Sees Attacking Iran Unavoidable

An Israeli official was quoted Friday as saying that “attacking Iran in order to stop its nuclear plans will be unavoidable,” a remark that may further escalate tensions between the two countries as leaders continue to lob rhetorical digs at each other.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


Barr and Colbert

Libertarian Barr, Mustache Visit Colbert

Say what you will about Libertarian Bob Barr, but one thing’s for sure: We haven’t seen a mustachioed presidential contender like this since ... Teddy Roosevelt? During a “Colbert Report” appearance on Wednesday, Barr seemed pleased with Stephen Colbert’s assessment of his tea strainer, but gave his host the wary eye throughout the rest of his visit. A very serious man, that Bob Barr. No sudden moves, Stephen.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton headshot
Richard Phibbs / HillaryClinton.com

Clinton Signals Defeat to Supporters

Inching closer to concession, Hillary Clinton shifted gears on Thursday, taking a different tone in an e-mail to her allies and readying them to back her rival for the top spot on the Democratic presidential ticket, Barack Obama. However, she will still wait until Saturday to make any kind of formal announcement about her status in the race.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Mugabs and Tsvangs
Agence France-Presse / Alexander Joe

Mugabe Plays Politics ... With Everything

From detaining his opponent while in the middle of a runoff election campaign to suspending international aid operations due to groups’ alleged bias against the government, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has stopped at nothing to keep himself in power.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


Carter Hay Festival
guardian.co.uk / Barry Batchelor

Carter to Obama: Stay Away From Clinton

Former President Jimmy Carter offered Barack Obama some serious campaign advice late Tuesday. He is quoted in an interview to be published Saturday saying that an Obama-Clinton ticket would be “the worst mistake that could be made.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Jeff Chiu

What Makes McCain Tick?

Will the real John McCain stand up? Actually, I don’t expect him to, now that he is the Republican presidential candidate, pandering to the irrationalities that drive his party. Nor is it likely that the fawning mass media will pressure him to the point of clarity. But I remain genuinely confused as to what makes him tick.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


Drudge
spock.com

Team McCain Nervous about ‘Drudge Primary’?

The most powerful aggregator of Web site links ever, self-styled Internet phenom Matt Drudge, has become an election-year institution in his own right—or at least he looks that way to John McCain’s wary aides, who studied coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign on “The Drudge Report” and now wonder if they can count on Drudge’s supposedly conservative political orientation.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


Party Unity

Share
Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE    


Obama
AP photo / Chris Carlson

Obama Parts Ways With Church

Having endured at least three rounds of controversy stemming from his 20-year association with Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has decided to end his membership, telling reporters Saturday that he is sorry for the intense media attention his affiliation has attracted to the church and its members.

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


Sirota on Colbert

Sirota Takes On Colbert ... or Is It the Other Way Around?

Author and columnist David Sirota braves the Colbert treatment to talk about his (Sirota’s) latest book, “The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington,” and to brazenly assert that, “People are angry with the status quo—they think the establishment isn’t working for them, and frankly, it’s not.”

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


Not-So-Super Sunday in Puerto Rico?

After some seriously suspenseful primaries earlier in the year, the general feeling about Sunday’s Democratic presidential primary in Puerto Rico is far less ... energized, let’s say. In fact, local officials are predicting that a substantial percentage of Puerto Rican voters won’t even show up at the polls.

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


McClellan on 'Today'

Scott McClellan’s Disillusionment

Scott McClellan appeared on the “Today” show Thursday to discuss his memoir, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” and the “two defining moments” that caused him to become “increasingly dismayed and disillusioned ... with the way things were going in Washington, D.C.”

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


Stewart painting

Stewart Checks Out McCain’s ‘Unremarkable’ Buttocks

Those reporters who were given just three Internet-free hours to curl up with John McCain’s huge stack of medical records (right before Memorial Day!) were privy to some mighty intimate details about the presumptive Republican nominee—and pundits were subsequently saddled with the task of making talk of polyps, chin herpes (ew!) and freckled buttocks somehow sound like good news for the GOP.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


McClellan
defectiveyeti.com

Ex-Bushie: McClellan Is Right

As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan continues to catch major flak from Bush loyalists for “snitching” on Dubya and select presidential sidekicks in his new memoir, another erstwhile Bush aide, Mike Turk, has come out in support of McClellan’s fightin’ words in an interview with The Huffington Post.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


Bush at Arlington

Bush’s Final Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery

President Bush gave his final Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and declaring: “It is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom that the number of headstones in a place like this grows with every Memorial Day.”

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


Clintons on Memorial Day
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Memorial Day: Campaign Trail Edition

Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama observed Memorial Day in Puerto Rico and New Mexico, respectively, paying tribute to U.S. military men and women from the past and the present and making their cases for becoming commander in chief.

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
blog.ecr.co.za

Kerry: U.S., Iran Have Plenty to Talk About

Sen. John Kerry (remember him?) has penned an Op-Ed for The Washington Post, taking issue with President Bush’s—and by extension, John McCain’s—argument that engaging in talks with Iran would constitute a dangerous gesture of “appeasement.” The No. 1 reason Kerry thinks the GOP leaders’ stance is wrong? Well, “In short, not talking to Iran has failed. Miserably.” Above, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

McCain Campaign Hits Turbulence

Internal shake-ups among Sen. John McCain’s campaign aides, unusual structuring choices within his camp and the worry among some Republicans that their presumptive nominee isn’t capitalizing sufficiently on the Democrats’ current chaos are all spelling trouble for Team McCain.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


olbermann

Olbermann Criticizes Clinton for Assassination Comment

Not known for being a shrinking violet, Keith Olbermann left no uncertainty about what he thinks of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s explanation for why she invoked the specter of Robert Kennedy’s 1968 assassination when discussing her decision to keep campaigning to the end. He’s not buyin’ it, folks.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


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