Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes. We. Can.

Yes. We. Did.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Biden Chokes Up Recalling His Family's History

This was my favorite moment of the debate last night. Seemed truly genuine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What it's like to debate Sarah Palin

An interesting article by a person who ran against her for governor and debated her over two dozen times. Click on the link for the full article:

What it's like to debate Sarah Palin

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Volunteering for the First Time

So, I'd made a few phone calls in the past, but I'd never hit the streets. Yesterday I spent 3 hours doing voter registration for the Obama campaign. At first it was a little slow, but in the end I think we registered about 30 new voters. The interesting thing was that everyone seemed to have an opinion on the issues and was decently well-informed. I will be continuing to volunteer until the day of the election. Voter registration continues until October 4th, then it goes into Get Out The Vote Efforts. I'll blog as I go.

Also, I'll be having a psuedo-debate with my mom on the issues later on in September - it's something we're doing in order to convince the rest of my family (I'm a Democrat, she's a Republican). I'll videotape the debate and post it here as well. :)

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7/2 Evening News: Obama: Expanding Volunteerism

News Items
Obama talks new and expanded volunteerism
Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday showcased plans to encourage volunteerism by Americans, his latest push to woo conservative voters also sought by rival John McCain. The Republican, meanwhile, was traveling in South America...
Related Articles:
ABC: Obama: Service to Be a Cornerstone of Presidency
ABC: George W. Obama
CBS FtR: Obama Highlights National Service
FirstRead: Obama's National Call to Service

The Obama Veepwatch, Vol. 5: Kathleen Sebelius
Source of Speculation: Obama himself. Speaking to the FOX affiliate in Missouri on Monday, the Democratic nominee was effusive--to put in mildly--in his praise for Sebelius. "I love Kathleen Sebelius," he said.

Obama Fist Bump Refusal? Not So Fast...
The child rose his hand in a fist to get Obama's attention as he asked for a signature – perhaps prompting the fist bump portrayal. Obama instead signed the autographs for the children in crayon on drawings they were working on during class.
Related Articles:
FOX Blog: The Fist Bump Fuss
CNN: Fist bump not gone?
The Caucus: The Dissed Fist Bump That Wasn't

Radio Spot Highlights Obama's Religious Side
A Political Action Committee overseen by the director of religious outreach for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign is running an ad on Christian radio defending presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Vetting Obama's Canine Companion
The Obama family has used the promise of a pet as a bargaining chip in asking their daughters, Malia, 9 and Sasha, 7, for their support during the long campaign season. The American Kennel Club (AKC) took it upon themselves to offer the Obamas some guidance...

McCain denies roughing up Sandinista
John McCain denied a Republican colleague's claim that he roughed up an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a diplomatic mission in 1987, saying the allegation was "simply not true."
Related Articles:
CNN: McCain denies grabbing foreign official
FirstRead: McCain Denies Altercation
Politico: McCain denies grabbing Sandinista

McCain Campaign Shake-Up
Veteran Republican operative Steve Schmidt has been put in charge of day-today operations of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, with campaign manager Rick Davis keeping his title but focusing more on general strategy and long-term strategic planning...
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Top McCain Aides Take On New Roles
CBS FtR: Changes Atop The McCain Campaign
CNN: McCain shakes up staff amid concern about 'unforced errors'
The Caucus: McCain Campaign Shuffle
NYT: McCain Orders Shake-Up of His Campaign
Politico: Schmidt takes over McCain operations

McCain Health Credit Could Morph Into Tax Hike
But if the cost of health care continues to outpace inflation in the economy at large, McCain's health credit would morph into a tax hike for those who currently receive a tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage...

McCain Abroad
He defended his trip right from the start, noting that it was just a quick trip, but he focused on the drug trade, not free trade or other foreign policy issues.
Related Articles:
ABC: McCain in Colombia: Just Say No (Seriously)
CBS: McCain Touts Free Trade In Colombia
CBS FtR: McCain Wraps Up Colombia Visit
FOX Blog: McCain Calls for ‘Hemispheric’ Trade Deal
CNN: McCain had advance knowledge of Colombian raid

McCain’s Temper Tantrum Tawdriness
Making the rounds in political circles today ... is an account in the Biloxi Sun-Herald where Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., says he witnessed a “physical confrontation” between Sen. John McCain and a Sandinista during a diplomatic mission in 1987.

Upon Leaving Colombia, McCain Hears About Rescued Hostages
“I just finished a phone conversation with President Uribe and he told me some of the details of the rescue – dramatic rescue of 15 people who were held hostage,” McCain told reporters on his campaign plane. “He says that they’re in good condition.”
Related Articles:
FOX: Presidential Candidates Hail Hostage Rescue in Colombia

Conservative evangelicals discuss backing McCain
Mathew Staver, a conservative Christian activist, convened a meeting of about 90 conservative evangelical leaders Tuesday night in Denver. Many evangelicals have been wary of McCain's commitment to their causes and his previous criticisms of movement leaders...
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Conservative Leaders Unite Behind McCain

Veepstakes: McCain 'Pleased' with Romney
John McCain gave his fairly standard answer on Mitt Romney as a VP contender: “Mitt Romney is a great person, and he's done a great job for us, and we're really pleased at the cooperation and help that he's given us and he won millions of Republican votes...

Bipartisanship marks McCain's Senate tenure
His record of accomplishment is mixed, yet he has made his willingness to cross the political aisle a central theme in his campaign for the White House in an era when voters are plainly tired of partisan gridlock in the nation's capital.

Democrats not too 'swift'
OK, we get it. Barack Obama doesn't want to be John Kerry. That's been Obama's theme this week on the campaign trail. Speaking about his patriotism Monday in Independence, Mo., Obama made it clear that he wouldn't let anyone "Swift Boat" him.

RNC Plans Ad Assault
The Republican National Committee is planning its first round of advertising to support Sen. John McCain’s candidacy, with an initial wave of ads set to run this weekend in four swing states, Republican officials tell ABC News.
Related Articles:
CNN: RNC prepares for ad blitz
FOX: RNC to Spend $3 Million for Ad Campaign to Contrast Obama, McCain
FirstRead: GOP to Launch TV Ad Blitz Against Obama
Politico: RNC creates new expenditure arm

Veepstakes Watch
The question of the summer remains who Sens. McCain and Obama will pick to be their running mates. But almost as important as who the presumptive nominees choose will be when they choose them.

Mukasey Pledges Vigilance on Elections
With high interest in this year's elections, the Attorney General said that “one of my highest priorities” would be to ensure that the November elections are fair and smoothly run.

Major Union Maps General Election Strategy
One of the nation's most powerful labor unions will put tens of millions of dollars into helping Barack Obama and a variety of congressional candidates and governors win in November.

Iraq Politics
The McCain campaign is trying to put Iraq front and center in this campaign -- now hitting Obama surrogate Sen. Claire McCaskill for saying the presumptive Democratic nominee would not change position on Iraq.
Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama 46%, McCain 44%
If the presidential election were held today, 46% of registered voters say they would vote for Barack Obama and 44% for John McCain, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking results.

Poll shows Connecticut is Obama country
John McCain has the backing of Connecticut's Democratic-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, but a new poll out Wednesday shows the state is decidedly Obama country.
Related Articles:
Rasmussen: Election 2008: Connecticut Presidential Election

Election 2008: New York Presidential Election
Nearly one out of four voters (23%) in New York would like to see Hillary Clinton go away, and a plurality of unaffiliated voters would prefer she stay in the Senate than serve as Barack Obama's running mate.

As Independents Shrink, Democrats Gain
The extraordinary 2008 election year is proving to be quite ordinary in at least one respect: the downward trend in the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as political independents.

True or False: We Need a Wartime President
Answer: False. At least according to NEWSWEEK columnist Fareed Zakaria. A must-read excerpt from his contribution to this week's "Big Ideas" edition of the magazine...

Analysis: The Obama Test
The formula for holding these seats is relatively simple: stay in touch with your constituents, stick to the well established liberal policy agenda, gain seniority, and use that seniority to convince voters they need your power in Congress. It’s worked. Until now.

Cafferty: How should McCain deal with Bush’s negatives?
This creates a real dilemma for McCain. The conservative Republican base is less than thrilled with McCain as the GOP nominee. And that's where the few remaining people who think President Bush is doing a good job reside.

McCain denies grabbing Sandinista
So here we are, balanced at the precise point where the bottom-up dynamics of Web 2.0 meets the top-down dynamics of an American presidential campaign.

Where is Bill? Wrong Question! -- Bill Clinton Doesn't Have to Answer
Don't think for one second Bill Clinton won't be doing whatever he can to elect the Obama as our next president. But it will be because he wants to, not be because he needs to rebuild his image.

Flip-Flopping, Obama, and Gun Control
I'm not crazy about the shifts Obama has made -- I only hope they're tactical and not sincere. It all comes down this: it's democracy, which means the voice of everyone, not just the folks you agree with.

Riding In A Fighter Plane And Getting Shot Down And What It Qualifies You For
How DARE left-wing pacifist Wesley Clark suggest that riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down doesn't automatically qualify someone to be president? It automatically qualifies you to be anything.

The Changing Times and the Equinox Voter
Can Obama win the white working-class voters in battleground states? Well, he didn't this spring, so that's our first clue. Another is the fact that neither Al Gore nor John Kerry won their support.

McCain's Lobbyist Loophole
McCain's policy ignores the problem with having a campaign run by corporate and foreign lobbyists: they are happy to abandon their lobbying work temporarily to get valuable chits with the potential future president.

Obama In Colorado Springs To Address "New Era Of Service"
The visit may include a speech at one of the region's five military bases and there is speculation that Obama may even meet with Evangelical Focus on the Family leader James Dobson.

Are They Experienced?
Clark's recent comments about the relevance of McCain's service has generated enough controversy that the broader point about what kind of foreign policy experience we should look for in a president has been lost.

Obama's Work Claim
Obama's latest ad repeats the claim that he "worked his way through college and Harvard Law." But the campaign provided information on just two jobs Obama had in those years.

Barack Obama's Potential: Will He Be Great, or Greatly Disappoint?
As a result of Obama's eclectic life experiences and upbringing, it is part of his nature to not only understand different people, but to make compromises to find solutions for the most complex issues.

Barack Obambi? Not Quite; Just Ask Alice Palmer
In 1995, deciding to run for an open congressional seat, state senator Alice Palmer anointed Obama as her successor. It was from that relatively lowly position that Obama launched his incredible political career.

Plugging the Patriotism Gap
Barack Obama yesterday kicked off a week of patriotic speeches. It's much more than the normal politician's July 4 oration - it's Obama's answer to a crucial test.

7/2 Morning News: Leaning to the Center...

News Items
Obama Voters Protest His Switch on Telecom Immunity
Senator Barack Obama’s decision to support legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants has led to an intense backlash...
Related Articles:
NY Post:

Record ad spending near in presidential race
The 2008 presidential race, which has already drawn a record number of dollars and voters, is poised to shatter another record: the amount of money spent on television advertisements.

Obama Camp Hits McCain on Colombia Trip
John McCain hasn’t been in Colombia for 24 hours yet, but the Obama campaign is already taking jabs at his visit. At issue is the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which McCain supports and Barack Obama opposes.

Obama Seeks Bigger Role for Religious Groups
Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.
Related Articles:
Co. Springs Gazette: Obama will hold gatherings Wednesday, starting at UCCS Obama promises that 'faith' will have a role in his White House

Team Obama Goes Cherry-Picking
In the weeks since Mrs. Clinton officially suspended her candidacy, the Obama campaign has recruited the services of the Clinton campaign’s director of national security, Lee Feinstein, as well as foreign-policy advisers Mara Rudman...

Texas congressman coy about Obama veep chances
U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards was coy Tuesday about whether he has talked with the Barack Obama campaign about a No. 2 spot on the ticket a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi singled him out as the best House member for the job.

Sebelius — a blue star in red state
Democrats see in Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) an effective leader, not afraid to throw a punch or shake hands with her Republican opponents, all while being elected by sizable margins in a bright red state — twice.

Japan phone company pulls Obama 'monkey' ad
The commercial opens with a crowd rallying behind a well-dressed monkey speaking from a podium. The supporters are cheering and waving signs that say “Change.” In the ad, the monkey was encouraging users to change providers.

Obama over fist bumping?
The Illinois senator refused to bump fists with a boy as he was touring the Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio. As the boy outstretched his first, Obama said no and added, "If I start that …"

Obama Got Discount on Home Loan
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the rate was adjusted to account for a competing offer from another lender and other factors. "The Obamas have since had as much as $3 million invested through Northern Trust," he said in a statement.

Quayle Respects Obama, McCain Has Uphill Battle
Former Vice President Dan Quayle said Tuesday he respects Democrat Barack Obama "because he beat the Clintons" and fears Republican John McCain has an "uphill battle" to defeat Obama in November's presidential election.
Related Articles:
Quayle: I respect Obama 'because he beat the Clintons'

Barack Obama...Soccer Dad?
The Senator set up his chair on the sidelines and watched as his 9-year-old, clad in a red soccer jersey, ran up and down the field in the game. He flashed Malia a thumbs up, and jumped out of his seat, along with his wife, in unison, as she took control of the ball during one play in the game.

Former ‘24′ President Credits His Role for Obama Rise
“If anything, my portrayal of David Palmer, I think, may have helped open the eyes of the American people,” said the actor, who has contributed $2,300 to the Illinois Democrat’s presidential campaign.

Streisand Offers Support to Obama
It wasn’t long ago that the Oscar-winning actress and singer called Hillary Rodham Clinton the next president of the United States. On Tuesday, with Clinton out of the race and now supporting Obama, Streisand endorsed him, too.

Improve Human Rights, McCain Tells Colombian
Senator John McCain pressed President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia to do more to improve human rights in a meeting on Tuesday evening here. Earlier in the day, he criticized ... Senator Barack Obama, for opposing a trade agreement between the United States and Colombia.
Related Articles:
Wash Post: McCain Stressing Trade On Latin American Trip
Newsweek: McCain to tour Colombian drug control efforts
FOX: McCain Fights Free Trade Criticism in Latin America
The Caucus: The Early Word: McCain's Foreign Trip

McCain: Obama Should Cut Wesley Clark Loose.
John McCain, taking questions from reporters aboard his Straight Talk Express: The Airplane Edition, said it was time for the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama to cut retired Gen. Wesley Clark loose.
Related Articles:
McCain on Clark to Obama: "Cut Him Loose"

McCain on Obama: A difference of 30,000 feet
“Now he has switched, I mean remarkably, from saying that he would unilaterally renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement in the strongest possible terms in Ohio - he went to North Carolina and said well, I’m for free trade...” McCain said.

Congressman Cantor Listed As Viable VP Longshot
Currently serving his fourth term in the house, representing Virginia's 7th district, Eric Cantor's name has been out there as a possible VP candidate for John McCain, Monday being mentioned by Politico in a list of viable longshots for VP.

Rudy: I'm still the best, though John McCain is No. 2
"I thought I was best qualified, but I thought John was No. 2," Giuliani told CNN, his ego apparently overruling the message Team McCain wanted him to deliver in an escalating flap with Barack Obama's camp over comments from ... Wesley Clark, a retired Army general.

Swinging for Latinos
As New Mexico emerges as a key swing state in the 2008 elections, the two parties are increasingly focusing on the state’s Latino electorate as a key demographic.

US politicians find ways to play on racial fears
Democrats distribute fliers accusing the Republican of wanting a statue to honor the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. The only black justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court is defeated after his rival runs an ad with the justice's picture next to that of a black convict...

Clinton attacks against Obama vanish on Web
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has scrubbed all negative ads from her campaign Web site and YouTube page, leaving visitors with only the warm and fuzzy moments from her bid for the presidency.

Rezko calls straw-donor claim reckless
Lawyers say there isn't evidence Rezko reimbursed an associate for a contribution to Obama’s Senate bid.

Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 44%.

Poll: Obama beats McCain as barbecue guest
Men are about evenly divided between the two while women prefer Obama by 11 percentage points. Whites prefer McCain, minorities Obama. And Obama is a more popular guest with younger voters while McCain does best with the oldest.

Poll: Michelle Obama Twice as Disliked as Cindy McCain
The public hasn’t taken to Michelle Obama yet, especially whites. And it’s got a question about Cindy McCain: Who is she?
Related Article:
Poll shows Americans cool to Michelle Obama

Hispanic Voters Solidly Behind Obama
Hispanic registered voters' support for Barack Obama for president remained consistent and strong in June, with Obama leading John McCain by 59% to 29% among this group.

Poll: Terrorism fears are fading
As Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama battle over who has the best approach to national security, a new CNN poll finds Americans' concerns about terrorism have hit an all-time low for the post-September 11 era.

Partisan Trends
During the month of June, 41.0% of Americans considered themselves to be Democrats, 31.5% said they were Republicans and 27.5% were not affiliated with either major party.

President Bush Job Approval
During June, President Bush’s Job Approval ratings fell for the fifth straight month and set a new all-time low for the third straight month.

Most Americans Proud of U.S. History, Say Other Nations Should Follow America’s Lead
As the country approaches its 232nd birthday this July 4 (Friday), the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 75% of U.S. voters declare themselves proud of America’s history. Only 13% say they are ashamed of that history, with the rest undecided.

First Thoughts: Can The Center Hold?
So what do we make of Obama’s week so far? On the one hand, he’s made a big push to seize turf that the GOP has owned. At the same time, however, he has received a considerable amount of criticism from the left...

Cindy’s fortune: An asset and a liability
In 2004, Republicans demanded fuller disclosure about the considerable fortune of Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Now, the GOP is reaping what it sowed.

Getting Ahead of the Gotcha Game
Oh, wait. Nevermind. My bad. It was, in fact, John McCain who confused Somalia and Sudan yesterday afternoon--on the eve of his trip to Columbia and Mexico...

Obama Win Offers Brand America a Global Lift: Frederick Kempe
The U.S. would profit globally from a failed Obama presidency more than it would from a successful McCain presidency. That's the sort of provocative, but plausible, statement that lies at the heart of the famous Oxford Union debates. Disagree?

The Note: Serve Somebody
So let's get this straight: One candidate is swiping a policy page from President Bush . . . As well as a page from Karl Rove's playbook . . . And is trying to swipe a Bush Cabinet secretary . . . while The Wall Street Journal editorial page places him as the president's heir...

Starting Gate: Politics As Usual
Win the nomination by appealing to the base, then run to the center for the general election. It’s one of the most overused and tired clichés in presidential politics and is obviously an oversimplification of very complicated political calculations.

Dem "Strategists": Use These 8 Points and Learn How to Discuss Taxes or Don't Go on TV
The Republicans will lie -- they will claim that Obama is going to raise everyone's taxes. Today, I heard several people on TV dubbed "Democratic strategists" just fall for it.

The Politics of Patriotism
Should John McCain have to "defend" his military record? Of course not. But the fact that he served in the military, with distinction, does not mean he's qualified to be president.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7/1 Evening News: Obama Responds (Again) to Clark Comments

News Items
Obama: Clark's Critique Not a Swiftboat
“I don’t think that General Clark you know had the same intent as the swift boat ads that we saw four years ago, I reject that analogy,” Obama said curtly back to the allegation by a reporter.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Obama Dismisses Questions on Clark
FOX: Obama Weighs in on Clark’s Controversial Comments
CNN: Obama: Clark just 'somebody on a cable show'
FirstRead: Obama Calls Clark's Comments 'Inartful'
FirstRead: McCain Camp: Obama's 'Wink and Nod'

Obama discusses his chat Bill Clinton
In Obama's first comments about his widely-covered phone conversation with the former president Monday morning, the Illinois senator said the two did not dwell on the prolonged and at times divisive primary race.
Related Articles:
The Caucus:
Obama's Chat With Bill Clinton

Powell meets with McCain and Obama
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who remains a popular figure among Democrats and Republicans, recently sat down with both presidential candidates, CNN has confirmed.

Obama not running as movement
Obama, showing he intends to win, rejects the Dean example of campaigning as leader of a movement.

Veepstakes Update: Obama on Sebelius
“I love Kathleen Sebelius. I think she is as talented a public official as there is right now. Integrity. Competence. She can work with all people of all walks of life, but I promised that I am not going to say anything about my vice president until I actually introduce my vice president.”

Obama Moves on MoveOn
That last clause is a direct shot at the liberal group, which greeted Gen. David Petraeus’ congressional testimony last fall with a full-page ad in The New York Times that asked the question: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
Related Articles:
The Caucus: Obama Backlash in His Online Backyard

Obama Advisers Differ Over Flexibility of Troop Withdrawal Plan
Two key Barack Obama advisers seemed to differ Tuesday on how willing the presumptive Democratic nominee would be to tweak his plan to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Obama works to mobilize 'Christian left'
Democrats have usually conceded the evangelical vote during presidential elections, but Sen. Barack Obama is trying to change that by mobilizing what some call the "Christian left."
Related Articles:
Obama Wants to Expand Role of Religious Groups

Report: NRA to Launch Ads Against Obama, Depicting Him as ‘Bitter’
The National Rifle Association plans to spend $40 million this election year, with $15 million dedicated to depicting Barack Obama as “bitter” toward guns and as a challenger to the Second Amendment, reports.

Obama Camp Slams McCain on Trade
As presumptive Republican nominee McCain headed to Latin America today after an event in Indianapolis, the Obama camp hosted a conference call to criticize him for what it called failed trade policies.

McCain quietly courts Christian conservatives
It is a group McCain has sought to make inroads with the last few years. He started in 2006, backing off a statement from his 2000 presidential bid that Jerry Falwell was one of politics' "agents of intolerance" and giving the commencement address at the pastor's ... University.

McCain Accepts Swift Boaters' Money
Now USA Today reports that McCain "has accepted nearly $70,000 for his presidential campaign from the top donors of the group" and their relatives.

In challenge to McCain, majority against free trade
As John McCain prepares to promote the advantages of free trade during a high-profile trip to Colombia and Mexico, a poll released Tuesday suggests the issue may pose a political hurdle for the Arizona senator as the general election campaign heats up.

McCain criticizes Obama's high court favorites
Republican John McCain said Tuesday that his Democratic rival's Supreme Court nominees would produce more decisions like the child rapist ruling that both presidential candidates have criticized.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: McCain Jabs Obama at Sheriffs' Conference
The Caucus: McCain Warns of an Obama Court

McCain surrogate slams Clark's NATO record
As John McCain’s campaign continued to characterize a Sunday comment by former Gen. Wesley Clark as an attack on the former Navy pilot’s military service, a McCain surrogate countered Tuesday by criticizing Clark’s record as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

McCain game plan worries insiders
Top GOP officials are frustrated by what they view as inconsistent messaging, sluggish fundraising and an organization that is too slow to take shape.

‘CHiPs’ Star Erik Estrada Endorses McCain
As he spoke to more than 2,000 members of the National Sheriffs’ Association on Tuesday, John McCain earned the endorsement of one deputy sheriff more famous for his on-air performance as a cop — Erik Estrada.
Related Articles:
FOX Blog: Ponch endorses McCain

Drill Now As The Conservative MoveOn?
Within a week, the Web traffic for American Solutions skyrocketed, even beating out for a couple of days, which led blogger Soren Dayton, who used to work for McCain, to ask, “Is Drill Now the conservative MoveOn?

Clark Seeks to Clarify Critical Remarks of McCain’s Military Service
But after two days of angry responses and denunciations on both sides, Clark tried to clarify that while he respects McCain’s military service, he believes Obama has better judgment ... to be president, while Obama downplayed the impact of Clark’s comments.
Related Articles:
CNN: Clark: John McCain lacks 'judgment'
FirstRead: Clark Defends Comments Again

Going to Denver? You Can Pay to Mingle
$10,000 will allow you access to a four-day conference at the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel that will run concurrent with the Democratic convention.

Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama Retains 5-Point Lead
National voter preferences are holding steady, with 47% of registered voters favoring Barack Obama and 42% backing John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from June 28-30.

CNN Poll: Obama, McCain in a statistical dead heat
With the dust having finally settled after the prolonged Democratic presidential primary, a new poll shows Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama locked in a statistical dead heat in the race for the White House.

Election 2008: Massachusetts Presidential Election
Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain has grown even bigger in the historically blue state of Massachusetts. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Bay State found the Democrat ahead 53% to 33%.

42% Think Obama’s Public Funding Decision Was Smart, 40% Find it Hypocritical
Despite the media focus on Obama’s announcement, a separate Rasmussen poll found that it is unlikely to hurt Obama’s campaign. The survey found that just 30% of adults are in favor of public funding and only 16% consider it a Very Important voting issue.

48% Say Lower Gas Prices Key to Economic Recovery
Voters overwhelmingly believe that lowering gas prices is the best way to get the U.S. economy going again, even as Congress and the presidential candidates argue for tax cuts or passage of a second government stimulus plan.

Election 2008: Massachusetts Senate
There are no surprises in the latest numbers from the Senate election in Massachusetts. The newest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds incumbent John Kerry well ahead of Republican Jeff Beatty, 58% to 27% in his bid for re-election.

Military service: A diminished campaign asset?
Once asked how he became a war hero, John F. Kennedy said, "It was involuntary; they sank my boat." Historian and Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger said this "deflationary wartime understatement" was an example of Kennedy’s nonchalance.
Three war veterans view the presidential campaign
Views of the 2008 presidential campaign from two recent Army veterans and an injured Marine...

Bill & Barack: Smoking Buddies?
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama came down on different sides of the 1996 federal welfare-reform bill -- and, of course, of a certain presidential primary 12 years later. But maybe they have more in common than they realize.

Military see presidential race through own lens
Those viewing the presidential race through the lens of military service can see it entirely differently: The desire to quickly get out of Iraq is balanced against the hope to see the country stabilized...

The Money Race: Who's the Underdog?
John McCain loves to be the underdog. In 2000, the insurgent spirit fueled his failed (but valorous) bid against George W. Bush for the Republican nomination, and his current campaign only found its footing after collapsing last summer...

Star Trek
Are you one of the millions of Americans ... who have yet to decide between Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain? Well, we here at Stumper headquarters sympathize. That's why we created a low-stress, hassle-free way to settle the question once and for all.

Will New Plane Be Gain or Pain for McCain?
Attempts to do regular media availabilities on McCain’s previous plane – an Embraer E190 chartered from the airline Jet Blue – lasted only a few weeks. The lighting was poor for camera use, and reporters had a nearly impossible time crowding around the candidate.

One Big, Happy Party
Today - just about a month after the contest ended - the rift is no longer. So says Barack Obama.

Dear Candidates: See you in ‘Hell’ (Michigan)
The candidates have been tackling election issues Americans care about… But there’s something else the candidates appear to care about: Location, location, location. Seems the candidates are ‘taking issue’ with town names, and the issues they bring up…

Who's smearing whom?
In an Ideas piece, the writer says it's the Democrats, not Republicans, who are culpable of smear tactics.

Paul Hogarth: "Flag City" Just Another Media Myth About Obama
The fact that some voters in "Flag City" think that Obama is a Muslim doesn't mean he will lose Ohio -- and it certainly doesn't belong on the front page of the Washington Post.

Senator McCain's $1,300 Lapel Pin
Perhaps the next time he starts whining about Obama and public financing, some brave reporter will ask John McCain the $1,300 question: "When, Senator, will you stop breaking the law?"

McCain Campaign Stumps for Obama
With all polls showing that Americans believe Republicans are hurting the country, the McCain campaign wants Americans to be absolutely sure they know that Obama is the Democrat.

Obama's Money, Take Two
I desperately want Obama to win, and I hope Wall Street gives him $10 million more. Having Goldman Sachs run the government would be a huge step up from having Halliburton run it.

Karl Rove's Big Lie
In Communist Poland, even when the government told the truth, the public had been conditioned not to believe anything it said. If the Republican propaganda machine isn't careful, it risks the same fate.

Israel's Exchange and Obama's Enemies
Amid the cheers arising in Hezbollah's Beirut and the Gaza of Hamas, the sound of Obama's defense of Israel may also be heard.

7/1 Morning News: Obama Reaches Out

News Items
Obama courting evangelicals once loyal to Bush
“What caught my attention early on was his comment that we don’t want red states and blue states, but we want to find reconciliation and rapprochement with folks,” said Mrs. Speakman, who changed her party affiliation to Democratic ... this year to vote for Mr. Obama...
Related Articles:
The Caucus:
The Early Word: You've Got To Have Faith
ABC: The Note: Gotta Have Faith
CBS: Obama Plan Would Expand Bush Faith Program
CBS FtR: Obama Reaches Out To Religious Voters
FirstRead: Gotta Have Faith
Politico: Obama to scrap Bush's faith-based office

Clark: Obama had no part in McCain comments
"Sen. Obama had nothing to do with this," Clark said Tuesday in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I'm very sorry this has distracted from the message of patriotism that Sen. Obama wants to put out...
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ABC: Retired Gen. Wesley Clark Keeps Up Fire on McCain
ABC: Clark Stands By Comments About McCain War Record

Obama and Bill Clinton end mutual silent treatment
In their first conversation since the end of the heated primary, former President Clinton agreed to campaign for the candidate he portrayed as inexperienced for a presidential run. Obama had said Bill Clinton's harsh criticisms led him to wonder which Clinton he was running against...

Obama Fiercely Defends His Patriotism
"No further proof of such sacrifice is necessary," he said. "And let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides."
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Campaign Flashpoint: Patriotism and Service

Obama's two Buckeye State playbooks
Today, under the early summer skies of the Buckeye State, supporters of Democrat Barack Obama are building a strategy designed to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in 2008. To do so, Obama’s team has the benefit of two different playbooks from past statewide campaigns.

Obama Shifts on Welfare Reform
Barack Obama aligned himself with welfare reform on Monday, launching a television ad which touts the way the overhaul "slashed the rolls by 80 percent." Obama leaves out, however, that he was against the 1996 federal legislation which precipitated the caseload reduction.

Obama's Sister On The Campaign Trail
To many in this crowd Obama's Asian-American half-sister ... represents yet another aspect of Obama's identity that makes him unique as a presidential candidate, although it has been underplayed amid the excitement surrounding his shot at becoming the first black president.

Missouri Obama Supporter Offers Him Shirt Off Her Back
The St. Louis native was wearing an oversized white T-shirt. It featured a picture of him and said: “Obama’s in the House.” Obama said he loved it. So Williams said she’d give it to him and started to peel it off.
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Obama offered shirt off woman's back

Obama skips annual meeting of centrist Democrats
But when the Democratic Leadership Council met over the weekend in the shadow of Barack Obama's Chicago headquarters, he didn't bother to stop by. Is it losing its clout?

Wall Street: Barack Obama has collected nearly twice as much money as John McCain
Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain, a Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.

Google and the Anti-Obama Bloggers
Did Google use its network of online services to silence critics of Barack Obama?

McCain Heads Today for Colombia, Where Adviser Has Long Had Ties
At a time when the role of lobbyists and special interests are at issue in the presidential campaign, Senator John McCain leaves Tuesday on a trip to Colombia, where a senior adviser to him has long had business and political ties.
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McCain To Tout Free Trade In Latin America
CBS FtR: McCain Readies For Colombia Visit
CNN: Crime on McCain agenda, while Obama focuses on religion

McCain's energy record is on/off
But McCain's record of tackling energy policy on Capitol Hill shows little of the clear direction he says would come from a McCain White House. Instead, the Arizona senator has swerved from one position to another over the years, taking often contradictory stances on the federal government's role in energy policy.
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McCain Touts Coal, Nuclear While Decrying `Playing Favorites'

McCain Urges Voters to See Benefits of Free Trade
John McCain has changed his mind about the president’s tax cuts and drilling for oil off the U.S. coast, but the Republican presidential hopeful says his advocacy of free trade is unyielding.

Bush base yet to rush to donate to McCain
President Bush has headlined a fund-raising event to help John McCain finance his campaign to succeed him, but most of the big-money backers who helped reelect Bush in 2004 haven't pulled out their checkbooks for McCain - or asked their friends to chip in either.

Political Play: McCain recalls loss on "Jeopardy"
Who is Heathcliff? The name of the doomed romantic hero in Emily Bronte's novel "Wuthering Heights" eluded John McCain more than 40 years ago, robbing him of a second straight win as a contestant on the televised quiz show "Jeopardy," the Republican presidential hopeful said...

New plane=new puns?
They did not disappoint today with this zinger from the email box of DNC spokesman Damien LaVera … “John McCain’s new flying “Straight Talk Express” hit turbulence on its first trip out today.

McCain campaign pulls ads from some anti-Obama web sites
John McCain's campaign will stop advertising on several pro-Hillary Clinton Web sites that have attacked Barack Obama for being unpatriotic and, in one case, compared the Democratic nominee-in-waiting to Adolf Hitler.

McCain: More jobs, here and in Mexico
Well, don't accuse McCain of pandering to the Lou Dobbs vote. He argues for the importance of creating jobs in Mexico and Colombia as an anti-immigration measure in this webad, which is subtitled in Spanish.

Cindy McCain settles debt with San Diego tax man
Officials said Monday a trust controlled by the multimillionaire wife of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain had initiated payment on $1,743 owed in property taxes on a condominium in the tony La Jolla Shores area.

US candidates’ health plans diverge (Requires Registration)
“I know of no other big country where your work determines your health plan, what level of cover you have, how much you pay, which doctor you and your family see,” says Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation. “Move job and you move – or lose – cover.”

A New Campaign Charge: You Supported Clinton
But the district’s longtime congressman, Edolphus Towns, did not share his constituency’s preference for Mr. Obama. Now some of those voters are pushing to oust him.

Deeply divided Colorado could be a toss-up state
The state, which will host the Democratic National Convention in August, is home to deep political divisions. Republicans, Democrats and independents each make up about a third of Colorado's voters.

Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Continuing the remarkable stability of recent weeks, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Barack Obama attracting 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 44%.

Americans Worry McCain Would Be Too Similar to Bush
A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds about two in three Americans concerned that John McCain would pursue policies as president that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued. Nearly half -- 49% -- say they are "very concerned" about this.

Canadians prefer Obama over own leaders: poll
A new poll suggests Canadians would prefer to vote for Barack Obama rather cast a ballot for their own political leaders, while 45 per cent of Americans envy Canada's health care system.

How will next pres work with Congress?
Clashes over executive power have been a staple of the past eight years. They won’t go away when the next president takes office. But the senator who succeeds Bush in the White House will have a difficult choice to make...

Obama’s Money Class
Barack Obama sells the Democratic Party short. He talks about his fund-raising success as if his donors were part of a spontaneous movement of small-money enthusiasts who cohered around himself.

Heilemann on Obama’s V.P. Conundrum
Plouffe’s answer, by design, made the big choice facing Obama seem simple — but, of course, it’s not. In fact, the degree of difficulty inherent in the decision is unusually, confoundingly high.

John McCain's JFK Opportunity
No, the words are not John McCain's. They are John F. Kennedy's. But on the day that Sen. McCain leaves for a quick trip to Colombia and Mexico, they present him with an opportunity: The chance to remind American voters that his opponent has more in common with the party of Ted Kennedy than the party of John Kennedy.

What Pawlenty Can't Do for John McCain
But it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind about Pawlenty’s appeal. His two statewide victories in Minnesota have been paper-thin, and both times he’s finished with well under 50 percent of the vote.

Analysis: Rivals hide immigration similarities
When it comes to immigration, Barack Obama and John McCain generally agree. It's just that they don't want to say so.

Which Vice President Are You Voting For?
With the economy becoming the No. 1 issue, both presidential candidates need to demonstrate that they would be able to handle the country's troubled finances. The easiest way to do that is by identifying an economic guru ... as the person who would be in charge of the economy.

Starting Gate: Swift Boat Legacies
Despite the phenomenal rise of a politician who was unknown just a couple of years ago, Obama remains a blank slate of sorts. The whispering campaigns are a tremendous threat to a candidate trying to convince many voters that his theme of change is not a threatening one...

The Conspicuous Silence At The Heart Of Obama's Patriotism Speech
Attacks on Obama's patriotism fueled by fear-mongering speculation about his religious faith demand a vigorous defense of patriotism on First Amendment grounds. That's not what we got this week.

Did Obama Really Torpedo Immigration Reform?
The immigration reform bill killing amendments, and Obama's vote on them, give McCain the hook he needs to lambaste Obama as an immigration reform spoiler.

Dear President Obama: On The Economy
Anyway, so you’re gonna do the tax thing, Mr. President, and throw in some form of universal healthcare to boot that your buddy Hillary will help spearhead. You hope you can get a lot of this passed despite a potentially long string of filibusters from the Senate...

Caroline Kennedy: External Flame
If Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is crazy for Barack Obama, the guy must really be something special, right? This, clearly, is the line of thinking Team Obama hopes voters will follow as it thrusts the lone surviving child of John F. Kennedy to the fore of its presidential effort.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Video: Senator Obama's Speech on Patriotism

6/30 Evening News: Obama Responds to Patriotism Attacks

News Items
'I Will Never Question the Patriotism of Others'
Wearing an American flag pin on the lapel of his suit, Obama said: "I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine."
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CNN: Obama responds to attacks on his patriotism
NYT: McCain Rebuffs Critics as Obama Defends Patriotism
FirstRead: Obama Talks Patriotism in Missouri

Obama, Bill Clinton finally speak
The silence between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton has been broken, with the Democratic White House hopeful on Monday asking the former president to campaign for him during their first conversation since the heated primary.
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Obama Calls President Bill Clinton
CBS Horserace: Bill Clinton And Obama (Finally) Talk
CNN: Bill Clinton, Obama speak
The Caucus: Obama Talks With Bill Clinton
FirstRead: Obama and Bill Clinton Talk
Politico: Obama talks to Bill Clinton

New Obama Ad: "Dignity"
Barack Obama's campaign has released its second television ad of the general election campaign, "Dignity." The 30-second spot ... opens with a focus on the Illinois senator's biography – and includes the sort of centrist rhetoric on welfare that Bill Clinton employed during his presidential run.
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CNN: Obama notes working class roots in new ad
The Caucus: New Obama Advertisement Is Aimed at Workers
FirstRead: Let the Defining Continue

Obama rejects critique of McCain's service
About the same time, Obama told an audience in Independence, Mo., that McCain had "endured physical torment in service to our country" and "no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides."
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CBS: Obama Defends McCain's Military Service
CBS FtR: Obama Defends McCain's Military Service
CNN: Obama rejects Clark's statement

Obama takes swipe at MoveOn
In a speech designed to combat charges he lacks patriotism, Obama sharply condemned organizations that use "these old, threadbare arguments" to level criticisms and specifically pointed to's controversial newspaper ad last fall that attacked ... David Petraeus.

NRA gathers ammo against Obama
The National Rifle Association plans to spend $15 million to portray Obama as a threat to Second Amendment rights.

AdWatch: A lone lawmaker doesn't "pass" bills
Obama was more than one mere vote on the bills cited — he was one of the leading negotiators who helped turn the legislation into law. He was not the only key player, but many politicians claim responsibility for passing laws that many have worked on.

McCain Answers Clark's Criticisms
Responding to Gen. Wesley Clark’s comment that "I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," John McCain said that attacks from Barack Obama’s campaign about his leadership are not new.
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FOX: McCain ‘Proud’ of Service, Calls Wes Clark Comment ‘Unnecessary’
FOX Blog: McCain calls Clark comments a distraction
CNN: McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'
The Caucus: McCain, Supporters Slam Clark and Obama Campaign
FirstRead: McCain Camp Ties Obama to Clark
FirstRead: McCain 'Truth Squad' Lashes Out

Following Clark Comments, McCain Camp Launches "Truth Squad"
This morning, the McCain campaign held a conference call to respond to Clark's comments. The campaign said the purpose of the call was to launch the "McCain Truth Squad" – "a new group aimed at countering the recent attacks on John McCain’s military record."
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McCain campaign launches new 'Truth Squad'

The McCain Veepwatch, Vol. 5: Rob Portman
Source of Speculation: A flurry of reports pegged to McCain's two-day swing through the Buckeye State late last week. Portman accompanied the Arizona senator on his Straight Talk Express to a pair of town halls...

McCain R-rated town hall…
The presumptive GOP nominee rebuked the man for using a more offensive term for cow manure Monday, telling the man to be more careful with language in front of the more than 1,000 town hall attendees and national television cameras.

McCain says Obama can’t be trusted
McCain took his rhetoric up a notch today by saying that Sen. Obama’s word can’t be trusted–noting that the Democrat went back on his pledge to take public financing in the general election.

Dem Guru: McCain 'Limited' by POW Years
While Barack Obama was urging supporters not to devalue the military service of rival John McCain, an informal Obama adviser argued Monday that the former POW's isolation during the Vietnam War has hobbled the Arizona senator's capacity as a war-time leader.

McCain Truth Squad defender was Swift Boat Vet member
One of the members of John McCain’s new Truth Squad — which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on his record of military service –- was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and appeared in an attack ad for the group in 2004.

Air “Straight Talk” launches
The campaign press corps and McCain staff are boarding the specially designed, blue and gold painted Boeing 737-400 plane, but Sen. McCain is not on the first flight since he spent the night in Harrisburg, PA with a small press pool.

A look at the candidates' immigration plans
Barack Obama — He voted for a 2006 bill offering legal status to illegal immigrants subject to conditions, including English proficiency and payment of back taxes and fines.

Bush Impersonator Headlines Democratic Ad
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is seeking to link 13 Republican members of Congress with President Bush's energy policies in a new radio ad.

Veepstakes Update: About 'Personal Chemistry'
Mike Allen says Mitt Romney is at the top of the list, but that a lack of “personal chemistry” may be the downfall. Allen also reports that McCain will announce his pick shortly after Obama’s, to limit his bounce.

Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain, 47% to 42%
After more than a week of Barack Obama and John McCain being tied in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, Obama now holds a statistically significant five percentage point lead in the preferences of national registered voters, 47% to 42%

Election 2008: Alabama Presidential Election
The gap between John McCain and Barack Obama in Alabama has been cut nearly in half. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds McCain ahead 51% to 36%.

Election 2008: Florida Presidential Election
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Florida shows John McCain leading Barack Obama by seven percentage points, 48% to 41%. One week earlier, it was McCain by eight.

About One in Four Voters Are “Swing Voters”
According to the most recent USA Today/Gallup survey, 23% of likely voters can be considered "swing voters" -- including 6% who do not have a preference between Barack Obama and John McCain for president...

Everything Old is New Again
The veepstakes is usually a guilty pleasure. One moment, everyone with access to makeup and a minute on cable TV is obsessing over shortlists. The next, they're quoting FDR's first No. 2, who claimed the gig wasn't "worth a bucket of warm piss."

Memo to Dems: Don't Dismiss McCain's Military Service
Unfortunately, questioning whether McCain's military service prepared him for the presidency isn't an onslaught worth leading. It's not that Clark's analysis is wrong; it's that it's so narrowminded and obvious that it doesn't do any damage at all.

A McCain-Romney Update: "Romney as Favorite'?
Turns out I wasn't crazy enough. Over at the Politico, F.O.S. (Friend of Stumper) Mike Allen is reporting this afternoon that--surprise!--"Romney is at the top of the vice presidential prospect list for John McCain."

Clark’s Clunker
This is fast-becoming one of those Washington stories where Clark sails alone. Please, find me a single Democrat who thinks it’s good politics to call into question the military credentials of a man who spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war.

Hillaryland at War
Sheehy also focuses on Bill Clinton, reporting that the former President wanted his own office in the campaign headquarters and that a top fundraiser described him as out of control.
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Clinton Presidential Bid Doomed By Bill, Campaign Infighting

Cafferty: McCain’s military credentials overrated?
McCain was more than just a fighter pilot, though. After being a POW, he went on to become the commanding officer of the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy.

Paul Jenkins: The McCain/Bush Effect on Red States
By nominating McCain, GOP voters thought they got the best of both worlds: an elder statesman and a maverick. Instead, they got Bob Dole, just older and even more disliked by conservatives.

McCain Camp: Obama Aided Enemy in Vietnam
A McCain "Truth Squad" is now alleging that Obama's true vulnerability isn't that he didn't see action in Vietnam, but that he did -- on the side of America's enemies.

Right On, General Clark. Do Not Back Down.
While we should all honor McCain's service, that doesn't mean we should necessarily honor it by putting him in the White House to take up George W. Bush's third term.

What Will Happen to the "Unitary Executive" in the Next Presidential Term?
The policy of the "Unitary Executive" (which grants Bush unchecked power during national emergencies) was the "single most successfully implemented policy" of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Can We Rescue Democracy from the Right?
Yes, the U.S. government has given "democracy promotion" a bad name. But progressives should not withhold support from movements in other countries fighting nonviolently against tyranny.

Family Research Council Attacks Obama on Life Starting at Conception
The Family Research Council is distracting the debate about serious issues in this country to focus on the one issue they need to have front and center in order to turn out their base supporters: abortion.

Keep to the High Ground
Wes Clark's remarks remind us what we should have learned from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: questioning someone's military record lowers the tone of the campaign and distracts from the real issues.

Death in the Afternoon
What Charles Black and Hillary Clinton said were not "accidents" as they were in the past. It is likely that words like these will become the accepted political dialogue of the future.

Obama, McCain and Mother Vote
Obama may have the clear advantage with the mother vote on the image, talk and policy fronts, but McCain has shown lately that he isn't willing to let the mom vote go without a fight.

McCain, Obama Talk Immigration, Media Misses the Point
For example, a recent Associated Press story noted that since both Presidential candidates support a path to citizenship, immigration reform won’t be a “major point of differentiation” between them.