Monday, April 21, 2008

4/21 Morning News

News Items
Clinton, Obama take blistering tone before vote
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama headed Monday into the final day of campaigning before the Pennsylvania primary after swapping some of their most negative attacks yet, including televised ads in which each accused the other of maintaining ties to special interests ...
Related Articles:
NYT: Trailing in Pennsylvania, Obama Sharpens Tone
Washington Post: Obama Sharpens His Tone
CBS From the Road: Obama's Train Tour Puts Spotlight on Clinton
FOX: Attacks Fly Fast and Furious With 1 Day to Go to Pa. Primary
CNN: Clinton, Obama attack each other for being too negative
CNN Ticker: In the homestretch: the campaign's 'most outrageous' attacks
CNN Ticker: Clinton accuses Obama of Republican tactics
CNN Ticker: Three negative spots debut in one day
Huff Post: "Slash-And-Burn" Vs. "The Kitchen Sink"

Clinton, Obama Seek Edge With Pa. Voters
Tuesday's Democratic primary in Pennsylvania is the first vote in six weeks in the race for the White House.

Obama Banks $42M; Clinton's In The Red
Barack Obama began the month of April with a 5-1 cash advantage over a debt-saddled Hillary Rodham Clinton, setting the stage for his lopsided spending in the crucial primary state of Pennsylvania.
Related Articles:
Newsweek: Obama reports $51M to start April; McCain raised $15M
TIME: Obama is Flush, Clinton in Debt

Obama Delivers His Pennsylvania "Closing Argument"
Barack Obama delivered what he's calling his “closing argument” today as he tried to woo undecided Pennsylvania voters. Arguing that Hillary Clinton is to blame for the negative tone of the election, he said she should have learned from the Republican attacks on her in the 1990s.

Clinton Needs Record Margins, Turnout to Catch Obama (Update1)
To overtake Barack Obama in the nationwide popular vote, Hillary Clinton needs a bigger win in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary than she has had in any major contest so far. And that's just for starters.

The Early Word: Last Chance for Pennsylvania
Today’s the last chance for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama to make their case to Pennsylvanians who may still be undecided after the six-week spotlight on their state.

Strategists argue who’s more negative
Proving that the men who help create the candidates’ messages are good at sticking to them, the chief campaign strategists for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama appeared on “Meet the Press” Sunday as the clock ticks down to the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday.

McCain: Obama's patriotic, but his Ayers ties are 'open to question'
John McCain waded into the controversy over Barack Obama's ties to Weather Underground founder William Ayers Sunday, telling an interviewer that the Illinois senator’s relationship with the activist was "open to question," ...

Clinton Defends Taking Money From Oil Execs: “They’re Americans” Too
During a campaign rally here today, Hillary Clinton defended taking money from people who work at oil companies saying “they’re Americans” and adding that she’s not alone in taking those contributions.

On Eve of Primary, Clinton Camp Tenses Up
With the Pennsylvania primary tomorrow and with polls narrowing between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, times on the trail are tense, the days are long and the candidate overworked.

Casey vouches for Obama's values
Pennsylvania senator serves as character witness before small-town voters who candidate might have offended with “bitter” remark.

McCain exits campaign money race
GOP's presumptive nominee will accept taxpayer money to finance general and share other costs with RNC.

Party Chiefs Plan Push To Avoid Long Fight
Nevertheless, some party leaders are quietly planning to try to end the clash, said people familiar with the matter. After the primaries end in June, these influential Democrats -- led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- plan to push the last uncommitted party leaders to endorse ...

Quotes by undecided superdelegates
"Obama supporters want me to declare right now, Clinton supporters want me to wait. A month ago it was the opposite." -- Wayne Kinney of Oregon.

Undecided superdelegates don't feel bound by primaries
Many of the Democratic superdelegates who are still undecided say the most important factor in their decision is simple _ they just want a winner in November.

Starting Gate: Obama Leaps In
It’s taken about 15 months but Hillary Clinton has succeeded in at least one thing – getting Barack Obama and his campaign to start taking the gloves off.

Pennsylvania's affluent exurban battleground
A torrent of words rushed out of her: “I think he’s charismatic, I think he’s brilliant, I like what he’s done as a senator. He’s inspiring, he’s clean, he’s got clean, clear views, and he’s not muddied up with all the political mire in Washington. It’s a fresh clean start.”

Clinton Paints Obama as Cheerleader for McCain
Hillary Clinton took Barack Obama to task at a rally in Johnstown today for some remarks he made in Reading, Pennsylvania where he points out that John McCain would be a better commander-in-chief than George Bush.

Obama: Barack And Me...
So Michael Moore is for Obama. From Moore on his Web site: "[O]ver the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw.

Dem voter surge could cut Clinton margin
An historic spike in Democratic voter registrations in Pennsylvania could help Barack Obama cut into Hillary Clinton’s vote in Tuesday’s primary, robbing her of the big victory margin she needs to justify continuing the primary fight.

The First 21st-Century Campaign
The transformation is visible in every direction. Through the end of February, Obama had raised more than six times as much money as John Kerry, the last Democratic nominee, did through the first two months of 2004 ...

Obama: Clinton Offers “Slash And Burn” Politics
On the last weekend before the much anticipated Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama is making an intense effort to draw sharp contrasts between him and Hillary Clinton.

Clinton Says Obama’s Health Plan Leaves People “Out in the Cold”
Hillary Clinton took issue with a new television ad her Democratic opponent is running in Pennsylvania that criticizes her health care plan. ... "I just heard that my opponent has put out an ad attacking my health care plan, which is kind of curious because my plan covers everybody ...

Obama: McCain would be better president than Bush
Democrat Barack Obama conceded Sunday that all three leading presidential contenders would be better than President Bush — including Republican opponent John McCain.

In politics, the gaffe goes viral
“If you stay close enough, long enough, there’s a good chance something will break in the media,” he said. “We are going to get as close as we can, wait for a lightning storm and then head out to the golf course and wave a 9-iron around.”

McCain Questions Obama Radical Ties
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stoked debate over a ’60s radical’s ties to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, saying Obama’s defense “borders on the outrageous.”

Conference Call Roundup (haven't covered these in a while it seems, so here are the latest conference calls):
4/20: Clinton Press Call: Doctors For Hillary To Respond To Senator Obama’s Negative TV Ad On Hillary’s Health Care Plan
4/19: Clinton Press Call: To Discuss New Negative Attack Ad Launched By Obama Campaign
4/19: Obama Press Call: PA Bosnia Vets To Discuss Support Of Obama
4/17: Obama Press Call: Former PA Clinton Supporters Hold Conference Call To Discuss Recent Wave of Negativity

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Polling Results
Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, on the eve of the Pennsylvania Primary, Obama leads Clinton nationally 47% to 42% ...

New PA Poll has Clinton Holding Lead
The poll of 625 likely Dem primary voters was conducted Thursday and Friday and showed Clinton leading Obama 48-43%. Considering the 4% margin of error, it means Clinton's lead is inside the margin.

POLITICAL WIRE: Polls Show Clinton Poised for Win in Pa. Primary
Hillary Clinton might well be headed for victory in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, according to two polls released on Monday.

New Pennsylvania Numbers
Quinnipiac University: Clinton 51, Obama 44; Suffolk University: Clinton 52, Obama 42

CBS Poll: Economy Worries Young Voters
Concerns about the state of the economy have passed the Iraq war as the top concern for voters between the ages of 18 and 29, according to a poll conducted by CBS News and MTV.

Rasmussen: Trust on Issues
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that voters trust the Democrats more than Republicans on eight out of ten key electoral issues.

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Commentaries
Pennsylvania primary decisive? Signs suggest no
But as the race grows more negative, most signs indicate that Pennsylvania voters won't be the ones to end the historically long primary season.

Scranton #1: Obama Rally
Obama ventured into Hillary territory, quite literally where her father is buried, to Scranton, Pennsylvania tonight and rallied 4,800 eager fans. Under the neon lights of a massive indoor soccer field, Obama also unleashed some of his harshest criticism yet of Clinton, laying out three reasons why he’d make a better nominee: ...

FirstThoughts: Hillary's Race to Lose
So what happens on Tuesday? Looking inside the poll's demographics, the highest undecided totals are in the more rural parts of the state -- and that's not good news for Obama.

WSJ: The Keystone Primary Stakes
Pennsylvanians have kept quiet during most of our history. But they will make some noise when they vote tomorrow – and may make more difference than they have since the days of James Buchanan and Benjamin Franklin.

To Argue or Not to Argue
Now Obama hopes to ride to the White House on a similar wave of revulsion with Washington. He is pacing methodically toward the Democratic nomination: in the past month, Hillary Clinton hit him with her best shot—and Obama had to distance himself ...

Campaigns Get Personal
Microtargeters know all about you, and try to push your personal hot button so you'll cast your vote for their candidate.

Philadelphia debate: Bitter Patter
None of the other debates had been models of philosophic rigor. But, right from the start, there were clues that the sponsor of this one—ABC News, a part of the ABC network, which is owned by Disney—might establish new benchmarks of degradation.

Shoddy! Tawdry! A Televised Train Wreck!
I can’t remember a debate in which the only memorable moment was the audience’s heckling of a moderator.

The Pennsylvania popularity contest
Two days before the Pennsylvania primaries, the spotlight was on candidates’ characters as supporters of the Democratic candidates shed light on how social blunders could affect voters and Sen. John McCain defended his temper.

Latest Gallup National Democratic Tracking Poll: Obama-Clinton Now in Dead Heat
If Obama loses Pennsylvania and his demographic base is the same -- blacks, upper class liberal professionals, and college students -- then the issue of electability should be even more of concern for Democrats.

7 Days: Teflon-Obama? w/ Dorgan, Huffington, Green & Bender
Obama had a bad month and week. The combination of a poor debate performance and answering questions about his "bitter" comments put his campaign on the defensive. So why haven't the polls moved?

Clinton's Attacks on Obama Patriotism Have Nothing to Do With "What the Republicans Will Say in November"
The problem for Clinton is that Obama is the furthest thing from an unpatriotic elitist, and that by relentlessly making these charges she has been raising her own negatives to dizzying heights.

Bill Clinton's Golden Oldies act
On the road and off the radar, playing small-town Pennsylvania with the former president.

In A Final Analysis: For ABC, A Missed Opportunity
Strangely enough, ABC's failures have created an interesting opportunity for the news division that needs a game-changer the most: CBS News.

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