Friday, May 30, 2008

5/30 Morning News: 2 More Supers, FL & MI Meeting Looms

News Items
Texas Democratic chairman, wife endorse Obama
Texas Democratic Party chairman Boyd Richie and his wife, Democratic National Committee member Betty Richie, endorsed Barack Obama for president late Thursday.

Leaders in Congress Seek to Settle on Nominee
Hoping to bring their party’s presidential nomination fight to an end, the two top Democrats in Congress said they were pressing superdelegates who had yet to declare a preference in the race to make their choice public by the middle of next week.
Related Articles:
CBS Horserace:
Starting Gate: Here Comes The Cavalry

Flor-igan: Previewing the Meeting
There are 30 members of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, and here’s the breakdown: 13 back Clinton, eight support Obama, and nine are uncommitted, including the two co-chairs...
Related Articles:
LA Times: The Democrats' Michigan-Florida mess
ABC: Donors Among Those Ruling on Delegates
CNN: DNC faces big challenge Saturday

Campaign Jousting Returns to Iraq War
After a strong push from Sen. John McCain's allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone...
Related Articles:
The Caucus: The Early Word: Iraq On the Agenda

Biden's strength in foreign policy recruited by Obama
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. yesterday said his one-time presidential rival Sen. Barack Obama has asked him to "play a more prominent" and "deeply involved" role in his campaign, a signal the likely Democratic nominee is looking to burnish his foreign-policy credentials...

Clinton faces new pressure on 2 fronts
Hillary Rodham Clinton is coming under growing pressure from Democratic Party leaders and elected officials to quit the race, while some of her own supporters seem reluctant to rally behind her strategy for salvaging her presidential ambitions.

Democratic Primary Poised For An Ugly End
The Democratic presidential race is heading into a fractious end game as supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton mobilize for a protest Saturday to demand that the party count two outlawed primaries that favored her.

High spirits for a battler who’s low on delegates
She might be lacking in delegates, money and avenues to the Democratic nomination, but if nothing else, Hillary Rodham Clinton has clearly solidified her front-running position as the presidential candidate to have cocktails with.

McCain's Web gap is showing
The video lasts just more than three minutes. But that's long enough to raise some nasty doubts about John McCain's reputation as a straight talker.

Ickes At The Alamo: Clinton's Delegate Counter Warns Of Defections At DNC Meeting
If Ickes and his allies cannot hold all their troops in line, a motion before the RBC to seat all 210 Florida and 156 Michigan delegates with a full vote each would face certain defeat.

McCain proposal for joint action gains support
Gaining ground this political season is a proposed League of Democracies designed to strengthen support for the next president's overseas agenda and ensure a global leadership role for the United States.

Senate’s Allure Drew McCain From Military
But Mr. McCain, the son and grandson of revered Navy admirals, was having second thoughts about following his family’s vocation. He had spent the previous four years as the Navy’s liaison to the Senate, sampling life in the world’s most exclusive club...
Related Articles:
LA Times:
McCain found his land of opportunity in Arizona
Boston Globe: First term shaped McCain's identity

Another pastor complicates Obama’s campaign
Sen. Barack Obama sought Thursday night to extinguish a burgeoning controversy over another Chicago minister who supports him, denouncing the comments of a Catholic priest who said “a whole lot of white people [are] crying” because a black man was within reach of the Democratic presidential nomination.
Related Articles:
AP: Obama distances himself from another clergyman

Another Pastor Creates Controversy At GOP Event
Monsignor James Lisante, a local religious leader from Long Island, prayed to God as he attacked Obama. “Please Lord, tell Senator Obama that maybe change is a good thing,” prayed Lisante. “And maybe he should think about changing his favorite preacher.”
Related Articles:
ABC: Pastor Controversy Clouds Fight for Florida, Michigan
Politico: Pfleger apologizes for Clinton remark
CNN: Priest apologizes for mocking Clinton while at Obama church
The Caucus: Obama ‘Disappointed’ by Pastor’s Remarks That Were Critical of Clinton

David Axelrod on Key Turning Points in Race
The Brody File was in Chicago Thursday and spent the day at Barack Obama's main headquarters. I spoke with Obama's top advisor David Axelrod and he talked to me about some of the key turning points in this wild primary race. Watch above: read below:...

Charlie Black: Obama is a 'Conventional, Liberal Politician'
Charlie Black, one of John McCain's top advisors sat down with The Brody File Thursday evening in Milwaukee, WI. Watch what he told me on Obama's lack of experience. You can read the transcription below:...

Clinton supporters tell her: 'It's an honor, Madame President!'
"A lot of people didn't want this campaign to keep going. They've been trying to tell me to stop running since January — and every time they say it, people rebuke it and keep voting for me. That's what I hope will happen here in South Dakota," she told a cheering crowd...

Clinton Rally Organizers: We'll Back Obama If He's Nominee
"You're not going to write that we're a bunch of hysterical women trying to create havoc, are you?"

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Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that John McCain attracting 46% of the vote nationwide while Barack Obama earns 43%.

The People’s Priorities: Economy, Iraq, Gas Prices
The latest Gallup Panel survey finds three issues -- the economy, the war in Iraq, and gas prices -- far and away rate as the public's top priorities for the president and Congress to deal with at this time.

McCain Trusted More Than Obama on Economy, Iraq, National Security
When it comes to the economy, 47% of voters trust John McCain more than Barack Obama. Obama is trusted more by 41%.

Election 2008: New York Presidential Election
Fifty percent (50%) of New York Democrats say it’s time for Senator Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race for the White House. Just 43% believe she should keep going.

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Commentaries
House Broker
Under the circumstances, it's no surprise that some Hillary loyalists have grown bitter toward Pelosi. In April, nearly two dozen big-league Hillary donors, reacting to Pelosi's warning about superdelegates, fired off an open letter to the speaker...

First Thoughts: Resolving Michigan and Florida
Possible scenario I: We’ve hesitated reporting on every rumor we've heard about a potential compromise, but here’s one plan circulating that seems to be gaining momentum...

Geraldine Ferraro: Healing the wounds of Democrats' sexism
Here we are at the end of the primary season, and the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day.

Editorial: Clinton is top candidate for Dems
Obama could certainly become one of those candidates in the days ahead - at the time of this writing, his mathematical advantage is considerable. His appeal also is clear, and his campaign has been strong. But Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota.

Another Ranting Preacher?
Barack Obama has another spiritual leader ranting and raving about whites, Father Michael Pfleger. The vitriol is familiar. ... The kicker: Obama gave him — that would be a political donor – a $100,000 earmark. Perhaps that’s a story.

The Note: Of Chaos and Comity
The marathon that has been the Democratic race is now a sprint -- and while the race may be over (and certain powerbrokers seek to set the finish line), the frontrunner is stumbling, again.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

5/29 Evening News: Michigan and Florida...

News Items
A Guide to the Florida and Michigan Delegate Debacle
No Michigan or Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August?
Unthinkable, right? Well thinkable, maybe, but it probably won't happen.

Related Articles:
FirstRead:
A Potential Compromise
ABC: Disenfranchised Decision Makers? Fight for Fla., Mich.
FOX: Michigan Dem Says State Delegate Plan ‘Fatally Flawed’
Stumper: The 'Florigan' FAQs, Part I, The 'Florigan' FAQs, Part II
TIME: Dems' Endgame: Florida, Michigan

Character and the Primaries of 2008
If campaigns for president are in part a battle for control of the master narrative about character, Democrat Barack Obama has not enjoyed a better ride in the press than rival Hillary Clinton, according to a new study of primary coverage by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism...

Democratic Leaders Pushing to Avoid Convention Fight
Democratic heavyweights are already talking about how to push the undeclared superdelegates who will pick the Democratic nominee into someone's corner.
Related Articles:
ABC: End Game
FOX: Reid Calls for Swift End to Democratic Race
CNN: Pelosi, Reid working together to end uncertainty over nomination
CNN Ticker: Pelosi prepared to 'step in' to end race
Huff Post: Democratic Leaders: Time to End the Primary
The Caucus: Democratic Leaders Lean on Superdelegates

Day in Delegates: Obama 2-1
Obama picked up the support of West Virginia congressman and superdelegate Alan Mollohan. Obama now actually leads Clinton 4-3 in superdelegate endorsements in a state she won by 41 percentage points.

Clyburn Says Tune In Tuesday
After a few days of seeming to endorse, Clyburn finally declared himself to be “undeclared.” Well, Clyburn tells the Stamford Advocate in Connecticut that he will unveil his pick at 11am Tuesday -- while voters in Montana and South Dakota are going to the polls...

Obama Health Summary
"In short, his examination showed him to be in excellent health," Dr. David L. Scheiner writes. "Senator Barack Obama is in overall good physical and mental health needed to maintain the resiliency required in the Office of President."
Related Articles:
CBS:
Doctor: Obama In Excellent Health
CBS FtR: Obama Gets Clean Bill of Health
FOX: Obama Camp Releases Doctor’s Report
Newsweek: Obama's doctor: Democrat is in 'excellent health'
CNN: Obama in 'excellent health,' doctor says

Obama Ready to Declare Victory Tuesday?
After more than a year of campaigning and five months of contests, as it stands now, the Obama camp is finally ready to declare victory after the nation’s final contests June 3rd. According to the campaign’s count, they are just 44 delegates away ...
Related Articles:
FOX: Obama Camp Says Democratic Race Will Be Settled in 6 Days

GOP senator's wife donates to Obama
According to Federal Election Commission records, Mrs. Hagel donated twice to Obama's campaign in February for a total contribution of $500. The contributions were first reported by the Washington Post...

Obama played hardball in first Chicago campaign
As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.

Bush’s laws will be scrutinized if I become president, Obama says
If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.

McCain Declares Mosul "Quiet" On Same Day As Three Suicide Attacks
Moreover, McCain's claim that Mosul is "quiet" was disproved earlier today in grim fashion. Three suicide bombings -- two in Mosul and another in a surrounding town -- left 30 Iraqis dead and more than two dozen injured, according to press reports.

McCain Ties to Veterans’ Group Criticized By Obama
John McCain is straining to keep up with his own conflict-of-interest policy as Barack Obama’s campaign took fresh shots at the Republican Thursday for retaining advisers who are part of an independent group attacking the Democratic front-runner.

Clinton may not win, but draws fans
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton is like a boxer in the final rounds of a title bout, with fans cheering her as a relentless fighter and critics calling her a spoiler who should throw in the towel.

McClellan: I'm "Intrigued" By Obama
"Sen. Obama talks about changing the way Washington works. They better have a specific plan for doing that if they're gonna actually be the president of the United States, because it is difficult to do."

McCain raising cash off Obama Iraq visit issue
McCain hit Obama again today on not visiting Iraq since early 2006 at a townhall meeting near Milwaukee in addition to sending out a fundraising appeal to supporters focused on the issue.

Hillary Hints At Obama/McCain Iraq Spat
She also made sure to mention that she’s traveled to Iraq enough to get to know the principles in the war torn country; Obama has been only once. “I’ve been there three times. I’ve met with the leaders of all the factions,” she told the crowd.

White women cold toward Obama
Barack Obama’s favorability ratings among white women have declined significantly in recent months, particularly among Democrats and independents.

Axelrod Exclusive: Obama Strategist Rips McCain, Defends Himself Against Lobbying Charges
He continued: "The fact that he goes to Iraq and gets a tour apparently does little to provoke the kinds of questions that should be asked, and what Sen. Obama has been asking since the beginning...."

McCain starts defining Obama
The Republican nominee-in-waiting is increasingly uttering campaign trail criticisms, previewing likely themes and laying the foundation for an eventual full-blown effort to try to ill define — and derail — his expected Democratic rival.

Fallout From McCain's Rebuke Of Ministers
"He wants us to support him, but as soon as his back was against the wall, he overreacted. He is now less likely to get the evangelical vote and will have a difficult time getting strong endorsements from other ministers," said Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr....

Presidential Candidates May Miss Climate Vote
In a press conference Wednesday McCain defended his decision to skip the vote, and outlined his opposition to the bill.

Hillary: It All Comes Down to Tuesday
Saying it "really all does come down to next Tuesday," Hillary Clinton said that the enthusiasm she's seen among South Dakotans proves that she was right to fight to the bitter end of the campaign calendar.

Hillary 'Livin' La Vida Loca'
Clinton also got the, um, coveted endorsement of Puerto Rican pop singer -- and former soap opera star -- Ricky Martin, five days ahead of the Puerto Rico primary.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
Hillary Clinton’s Livin’ La Vida Loca, Picks Up Ricky Martin Endorsement
CNN Ticker: Livin’ La Vida Clinton

I'll See Your Ricky Martin, and Raise You a Jessica Alba
the group responsible for March's pouty "Yes, We Can" video this afternoon released "Podemos con Obama" (above), a similar clip starring John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Paulina Rubino, Luis Guzman, Frankie Needles, Lila Downs and (heart be still) Jessica Alba...

Clinton’s Latest Claim: She’s The Most “Fiscally Responsible” Candidate
On her last day of campaigning in South Dakota, Hillary Clinton told a group of supporters huddled inside a ballroom that South Dakotans should pick her on Tuesday because of her economic experience.

Read Into This What You Will...
We in the Hillary Clinton traveling press corps were just alerted that the sign-up page for transportation and hotel rooms was updated for the coming week. Interestingly, it allows us to sign up for travel after June 3, the final primary day -- right up through June 6....
Related Articles:
CNN Ticker: Clinton campaign plans to keep going — but isn't saying where

Clinton Up With First Ad in Montana
"It's time to level the playing field against the special interests," Clinton says as mountainous Montana scenery flits across the screen. (Video available at the link)
Related Article:
CBS Horserace: Clinton Out With Montana Ad
CNN Ticker: Clinton launches TV ad in Montana
The Caucus: Clinton and Friends Out With 3 New Ads

Puerto Rico Dems Show Little Interest in Primary
Perhaps it had to happen sooner or later: a Democratic presidential primary where voters just don’t care.

Lobbyists Everywhere
Longtime Clinton adviser Harold Ickes lobbied Congress on behalf of New York institutions that are slated to receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. But the Clinton campaign denies any impropriety.

At Obama’s Church, Chicago Minister Says Clinton Felt ‘White’ Entitlement
Another Chicago minister is causing headaches for Barack Obama after he told the Democratic candidate’s church congregation Sunday that Hillary Clinton felt entitled to the presidency because she’s white.
Related Articles:
The Caucus:
Obama ‘Disappointed’ by Pastor’s Remarks

McCain camp hits Post reporter
Top adviser sends a memo attacking Jonathan Weisman for showing "reckless disregard for key facts."

CNN: Murdoch predicts McCain will lose
Rupert Murdoch offered a dire prediction Wednesday for John McCain's chances in the general election. He will lose in a landslide, the News Corp. chairman said at a California conference, according to Reuters.

Cold or No Cold?
John McCain’s presidential campaign caused a bit of a buzz when it abruptly sent out an e-mail to reporters Thursday saying his public events the following day—a town hall and news conference--in Pennsylvania were being canceled.

Website Allows Obama Supporters To Set Agenda
If you're looking for a prototypical model that offers a whiff of what this manner of participatory democracy might look like, look no further: a group of Obama supporters have launched OhBoyObama.com, which purports to be "the unofficial campaign think-tank":...

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Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama Back Up By Double-Digits
Barack Obama has, for the moment, re-established a double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in national Democratic voters' nomination preferences in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, 52% to 42%.

Clinton has double-digit lead in Puerto Rico
According to the new survey conducted for the newspaper El Vocero and Univision, the New York senator is leading Barack Obama there 51 percent to 38 percent among all adults...

Election 2008: Mississippi Presidential Election
The strong racial divide is highlighted by the fact that Obama earns 44% of the vote in a sample where 36% of the voters are African-American.

Election 2008: New York Presidential Election
50% of New York Democrats Say Clinton Should Drop Out of White House Race...

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Commentaries
The End Of The Road?
But while Clinton may be sending a signal that she is going to stay in the race beyond the end of the primaries and perhaps through to the Democratic National Convention, the leaders of her party have other ideas.

The drama of Hillary Clinton
Never a dull moment, but is that a good thing?

How McCain Can Win
1) Running Left If McCain runs as a traditional conservative -- just repeating a mantra of no new taxes, support for the conservative social agenda, and a continued presence in Iraq -- he's toast. Instead...

Cafferty: Clinton’s “I’m more electable” working?
While Clinton has toned down her attacks on Obama in recent weeks, she has implied that if he becomes the nominee, the Democrats could lose in November....

Campaign 2008: The Electoral College
According to the latest polls, if the election were held today: Obama would receive 260 electoral votes, McCain would get 240, and the remaining 38 are too close to call.

John McCain, the Cowardly Lion
McCain -- who just weeks ago said of the Climate Security Act, "I hope it will pass," -- now says he won't show up to vote on it. He won't vote against it, mind you. He just won't show.

Nowhere To Go But Back
If McCain's opposition to Jim Webb's new GI Bill isn't all the proof we need that he won't do enough for our veterans, then I don't know what is.

McCain's Incoherence on Global Warming Reaches New Heights
Yesterday, Sen. John McCain said he does not support the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill. Three weeks ago, he had a different view.

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5/29 Morning News: Visiting Iraq...

News Items
Obama weighing visit to Iraq this summer
The Democrat, who has been criticized by Republican rival John McCain for not visiting Iraq since 2006, revealed his plans to The New York Times. He also declined McCain's invitation for a joint trip.
Related Articles:

The Caucus: Obama Says He Is Considering Iraq Trip
CBS: Obama May Visit Iraq, But Not With McCain
FOX: Obama May Plan Trip to Iraq
CNN Ticker: Obama considers trip to Iraq

McCain challenges Obama to visit Iraq
Speaking with evident condescension, Arizona Sen. John McCain needled Barack Obama on Wednesday by offering to travel to Iraq with the Illinois senator to help him gain a better understanding of the war and the consequences of withdrawing troops.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
McCain Says Obama Will Change His Mind on War if He Visits Iraq
FOX: An Obama conversion on the road to Baghdad?
CNN Ticker: McCain says Obama's Iraq trip would convince him of success
The Caucus: McCain Raps Obama Again on Iraq, Preconditions

A switch on telecom immunity for McCain?
A top lawyer for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign said telecommunications companies should be forced to explain their role in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance ... a statement that stands in marked contrast to positions taken by President Bush, McCain and other Republicans in Congress.

Two senators for McCain leave group after ads
Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham ... stepped down Wednesday from their positions with an independent group that released a pair of Internet advertisements attacking Senator Barack Obama on Iraq.

Obama: The general election fight should start next week
And when asked by reporters last night aboard his campaign plane if he will be the winner at that point, the Senator from Illinois said "I believe so."

Obama Seeks to Clarify His Disputed Comments on Diplomacy
With his experience and leadership credentials under sharp criticism, Senator Barack Obama and his advisers are trying to clarify what has emerged as a central tenet of his proposed foreign policy: a willingness to meet leaders of enemy nations.

On policy, Obama breaks little new ground
Obama's campaign is "clearly politically transformative, it's clearly from a policy standpoint been cautious," said James K. Galbraith, a liberal activist and economist at the University of Texas at Austin who had backed former senator John Edwards in the early primaries.

Obama Email: "It's You Vs. George W. Bush"
The Obama press team is sending around their latest email to their list of supporters, a direct, confrontational hit on President Bush:...

Florida and Michigan May See Delegates Halved
An analysis by lawyers for the Democratic Party says party rules call for Florida and Michigan to lose at least half their delegate strength at the party’s convention in August, an outcome that could close off Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s last opportunity...
Related Articles:
LA Times:
Democratic panel set to resolve Clinton-Obama delegate dispute
Washington Post: DNC Lawyers Rule Against Clinton
ABC: Disenfranchised Decision Makers? Fight for Fla., Mich.

Rupert Murdoch Says Obama Will Win
Rupert Murdoch -- Chairman of News Corp, new WSJ owner, and longtime torchbearer for conservative politics -- said this about Barack Obama: "He is a rock star. I love what he is saying about education. I think he will win and I am anxious to meet him."

McCain, Bush largely similar on nuclear policies
John McCain's nuclear proposals are largely in line with those of the unpopular President Bush, and even where the two disagree, the Republican presidential candidate has waffled.

Bloomberg, Potential Running Mate for 2 Presidential Hopefuls, Has a Bit of Criticism for 3
“All three are senators. I think if you look at their voting records, all three have shown instances where they have stood up to special interests and, sadly, all three have also signed on to a lot of these special-interest bills,” the mayor said...

Obama, Clinton in Close Battle for South Dakota
The voters of South Dakota look a lot like those who have favored Hillary Rodham Clinton in presidential primaries this year, but her rival, front-runner Barack Obama, has plenty of friends in high places in this rural state.

Dems woo Native American vote
Due to political and geographic realities, contenders are paying heed to this small and historically overlooked voting bloc.

Pelosi prepared to 'step in' to end race
Hillary Clinton has hinted that she is prepared to take her fight to fully seat Florida and Michigan all the way to the party's convention in late August, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that's not going to happen.
Related Articles:
The Caucus:
The Early Word: Pelosi’s Crystal Ball

Foreclosure Phil
Years before Phil Gramm was a McCain campaign adviser and a lobbyist for a Swiss bank at the center of the housing credit crisis, he pulled a sly maneuver in the Senate that helped create today's subprime meltdown.

-----------------------------
Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that John McCain attracting 47% of the vote nationwide while Barack Obama earns 42%.

Public Says Media Harder on Clinton Than Obama, McCain
Although Americans in general think that news media coverage of the three major presidential candidates has been "about right," they are more inclined to say the media have been "too hard" on Hillary Clinton and "too easy" on Barack Obama and John McCain.

Election 2008: Alabama Presidential Election
There are no surprises in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Presidential race in Alabama. John McCain leads Barack Obama by twenty-eight percentage points, 60% to 32%.

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Commentaries
First Thoughts: Obama Boxed In?
Has McCain boxed Obama in on this issue -- because if he does actually go to Iraq, will it look like McCain’s idea?

Starting Gate: Just Asking
But it is still remarkable, as the primary season winds down, how close Clinton has come – and how little it seems to be impacting the perception of Obama’s candidacy.

The Note: Politics of Okey-Doke
This is Sen. Barack Obama's chance to be the bigger candidate -- and already he's showing a tendency to give.

Team McCain: Ready for Prime Time?
Aides who were lobbyists, preachers who are controversial, a murky message. Can McCain get back on course?

Hillary Agonistes
When Hillary Clinton last Friday said, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June (1968) in California," she was not saying anything she had not publicly declared earlier.

Why Should Obama Go To Iraq?
To my mind the more damaging claim - which Obama appears to have confirmed last night - is that he never made the effort to meet privately with General Petraeus at any point during his trips to Washington.

The Controversial Caucuses: An Outsized Influence in 2008
Maybe one of the most intriguing - and nefarious - aspects of this long-running Democratic presidential campaign is that the legitimacy of the system itself has come into question. Doubts, to be sure, have been raised about the role of the unelected "superdelegates".

Moira Whelan: McCain Gaffe Alert: Iran
There should be real questions about whether McCain -- as well as his foreign policy team -- has any knowledge of US-Iranian relations.

Barack And His Shadow: Should He Appoint A Shadow Cabinet Now?
We can contrast Secretary of State Rice with any number of Democrats who are better, smarter and more sophisticated. How about Secretary of Veterans Affairs? I vote for Max Cleland,...

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5/28 Evening News: Obama vs. McCain on Iraq

News Items
McCain Unloads on Obama, Obama Camp Responds
“On the day after the former White House press secretary conceded that the Bush administration used deception and propaganda to take us to war, it seems odd that Senator McCain, who bought the flawed rationale for war so readily, would be lecturing others on their depth of understanding about Iraq,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
McCain Says Obama Will Change His Mind on War if He Visits Iraq
CBS FtR:
McCain: Obama Has a "Profound Misunderstanding" About Iraq
FOX:
McCain: Obama displays ignorance on Iraq
FOX:
Obama Camp on Understanding Iraq
Politico:
McCain hits Obama on Petraeus meeting
Stumper:
McCain to Obama: 'It Takes Two, Baby, To Make a Dream Come True'
CNN:
McCain targets Obama for not going to Iraq
CNN Ticker:
Obama camp uses McClellan book to attack McCain
The Caucus:
McCain Raps Obama Again on Iraq, Preconditions

Obama Jumps in McClellan Pool
The Obama campaign decided to weigh in on the McClellan book. The campaign uses it as another reason to pivot to McCain on foreign policy and to link Bush and the presumptive Republican nominee.
Related Articles:
FOX:
Clinton Responds To McClellan Book: Bush Has Misled Us

The Day in Delegates: Obama 4-0
The only bit of superdelegate movement since First Thoughts today was the endorsement of Oregon Democratic Party Chairwoman Meredith Wood Smith for Obama.
Related Articles:
Huff Post:
Superdelegates Announce Endorsements

Obama Camp Hopes to Avoid 'Circus' re: Michigan, Florida
“We are not encouraging our people to gather and protest,” Campaign Manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters, adding this warning shot. “With a click of a mouse in the Mid-Atlantic, we could get thousands of people there. But in the interest of party unity we are not encouraging a protest.
Related Articles:
FirstRead:
FL/MI: Clinton Camp Not Backing Down
Politico:
Dems seek to avoid meltdown
CNN:
Sources: Dems could meet Florida, Michigan halfway
CNN Ticker:
Democrats mull Florida, Michigan compromise

Obama Urges Education Reform
Barack Obama talked about turning around the American educational system today, as he viewed the work of students at a private school here.

Obama Considering Solo Trip to Iraq, After McCain Challenge
“A trip abroad is under consideration, but there are no plans at this point,” Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki told FOX News on Wednesday.
Related Articles:
CNN Ticker:
Breaking: Obama considers trip to Iraq
The Caucus:
Obama Says He Is Considering Iraq Trip

GOP Spotlights Frequency Of Obama's Iraq Visits
The Republican Party is looking to turn the frequency of Barack Obama's visits to Iraq into a campaign issue.

Clinton Faces Setback on Delegates
Hillary Clinton is not going to get what she wants -- that's the headline coming out of the memo that DNC lawyers sent members of the Rules and Bylaws Committee this week.

Bill Clinton: Puerto Rico matters in '08
Bill Clinton urged Puerto Ricans on Wednesday to take advantage of their rare opportunity to affect the U.S. presidential election in what has turned out to be key in the hunt for the Democratic nomination.
Related Articles:
FirstRead:
Bill Pitches the Popular Vote

Nominating, but not voting for president
The unrelenting contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has put the focus on what used to be overlooked details of the presidential nominating process. One of those details? Nominating contests in U.S. territories.

Two Candidates, Two Endgames
The Obama campaign has a plan to wrap up the nomination in the next week;the Clinton camp has its own scenario.

Clinton's Final Pitch
Hillary Clinton is making what seems to be a final pitch to all superdelegates before the last primary contests that end on June 3. Her argument: that she's more electable than Obama is.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
Clinton Again Touts Underdog Status
CBS Horserace:
Clinton Sends Letter To Superdelegates
Politico:
Clinton writes supers: I can win
CNN Ticker:
Clinton: Obama more likely to lose
CNN Ticker:
Clinton says she expects lead in popular vote, primary delegates

Clinton Argues Native Rights, Electability
In a somber speech before a small crowd on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, Hillary Clinton again pledged that Indian Country “will have a seat at the table in my White House.” She also argued that the “ultimate question” facing primary voters is which candidate can win in November.
Related Articles:
FOX:
Clinton Counts on Indian Country to Boost South Dakota Hopes
FOX:
3 Primaries to Go, Clinton Touts Her Electability in South Dakota

Hillary at Mount Rushmore
So Clinton and her entourage visited the national landmark this morning, surprising some tourists who never expected to see the presidential candidate. "We got fogged in yesterday, and I'm so glad we did," a North Carolina woman told Clinton.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
Vacationing with Hillary Clinton at Mount Rushmore
The Caucus:
Hillary Clinton Among the Giants

John Kerry: Is he angling for secretary of state?
Is the Massachusetts Democrat positioning himself to be secretary of state in a potential Barack Obama administration?

Veepstakes: Playing to their strengths
Although it’s much more fun to focus on the who when talking about the vice-presidential sweepstakes — ... can there still be a “dream ticket”? — how the candidates choose their running mates is much more important.

Female VP hopefuls contrast with Clinton
Other possible female picks have not become polarizing and have shied away from emphasizing gender.

FOX: Obama Dogged By Praise From America’s Foes
In a presidential race in which unwanted, damaging endorsements seem far more plentiful than endorsements that actually could help, Barack Obama has had the unfortunate distinction of being a magnet for such well-wishers.

The DNC's Gaffe List for McCain
Responding to today's earlier RNC research memo that listed several of Obama's misstatements and gaffes, the DNC has released its own list for McCain -- what it calls McCain's "Top 10 misstatements and outright deceptions."
Related Articles:
FirstRead:
The RNC's Obama Gaffe List

Rendell Wants Clinton on Ticket
Pennsylvania Gov. and top Clinton backer Ed Rendell says he believes Obama is considering her as running mate, and Hillary should take it -- if she doesn't win.
Related Articles:
ABC:
Rendell: Clinton 'Very Unlikely' To Win
CNN Ticker:
Rendell: 'Very unlikely' Clinton will win

2 Senators for McCain Leave Group After Ads
Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham seemed to be in contravention of the McCain campaign’s conflict-of-interest rules.

McCain's New Anti-Obama Line Borrowed From Attack Ad
John McCain has gleefully pounded Barack Obama in recent days for having traveled to Iraq only once since he entered Congress. But his arguments virtually mirror those used in a new attack ad by an independent conservative group...

Clinton, McCain, Obama Label Darfur Situation Genocide
Finally, something all three remaining major party candidates can agree on: Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama have signed on to a statement and newspaper ad characterizing the actions by the government of Sudan in Darfur as "genocide."

The Price of a Good Time at Political Conventions: $500,000?
Want a chance to mingle with celebrities like Warren Beatty and Al Franken at the Democratic National Convention, and maybe even get face time with Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton? It’s yours, for a price.

McCain Gaffe Alert: Iran
McCain has clearly forgotten what Max Bergmann points out: The stated policy of the United States since April 7, 1980 has been that we don't talk to the Iranians.

Paterson says Clinton frustrated, not desperate
Hillary Clinton supporter and New York Gov. David Paterson appeared to backtrack Wednesday from his comments last week suggesting the New York senator's latest actions on the campaign trail showed signs of "desperation."

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Polling Results
Gallup Daily: McCain 46%, Obama 45%
John McCain and Barack Obama are now virtually tied at 46% to 45% when registered voters nationally are asked for whom they would vote next November if these were the two presidential nominees...

Poll of Polls: Obama, Clinton both leading McCain
The CNN general election national poll of polls now shows both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton leading John McCain McCain by two points: 46 percent to 44 percent.

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Commentaries
Will smoking past affect Obama’s health?
In an Ideas piece, Stier says that just because Obama is young and fit doesn't mean he's completely healthy.

Expertinent: Can Obama Win Out West?
This week, Obama is stumping in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. How important is the Southwest to his general-election strategy? Does he need to win there? Can he win there?

Florida and Michigan May See Delegates Halved
An analysis by Democratic Party lawyers could close off Hillary Rodham Clinton’s last opportunity to cut significantly into Barack Obama’s lead in delegates.

Cafferty: What should Dems do about Michigan & Florida?
It becomes pretty tricky when you consider that in Michigan, Barack Obama’s name wasn’t even on the ballot. It’s also important to note that both candidates signed a pledge not to campaign in either state and agreed the primaries should be invalid if the states changed the dates.

Hillary Clinton and the Popular Vote: Not Wrong, But Meaningless
Even if the Clinton math weren't a cynical and mendacious display of disrespect for the intelligence of the American people, it would still be flagrantly contradictory on its own terms.

Obama's Audacity in Appalachia
The mountaintop removal issue transcends any narrow debate of jobs vs. trees by clearly showing that the environmental devastation has gone hand-in-hand with economic decline.

No to Nunn
Sam Nunn would be a disaster as Obama's running mate and a total anathema to millions of Americans. His presence would totally diminish the power of the notion of change.

Assassination Remark and Hillary's "Moral Authority" Problem
If Clinton cannot use moral tactics to gain the nomination, how can she expect to gain the trust of millions of people as a moral president?

Another 55-Year-Old White Woman for Obama
We can cast a vote backwards in time, declaring that gender wins the 'who's-more-oppressed' game, or recognize that we missed an opportunity to change institutions 30 years ago.

Suckers for McCain
Question: How many lobbyists does it take to get to the center of John McCain's campaign? Answer: Too many.

Will Hillary Be Obama's Cheney?
While the mainstream media are proclaiming their indignance over Hillary's dumb remark about RFK, I see it differently. Hillary is setting herself up to be Obama's Cheney-like junkyard dog.

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5/28 Morning News: Colorado Superdelegate for Obama

News Items
Colorado Superdelegate for Obama
Today, Colorado Democratic Party Chair and superdelegate Pat Waak announced her support for Barack Obama, citing his electability and strong support in Colorado....

Candidates Urge End to Darfur Violence
In a rare show of bipartisan unity, the three presidential candidates lent their names to a newspaper ad Wednesday accusing the Sudanese government of genocide in the Darfur region and urging an end to the violence.
Related Articles:
CNN Ticker:
Presidential candidates sign joint statement on Darfur

Breathless speculation marks veepstakes
This year, the search for No. 2, could shape up as something much more than a temporary summer diversion before the conventions.

No RBC protest from Obama camp
Supporters have been told not to counter Clinton protests at the Rules & Bylaws committee meeting.

First Thoughts: Over the Top
As NBC’s Tim Russert reported on Nightly News last night, the Obama campaign will claim a majority of all delegates -- whether it’s 2,026, 2,210, or a number in between -- next Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Party Leaders Hopeful Dean Can Strike a Deal Over Disputed Delegations
Howard Dean’s drive toward party unity will be put to the test this weekend when the Democratic Party meets to hash out one of the most divisive wedges of the primary season.
Related Articles:
Politico:
Dems Seek to Avoid Meltdown

Like McCain, Obama Raises Money Away From Cameras
Barack Obama will hold a fund-raiser here this morning and despite his criticism of the closed nature of John McCain’s fund-raiser with President Bush yesterday, cameras will not be allowed to attend this morning’s event. One print reporter will be allowed as a pooled reporter.

McCain Appears (Briefly) With Bush After Fundraiser
President Bush’s fundraiser for John McCain last night produced all of 15 seconds of video of them together at the Phoenix airport (and you can bet the Democrats will be showing that video a few hundred times before November), but raised around $3 million for the Republican Party.
Related Articles:
Wash Post:
McCain Accepts a Hand From Bush, at Arm's Length
FOX: McCain and Bush: Gone in under 60 seconds
FOX:
Bush Helps McCain Raise Millions in Arizona

The Early Word: A Glimpse of McCain’s Foreign Policy
Senator John McCain's put distance between himself and President Bush on foreign policy Tuesday, but accepted the president's fund-raising help, reflecting a tension likely to continue through November.

Clinton Casts Wide Net of Exaggeration, Claims to Lead in “Every Poll”
During an evening rally in Montana’s largest city Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton explained to the crowd why she should be the Democratic Party’s nominee, but what ensued was a list of overstatements and exaggerations as she made her case.

Clinton still insists she's more electable
Her chances of securing the Democratic presidential nomination narrowing by the day, Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted Tuesday that she would be a stronger candidate than Barack Obama to square off against John McCain in November.

While Campaigning in Montana, Clinton Reveals Secret Service Codename
Perhaps it was her surroundings or even the altitude, but at an outdoor rally set among evergreens and snowcapped mountains, Hillary Clinton disclosed the codenames assigned to her and her husband by Secret Service...

Straight Talk Express stalls in Hollywood
McCain may be winning Ben Stein's money, but experts say he still lags Obama in Hollywood support.

Starting Gate: McCain’s Undertow
After John McCain effectively wrapped up the Republican nomination, he paid a highly public visit to the White House to receive the blessing of his party’s leader for the last four years. Since then, McCain has done everything he can to erase that image...

Clinton Battles On, McCain and Obama Battle Each Other
The general election bout has begun with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain sparring with each other, ignoring Hillary Clinton's efforts to stay in the ring with them.

Obama competitive against McCain with key voters
Barack Obama has done poorly in the Democratic primaries with women, Catholics and others who will be pivotal in this fall's presidential election. Yet early polling shows that with several of these groups, he's competitive when matched against Republican John McCain.

Stark Contrasts Between McCain and Obama in Judicial Wars
The presidential election, lawyers and scholars agree, will offer voters a choice between two sharply different visions for the ideological shape of the nation’s federal courts.

McCain’s about-face on Yucca
If a man told you for years that he didn’t love you, essentially had no regard for you at all, and then suddenly, when he needed you, told you he adored you, would you fall for it?

Obama Says He Erred in Speech
Obama's campaign said yesterday that he had erred in naming the camp but not in describing the role of his great-uncle, who partook in the liberation of Buchenwald.
Related Articles:
Boston Globe:
Obama corrects gaffe on kin's participation in freeing Auschwitz
CNN Ticker:
RNC hits Obama over Auschwitz claim, Obama camp responds

Dem lawyers: Fla., Mich. can't be fully restored
A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.
Related Articles:
NY Post:
Florida, Michigan Deal is Near

McCain Urges New Arms Pact With Moscow
Senator John McCain distanced himself from the Bush administration on Tuesday by vowing to work more closely with Russia on nuclear disarmament and to move toward the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Fiorina Buttresses McCain on Economy, Touting Tax Cuts, Trade
By John McCain's own admission, the economy isn't his strong suit. The ace up his sleeve may be a polished corporate executive ranked six times as the U.S.'s most powerful businesswoman, who's also among the most controversial.

Democrats Miss Marks to Finance Convention
The Democratic Party is struggling to raise money for its convention in Denver on Aug. 25-28, with fund-raising by the host committee falling far short of the party’s goals and lagging behind the Republicans’ efforts for their convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that John McCain attracting 47% of the vote nationwide while Barack Obama earns 43%.

McCain Seen as Candidate Most Likely to Reach Across Party Lines
If John McCain is elected President, 61% of voters say it’s at least somewhat likely that he will reach across party lines and work effectively with both Republicans and Democrats. Fifty-two percent (52%) say the same will be true if Barack Obama is elected President.

Hillary Clinton’s Swing-State Advantage
In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking...

California Poll: Same-Sex Marriage is OK
A majority of California voters now support same-sex marriage and oppose amending the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

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Commentaries
Where Are The "Big" Issues?
Controversies over who endorsed whom, or what a candidate may or may not have said, or even who each candidate knows and likes have somehow supplanted the war in Iraq, the mortgage crisis, and health care.

Just Say Yes
There is a very easy way for Barack Obama's team to avoid floor fights at the Democratic National Convention. Just say yes.

The Note: Trails Mixed
Paths Point the Way for Clinton -- But She's Reading Different Signs...

Can He Take a Frisk?
“You’re a natural, like me. I was for hope; you are for hope. I was for change; you are for change. I took the Camelot sword from J.F.K.; you took it from Teddy. I would have been with you from the beginning except for that little deal I had with Hillary.... (This is a fictional conversation between B.Clinton and B.Obama. :))

Can Obama redo the map?
A Globe analysis of six traditionally Republican states where Obama has signaled he can compete suggests that his confidence has validity, but only to a point. Obama, above, campaigned in Nevada yesterday.

The Problem With Talking to Iran
There is, of course, nothing wrong with wanting to talk to an adversary. But Mr. Obama and his supporters should not pretend this is "change" in any real sense.

CNN Commentary: No graceful bow-out for Clinton
Lest anyone think the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is going to end peacefully in June, forget about it.

Ku Klux Klan Won't Endorse Obama
Noting her strength with the broad swaths of people who have no intention of actually voting for her, Clinton also feels Obama's weakness with people who hate both of them with a passion should give unpledged superdelegates pause.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5/27 Evening News: Obama Banking Superdelegates

News Items
Obama Campaign Banks Superdelegates
To prepare for that eventuality, the Obama campaign has, for the first time, really, begun to bank delegates. Sources close to the campaign estimate that as many as three dozen Democratic superdelegates have privately pledged to announce their support for Obama on June 4 or 5.

Obama qualifies position on talking to enemies
Barack Obama is distancing himself from expectations he would meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and taking a more cautious stand on talking to other U.S. adversaries.

Obama Ready to Wrap Up Primary Season
Barack Obama is looking at the general election map, traveling to “purple” states that could swing to either party in November, as his campaign prepares to capture the remaining delegates it needs to win the Democratic nomination for president.

Obama Flubs Concentration Camp Claim
"Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically."
Related Articles:
FirstRead: Obama's 'Auschwitz' Mistake
FOX: Obama Campaign Scrambles to Correct the Record on Uncle’s War Service
FOX: Obama Camp Admits Misspeak
CNN: RNC hits Obama over Auschwitz claim, Obama camp responds
The Caucus: Obama’s Staff Corrects WWII Story
TIME: Obama's Uncle Tale

Obama Hits McCain on Closed Door Meeting with Bush
Senator Obama capitalized on Senator McCain's closed door meeting with President Bush today, to paint the presumptive Republican nominee as a continuation of the Bush administration's failed policies.
Related Articles:
FirstRead: Obama Hits McCain on Bush Fundraiser
CBS FtR: Obama: McCain "Doesn't Want to be Seen" With Bush
CNN Ticker: Obama hits McCain for fundraising with Bush

Obama, GOP debate WWII service
Campaign says his great uncle’s unit liberated a concentration camp.

McCain Faces Balancing Act With Bush
President Offers Proven Fundraising Ability But Rock Bottom Approval Rating...
Related Articles:
CBS FtR:
Bush Raises Money for McCain, But Not in Public
FOX: Bush to Help McCain Raise Millions in Arizona

McCain: US, China could stop making nuke bomb fuel
Republican presidential candidate John McCain called Tuesday for talks with China to negotiate a temporary halt to production of nuclear weapons-grade material and with Russia on a new treaty to destroy more nuclear weapons.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: McCain on Danger of Nuclear Weapons
FOX: McCain Argues for Stronger Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts

Obama: McCain's 'out of touch' on housing woes
Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday rolled out ideas he said will help stabilize the U.S. housing market, while saying President Bush's response was "too little, too late."

Delegate Update: Obama Picks Up More
NBC NEWS has updated the delegate counts in Alaska and Colorado, giving Obama one more and Clinton one less in each state.

DNC meeting hottest ticket in town
It promises to be the highest-profile gathering of Democratic heavyweights until the summer nominating convention – and shaping up to be a harder ticket to come by:...

War Over Diplomacy
During remarks today at the University of Denver, presidential hopeful John McCain laid out his plan to cut global nuclear proliferation and negotiate the prevention of nuclear testing worldwide.

Sestak: 'Cold, Brutal Facts of Reality'
Former Admiral and Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak, an early and ardent supporter of Clinton’s, said on MSNBC he’d like to see the New York senator be the nominee, but he added, “There are the cold, brutal facts of reality.”

Fact Check: Clinton and the 1992 campaign
Hillary Rodham Clinton often says her husband wrapped up the Democratic presidential nomination in June 1992 in defending her decision to press ahead until the last primary votes.

The McCain Veepwatch, Vol. 2: Mitt Romney
How Romney and McCain spent their Memorial Day weekend: together. On Friday, the presumptive Republican nominee split from the campaign trail for a three-day break at his ranch in Sedona, Arizona.

Adwatch: McCain talks about helping with taxes, energy
Announcer: "As president, John McCain will make taxes simpler, fairer; energy cleaner, cheaper; health care portable and affordable; corporate CEOs accountable; mortgage debt restructured. Big ideas for serious problems. John McCain."
Related Articles:
FirstRead: McCain Goes on Air in MI, PA
CBS FtR: McCain Pushes "Big Ideas" In New Spot
CNN Ticker: McCain buying Michigan, Pennsylvania airtime

Adwatch: Clinton ad blames Bush for economy
Announcer: "George Bush's spending has sent the economy into a tailspin and put Social Security in jeopardy." Clinton: "We borrow money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis."
Related Articles:
CNN:
Clinton launches two new ads in South Dakota

Daschle Pushes Obama, Clinton Pushes Fiscal Responsibility In New Spots
The South Dakota ad battles are on. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are out with new television ads in the state, where voters go to the polls next Tuesday, June 3rd, the last primary day on the calendar.

Mile High students mar McCain speech
For those keeping score at home, Sen. McCain’s foreign policy speech was interrupted Tuesday four times in the first 10 minutes by a total seven anti-war protesters. ...
Related Articles:
CNN: Several protesters interrupt McCain speech

Castro Offers His Take On Obama
Here's something Barack Obama could probably do without: Kind words from longtime Cuban president Fidel Castro, who recently stepped aside as his country's leader.

Diary: To Puerto Rico With Clinton
What follows is a timeline of her weekend, in which she covered every part of the island.

Roberts: McCain grapples with major fundraising challenge
It's no secret that John McCain has trouble raising money. At least the kind of cash that his earlier Republican rivals did — and the amounts his likely competitor for the White House, Barack Obama can.

Clinton’s Grand Design
You know it's not over when the campaign is still cranking out new t-shirts. And you can pick which one they make.

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Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads Clinton by 51% to 43%
Barack Obama holds an eight percentage point lead, 51% to 43%, over Hillary Clinton in national Democratic voters' presidential nomination preferences, according to May 23-25 Gallup Poll Daily tracking.

Polls: Obama Improving In Key General Election States
SurveyUSA's continuing polling of swing states has produced this Iowa poll, where Obama holds a 9-point lead over McCain.

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Commentaries
The Elephant in the Room
Why you won't see a photo like this (McCain hugging Bush) ever again...

Clinton's 'RFK Remarks' Are the Least of Her Problems
Today brings news of two other reasons why Clinton should probably abandon the June rallying cry ASAP:...

Would Different Rules Have Meant Different Candidates?
Hillary Clinton has said more than once that if the rules in the Democratic primary were similar to the rules under which the GOP picks its nominee, she would already be her party's candidate.

Commentary: November Election Favors Withdrawal From Iraq
Iraq will almost certainly be one of the central issues in November -- if McCain is lucky it will remain relatively calm with casualties relatively low. But there is a wildcard named Moqtada al-Sadr, the 34-year-old Shiite leader of a 2 million man army.

Blitzer: Could the DNC move the goalposts this weekend?
At issue: what to do about those Michigan and Florida pledged and super delegates. Right now, they don’t count in the presidential selection process because those two states moved up their primaries against DNC rules.

Cafferty: What should Hillary Clinton do next?
Hillary Clinton "was a good senator before, and she can be a great senator in the future." Those are the words of Obama supporter and Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy.

Senator Obama and the Decision to Opt Out of Public Financing
Obama campaigners fear being overpowered in a money assault waged by way of the Republican Party's deep coffers in battleground states and well-financed shadow-party attack groups.

Que Es Mas Macho?
When McCain engages in the kind of macho posturing he employed over the GI Bill, it not only insults Obama, it also insults the millions of citizens who have not served in the military.

Will Clinton Really Back Obama, and Will it Really Help?
The arm twist pitch to her will be that if Clinton doesn't go full throttle for Obama she risks losing party money, support, goodwill, and to be relegated to a permanent pariah in the party.

Stop Being So Offended, Democrats
We don't need to distort the opposition or take umbrage at their every comment to win this election. If we just debate them upright on the issues, we will win.

When the Last Resort is the First Resort
What is particularly scary about McCain's policy approach toward Iran and North Korea is that he is willing to go to war again without negotiating with them.

McCain & the Rev. Wrongs
Barack Obama has had his Rev. Wright Problem, but John McCain has created for himself a serious Rev. Wrongs Problem.

Hillary's Bone-headed Argument
Apart from the furor the RFK comment provoked, Clinton's argument is wrong, historically and politically. Democratic presidential primaries never really last this long. This race is unprecedented.

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