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 Election 2008, WILL THE REAL CANDIDATE PLEASE STAND UP?
alive and still talking
Posted: Jun 15 2007, 03:05 PM


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WILL THE REAL CANDIDATE PLEASE STAND UP????
About That Political Traffic Jam in Iowa

April 8, 2007

By Jeff Zeleny, NY Times
FORT MADISON, Iowa

REMEMBER all the clatter about Iowa losing some of its oversize influence in the presidential race? Kindly disregard.

For all the tinkering with the 2008 primary schedule, for all the attempts by nearly 20 states to have a greater say in picking the nominee, an unusually early swarm of campaign visits here underscores which state — for now, at least — is one of the top priorities. A new route may exist on the road to the White House, but no candidates are daring to discount the familiar path of Iowa. In fact, the state has almost certainly become more influential.

In the last week or so alone, the field of Republican and Democratic hopefuls staged more than 50 public events across Iowa. They opened offices, welcomed hundreds of new staffers and made scores of calls to local political dignitaries, just letting them know they were in the neighborhood.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton began her Four Corners of Iowa Tour as the sun was setting the other night on a farm outside Fort Madison, in southeastern Iowa. (Yes, she promised to return soon and tackle the other three.)

Senator Barack Obama, who had just traveled the state’s western edge, was back again, this time chugging through northern Iowa. (Yes, that was him sitting in the bowling alley in the town of Ida Grove, catching the end of a Final Four college basketball game last Saturday night.)

And Rudolph W. Giuliani made his Iowa debut. (Yes, he vowed to compete here, saying: “I’m going to run in Iowa the way I ran in New York City.”)

The momentum gained by a strong finish in Iowa is, according to the candidates’ current thinking, simply irreplaceable. Try as they might, campaign strategists say, they fear they will not be able to chart a reliable course for winning the nomination without Iowa.

Here’s why: Bypassing Iowa — and its traditional early-voting partner, New Hampshire — means that a campaign would have to brave most of the month of January without a raft of free publicity, which comes through endless news coverage.

Ordinarily, it might be worth the risk. But with California, Texas, New York and Illinois among the states looking to set their own primaries in early February, immediately after the first round, the luxury of gaining traction slowly and steadily between contests is gone. (Even Senator John McCain, who thumbed his nose at the ritual of Iowa eight years ago, finds himself as invested in the state today as any candidate.)

Iowa is tentatively scheduled to hold its caucuses on Jan. 14 (sic), followed by Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But the calendar won’t be settled until later this year and could be upended if New Hampshire follows through with a threat to shift its primary earlier than Jan. 27. (Note to candidates: Don’t make plans for December 2007. New Hampshire’s secretary of state, William Gardner, could spoil your holiday by calling an early election.)

The realignment of the political calendar — if last week’s schedule is any guide — has cranked the political thermostat in Iowa higher than ever this far in advance of the election.

Eight years ago, the presidential campaign was barely purring along in early April. George W. Bush? He had yet to step foot in the state.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented number of candidates come through this state,” Iowa’s governor, Chet Culver, said in an interview. “We are giving them a chance to meet the voters, take tough questions and share their vision for the future of the country with people who care passionately about the presidential selection process.”

That is precisely the kind of attention that California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had in mind when he signed legislation to advance the date of his state’s primary. But fund-raising aside, campaign officials say it would be malpractice to focus more than a sliver of their attention right now on California and other states considering a Feb. 5 primary date. The time will come, they said, but only for those who do well in the opening chapters of the campaign or have stockpiled enough money to stay in.

The political dance in Iowa, with the wide-open field on both sides of the ticket, has a far different feel than the contest of 2004. The Des Moines Register, the state’s largest daily, is so stuffed with political coverage, it can seem as though January has already arrived.

With the first quarter of fund-raising behind them and a Congressional recess in Washington, a dozen candidates made appearances in every quadrant of the state, from the Missouri River in the west to the Mississippi River in the east, from the Missouri border on the south to the Minnesota border on the north.

Long-shot candidates came, hoping to catch an Iowa tail wind, as Jimmy Careter did in 1976. (He did not win the caucuses, mind you, but came in second — after “uncommitted.”)

Tom Tancredo, a Republican congressman from Colorado, formally declared his presidential candidacy here the other morning. He made his pitch during the first hour of the “Mickelson in the Morning” talk-radio show on WHO-AM in Des Moines. After the commercial break, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Democrat of Delaware, slid into the studio to take his turn.

A former Wisconsin governor, Tommy Thompson, who has been acquainting himself with Iowa Republicans on many weekend trips this year, held his first rally as an official candidate. Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, has secured prominent real estate for his headquarters along Grand Avenue in Des Moines. And John Edwards conducted back-to-back-to-back live TV interviews the other night with each station in the state capital.

It would be foolhardy to place much stock in polls at this early date, but the few polls taken so far argue that Mr. Edwards, the only major candidate who competed four years ago, holds an early edge among Democratic caucus goers. (He is, after all, perhaps the only candidate who can often call voters by name.)

As for the Republicans? It is anyone’s guess. But voters warn out-of-town reporters not to count out candidates like Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, a conservative who appeared at two prayer breakfasts in as many days here last week.

Take a listen to nearly all the candidates and it becomes clear that they are becoming well-practiced in their flattery of Iowa. (“We have a lot of farms in New York,” Mrs. Clinton told her audience at a picnic in Fort Madison. “Do you all know that? It’s true. I know nobody believes that, but I tell everybody that.”)

And, of course, in nearly every trip to the state, most candidates pause long enough to pledge their allegiance to the Iowa caucuses. “There’s nothing that can compare with the one-on-one meetings that you have with the people of Iowa,” Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, told reporters at the Iowa Statehouse.

As campaigns pencil in their schedules for the second quarter of the year, strategists for candidates in both parties say that travel to Iowa and New Hampshire is likely to consume about half of their days on the road. That’s not to say campaign planes won’t be heading to California, Florida, New York, Texas and other states considering an earlier primary next year.

But those trips, at least the public campaign events, are likely to be swift.

Take, for example, a trip Mr. Giuliani took on a recent day to meet voters in Oakland, Calif., where he logged a 24-minute visit, according to the stopwatch of the veteran political writer Carla Marinucci of The San Francisco Chronicle, who described the appearance as “lightning-quick.”

In Iowa last week, he lingered for the better part of a day.


IOWA CAUCUS 2008
2008 Presidential Candidats
as they are listed on the web

Joe Biden
8033 University Blvd, Suite C
Clive, IA 50325
(515) 440-2008
Web site: www.joebiden.com
E-mail: iowainfo@joebiden.com

Sam Brownback
2700 University Avenue, Ste. 206
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 221-1001
Fax: (515) 221-1007
Web site: www.brownback.com

Hillary Clinton
715 East 2nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
(202) 263-0180
Web site: www.hillaryclinton.com

John Cox
815 Office Park Road
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(877) 234-3800
Web site: www.cox2008.com

Chris Dodd
1115 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 282-3633
Web site: www.chrisdodd.com

Jim Gilmore
P.O. Box 19128
Alexandria, VA 22320
(703) 942-8110
Web site: www.gilmoreforpresident.com
E-mail: info@gilmoreforpresident.com

John Edwards
712 East 2nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 288-0766
Web site: www.johnedwards.com

Rudy Giuliani
295 Greenwich St, #371
New York, NY 10007
Web site: joinrudy2008.com
E-mail: webteam@joinrudy2008.com

Mike Gravel
PO Box 948
Arlington, VA 22216
(703) 652-4698
Web site: www.gravel2008.us

Mike Huckabee
P.O. Box 2008
Little Rock, AR 72203
(515) 681-3967
Web site: www.explorehuckabee.com

Dennis Kucinich
PO Box 110145
Cleveland, Ohio 44111
(216) 252-9000
Web site: www.kucinich.us

Duncan Hunter
9340 Fuerte Drive, Ste. 302
La Mesa, CA 91941-4164
(602) 757-3766
Web site: www.gohunter08.com

Barack Obama
323 East Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 883-2008
Web site: www.barackobama.com

John McCain
2335 70th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322
(877) 429-2008
Web site: www.johnmccain.com

Bill Richardson
601 S.W. 9th Street, Ste K
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 243-9502
Web site: www.richardsonforpresident.com

Ron Paul
850 N. Randolph Street, Suite 122
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 248-9115
Web site: www.ronpaul2008.com


Mitt Romney
3590 109th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322
(888) 722-4704
Web site: www.mittromney.com


Tom Tancredo
217 Welch Avenue, Ste. 102
Ames, IA 50014
(515) 268-3341
Web site: www.teamtancredo.com


Tommy Thompson
10544 Justin Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322
Web site: www.tommy2008.com


Super-Duper Tuesday' May Be Too Big to Matter

June 15, 2007

Sheer Number of States, Timing Will Reinforce Impact of Opening Trio

By JACKIE CALMES, Wall Street Journal
June 15, 2007

An unprecedented number of states have scheduled early presidential primaries to grab some influence from the traditional first kingmakers, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But as the law of unintended consequences would have it, the front-loaded calendar could instead make that opening trio of states -- and roughly a half-million voters in each party -- more decisive than ever.

On Feb. 5 -- widely called "Super-Duper Tuesday" -- nearly two dozen states, from New York to California, may hold what approaches a national primary. In 2004, just nine states had voted by then. The crush in 2008 will mean that no contender has the time and money to stump in all the Feb. 5 states with anything near the intensity candidates do in states with January contests. That is why Florida has defied both parties' rules aimed at minimizing front-loading, and moved up its primaries to Jan. 29 from March; Michigan's Democrats might follow.

So January's top finishers will have the momentum to carry them into February, and also-rans will likely have too little time to catch up, strategists say. Wonder what keeps the dark horses running? It is the potential for upsets in the early states, where meeting voters is relatively easy and TV ads less expensive.

One caveat about momentum: Because many states, notably California, allow voting for weeks before their primary day, some ballots could be cast before the results from Iowa or New Hampshire are known.

Even so, says David Plouffe, campaign manager for Democrat Barack Obama, "You can't expect to finish poorly in January and resuscitate in February."

Republican consultant Mike Murphy of California, who is uncommitted, says he is often asked what a candidate's California strategy should be. "I say, 'Win New Hampshire and Florida.'"

Here's a brief guide to 2008's start:

• Iowa: Iowa Republicans' straw poll in August was expected, as usual, to confirm a front-runner and winnow the 11-man field well before the state's Jan. 14 caucuses. But last week's decisions by leading candidates Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain not to participate in the August poll stripped this year's beauty contest of much meaning.

Mitt Romney, now leading in some state polls after running TV ads, had hoped to win the straw poll, then the January caucuses, and ride the momentum to victory in New Hampshire. Former New York City Mayor Giuliani, whose campaign said it didn't want to spend an estimated $3 million to mobilize supporters for a straw poll with no delegates at stake, is at a disadvantage in Iowa given Christian conservatives' influence in Republican caucuses. Unlike Mr. Romney, Mr. Giuliani hasn't disavowed his past support for abortion rights.

Arizona's Mr. McCain hopes to do well, though he skipped Iowa in 2000 because of his opposition to ethanol subsidies -- a sacred cash cow in corn country. He has since changed his mind about ethanol, citing high oil prices, and advisers say his 2000 absence makes him a fresh face now.

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's late start could be a problem, given the massive organization needed to recruit supporters to attend local caucuses on a cold January night.

On the Democrats' side, antiwar partisans hold sway; a strain of peace activism has run deep in Iowa's history. While New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leads in national polls, she struggles in Iowa given her 2002 vote to authorize force in Iraq. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has apologized for the same vote, and antiwar rhetoric now supplements his original antipoverty theme. He has to win here, Democrats say, having campaigned in Iowa virtually since his 2004 presidential bid. But Mr. Obama, the senator from nearby Illinois, is running as a new voice for change, and opposed the Iraq war from the start.

Strategists expect the Iowa results to pare each field to two candidates, maybe three, as the also-rans' support and money dry up.

• New Hampshire: Its primary is tentatively Jan. 22. It may be set earlier -- even December -- to protect the state's influence. (New Hampshire law requires its primaries to be at least seven days before any "similar" state contest.) If New Hampshire moves up, Iowa and South Carolina might follow.

Among Democrats, Mrs. Clinton has an early lead in the state. If she fell short in Iowa, New Hampshire could make her the "Comeback Kid" as it did a struggling Bill Clinton in 1992. Stakes are high for Republican Mr. McCain because expectations are: He beat George W. Bush in 2000 by 19 points here, nearly derailing the Texan, and has retained support.

But, significantly, both parties' primaries are open, so independents and people unhappy with their own party can vote in either. In 2000, many such voters went for Mr. McCain, then the fresh-faced maverick promising reform. Now Mr. Obama has that role and hopes independents will vote for him.

Republican Mr. Romney could benefit from familiarity as the former governor from neighboring Massachusetts, and is already running TV ads; he has taken a lead in polls of New Hampshire Republicans. Republican activist David Carney, who is uncommitted, says he hasn't detected any activity for Mr. Giuliani and there's "zero buzz" about Mr. Thompson. Both have potential, he adds, but only with the face-to-face campaigning New Hampshire voters expect.

• Nevada: Because next year's Jan. 19 caucuses will be a first for Nevada -- unlike Iowa, where the arcane process is an institution -- party strategists are at pains to know who will turn out and what the impact will be in the nominating process.

Mr. McCain must do well in his neighboring state. Republican polls suggest a close race and still don't account for candidate-to-be Thompson. Mr. Giuliani has raised a lot of money here, but his pro-gun-control record is a drawback among Westerners.

For Democrats, organized labor is influential here, and Mr. Edwards has worked hardest and longest for union support. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's Western-state strategy has him doing well here and parlaying that into victories on Feb. 5. But Nevada polls have Mrs. Clinton significantly ahead, and Rory Reid -- son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada -- runs her state operation. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, after a recent visit with unionists here, said, "The ones I talked to seem to be all in Hillary-land."

• South Carolina: Democrats' primary is Jan. 29, Republicans' Feb. 2.

North Carolinian Edwards was born here and won the Democrats' 2004 contest; he has to do well. But about half of the state's Democrats are black, and Mrs. Clinton is popular with many black voters. Mr. Obama, considered the first black candidate with a serious shot at the nomination, is competitive as well. Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden are campaigning hard, but uphill given the top three Democrats' advantages.

Conservative Christian and pro-military voters dominate the Republican primary. That gives Mr. McCain hope in the state that was his doom in 2000: His impassioned Iraq war support is a plus here, and much of the Republican establishment, pro-Bush in 2000, now backs him. Mr. Romney's Mormonism and Mr. Giuliani's social liberalism are disqualifiers for many conservative Christians. But Mr. Thompson, as a Southern conservative, could test Mr. McCain's support.

• Florida: Not only has this big state elbowed to the front by scheduling Jan. 29 primaries, but its early-voting law could mean some Floridians would vote before New Hampshire's results are in, unless New Hampshire moves up its vote.

Mr. Giuliani, facing obstacles in the earlier states, aims to do well here among moderate Republicans, particularly northern transplants. But Mr. Murphy, a past political adviser to former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, says there are fewer transplants in the electorate than Florida's stereotype suggests. Moreover, since its primaries aren't open, only registered partisans vote. That means social conservatives will be a force in the Republican primary.

Florida's Hispanic population also makes it more sympathetic to Mr. McCain's support of controversial legislation to give illegal immigrants a way to citizenship and create a guest-worker program. Other Republicans have lambasted that plan, putting them at odds with two men whose endorsements they all want: Jeb Bush and current Gov. Charlie Crist.

• Feb. 5: Several states have yet to cement their plans, but the numerous contests spanning every region will test the breadth of the appeal of the front-runners that emerge from January.

Mr. Giuliani's strategy calls for translating a win in Florida into a big-state harvest this Tuesday, including home state New York and New Jersey as well as California. But California is Arizonan McCain's neighbor and social conservatives dominate the state party. Among Democrats, Sens. Clinton and Obama are competing hard in California.

Besides Mr. Giuliani and Mrs. Clinton, other candidates have home-state advantages Feb. 5, including Mr. Obama in Illinois. Winning the home state doesn't get a candidate much credit -- though losing is deadly -- but these states come rich with delegates (unlike Mr. Dodd's Connecticut and Mr. Biden's Delaware).

Mr. McCain's Arizona had been expected to hold a primary this day. But Gov. Napolitano, who sets the date, is considering a week later. Rather than have Arizona get lost in the Feb. 5 pack, she'd be gambling that if either or both parties' nominees still aren't evident after Super-Duper Tuesday, then "we could be a tie-breaker."
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alive and still talking
Posted: Jul 6 2007, 09:28 AM


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7 presidential candidates make plans to visit Iowa

April 19, 2007

Five Democrats and two Republicans will campaign here in the next four days.

By THOMAS BEAUMONT
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

April 19, 2007



More than a half-dozen presidential candidates plan to campaign in Iowa in the next few days in what would be the third such wave in as many weeks.

The campaign activity in the leadoff caucus state follows last weekend's Republican spring fundraiser, where GOP activists got to judge nine presidential candidates under one roof.

Iowa Democrats learned Wednesday they would not have the same chance in June, when the party holds its marquee summer event in Cedar Rapids.

"We were disappointed," Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan said, learning that Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had said they planned not to attend the Hall of Fame banquet. "However, we're thrilled with the folks who are coming."

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards accepted the invitation, scheduled for June 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids.

Obama had previously planned to attend a fundraiser in California, campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

"Unfortunately, Senator Obama couldn't attend because of a scheduling conflict, but this weekend he'll make his sixth visit to Iowa in two months and is committed to earning the support of caucusgoers," Vietor said.

Biden and Richardson had made plans to attend the New Hampshire Democratic convention, scheduled for the same day, aides said.

The event will be the first time Clinton appears in Iowa at the same event with any of her rivals. Party activists will have to wait for the opportunity to judge Obama alongside his opponents.

Biden, Edwards and Richardson plan to attend the Polk County Democrats' spring dinner Friday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, part of a seven-candidate blitz expected in Iowa over the next four days.

The Iowa campaign activity in April, still nine months before the January date reserved for the caucuses, has some observers likening the pace to the campaign's final months, not its spring kickoff.

Today, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson plans to campaign in Iowa City, meeting with University of Iowa Republicans at the Memorial Union.

Republican Mitt Romney is scheduled to headline a reception in Bettendorf today. Friday, the former Massachusetts governor is planning stops in Maquoketa, Anamosa and Coralville.

Richardson begins a two-day swing in Denison. Friday, the Democrat plans to deliver a foreign policy speech at Central College in Pella and host political events in Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls before winding up at the Polk County event in Des Moines.

Before joining Richardson and Biden at the fairgrounds, Edwards plans to campaign in Adel and Boone on Friday. Edwards is scheduled to campaign in Indianola and Muscatine on Saturday before capping his three-day trip with stops in Mason City, Waterloo and Fort Dodge on Sunday.

Clinton and Obama will also be campaigning in Iowa this weekend. Clinton was planning events in Marshalltown and Des Moines on Saturday and northern Iowa on Sunday. Obama was scheduled to attend an event in the Des Moines area Saturday evening and headline a rally on the University of Iowa campus around noon Sunday.

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alive and still talking
Posted: Jul 13 2007, 09:33 PM


alive and still talking


Group: Members
Posts: 4,143
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'Bubba’s Back!' as Hillary plays N.H.


KEENE, N.H. -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton boldly predicted Friday that she will “move back into the White House” as she shared a stage in the Granite State with her husband for the first time in more than a decade.

As the New York Democrat walked onstage at the stadium of the Keene High School Blackbirds, her eyes lit up when she spotted a lady resting against a walker hold up a handmade “Biddies for Hillary” sign. Former President Bill Clinton drew a second wave of applause when he walked up the steps behind his wife, delayed because he had been a little more leisurely in greeting the fans pressed against metal barriers on the way from the Clintons’ nine-vehicle motorcade in the parking lot.

It was 11:38 a.m., and the crowd had been told to show up at 10 a.m. “The reason we’re late today,” he began to appreciative chuckles, “is not me. And it’s not Hillary. The reason we’re late today is one of the reasons you ought to support her for president.” He went to explain that she had just flown in after voting on a bill increasing the reward for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden to $50 million and requiring the administration to make a report in 90 days on the hunt’s progress.

The appearance, a week after the Clintons appeared together in Iowa, made it clear the senator’s campaign is embracing the former president as a huge asset -- and made it clear why. Both in her remarks and implicitly, the senator’s husband helps her to hearken back to a time of triumph for Democrats and of peace and prosperity for the country. She refers to her husband’s time in the Oval Office as experience -- a way to tap into the powerful tide for change that’s reflected in opinion polls.

Both Clintons wove a clever combination of nostalgia and vision into their remarks. As the senator listened from a stool in the corner of the stage, her husband reminded the audience of a New Hampshire appearance when he was polling fifth before the 1992 election. “I would be doing this, if asked, if we were not married,” he said. “In my lifetime, I believe she’s the best-prepared nonincumbent I have ever had a chance to vote for for president of the United States.”

They were standing in front of a huge banner that read, “READY for Change! Ready to LEAD!” Some of the official campaign signs in the audience boiled her quest down to a single word: “READY.” Handmade signs evoked the past: “Bring Back Bubba!” and “Happy Times Are Here Again.”

When the senator took the stage, she said publicly for the first time that she will support a plan in the Senate to tax hedge funds and private-equity firms like other businesses, a stand that two rivals, former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), had taken earlier in the week.

“We’re going to start imposing a fair rate of taxation on the private-equity firms and give them an opportunity to understand that they should not get benefits that are not available to other hard-working Americans,” she said. “When we start taxing this income, we’re going to use it to give more help to the middle class. Let’s expand the urban income tax credit. Let’s make college affordable. ”

The senator also said that the nation needs to “start investing” in a “strategic energy plan” -- “something like the Apollo program” -- that would be funded in part by taking away federal subsidies for oil companies. “They’re making more money than they ever have in the history of the world,” she said, to applause.

The cheering audience feel silent as the senator moved into a riff about how President Bush “just doesn’t see you” and about all the people “who are invisible to this administration.”

“I never thought our soldiers, who serve us with honor and dignity, would come home wounded only to be warehoused in inadequate facilities and made to wait for months before they could get an appointment at the VA,” she said. “I want you to know that no American is invisible to me. I will do everything I can to make sure that we see one another, we listen to one another, we house one another.”

Then she continued triumphantly: “When the presidency of the United States changes hands and I move back into the White House, America -- I can guarantee you -- you will be visible to a president who cares about you, will fight for you and make the changes that we need to make to move our country forward.”
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alive and still talking
Posted: Jul 13 2007, 10:27 PM


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July 13, 2007
Read More: Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich wants to go mano a mano

Dennis Kucinich has challenged Hillary Clinton and John Edwards each to debate him one on one.

He has been on the warpath since the two were caught on open mics yesterday at the NAACP debate, apparently proposing to have debates without the long-shot candidates. Edwards said they should "try to have a more serious and smaller group" and Clinton agreed: "We have got to cut the number." (The conversation was partially unintelligible.)

Kucinich shot identical letters to Clinton and Edwards late this afternoon: "If you are truly seeking debates where there are fewer participants and where there is more meaningful and serious discourse, this is a great opportunity for us to join together in and an open discussion on behalf of the American people."

Full text of the Clinton letter after the jump. (The Edwards letter is the same except for the salutation.)

Friday – July 13, 2007

The Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator,

Now that it has become abundantly clear to the American people that some of our colleagues prefer to shut off debate about the crucial issues facing the next president of the United States, I respectfully challenge you to a formal public debate.

My proposal is that we engage in a direct one-on-one debate on the most critical issues facing the American people: the war in Iraq; healthcare, trade and the environment.

Rather than a mere forum restricted to 60 second answers that must avoid any critique of the history and positions of other participants, I am challenging you to a debate in the classical style. With America's constitutional democracy shaping and defining the essence of our government, the American people deserve no less.

If you are truly seeking debates where there are fewer participants and where there is more meaningful and serious discourse, this is a great opportunity for us to join together in and an open discussion on
behalf of the American people.

Thank you,

Sincerely Yours,


Dennis J. Kucinich

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alive and still talking
Posted: Jul 14 2007, 11:22 PM


alive and still talking


Group: Members
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Joined: 3-February 07



found out who is backing the winning candidates in each election, now a world-wide agency, james cargill is now part of a larger entity which is a consulting agency, currently backing barak obama.

the agency is now boasting the fact that their clients always win and have election results to prove it, they even represented nelson mandela, the former british prime minister, and an israel leader. even the worlds largest petrochemical corp is their client.

this phenomenon is shaping current events both here and abroad. read carefully all categories of interest where elections past and present are concerned, even special interest groups such as women voters :

My Webpage
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alive and still talking
Posted: Aug 2 2007, 11:54 PM


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***DEMOCRATIC DEBATE OR SIDE SHOW ???***


dates for future debates


August 19 – Des Moines, IA

September 26 – Manchester, NH

October 30 – Philadelphia, PA

November 15 – Las Vegas, NV

December 10 – Los Angeles, CA
(Posted Image)

SCRAPPY MIKE ATTACKS OBAMA--DEMOCRATIC DEBATE BECOMES 3-RING CIRCUS
Mike Gravel is Howard Beale

I watched the debate last night and have a couple of thoughts, starting with the obvious fact that Mike Gravel is the Howard Beale of the race -- mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. At one point I feared he might bite someone.

(By the way, there was a no-props rule, and when Kucinich brought out the Constitution that probably should have been punished with an immediate trapdooring into the pool of sharks.)

The winner: Edwards. Everyone else seemed a bit nervous. Edwards is trial-lawyer cool. And what a haircut! (I need to make the rounds to see what the buzz is, but fyi, I watched the debate with several savvy Washington insider-types and we all thought Edwards did quite well.)

Gravel livened up what was otherwise an oddly dull 90 minutes -- so many of the candidates either playing it safe (Clinton, Obama) or just unable, under the bang-bang keep-moving format, to strut their stuff (Dodd, Richardson). Biden's one-word answer to the question on his verbosity was so perfect you'd have thought he and Brian Williams had planned it out in advance. Obama wasn't well-miked and sounded as though he were speaking from inside a box (a shame since he has the world-class baritone). Hillary didn't know where to look -- at times she seemed to be searching desperately for her talking point. And Kucinich has to worry that Gravel stole his thunder-on-the-left.

[Update: Joe Klein also went with the Beale comparison. So did Ken Rudin of NPR (whenever I try to link, though, my computer explodes). So much for my brilliant insight.]

[More reaction:

John Dickerson at Slate has a nice kicker about Gravel:

'When the candidates were asked who owned a gun, Gravel was one of those who raised his hand. "I was worried that he meant he had one with him at the moment," said a senior adviser to a top candidate.'


Byron York at National Review says the Dems were insufficiently martial.

Here's an interesting comment by Scarecrow at Firedoglake:

'I'm generally distrustful of most presidential candidates. Almost by definition, they seem to have more ambition to win the presidency than they have wisdom to be president. I also have this quaint belief that people who are genuine leaders reveal their leadership qualities over time by how they go about doing what they do. They don't announce they're "leaders" or apply to be "leaders," and running a campaign to convince people to vote for you is not a good way to prove you're a leader. Instead, genuine leaders prove themselves by how they perform day in, day out.'

--

Perhaps the liveliest moment in the debate came near the end when Obama, Kucinich and Gravel mixed it up. Here's part of the transcript from the Federal Document Clearing House:

KUCINICH: My good friend, Senator Obama, that's a very provocative statement. You previously said that all options

are on the table with respect to Iran.

And I think that it's important for people to reflect on the real meaning of that, that you're setting the stage for another war.

I think it's important that we move away from global warming and global warring. And the connection is oil. We're in Iraq for oil. We're looking at attacking Iran for oil.

And until we change our international policies, which quit using war as an instrument of policy...

MODERATOR: Time.

KUCINICH: ... and change our energy policies...

MODERATOR: Time.

KUCINICH: ... we will continue to repeat this sorry cycle.

MODERATOR: Congressman, thank you. Time has expired.

Senator Obama, 30.

OBAMA: I just got some time and I wanted to respond to this.

I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran.

OBAMA: But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region.

KUCINICH: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: I understand that, but they're in the process of developing it. And I don't think that's disputed by any expert.

They are the largest state sponsor of terrorism...

KUCINICH: It is disputed by...

OBAMA: ... Hezbollah and Hamas.

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: And there is no contradiction, Dennis, between...

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: Let me finish.

There is no contradiction between us taking seriously the need, as you do, to want to strengthen our alliances around the world -- but I think it is important for us to also recognize that if we have nuclear proliferators around the world that potentially can place a nuclear weapon into the hands of terrorists, that is a profound security threat for America and one that we have to take seriously.

MODERATOR: Way, way over on time.

Senator Gravel, 30 seconds, please.

GRAVEL: No, with respect to Iran, we've sanctioned them for 26 years. We scared the bejesus out of them when the president says, "They're evil."

GRAVEL: Well, you know something? These things don't work. They don't work. We need to recognize them.

And you know something? Who is the greatest violator of the non- proliferation treaty? The United States of America. We signed a pledge that we would begin to disarm, and we're not doing it. We're expanding our nukes.

Who the hell are we going to nuke? Tell me, Barak. Barak, who do you want to nuke?

OBAMA: I'm not planning to nuke anybody right now, Mike, I promise.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAVEL: Good. Good. We're safe then, for a while.

QUOTE
love it
we need more "gravel" in our lives, please donate to keep this guy talking.
laughter is the best medicine. want to embarass the democrats some more?
keep gravel in the debates. send your donation
next debate is in S.C. in JULY.

QUOTE
hahahahahaahhahaah Oh my god...your joking.

Democrats please save me.. The media told me the democrats hated Bush....I hate Bush too...

Please save me...Please I want gun control, I love amnesty, I love globalism, GLOBAL WARMING is detroying the planet, Help me...please....I can't do anything by myself...Government is God...do everything for me...I have no personal responsibility...it's the governments job to fix every problem I can ever have..

I have a hang-nail... Can you authorize legislation Queen Hillary for me to pull it off myself..

The revolution??? From Gravel...From Dodd...From Obama...From Hillary....HA!!!

You two wouldn't know a revolution if it was happening in front of your damn face.


THE DEMOCRATS WILL NEVER SAVE YOU!!!! GET A GODDAMN CLUE!!!!

The democrats are here to nuetralize people that want real change, because they trick you into thinking that becasue they are "against Bush" that they are the good guys. The globalists are putting everything bad on Bush..so when a Dem gets in, the rug gets pulled out from under you clueless morons (you are...sorry) that supported these people.

Stop being CONNED!!!!


thank you for your gifted response
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System Of A Down
Posted: Aug 3 2007, 04:00 PM


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http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/pa...ls/l3q5j70n.jpg


i recommend grabing his hand and walking to paradise B)
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alive and still talking
Posted: Aug 15 2007, 06:20 PM


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too bad we cant get ron paul to run as an independent, dont think the
republicans will allow him to get nominated, however, cnn mentioned him
for the first time today since the debates started, called him a liberal.
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castrix the defiant
Posted: Aug 17 2007, 09:39 AM


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Question, who would u like to see as the president and the vice president?

myself personaly would like to see clinton(pres) and obama(vice pres) or vice versa

just because of all the right wing a-holes that would be p***ed off :D .

just remember i'm scottish, so don't take what i say on this topic too seriously.

As i my thaghts do not count for the election.
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Rob Bishop
Posted: Aug 17 2007, 12:43 PM


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QUOTE (castrix the defiant @ Aug 17 2007, 09:39 AM)
Question, who would u like to see as the president and the vice president?

myself personaly would like to see clinton(pres) and obama(vice pres) or vice versa

just because of all the right wing a-holes that would be p***ed off :D .

just remember i'm scottish, so don't take what i say on this topic too seriously.

As i my thaghts do not count for the election.

New to this, are ya? :D
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alive and still talking
Posted: Aug 18 2007, 02:15 PM


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RON PAUL AND OTHER CANDIDATES WITH A REAL MESSAGE FOR CHANGE
WILL HAVE A SOUNDING BOARD NOW, NEW REPORT JUST CAME OUT

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
By Jeremy Grant in Washington

Published: August 14 2007 00:06 | Last updated: August 14 2007 00:06

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

“With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks,” said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.

Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an “unsustainable path”.

“Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call.”

Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring.

“They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007


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alive and still talking
Posted: Aug 18 2007, 02:24 PM


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NAMED ELECTION HOPEFULS AND WHERE THEY STAND
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alive and still talking
Posted: Sep 9 2007, 06:33 PM


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hillary clinton will be on cnn tonight--answering questions in florida, the meeting will be aired both in english and spanish
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galenagifts
Posted: Sep 9 2007, 09:34 PM


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Here is an interesting video of Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo being questioned about Guiliani and the bad air cover-up at ground zero.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=urheVR1WG2M
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alive and still talking
Posted: Sep 28 2007, 06:57 PM


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(Posted Image)
September 28, 2007
Clinton: Give every newborn $5,000

Clinton made the bold suggestion Friday.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Clinton said such an account program would help Americans get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs.

She argued that wealthy people "get to have all kinds of tax incentives to save, but most people can't afford to do that."

The proposal was met with enthusiastic applause at an event aimed to encourage young people to excel and engage in politics.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Rep. Stephanie Stubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who attended the event and has already endorsed Clinton. "Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their 18?"

Britain launched a similar program in January 2005, handing out vouchers worth hundreds of dollars each to parents with children born after Sept. 1, 2002.

Earlier this month, Time magazine proposed a $5,000 baby bond program.
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alive and still talking
Posted: Sep 29 2007, 10:51 AM


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(Posted Image)
September 27, 2007
Hollywood director backs Clinton

Reiner is lending his star-power to Hillary Clinton.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — As a movie director, he put Michael Douglas in the White House in the 1995 hit movie, "The American President." But as a real life political activist, Hollywood mogul Rob Reiner has his sights set on making sure it’s Sen. Hillary Clinton who inhabits Washington’s top address come January 2009.

According to the Los Angeles Times and Variety, the noted director, producer and actor has decided to throw his star power behind the New York Democrat's White House bid and will throw a star-studded fundraiser for her in October.

"Every one of the Democratic candidates is strong, but Hillary is head and shoulders above the rest," he told the Times.

Reiner did not come to his decision lightly, Variety reports. He met with every other candidate running for the Democratic nomination except for former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.

"Based on the experience I have had in politics, and I have been on the front lines in a lot of these fights, I came around to realizing that we do need the most experienced and most qualified person to run the country," he told Variety.

Clinton's campaign has not returned CNN's request for comment on the endorsement.

Reiner is one of Hollywood's most politically active figures. The man behind such classic films as "When Harry Met Sally" and "A Few Good Men" was an early supporter of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid. He also heavily campaigned for Sen. John Kerry that year when the Massachusetts Democrat won his party's nomination.

But Reiner told Variety his top choice for the White House would be former Vice President Al Gore.

"A long, long time ago, I thought he might get in, but he made it very clear he wasn't going to be a candidate, so I took him at his word and then went through the process of saying, 'Who is the most qualified?' The answer was Hillary," he said.

Clinton and rival Barack Obama have been locked in a battle for Hollywood supporters and their dollars since both candidates announced their presidential ambitions early this year.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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alive and still talking
Posted: Oct 4 2007, 05:25 PM


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Roxdog
Posted: Oct 5 2007, 05:05 PM


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QUOTE (castrix the defiant @ Aug 17 2007, 02:39 PM)
Question, who would u like to see as the president and the vice president?

myself personaly would like to see clinton(pres) and obama(vice pres) or vice versa

just because of all the right wing a-holes that would be p***ed off :D .

just remember i'm scottish, so don't take what i say on this topic too seriously.

As i my thaghts do not count for the election.

You are a clueless Scotsman.
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alive and still talking
Posted: Oct 12 2007, 09:55 PM


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THE BILL CLINTON SHOW
My Webpage you can't stop FAME :)

maury povich is releasing a hollywood movie in november which will cause public
outcry to end the war NOW

his wife, connie chung, just joined cnn

it's all about celebrity and politics
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alive and still talking
Posted: Oct 16 2007, 09:24 AM


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DEMOCRATS TRYING TO DRAFT GORE

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NY FIRE DEPT OPINION OF GIULIANI

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