Category Archives: 2008 Presidential Election
In the course of just a few weeks, Mike Huckabee has capitalized on his Iowa surge and roared to the front of the Republican pack in South Carolina, largely on the strength of social conservatives frustrated with the current crop of candidates.
“We’ve been on the stove simmering for about 11 months,” Huckabee said at a rally in Greenville on Saturday. “Somehow in the last two weeks, the lid blew off and the pot started boiling.”
A month ago, Huckabee was fifth in South Carolina polls. Now, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll conducted in the state, Huckabee comes in at 20 percent, putting him in first place with a narrow lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who comes in at 17 percent.
They are followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 15 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 14 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain at 10 percent.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a die-hard supporter of McCain, predicted the political wave last week, telling reporters in Washington, “what you see nationally with Huckabee is happening in South Carolina.”
Oran Smith of the conservative Palmetto Family Council said Huckabee’s momentum, media attention and strong debate performances may have given once-hesitant voters newfound confidence in Huckabee, who for months was considered a long-shot.
“So many now are focusing on people they think are more in line with their values, but can win. So you’ve got Romney and Thompson vying for that ‘conservative who can win’ label, and all of a sudden here comes Huckabee,” Smith said.
That enthusiasm was on display over the weekend in South Carolina, when supporters and media jammed into a Lizard’s Thicket restaurant on Saturday morning in Columbia to see the former governor of Arkansas.
The cluster of camera crews may have been in town to cover Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming rally for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, but Huckabee was happy to put on a show for them a day early.
Hoisting himself up on a step ladder above the noisy elbow-to-elbow crowd, he gave a rousing speech laced with his trademark wit and intriguing brand of Republican populism (“I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody,” he likes to say).
Huckabee implored the audience to vote in the primary on January 19.
“We need to be able to nail something down after coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “We want to put down some deep roots here.”
Huckabee will run his first television ad in South Carolina on Monday, a family-friendly 30-second spot called “A Better America.”
Rep. Bob Inglis, who represents the Greenville-Spartanburg area, jumped off the fence to endorse Huckabee last month. Inglis said his candidate “has the authenticity and transparency” to attract new voters.
“I see he and Obama as very similar in what they’re trying to do,” Inglis said, referring to the Illinois senator’s willingness to break with party orthodoxy on certain issues.
“I think that Huckabee has got to find a way say things that need to be said, that we’re not going to scare them into voting for us, we’re not going to demonize Democrats, we’re not going to hate immigrants,” Inglis said. “We’re going to be rooted in principle and focused on the future, and that’s what I think he’s found.”
As Huckabee begins to cut into his opponents’ support among evangelical Christians, who account for about half of GOP primary voters in South Carolina according to a recent AP poll, the arrows are beginning to come out.
The Romney and Thompson campaigns, both vying for support among social conservatives, have issued a salvo of press releases in recent weeks attacking Huckabee’s record on taxes and immigration.
On the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, while Huckabee was giving a sermon at a Baptist church near Greenville on a Sunday morning, the Thompson camp blasted out three straight e-mail attacks on Huckabee in the course of about 20 minutes.
He has also faced some anonymous dirty tricks: On Sunday, mysterious fliers accusing Huckabee of “lying” about his role in the Wayne Dumond parole controversy were left on car windshields outside of his Greenville campaign stop.
The flier says it is sponsored by a group called “Lynchburg Christian Students for the Truth,” but a CNN investigation has been unable to confirm the existence of any group that goes by that name.
Huckabee also lacks the deep pockets of nearly all his GOP rivals, particularly Romney. His grassroots support in South Carolina, while loyal and enthusiastic, lacks the organization and funding of Romney’s ground game here.
However, with the holiday season in full swing, Huckabee could also be peaking at the right time.
“Christmas is coming up, there’s going to be some bowl games, and politics will be on the backburner except for in the mail,” said South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson. “As soon as Santa Claus comes down the chimney and leaves, here come the candidates.”
If Huckabee heads into late December unscathed, with the kind of support he has right now, he could become the man to beat come early January.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has vaulted over all major GOP challengers to take a commanding lead in the race to win the Iowa caucuses, while Barack Obama continues to edge ahead of Hillary Clinton among Democrats likely to participate. This is according to a new NEWSWEEK poll.
The most dramatic result to come from the telephone based interview based on 1,408 registered Iowa voters on Dec. 5 and 6, is Huckabee’s emergence from no-wheres-ville in the GOP race into the front runner’s spot in just two months. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and now leads Romney by a two-to-one margin (told you the Mormon thing would kill him in the end), 39 percent to 17 percent, among likely GOP caucus-goers. In the last NEWSWEEK survey, conducted Sept. 26-27, Huckabee polled a only 6 percent to Romney’s 25 percent, which then led the field.
Huckabee has also opened up a wide margin over the next three leading candidates, who all show signs of fading like cheap paint in the Arizona sun. Rudy Giuliani, who dropped from 15 percent in the last survey to 9 percent in the current one; Fred Thompson, who fell from 16 percent to 10 percent; and John McCain, who slipped from 7 percent to 6 percent, are all looking up at Huckabee now.
The poll, which has an overall margin of error of 3 percent, also indicated that on the Republican as well as the Democratic side Iowa is increasingly becoming a two-person race. Among likely GOP caucus-goers, 57 percent name Huckabee as their first or second choice and 39 percent give Romney as their first or second choice. On this measure, Thompson is a distant third, with just 20 percent.
“You rarely see anything like Huckabee’s surge,” says Larry Hugick, who directed the polling for Princeton Survey Research Associates. Hugick added that the reason has as much to do with a leeriness of the other candidates among Republican voters as Huckabee’s folksy success on the stump. “He’s filling a vacuum,” Hugick said. “Nobody on the Republican side was getting strong support.”
Say what you will but Huckabee comes off genuine and articulate. I’ve blogged about this recently here…
Sure he might be construed as another Christian fundamentalist nut, but he’s a likeable Christian fundamentalist nut…and that may be enough in Iowa.
What people don’t seem to wrap their mind around is that America is thirsty for honesty from a President in any form, even if that President has some weird baggage. While evangelicals are carrying Huckabee in Iowa, it is the other 50% of plain old Republicans that are putting him over the top! Why? Because Romney looks too slick (and he’s a Mormon), Giuliani looks too much like Bush (wrong answer there), McCain is just plain crazy, and Thompson talks like he is just plain stupid.
The best analogy I can come up for Huckabee is that he’s Reagan, only holding a really big cross, like those guys who shout bible verses at you downtown on a Wednesday afternoon. Iowa voters appear to be willing to take the chance he won’t impale us on it.
Who would have thunk it?
A quick spine check of the Democratic Party has revealed Jell-O once again…
Reprinted fron the Washington Post
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 5, 2007; Page A03
Facing increasing evidence of military progress in Iraq, some Democratic congressional leaders are eyeing a shift in legislative strategy that would abandon a link between $50 billion in additional war funding sought by President Bush to a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops. Instead, they would tie the measure to political advances by the Iraqi government.
For nearly a year, Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to use war funds to push timelines for troop withdrawals, troop-training requirements, and prescribed periods of rest for weary soldiers and Marines.
Now, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) is examining a new approach, releasing war funds in small increments, with further installments tied to specific performance measures for Iraq’s politicians. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) also is searching for a new approach and has been briefed on the idea of more explicitly tying funds to political progress.
The new thrust has divided Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, some of whom say they will never approve additional funding for the Iraq war without troop-withdrawal timelines. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) remains skeptical, House Democratic leadership sources said, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has vacillated between seeking compromise with Republicans and holding firmly to troop-withdrawal language.
“We’ve been through all that,” Reid said yesterday of the new approach, suggesting the war-funding issue will wait until January. “I just think we need to figure out some way to fund a government and move on to next year.”
The new approach contains considerable political risks for Democrats. If they choose to adopt realistic measurements of political progress, they would be signaling a willingness to leave U.S. combat troops in Iraq far longer than Democratic voters want, said Michael O’Hanlon, a Democratic defense analyst at the Brookings Institution.
None of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination is likely to embrace that, said O’Hanlon, who suspended his ties to the campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) after he wrote that Bush’s troop buildup was yielding positive results.
On the other hand, the year-long struggle to mandate troop withdrawals shows no sign of progress. War funding will begin running dry by mid-February, leaving Democrats with the choice of withholding money for the war, providing the money without strings attached, or finding a new approach that can win bipartisan support.
The House approved a $50 billion war spending bill last month that would have tied additional funding to a goal of removing all combat troops from Iraq by December 2008, but it fell to a Republican filibuster in the Senate. Bush had promised to veto it anyway.
A separate war funding bill approved in the spring laid out political benchmarks for the Iraqis and demanded that the Bush administration return to Congress in September with an update on progress toward them. It showed that the Iraqi government was woefully short of meeting those goals.
The new approach will get an airing today when USA Todaypublishes an opinion piece by O’Hanlon. He argues that Democrats should receive more credit for the positive changes in Iraq and lays out a fresh set of benchmarks linked to the provision of funds.
O’Hanlon shook up the Iraq debate earlier this year when he co-wrote an opinion piece hailing the progress that has resulted from Bush’s troop buildup. It also suggested that Gen. David H. Petraeus‘s counterinsurgency strategy could stabilize Iraq.
He suggests, for instance, that Congress should judge political progress by how much money the central government in Baghdadis sharing with Iraq’s provinces, and should recognize the ongoing de facto amnesty that Iraq’s government is offering political opponents with the hiring of former insurgents as police officers and soldiers.
Emanuel suggested yesterday that the Bush administration’s diplomatic outreach to Syria, its engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the new intelligence estimate on Iran‘s nuclear capabilities stem in part from the changing political climate brought on by the Democratic Congress.
“Our troops at every step of the way have done an incredible job,” he told reporters. “And at every step of the way, the people that are responsible for a political strategy for Iraq have failed to deliver one. And our views on the funding is that what we need and what we’ve asked for from Day One is a set of benchmarks the Iraqis have to meet for Iraq.”
Business as usual huh? The Democrat’s position and strategy on the war in Iraq has been a disgrace. I am finished with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
A new Zogby Poll says Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election head-to-head match-ups. This, with the previously reported numbers on Obama, may be the electability issue coming home to roost for the Clinton campaign, as her national support from this past summer appears to have evaporated.
Clinton’s top Democratic rivals, in particular Barack Obama and John Edwards, both lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, according to the survey.
Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 since June, however now, she trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.
Back in July, Clinton narrowly led McCain, and held a solid five-point lead over former New York Mayor Giuliani, a six-point lead over former Tennessee Sen. Thompson and a 10-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Romney.
Huckabee wasn’t even on the radar.
However, as she has wavered on immigration, the failed attempt to license illegal aliens in New York, and in nationally televised debates, her support has eroded…as it should.
America wants a truthful President and a person who leads from a pulpit of what is right, not what is right for the pollsters.
We’ve had eight years of dishonesty and back paddling. People are starving for integrity in the Oval Office. They want someone to bring our country back from the edge of the cliff that George Bush has led us to. America has raised the bar and apparently Hillary is having a tough time getting over it. These poll results come as other national polls show the race for the Democratic nomination tightening five weeks before the first contest in Iowa, which kicks off the state-by-state nomination battles in each party.
This is no way for the Clinton campaign to start on any level.
Many Democrats, including me on this blog and on my Internet radio show, have expressed concerns about the former first lady’s electability in a tight national race against Republicans. This survey slso showed Clinton not performing as well as Obama and Edwards among independents and younger voters – another ominous sign.
“The questions about her electability have always been there, but as we get close this suggests that is a problem,” Zogby said.
Obama, an Illinois senator, and Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, both hold narrow leads over the Republican contenders in the hypothetical 2008 match-ups.
“It all points to a very competitive general election at a time when many people think the Democrats are going to win the White House,” Zogby said.
The poll consisted of 9,355 people had a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point. The interactive poll surveys individuals who have registered to take part in on-line polls.
Some have pointed out that the poll may be skewed, as Obama and Edwards supporters could be more active. However, several polls suggest the same trends and the data seems to be consistent.
I’ll say it again as I have been saying it for months…
Hillary Clinton is no lock for 2008 and in my opinion, she is not living up to her reputation as a tough campaigner. Her campaign is being run poorly and she almost sounds as though she believes the nomination is a coronation that has already been decided.
Not so Hillary…not so.
Democrats are looking for someone, anyone, with consistent positions on the issues and a solid platform that the Republicans cannot attack with a broadside shot and sink the whole ship! Hillary Clinton nor her campaign should be surprised at all that this is happening. People are beginning to pay attention as we get closer to Iowa and what they are discovering is that Hillary can’t make up her damn mind on just about anything.
I don’t know how much of a problem these numbers are this early, but if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t push all of my chips her way just yet.
Save the waffles for breakfast Hillary and choose your positions carefully, or Democratic caucus goers may choose them for you, in the form of Barack Obama.
A closer look inside the numbers reveals that Barack Obama is quite legitimate when put head to head versus any Republican candidate in a national election.
This must have the Clinton camp at least mildly concerned as her almost daily recurrences of foot-in-mouth syndrome, coupled with her enormous unpopularity among male voters, could spell disaster for her campaign as the race grinds forward into 2008.
Obama has the personality, charm, as most importantly…cash, to go the distance. But more important than all of that is the one crucial question. Can he beat the Republicans, no matter who they throw at him. As of now, the answer appears to be yes.
Here is some recent poll data:
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And what does Hillary have to say?
Hillary Rodham Clinton maintained Sunday that she’s the best candidate to win against Republicans, saying she has more experience battling the GOP than any other candidate in the Democratic field.
“I believe that I have a very good argument that I know more about beating Republicans than anybody else running. They’ve been after me for 15 years, and much to their dismay, I’m still standing,” she said in answer to a woman’s question about her electability. “I’m leading in all the polls, I’m beating them in state after state after state.”
“I think they have looked at the field and figured out who can best beat the Republicans,” Clinton said.
Barack Obama’s campaign weighed in, claiming he is the strongest candidate in the field.
“Throughout his career, Senator Obama has succeeded in bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together to solve important problems like providing health care to families,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Obama had 30 percent support among likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers and Clinton had 26 percent.
When asked about Obama’s lead in Iowa, Clinton, in typical Clinton style, completely reversed an earlier statement saying that she doesn’t pay much attention to polls, and acknowledged that it’s a competitive race.
“There have been a lot of polls, and frankly, I don’t pay much attention to any of them,” she said. Later, she acknowledged, “It is a much more competitive race (in Iowa) than it is in other parts of the country.”
When you’re looking in from the outside, it’s right there for anyone to see.
Obama may be a bit irregular and unpolished at times, but he is consistent. He’s candid, comes off as honest and tells you what is on his mind. (i.e. Yeah I inhaled, that was the point.)
If nothing else, Obama could move us over the hurdle of a White House that has been monopolized by recent Presidents who could lead but weren’t very good at controlling their collateral behavior, and others who simply couldn’t lead at all.
Ask five voters about Barack Obama, and you’re likely to get five different opinions: America’s not ready for a black president; America can’t afford not to have a black president; Barack Obama isn’t really black; Obama is fresh and honest, etc., etc. But no one can deny that he inspires comparisons, favorable or not, to John Kennedy, and has had significant primary fundraising success against the Hillary campaign finance machine. (When you have Oprah in your camp how can you lose?)
Obama is the only electable candidate running his campaign on universal health care, getting out of Iraq (the only electable candidate who didn’t want to get in), and as his bestselling book put it, embracing the “audacity of hope.”
I have commented on the Shadow Democracy Radio Show and this blog in the past, and I will maintain, that Barack Obama is for real and if Hillary Clinton sits on her national poll numbers, she may very well find herself in second place come next Spring.
Is Ron Paul the One?
Do patriotic White Americans finally have a candidate they can vote for without fear of being sold out again? The Bush family has proven itself the equivalent of political toxic waste. The Bush family supports Open Borders and sees nothing wrong with filling America up with Mexicans. Bush Junior’s occupation of Iraq has cost the Republicans control of Congress. Many Republicans would like to see a complete change of direction. Ron Paul has been consistently against the Iraq War and he also supports securing the Mexican border.
One right wing web site reports that Ron Paul went from relative obscurity to a double digit lead after the first Republican debate in an MSNBC online poll. Jim Capo reports “Now in 2007, Ron Paul comes along last week and gives by most accounts of honest grassroots Americans the best performance in the first televised debate between GOP presidential contenders. Exclusively broadcast by MSNBC, Ron Paul led MSNBC’s post election poll from start to finish with nearly a double digit margin over his nearest challenger Mitt Romney. An even more crushing defeat of the rest of the pack occurred in an ABC News poll which at first had been posted on-line with only nine names on it — Ron Paul’s being the one missing. Irate Paul supporters who complained in the poll’s comment section at first saw many of their posts ominously deleted — some no doubt for language, others for editorial discretion bordering on the c word (censorship). After someone posted in the comment’ thread the cell phone number of a Senior VP at ABC News, the Paul name was added to the poll.”Admittedly the first Republican debate had a small audience. Most people have gotten sick of the “lock step” Republican support for the Iraq War and didn’t watch the debate assuming the candidates would be all the same. Most Americans didn’t know Ron Paul wants us out of Iraq. Still, it’s extremely significant that Ron Paul could jump ahead of the entire field based on a single performance. It also proves that the two biggest issues in 2007 are immigration and getting out of Iraq. Ron Paul is on the right side of both of these issues while the other Republicans (except for Tancredo on immigration) are falling short. If anyone can gain a great deal of momentum through the debate process, it’s Ron Paul.
Just a few weeks ago it looked as though we were going to be stuck with a liberal Republican in the form of Rudi Giuliani or Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney is famous for changing positions on key issues like abortion while Giuliani is famous for changing wives. No true conservative Republican wants anything to do with these two east coast liberals.
Romney’s net worth is estimated at being in the hundreds of millions. No doubt he is part of the New England country club elite that includes the Bush family. Someone should carefully check his stand on gun control since these New England elite types tend to sell us out on that issue.
The 2007 election is especially important because Hillary Clinton or the stealth candidate Barack Obama could easily be running. The Republicans need a rock solid candidate who will get us out of the Iraq War and secure the Mexican border if they hope to win. Any “compromise candidate” who wants to continue the Iraq War indefinitely is NOT going to win the hearts of the American people.
There will be more debates ahead and if Ron Paul continues to win the hearts of ordinary conservatives, he will survive the early culling as Romney and Giuliani finally face a serious challenge. Americans want to see a populist candidate, who is right on the key issues, defeat a system-approved candidate like Romney who showed up with his giant bags of money or the ridiculously overrated Giuliani who was mayor of one of the most liberal cities in America.
By: Charles Coughlin
Looks like the Nazi’s have their guy huh?
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, is gathering strong support from Christian conservatives, and has surged past three of his better-known presidential rivals and is now challenging former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the lead in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Huckabee support is up 200% since late July, eclipsing former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain(Ariz.). Moreover, his support in Iowa appears stronger and more enthusiastic than that of his rivals.
The poll found that overall, 28 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers support Romney, while 24 percent support Huckabee. Thompson ran third in the poll at 15 percent, with Giuliani at about the same level, with 13 percent. McCain, whose Iowa campaign appeared to derail earlier this year over his stance on immigration, had 6 percent and was tied with Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), who rose from 2 percent in July.
Huckabee’s gains were concentrated among the party’s conservative core, which translated into a 28-percentage-point bounce in support, mainly from Protestants, and a 19-point rise among conservatives. Huckabee also benefited from the decision of Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) and others to quit the race. Brownback and Huckabee had been competing for many of the same religious and conservative voters. Moreover, Huckabee’s gain in this poll does not come at the expense of those still running, all of whom are faring about the same as they were in July.
But almost half of Huckabee’s supporters (48 percent) said they would definitely vote for him in January and only a quarter said there was a good chance that they would change their minds before the caucuses. In contrast, just 29 percent of Romney’s backers said they would definitely vote for him, while 42 percent said there was a good chance that they could vote for someone else.
The enthusiasm among Huckabee supporters is interesting, particularly in a year in which Republicans have been considerably dissatisfied with a field of mediocre candidates. Half of those who now back the former Arkansas governor said they are very enthusiastic about him, compared with 28 percent of Romney’s backers.
It is also primarily social issues that galvanize Huckabee’s backers.
More than four in 10 Huckabee voters call abortion or broader moral or values issues the race’s top one or two concerns. That is nearly double the number of Romney supporters to highlight these issues. Overall, three-quarters of likely GOP voters think that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, and among the 24 percent who want the procedure to be unlawful in every instance, 36 percent support Huckabee and 22 percent Romney.
But, many issues drive likely GOP caucus-goers.
A quarter of those surveyed said immigration is their biggest or second-biggest concern when considering whom to back on Jan. 3. The same percentage, 24 percent, highlighted the war in Iraq, and nearly as many, 21 percent, singled out terrorism and national security.
Ten percent or more cited five other issues: the economy, health care, abortion, taxes, and morals and family values. Overall, eight issues ranked in the double digits, making the discussion in the Republican contest potentially more wide-ranging than that on the Democratic side. Among likely Democratic caucus-goers, only three issues reach 10 percent, and two — Iraq and health care — dominate voters’ concerns.
On immigration, Romney has an edge: 27 percent said the former Massachusetts governor is best on the issue, while Huckabee received 13 percent. No candidate is clearly preferred on the other top issue, Iraq, with Giuliani, McCain and Romney each considered the best by about two in 10. Giuliani doubles up the competition, however, on handling the terrorism fight.
Romney tops the field as the candidate most trusted to handle the economy and the federal budget deficit. He and Huckabee are preferred by about equal percentages on social issues, such as abortion and same-sex civil unions.
About six in 10 likely caucus-goers said they have been called by one of the campaigns. Twenty-nine percent have attended a campaign event, up six percentage points from July, but far less than the percentage of Democrats who have attended an event (52 percent). A third of GOP voters have visited one of the candidates’ Web sites and 29 percent have received e-mail. About one in five has spoken with or shaken hands with one or more of the GOP candidates. Fifteen percent have contributed money.
Romney has an advantage on the question of who has the “best experience to be president,” after a 10-point increase from July, when he was about even with Giuliani and McCain. Romney had held a marginally significant edge on “best understands problems of people like you,” but while he has stayed at 21 percent on this question, Huckabee has soared from 10 percent to 25 percent.
In July, Romney had the lead on “most honest and trustworthy” at 21 percent. He has risen to 25 percent, but Huckabee jumped from 10 percent to 26 percent.
On top of all this, there’s another intangible at work here I believe.
Huckabee seems really intelligent and genuine to me.
I had a chance to watch Huckabee during a recent television interview and I was quite impressed. His answers were well thought out and lucid, he conveyed his ideas and positions with honesty and candor, and he seemed prepared to lead. Unlike Romney, Giuliani, and the others, Huckabee was clear on his positions, never wavering, and never back pedaling.
Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to hide his Chritianity and clearly explained how he would not project his beliefs on others or use it as a political leveraging tool.
I like that.
If Republicans are smart, they’ll keep one eye on this guy. He has Romney’s charm, Giuliani’s grit, McCain’s humor, and Paul’s libertarian ideals, without out all the extra nuttiness and baggage. I will be interesting to see just how far he can go.
Less than two months before the Iowa Caucasus, the Democratic race is still a toss up, with Edwards trailing close behind. This is according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll released Monday.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is in the lead with 30 percent support from likely Iowa voters, followed closely by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, who earned 26 percent. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards got 22 percent and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson earned 11 percent.
Clinton is the national front-runner, but has seen her lead drop in recent months, according to the poll.
In July, 50 percent of Iowans thought she had the best experience to be president, but in the poll released Monday, 38 percent said they thought she did.
39 percent said they still thought she is the most electable candidate, with Obama in second in that category with 25 percent.
I believe the main reason for this sudden closing of the gap between Clinton and Obama is attributed to Hillary Clinton’s constant waffling on key issues. The latest incident involved the immigrant license program in New York. First she’s for it, then she’s not for it, then she understands why Spitzer wanted it, then when Spitzer drops the idea, she says she’s against it again!!!
Get a grip girl!
I’ve said it in other posts…pick a position for God’s sake and defend it! This constant back and forth is feeding an already tarnished reputation that has Hillary pegged as someone who can’t commit to a position – especially on tough issues.
The Democrats better wake up and realize that this nomination process is not a lock for Clinton, as I have been stating on this blog and my radio show for several months. We need a candidate that is dynamic, exciting, and can win next November, so we can progress on key issues.
Hillary is looking less and less like that candidate everyday.
In light of some fairly harse accusations regarding Eric Dondero, former Congressional aide to Ron Paul, that have been posted on our comment threads, I felt it necessary to reprint a post that he authored. The following provides some background on Ron Paul and Eric’s own position.
My name is Eric Dondero Rittberg. For 12 years I worked on and off, mostly on, for Ron Paul. I started on his staff in 1987 during his Libertarian Party Presidential campaign. I served throughout 87 and 88 as his Personal Travel Aide. Ron and I campaigned in over 40 states, including Alaska.
In 1992, I organized Ron’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. We operated the effort for about 4 months. We aborted the effort when Pat Buchanan declared for the GOP primaries. In 1995, Ron agreed to serve as my “boss” as National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
In 1996, Ron decided to test the waters for a Congressional Campaign. I moved to Texas and served as his Campaign Coordinator. Ron won first in the Primary and then in the General with 51%.
In 1997, Ron hired me as his Senior Aide and District Representative. My job title was to represent the Congressman at all functions throughout the District, to speak in his absence, and to handle all District Scheduling. I was also in charge of Local Governmental relations. I served in that capacity til February of 2004. I can honestly say that the Congressman was more than just my boss, he was also my friend. We had a good understanding, after years of working together, and were very good Travel mates.
Him and I would literally spend hours in the car traveling from one event to another, during campaigning and for District events. We would debate everything under the sun, in a friendly and fun sort of way. Our differences were always over abortion – I am Pro-Choice, he is firmly Pro-Life, and over foreign policy – I am Pro-Defense, he has always been more Non-interventionist. But we always maintained our friendship.
Then September 11, 2001 hit. My boss, Ron Paul, all of a sudden changed dramatically. Whereas before he was a reasonable non-interventionist, he was now rabidly so.
I must say that Ron always knew how to play the game before 2001. He always campaigned as a die-in-the-wool rock-ribbed Conservative Republican. Coming from the Libertarian Party there was always suspicions about him on this. So, he went the extra mile within the District to allay such concerns. He also campaigned as a “Bush Republican.” I recall two specific events when Ron publicly backed Bush for President, quite enthusiastically; Once during a big GOP dinner in Wharton, and another time during a Bush for President fundraising in Corpus Christi. He also had Bush’s photo on the wall at our District Office in Freeport.
I should also note that I personally spoke with Karl Rove twice in 1996. After Ron won the GOP Nomination, mainline Republicans were unsure as to how to treat him. We reached out to the Bush people. After my conversations with Rove, he put out the word to key Houston-area, Austin and Victoria Republicans to back Ron Paul. All of a sudden like a tidal wave all the GOPers came on board our Campaign.
Though privately, Ron leaned non-intervenionist, publicly he was always Pro-Troops, Pro-Veterans, Pro-Defense and quite Patriotic, particularly in his Campaign style. He made extra sure to attend as many Veteran’s events as possible. And when he couldn’t go, he would always send me, as the only Vet on staff to represent him. He always made it quite clear that I was to emphasize “my views on foreign policy” more so than his non-interventionist views at such events. And I did.
But after Sept. 11, things changed. He became morose. He became bitter, and quite pessimistic. I had to literally beg him to support the vote authorizing the President to send Troops to Afghanistan. I actually threatened to resign if he did not vote that way. And another key District Staffer, practically threatened to resign, as well. At the last minute Ron voted in favor of the Authorization. I suspected he only did it, cause he knew if he hadn’t he would cause the Republicans in the District to oppose him, and he wouldn’t win reelection. But 9/11 served as a wake up call for me. I started questioning how it is that I could work for such a man.
Before it was always just a fun-loving disagreement; debating in the car from event to event to pass the time. Now, I saw he was quite serious, and cared even less for how others, even constituents took his views on foreign policy.Ron and I grew apart. I served as his Travel Aide less and less in 2002/03.
Finally one day in the Summer of 2003, he called on me to accompany him to an event in Victoria. He was acting quite strange in the car. He kept prodding me on foreign policy. I knew he was trying to get me to debate the War in Iraq with him. But I kept my cool the whole trip. Finally, when we reached Victoria, I made a slight comeback, that I didn’t think his particular view on the War was correct. He jumped out of the car and lunged at me. Poking his finger into my chest, he looked me in the eye and said, “I will have nobody working for me on my staff who supports the War in Iraq, even you.” I’d only seen this look on Ron maybe once or twice in all my 12 years working for him. He was clearly quite angry with me. I knew he was trying to provoke me so that he could have justification to fire me. But I kept my cool.
For 6 months after than we didn’t speak. Finally, Chief of Staff Tom Lizardo suggested that Ron and I not talking to each other was not helpful to the “atmosphere” in the District offices. I offered to my friend Tom to resign. We discussed a date, two months out, and a compensation package and I agreed. I’ve been asked by others if my former boss is an Anti-Semite. My answer is an emphatic NO. I am half Jewish. I am familiar with Anti-Semites. Ron is not one of them.
But I would say he’s very insensitive to issues concerning Israel and for other concerns of Jewish Americans. Houston Jews were always suspicious of Ron Paul. But Ron could always point to me as his “Jewish Staffer.” He would even send me to Synagogues in the District and to Jewish events. But I do remember one time, when a group of Houston Jewish Young Republicans wanted to lobby the Congressman on some issues. I begged Ron to meet with them. He was very hesitant. He finally agreed. But the meeting turned out to be a disaster. The Jewish YRs came all the way from Houston, and all Ron did was berate them in our District Office about how the Israel Lobby was too powerful in Washington, and other issues. He also got defensive when the Jewish YRs expressed concern over Palestinian violence against Israel. I ran down the hallway after the meeting chasing the group, and apologized profusely to them. After 9/11 Ron also became much more upfront in his anti-Israel views. He’d even criticize Israel in public speeches which would make me cringe.
Ron Paul and I agree on about 95% of all domestic issues. We disagree on a myriad of foreign policy and defense issues. Still, he was my boss. He was paying me, so I was obligated to toe the line. This is not why I think less of him today.
Rather, what concerns me most was the fact that for many years he played both sides of the aisle. In the very Conservative South Texas CD, he was always Mr. Red, White, and Blue. If he couldn’t make a Veterans event, he made damn sure that his one Vet on staff could go, even if it was just 8 VFW guys meeting for a couple hours 3 hours drive away. Ron was very careful to portray himself in the District as Pro-Troops, and even Pro-Defense.
But after 9/11 and most especially after the War in Iraq, he played up his non-interventionist side to a national audience. This while still keeping the facade of Pro-Troops/Pro-Defense in the District. As late as last year I got a constituent mailing from RP with 4 pages of nothing but Patriotic/Pro-Troops/Pro-Veterans information from the Congressional office. I suspect the reason why RP has gone south on foreign policy for the national audience is simple: To gain more dollars from a National fundraising base, and to gain more National media attention from Liberal media sources.
People seem to think Ron Paul has a Jewish problem…and maybe he does.
At an event on September 11, 2007 at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, Paul argued for withdrawing from the Middle East, telling his audience that “Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself” — though interestingly adding that US policy has “hurt Israel tremendously.” Paul also downplayed the threat Iran poses to Israel, saying that even if Iran does develop nuclear arms, that it would not be a serious danger to Israel.
His subtlety is what bothers me.
Given that Israel is armed as Paul suggests, really doesn’t seem to present a problem…or does it?
Paul’s position towards Israel is not innately anti-Jewish, nor is it necessarily outwardly anti-Israel. In fact, Paul’s position is not particularly uncommon, especially within conservative circles. Pat Buchanan led the charge in March of 2003, writing in The American Conservative that neoconservatives participating in and advising the Bush administration were steering the United States into wars that were not in America’s interests, but rather Israel’s.
Yet, much to his supporters’ dismay, Paul’s willingness to speak out against U.S. policy regarding Israel has effectively made him the sweetheart among those whom Presidential candidates would typically not desire support: white supremacists and anti-semites.
The Internet is filled with data that indicates Ron Paul has become the most popular candidate among right-wing extremists, including white separatists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists who believe that “the Zionists” were behind 9/11. Among these people are Frank Weltner, creator of the anti-semitic website JewWatch.com, who in a YouTube video, accuses the “Zionist-controlled media” of attacking Paul’s candidacy.
Of course, Congressman Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of his extremist supporters. Yet, he isn’t exactly doing anything to distance himself from them. For instance, when his extremist supporters began providing a substantial amount of campaign funds, his campaign has a habit of not returning the funds.
According to the Lone Star Times, White Nationalists like Don Black have become high profile donors to the Paul campaign. Black, the founder of Stormfront, and one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in America, has personally contributed $500 to Paul’s campaign.
To date, there is no conclusive evidence showing the Paul campaign has returned the money.
Paul’s campaign has no control over who sends them money. However, wouldn’t it make sense that if you do not wish to be identified with neo-Nazism, that you would send the money back?
Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton told the Lone Star Times back in May:
At this time, I cannot say that we will be rejecting Mr. Black’s contribution, but I will bring the matter to the attention of our campaign director again, and expect some sort of decision to be made in coming days.
I believe any other candidate would unequivocally reject that money as soon as its donor’s identity was known. Why not return the money immediately?
On October 26, nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved posted an open letter on TownHall.com that read:
Dear Congressman Paul:
Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 “Truthers” and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.
Do you welcome- or repudiate – the support of such factions?
More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press-a publication of the nation’s leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the “comforts and amenities” provided for inmates of Auschwitz.
Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?
As a Presidential candidate, will you now disassociate yourself, clearly and publicly, from the poisonous propaganda promoted in such publications?
As a guest on my syndicated radio show, you answered my questions directly and fearlessly.
Will you now answer these pressing questions, and eliminate all associations between your campaign and some of the most loathsome fringe groups in American society?
Along with my listeners (and many of your own supporters), I eagerly await your response.
Respectfully, Michael Medved
Medved received no response to the letter from the Paul campaign.
There is even evidence that suggests Ron Paul is anti-semitic on Shadow Democracy’s comment threads. A person by the name of Eric Dondero, who identifies himself as a former Ron Paul staffer wrote:
Ron Paul, my former boss, is not an explicit Anti-Semite, but he is most certainly anti-Israel and one could make a strong case – outright anti-Jewish.
During my 6-year stint with him, I served as his only Jewish staffer. He regularly touted me as proof against allegations that he wasn’t an Anti-Semite, even one time ordering me to wear Jewish clothing and attend a press conference of his Democrat opponent who was exposing his links to Anti-Semitic groups. I felt used.
(For the record, Ron did not know I was Jewish until I had already been hired.)
Ron and I finally departed ways, partly because I was ashamed to work for such an explicitly anti-Israel advocate.
If you still doubt his anti-Jewish/anti-Israel views, ask yourself this question:
Why is it that when Ron Paul talks about the evils of taxpayer dollars going overseas for foreign aid, he only singles out Israel as a recipient? Why does he never mention the billions we send each year to Egypt for foreign aide? Turkey, the Palestinians, other Nations? Never a peep out of Paul about those dollars. It’s just always the “Jews.”
Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
In fairness, the comments about Blacks being “fleet-footed” were written for Ron, though published under his name in his Ron Paul Newsletter, by his Top behind the scenes aide Lew Rockwell.
But the other comments about Israel being the most powerful lobby, were definitely Ron Paul’s words. In fact, I’ve heard him say similar comments on numerous occasions, some far more explicit, to private quasi-Anti-Semitic groups… the Jewish comments are very accurate.
Check out Eric Dondero’s website here: http://mainstreamlibertarian.com/_wsn/page5.html
So what are we left with? Is Ron Paul anti-Jew? The facts posted in the article seem to suggest that. How extreme are his views and can the nation take a chance on electing him to find out? His fundraising is on the up-swing and his poll numbers are climbing. Some polls have him as high as 16% in New Hampshire.
I contend that Ron Paul is merely being coy regarding his racism towards Jewish people and indeed, people of color. Couple this with his many other extremist views, as well as massive support among racists of various stripes, and you are left to ask yourself – is this a guy who we should be considering on any level for the Presidency?
Based on this information, I say absolutely not.
The Iowa GOP has decided to exclude Ron Paul from their debate on December 4th because Ron Paul’s polling numbers are simply too low. Using a 5% polling threshold for participation in the next debate, the Iowa GOP has determined that Paul does not qualify…and his supporters are swarming as usual…
From the USA Today…
The Iowa Republican Party put out an advisory Tuesday setting standards for participation in a Dec. 4 debate it is sponsoring with Fox News. The phone has been ringing off the hook ever since.That’s because the sponsors said participants need to average 5% support among Republicans in recent national or Iowa polls—and so far, Texas Rep. Ron Paul is one of the candidates not making the cut.
News of the party’s decision and how to protest it was spread quickly over the Internet by supporters of the anti-war, anti-tax, anti-abortion libertarian. “We are getting bombarded” with calls and e-mails from Paul’s supporters, said GOP spokeswoman Mary Tiffany. She said there were 25 voice mails from angry Paul supporters before the start of business Thursday.
“I’m all about the First Amendment, but at the same time, how is this productive?” she asked. “They need to start calling voters and start door-knocking instead of calling the Republican Party of Iowa.”
Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo and California Rep. Duncan Hunter also fall below the 5% threshold at this point. Tiffany said Thursday there had been a few e-mails from Hunter fans and no word from anyone about Tancredo. No campaigns have objected so far, including Paul’s, she said.
In Pollster.com’s latest averaging of national poll results of Republicans, Paul’s support comes in at 2.7%. The website calculates Paul’s support among Republicans in Iowa, based on polls there, to be 3.8%.
Investigators at Frost Bank discovered that the stolen cards were being used to make $5 contributions to the Ron Paul presidential campaign, in an apparent attempt to test the cards, as previously posted on this blog. Frost Bank refunded money from nearly 100 customers and canceled all 500 of the credit cards that had been stolen from the bank. The Paul campaign has told news sources it has refunded all stolen funds back to the bank from the stolen cards, which amount to about $3,000, considerably more than the figure of $60.00 originally being tossed around and flippantly dismissed by Paul supporters.
Kerri Price, assistant director of communications for the Paul campaign, noted that the donations from the stolen cards represent “a very small percentage of money that was brought in.” She also stated that, “We don’t know anything about the criminals that did this.”
In fact…no one does.
The tactic of ‘test charging’ used by these criminals as confirmed by investigators, is a fairly common tactic among identity thieves, also previously noted on this blog.
Another Ron Paul spokesman, Jesse Benton, emphasized, “Ron Paul does not have anything to do with this.”
This is clearly the case, now that all facts have been presented and confirmed.
As I indicated in my last post and several times in the comment thread – no one ever accused Ron Paul or his campaign of being thieves. That is simply foolish. No serious presidential campaign would ever engage in such activity. But the question put forth in my last post on this issue still remains…who are these people and are any of them possibly inside or close to the Paul campaign? No one is explicitly or implicitly saying they are, but the question does need asking. Were they just fanatical, misguided supporters? Grass roots campaigns are virtually impossible to police, and as of today, no one knows how these thieves got these numbers, where they got them from, or why they were used to donate funds to Ron Paul. The Paul campaign claims they know nothing about these criminals, and I tend to believe them, but others aren’t so easily convinced.
One of the Frost Bank customers, Christine Horton, who had her I.D. stolen is quoted as saying, “He’s getting money, stolen money…Whether he’s affiliated with it or not, I have no clue. But it’s too fishy.”
Horton’s suspicion may be relevant.
Why steal credit card information and donate it to Ron Paul’s campaign? Is the status quo, pro big-government establishment, or perhaps another campaign, as suggested in the comment thread by Paul supporters, willing to commit fraud and be jailed for a felony simply to discredit Ron Paul – using stolen credit cards to do it? Is the anti-Ron Paul element that dedicated to pushing Ron Paul down by any means possible? Maybe so, but the whole ordeal seems odd to me.
Maybe the issue here is simply people not paying attention as usual. How many of the tens of thousands of donors actually check the URL carefully for accuracy before providing their credit card information to the Ron Paul campaign? Were these people duped into visiting a ‘phishing’ site by criminals and that is how their numbers were stolen? Do they have a person inside Frost bank? What assurance do any donors have that the Ron Paul campaign or any other presidential campaign for that matter, does not store credit card information in a database on someone’s laptop that could be stolen at anytime?
While the paul campaign has one of the most comprehensive privacy policies of any campaign and does scan its donation site with Hackersafe to ensure there are no intrusions, these aforementioned scenarios are all valid and open to discussion.
People must realize that presidential campaigns, and if you have ever worked on one you would know, are pretty loose knit operations. For instance, presidential campaigns are not subject to the same rigid credit card security regulations that online retailers like Wal-Mart.com or Borders.com are subject to. Those businesses must carry a substantial credit card security yoke to remain industry compliant. A political campaign site? Not so much. In fairness to the Paul campaign, this is not the first and certainly will not be the last incident of this kind in the world of political campaign contributions.
I only hope that the Ron Paul crowd knows what they are doing. That originally reported $60.00 that Ron Paul supporters were casually dismissing just days ago, morphed into $3000.00 pretty quickly, and could have evolved into something much larger still, given the right set of circumstances.
I remain steadfast in my advice. Be careful when donating to Ron Paul or any political campaign when using a credit card. PayPal, pre-paid debit cards, and money orders are valid and safer alternatives.
Tomorrow is election day and while maybe it is an off year in the political cycle, we still can’t afford to be indifferent in these troubling times. If you look at our byline on our blog title it reads… “Who really controls your government?” Matthew and I have argued on our radio show in the past on what that means. Matthew seems to think special interests and corporations have so much power now that our vote counts for little. I agree that the voice of the people has been weaken over the years but its the same special interests and corporations who would like you to think your vote does not matter!
I think a good chunk of the people who do not vote are not simply apathetic to politics. Many of the people who write political blogs and comment on other like blogs do not vote! I believe George Bush was elected twice because to many free thinkers and independent voters have dropped out of the election process. Democracy does not happen during an online flame war, but in the voting booth.
It’s not to late to get up on the issues and candidates whether for the local school board or the higher offices. The online site of most mainstream newspapers or better yet your local alternative newspaper will have a listing of what races are being held, what the issues are and who they are endorsing. The League of Women Voters is another great resource for help on election day.
This vote is just a warm up for the 2008 Presidential Election. During the coming year Shadow Democracy will be posting information on voter registration drives, election reform ideas, and of course continuing our rants of unique political opinion along the way.
It’s the people who control our government and lets not forget by voting tomorrow!
“I told them this doesn’t make any sense, because this isn’t a credit card, it’s a check card, and I’ve got plenty of money in there, so what’s the problem?” Ruffino said.
A customer service representative for her bank informed her of a suspicious charge.
The bank representative explained that someone by the name of Ron Paul has been trying to take $5 out of the aforementioned account.
Identity theft usually works this way: Thieves gather up stolen credit card numbers online and run the test charges to see which numbers will work. If the charge goes through, they know they have an active card. Later, the hit the card for more money. It appears that is what happened here.
Representatives for the Ron Paul campaign said they have discovered more than a dozen mysterious $5 contributions in the past three days and said they’re working with banks to return the money.
A representative for the Texas Attorney General’s Office on Friday said these crimes are rarely prosecuted, because by the time thieves are tracked down, they’re often in other counties, and the Web sites are shut down.
We know that there have been campaign contribution improprieties in other campaigns, but those incidents usually involved one large donor. This situation suggests that the Ron Paul campaign cannot be trusted with credit card security or donations from small donors, and appears to be the first time this issue has come up in any political campaign among any of the current presidential candidates.
In the mean time, you may want to think twice before giving your credit card information to the Ron Paul campaign.
If Giuliani’s Opinion About Cheney is an Indicator of His Judgement, then we Better Send Him Back to New York…
Here is what Republican front-runner Rudi Giuliani had to say about the qualifications and character of current Vice President Dick Cheney.
I would want a vice president who was a partner. Someone who was in on everything that was going on, so that that person could take over if, God forbid, something happened. You know, I was working for President Reagan, in fact I had breakfast with him, with a lot of other people, the day he was shot. So, I have been very, very close to a possible presidential assassination and seen how that all worked out that day…
So, immediately it makes you realize that (the) choice of vice president is a choice that you have to do in the best interest of the country-and you owe that to your fellow citizens. In good conscience you have to pick someone that you believe can handle the job as well as you can.
How do you pick a vice president? … I think Vice President Cheney and President Bush’s pick of Vice President Cheney is a good example of picking someone who is qualified to be president of the United States. That is number one — it’s paramount.
Am I missing something? Does Giuliani want Cheney as V.P. again, or does he just want to have gay sex with him?
A presidential administration is made up of many people, all of whom must be accounted for as mandated by law for oversight and budgetary purposes. Cheney has refused for six years to say how many collaborators he employs. In fact, he is on the record on saying that he considers himself to be above the law! If that’s not arrogance and a complete disregard for the law, I’m not sure what is.
Cheney is an ideal partner for George W. Bush. Both men are liars, both endorse controversial practices like torture of prisoners, pre-emptive war, war profiteering, privatization of the military, etc. Cheney was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and is also an entrenched Washington insider. Cheney’s record as V.P is morally questionable and illegal at worst.
Cheney is frequently designated as ‘the worst vice-president in the history’ of the United States.In a recent column, Sally Quinn, wife of Ben Bradlee who was the Washington Post’s editor during the Watergate era, stated, “The big question today among Republicans is how to get rid of Dick Cheney. He is perceived as toxic.”
In May, Dennis Kucinich, filed a resolution to open an impeachment procedure against the vice-president in the House of Representatives. In three articles, he accuses Cheney of having “manipulated intelligence to invent the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” with having “misled citizens about an unproven relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda” and with “openly threatening Iran with aggression without any real threat to the United States.”
In June, the Washington Post published a long series exposing the vice-president and the role he plays in the ‘shadows.’ Allegations include he has worked to authorize wiretapping of citizens since September 11th, torture at Guantanamo, how he succeeded in intervening in the choice of Supreme Court judges, etc. There are also wide spread allegations that he manipulated CIA intelligence prior to the Iraq War, and some say he pressured spies to provide information that could be used to sell the war.
No official or agent has yet denounced him, no proof has been provided to damn him, and he’s never been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Then there’s the Scooter Libby thing. His tactics here are consistent with everything else he has done. Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff found himself convicted of false testimony and obstruction of justice and sentenced to thirty months in prison. Of course we know he was later pardoned by George W. Bush. “In the eyes of outside observers,” notes the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, “Cheney is the political equivalent of a black hole, which exerts a powerful but invisible force and emits neither light nor heat that could explain the decision process.” “He is the enemy within,” deems Newsweek. “He has privatized the function of the vice-president,” deplores the New York Times. “The irony,” emphasizes former Reagan Administration official Bruce Fein, “is that the president finds himself with less power than he would have had, had he and Cheney not had such extravagant and monarchical pretensions.”
This is who Giuliani wants as a back-up, or perhaps someone like him?
I have posted previously on this blog and commented that Giuliani is of the same dangerous and nisguided ideology that plagues George Bush and Dick Cheney. His prior comments and rhetoric clearly illustrate that he supports the war in Iraq and is quoted by many sources to that effect here, here. He also supports many of this administrations other initiatives.
That’s bad enough. However his endorsement of a criminal like Cheney is foolish and shortsighted. In only seven short years, mainly as a result of Bush and Cheney’s poison policies, the U.S. is weaker and has lost the respect of many nations around the world. Our civil rights are on the back burner, the constitution is lining the cat box and the middle class is suffering.
If Rudi thinks that’s competent leadership, then I hope he winds up on a fishing trawler to a remote area of Alaska before the 2008 election.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s is running damage control after her debate performance Tuesday. Mark Penn, Clinton’s senior strategist and pollster, and Jonathan Mantz, the campaign’s finance director, told the supporters on the call, which The Hill listened to, that they expect attacks from Clinton’s rivals to continue, and she will need the financial resources to deflect those attacks.
All of this comes on the heels of a rather poor debate performance in Philadelphia. Supporters and analysts alike agreed that Clinton stumbled. Mantz and several supporters hinted repeatedly on the call that Clinton was unfairly targeted by Tim Russert, debate moderator and host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” One supporter also voiced his concern that the Clinton campaign is not devoting enough money and staff to Iowa, lagging behind Obama, as well.
Another supporter said Russert “should be shot.”
Oh boy. That was headline waiting to be written in some conservative rag.
In a memo from the Obama campaign, spokesman Bill Burton said Clinton “offered more of the same Washington political calculation and evasion that won’t bring the change America needs.”
Burton wrote that Clinton dodged questions on Social Security, Iran and the National Archives issue. And on one of the more talked-about moments from the end of the debate, Clinton’s position on a move by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, Burton said, “Twelve hours after the debate ended, the American people are still waiting for an answer on Sen. Clinton’s position … She didn’t answer the question in the debate and her campaign couldn’t answer it afterwards.”
My question is…what the hell is Hillary Clinton doing? Aren’t we living the Its-not-my-fault Presidency right now? Instead of withering under attacks and blaming other Democrats for piling on, shouldn’t she just come out swinging and stick to her position? Does she or her campaign really think that the Republicans will treat her any better if she gets elected? Please!
Personally, I’ve had enough of the excuses and blame game. It is for this reason that Hillary is going to actually turn the 2008 election into a horse race vs. the most pathetic Republican field in twenty years. She is playing right into the hands of conservative critics who wasted no time blasting her all over talk radio today. I counted about forty “Flip-Flop” comments from conservative knuckle heads (apparently they have a patent on he phrase), and a brutally cold analysis, at best, from liberals.
Why in the hell would anyone support Spitzer’s driver license program? Are you kidding me? New York State troopers were arresting illegal aliens at DMV locations throughout the state on the order of county clerks! Read a paper! It doesn’t take a genius to exercise a morsel of critical analysis on this one. I made up my mind 30 seconds after I read Spitzer’s proposal – conclusion…bad idea! By the way, 68% of New Yorkers are in my camp. Clinton is famous for following popular trends – why not follow this one! Just get up there last night and say, “After careful consideration, I have concluded that criminals shouldn’t get licenses, and I’d like to thank you for bringing this important issue up.” Enough said. She could have completely unarmed the opposition and looked graceful all at once. Maybe she would have had to shake off the flip-flop nonsense one more time, but she could live to fight another day without looking like a baby! This is what America is thinking. Is the Clinton campaign pandering to the left or just completely out of touch? I don’t get it.
I’ve been saying it for months – Hillary Clinton is not a shoe in for 2008 and in my opinion, she is not living up to her reputation as a tough campaigner. What her campaign needs is a dose of intestinal fortitude. I don’t know if her campaign wonks are reading this, but if they are, I suggest you ladies and gentlemen re-think your approach.
WE DEMOCRATS NEED MORE CONSISTENT POSITIONING ON THE ISSUES AND SOME RESEMBLANCE OF A SPINE! YOU MAKE A PLATFORM DECISION, AND YOU STICK WITH IT! TAKE THE FLIP_FLOP SWORD AWAY FROM THE REPUBLICANS AND SAVE THE WAFFLING FOR BREAKFAST WITH JOHN KERRY!!! UNWAVERING LEADERSHIP WINS, TRUST ME!
For all those on the fringe, including white supremacists I hear, who are getting really excited about anti-war, libertarian Republican Ron Paul, it’s worth noting that he’s is nothing more than a racist and anti-Semite hiding behind Constitutional rhetoric. Of course this makes sense as well seeing our founding fathers were racists as well. You remember that whole 3/5 of a person thing…right?
Mr. Paul once wrote that “By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government” and that the goal of the Zionist movement is to stifle criticism. (ref. Wonkette)
These and many other racist comments, some veiled, some not, have been out there since the mid-1990s, but Ron Paul has been below the radar until now. The problem for him now is that his fringe supporters cannot un-ring the bell, and they get downright snooty when the issue comes up. If Ron Paul is going to stay in this fight then debate moderators should press him on a few of these ramblings…
A 1992 newsletter by Republican congressional candidate Ron Paul highlighted portrayals of blacks as inclined to criminal behavior and lacking sense.
For instance, on gang crime in Los Angeles, Paul commented:
“If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”
Paul is also quoted as saying…
“Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
In that same 1996 AP story, Ron Paul said his 1992 comments were taken out of context.
“These aren’t my figures,” Paul said this week. “That is the assumption you can gather from” the report.
He also wrote:
“Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action.”
I guess meaning the other 95% don’t?
I have not been shy about the fact on this blog or my radio show that I believe many Republicans are racists by default anyway. Ron Paul is trying to cover his racism and anti-Semitism by back peddling during campaign stops and claiming that the Constitution dictates where he stands on race.
Paul is a good old fashioned country boy from Texas and if he had his way, we would have Christian theocracy, a white landscape, no Jews and a full scale retreat to Jacksonian ideals. His social conservative agenda is dangerous and outdated. Turning backward will not solve the complex problems that face our nation today, only level headed, progressive, common sense policies in the areas of international trade and domestic policy will help us out of this current funk. Three out of the last four presidents, all Republiacn handed us the hand we have now by the way…do we really need another one, moreover…this one?
One can only hope Ron Paul’s effort fizzles with white supremacists and fundamentalist Christians. I believe we need a long overdue break from that crowd.