Archive for: March, 2008

Poll: Most Voters Wrong About Candidates’ Immigration Positions

Mar 31 2008 Published by under Featured News

A new poll by the non-partisan think tank the Center for Immigration Studies found that the majority of voters know very little about the three remaining presidential candidates’ positions on immigration.

All three candidates favor eventual citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements, but only 34% of McCain voters, 42% of Clinton voters, and 52% of Obama voters could correctly identify their candidate’s position.

Among McCain voters, 35% thought he favored returning illegal immigrants home. Ten percent thought he favored mass deportations, and 21% didn’t know his position. The poll also found that voters often held a different position then the candidate they voted for. Only 31% of McCain voters shared his position on immigration. 45% of Clinton voters shared her position, and Obama did the best with 61% sharing his position. In the cases of McCain and Clinton each of those campaigns has been intentionally vague about their candidates’ positions on immigration.

McCain would love nothing more than for Republicans to forget his support for the Bush immigration reform, and can anyone forget Clinton flailing about trying to dodge the question of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants during a Democratic debate?

However, each of these candidates, if elected, faces an uphill battle with many American citizens on the issue of citizenship for illegal immigrants. Only 25% of Republicans and 50% of Democrats say that they would support a plan for the eventual legalization of illegal immigrants. If immigration becomes an issue during the fall campaign, McCain is the candidate with the most to lose. A general election matchup between Clinton and McCain would probably result in the issue being buried and not discussed.

McCain’s support of the Bush plan almost killed his presidential campaign once, and if it becomes an issue again, McCain could lose most of his base. Democrats would rather not talk about the issue at all, but immigration is not nearly the divisive issue for the Democrats that it is for the Republicans. Hispanic voters are already angry and leaving the GOP because of their hard line stance on this issue.

It would not surprise me to see the Democratic nominee embrace the Bush plan in an attempt to court Hispanic votes. By taking such a radical stand on the issue, the Republican Party has destroyed two decades worth of Hispanic support that will play a critical role in states like Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado this November.

John McCain is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to immigration. He will either alienate his white border state support, or send Hispanic voters flocking to the Democrats if he adopts his party’s stance on the issue. The Democrats would probably be wise to sit back and let the GOP tear itself apart over this issue.

Full Poll Results:

http://www.cis.org/articles/2008/voter_release_08.html.

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Another Super Delegate Falls in Line for Barack Obama

Mar 31 2008 Published by under Featured News

All signs continue to point to Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee, as today Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) became the latest super delegate to endorse Obama.

When she announced her endorsement, she said, “I am endorsing Barack Obama today, because he has inspired an enthusiasm and idealism that we have not seen in this country in a long time. I am endorsing Barack because he is a new kind of leader – speaking with a different voice, bringing a new perspective and inspiring a real excitement from the American people. He is able to dissolve the hard cynical edge that has dominated our politics under the Bush Administration. I believe Barack can unify the American people to address the many challenges facing our nation. “The energy that Barack has unleashed is impossible to contain.”

Obama now leads Clinton among Senate super delegates 14-12. Twenty Senate Democrats are still uncommitted. The Senators from Michigan Florida are currently excluded from this tally, but even if we include them, it is a tie 14-14.

In the two states only powerful Michigan senator Carl Levin is uncommitted. The other two Democrats already endorsed Clinton. I think one can judge the shift in momentum of this race by asking yourself if you can remember when Clinton picked up her most recent Senate endorsement. Except for John Murtha, Clinton has not picked up a major endorsement of any kind in a couple of months.

Politicians are creatures who act out of their own self interest, and many elected Democrats had worried for the better part of a year that a polarizing figure like Clinton could weigh down the entire Democratic ticket. Once Obama got on a roll, these same politicians saw the potential for an Obama led party to create a coattail effect.

Having Obama at the top of the ticket could help Democrats in all races up and down the ballot. With each passing day, it is looking like Hillary Clinton will need a miracle to capture the Democratic nomination. She may vow to fight on, but the reality is that there aren’t many rounds left in this fight.

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John McCain Tries to Reassure Voters on Iran

Mar 30 2008 Published by under Featured News

In this week’s issue of Newsweek, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain tried to reassure voters about his position on a potential war with Iran. Michael Hirsh interviewed McCain and asked him if his Los Angeles speech last week was designed to quiet some voters’ fears that he wants to lead the nation to war against Iran.

McCain answered, “No, not so much. I first said that in the 1990s, when I wasn’t running for president. I was trying to express my views that the veteran hates war more than anyone else, because they mourn the loss of a comrade and know the horrors of war firsthand. I’ll repeat this time after time—that armed conflict is the last option.”

Ok, so John McCain won’t go to war with Iran, or will he? In his answer to the next Iranian related question, where he was asked if he would go to war should Iran not give its nuclear program, McCain said, “Well, if I could not evade your question but put it in a more sensible form, I think we have to exhaust every possible option. I think there are many options that are viable, including those in conversations I had with [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and [British Prime Minister Gordon] Brown on my recent trip to Europe, on a meaningful path to sanctions. But I will also state unequivocally that we cannot afford to have Iran … acquire nuclear weapons because of the obvious consequences—proliferation in the region, the threat to the existence of Israel, etc.”

So even if war is a last resort, he wouldn’t rule it out. This was probably the prudent political answer, but I didn’t find it very comforting. In fact the more I hear about John McCain, the more I am nervous about this man as commander in chief. In some ways, he is more zealous than George W. Bush. Bush’s religion is evangelical, but McCain worships at the altar of the military.

Does anyone seriously thinking that attacking Iran, while Iraq and Afghanistan are in shambles is a good idea? Remember that Iran is at least a decade away from producing weapons, but yet, McCain is still willing to leave the military option out there.

Shouldn’t the nation be trying to win the wars that it’s already involved in instead of starting new ones? I don’t see how McCain is ever going to win this election by promising the American people more of something that they already don’t want. I realize that the GOP had to nominate someone, but John McCain seems like he would plunge this nation farther down the dark path that George W. Bush started us on.

America needs hope more than war. If we give up our liberties and continue to fight unnecessary wars out of fear, then the terrorists have already won, because they will have made us change who we are as a nation.

Read the whole interview:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/129661

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Sen. Chuck Hagel Compares Bush to Alice in Wonderland

Mar 30 2008 Published by under Featured News

On CNN’s “Late Edition” today Wolf Blitzer interviewed outspoken critic of the Iraq war, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Blitzer asked Hagel about critics of the war who say that the president is ignoring reality and living in a dream world.

Hegel replied, “Well, I think this is another episode of Alice in Wonderland, what’s up is down and what’s down is up. What do you mean stability and security? Baghdad, for example, has been, over the last year, essentially, ethnically divided. You’ve separated the Sunnis and the Shias. And to somehow make some assertion that things are looking much, much better in Baghdad and its calm again and it’s back to where it used to be is just not the case.”

He continued, “And when you look at the casualties the United States has taken since the so-called military surge, over 900 deaths; you look at almost 30,000 wounded and the money we’ve put in there — and then the other point of this is, too, if, in fact, the surge has calmed things to a point where the president and others are saying, well, they’ve done a great service and they’ve achieved some terrific things, why then is the administration talking about keeping more American troops in Iraq for the remainder of this year than we had before the surge?”

Hagel also had some tough words for the positions of all three remaining presidential candidates on Iraq. “Well, obviously, what I’ve heard, like the American people have heard, is McCain, on one side, saying we’ll stay there until there’s victory and whatever it takes, we’re going to win. On the other side, both Obama and Clinton have both said, we’re coming out. That’s not good enough. Because each of the two final candidates are going to have to enunciate how we are coming out; how responsibly are we coming out? Under what basis? Under what timeline?”

The Senator elaborated on his point, “I don’t agree with John McCain — and you know this, Wolf. I think John and the president and others have put the Iraqi situation in the wrong context. This isn’t a win or lose. The Iraqi people will decide whether they want — the government they want in place and when. We can help them. But we shouldn’t be framing this up as win or lose. Because, when we do that — and this is where I have a major disagreement with McCain — then, on that basis, we’ll be there forever. Because the Iraqis are going to have to find some political accommodation, some political reconciliation to fix this, just as General Petraeus said.”

I have the upmost respect for Chuck Hagel. He is veteran who has seen combat, and when he saw that this war was a mistake, he wasn’t afraid to buck the flag waving in his party and speak his mind. I think Hagel has a better understanding of what it will take to get out of Iraq than either the president, or the three remaining major party presidential candidates.

It will be possible for the Democratic nominee to elaborate on their position during the general election campaign, but it is clear that Hagel believes that we can’t afford four more years of hope and spin on this war. If Bush/Cheney/McCain all want to drink the Kool-Aid on Iraq that is their choice, but our troops are the people who are those responsible for paying the ultimate price for their fantasy.

Read the whole interview:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0803/30/le.01.html

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Lieberman says Democratic Party Taken Over by the Left

Mar 30 2008 Published by under Featured News

Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program today, and burned any bridges that he might have had remaining with the Democratic Party. Lieberman claims that the Democratic Party is different than in the Clinton years, because it has been taken over by the left. “It’s not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government. It’s been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me,” the former Democrat said.

Lieberman also continued to shill for his buddy John McCain. He said McCain is, “a reformer, somebody who understands ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country and remembers the other part of the Kennedy inaugural, which said that we will bear any burden, pay any price to assure the survival and sustenance of liberty. That’s John McCain.”

As if Hillary Clinton didn’t already have enough problems, Lieberman praised her vote in favor of labeling the Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. “These people are responsible for killing hundreds of American soldiers. Senator Obama voted against that. Now, to me, that was an irresponsible vote. And I give Senator Clinton credit; she voted for it.”

Joe Lieberman is completely delusional. The Democratic Party’s modern history has been as a left leaning party. The problem during Bill Clinton’s presidency was that the Party establishment, continued to move to the right, while rank and file Democrats were shifting left.

This is why the last two Democratic presidential candidates were met with such tepid enthusiasm. As much as the Republicans, people like the Clintons and Lieberman want to tear down the legacy of the Democratic Party. It is the invasion of righties like Lieberman that caused the Democratic Party to go through an almost decade long identity crisis that lasted until George W. Bush solved it for them by invading Iraq.

One of the reasons for Barack Obama’s popularity is that for the first time, Democratic voters have been offered a serious candidate that is in step with where they are ideologically. We all know that Lieberman is looking for a job in a McCain administration, but here is a frightening thought, if you can imagine that Gore/Lieberman won in 2000. Al Gore would be finishing up his second term, and Joe Lieberman would be the likely Democratic nominee.

In a Lieberman led Democratic Party there would be no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans on most important issues. If people need any more reason not to support Hillary Clinton, keep in mind that she is Joe Lieberman’s kind of Democrat on foreign policy. It wasn’t the Democratic Party that left Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman was rejected by the Democrats in his home state.

Watch the whole interview:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek

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Nader says Clinton Should Stay in Democratic Race

Mar 29 2008 Published by under Featured News

There was an interesting post on Ralph Nader’s blog yesterday signed by the man himself expressing the opinion that Hillary Clinton has every right to remain in the Democratic presidential field.

Nader wrote, “Senator Clinton: Just read where Senator Patrick Leahy is calling on you to drop out of the Presidential race. Believe me. I know something about this. Here’s my advice: Don’t listen to people when they tell you not to run anymore. That’s just political bigotry. Listen to your own inner citizen First Amendment voice. This is America. Just like every other citizen, you have a right to run. Whenever you like. For as long as you like. It’s up to you, Hillary. Just tell them – It’s democracy. Get used to it.”

Nader really is a fascinating person. He also is the only pure liberal running for President this year. Of course, he is correct in pointing out that Clinton has every right in the world to continue her campaign for as long as she wants. I believe that she should stay in it until it looks like she can’t win.

I don’t see her faring poorly enough for Obama to secure the nomination outright, and I don’t believe that the Democratic Party is in any great trouble if this process does go until the end. Seriously people, the Democrats are facing a senior citizen in the fall who won his party’s nomination by default. They aren’t going to have any trouble dispensing with John McCain in the general election.

It would have been easy for Nader to look at Clinton as just another fat cat liberal pretender, and cheer on her demise, but the adoption of this position would make Ralph Nader a hypocrite, and that is not who he is. Even though he may disagree with her on the vast majority of issues, he still defends her right to express her views by running for the presidency.

Conservatives choose to constantly define others by using a warped and narrow definition of patriotism, but the embodiment of my kind of patriotism is Ralph Nader. He understands the value of personal liberties, and just like in this case, puts defending those liberties ahead of his self interest.

Nader’s Blog:

http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/03/28/dont-listen-to-senator-leahy/

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John Edwards Speaks, but Still no Endorsement

Mar 29 2008 Published by under Featured News

John Edwards gave his first public speech today since withdrawing from the Democratic race a couple of months ago. He had lots of nice things to say about both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but dropped no hints about when or if his personal endorsement was coming. “I have a very high opinion of both of them. We would be blessed as a nation to have either one of them as president,” Edwards said.

He continued on the same path of complimenting both the remaining Democratic candidates. “We are blessed, first, to have an extraordinarily talented African American who could be the next president of the United States,” Edwards said. “There’s no way to contest the fact that he’s inspired this country. And Senator Clinton, who has served America for so long and so well, and has shown so much strength and leadership, has really forged an extraordinarily historic campaign as a woman for the nomination and for the presidency.” When asked by reporters about an endorsement, he said, “When I have something to say, I’ll let you know.”

I think there are a few different possible explanations for why John Edwards has not given his endorsement yet. First, I think Edwards had a better feel than most about how tight this race could get. He knows that it is unlikely that neither candidate will win the nomination on their own. In this situation, he can play kingmaker. His support thrown in at the right time could tip the balance towards one candidate over the other. Another possibility is that Edwards is torn between these two candidates, just as the Democratic Party is. This endorsement could end up being the biggest decision of Edwards’s political career, and he doesn’t want to choose the wrong team.

Finally, there is the possibility that Edwards is waiting for the winner to emerge, because he is looking for a job in the next administration. Many of his supporters and donors have already drifted towards Obama, so his reason for waiting has to be something more political than personal.

Edwards has millions of supporters, so his endorsement, when it comes, will carry a lot of weight. It is my guess that Edwards will end up endorsing Obama. There is an ideological match between the two that is hard to ignore. Edwards thought he would be a big player in the 2008 race, but I don’t think that this is the role he had in mind for himself.

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Democrats Tout Their Economic Plan in Radio Address

Mar 29 2008 Published by under Featured News

Recently elected Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) gave this week’s Democratic Radio address. Foster’s topic was the Democrats economic plan, and its priority on helping middle class families. “My constituents are worried about the economy, and with good reason. They can barely afford groceries or a trip to the gas station. If they talk about health care, it isn’t about the latest medical advances but about the latest increase in costs. They want a good college education for their kids, but they’re nervous about tuition increases. And virtually everyone I talked to was worried about their homes and the mortgage crisis.”

Foster promoted the steps that the Congressional Democrats have taken to strengthen the economy, “Already we have taken steps to strengthen the economy. Earlier this year, Congress passed and the president signed into law an economic stimulus plan that will put more money into the pockets of middle-class families and give our economy a boost. The plan provides recovery rebate checks of up to $1,200 to those who need it most, and families will start receiving their checks in May. This plan was a good start and, importantly, it was worked out with the president. There were real differences of opinion and approach, but Speaker Pelosi, Republican Leader Boehner and President Bush were all able to reach an agreement and move forward. We haven’t seen enough of that kind of cooperation in the last decade, so it was a good beginning on an important subject.”

He also talked about gas/energy prices and President Bush’s blocking of legislation that would promote the production of renewable energy. “Democrats have a plan to extend essential tax credits that will support the production and use of renewable energy, like ethanol. Unfortunately, President Bush opposes this plan and is instead working to protect taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies. These companies are making record profits — and they don’t need handouts from the taxpayer. Passing this legislation is critical, but achieving energy independence will be virtually impossible if the war in Iraq continues with no end in sight. We have now spent more on the war in Iraq than has been invested on energy research in the history of our country.”

His next topic was the need to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. “We can begin confronting the health care crisis by expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and ensuring that no child goes without basic medical care. Democrats have been fighting to expand this program, but for too long President Bush has been the one man standing between millions of children and their health care.”

Rep. Foster concluded by saying, “In the coming weeks, Democrats will work with our colleagues to bring about these solutions, to get our economy moving again and give middle-class families the relief they need. And we hope to work with Republicans and with President Bush to give the American people the bipartisan solutions they demand and deserve.”

The Democrats are going to try to make the economy issue number one in the fall campaign. Much of what Rep. Foster discussed today is correct. The biggest barrier to progress has been located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Since John McCain’s answer for the economy is to do nothing, this is a wise move for the Democratic Party.

Pocketbook is are usually far and away the top concern of voters, so John McCain can spend the fall trying to defend a war that most Americans have already made up their minds on, while the Democratic nominee will center their arguments around the housing crisis, the price at the pump, and healthcare. If this is the way the campaign plays out, then the Democrats will cruise to victory.

Transcript of Democratic address:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343118,00.html

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RNC Demands an Apology from Howard Dean

Mar 28 2008 Published by under Featured News

The Republican National Committee has demanded that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean apologize for remarks he made yesterday about the latest campaign ad from John McCain.

Here is the ad in question:

Here is what Dean said today about the ad, “The American people have been waiting for a president who understands the challenges they face, not another out of touch Bush Republican who promises four more years of the same failed leadership. John McCain can try to reintroduce himself to the country, but he can’t change the fact that he cast aside his principles to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush for the last seven years. While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn’t understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years.”

RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli replied by questioning Dean’s patriotism, and demanding an apology. “It is beyond comprehension that Howard Dean would smear John McCain’s character by stating he is a ‘blatant opportunist.’ John McCain served our nation heroically and valiantly and it is absolutely unacceptable that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee would attack Senator McCain for discussing his record with the American people. Dean’s comments are the latest in what has become a troubling pattern where the chairman of the national party has questioned Senator McCain’s character and integrity. Howard Dean owes John McCain an immediate apology and both Senators Clinton and Obama should unequivocally denounce this disgraceful attack.”

McCain didn’t talk about his record at all in that ad; it was centered on mindless flag waving. It appears that the GOP is set to run the exact same presidential campaign as they have ran in 1996, 2000, and 2004. The most troubling thing about RNC logic is that they believe that a war hero’s judgment shouldn’t ever be questioned. Even if that war hero is wrong, we all are supposed to blindly follow.

Dean is right. In order to get the nomination, McCain has changed positions more than Paris Hilton in her sex tape. What the Republicans tried to sell barely worked in 2004 and didn’t work in 2006, so why do they keep coming back with the same worn out message that is bound to fail in 2008?

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Pressure Mounts on Clinton to Withdraw from Democratic Race

Mar 28 2008 Published by under Featured News

On the same day that Pennsylvania super delegate Sen. Bob Casey endorsed Obama, Sen. Patrick Leahy released a statement calling for Clinton to withdraw and support Obama. However, Clinton continues to vow to fight on.

Leahy, an Obama supporter, and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said today, “Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to. As far as the delegate count and the interests of a Democratic victory in November go, there is not a very good reason for drawing this out. But as I have said before, that is a decision that only she can make.”

Clinton’s recent tactics are starting to look like she wants to sabotage an Obama nomination in 2008, to open the door for herself in 2012. For instance, let’s examine Clinton’s comments during an interview with Greta Van Sustren on Fox News. “You know, I keep beating this drum, we cannot disenfranchise two of the most important states for Democrats, Florida and Michigan. I don’t think we can win if we don’t win Michigan and Florida. So… In November. And we are essentially saying to the voters — we, the Democratic Party, is saying to the voters, your votes don’t count, we are not going to have a re-vote, you are out of luck. I don’t think that the nominee of the party will be considered legitimate if we don’t figure out how to count those votes for Michigan and Florida.”

The dirty little secret here is that the Clintons have always only cared about what the Democratic Party could do for them. Bill Clinton always put his own reelection and legacy ahead of the needs of his party. He had a terrible relationship with Congressional Democrats, and the Clintons only began to be team players when Hillary launched her first Senate campaign. It would seem that Clinton is trying to delegitimize the entire Democratic Party in 2008. Can anyone think of a more selfish strategy than this?

I think Hillary has every right to stay in the race through the final primary. If she would be able to somehow take the delegate lead away from Obama, then it would be time to discuss who the Democratic nominee should be, but she is practicing slash and burn politics here. She is willing to destroy the Democratic Party now, in the hope of being its savior later.

I don’t believe that the Clintons large egos can comprehend that Democrats might want someone other than them to lead the party. It is looking more and more like Hillary Clinton should make a classy and graceful exit out of this race, but when have the Clintons ever been associated with the terms class and grace?

Clinton interview:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,342151,00.html

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