GAINING IN TEXAS; CLINTON RAISES $35 MILLION IN FEB; NADER NAMES
VP CHOICE; DSCC RECRUITS TOP CHALLENGER IN ALASKA; GILCHREST FLIRTS
WITH DEMS. P2008 - DEMS. A new Insider Advantage poll of Texas primary
voters shows Hillary Clinton leading
Barack Obama by a 47% to 43% vote. The latest KHOU-TV/Public Strategies/Belo
tracking poll in Texas shows Clinton ahead by a 46% to 45% vote.
Time also reports early voting in Texas is running at a
record high rate, with the biggest turnout surges "up dramatically
in counties with large African-American populations, as well as
those with more highly educated and affluent voters -- in other
words, in areas that would be expected to trend toward Obama."
In Ohio, Clinton is on the air with TV spots featuring an endorsement
from Governor Ted Strickland (D). Obama reportedly purchased air
time throughout Ohio for a two-minute block on Monday evening
-- although his message is not yet known. In other news, Clinton
announced Thursday that her campaign expects to raise an impressive
$35 million in February. Obama's campaign will not yet release
a number -- rumored to be at least $50 million -- except to again
say Obama's total will be "in excess of $35 million." NADER: Consumer activist Ralph Nader (Independent) -- making
his fifth run for President -- selected former San Francisco Board
of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez (Green) as his Vice Presidential
runningmate on Thursday. The choice seems intended to help him
win the Green nomination and their ballot access in key states.
Lacking the Green's ballot spots in 2004, Nader fell to just 0.4%
of the vote. ALASKA: The DSCC has apparently succeeded in recruiting
yet another top-level challenger. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich
(D) this week launched his exploratory committee -- and a website
-- for a run against US Senator Ted Stevens (R). The incumbent
is a leading Dem target because he appears to be a central target
in an FBI corruption probe. Last year federal agent raided Stevens'
home and seized evidence related to alleged kickbacks from a federal
contractor helped by Stevens' appropriations earmarks. MARYLAND: Congressman Wayne Gilchrest -- a GOP moderate
defeated for renomination in his primary earlier this month --
is now considering endorsing the Democratic nominee for his seat.
Gilchrest was defeated by conservative State Senator Andy Harris
(R). Gilchrest's chief of staff and campaign manager Tony Caligiuri
told The Hill that the NRCC "never offered to do any
polling for us or really do anything financially for us before
the primary" even though Gilchrest had regularly helped the
NRCC raise money. Caliguiri even hinted a Gilchrest endorsement
of Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Frank Kratovil
(D) was possible. "No decision has been made about anything,"
said Caliguiri. Further, he added that Gilchrest "isn’t
likely to be involved in GOP politics in the years ahead." Posted
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.29.08 | Permalink
WON'T MAKE INDY RUN. EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm rather tired from a long day of travel (plus
my flight was delayed, so that added to my day) ... so just a
short post today. P2008. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg penned an op-ed
in Thursday's New York Times making official what he's
half-heartedly said for months: he will not make an Independent
run for President
this year. The billionaire had retained top consultants, polled,
and quietly allowed key staffers to prepare groundwork for a possible
run for nearly a year. Bloomberg explained: "Over the past
year, I have been working to raise issues that are important to
New Yorkers and all Americans -- and to speak plainly about common
sense solutions. Some of these solutions have traditionally been
seen as Republican, while others have been seen as Democratic.
As a businessman, I never believed that either party had all the
answers and, as mayor, I have seen just how true that is ... I
believe that an independent approach to these issues is essential
to governing our nation -- and that an independent can win the
presidency. I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to
run, but I am not -- and will not be -- a candidate for president.
I have watched this campaign unfold, and I am hopeful that the
current campaigns can rise to the challenge by offering truly
independent leadership. The most productive role that I can serve
is to push them forward, by using the means at my disposal to
promote a real and honest debate. In the weeks and months ahead,
I will continue to work to steer the national conversation away
from partisanship and toward unity; away from ideology and toward
common sense; away from sound bites and toward substance. And
while I have always said I am not running for president, the race
is too important to sit on the sidelines, and so I have changed
my mind in one area. If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan
approach -- and embraces practical solutions that challenge party
orthodoxy -- I’ll join others in helping that candidate
win the White House."
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.28.08 | Permalink
OBAMA NARROWS GAP IN TX, OH; DEMS IN PHOTO FLAP; McCAIN SAYS WAR MAY SINK HIS CAMPAIGN; A BRIGHT DAY FOR ALABAMA DEMS; RENZI WON'T QUIT. EDITOR'S NOTE: Wednesday is a travel day for me, as I'm returning home and unable to post an update. The next update will be posted for Thursday morning. P2008 - DEMS. New polling data shows the Ohio and Texas contests between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remains hotly contested. Clinton's once double-digit lead in Ohio has dropped, although she still holds an advantage. The Ohio Poll (University of Cincinnati) has Clinton leading 47% to 39%. The ARG poll in Ohio places Clinton ahead by nine-points. The Public Policy Polling results show Clinton ahead by just four-points. The new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Obama now leading in Texas by a four-point margin. An ARG poll in Texas gives Obama an eight-point lead. Bill Clinton, Jim Carville and others associated with Senator Clinton's campaign have repeatedly said she must win both states next Tuesday for her campaign to remain viable. In other news, talk show host Ellen DeGeneris joined Clinton on the campaign trail Monday via a video link to express her support for the New York Senator. Also, the Obama campaign decried the online circulation of a photo of him taken two years ago during a visit to Kenya in which he donned local tribal clothing. Obama's late father was Kenyan, and his grandmother still lives there. "The notion that the Clinton campaign would be trying to circulate this as a negative on the same day that Senator Clinton was giving a speech about how we repair our relationships around the world is sad," said Obama. "I just want to make it very clear that we were not aware of it, the campaign didn't sanction it and don't know anything about it," said a Clinton campaign spokesman. P2008 - GOP: Senator John McCain said Monday he will lose in November unless he can convince the American people that the US policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose. I lose," he said, according to the AP. A few minutes later, McCain attempted to clarify his comments: "If I may, I'd like to retract 'I'll lose.' But I don't think there's any doubt that how [the voters] judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge. Clearly, I am tied to it to a large degree." In related news, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll in Texas shows McCain leading Mike Huckabee by a 56% to 31% vote. ALABAMA. Democrats scored a major recruitment coup in the open CD-2 seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Terry Everett (R). Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright -- a non-partisan conservative who had openly discussed seeking the seat this year as a either a Democrat or Republican -- has decided to run as a Democrat. He will make his formal announcement this week. State Representative Terry Spicer and dentist Cendie Crawley are also seeking the Dem nomination. State Senator Hari Anne Smith, State Representatives David Grimes and Jay Love, and dentist Craig Schmidtke are the announced GOP candidates. While the Republicans hold a solid advantage here, Bright's candidacy puts the seat in play. Race rating: GOP Favored. ARIZONA. Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) -- indicted last week on federal conspiracy, fraud, extortion and money laundering offenses related to a land swap and insurance fraud scheme -- announced Monday he will not resign his seat. Although he had already announced months ago he would not seek reelection, Renzi said he rejected the call from his own party's leadership that he resign. Renzi said he is innocent, and resigning would imply guilt.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.26.08 | Permalink
NEVADA CAUCUS CHAOS; ALASKA SEN STEVENS RUNS AGAIN; GOP NOMINEE QUITS OPEN IL CD-11 RACE; KLEEB RUNS IN NEB. P2008 - DEMS. The second round of Democratic Presidential caucuses collapsed into chaos in the state's largest county, with the Clinton and Obama campaigns banding together to end the flawed Clark County convention. The convention was apparently so poorly planned that the Las Vegas location could not accommodate a large number of the elected delegates and alternates entitled to attend. Party leaders seemingly didn't anticipate many of the elected delegates would attend, as second round attendance was light in past years. Of course, in past years, the nomination fight was well over by the time the second round was held. With the agreement Saturday of both campaigns -- after much arguing from local party leaders who refused to acknowledge any real problems -- the convo was adjourned with plans to reconvene at a mutually agreeable date and site to be chosen later. Click here to read the Las Vegas Review-Journal's account of the fiasco. ALASKA. Embattled US Senator Ted Stevens (R) filed state paperwork Friday to seek re-election this year to an eighth term. Stevens, 84, is the target of a federal corruption probe related to alleged bribes and kickbacks involving an Alaska energy company. FBI agents executed a search warrant and seized evidence last year at Stevens' Alaska home. The Senator said he is running again because Alaskans need to "wake up and deal with the enemy that is within us," he told the AP. The "enemy," according to Stevens, are "extreme environmentalists" who create "roadblocks to development" and jobs. Announced candidates against Stevens already include former State Representatives Dave Cuddy (R) and Ray Metcalfe (D), and former State House Majority Leader Nels Anderson (D). Others reportedly still looking at the race include Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D), State House Speaker John Harris (R), former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman (R), and former State Senator John Binkley (R). Filing closes June 2. Race rating: Leans GOP. ILLINOIS. Republicans got some unexpectedly bad news in the open CD-11 race to replace retiring Congressman Jerry Weller (R). With State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson as the Democratic nominee, the contest for this swing seat was already rated as Leans DEM. New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, who handily won the GOP primary earlier this month, suddenly quit the race on Friday. GOP leaders said they feared in recent days that Baldermann was planning to withdraw, and they sensed his poor fundraising effort was a sign he had lost interest in the race. Officially, Baldermann said he just realized he did not have the time needed to be a congressional candidate while also serving as a part-time Mayor and a full-time suburban community police chief. Baldermann was viewed as a second-tier hopeful who embraced by party leaders only after the NRCC failed to recruit a top contender. Expect any replacement nominee to be weaker than was Baldermann. Iraq War veteran and peace activist Jason Wallace (Green) is also running. New race rating: DEM Favored. NEBRASKA. Rancher and college instructor Scott Kleeb (D) -- a favorite of the liberal "net-roots" during his 2006 congressional campaign -- has decided to run for the open US Senate seat. Kleeb's new campaign website is already online. Wealthy businessman and former Republican Tony Raimondo and USAF veteran Larry Marvin are also seeking the Democratic nomination. Former Governor Mike Johanns and businessman Pat Flynn are seeking the GOP nomination. US Senator Chuck Hagel (R) is retiring. Race rating: GOP Favored.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.25.08 | Permalink
OBAMA ON TRACK FOR MONEY RECORD; CONDI HAS NO INTEREST IN VEEP SPOT; CONGRESSMAN RENZI INDICTED; NADER RETURNS. The Atlantic reports Barack Obama appears on track to break a one-month fundraising record for a Presidential candidate. While campaign officials will only say the amount will be in excess of the record $36 million he collected last month, "outside projections and outside advisers" say the real number will be over $50 million for February. New independent polling shows Hillary Clinton holding fairly narrow leads over Obama in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Obama holds a wide lead over Clinton in Vermont. All four states hold primaries on March 4 ... US Secretary of State Condi Rice said she had no interest in being considered for the Republican Vice Presidential nomination. "I have always said that the one thing that I have not seen myself doing is running for elected office ... I didn't even run for high school president. It's not in my genes," she said at a Friday press conference ... Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) was indicted on federal corruption charges on Friday. The 35-count indictment charges Renzi with conspiracy, fraud, extortion and money laundering offenses related to a land swap and insurance fraud scheme. The indictment had been expected for months -- after a series of FBI search warrant raids -- so much so that NRCC officials successfully pressured Renzi into announcing his retirement a few months ago. On Friday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) called on Renzi to resign from Congress. "The charges contained in this indictment are completely unacceptable for a member of Congress, and I strongly urge Rep. Renzi to seriously consider whether he can continue to effectively represent his constituents under these circumstances," said Boehner, in a written statement ... Consumer advocate Ralph Nader purpotedly plans to announced on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that he will run for President this year as an Independent. He previously ran for President in 1992 (NH Democratic primary), 1996 and 2000 (Green nominee), and 2004 (Independent). There is a move among some on the Green Party to draft Nader for their nomination. Former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney -- now a Green Party member and California resident -- would be Nader's main rival for the Green nomination ... Primary filing closed Friday in Indiana. Click here to see the list of Indiana congressional candidates.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.23.08 | Permalink
RIGHT RALLIES BEHIND McCAIN; DEMS DEBATE; SHADEGG UN-RETIRES. P2008 - GOP. The New York Times story about John McCain's former "relationship" -- whatever it may have been -- with lobbyist Vicki Iseman in many ways turned into a political plus for his campaign. While the campaign spent the day denouncing the political favors/affair report as a "smear," conservative commentators spent the day on radio and TV defending McCain and blasting the newspaper as a "liberal" tool of the Democrats. If anything, the reports managed to do one thing McCain has been unable to do this entire campaign: unite McCain's conservative critics like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others behind his candidacy. P2008 - DEMS: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met Thursday evening for what may possibly have been Clinton's final televised debate opportunity to derail her Dem rival. Obama clearly was playing it safe during the debate, simply working to keep his momentum from eleven consecutive victories in recent weeks. Clinton, however, played it surprisingly differently than most had anticipated. Although she took some critical and effective shots at Obama, Clinton largely remained in the same style she has shown in their previous encounters. Clinton seemed to have rejected the advice of those telling her to become more aggressively negative towards Obama. By the close of the debate, she even hinted at finally accepting the possibility she may lose the nomination fight. "You know, no matter what happens in this contest, and I am honored to be here with Barack Obama, whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends," said Clinton. While Clinton registered a strong debate performance, Obama was left undamaged by the encounter. ARIZONA: Congressman John Shadegg (R) reversed his retirement decision of last week, announcing Thursday he will run again this year. Shadegg said a letter signed by 146 of his GOP House colleagues asking him to reconsider -- along with similar sentiments from constituents -- was the key factor as to why he changed his mind. "In deciding to leave Congress, I felt I could serve my country and continue to wage the battle for conservative principles just as effectively in private life. It turns out many others believe that would be a mistake," he explained. Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), a fellow fiscal conservative, organized the House GOP letter. Former State Representative Steve May (R) -- a businessman and gay rights activist -- announced he would stay in the race despite Shadegg's retirement reversal. "It's time for a new direction in the way our district is represented," said May to the Arizona Republic. Attorney Bob Lord (D), who had raised over $600,000 for the race as of the end of 2007, said he has "been looking forward to running against John Shadegg since Day 1, but this whole episode raises serious questions about his commitment to serving the people of Arizona." Race rating: GOP Favored.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.22.08 | Permalink
NYT CLAIMS McCAIN HAD AFFAIR WITH LOBBYIST, HELPED HER CLIENTS; HUCKABEE SOLDIERS ON; CLINTON ALLIES LAUNCH 527-GROUP IN OHIO; TEAMSTERS ENDORSE OBAMA. McCAIN. The New York Times are running a frontpage story Thursday that John McCain's projected persona as the tough fighter against lobbyists may have a major flaw. According to the report, during the 2000 Presidential campaign, McCain's top campaign staffers believed he had a "relationship [that] had become romantic" with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, who is 31 years younger than McCain. Iseman regularly spent time with McCain in his office, on the campaign jet, and on the campaign trail -- so much so that McCain's campaign and Senate staffs actively conspired to block Iseman and McCain from seeing each other. Why? Because they noticed "McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist's client" and pushed legislation for media modul Lowell Paxson, a key Iseman client with "business before [McCain's] Senate committee." McCain also frequently flew on private jets owned by Paxson (and others). Here is the key part of the article: "Two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. ... John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said ... that he arranged the meeting after 'a discussion among the campaign leadership' about her ... Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about 'her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.' He declined to elaborate ... Ms. Iseman acknowledged meeting with Mr. Weaver, but disputed his account." Both McCain and Iseman deny any romantic relationship existed. "I have never betrayed the public trust by doing anything like that," McCain told the newspaper. McCain's campaign released a statement Wednesday night, which claimed "that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign ... [McCain] will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election." In other news, Mike Huckabee is continuing his insurgent campaign for the GOP nomination. Huckabee, who will appear on Saturday Night Live this week, said the GOP leaders pressing him to quit the race "are out of touch" with the GOP base. P2008 - DEMS: Several former Clinton White House officials have launched a 527-group -- American Leadership Project (ALP) -- "with the express purpose of helping Sen. Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Barack Obama in Ohio, and possibly Texas and Pennsylvania as well," according to ABC News. ALP is using TV, mail and phone banking, with likely plans to go significantly more negative on Obama if needed. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic reported the group is "canvassing Clinton donors for pledges of up to $100,000 in the hope of raising at least $10M by the end of next week." In other news, the Teamsters Union announced it was endorsing Obama. The Teamsters are viewed as a politically significant endorsement for the upcoming Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries. Also, speaking to a Texas audience on Wednesday, Bill Clinton said: "If [Hillary] wins in Texas and Ohio, I think she will be the nominee. If you don't deliver for her then I don't think she can."
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.21.08 | Permalink
OBAMA, McCAIN WIN BIG ON TUESDAY; SHADEGG RECONSIDERS RETIREMENT; SHOWS QUITS MS SEN RACE. P2008 - DEMS: Voters on Tuesday gave Barack Obama two more victories, brining his current streak to ten consecutive wins. Once again the pre-primary polls were significantly off, incorrectly predicting a close contest. Hillary Clinton beefed-up her efforts in Wisconsin in the closing days, with a series of visits and increased advertising. It was not enough to stop Obama's momentum. Likewise in Hawaii -- Obama's birthplace -- where record-high turnout propelled Obama to a wide win. The results:
WISCONSIN: Obama - 58%,
Clinton - 41%.
HAWAII: Obama - 76%,
Clinton - 23%.
"It is going to take more than big rallies. It's going to require more than rousing speeches ... The problem that we face in America today is not the lack of good ideas, it's that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die ... The problem is that we haven't had leaders who can inspire the American people to rally behind a common purpose and a higher purpose. And this is what we need to change today," said Obama to a Texas crowd of 18,000 people on Tuesday night. "Only one of us has spent 35 years being a doer, a fighter and a champion for those who need a voice ... That is the choice in this election ... It's about picking a President who relies not just on words, but on work," said Clinton in her election night remarks. The contest now moves to the four primaries on March 4: Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island. Clinton's firewall strategy now requires wins in both Ohio and Texas, or her campaign is effectively over. Clinton's campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said the campaign considers those states to be "major, major, major battleground states." She continues to stress her theme that P2008 - GOP: While lacking the excitement of the Dem race -- as John McCain is already the presumptive GOP nominee -- voters helped McCain move closer towards formally locking up the race. Mike Huckabee continue plugging along, saying he is unconcerned with the mathematical impossibility of his odds. In fact, Huckabee frequently jokes that one of the reasons he can continue running is because he's "got nothing better to do" with his time these days. Here are Tuesday's results:
WISCONSIN: McCain - 55%,
Huckabee - 37%.
WASHINGTON: McCain - 49%,
Huckabee - 21%.
It was McCain's second win in Washington State this month. He won the caucuses on February 9 -- where half the delegates were awarded -- and yesterday won the primary for the second half of the state's delegates. In his election night remarks, McCain aimed his fire directly at Obama, vowing his campaign will "make sure that Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change." ARIZONA: Congressman John Shadegg (R) just last week announced he would not seek re-election this year. Now come the reports he may already be changing his mind. After several prominent GOP leaders urged Shadegg to run again, Shadegg vowed he would think about it and announce a decision by Thursday. The Club for Growth and the American Conservative Union were among those calling on the fiscal conservative Shadegg to stay in Congress. All of the recently announced GOP candidates -- except for former State Representative Steve May -- vowed they will exit the race if Shadegg runs again. MISSISSIPPI: Former Congressman Ronnie Shows (D) quit the US Senate special election this week. Shows said he could not raise the money needed to compete against interim US Senator Roger Wicker (R) and former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D). Shows' exit will make the contest more competitive, as there will now only be one major Dem challenger in the race against the GOP incumbent.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.20.08 | Permalink
Hmmm ... the Clinton (and McCain) message of experience/results versus change/hope. Sounds a lot like Hubert Humphrey's message used against Bobby Kennedy in the 1968 race.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.20.08 | Permalink
ELECTION NIGHT THREAD.
WISCONSIN & HAWAII OPEN THREAD.
Due to the time difference, the polls in Wisconsin do not close until 3 AM here (France). Thus, I'll post my Wednesday update when I wake up -- which will still be the middle of the night back home in the US. For now, here's a thread to use to discuss the unfolding results, etc.
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.20.08 | Permalink
WISC, HAWAII PRIMARY DAY; CLINTON ACCUSES OBAMA OF SPEECH PLAGIARISM; HUCK VISITS CAYMANS. P2008 - DEM: Tuesday is primary day in Wisconsin, and Hillary Clinton left the state on Monday -- a day ahead of the vote -- to focus her efforts on the next round of contests in Texas and Ohio. The news either means Clinton believes she cannot catch Barack Obama in Wisconsin, or is playing a game of reducing expectations, or both. Obama, meanwhile, is continuing his Wisconson campaign while intensifying his campaign efforts on TV and staffing in Texas and Ohio. The final independent polls from Wisconsin released Monday seem to show Obama holding a lead of several points over Clinton, despite her strong push in the state over the past week. Obama is also favored also Clinton in Tuesday's Hawaii caucuses. The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, accused Obama of "plagiarism" for a portion of Obama's latest stump speech that appears to directly come from a passage from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's 2006 stump speech. Obama on Monday acknowleded the words came from Patrick. "Deval and I do talk ideas all the time," said Obama, who added he "should have" attributed the words to the source. Patrick told reporters he and Obama are "long-time friends and allies [who] often share ideas about politics, policy and language." Clinton's campaign spokesman responded that the incident makes Obama's message "much less inspiring, less authentic and more political." In other news, Obama snuck away from the campaign trail on Sunday to quietly meet in North Carolina with former rival John Edwards. Clinton did the same earlier this month. Both Obama and Clinton would like to win Edwards' endorsement. While earlier conventional wisdom said Edwards favored Obama, others tied to the Edwards campaign believe he was leaning towards endorsing Clinton in recent days. P2008 - GOP: Mike Huckabee returned to the campaign trail in Wisconsin, after an odd weekend detour outside the US to meet with government officials in the Cayman Islands. Huckabee told NBC he had a "good discussion of many of the efforts the Caymans are making to clean up their banking industry." Meanwhile, John McCain was in Texas on Monday morning to pickup an endorsement from former President George H.W. Bush. "Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom and I'm happy to help this remarkable patriot carry our party's banner forward," said Bush-41, who called on all Republicans to unify behind McCain. Polling shows McCain holding a double-digit lead over Huckabee in Wisconsin. EDITOR'S NOTE: My daily postings are going to be several hours earlier than usual until Feb 28, due to the six-hour time difference here in France (versus the time in Florida).
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.19.08 | Permalink
DEM SUPERDELEGATES STARTING TO SWITCH, UNENDORSE; BUSH-41 FOR McCAIN; PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY FILING CLOSES; CA SPECIAL SET. P2008 - DEM: Not much new in the Dem contest over the past few days -- beyond the usual campaigning by the candidates, the exchange of some mild barbs, and the usual claims that both campaigns will continue on until the convention. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both stumped in Wisconsin over the past several days, as Clinton increased her efforts in the state in the hopes of a comeback victory Tuesday. Recent polls show Obama leading by 3-10 points in the state. Also on Tuesday are the Hawaii caucuses, where Obama is favored. Obama was born in Hawaii, is endorsed by Congressman Neil Abercrombie, and has regularly outperformed Clinton in the caucus format contests. Clinton sent her daughter Chelsea to campaign in Hawaii over the weekend, and her Hawaii endorsers include US Senator Dan Inouye and State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. In related news, the situation involving superdelegate Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) still appears unsettled. Lewis -- a Clinton supporter -- on Thursday made comments to the New York Times in which he said he planned to cast his superdelegate vote at the convention for Obama. "Something is happening in America, and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap ... [I would] never, ever do anything to reverse the action [of the voters of my district, who overwhelmingly voted Obama] ... I've been very impressed with the campaign of Senator Obama. He's getting better and better every single day," said Lewis. A spokesman for Lewis later told the Washington Post that the former civil rights leader has not yet officially switched to Obama, but is merely "considering" doing so. Congressman David Scott (D-GA) -- another Clinton endorser -- announced last week he would vote for Obama at the convention. "You've got to represent the wishes of your constituency," said Scott. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond (D) said that his Clinton endorsement would not bind him at the convention. "I endorsed her in the primary and I stand by that endorsement ... [but being a superdelegate] means you have to pick the candidate that will best represent the party in the general election, irrespective of who you may have endorsed or may have supported during the primary and caucus process," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For now, Thurmond says he still plans to cast his convention vote for Clinton -- but reserves the right to change his mind. Three other superdelegates un-endorsed Clinton over the past week, with one of them switching to Obama. The other two say they are now uncommitted delegates. P2008 - GOP: Former President George H.W. Bush will endorsed John McCain for President at an event on Monday. He joins his son Jeb Bush, who endorsed McCain after the results of the Super Tuesday contests became clear. Former rival Mitt Romney also endorsed McCain on Thursday, although Mike Huckabee still says he plans to continue running at least until McCain formally secures enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Huckabee says conservative voters "don't want a coronation, they want a choice." Huckabee and McCain have both campaigned in Wisconsin during the past few days. McCain is favored to win Tuesday's primary there. PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell last week extended the candidate filing deadline in the state from Tuesday to Thursday due to severe weather. Check out the list of filed congressional candidates, as several races have the potential to be quite interesting in the April 22 primary and in the November general election. CALIFORNIA: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has set April 8 as the special election date to replace the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D). Former State Senator Jackie Speier (D) is the heavy favorite to win the CD-12 seat. EDITOR'S NOTE: My daily postings are going to be several hours earlier than usual until Feb 28, due to the six-hour time difference here in France (versus the time in Florida).
by Ron Gunzburger - 02.18.08 | Permalink