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Thread: Race for the White House

  1. #31
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If there is anyone who can overcome whatever baggage that ^^^ might cause it would be Rudy ...

    But even he might not be able to survive snippets played on cable news over and over and over ...

  2. #32
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Then again ...

    Christianists vs Giuliani

    Andrew Sullivan
    07 Feb 2007 09:49 am




    His defense of individual freedom is anathema to them. It's important to understand that the current Republican definition of conservatism is about religion, not politics. Terry Jeffrey puts it very candidly:
    Giuliani's positions on abortion and marriage disqualify him as a conservative because they annihilate the link between the natural law and man-made laws. Indeed, they use man-made law to promote and protect acts that violate the natural law.

    If you want to know what he means by "natural law," check out Chapter Three in "The Conservative Soul," "The Theoconservative Project." For the theocons, natural law certainly trumps individual liberty:
    The late Russell Kirk argued in The Conservative Mind that the first canon of conservatism is "elief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems ... True politics is the art of apprehending and applying the Justice which ought to prevail in a community of souls."
    Other Christianists are much blunter about Giuliani's heretically secular instincts. Here's Tony Perkins, a major figure in the Republican base:
    "He's the front runner but it's kind of like here in DC, you drive over the Potomac at night and it looks beautiful but if you get down near it you certainly wouldn't want to take anything out of it and eat it. It's polluted it's got problems."
    I couldn't disagree more. And that is the core divide in contemporary conservatism: between fundamentalism and freedom, between a politics based on divine revelation and Thomist law-making and a politics based on man-made law and individual liberty. Giuliani is running as a secular, modern conservative to run what has become a religious, theological party. His fate is going to be a fascinating insight into what American conservatism can now mean. And the Christianists are not going to put up with secular, inclusive, reality-based conservatism.

    (Photo: Jeff Fusco/Getty.)

    Copyright © 2007 Andrew Sullivan.

  3. #33

    Default Edwards proposes health care plan?

    .
    In an article titled Edwards proposes health care plan, 2/5/2007 1:14 PM by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, we are told that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards asserted the following:

    "The time has come for a universal health care reform that covers everyone, cuts costs, and provides better care"
    The article also states:

    Edwards said his plan will make it cheaper for families and businesses to have insurance coverage while providing health care to the uninsured.

    The plan would free up money for health care coverage by abolishing President Bush's tax cuts for people who make more than $200,000 a year and by having the government collect more back taxes, Edwards said.
    But the truth about Nedra Pickler’s article is, which was suspiciously not reported, Edwards has not proposed the necessary amendment to our Constitution granting power to Congress to tax and spend or involve itself in the health care needs of the people within the various states. And so, what Edwards is proposing, and is going unnoticed by our media, is another proposed attack upon federalism, and a blatant proposed subjugation of our written Constitution and the intentions and beliefs under which it was agreed to. Those intentions may be summed up as follows:

    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."see Federalist Paper No. 45

    Now, why is Edwards’ proposed subjugation of our written Constitution not reported? Seems to be quite apparent that our popular media works in concert with our Capitol Hill gangster crowd to expand the iron fist of the federal government over the people ___ in this case, seizing control over their health care needs and making them dependent upon the federal government for health care.

    But what about Edwards, is he really sincere in wanting to help working people with their health care needs? Seems only too obvious, if Edwards were concerned about the working people, he would be proposing an end to income taxation and a return to our Constitution’s original tax plan which would “free up” the working people’s paychecks to meet their own economic needs rather then propose to subjugate our federal Constitution with another socialist idea.

    Make no mistake, Edwards is a sheep in wolves clothes! A very, very dangerous individual to all freedom loving people. Keep in mind socialism is a blessing to folks in government, not the people, and allows folks in government to live large [six figure salaries, extravagant health care plans which the working people can only dream of, and, outrageous pension plans ___ all paid for by the taxed wages working people earn]. Folks in government get all this for nothing more than using the force of the federal government to redistribute working people’s paychecks they have taxed away from them, making wage earners poor and creating a dependent voting constituency which keeps these thieves in political power.

    When will the American People wake up and come to the realization the object of the Capitol Hill gang, Republicans and Democrats in political power, is to keep themselves in power, live large, and enjoy the top of the shelf fruits siphoned from the pockets of working people? That is what socialism is all about…a big fat tax pig getting fatter.

    The very purpose of income taxation is to make the people dependant upon government by confiscating their earned wages, which folks in government then use to bribe the voter with programs which keeps them in power. And, that is why Edwards, and his socialist pals on Capitol Hill will not propose an end to taxing the wages which labor has earned…their intention is to keep the working people as useful tax slaves for folks in government and very dependant upon government for their subsistence.

    JWK

    “…..with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities“___ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address

  4. #34

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    February 8, 2007

    Mormon Candidate Braces for Religion as Issue


    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
    Mitt Romney gave the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign Wednesday in an address to the Detroit Economic Club.


    By ADAM NAGOURNEY and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 — As he begins campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is facing a threshold issue: Will his religion — he is a Mormon — be a big obstacle to winning the White House?

    Polls show a substantial number of Americans will not vote for a Mormon for president. The religion is viewed with suspicion by Christian conservatives, a vital part of the Republicans’ primary base.

    Mr. Romney’s advisers acknowledged that popular misconceptions about Mormonism — as well as questions about whether Mormons are beholden to their church’s leaders on public policy — could give his opponents ammunition in the wide-open fight among Republicans to become the consensus candidate of social conservatives.

    Mr. Romney, in an extended interview on the subject as he drove through South Carolina last week, expressed confidence that he could quell concerns about his faith, pointing to his own experience winning in Massachusetts. He said he shared with many Americans the bafflement over obsolete Mormon practices like polygamy — he described it as “bizarre” — and disputed the argument that his faith would require him to be loyal to his church before his country.

    “People have interest early on in your religion and any similar element of your background,” he said. “But as soon as they begin to watch you on TV and see the debates and hear you talking about issues, they are overwhelmingly concerned with your vision of the future and the leadership skills that you can bring to bear.”

    Still, Mr. Romney is taking no chances. He has set up a meeting this month in Florida with 100 ministers and religious broadcasters. That gathering follows what was by all accounts a successful meeting at his home last fall with evangelical leaders, including the Rev. Jerry Falwell; the Rev. Franklin Graham, who is a son of the Rev. Billy Graham; and Paula White, a popular preacher.

    Mr. Romney said he was giving strong consideration to a public address about his faith and political views, modeled after the one John F. Kennedy gave in 1960 in the face of a wave of concern about his being a Roman Catholic.

    Mr. Romney’s aides said he had closely studied Kennedy’s speech in trying to measure how to navigate the task of becoming the nation’s first Mormon president, and he has consulted other Mormon elected leaders, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, about how to proceed.

    Mr. Romney appears to be making some headway. Several prominent evangelical leaders said that, after meeting him, they had grown sufficiently comfortable with the notion of Mr. Romney as president to overcome any concerns they might have about his religion.

    On a pragmatic level, some said that Mr. Romney — despite questions among conservatives about his shifting views on abortion and gay rights — struck them as the Republican candidate best able to win and carry their social conservative agenda to the White House.

    “There’s this growing acceptance of this idea that Mitt Romney may well be and is our best candidate,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal advocacy group, and a prominent host on Christian radio.

    Mark DeMoss, an evangelical public relations consultant who represents many conservative Christian groups, said it was “more important to me that a candidate shares my values than my faith,” adding, “And if I look at it this way, Mr. Romney would be my top choice.”

    Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, but some beliefs central to Mormons are regarded by other churches as heretical. For example, Mormons have three books of Scripture other than the Bible, including the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe was translated from golden plates discovered in 1827 by Joseph Smith Jr., the church’s founder and first prophet.

    Mormons believe that Smith rescued Christianity from apostasy and restored the church to what was envisioned in the New Testament — but these doctrines are beyond the pale for most Christian churches.

    Beyond that, there are perceptions among some people regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the church is formally known, that account for at least some of the public unease: that Mormons still practice polygamy (the church renounced polygamy in 1890), that it is more of a cult than a religion and that its members take political direction from the church’s leaders.

    Several Republicans said such perceptions could be a problem for Mr. Romney, especially in the South, which has had a disproportionate influence in selecting Republican presidential nominees.

    Gloria A. Haskins, a state representative from South Carolina who is supporting Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination, said discussions with her constituents in Greenville, an evangelical stronghold, convinced her that a Mormon like Mr. Romney could not win a Republican primary in her state. South Carolina has one of the earliest, and most critical, primaries next year.

    “From what I hear in my district, it is very doubtful,” Ms. Haskins said. “This is South Carolina. We’re very mainstream, evangelical, Christian, conservative. It will come up. In this of all states, it will come up.”

    But Katon Dawson, the state Republican chairman, said he thought Mr. Romney had made significant progress in dealing with those concerns. “I have heard him on his personal faith and on his character and conviction and the love for his country,” Mr. Dawson said. “I have all confidence that he will be able to answer those questions, whether they be in negative ads against him or in forums or in debates.”

    Mr. Romney’s candidacy has stirred discussion about faith and the White House unlike any since Kennedy, including a remarkable debate that unfolded recently in The New Republic. Damon Linker, a critic of the influence of Christian conservatism on politics, described Mormonism as a “theologically unstable, and thus politically perilous, religion.”

    The article brought a stinging rebuttal in the same publication from Richard Lyman Bushman, a Mormon who is a history professor at Columbia University, and who said Mr. Linker’s arguments had “no grounding in reality.”

    Mr. Romney is not the first Mormon to seek a presidential nomination, but by every indication he has the best chance yet of being in the general election next year. His father, George Romney, was a candidate in 1968, but his campaign collapsed before he ever had to deal seriously with questions about religion.

    Senator Hatch said his own candidacy in 2000, which was something of a long shot, was to “knock down prejudice against my faith.”

    “There’s a lot of prejudice out there,” Mr. Hatch said. “We’ve come a long way, but there are still many people around the country who consider the Mormon faith a cult.”

    But if Mr. Romney has made progress with evangelicals, he appears to face a larger challenge in dispelling apprehensions among the public at large. A national poll by The Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News last June found 37 percent said they would not vote for a Mormon for president.

    Mr. Romney offered assurances that seemed to reflect what Kennedy told the nation in discussing his Catholicism some 50 years ago. Mr. Romney said the requirements of his faith would never overcome his political obligations. He pointed out that in Massachusetts, he had signed laws allowing stores to sell alcohol on Sundays, even though he was prohibited by his faith from drinking, and to expand the state lottery, though Mormons are forbidden to gamble. He also noted that Mormons are not exclusively Republicans, pointing to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader.

    “There’s no church-directed view,” Mr. Romney said. “How can you have Harry Reid on one side and Orrin Hatch on the other without recognizing that the church doesn’t direct political views? I very clearly subscribe to Abraham Lincoln’s view of America’s political religion. And that is when you take the oath of office, your responsibility is to the nation, and that is first and foremost.”

    He said he was not concerned about the resistance in the polls. “If you did a poll and said: ‘Could a divorced actor be elected as president? Would you vote for a divorced actor as president?’ my guess is 70 percent would say no. But then they saw Ronald Reagan. They heard him. They heard his vision. They heard his experience. They said: ‘I like Ronald Reagan. I’m voting for him.’ ”

    Adam Nagourney reported from Washington, and Laurie Goodstein from New York.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  5. #35

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    February 10, 2007

    Giuliani Shifts Abortion Speech Gently to Right

    By RAY RIVERA

    As he prepares for a possible run for president — a road that goes deep into the heart of conservative America — Rudolph W. Giuliani takes with him a belief in abortion rights that many think could derail his bid to capture the Republican nomination.

    But in recent weeks, as he has courted voters in South Carolina and talked to conservative media outlets, Mr. Giuliani has highlighted a different element of his thinking on the abortion debate. He has talked about how he would appoint “strict constructionist” judges to the Supreme Court — what abortion rights advocates say is code among conservatives for those who seek to overturn or limit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court ruling declaring a constitutional right to abortion.

    The effect has been to distance himself from a position favoring abortion rights that he espoused when he ran for mayor of New York City, where most voters favor abortion rights.

    “I hate it,” he said of abortion in a recent interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News. “I think abortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that.”

    For Mr. Giuliani, a Brooklyn-born Roman Catholic who once considered entering the priesthood, the issue has been a source of discomfort throughout his political career, especially during his first bid for mayor of New York nearly two decades ago.

    Now, as he courts voters in more conservative areas, Mr. Giuliani is turning to the same nuanced approach he used back then to explain how he can be both for abortion rights, while being morally opposed to abortion.

    While Mr. Giuliani also faces obstacles for his stands favoring gun control and gay rights, perhaps no social issue resonates as deeply in the hearts of Christian conservatives as abortion.

    In his recent travels, he has directed questions on the issue toward a discussion about judges, saying he would appoint jurists who believe in interpreting, not making, the law: judges, he said, like Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who he has said he believed would place limits on Roe v. Wade.

    “On the federal judiciary I would want judges who are strict constructionists because I am,” he said last week in South Carolina. “I have a very, very strong view that for this country to work, for our freedoms to be protected, judges have to interpret, not invent, the Constitution.

    “Otherwise you end up, when judges invent the Constitution, with your liberties being hurt. Because legislatures get to make those decisions and the Legislature in South Carolina might make that decision one way and the Legislature in California a different one.”

    On the issue of a disputed abortion procedure called “partial-birth abortion” by opponents, he told Mr. Hannity that a ban signed into law by President Bush in 2003, which the Supreme Court is reviewing, should be upheld. And on the issue of parental notification — whether to require minors to obtain permission from either a parent or a judge before an abortion — he said, “I think you have to have a judicial bypass,” meaning a provision that would allow a minor to seek court permission from a judge in lieu of a parent.

    “If you do, you can have parental notification,” he said.

    Both appear to be shifts away from statements he made while he was mayor and during his brief campaign for United States senator in 2000. Asked by Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in 2000 if he supported President Bill Clinton’s veto of a law that would have banned the disputed abortion procedure, Mr. Giuliani said, “I would vote to preserve the option for women.” He added, “I think the better thing for America to do is to leave that choice to the woman, because it affects her probably more than anyone else.”

    And on a 1997 candidate questionnaire from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League of New York, which Mr. Giuliani completed and signed, he marked “yes” to the question: Would you oppose legislation “requiring a minor to obtain permission from a parent or from a court before obtaining an abortion.”

    Mr. Giuliani’s campaign aides say his positions on abortion have not changed, and that his stand on what critics call partial-birth abortions has been mischaracterized, saying he opposed a ban only if it failed to include an exception to protect the life of the mother. But the ban vetoed by President Clinton did include such an exception.

    Those who have followed Mr. Giuliani’s career say he is unlikely to undergo a radical shift in his views in the manner of Mitt Romney, a Republican rival and former Massachusetts governor who advocated abortion rights until about two years ago.

    Fred Siegel, author of “Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life,” said Mr. Giuliani would likely be careful to avoid anything perceived as a flip-flop on the issue.

    “Part of his appeal is that he doesn’t bend in the wind,” he said.

    But Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Mr. Giuliani’s position was even more offensive than that of someone who believes abortion is morally acceptable.

    “To say I think it’s morally wrong, but I think it’s a woman’s choice is like saying I’m opposed to segregation but it ought to be left up to the store owner to decide,” Mr. Land said. “That’s a preference, not a conviction.”

    Rancor coming from both sides of the abortion debate is nothing new to Mr. Giuliani. When he made his first bid for mayor in 1989, he was widely considered anti-abortion. His stance immediately proved problematic in a city heavily in favor of abortion rights. New York was the first state to legalize elective abortions, three years before Roe v. Wade.

    Early in the 1989 campaign, he told the city’s Conservative Party leaders he was personally opposed to abortion and was for overturning Roe v. Wade, except in cases of rape or incest. At the same time he said he opposed criminal penalties and ultimately saw it as an issue of “personal morality.”

    The distinctions he drew were subtle to the point of producing conflicting news accounts in which he was alternately described as favoring abortion rights and anti-abortion.

    The issue took on more importance that summer after a Supreme Court decision allowed states to put new restrictions on abortion. As criticism mounted, Mr. Giuliani remained silent for weeks after the decision. Finally, in late August of that year, he issued a statement seeking to “clarify” his position.

    Where he previously asserted that he would stay away from efforts to protect or overturn the state abortion law, he now said he would fight moves to make it illegal.

    Critics ascribed his switch to political opportunism. Chief among his critics were his rivals for the mayor’s post, the incumbent, Mayor Edward I. Koch, and the eventual winner of that election, David N. Dinkins, both of whom accused him of heeding the advice of his campaign strategists over his conscience.

    Mr. Giuliani defended his change, saying it was the result of deep introspection, not political expediency. “I had to spend time not only thinking about it, but talking about it with my wife and people close to me to focus on it in a closer way than I have in the past,” he told The New York Times in an interview at the time.

    “This is a guy who is a Catholic, who thought about going into the priesthood, he has close friends who are priests,” said Mr. Siegel, “when he realizes he can’t get elected in New York if you’re anti-abortion and he begins to modify his position, and eventually he goes all the way to being in favor of later-term abortions.”

    Fran Reiter, who was a deputy mayor under Mr. Giuliani and played key roles in two of his campaigns, believes his acceptance of abortion rights was heartfelt, not a political move. After winning the mayor’s office in 1993, he supported and strengthened legislation protecting women’s access to abortion clinics.

    The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League of New York was so convinced, it remained neutral in the 1993 and 1997 mayoral races, and did so again when he briefly ran against Hillary Rodham Clinton for United States in 2000 before dropping out of the race.

    “That tells you how strongly we felt, that we would actually remain neutral when he’s running against the first lady of the United States,” said Kelli Conlin, the state organization’s president, who served on Mr. Giuliani’s 1993 transition team and on several mayoral commissions.

    Now Ms. Conlin and other abortion rights advocates, including Ms. Reiter, say Mr. Giuliani clearly appears to be distancing himself from his former positions.

    “The term strict constructionists has become a transparent code word for nominating judges who would overturn Roe, and both sides know it,” Ms. Conlin said. “I think this is a troublesome wink and a nod to the far right of the Republican Party, and that’s not the Rudy Giuliani I know.”

    Buddy Witherspoon, Republican National Committeeman from South Carolina, said Mr. Giuliani’s recent appearance with party leaders there shifted his and some others’ perceptions of the candidate, though not enough to satisfy the most socially conservative among them.

    “All I’d heard from the media is that he was a moderate in support of abortion,” Mr. Witherspoon said, “then I heard him say he did not support abortion, however he also said he did not think a woman should go to jail for having had an abortion.”


    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  6. #36

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    February 10, 2007

    Today’s Version of ‘I Will Run’ Is Way More Than 3 Little Words

    By MARK LEIBOVICH

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — It can be hard to keep track of everyone running for president, let alone those who are merely “exploring” it, “unofficially running,” “testing the waters” or “starting a conversation with the American people.”

    This is the stutter-step season of the 2008 presidential campaign.

    Candidates keep announcing that they are running or almost certainly running, then, a few days or weeks later, saying so again while the news media dutifully record each step.

    This week, for instance, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts — a Republican who last month announced formation of an “exploratory committee” — made more headlines by saying he would announce that he was going to run for president. Next week, in Michigan. And former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York declared this week that “I’m in this to win” after filing something called a “statement of candidacy.”

    On Saturday, Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who last month announced the creation of his presidential exploratory committee (after telling Tim Russert of NBC in October that he was thinking about maybe running) — will finally make an “announcement” about his intentions at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

    Why not just state the obvious?

    “It is incumbent on us to keep the announcement top secret,” said Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman.

    Mr. Gibbs cited the need to build “suspense” in order to “draw as many reporters as possible into the frigid teen temperatures of Illinois in February.”

    Hint: Mr. Obama and a throng of reporters will travel from Springfield to Iowa and New Hampshire.

    There was actually a simpler, less media-saturated time when prospective candidates would just step up onto a podium somewhere and say they were running for president. And then they were running for president, no dilly-dallying, right down to business.

    But the process became more convoluted in 1974 with the advent of campaign finance laws that would eventually spur the creation of presidential exploratory committees. The law mandated that anyone spending more than $5,000 while considering a campaign had to declare it with the Federal Election Commission.

    “The process became a vehicle for a candidate to get attention,” said William Mayer, an expert on the presidential nominating process and an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

    Mr. Mayer said the incremental announcement method took hold in the 1988 campaign for the Democratic nomination. He cites the rollouts of Senator Paul Simon of Illinois (who announced on April 9, 1987, that he would announce that he was going to run for president on May 18) and the Rev. Jesse Jackson (a Sept. 7 alert for an Oct. 10 official start).

    “If you’re an unknown candidate, your announcement is pretty much the one surefire way to get attention,” Mr. Mayer said. “So you might as well try to make it a twofer.”

    Or threefer, or whatever the media will bear, which is a lot, given the swaths of airspace and cyberspace to fill. The practice of politicians publicly belaboring their decisions has only become worse in recent years.

    “Candidates stretch out the announcements because they can,” said Elizabeth Wilner, the political director for NBC.

    Twenty-four-hour cable and Internet saturation, Ms. Wilner said, “means there will always be someone waiting to report on every infinitesimal word change relating to their candidate status.”

    There are, of course, instances of would-be candidates forming exploratory committees that yield fruitless exploration. Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, formed one in December, only to announce a few weeks later that he was not running.

    There are also increasingly rare occasions when candidates dispense with all flirtation. The normally stem-winding Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, proved a paragon of efficiency last month when he declared, “No exploratory committee, I’m running.”

    Of course, Mr. Biden then proceeded to ruin his grand opening by remarking about Mr. Obama’s being “clean” (which some viewed as racially offensive) and spending the aftermath apologizing for it.

    To ordinary Americans, the string-along announcements can be disorienting. There is, after all, something off-kilter about a system in which Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, can say things like “I’m in, and I’m in to win,” which sounds like a clear declaration of her intentions and then goes on to establish “an exploratory committee,” a much less certain signal.

    Rest assured, barring some dramatic development, Mrs. Clinton is running for president. And she will say so formally in some production at a later time, according to her campaign. In the meantime, she will continue her “conversation” with the American people in New Hampshire this weekend.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzel View Post
    McCain’s Advisers Once Made Ads That Drew His Ire
    There you have it in a nutshell. The problem with the system is that to become president, candidates give up the personal integrity needed to actually be the president.

    They never get it back.

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; February 10th, 2007 at 12:50 PM. Reason: typo

  8. #38

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    Obama made it official that he's running. He has my vote. Dont vote for Hilary, she's a commi.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzel View Post
    How many people would seriously consider former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as presidential material if he were an UNattractive man?
    I would find it extremely difficult (OK, impossible) to vote for a far right Mormon from New England. End of discussion.

  10. #40
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    Default Barack Obama

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq by the coalition forces officially began on 20 March 2003. Last Sunday, 02/04/07, Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" read the following quote from a speech by Barack Obama. The speech was given on 26 October 2002:

    "... He’s [Saddam Hussein] a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

    I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars."

    Wikisource

    That is called prescience, which is sorely lacking in this Republican administration. And where was Hillary Clinton at the time?

  11. #41

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    February 11, 2007

    Obama Formally Enters Presidential Race

    By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 10 — Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, standing before the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln began his political career, announced his candidacy for the White House on Saturday by presenting himself as an agent of generational change who could transform a government hobbled by cynicism, petty corruption and “a smallness of our politics.”

    “The time for that politics is over,” Mr. Obama said. “It is through. It’s time to turn the page.”

    Wearing an overcoat but gloveless on a frigid morning, Mr. Obama invoked a speech Lincoln gave here in 1858 condemning slavery — “a house divided against itself cannot stand” — as he started his campaign to become the nation’s first black president.

    Speaking smoothly and comfortably, Mr. Obama offered a generational call to arms, portraying his campaign less as a candidacy and more as a movement. “Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what’s needed to be done,” he said. “Today we are called once more, and it is time for our generation to answer that call.”

    It was the latest step in a journey rich with historic possibilities and symbolism. Thousands of people packed the town square to witness it, shivering in the single-digit frostiness until Mr. Obama appeared, trailed by his wife, Michelle, and two young daughters. (“I wasn’t too cold,” Mr. Obama said later, grinning as he acknowledged a heating device had been positioned at his feet, out of the audience’s view.)

    Still, for all the excitement on display, Mr. Obama’s speech also marked the start of a tough new phase in what until now has been a charmed introduction to national politics. Democrats and Mr. Obama’s aides said they were girding for questions about his experience in national politics, his command of policy, a past that has gone largely unexamined by rivals and the news media, and a public persona defined more by his biography and charisma than by how he would seek to use the powers of the presidency.

    “He’s done impressively so far, but at some point he’s really going to have to move to the next stage,” said Walter Mondale, the former Democratic vice president who made the phrase “where’s the beef” famous in his 1984 challenge to the credentials of a rival, Gary Hart, the former senator from Colorado.

    The formal entry to the race framed a challenge that would seem daunting to even the most talented politician: whether Mr. Obama, with all his strengths and limitations, can win in a field dominated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who brings years of experience in presidential politics, a command of policy and political history, and an extraordinarily battle-tested network of fund-raisers and advisers.

    Mr. Obama has told friends that he views Mrs. Clinton as his biggest obstacle, though his aides said they remained very wary as well of former Senator John Edwards, another rival for the Democratic nomination.

    Mr. Obama hit the question of experience in the opening bars of his speech on Saturday, suggesting that he would seek to use his limited time in government as an asset by casting himself as an agent of change who was free from the pull of special interests and politics as usual.

    “I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness in this — a certain audacity — to this announcement,” he said. “I know that I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

    For Mr. Obama’s campaign, struggling to put this unlikely organization together in just three months, the first focus is Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama’s aides said they had spent weeks discussing how to derail what David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, described as “the dominant political organization in the Democratic Party.”

    Mr. Obama’s decision to spend the first two days of his presidential campaign in Iowa, where he headed after his announcement, reflected one of the first important strategic decisions in that regard. His organization sees Iowa as a place where he could surprise Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards with an early victory. The eastern part of the state, a critical region for Democrats to win and where Mr. Obama spent the rest of Saturday, shares a media market with neighboring Illinois. Mr. Obama has been a fixture in local news since winning his Senate primary nearly three years ago.

    In trying to undercut Mrs. Clinton’s claims of experience, Mr. Obama’s campaign has decided to borrow techniques that Bill Clinton used to defeat the first President Bush in 1992. Mr. Obama, reprising the role of Mr. Clinton, on Saturday presented himself as a candidate of generational change running to oust entrenched symbols of Washington, an allusion to Mrs. Clinton, as he tried to turn her experience into a burden. Mr. Obama is 45; Mrs. Clinton is 59.

    But more than anything, Mr. Obama’s aides said, they believe the biggest advantage he has over Mrs. Clinton is his difference in position on the Iraq war. Mrs. Clinton supported the war authorization four years ago. Mr. Obama has opposed the war from the start, and has introduced a bill to begin withdrawing United States troops no later than May 1, with the goal of removing all combat brigades by March 31, 2008, taking a far more explicit stance than Mrs. Clinton on ending the conflict.

    “America, it’s time to start bringing our troops home,” he said Saturday. “It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war.”

    Yet even on a day that pointed to Mr. Obama’s strengths — a big, excited crowd, a speech that in its composition and delivery demonstrated yet again why he is viewed as a singular talent in the Democratic Party — it seems evident that Mr. Obama’s easier days as a candidate have passed. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, or to a lesser extent Mr. Edwards, Mr. Obama has not gone through a full-scale audit that will now come from Republicans, Democrats, journalists and advocacy groups, eager to define him before he defines himself.

    Some Democrats, including Mr. Obama’s opponents, seem increasingly game to challenge him, particularly when it comes to the substance of an Obama candidacy. Mr. Edwards offered a hint of what Mr. Obama faced in an interview the other day, as he discussed national health care, when he was asked his reaction to Mr. Obama’s views on providing national coverage.

    “I haven’t seen a plan from him,” Mr. Edwards said. “Have you all?”

    Mr. Obama has glided to his position in his party with a demeanor and series of eloquent speeches that have won him comparisons to the Kennedy brothers and put him in a position where his status as a black man with a chance to win the White House is only part of the excitement generated by his candidacy.

    But with perhaps one major exception, his plan to disengage forces in Iraq, he has avoided offering the kind of specific ideas that his own advisers acknowledge could open him up to attack by opponents or alienate supporters initially drawn by his more thematic appeals.

    Mr. Obama went so far as to tell Democrats in Washington last week that voters were looking for a message of hope, and disparaged the notion that a presidential campaign should be built on a foundation of position papers or details.

    “There are those who don’t believe in talking about hope: they say, well, we want specifics, we want details, we want white papers, we want plans,” he said then. “We’ve had a lot of plans, Democrats. What we’ve had is a shortage of hope.”

    But some Democrats were scornful. “That’s nonsense,” Mr. Hart said. “It posits that it’s either-or. Who’s saying you can’t talk about hope? I’m not talking about white papers: I’m talking about one big speech about ‘How I view the world.’ ”

    In an interview before he left for Illinois, Mr. Obama said he realized his powerful appeal as a campaigner would take him only so far. Other campaigns that have relied extensively on the life story of the candidate have typically foundered.

    “If a campaign is premised on personality, then no, I don’t think you can stay fresh for a year,” he said. “But if the campaign is built from the ground up and there is a sense of ownership among people who want to see significant change, then absolutely. It can build and grow.”

    And in his speech here on Saturday, Mr. Obama, trying to offer himself as the grass-roots outsider in contrast to a member of a political family that has dominated Washington life for 15 years, presented his campaign as an effort “not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation.”

    “That is why this campaign can’t only be about me,” Mr. Obama said. “It must be about us. It must be about what we can do together.”


    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  12. #42

    Default

    February 11, 2007

    Op-Ed Columnist

    Stop Him Before He Gets More Experience

    By FRANK RICH

    AS the official Barack Obama rollout reaches its planned climax on “60 Minutes” tonight, we’ll learn if he has the star power to upstage Anna Nicole Smith. But at least one rap against him can promptly be laid to rest: his lack of experience. If time in the United States Senate is what counts for presidential seasoning, maybe his two years’ worth is already too much. Better he get out now, before there’s another embarrassing nonvote on a nonbinding measure about what will soon be a four-year-old war.

    History is going to look back and laugh at last week’s farce, with the Virginia Republican John Warner voting to kill a debate on his own anti-surge resolution and the West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd seizing the occasion for an hourlong soliloquy on coal mining. As the Senate pleasured itself with parliamentary one-upmanship, the rate of American casualties in Iraq reached a new high.

    The day after the resolution debacle, I spoke with Senator Obama about the war and about his candidacy. Since we talked by phone, I can’t swear he was clean, but he was definitely articulate. He doesn’t yet sound as completely scripted as his opponents — though some talking-point-itis is creeping in — and he isn’t remotely defensive as he shrugs off the race contretemps du jour prompted by his White House run. Not that he’s all sweetness and light. “If the criterion is how long you’ve been in Washington, then we should just go ahead and assign Joe Biden or Chris Dodd the nomination,” he said. “What people are looking for is judgment.”

    What Mr. Obama did not have to say is that he had the judgment about Iraq that his rivals lacked. As an Illinois state senator with no access to intelligence reports, he recognized in October 2002 that administration claims of Saddam’s “imminent and direct threat to the United States” were hype and foresaw that an American occupation of Iraq would be of “undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” Nor can he be pilloried as soft on terrorism by the Cheney-Lieberman axis of neo-McCarthyism. “I don’t oppose all wars,” he said in the same Chicago speech. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war.”

    Now that Mr. Obama has passed through Men’s Vogue, among other stations of a best-selling author’s cross of hype, he wants to move past the dumb phase of Obamamania. He has begun to realize “how difficult it is to break through the interest in me on the beach or that my wife’s made me stop sneaking cigarettes.” He doesn’t expect to be elected the leader of the free world because he “can tell a good joke on Jay Leno.” It is “an open question and a legitimate question,” he says, whether he can channel his early boomlet into an electoral victory.

    No one can answer that question at this absurdly early stage of an absurdly long presidential race. But Mr. Obama is well aware of the serious criticisms he engenders, including the charge that he is conciliatory to a fault. He argues that he is “not interested in just splitting the difference” when he habitually seeks a consensus on tough issues. “There are some times where we need to be less bipartisan,” he says. “I’m not interested in cheap bipartisanship. We should have been less bipartisan in asking tough questions about entering into this Iraq war.”

    He has introduced his own end-the-war plan that goes beyond a split-the-difference condemnation of the current escalation. His bill sets a beginning (May) and an end (March 31, 2008) for the phased withdrawal of combat troops, along with certain caveats to allow American military flexibility as “a big, difficult, messy situation” plays out during the endgame. Unlike the more timid Senate war critics, including Hillary Clinton, Mr. Obama has no qualms about embracing a plan with what he unabashedly labels “a timeline.”

    But he has no messianic pretensions and is enough of a realist to own up to the fact that his proposal has no present chance of becoming law. Nor do any of the other end-the-war plans offered by Congressional Democrats — some overlapping his, some calling for a faster exit than his. If a nonbinding resolution expressing mild criticism of President Bush’s policy can’t even come to a vote in the Senate, legislation demanding actual action is a nonstarter. All the Democrats’ parrying about troop caps, timelines, benchmarks, the cutting off of war funding, whatever, is academic except as an index to the postures being struck by the various presidential hopefuls as they compete for their party’s base. There simply aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to force the hand of a president who, in Mr. Obama’s words, “is hellbent on doing what he’s been doing for the last four years.”

    Unless, of course, Republicans join in. The real point of every Iraq proposal, Mr. Obama observes, is to crank up the political heat until “enough pressure builds within the Republican Party that they essentially revolt.” He argues that last week’s refusal to act on a nonbinding resolution revealed just how quickly that pressure is building. If the resolution didn’t matter, he asks, “why were they going through so many hoops to avoid the vote?” He seconds Chuck Hagel’s celebrated explosion before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when “he pointed at folks” and demanded that all 100 senators be held accountable for their votes on what Senator Hagel called “the most divisive issue in this country since Vietnam.”

    That’s why Mr. Obama is right when he says that the individual 2008 contests for the Senate and the House are at least as important as the presidential race when it comes to winding down the war: “Ultimately what’s going to make the biggest difference is the American people, particularly in swing districts and in Republican districts, sending a message to their representatives: This is intolerable to us.”

    That message was already sent by many American voters on Election Day in 2006. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who, with his Senate counterpart, Chuck Schumer, oversaw that Democratic takeover, smells the blood of more Republicans in “marginal districts” in 2008. His party is now in the hunt for fresh candidates, including veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Such is the sense of impending doom among House Republicans that their leader, John Boehner, told CNN on Jan. 23 that he could render a verdict on whether the latest Bush Iraq strategy is “working” in a mere “60 to 90 days.”

    In the Senate, even the rumor of a tough opponent is proving enough to make some incumbents flip overnight from rubber-stamp support of the White House’s war policy to criticism of the surge. Norm Coleman of Minnesota started running away from his own record the moment he saw the whites of Al Franken’s eyes. Another endangered Republican up for re-election in 2008, John Sununu of New Hampshire, literally sprinted away from the press, The Washington Post reported, rather than field questions about his vote on the nonbinding resolution last week.

    My own guess is that the Republican revolt will be hastened more by the harsh reality in Iraq than any pressure applied by Democratic maneuvers in Congress. Events are just moving too fast. While senators played their partisan games on Capitol Hill, they did so against the backdrop of chopper after chopper going down on the evening news. The juxtaposition made Washington’s aura of unreality look obscene. Senator Warner looked like such a fool voting against his own principles (“No matter how strongly I feel about my resolution,” he said, “I shall vote with my leader”) that by week’s end he abruptly released a letter asserting that he and six Republican colleagues did want a debate on an anti-surge resolution after all. (Of the seven signatories, five are up for re-election in 2008, Mr. Warner among them.)

    What anyone in Congress with half a brain knows is that the surge was sabotaged before it began. The latest National Intelligence Estimate said as much when it posited that “even if violence is diminished,” Iraq’s “absence of unifying leaders” makes political reconciliation doubtful. Not enough capable Iraqi troops are showing up and, as Gen. Peter Pace told the Senate last week, not enough armored vehicles are available to protect the new American deployments. The State Department can’t recruit enough civilian officials to manage the latest push to turn on Baghdad’s electricity and is engaged in its own sectarian hostilities with the Pentagon. Revealingly enough, the surge’s cheerleaders are already searching for post-Rumsfeld scapegoats. William Kristol attacked the new defense secretary, Robert Gates, for “letting the Joint Chiefs slow-walk the brigades in.”

    Washington’s conventional wisdom has it that the worse things go in the war, the more voters will want to stick with the tried and true: Clinton, McCain, Giuliani. But as Mr. Obama reminds us, “Nobody had better Washington résumés than Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld.” In the wake of the catastrophe they and their enablers in both parties have made, the inexperienced should have a crack at inheriting the earth, especially if they’re clean.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  13. #43

    Default

    McCain Taps Cash He Sought To Limit

    Onetime Reformer Calls on Big Donors

    By John Solomon
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Just about a year and a half ago, Sen. John McCain went to court to try to curtail the influence of a group to which A. Jerrold Perenchio gave $9 million, saying it was trying to "evade and violate" new campaign laws with voter ads ahead of the midterm elections.

    As McCain launches his own presidential campaign, however, he is counting on Perenchio, the founder of the Univision Spanish-language media empire, to raise millions of dollars as co-chairman of the Arizona Republican's national finance committee.

    In his early efforts to secure the support of the Republican establishment he has frequently bucked, McCain has embraced some of the same political-money figures, forces and tactics he pilloried during a 15-year crusade to reduce the influence of big donors, fundraisers and lobbyists in elections. That includes enlisting the support of Washington lobbyists as well as key players in the fundraising machine that helped President Bush defeat McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries.

    After enduring his own brush with scandal in the early 1990s, when he and four Senate colleagues pressured regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, chairman of a failed savings and loan association, while collecting donations and favors from him, McCain became a leader in the effort to eliminate "soft money" in elections -- large donations from corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals. In 2002, McCain joined forces with Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) to finally push through legislation ending soft money and placing strict limits on donations.

    But now the contrast between McCain the presidential candidate and McCain the reformer can be jarring. McCain's campaign says that he is still studying whether to forgo the public financing and spending limits he has long supported, but that he will not be handicapped by restrictions his competitors will not face in 2008.

    McCain the reformer worked unsuccessfully through Congress and the courts to try to stop nonprofit political groups known as 527s from using unlimited donations to run political ads and fund other activities aimed at influencing voters in the run-up to elections. He reintroduced legislation last week to end 527 donations, but there appears to be little appetite in Congress to pass it.

    McCain the candidate now expects Republicans to use the same big-money 527 groups in the 2008 elections to beat Democrats, if the groups remain legal. "The senator believes that both parties should be subjected to an even playing field. If Democratic organizations are allowed to take advantage of 527s, Republican organizations will, too," said Mark Salter, a senior McCain adviser. The senator declined to be interviewed.

    McCain the reformer relentlessly argued that six- and seven-figure "soft money" checks that corporations, wealthy individuals and unions were giving to political parties to influence elections were corrupting American politics. "The voices of average Americans have been drowned out by the deafening racket of campaign cash," he warned just a few years ago.

    McCain the candidate has enlisted some of the same GOP fundraising giants who created and flourished in the soft-money system, including Bush's fundraising "Pioneers" and "Rangers," who earned their designations by raising at least $100,000 or $200,000 for his campaigns.

    At least six of McCain's first eight national finance co-chairmen have given or raised large donations for political parties or 527 groups, campaign and IRS records show. In all, the finance co-chairs have given at least $13.5 million in soft money and 527 donations since the 1998 election.

    They include former Bush moneymen such as lobbyist Thomas G. Loeffler and financier Donald Bren, whose personal and corporate donations total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each in recent elections.

    In key states, McCain has enlisted the likes of New York financier Henry Kravis, one of the GOP's largest donors over the past two decades, and Texas energy executive Robert A. Mosbacher, the architect of the Republicans' "Team 100" fundraising machine that helped make soft money a staple of politics by raising $20 million in large donations to help Bush's father win the presidency in 1988.

    The big moneymen gravitating to McCain are politically pragmatic. They may not always agree with him, but they say they admire the Arizona senator for his work on campaign finance reform, his Vietnam War record, his support of Bush on Iraq and his recent campaigning for GOP candidates.

    "He did things for our country that very few people I know would have had the courage to do," said Brian Ballard, a Florida lobbyist and longtime fundraiser for former Florida governor Jeb Bush who signed on this month to raise money for McCain.

    Ballard said most of the big-money players he knows are not fazed by McCain's attacks on the political-money and lobbying systems, calling it more of an issue for consultants who make their living off big donations.

    "I myself don't mind him calling out lobbyists when they've done something bad," Ballard said.

    Lobbyists have been a favorite target of McCain the reformer, who proposed legislation requiring so-called grass-roots groups that organize average citizens into lobbying forces to disclose their financial backers.

    But McCain the candidate switched positions and last month voted against that disclosure requirement after influential GOP groups such as Focus on the Family and National Right to Life strongly opposed the idea. McCain also hired as his campaign manager one of the grass-roots-lobbying industry's key consultants, Bush strategist Terry Nelson.

    "When the senator heard from legitimate public-interest organizations in January of last year that a provision in the legislation would unfairly penalize them for Jack Abramoff's behavior, he agreed and withdrew his support for the provision at that time," Salter explained, referring to the lobbyist in prison for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy.

    In December, Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.), a darling of GOP conservatives and lobbyists, acted as a surrogate for McCain at a fundraising meeting with a group of lobbyists at a Capitol Hill hotel. McCain's political action committee has collected donations -- capped at $5,000 -- from several big-name lobbyists, including Loeffler and fellow Bush fundraiser Wayne Berman, whose blue-chip clients frequently have issues pending before Congress and the White House.

    "Both Wayne Berman and Tom Loeffler are longtime supporters of the Republican Party, President Bush and Senator McCain," Salter said. "Senator McCain is pleased to have their support."

    Ed Rogers, one of Washington's most influential GOP lobbyists and strategists, said the embrace of McCain is not surprising. "Lobbyists are the ultimate pragmatists, and they deal with the world as is," said Rogers, who last year gave $5,000 to McCain's political action committee, though he says he has not yet endorsed a candidate.

    Perenchio, now a member of McCain's finance committee, funneled more than $1.4 million in soft money to Republican causes in the 1998, 2000 and 2002 election campaigns, often in amounts McCain used to criticize. For one GOP fundraising dinner in the spring of 2001, for example, he donated $250,000. Perenchio has also been a major donor to the 527 groups formed to exploit a loophole in the legislation sponsored by McCain and Feingold.

    Taking their name from a little-known provision of the IRS tax code, the groups began raising large donations -- some in the millions of dollars -- and running ads and funding other activities designed to influence the 2004 presidential election. Federal election regulators have refused to rein in the groups and their donations in the past two elections.

    Perenchio gave $4 million to a pro-Republican 527 group called Progress for America, which helped Bush in the 2004 campaign. In the 2006 congressional races, Perenchio gave $5 million more to the same group.

    In the summer of 2005, McCain's allies in the reform movement went to court seeking to force the Federal Election Commission to regulate the 527 groups and make them abide by the same donation limits as other political committees.

    In a friend-of-the-court brief, McCain and Feingold specifically cited Progress for America as an example of what was wrong with 527 groups. The court filing cited one of the group's pro-Bush commercials -- which starred a 16-year-old whose mother was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks -- to illustrate the impact large donations had on the election. Perenchio was not mentioned.

    "The deployment of section 527 groups as the new vehicle for using soft money to conduct political activities to influence federal elections is simply the latest chapter in a long history of efforts to evade and violate the federal campaign finance laws," the McCain court filing stated. "Sadly, it is another chapter in the FEC's failure to enforce the campaign finance laws."

    Perenchio declined to be interviewed. Salter said Perenchio's support of McCain "pre-dates the existence of 527s. Perenchio served on Senator McCain's fundraising committee in 2000, and the senator is pleased to have his continued support."

    That support has come in a number of ways. Tax records show that Perenchio's Chartwell Foundation donated $100,000 on March 1, 2002, to the Reform Institute, a nonprofit foundation of which McCain was co-chairman and which was advocating the end of big political donations.

    At the time, McCain was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the broadcast industry, and Univision had numerous issues pending before the government. Cablevision, another broadcaster, also donated $200,000 to the McCain foundation around the same time the senator took action in Congress favorable to that company.

    McCain's allies in the campaign finance reform movement seem resigned to the fact that he will not abide by many of the principles he advocated for a decade as a reformer, including public financing and its associated spending and fundraising limits.

    "Certainly we are disappointed that he has decided not to take the lead in fixing the presidential-financing system he is competing in," said Mary Boyle of Common Cause, the ethics watchdog that cheered McCain's reform efforts for years. "But it is understandable he is opting out.

    "It is apparent to us that to run a competitive presidential campaign inside a system that is still broken, that is what he has to do," she said.

    © 2007 The Washington Post Company

  14. #44

    Default

    ^ Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite !

    Wouldn't vote for him in a million years.

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    McCain:

    A once agile brain, now desperate and losing his bearings.

    Too old. Outmoded.

    Doesn't stand a chance.

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