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Race for White House enters prime time

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Adrienne
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« on: September 07, 2007, 01:12:03 pm »

The race for White House enters prime time

Story Highlights
Labor Day has traditionally been kickoff for the race to the White House

Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Democrats but in tight race in Iowa

Rudy Giuliani leads Republicans, but pundits question if he will get nomination


"Law & Order" star Fred Thompson to officially enter race Thursday

Next Article in Politics »



Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director
    
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It's Labor Day, the traditional kickoff of the race for the White House. In the old days, this is when campaigning actually began. But that's been history for quite some time, and in this hectic, fast-paced 2008 campaign season, it's been full speed ahead since the beginning of the year.

 

Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Clinton campaign in Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday.

 1 of 2  But while relatively few people across the country have been paying attention to the candidates up until now, more and more Americans will begin to tune in to what's happening.

"Think of this as prime time. It's sort of been off-Broadway. Now, this is the real thing," says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

"In the past, Labor Day has been the traditional kickoff to the campaign, but the 2008 race for the White House really began the day after the 2004 presidential election," chimes in CNN Political Editor Mark Preston, adding that now "each and every campaign stop counts. Most of the candidates will be spending their time in the key early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina."

And, because of that, just about all of the presidential candidates are out on the trail this long holiday weekend, reaching out to voters and hoping for headlines.

Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton pulled out the big gun -- her husband Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States. The Clintons are teaming up Monday in Iowa and Sunday in New Hampshire for what's being billed as her fall campaign kickoff.

The former president doesn't join his wife on the campaign trail that often. He's only used for big events.

The senator from New York is also trying out some new lines. She's been touting her experience for months, but now Clinton is also emphasizing that she'll be an agent of change, and that voters don't have to choose between experience and change.

Clinton has weathered attacks by some of her Democratic rivals, who charge that she's too entrenched with the status quo in Washington, and that she's too polarizing and not a breath of fresh air that can bring change. But Clinton told New Hampshire voters Sunday that "with me you don't have to choose. I've spent my whole life fighting for change."


Clinton's been the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination since the get-go, and that's the way it remains. She leads just about all the national polls by double digits over her closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois.

But in some of the crucial early primary states, it's a closer race. Clinton, Obama and former senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards are locked in a three-way battle for the top spot in the polls in Iowa.

The Hawkeye State caucus there kicks off the delegate selection process. In New Hampshire, which holds the first primary, and South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary, Clinton remains ahead by a comfortable margin in most polls.

Of course, polls are not the end-all. Remember, four years ago at this time, Howard Dean was skyrocketing in all the national surveys. The former Vermont governor and current Democratic National Committee chairman continued to surge into the autumn and early winter before crashing and burning in Iowa and New Hampshire in January 2004.

Obama may trail Clinton in the early national and state polls, but he does lead her in another crucial barometer, campaign cash. Obama's actually out-raised the vaunted Clinton fundraising machine. Obama is also drawing large crowds out on the trail. The first term senator from Illinois is in New Hampshire today, campaigning with his family.

Edwards scored two major labor endorsements this Labor Day. Edwards interrupted a two-day swing in Iowa to appear this morning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to receive the endorsements of the United Steelworkers and the United Mine Workers of America. The two unions together represent nearly a million members.

Edwards has worked hard to be labor's best friend, and his efforts appear to be paying off. Edwards now has the endorsement of three major unions, ahead of Clinton, who has two union endorsements, and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who has one.

"Those are ground troops for Edwards to put into Iowa, some extra infusion of cash. He is hoping that, between Barack Obama, who sort of consistently runs second, and Hillary Clinton, he can find some running room," says Crowley.

Among the second-tier candidates, only Dodd has scored a major labor endorsement. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, says he's focusing almost exclusively on Iowa. That's the state where New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who's rising in the state polls, has a possible shot at cracking the first tier.

On the Republican side, the front-runner in the national polls is off the trail this Labor Day. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is not campaigning this holiday weekend, but he'll be back on the trail Tuesday.

Giuliani took over the top position in the national polls from Arizona Sen. John McCain at the beginning of the year, and he's held the top spot ever since.

In the modern primary era, the Republican candidate in the top spot the September before the primaries has won the nomination. But there are questions about whether that will hold this time around. Giuliani is a moderate Republican whose views on crucial social issues differ from conservatives who dominate the Republican primaries.

"The punditry and the reporters in general, the politicos, have always had a hard time looking at Rudy Giuliani and his moderate-to-liberal social views and seeing how he can fit into a primary where the conservatives vote. Nonetheless, the Giuliani people think that what has happened in this election cycle is that people are far more interested in security and they view that as the strong point," says Crowley.

Giuliani, of course, is remembered by most Americans for his actions at Ground Zero in New York following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

But there's also another front-runner in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination. And that would be Mitt Romney. Even though he's low in the national polls, the former Massachusetts governor has a healthy lead in the state polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Romney's also number one among Republicans when it comes to the race for campaign cash. His large war chest has allowed him to spend millions on television ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

McCain's in Iowa this weekend. He's hoping to jump-start his campaign, which has faltered in recent months. The one time GOP front-runner has sunk in the polls and run low on campaign cash, forcing him to drop campaign staff.

As McCain fights to stay relevant, Mike Huckabee is a candidate on the rise. The former Arkansas governor, thanks to his strong showing in the GOP presidential debates, as well as his strong second place finish in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll last month, is generally considered the only second tier candidate with a shot at making it into the first tier.

The big question mark is Fred Thompson. The candidate-in-waiting is finally going to formally jump into the race for the White House this week. But many question whether the former senator from Tennessee and TV and film star missed his moment.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for Thompson earlier this year. But as he's pushed back his campaign kickoff, and, thanks in part to lackluster speeches, disappointing fundraising, critical stories about his lobbying and staff shakeups, some of that excitement's disappeared.

But Thompson is second to Giuliani in most national polls and he's competitive in the polls in the crucial early primary states. Plus, surveys show that Republican voters are less enthusiastic about their current crop of candidates than Democratic voters.

"The long honeymoon is over now for Fred Thompson," says Preston. "So far, he has not had to answer tough questions on a daily basis. Now, he will."

"He gets in this week. [There are] a lot of high expectations here. And the question is, can he live up to them?" adds Crowley.

So the bruising and long pre-season is finally over. "Relations are already strained between some of the candidates, and I expect it is only going to get worse in the coming months," says Preston.

So a hot campaign will only get hotter. And now most Americans will turn their attention to the race for the White House. Stay tuned. E-mail to a friend


http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/03/election.prime.time/index.html
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Adrienne
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 01:14:33 pm »

New video slams Giuliani over 9/11 record



Giuliani is the target of a new 'online viral video campaign.'
NEW YORK (AP) – A filmmaker who was behind documentaries that bashed Rupert Murdoch and Wal-Mart is now focusing on Rudy Giuliani, creating an "online viral video campaign" about the presidential candidate timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack.

Robert Greenwald on Thursday launched the first of four short videos about Sept. 11 and the Republican former mayor. The others are planned to launch throughout the month.

The videos attack Giuliani by saying he failed to prepare New York City for a major disaster, he ignored sick ground zero workers after the terrorist attack and he profited financially from his association with the tragedy after leaving office in 2001.

"We want to use this forum to reach people and show and tell and say, 'Look here are some truths that we want you to know,"' Greenwald told The Associated Press. The video blitz has an accompanying web site, therealrudy.org.

The Giuliani campaign questioned Greenwald's motivation and timing.

"It's unfortunate that a conspiracy theorist so disconnected from reality would launch a politically motivated hit video to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," said Mike McKeon, a Giuliani spokesman.
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Adrienne
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 01:15:39 pm »

Ms. Obama gets personal about Barack




 Barack and Michelle Obama at the Iowa fair last month.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Americans historically like to know personal details about their presidential candidates, but the latest insight into Sen. Barack Obama from his wife Michelle may be a bit more insight than needed.

In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Ms. Obama details her two girls' morning ritual, a time, she says, when her husband Barack is often "snore-y and stinky."

“We have this ritual in the morning," Michelle Obama told Glamour. "They come in my bed, and Dad isn’t there — because he’s too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want to ever get into bed with him."

"But we cuddle up and we talk about everything from what is a period to the big topic of when we get a dog: what kind?” she added.

Michelle Obama often discusses more intimate details about her husband on the campaign trail — even her annoyances with the Illinois Democrat.

"There's the Barack Obama who lives in my house," she said when introducing her husband earlier this year. "That guy's not as impressive. He still has trouble … putting his socks actually in the dirty clothes, and he still doesn't do a better job than our 5-year-old daughter Sasha at making his bed, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm a little stunned at this whole Barack Obama thing."

Though some have criticized her for expressing such gripes, Ms. Obama defended the practice to Glamour.

"People have notions of what a wife’s role should be in this process, and it’s been a traditional one of blind adoration. My model is a little different—I think most real marriages are," she said.


« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 01:16:33 pm by Adrienne » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 01:17:13 pm »

Bush on Iraq: 'We're kicking ass'



 President Bush will give his progress report on Iraq next week, based on information from Gen. David Petraeus.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — When President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq last weekend, he made clear he was pleased with what he saw.

"The security situation is changing," Bush told reporters during the visit. "There's more work to be done. But reconciliation is taking place."

But according to the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia, the president gave a more-to-the-point assessment to Australia Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile.

"We're kicking ass," Bush said to Vaile Tuesday, according the Herald, after the deputy prime minister inquired about his trip to Iraq.

On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino would not confirm or deny the reported comment. (Related Video: Jack Cafferty reads your e-mails on Bush's blunt talk)

This isn't the first blunt comment Bush was overheard making to a world leader. At last year's G8 summit, a live microphone picked up the president telling then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the United Nations needs to "get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s**t."

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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 01:18:12 pm »

Edwards campaign: Clinton lacks 'populist' credentials



 Edwards' campaign manager David Bonior said Clinton "failed" at health care reform.
MCCORMICK, South Carolina (CNN) – As John Edwards and Hillary Clinton compete for major union endorsements, the two campaigns are trading barbs over which candidate is more qualified to serve American workers.

David Bonior, the former congressman and labor advocate who is now John Edwards’ campaign manager, told the South Carolina AFL-CIO annual convention Thursday that Edwards has populist credentials that Hillary Clinton lacks.

Speaking to about 60 union members here three days after Edwards picked up national endorsements from the United Mine Workers and the United Steelworkers of America, Bonior said “no presidential candidate in the history of the country” has worked harder than Edwards has for unions and striking workers.

“We’re a populist campaign,” said Bonior, who was the House Democratic whip from Michigan before he left Congress in 2003 after 26 years. “Senator Obama has a populist campaign. Senator Clinton doesn’t have a populist campaign. There’s a difference here. How much change do you want?”

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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2007, 01:19:15 pm »

Thompson: I can stop Clinton



 Fred Thompson gave his first official campaign speech Thursday in Iowa.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) — As Fred Thompson officially hits the campaign trail, he's making a pitch to conservative Republicans nervous that the 2008 presidential race could lead to a Democratic president — and even one named Clinton.

Thompson says he's the candidate who could prevent that from happening by campaigning on true conservative values.

"To my Republican friends, I point out that in 1992, we were down after a Clinton victory," Thompson said in a video announcement posted to his campaign Web site Thursday morning.

"In '94, our conservative principles led us to a comeback and majority control of the Congress. Now, you don't want to have to come back from another Clinton victory. Our country needs us to win next year, and I'm ready to lead that effort," he said.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2007, 01:20:00 pm »

Senior Thompson aide resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – As former Sen. Fred Thompson was preparing to officially launch his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a senior aide resigned from the campaign.

Mark Corallo, a veteran of the Bush administration who had served as Thompson’s primary spokesman when the Tennessee Republican began exploring a bid earlier this year, has left the campaign, Corallo and several Thompson aides told CNN.

Corallo declined to comment on his departure beyond confirming that he had indeed left the campaign. Two Thompson aides said Corallo and the campaign parted ways, because of disagreements with the new campaign management team.

He is the fourth communications staffer to leave the Thompson campaign. The former Tennessee senator also replaced his campaign manager weeks before officially announcing Wednesday that he would run for the White House.

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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 01:21:17 pm »

Senior Thompson aide resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – As former Sen. Fred Thompson was preparing to officially launch his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a senior aide resigned from the campaign.

Mark Corallo, a veteran of the Bush administration who had served as Thompson’s primary spokesman when the Tennessee Republican began exploring a bid earlier this year, has left the campaign, Corallo and several Thompson aides told CNN.

Corallo declined to comment on his departure beyond confirming that he had indeed left the campaign. Two Thompson aides said Corallo and the campaign parted ways, because of disagreements with the new campaign management team.

He is the fourth communications staffer to leave the Thompson campaign. The former Tennessee senator also replaced his campaign manager weeks before officially announcing Wednesday that he would run for the White House.

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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2007, 01:22:27 pm »

Bill Clinton 'pulling' for Craig and family

 Watch Bill Clinton discuss Sen. Larry Craig with CNN's Larry King.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Embattled Sen. Larry Craig was one of Bill Clinton's fiercest critics during the Senate’s 1999 impeachment trial, but the former president told CNN's Larry King Wednesday he takes no pleasure in the Idaho Republican's current situation and is "pulling" for Craig and his family.

"Honestly, didn't feel any great joy," Clinton said in an interview to air tonight at 9 p.m. ET. "When it was going on I knew that a lot of them were outed for hypocrisy before this."

Clinton added, "One of the things I did to get through that was to think hard about times in my past when I had judged people too harshly because they had a problem I didn't have. And I promised myself I'd never do that again, and I'm trying to keep that promise."

Craig was arrested in a restroom in June at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer in the next stall. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in August, but denies he was engaging in lewd behavior. Clinton offered a sympathetic perspective on the situation.

"I just know right now he and his family have got to be hurting and I think the rest of us should just be pulling for their personal lives and the politics of this will play itself out," he added.

Asked what he makes of people who criticize activities they do themselves, the former president said, " I think maybe it's subconscious self hatred, I don't know, maybe it’s a desire to avoid being caught, maybe its just a desire to deal with what they perceive to be the social and political realities they find themselves in."

In the wide ranging interview, Clinton also weighed in on why his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has relatively high unfavorability ratings. (Related video: Watch Bill Clinton discuss his wife's presidential bid)

"It may be she's a strong woman and the first person in her gender ever to be considered a serious presidential possibility," Clinton said of his wife, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. "But most of it frankly is she took a lot of hits, along with me, beginning in 1992 when we threatened what the wash Republican right wing thought was its permanent hold on the White House.

"From the day I took the oath I never got a honeymoon," he added. "They tried to undermine the legitimacy of my presidency and they took after her too."

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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2007, 01:23:26 pm »

Bush finds a date in Australia

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Going stag in Australia, President Bush still managed to find a date to dinner with President John Howard and his wife Wednesday.

During a photo-op right before walking into dinner, Bush made a suggestion to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"You can be my date," Bush said, to laughs.
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