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Hillary Clinton announces Presidential Run

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Kristina
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« on: January 21, 2007, 04:22:57 am »

Clinton: 'I'm in to win' White House By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 16 minutes ago
 


NEW YORK - Democratic Sen.        Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a trailblazing campaign for the White House on Saturday, a former first lady turned political powerhouse intent on becoming the first female president. "I'm in, and I'm in to win," she said.

In a videotaped message posted on her Web site, Clinton said she was eager to start a dialogue with voters about challenges she hoped to tackle as president — affordable health care, deficit reduction and bringing the "right" end to the        Iraq war.

"I'm not just starting a campaign, though, I'm beginning a conversation with you, with America," she said. "Let's talk. Let's chat. The conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don't you think?"

Clinton's announcement, while widely anticipated, was nonetheless historic in a fast-developing campaign that has already seen the emergence of a formidable black contender, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois.

In an instant, Clinton became the most credible female candidate ever to seek the presidency and the first presidential spouse to attempt to return to the White House in her own right. Her husband, Bill, served two terms as president from 1993 to 2001.

"I am one of the millions of women who have waited all their lives to see the first woman sworn in as president of the United States — and now we have our best opportunity to see that dream fulfilled," said Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY's list, which raises money for Democratic women who run for office.

With her immense star power, vast network of supporters and donors and seasoned team of political advisers, the 59-year-old Clinton long has topped every national poll of potential Democratic contenders.

But since joining the field, Obama has secured the backing of a number of prominent fundraisers, including billionaire philanthropist George Soros, stepping up the pressure on Clinton to disclose her plans.

Her controversial tenure as first lady left her a deeply polarizing figure among voters, leading many Democrats to doubt Clinton's viability in a general election.

In a detailed statement posted on her Web site, Clinton sought to acknowledge and bat away such doubts.

"I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine," she wrote. "After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate and how to beat them."

Recently, Clinton has clashed with many in her own party over the Iraq war.

Clinton supported the 2002 resolution authorizing military intervention in Iraq. She has refused to recant her vote or call for a deadline for the removal of troops. She has announced her opposition to        President Bush's troop increase in Iraq and has introduced legislation capping troop levels.

"A woman candidate could find it easier to run in peacetime, rather than wartime, but Senator Clinton's tried to position herself as a serious person on national security," said Andrew Polsky, a presidential historian at Hunter College. "But that means she's staked out difficult position on the war that won't make it easy for her to get the Democratic nomination."

With a $14 million campaign treasury, Clinton starts with an impressive fundraising advantage over the rest of the Democratic field. But Obama and others have started to secure fundraising commitments from New York, California and other deep-pocketed, Clinton-friendly areas.

Her creation of a presidential exploratory committee, announced Saturday, allows her to raise money for the campaign; she already has lined up campaign staff.

In tone and substance, Clinton's videotaped announcement recalled her first Senate race in New York in 2000, where she conducted a "listening tour" of the state's 62 counties before formally entering the contest.

She promised a three-day series of Web chats with voters beginning Monday and prepared a campaign swing late this coming week through the early voting state of Iowa, while a visit to New Hampshire was in the works.

On Sunday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was also set to enter the Democratic field; if elected, he would be the first Hispanic president.

For the short term at least, the outsized candidacies of Clinton and Obama were expected to soak up the lion's share of attention.

Obama, who launched his own presidential committee on Tuesday, praised Clinton as a friend and colleague.

"I welcome her and all the candidates, not as competitors, but as allies in the work of getting our country back on track," he said in a statement.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd did not comment specifically on Clinton's announcement, but said: "I'm not one for exploratory committees. You're in or you're not."

Other Democratic contenders include former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack; Ohio Rep.        Dennis Kucinich and former North Carolina Sen.        John Edwards, the party's 2004 vice-presidential nominee. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has said he will run and planned to formalize his intentions soon. Massachusetts Sen.        John Kerry, the party's 2004 standard bearer, is also contemplating another run.

An influential player in her husband's political career in Arkansas,        Hillary Clinton leapt to the national scene during the 1992 presidential campaign when husband and wife fought to survive the scandal over Gennifer Flowers' allegations of a lengthy affair with        Bill Clinton when he was the state's governor.

The Clintons appeared together on CBS' "60 Minutes" to talk about their marriage — Hillary Clinton's first famous "Stand by Your Man" moment.

As first lady, Clinton headed up a disastrous first-term effort to overhaul the health care insurance system. There was more controversy as the couple battled allegations of impropriety over land deals and fundraising, missing records from her former Arkansas law firm and even her quick and hefty profits from an investment in cattle futures.

There was no letup in the second term. The president found himself denying — then admitting — having a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. As he battled impeachment and possible removal from office, his wife's poll numbers rose.

Her own political career began to take shape in late 1998 when New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate seat he had held since 1976.

The campaign trail was not always friendly. For almost every cheer, there was a shouted "Go home, Hillary!" and the emerging Republican theme that carpetbagger Clinton simply wanted to use New York as a launching pad for a later presidential run.

___

Associated Press Writer Marc Humbert contributed to this report from Albany, N.Y.

___

On the Net:

Hillary Rodham Clinton site: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/

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Kristina
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 04:25:34 am »

Republican Sen. Brownback enters presidential race By Carey Gillam
Sat Jan 20, 3:00 PM ET
 


TOPEKA, Kansas (Reuters) - Republican Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record) of Kansas, a favorite of religious and social conservatives, formally announced his bid for the White House on Saturday, pledging to keep God in the government.

Brownback, a two-term Senate veteran and staunch opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage, told a cheering crowd of about 800 supporters that he would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency for 2008 because he wanted to renew "the family and the culture."

Brownback set out a partial list of goals that include energy independence, an alternative flat tax, an improved health care system, protecting marriage and opposing abortion.

"We will achieve these goals, not through government action, but by tapping into our innate goodness as a society and working together," said Brownback. "A goodness from God that demands our vigilant action."

Brownback's bid is seen as a long shot, overshadowed by Republican contenders Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona, former New York        Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. His announcement of a White House run also came the same day as New York Democratic Sen.        Hillary Clinton's, which dominated media attention.

But Brownback's close ties to powerful religious conservatives gives him a solid base on which to build support, some political analysts say.

"NO-QUIBBLING CONSERVATIVE"

Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty said Brownback's reputation as a "no-quibbling conservative" makes him a champion for Christian activists who exert a strong influence in Republican nominating primaries and were courted heavily by        President George W. Bush in his 2004 re-election.

Brownback could show surprising strength in the primaries if he can reach more moderate voters on issues like poverty and health care, and distance himself from Bush, whose popularity has plummeted as the        Iraq war continues, Beatty said.

Indeed, Brownback is laying the foundation for a broadened platform, working to draw attention to problems in Africa, including the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, human sex trafficking and efforts to fight        AIDS and malaria.

He opposes Bush's plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, while focusing on domestic health care and tax reform issues, according to his campaign.

In Kansas, the 50-year-old Brownback, who is from the tiny farming town of Parker and served as the state's agriculture secretary, garners praise even from some Democrats for his work on international issues.

Nationally, conservatives have embraced the practicing Roman Catholic, who was raised as an evangelical Protestant, as a favorite son.

"On a host of issues ... Sam Brownback has been an obvious champion," said Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals vice president for governmental affairs. "He's won a lot of friends in our community."

But the father of five angers many with his unshakable stances against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and gay marriage and civil unions that he says are rooted in his deep faith in God and biblical teachings.

"Senator Brownback tops the list of who's who among politicians determined to interfere in Americans' personal, private medical decisions, including a woman's right to choose," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The far right depends on Brownback to lead the charge."

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Kristina
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2007, 04:29:17 am »

'Is Hillary Worth The Risk?'

By Guest: Kathy Miller on Jan 20, 07



Can the Democrats afford the risk of supporting Hillary Clinton as their nomination for President in 2008?



Hillary’s divisiveness is a huge risk to the Democratic party, in their capturing the White House in ’08. She is losing support from many of her base supporters for her voting for the war, and many on both sides find her too calculating.


Americans know that when it comes to political leadership, character counts far more than any policy position or speech.


When Hillary was running for the senate in New York, Harold Ickes and Susan Thomases commissioned a focus group made up of suburban woman to find out what they thought of Hillary. When they viewed the tapes, they became alarmed with the responses:


“Very controlling”, “self-serving”, “very cunning”, “she’s cold” were common responses they heard to describe Hillary.


She even has high negatives among Democrats who were polled in New Hampshire, with critical comments from “shrew Machiavellian, evil, power-mad, witch ,criminal, dangerous, satanic , the ultimate self-serving politician” where a few of the terms respondents used in describing Clinton by her own party.


She is also seen by many as an opportunist, who rode to power on her husband’s coattails. She abetted many years of her husband’s infidelity, and stayed with him for her own political gain.


She’s a former first lady, and one term junior senator, who accomplished very little in her six years in the senate. Her lack of real experience will clearly hinder her as a viable candidate.


Not since 1961, when John F. Kennedy won the Presidency, has any senator won a Presidential election.


Because of her weaknesses, Hillary’s strategy has always been to attack and smear her opponents.


While Hillary will have no problem raising the money for her campaign, her past and her husband’s past will come back to haunt her. While in some ways her husband will be an asset to her, he will be more of a liability to her once she runs.


Bill Clinton has done a lot of damage to the Democratic party, including losing 48 seats in the house and 8 seats in the senate, keeping Democrats out of power for 12 years. He was impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance, and has a laundry list of criminal activities, including Hillary’s role in her 2000 campaign finance fraud that is still not yet settled, and may still have to testify under oath for her accountability, for the largest campaign fraud in finance history.


Hillary’s been able to avoid scrutiny from the media, but once she announces her candidacy, she’ll be forced to answer many questions that have gone unanswered.


She will a tough time answering questions on her husband’s lack of fighting terror during his administration.


Her husband’s non response to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, including knowledge of Iraqi’s complicity in the attack, will clearly be questioned by Rudy Guiliani.


His knowledge of an Iraqi Al Qaeada connection, was used as a reason to strike Iraq in 1998, and Saddam’s failure to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. “Iraq could rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear programs in a matter of months, not years.” was the reason given for the strike, which was the same reason Bush removed Saddam Hussein from power.


“The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government—a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people,” Bill Clinton said.


Although she voted for the war in Iraq, she’ll still need to explain why she opposes it, if George Bush went into Iraq for the same reasons that her husband launched a strike on Iraq.


In 1998, Bill Clinton received a Presidential Daily Briefing entitled “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks”


And in 1999, two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, a similar a federal report warned the executive branch that Osama bin Laden’s terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building.


She’ll also have to answer for her husband’s failure to capture Bin Laden, whom a former Clinton aide said “we had eight chances at least to either nab Bin Laden or to kill him.” including an eye on target by the CIA.


She will be pressed to answer why her husband authorized Sandy Berger’s access to stealing federal documents from the national archives, which many believe the information in those files impeded the investigation of the 9-11 commission.


2008, will mark the 19th year of a Bush or Clinton in the White House. Is America ready for four or eight more years of a Clinton in the White House, and is she a candidate worth the risk to Democrats to recapture the White House?


Kathy Miller

http://newsbyus.com/more.php?id=6862_0_1_0_M


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"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."

Thomas Jefferson
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