Friday, January 11, 2008

Bill Richardson is Out

In a surprise move, Bill Richardson decided to bow out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president of the U.S. This came after he placed fourth in both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Richardson had hopes for beating out Edwards for 3rd in the Democratic primaries, but he had terrrible percentage counts. This means that his voters will likely to go Obama, giving him another slight edge, with the already mentioned Kerry endorsement. However, if Richardson decides to back another candidate, it can give them another major boost.

'Change' in the air, once again

NEW YORK - Make no mistake: "Change" is in the air, the undisputed buzzword of the turbulent 2008 campaign. Lodged squarely at the intersection of politics and marketing, the word has had an almost spellbinding power over voters in election after election.

"We're obsessed with it. We can't let it go, can we?" says Marian Salzman, chief marketing officer for advertising titan J. Walter Thompson. "It's the word of the day, minute and hour, and I don't even know what it means."

Mitt Romney insisted to voters in Iowa that he was the candidate to bring "change to Washington." Banners behind Barack Obama promised "Change We Can Believe In." John Edwards offered "the change we need" to combat corporate greed.

Unfortunately we've heard all this before. During the 2006 mid-term elections many Democratic hopefulas ran "Change" based campaigns and won, though have yet to get much done. I do realize that its tough to get anything done with George Bush at the helm, but I still am skeptical of any candidates who run a purely "change" based campaign just because of how hard it is to get any serious reform passed. Would you vote for the candidate who promised more change, or the candidate with the more realistic agenda? Based on the democrats' past failure to get anything done, would you expect that a candidate promising serious change would actually be able to get anything done if he or she was elected?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kerry endorses... Obama?

John Kerry lost the '04 Presidential Election, but maybe he will turn out to be a big infuence in this race. Not only did Kerry chose Obama over his '04 running mate, but he did so in South Carolina, home of the next primary, and also the birthplace of John Edwards. However, this might not have been a shock to Edwards, who criticized Kerry's campaign in '04. Naturally, this should give Obama some more support, but how does this affect the Clinton campaign? Can this be seen as Kerry insulting both Edwards and Clinton? CNN's article about this story, found here, says Kerry's email will send out notices to millions of Kerry supporters. Maybe this will even hurt McCain, and move more Independant voters into Obama's camp. Although I doubt it, if Edwards does feel bitter about this, he might choose Clinton over Obama, likely giving her the nomination. Any way you look at it, this can have a lot of different effects on the race.

McCain ahead in South Carolina

John McCain: 25 percent
Mike Huckabee: 18 percent
Mitt Romney: 17 percent
Fred Thompson: 9 percent
Rudy Giuliani: 5 percent
Ron Paul: 5 percent

Undecided: 20 percent

If Romney were to finish 3rd, and Guiliani 5th, would it be the virtual end for their hopes of the nomination? Or, is this another small and therefore meaningless primary, and would we have to wait until Super Tuesday for any meaningful results?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bomb threat snags Giuliani campaign stop in Florida

MELBOURNE, Florida (Reuters) - Republican Rudy Giuliani, who regularly touts his leadership of New York City during the September 11 attacks, saw his plan to jump-start his presidential campaign tripped up by a bomb threat in Florida on Wednesday.

The threat threw off his schedule and reduced the turnout for the former New York mayor's speech in Melbourne from what his campaign manager Bill McCollum said was initially expected to be "several hundred" people to about 50.

The anonymous threat was called into the headquarters of communications equipment maker Harris Corp at about the same time Giuliani's plane landed at the airport for his scheduled appearance at the company, according to Melbourne Police Commander Ron Bell.

All 500 Harris employees were evacuated and sent home while the presidential hopeful waited at the airport for police to secure a hangar as an alternative site for the event and check reporters and supporters with bomb-sniffing dogs.

From his poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, to the serious reduction in Florida's republican delegates, and now this; has Giuliani's campaign hit rock bottom?

Should criminals be out early?

This is an interesting article I found about criminals, Michael Vick, being allowing out of prison early if they complete a rehab program.;_ylt=AgF6nBE50EmxFfTG5ShQ2hD.uLYF?slug=cr-earlyvick010408&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

I find this very interesting because the main part of his sentence had nothing to do with drugs, although the article does say the length did have something to do with drugs, but I don't think a program should be able to eliminate almost 50% of his sentence. Although, as the article said, "It's just another example of big money allowing someone to get away with something the rest of society couldn't." Is this fair? Should someone be able to take a rehab course to cut out 50% of their prison sentence?

More Blog Theft

Needed for the nomination: 1191 delegates. The conventional wisdom about Romney, coming in 2nd twice and 1st once in a crowded field, seems even more bunk than it did before.

How Wrong Were the Polls?

Just had to steal this from M. Yglesias. This pokes a big hole in the "Bradley" (closest racist) effect and buttresses the female backlash against the media / Hillary's campaign was super-organized explanations.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

McCain Comeback

Even though John McCain had to split Independant votes with Obama, he managed to pull out a victory over the other Republican candidates in New Hampshire. In a state where 44% of the registered voters are Independant, Obama and McCain were supposed to have an advantage. However, Romney was the governer of Massachusetts and he campaigned heavily in New Hampshire. This was supposed to be the state neither McCain nor Romney could lose, although McCain won with about 8%. The Iowa winner dropped to number three with only 12% of the Republican votes. However, McCain also won New Hampshire when he was fighting Bush for the nomination in 2000, and he didn't manage to win. In a CNN exit poll, Romney was leading among voters who said policy was their most important reason for voting. McCain was leading among voters who said they voted more on personality. McCain also doesn't have the Independant advantage he had against Bush in this race. CNN exit polls show that McCain has about a 6% edge over Romney in both Independant, and registered Republican votes. Giuliani is battling Ron Paul for 4th places, both with 9% of the votes.

The Democrats have a verv close race between Clinton and Obama, with Clinton having a slight edge. CNN has projected that Edwards with finish in 3rd, he currently has 17% of the vote. Richardson has a dissapointing 4% of the vote. Obama hasn't been able to win with the split Independant support. With 23% of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 40% to Obama's 35%.

The most interesting that I found during this primary was that CNN exit polls show that the #1 issue to voters is the state of the economy. Iraq is in 2nd place. This hold true for BOTH parties. This is very interesting seeing as the candidates aren't paying as much attention to the economy as they should be. However, thanks to polls, I'm sure that the candidates will begin to talk about their economic plans more. I'm sure voters are looking forward to hearing their plans at end of January, during the last debates before Super Tuesday.

Clemens, Pettitte, ex-trainer McNamee asked to testify to Congress

Roger Clemens, his pal Andy Pettitte and their former trainer, Brian McNamee, were among five people asked Friday to testify before a House panel looking into the Mitchell Report on drugs in baseball, nearly three years after the same committee heard from sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.

Also invited to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Jan. 16 were ex-Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, whose allegations were central to the findings released last month by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, and former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch.

The most anticipated witness would be Clemens.

"Roger is willing to answer questions, including those posed to him while under oath," said Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin. "We hope to determine shortly if schedules and other commitments can accommodate the committee on that date."

McNamee has said he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone; Clemens has denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Although no one had agreed to show up for the hearing as of Friday, the committee's announcement listed Clemens and others under the heading, "Witnesses will include."

Said the committee's minority staff director, David Marin: "We always presume that invited witnesses will appear."

That session will take place one day after Congress is to hear testimony from Mitchell, along with baseball commissioner Bud Selig and union leader Donald Fehr.

"The original hearing was called to examine the Mitchell recommendations and findings. The committee has decided to hold a second day of hearings for the very same reason -- to invite people with varying perspectives on the Mitchell Report to shed further light on it," Marin said.

This is the group of lawmakers that convened the March 2005 hearing where McGwire refused to answer questions about whether he used steroids, repeatedly saying, "I'm not here to talk about the past." Sosa testified that day he never knowingly used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Palmeiro pointed his finger for emphasis and declared: "I have never used steroids. Period." He was suspended by baseball later that year after testing positive for a steroid.

Clemens, who ranks eighth in major league history with 354 career wins, and McNamee, a former strength coach for the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, have engaged in a public game of he-said, he-said -- although neither has spoken under oath about the matter.

"Congress is asking him to appear. In all likelihood, he will certainly appear," said Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers.

Congress has now spent several years looking into the steroid situation in baseball and I think enough is enough. Being a nation with many serious issues facing us I think Congress would be better served to focus on issues that have more of an impact on our lives. At what point do you think Congress should lay this whole investigation to rest? Should Congress even be devoting time to this issue in the first place?

Monday, January 7, 2008


This is my last post with school starting up tomorrow. I would just like to leave you with some wisdom. I do not know too many people who thought Hillary was not going to win the Election. I also know a lot of people who did not predict the Stock Market to have such a terrible start. Others speak of a recession. As the year continues, may I ask that you not only keep in mind why you are voting for a specific candidate, but that this individual will impact you greatly. It is not a time where the president does not matter, this election can make or break America for the next 10 or so years!

Obama is the target

Now that Obama has won the Iowa caucus and has had a surge in popularity in New Hampshire, he seems to be leading in the Democratic race, and the Republicans know it.
The Republican candidates have now started to include in their campaigns how and why they would beat Obama in the general election.
Romney claims he has "the experience to bring about change" and McCain claims he has experience in foreign affairs which they both attribute to their lead on Obama.
I think that it is such a huge indication of how far we actually have come as a nation for the Republican candidates to actually be claiming that their biggest competitor is an African American.
I have supported Obama for a long time, but never actually thought that he had a chance of winning this election. However, I think that the recent turn in events has allowed me to actually believe that his win is very possible and that he is a big name to watch for in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Iowa Effect...

I just came across this cartoon and thought it was amusing and fairly accurate considering all the weight that is put upon the first primaries. Although I think that it would probably be more accurate to consider the president determined after the second state at least...