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Tags: Mike Huckabee

Hillary and Edwards, Starting to Square Off Over Iraq



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Edwards / HillaryThe debate about the “surge” on Capitol Hill seems surreal to many of us. I’m hearing on CNN International and the BBC that the President faces “stiff opposition” in Congress, but that stiff opposition amounts to a non-binding resolution opposing the move. Yawn. Wake me when the opponents of the war are a) actually willing to cut off funding, to take actual action to prevent the surge from occurring and b) actually discuss another course of action. If they want a withdrawal, wake me when they actually discuss the consequences of a U.S. withdrawal to the people of Iraq and the surrounding region.

 

Apparently I’m not the only one noticing a sizable gap between surge opponents’ rhetoric and their actions. John Edwards made it the centerpiece of his speech Sunday:

Forty years ago, almost to the month, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at this pulpit, in this house of God, and with the full force of his conscience, his principles and his love of peace, denounced the war in Vietnam, calling it a tragedy that threatened to drag our nation down to dust.

 

As he put it then, there comes a time when silence is a betrayal — not only of one’s personal convictions, or even of one’s country alone, but also of our deeper obligations to one another and to the brotherhood of man…

 

If you’re in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction, it is no longer enough to study your options and keep your own counsel. Silence is betrayal. Speak out, and stop this escalation now. You have the power to prohibit the president from spending any money to escalate the war – use it.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s spokesman responded, but the words were awfully mild to earn the headline, “HILL JABS AT JOHN” in the New York Post.

“In 2004, John Edwards used to constantly brag about running a positive campaign. Today, he has unfortunately chosen to open his campaign with political attacks on Democrats who are fighting the Bush administration’s Iraq policy,” said Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson.

In fact, never mind “jabs”; doesn’t this statement sound rather… whiny? Edwards’s speech was a political “attack”? Isn’t it… well, criticism? A call to action? Articulating a position, and arguing why it is better than the alternatives?

 

What kind of Nerf rules are going to be in effect for the Democratic presidential primary, if Edwards’ remarks constitute some sort of out-of-bounds infraction?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Will Obama’s Official Announcement Come on Oprah?



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Guess that Obama presidential announcement isn’t coming on Martin Luther King day after all. Nonetheless, the news is full of accounts suggesting an official announcement is not far off.

(Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King and his beliefs were considered controversial; today the man is honored as a secular saint. I wonder what controversial ideas of today will be considered settled issues, fifty years from now. Probably bilingual education. The politicians of 2057 will probably agree that it is unwise to teach children two languages simultaneously, as it will hinder children’s efforts to learn America’s dominant language, and it is better to immerse them in the common tongue spoken everywhere: Spanish.) 

Hotline looks at Obama’s team, while the Chicago Sun Times has lunch with Obama’s financial guy, Louis Susman, who was John Kerry’s national finance director. 

An interesting excerpt:

How much money did Susman raise for Kerry? A bundle: $247 million.

 

A vacuum cleaner was how someone once described him for a 2005 Tribune article, saying Susman was able to ‘’Hoover’’ money from ‘’deep pockets.’’ Another described him as that ‘’rare successful businessman who has the heart of a political operative.”

 

There is a big part of his heart that belongs to former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa), a dear friend, who is already in the running for president in 2008. But Susman has told Vilsack (and every other presidential hopeful who’s asked . . . he won’t specify whom) that he is giving his whole political heart to Obama. He calls the Illinois senator ‘’extraordinary,’’ and marvels at his trip to New Hampshire late last year. ‘’It’s unheard of what happened in New Hampshire, unheard of that people were scalping tickets to see Obama.’’

And the Chicago Tribune argues that Illinois should move up its primary to help Obama. “Root, root, root for the home candidate…”

 

UPDATE: Could Obama be announcing on Oprah on Wednesday?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Obama Announcing on Martin Luther King Day?



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An interesting, and believable rumor: That Barack Obama will announce his candidacy on Martin Luther King Day.

 

Boy, I think that timing would work. Would work really well, in fact.

Hillary Clinton announcing on Susan B. Anthony Day just wouldn’t have the same power and resonance.

The New York Times’ sources are telling a different story, however: 

Obama, Democrat of Illinois, is not likely to say whether he intends to seek the party’s presidential nomination until after President Bush’s State of the Union address on Jan. 23. As he walked out of the Capitol on a recent afternoon, Mr. Obama only smiled when asked about his timing. Then, he rushed to change the subject.

Initially, Mr. Obama said he intended to announce his decision after returning from a holiday vacation in Hawaii, where he was visiting his grandmother and other relatives. Now, several people close to the senator say, he needs a little more time to make up his mind.

In related news, Dennis Kucinich is singing for votes in New York. This is one of those moments where you just have to love the all-out wackiness of American politics.

Interestingly, Kucinich earned the following praise from Magic Johnson: “He made some great comments… I like his energy.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

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