Saturday, October 27, 2007

Giuliani, in West Texas, gets backing from Clayton Williams

Texas — Oilman and failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams said Friday that he supports GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.

Williams, who said he was influenced by Gov. Rick Perry's recent endorsement of the former New York mayor, said Giuliani is the GOP's best hope to defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

"I'm here because Giuliani fairly thoroughly represents the conservative Republican principles most Texans believe in," Williams said after a Friday fundraiser for Giuliani at Midland's Petroleum Club. "He is for limiting government, limiting taxes, more parental controls of schools, competitive schools and energy independence.

"I didn't find a single thing I disagreed with him on," he said, according to a report for Saturday editions of the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Giuliani supports legalized abortion, embryonic stem cell research and gun control.

Williams, a rancher and West Texas businessman, lost the 1990 governor's race in a campaign sunk by his gaffes. The Republican's outrageous remarks and multiple missteps propelled liberal Democrat Ann Richards to the state's top spot.

During his appearance in Midland, Giuliani called for a long-term commitment to giving Iraq a stable government, warned of military action if Iran does not relinquish nuclear ambitions and promised to cut taxes.

Giuliani was accompanied by Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams, another state official who is supporting his candidacy.

Williams said Giuliani's positions on gun control and abortion are not as extreme as Clinton's.

"I would like it to be a little stronger, but what it boils down to is that Hillary is 100 percent on the other side," he said. "When he said 'no new taxes,' that was a step forward. He is for more clean coal, nuclear power, more domestic oil and more availability to offshore oil deposits.

"I like (Mitt) Romney and (John) McCain, too. It wasn't an easy choice."

McCain Meets With Fellow POW Bud Day While in Siouxland

Forty years ago Senator John McCain was shot down over Vietnam. For the next 6 years he was a prisoner of war, tortured while being held captive.

That turning point in his life, and his time as a POW, was recalled at an event in Sioux City Friday along with a fellow POW, Air Force Colonel Bud Day.

"Many years ago on this day, I was able to intercept a surfaced air missle with my own airplane, which was no mean feat to say the least," says McCain.

"He also had a great attribute, that a senior officer looks for and that's followership, John was smarter then me, he was obviously tougher than me, but he could also follow," says Col. Day.

McCain was a 31-year-old navy pilot when his plane was hit.

He's John McCain and He Approves This Message

tgitlin's picture

Senator Straight Talk is getting a lot of mileage out of a campaign ad trashing Hillary Clinton for supporting a $1 million expenditure for a Woodstock Museum. As you may have heard, it recycles McCain's laugh line from last week's debate event:

Now my friends, I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time--

"referring," in the words of an AP reporter, "to being held prisoner in North Vietnam" at the time of the Woodstock festival of 1969.

Behind McCain's last-minute bid for attention in his not-good-enough campaign is, of course, the enduring stab-in-the-back theme on which I wrote in The New Republic (Oct. 8). Expect to hear more, a lot more, about stabs in the back in the coming months. I guess we'll have to wait till the next century for a presidential campaign (or am I optimistic?)

Obama continues to invoke 'cousin' Dick Cheney

by John McCormick

ANKENY, Iowa – Sen. Barack Obama continues to use one of his distant relatives as a punchline on the presidential campaign trail.

Talking about the nation's addiction to oil, the Illinois Democrat told several hundred gathered at a community college this morning that part of the blame falls on Vice President Dick Cheney.

"It doesn't help when you put my cousin, Dick Cheney, in charge of energy policy," Obama said. "We've been trying to hide this for a long time, by the way. Everybody's got a black sheep in the family."

Earlier this month, Lynne Cheney, the vice president's wife, made news when she talked about the relationship with Obama, who is an eighth or ninth cousin of Cheney's.

And in an interview with CNBC this week, Cheney called the senator "Cousin Barack.''

Obama first discussed the distant relationship at length during an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Rudy strikes out with a bad pitch

The US presidential frontrunner's have lost points after blundering into the baseball world

Paul Harris in New York
Sunday October 28, 2007
The Observer

It was hailed as a great betrayal that could hamper a powerful bid for the White House. It was a policy flip-flop that alienated supporters and created enough negative headlines to make a political strategist weep.

Was it a spat about the Iraq war? Abortion? The growing crisis with Iran? No, some say it is more important than that. It was about baseball.

The biggest political shock in the 2008 race for the White House has centred on the Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani's unexpected confession that he is supporting the Boston Red Sox in the World Series against the Colorado Rockies.

There’s been head-spinning changes on the hustings

The political world is spinning so fast these days, you’ve got to time your jump to get aboard.

I just made it.


The word out of Washington on Friday was that Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas was on the verge of endorsing former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for president.

Now I see why that would be a boon for Giuliani, who supports abortion rights and gay rights. He needs backing from a movement conservative such as Brownback to smooth over cracks in his relations with the right, where Giuliani is most vulnerable.

But what’s in it for Brownback? Backing Giuliani would set the conservative wolves a-howling back home.

Roll back the tape from just one week ago, and there’s the Kansan bowing out of the presidential race at the statehouse and telling reporters that the party won’t nominate a pro-choice Republican.

“I don’t see him winning the nomination,” Brownback said of Giuliani.

That sentiment hasn’t changed already, has it?


Stick this one in your bonnet: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will win either the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary.

Whaaaat? You’ve never heard of Huck?

Get him on your radar screen. Huckabee has supplanted John McCain as the hot GOP contender on the circuit these days.

With the Republican field remaining a jumble, look for the unexpected to trump the expected.

Now, whether Huckabee can translate an upset win in either state to the nomination is an entirely different question.


You may be one of the legions of Americans who believe that Election ’08 will produce nothing but more of the same.

If Hillary Clinton wins, Republicans will demonize her with all the old stories about Whitewater and Monica, and Rush Limbaugh will run amok.

If a Republican wins, little will be accomplished with a Congress that may well remain Democratic.

A group called Unity08 ( is billing itself as your political antidote. The group’s aim is to shake things up and use the Internet to nominate a centrist presidential ticket that will include a presidential nominee from one major party and a vice president from the other.

That may sound a little dreamy, but the movement is headed by a couple of well-respected politicos, Gerald Rafshoon, who once worked for Jimmy Carter, and GOP operative Doug Bailey, who helped found The Political Hotline.

Unity08 already has raised $1 million to begin the laborious process of getting on ballots in all 50 states.

“Basically what we’re saying is the system is broken because Republicans and Democrats don’t talk to each other, much less agree on anything,” Bailey said.

Political insiders, such as Joe Trippi — who was the brains behind Howard Dean’s innovative Internet-driven campaign in 2004 and now is working for John Edwards — already have acknowledged Unity08’s potential. Trippi has said enough money and volunteer energy exists to overcome either party establishment.

“Alarm bells should ring loud at both party headquarters” if the new online movement begins to draw a crowd, Trippi wrote in a column in London’s Guardian newspaper.

One key is making an online vote secure and accurate. Bailey said he thinks the technology exists to ensure just that.

Bipartisanship is the basis for every major advancement in American politics, Bailey said.

These days, the search for a bipartisan solution is on.


What’s up with Freedom Inc., the African-American political club in Kansas City?

First, the group signals that it will oppose the 1-cent sales-tax renewal for capital improvements. Then it reverses course.

Now, the group has yet to take a stand on the big question of whether public schools in Independence can pull out of the Kansas City School District.

At some point, the question for Freedom becomes: What is the point?

To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send e-mail to