Thursday, November 01, 2007
November 1, 2007, 3:24 PM
McCain Defeats Clinton? Maybe Not Quite Yet
Posted by James M Klatell
Supporters of Sen. John McCain got a Halloween treat in their inboxes: Their candidate has already won the White House!
Last night the McCain camp shot out a newspaper-themed E-mail with the subject "McCain Beats Clinton." Clicking on the link brings you to a page on the campaign Web site that has (what the campaign hopes will be) the front page from Nov. 5, 2008.
"Republican Senator John McCain was elected president last evening, defeating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic nominee," the story reads.
That's a pretty confident claim from a candidate who ran third in the latest CBS News poll – 11 points behind former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and 3 points behind former Senator Fred Thompson.
Not to mention that Clinton hasn't quite wrapped up the Democratic race yet either.
But team McCain fires its salvo directly at the former First Lady, not even mentioning other Republicans like Giuliani, Thompson or Mitt Romney – let alone Democrats Sen. Barack Obama or former Sen. John Edwards.
McCain's team credits the four-term senator's hypothetical win to sticking to the message of "reforming the culture of Washington and vigorously prosecuting the war on terror."
The Web page claims that "Political experts expressed surprise that McCain was able to wrest the mantle of change away from Clinton, given that she represented the party out of power which normally lays claim to being the agent of change."
It's the second time in recent weeks McCain has taken aim at Clinton. His campaign has released two ads criticizing Clinton's proposal for a Woodstock museum as wasteful spending.
The Web page doesn't try to look like a real story, and it asks supporters to "be a part of writing history" by donating to the campaign.
And, what faux story would be complete without a quote from a faux pollster? "Lawrence Smith" told the McCain camp, "I'm not sure any other Republican could have won these voters."
Would that be the same pollster Lawrence Smith from 1947's 'Magic Town'?
Smith, a down-on-his-luck pollster played by Jimmy Stewart, finds the perfect small town with all-American townsfolk whose beliefs exactly mirror American opinions. Not a bad person to get an endorsement from.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 5:23 PM
Obama would engage Iran if elected, he says
president, Senator Barack Obama would meet with Iran's leaders and offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek "regime change" if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues.
In an hour-long interview on Wednesday, Obama made clear that forging a new relationship with Iran would be a major element of a broad effort to stabilize Iraq. And he vowed to engage in "aggressive personal diplomacy" with Iran and other regional powers as he withdrew American combat forces in Iraq.
Obama said that Iran had been "acting irresponsibly" by supporting Shiite militant groups in Iraq. He also stressed that Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program and its support for "terrorist activities" were serious concerns and that "we expect them to desist from those actions."
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 5:21 PM
Carla Marinucci: Jeri Thompson's energy provides a jolt for her husband's campaign
So how much is Jeri Thompson, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson, really involved in his 2008 White House campaign?
Though she protested at Maria Shriver's women's conference last week that she is really not involved and mostly into the mom thing with her young children, it was clear in the Golden State this week that Jeri Thompson -- a former political consultant -- is front and center, literally, at her husband's press events in Sacramento and San Francisco, where she sat and observed it all.
In Sacramento, Mrs. Thompson took to the hallways before the event, armed with a big smile and a firm handshake, gamely introducing herself, energetically circulating among the crowd of conservative legislators who had endorsed her husband -- such as state Sen. Tom McClintock, Sen. Jim Battin and Assemblyman Chuck Devore.
Most of the group, including conservative leader McClintock, had never met Thompson or his wife until this week. But she was gathering information about them from Republican insiders.
"Everyone we talked to, coast to coast, ... (TV host) John McLaughlin, (Wall Street Journal editorial writer) John Fund ... is so excited for you all," she told the legislators before the press conference. "I got an immediate e-mail saying this is an amazing group of people, this is great news, a great coup."
Mrs. Thompson told them she'd been racking up the frequent flyer miles in the campaign, saying, "It's that Johnny Cash line, 'I've been everywhere, man.' I'm like, me too."
Her observation: "I see all these red state people in the blue states."
McClintock nodded, adding California is "a blue state, but you scratch the surface, it's still Reagan country."
"We think so, too," Mrs. Thompson said.
But the Thompson visit, however short, underscored some of her candidate husband's problems: especially the appearance that he needs a double shot of caffeine, and either he or his campaign is still not confident that he is comfortable with the media.
Fred Thompson limited access to short press conferences and turned away most TV interviews. For the second time in a state visit, the only outlet given access to him for any extended period of time was Flashreport.org, a Republican Web site.
The former Tennessee senator made news, some of it head-scratching to California Republicans, starting with his acknowledgement that he did not care to pursue the endorsement of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who enjoys support of upwards of 60 percent of state voters.
"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to not focus on the most popular elected statewide official in all of California -- and lead with (conservative McClintock) who has lost four statewide elections," said one senior GOP strategist who spoke not for attribution.
Adam Mendelsohn, the communications director for the governor, said only that "it is important that Republican candidates understand what matters to California Republicans -- as much as they try to communicate to Iowa Republicans. And that if you are serious about winning in California, the message to the most-arch conservative Iowa Republican doesn't resonate here."
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 5:20 PM
You've Got Mail From Sen. Chris Dodd
Chris Dodd may not be breaking fundraising records, but he gets points for fundraising creativity. His latest invention: the faux internal e-mail.
The Connecticut Democrat and long-shot '08 candidate has found his primary niche as a sort of liberal elder statesman, a powerful Banking Committee chairman with an anti-establishment streak. Good timing: many Democrats are furious that control of Congress has not brought restrictions on President Bush, especially related to the Iraq war and civil liberties.
Dodd voted to authorize the Iraq invasion; now he's a staunch opponent. He vowed to stage a one-man filibuster against warrantless wiretapping legislation, if it reaches the Senate floor. Earlier this week, he was the first Democratic presidential candidate in the Senate to announce he would reject Michael Mukasey's confirmation as attorney general.
The month of buzz was capped by a solid debate performance Tuesday night. Dodd finally got some air time, and he used it to maximum effect, joining Barack Obama and John Edwards in challenging the electability of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
When the inevitable "Chris Dodd" e-mail arrived today in supporters' inboxes, the subject line read "Fw: Re: Update?" Dodd likes the casual approach, having first tried it on Sept. 27, with a pitch shipped directly from the candidate's Blackberry. That subject line read "Real Quick." The salutation: "Hey."
Other candidates, including Obama, have since mimicked the first-name, just-between-us style. Rather than a "rigid ask," campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said the idea is to casually solicit friends. Hence the odd $27 figure referenced below. In the Sept. 27 e-mail, Dodd asked for $23.
So here's a quick note from Chris...
Dear Friend --
I only have a few moments on my way back up to New Hampshire. I asked my Campaign Manager for an update on what we accomplished online during the month of October, and I was so pleased with her response I wanted to make sure you saw the email chain.
So, it might be one day removed from October, but if you chipped in $27 right now we can pass another campaign in this important indicator of support.
You can contribute here:
I'll be in touch,
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 5:19 PM