Wednesday, November 14, 2007

McCain Answered Woman Who Rapped Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful John McCain says he respects Hillary Rodham Clinton and that he said as much when a woman used the word "bitch" to describe her.

"How do we beat the bitch?" the woman asked Monday at a McCain event in South Carolina.

McCain laughed along with the crowd as he said, "May I give the translation?"

"That's an excellent question," he added. "I respect Senator Clinton. I respect anyone who gets the nomination of the Democratic Party."

On Tuesday, CNN's Rick Sanchez raised the question of whether McCain should have admonished the woman, and McCain's campaign criticized that criticism on Wednesday.

"Most people who have seen it are looking at it as a real mistake on his part in terms of the way he handled it," Sanchez said on the cable network's "Out in the Open."

McCain's South Carolina campaign manager, Buzz Jacobs, said in a statement Wednesday: "It not only reflects poorly on him, but on CNN. If Mr. Sanchez had even the faintest perspective on the race for the White House, he would know that Senator McCain has expressed his utmost respect for Senator Clinton numerous times on the campaign trail, as he did at Monday's event in Hilton Head."

Hours later, the McCain campaign was using the controversy to raise money for his candidacy.

Campaign manager Rick Davis e-mailed supporters, saying, "We are asking you to help us fight Rick Sanchez and CNN and stand with John McCain. Please make your most generous contribution from $25 up to the maximum limit of $2,300 to the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton."

Giuliani hits New Hampshire television airwaves

November 14th, 2007, filed by Jeremy Pelofsky

Republican national front-runner Rudy Giuliani says he doesn’t need to win in early primary voting states like New Hampshire in order to win his party’s presidential nomination.

rtr1voxu.jpgBut neither is he conceding the states, as evidenced by his campaign’s decision to run his first television advertisement in New Hampshire.

While leading in national polls, in the early primary voting state Giuliani has trailed by double digits rival Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

As the advertisement hit the airwaves, the former New York mayor was spending the day criss crossing the Midwest campaigning in Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The New Hampshire ad touts his experience running New York City such as cutting crime rates, and makes a subtle reference to his leadership of the city during the Sept. 11 attacks.

But he also acknowledges that he isn’t perfect — perhaps trying to address criticism from some conservatives who dislike his support for abortion rights.

“I believe I’ve been tested in a way in which the American people can look to me. They’re not going to find perfection, but they’re going to find somebody who has dealt with crisis almost on a regular basis and has had results,” Giuliani says in the ad.

Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Readers say Giuliani best for business

The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

The presidential election is more than a year away, but Business Journal readers think Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani would be the best for business.

A recent poll asking readers which of eight candidates would be best for business found the former New York City mayor with 32 percent of the 220 votes. Former Massachusetts governor and GOP candidate Mitt Romney came in second at 15 percent, followed by Democratic candidate and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton at 14 percent.

At the bottom of the list, collecting a total of 18 votes, were Arizona Sen. John McCain, a GOP candidate, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, both Democrats.

Meanwhile, 16 percent voted for the option, "It doesn't matter; all politicians are the same."

Reader comments ranged from writing in former Arkansas governor and Republican Mike Huckabee to calling all candidates "brainless idiots."

Some of the comments:

  • "None of these clowns have ever held a real job, except Giuliani. How do you expect them to be good for business if they have never even run a business."
  • "I don't know who is best, but Billary Clinton is the worst."
  • "Family has great background in the business arena. Also, Romney has proven a great leader in getting 'both sides of the aisle' to cooperate."
  • "I am in health care and believe Hillary would be better for my business than these others, who seem not to care."
  • "None of the above -- it's Mike Huckabee, the only candidate to really get behind the FAIR TAX!"

New Utah Political Party Registered

Unaffiliated voter

Unaffiliated voter is a term in United States electoral politics used to describe those citizens who register to vote, but wish to remain without a party affiliation. Other terms used to describe these citizens include independent and undeclared.

There are various reasons why voters choose to remain unaffiliated. Possible reasons include:
disillusionment with the two major parties (Democratic and Republican)
to allow more freedom to vote the person, not the party affiliation with third parties which do not have a listing on voter registration cards


In recent years affiliation among the Democratic Party declined 8% from 1988 to 2004 and affiliation among the Republican Party declined 2%, unaffiliated voters increased 9%, from 16% of the electorate to 25% of the electorate.[1]. Also 41% of college undergraduates are self-identified unaffiliated voters[2].

According to a September 3, 2006 Washington Post article, A Nation of Free Agents, by Marc Ambinder:

"Independent voters comprise about 10 percent of the electorate, but the percentage of persuadable independents has shot up to about 30 percent. In the 27 states that register voters by party, self-declared independents grew from 8 percent of the registered electorate in 1987 to 24 percent in 2004, according to political analyst Rhodes Cook.

Consistently, about 30 percent of U.S. voters tell pollsters they don't belong to a party."

Thompson urges million-member ground force for military

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson spoke yesterday at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson spoke yesterday at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. (Mary Ann Chastain/Associated Press)
Email|Print| Text size + November 14, 2007

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson called yesterday for a million-member military ground force and more funding to equip and care for service members and veterans.

Thompson said he wants a military ground force of 775,000 in the Army and 225,000 Marines, 23,000 more Marines than the Pentagon is seeking.

"Some would say this plan is too much and too big," Thompson said at The Citadel, a military college. "I don't believe that's the case, not at all."

Thompson didn't say how he would pay for the increase, but added that military spending should be set at 4.5 percent of the value of the goods and services the nation creates. His campaign said that would be the equivalent of increasing military spending by as much as $150 billion a year, but that those increases would be phased in and depend on economic growth.

Rudy's got the numbers

Nobody is playing the expectations game more aggressively these days than Rudy Giuliani. Usually it's the underdog who plays this game, not the big dog. In so many ways, the 2008 cycle is different.Never has a national front-runner's campaign team argued publicly that their candidate could lose the first three contests in the nomination battle and still emerge as the winner. That, however, is what Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager, did in a conference call with reporters on Monday."Are you guys confident that you guys could perhaps go 0 in 3 out the gates and still be strong in Florida in February?" a reporter on the call asked DuHaime.
He replied, "Yes, I am confident of that."
For some time now DuHaime and other Giuliani strategists have been telling people they were pursuing a strategy unlike that used by any other candidate in recent nomination battles. This is a strategy that starts with Feb. 5, when 20 or more states will hold contests, and works backwards to the front of the calendar, rather than starting with Iowa and New Hampshire and works forward. It is also a strategy that seems on its face to prize the accumulation of delegates over momentum. For Giuliani's team, the real battle for the nomination appears to begin on Jan. 29, when Florida holds its primary, rather than on Jan. 3, when Iowa holds its caucus. DuHaime argues that Florida is the first big delegate prize of the GOP race, with 57 awarded to the winner of the state."We believe that whoever wins Florida will have a delegate count lead going into" Feb. 5, he said.DuHaime long has seen Feb. 5 as a day tailor-made for Giuliani -- a day when a number of the nation's largest states will hold primaries, including several in the former New York mayor's home region. All together, 1,038 delegates will be distributed on Feb. 5 alone. Giuliani's advisers see him as the regional favorite to rack up victories in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, which together will award more than 200 delegates on a winner-take-all basis. Add that to Florida and Giuliani would be a fifth of the way to the nomination.But there are more big prizes available that day as well, with allocation of delegates by the winner of a state's congressional districts. Those states include California, Illinois and Missouri, where Giuliani's team believes he is well positioned. There are other states with primaries that day -- Georgia, for example, where a southern candidate like Fred Thompson or Mike Huckabee, if they're viable at that point, would be favored. And some states like Utah where Mitt Romney has a clear edge. But on the whole, the Giuliani team likes the way the calendar sets up for them."[As] you start to do this as a delegate game and start to look at places where the mayor is very strong and look at where the other candidates are strong, this very much lines up very favorably right now for us," DuHaime said.But what about the early states? Veterans of past and present presidential campaigns doubt the Giuliani assertion that he can lose Iowa, lose New Hampshire and lose Michigan and win the nomination. What they know is that winning -- or losing -- early can have a profound effect on the shape of a nomination race.In 2000, George Bush saw what looked like an insurmountable lead in South Carolina evaporate overnight after McCain beat him soundly in New Hampshire. Bush won that primary but only after a monumental fight. Howard Dean, who was considered the presumptive nominee before Iowa in 2004 never recovered from his loss to John Kerry in that state."I am very skeptical they can lose two or three in a row and still be a front-runner," one strategist said in an email. "I think they are delusional. Yes this year is different with no logical conservative being embraced by both sides of the movement, but this is where a real campaign strategy and a little luck will pick the winner."Terry Nelson, who was political director for the Bush reelection campaign and for a time John McCain's campaign manager, said in an email Tuesday, "I do think the calendar has changed things, but that doesn't mean that the fundamental physics have been changed. Winning provides momentum. Momentum means money. And you just can't play on Feb. 5 if you don't have cash."
When I asked John Weaver, who was McCain's chief strategist, whether Giuliani's advisers were right about winning the nomination while losing the early states, he emailed back this reply: "They don't know. They hope so, I suppose. If one candidate won those three, I would say no. If it became a pile up with Romney winning one, McCain one, for example, then maybe it would be such a jumble the momentum rules wouldn't apply. But I wouldn't count on it."It's doubtful Giuliani's advisers are counting on it either. What their conference call did was attempt to build expectations for Giuliani's rivals in the early states while putting them as low as possible for the former mayor. What has been clear for some time, however, is that their strategy also aims to spring a surprise early to blunt the momentum of Giuliani's main rivals and establish him early as the one to beat.Given the fluidity of the races in Iowa and New Hampshire, that may be a shrewd strategy. Romney leads the polls in both those states. But in Iowa, Huckabee is coming on strong. Thompson has been unimpressive so far but on Tuesday got the National Right to Life Committee endorsement and has started TV ads in Iowa. In New Hampshire, McCain and Giuliani have clear strength and could cause Romney problems there.Giuliani has spent far less time in Iowa and New Hampshire than Romney and has done no television advertising. But he presumably has plenty of money to run a late blitz in those states and he has been sending direct mail pieces for some time to voters in both states. He may be less visible but he is playing seriously -- and his advisers believe he can actually win New Hampshire.What they're hoping is that, though they tout him as the national front-runner, any early victory will be treated as exceeding expectations, rather than merely meeting them. If they're clever enough to pull that off, Giuliani's Feb. 5 strategy will look brilliant. But if one of his rivals -- and Romney is right now best positioned for this -- wins the first three, the Republican race won't look like it does today. That's when DuHaime's theory will be put to the test.
--Dan Balz