Hitting the Links
"Mitt Romney stumped across Central Iowa late this week, cramming in political events as he approached the Republican straw poll scheduled for Aug. 11. At each stop, his speech doubled as a full-throated defense of the role Iowa has traditionally played in the presidential process.
"His main Republican rivals -- Rudolph W. Giuliani, Senator John McCain of Arizona and now, potentially, Fred D. Thompson -- are better known nationally. So Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is focusing on the early states in the hopes that strong performances there will help slingshot him to the front of the pack.
"He has also been trying to show that he can meet other benchmarks that speak to his electability, including winning the straw poll and demonstrating strong fund-raising numbers."
"To many labor unions and high-tech workers, the Indian giant Tata Consultancy Services is a serious threat -- a company that has helped move U.S. jobs to India while sending thousands of foreign workers on temporary visas to the United States.
"So when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) came to this struggling city to announce some good news, her choice of partners was something of a surprise.
"Joining Tata Consultancy's chief executive at a downtown hotel, Clinton announced that the company would open a software development office in Buffalo and form a research partnership with a local university. Tata told a newspaper that it might hire as many as 200 people.
"The 2003 announcement had clear benefits for the senator and the company: Tata received good press, and Clinton burnished her credentials as a champion for New York's depressed upstate region.
"But less noticed was how the event signaled that Clinton, who portrays herself as a fighter for American workers, had aligned herself with Indian American business leaders and Indian companies feared by the labor movement."
"Romney has steadily pushed to the head of the Republican pack in New Hampshire, while his major rivals have lost ground. A mid-July poll had him opening up a 15-point lead.
"Does Barack Obama have have enough experience to be president? This is the question Hillary Clinton would like to spend the next seven months debating. ...
"On one level, the dustup was just the usual campaign tit for tat, and it showed that both sides have skilled professionals on staff readying their sound bites. But beyond the nasty one-liners, there still remains the real question that neither candidate has seriously addressed: when it comes to being president, what does "experience" mean--and how important is it in picking a commander in chief?"
"Which they did, prodigiously, exchanging dozens of letters between the late summer of 1965 and the spring of 1969. Ms. Rodham's 30 dispatches are by turns angst-ridden and prosaic, glib and brooding, anguished and ebullient -- a rare unfiltered look into the head and heart of a future first lady and senator and would-be president. Their private expressiveness stands in sharp contrast to the ever-disciplined political persona she presents to the public now.
" 'Since Xmas vacation, I've gone through three and a half metamorphoses and am beginning to feel as though there is a smorgasbord of personalities spread before me,' Ms. Rodham wrote to Mr. Peavoy in April 1967. 'So far, I've used alienated academic, involved pseudo-hippie, educational and social reformer and one-half of withdrawn simplicity.'
"Befitting college students of any era, the letters are also self-absorbed and revelatory, missives from an unformed and vulnerable striver who had, in her own words, 'not yet reconciled myself to the fate of not being the star.'
" ' Sunday was lethargic from the beginning as I wallowed in a morass of general and specific dislike and pity for most people but me especially,' Ms. Rodham reported in a letter postmarked Oct. 3, 1967."
"There was something improbable about the new guy from Chicago via Honolulu and Jakarta, Indonesia, the one with the Harvard law degree and the job teaching constitutional law, turning up in Springfield, Ill., in January 1997 among the housewives, ex-mayors and occasional soybean farmer serving in the State Senate."
"From the tieless look he's adopted on the campaign trail to his Facebook-style Web page, Barack Obama, the fresh-faced first-term senator from Illinois, has cultivated the aura of youth that naturally surrounds the youngest major candidate in the presidential race. So it was hardly surprising that the 46-year-old would be the first presidential candidate onstage when College Democrats met for their national convention last week.
"...For Obama's campaign, which runs camps for young volunteers, the pitch to college students carries far greater strategic importance than simply obtaining votes from a group not known for Election Day turnout. Rather, the sense of support from the young helps Obama promote himself, even to older voters, as reflecting change and a new generation.
"...Just as his mixed-race heritage and relative newness on the national political scene signal voters that his candidacy represents change, so does his youth, and that perception is strengthened by a broader following among the young. Enthusiasm from a generation that is just coming of age fits with the message of optimism that Obama seeks to convey."
"Prospective presidential candidate Fred Thompson will have some explaining to do to Nevadans concerned about nuclear waste, if and when he visits the state.
"Like fellow Republican candidate Sen. John McCain and Democrat John Edwards, Thompson voted for the Yucca Mountain Project as a senator in 2002.
"Edwards says he has since changed his mind, while McCain remains a supporter of the proposed nuclear waste repository.
But Thompson's ties to Yucca Mountain got tighter last week when he named Spencer Abraham his campaign chairman.
"As secretary of energy in 2002, Abraham signed off on the Yucca project on Valentine's Day and recommended President Bush do the same, which he did the next day."
"No longer burdened by lots of campaign cash and staff, Sen. John McCain is stumping for votes the old-fashioned way, trying to remind voters of the maverick personality that won him fans in the 2000 presidential race.
"Instead of addressing crowds from podiums at expensive rallies, the Arizona Republican is hitting minor league ballgames, diners and house parties, which aides say are low-cost ways to let McCain talk with voters."
"Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks his mind and that is a big part of his cachet in anything-goes New York.
"But new details from a sexual harassment lawsuit he settled in 2000 and other racy comments over the years show how his blunt style could prove a liability if he runs for president as an independent.
"Before his election as mayor in 2001, Bloomberg was the target of a sexual harassment suit by a female executive who accused him of making repeated raunchy sexual comments while he was chief executive of his financial company, Bloomberg LP."
The comments to this entry are closed.