The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Sleuth

Surprise GOP Speaker at Dem Convention: Jim Leach

On the last day of campaigning before the 2002 midterm elections, President Bush visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa to show his support for Republican candidates and was joined by Iowa Rep. Jim Leach. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

By Mary Ann Akers
DENVER -- Just as the Republican Convention will showcase Sen. Joe Lieberman, Democrats have found their own former party rival to deliver a prime-time speech here at the Democratic National Convention: Jim Leach, the former GOP congressman from Iowa who has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Leach is scheduled to speak at 10 p.m. ET Monday, the opening night of the convention, according to a copy of the official lineup of convention speakers obtained by The Sleuth. He's sandwiched somewhere between Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, and Caroline Kennedy, who will be delivering a tribute to her ailing uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has brain cancer.

Leach, 65, made a surprise announcement on Aug. 12 that he was crossing party lines to endorse Obama, saying, "This is simply not a time for politics as usual." On that day, he and former GOP senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, among others, announced the formation of Republicans for Obama.

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Posted at 4:16 PM ET on Aug 24, 2008  | Category:  The Sleuth
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Leach's speech was right on the money. The Republican party has been hijacked by Right-wing extremists whose actions have caused great damage to America. He sure could work on his delivery.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM

Leach's speech was right on the money. The Republican party has been hijacked by Right-wing extremists whose actions have caused great damage to America. He sure could work on his delivery.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM

Leach's speech was right on the money. The Republican party has been hijacked by Right-wing extremists whose actions have caused great damage to America. He sure could work on his delivery.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 26, 2008 12:50 PM

Senator Leach seems willing to have an Arab for his President rather than a true American Hero.
He should get as far away for politics as possible, as he is wrong and uninformed.

Posted by: Carole | August 25, 2008 10:24 PM

First Rep. Leach, now we are waiting for an announcement from Colin Powell. The laudatory comments from Chuck Hagel and other honest Republicans about the selection of Biden over the weekend were also warmly apt.

The smart Repubs are getting behind a winner. The stupid ones are clinging to their bitter, sinking ship.

Obama '08

Posted by: delta | August 25, 2008 11:20 AM

I am very proud that some Republicans have the courage to stand up against the party and vote with there conscience. America is at an all time low an we desperately need new leadership and a new direction.

way to go Mr. Leach!

Posted by: Mike | August 24, 2008 10:58 PM

Mr Leach is correct that this is not politics as usual. The problem is that too many people are uninformed and vote against one candidate rather than voting for one. We will see this year whether we will get a competent leader or a grunt following the unsuccessful policies of the last four years.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 24, 2008 7:05 PM

Dear American Citizens and the media

Challenge to Media and Common Citizens of USA.

As a disabled American Veteran and concerned American citizen.

"We the citizens of the United States of America have the ultimate responsibility to elect the " Right Candidate with the right temperament" to lead our nation'

Our nation is and will be facing many present and future critical internal and external challenges as well as opportunities to address those challenges.

In order to prevent any probable prolong recession and diminished world standing as the sole superpower in the world' Whether it is the moral, democratic, economic, military, and other issues.

I impress upon voters to vote after considering following " qualities and characteristics" of our presumptive presidential nominees.

In my firm professional opinion that the media should help the common voter to explore and discuss following attributes of Hon. Senator McCain and Obama:

1. Calm, cool, and collected " temper " [ Presidential Temperament ].
2. Sound and sustained "Judgment and Caliber".
3. "Thought-fullness and togetherness" of purpose and positions.
4. Minimum "ex-poser and exploitation" around "Washington and Washington insiders [Accept Senator BIDEN]".
5. Renewed " Vigor and Vision " for our Great-grand Nation.
6. Foreign policy based on " American Values, Virtuous, Vastness".
7. The campaign based of facts and free of fiction, deception, seduction, and attacks.

I plead to common voter to stay informed, stay involved, and stay engaged.

Do not allow some partisan media, pundits, pollsters, and perpetual political opinion makers effect your vote in the wrong direction.

Please do not be deceived and duped by "Psychological Terrorism" that is being directed at you without your consent and awareness.

Long live U.S.A and its diverse but democratic people.

Col. A.M. Khajawall [Ret] MD., Colonel, USAR / MC Combat Stress Control[Ret], Disabled American Veteran and Iraq Freedom team.

Posted by: COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret] | August 24, 2008 5:24 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2008 5:14 PM

John McCain's Radio Address today

Good morning, this is John McCain, speaking to you at the end of an eventful week in the presidential campaign. All the talk today is about my opponent's selection of his running mate. To his new running mate, my congratulations and I'll get back to you real soon on your debating opponent.

The week began with a debate of sorts between Senator Obama and me at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In case you missed it, the discussion yielded the line of the week, and maybe even of the campaign, when Pastor Rick Warren asked my opponent a very serious question. He wanted to know at what point, in my opponent's view, does a baby have human rights? Senator Obama thought about it for a moment, and came back with the reply that the question was, quote, "above my pay grade."

Here was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, asked for his position on one of the central moral and legal questions of our time, and this was the best he could offer: It's above his pay grade. He went on to assure his interviewer that there is a, quote, "moral and ethical element to this issue." Americans expect more of their leaders.

There seems to be a pattern here in my opponent's approach to many hard issues. Whether it's the surge in Iraq that has brought us near to victory, or the issue of campaign reform, or the question of offshore drilling, Senator Obama's speeches can be impressive. But when it's time for straight answers, clear conviction, and decisive action, suddenly all of these responsibilities are - well, as he puts it, "above my pay grade." As mottos of leadership go, it doesn't exactly have the ring of "the buck stops here."

Often, too, Senator Obama's carefully hedged answers obscure more than they explain, and this was the case in his conversation with Rick Warren. Listening to my opponent at Saddleback, you would never know that this is a politician who long since left behind any middle ground on the abortion issue. He is against parental notification laws, and against restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions. In the Illinois Senate, a bipartisan majority passed legislation to prevent the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion. Senator Obama opposed that bill, voting against it in committee and voting "present" on the Senate floor.

In 2002, Congress unanimously passed a federal law to require medical care for babies who survive abortions - living, breathing babies whom Senator Obama described as, quote, "previable." This merciful law was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Illinois had a version of the same law, and Barack Obama voted against it.

At Saddleback, he assured a reporter that he'd have voted "yes" on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Even though the language of both the state and federal bills was identical, Senator Obama said people were, quote, "lying" about his record. When that record was later produced, he dropped the subject but didn't withdraw the slander. And now even Senator Obama's campaign has conceded that his claims and accusations were false.

For a man who talks so often about "hope," Senator Obama doesn't offer much of it in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America. His extreme advocacy in favor of partial birth abortion and his refusal to provide medical care for babies surviving abortion should be of grave concern to reasonable people of goodwill on both sides of this issue. There is a growing consensus in America that we need to overcome narrow partisanship on this issue for both women in need and the unborn. We need more of the compassion and moral idealism that my opponent's own party, at its best, once stood for. No one is above the law, and no one is beneath its protection.

Upholding these principles, and bringing Americans together on the side of life, is the work of leadership. And I can assure you that if I am president, advancing the cause of life will not be above my pay grade. Thanks for listening.

John McCain, a U.S. Senator from Arizona, is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Posted by: Scott | August 24, 2008 4:58 PM

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