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The Fix: July 22, 2007 - July 28, 2007

Obama vs Clinton: Day 5

The battle between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) over their respective foreign policy credentials continues to dominate the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The latest? A press conference Saturday by Clinton surrogate and former Iowa...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 28, 2007; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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The Line: Debate Provides '08 Wake-up Call

For anyone not paying attention, the 2008 pre-season is over. If anyone had any doubt about whether the presidential campaign was ramped up, the still-spurting volcano of rhetoric between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton over who is better...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 27, 2007; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (244)
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Matalin Sticking With Fred Thompson

Rumors are flying about more senior level departures from the unofficial presidential campaign of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.). Mary Matalin isn't abandoning Fred Thompson's still unofficial campaign. ("Meet the Press" via Reuters) But The Fix can knock down one...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 26, 2007; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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For Obama, Just How Critical Is a Win in N.H.?

The Fix generally casts a suspicious eye on endorsements in the presidential race (or any race for that matter). They often make for a nice press release for a campaign, but don't do much to boost a candidate's appeal to...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 26, 2007; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Wag the Blog: The Obama Conundrum

As we watched Monday night's debate, we kept a close eye on Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Obama has wowed crowds across the country and raised eye-popping amounts of cash, yet he hasn't quite lived up to the hype when it...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 26, 2007; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (186)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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A Look at Thompson's Staff

The shakeup in former Sen. Fred Thompson's staff continued today as research director-in-waiting J.T. Mastranadi submitted his resignation. Thompson communications director Linda Rozett confirmed Mastranadi's departure but offered no further comment. Mastranadi's departure comes one day after campaign manager Tom...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 25, 2007; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Mitt: A Giving Person

Everyone knows that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) is wealthy. Reports vary about the extent of that wealth but it seems to be in the $190 million to $260 million range. (The Fix would kill to be in that "range.")...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 25, 2007; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Parsing the Polls: Who Really Supports Withdrawal?

With the war in Iraq shaping up to THE issue in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, we were intrigued by a question in the new Washington Post/ABC News poll that asked people what should be done about the...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 25, 2007; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (193)
Categories:  Parsing the Polls  
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Thompson Reshuffles Staff

Before he even becomes a full-fledged candidate for president, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) is reshuffling his senior staff. Tom Collamore, who had been functioning as de facto campaign manager for Thompson's bid, has been moved into a "senior advisor"...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 24, 2007; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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A Real Challenge for McConnell?

After adding Kentucky's Senate race to our most recent Friday Line, we were interested to see how long it took national Democrats to find a candidate with the potential to make a serious run at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 24, 2007; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Senate  
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Democratic Debate: Winners and Losers

As the debate season has worn on, all 17 candidates (yes, there are 17 of them) competing for the nomination have gotten measurably better. Gone are the stumbling answers and the non sequitors and in their place are generally polished...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 24, 2007; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (331)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Democratic Debate: A Wrap Up

Experience versus change. Tonight's CNN/YouTube debate in Charleston, S.C. revolved around that axis as the eight candidates fought for the mantle of change while ensuring that viewers and voters knew that they had the experience to back up their rhetoric....

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 9:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Debate Finale

To close the debate the candidates were asked to say something they like and dislike about the candidate to their left. Dodd on Edwards:"I like John Edwards. I love his wife Elizabeth. I have nothing to say negative." Edwards on...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 9:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Clinton Defends the Clinton Dynasty

Clinton nicely handled a question about whether having either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House since 1988 was a good or a bad thing. Sen. Hillary Clinton (REUTERS/Tami Chappell) "I think it is a problem that Bush...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 9:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Obama Draws Contrasts with the Clintons

While he has avoided another direct confrontation with Clinton, Obama continues to draw contrasts between the way things were done during the 1990s under former President Bill Clinton. "We've had plans before," said Obama, adding that the only way to...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 8:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Who Came on a Private Jet?

Maybe it's The Fix's travel woes speaking but we were interested to see how many of the candidates had taken private jets to the debate. By our glance (limited, we admit), Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Biden and Dodd all raised...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 8:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Public or Private?

The candidates were just asked whether they did (or would) send their kids to public schools. Edwards noted that all four of his children went to public schools and even worked in a reference to the Emma Claire and Jack...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 8:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Richardson Would Remove All Troops in 6 Months

Richardson is doing his darndest to make sure viewers know there is a difference between himself and "the Senators" when it comes to troop withdrawals. He has twice emphasized his plan to remove ALL troops from Iraq in the next...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 8:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Questions on Gender Favor Clinton

It's working to Clinton's benefit that so many of the questions have some sort of female component. First we had a question on whether Clinton's gender was a hurdle to her winning the White House. Then on whether women should...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 8:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Obama Challenges Clinton on the War

Obama, as promised, just went on the offense against Clinton over the war. After Clinton referenced a letter sent by a Pentagon official that castigated her for asking questions about a withdrawal plan, Obama used an unrelated question to take...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
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Richardson and Clinton on Darfur

Richardson must have been reading The Fix at the break. The first question after the commercials was on Darfur and went to Richardson. "I have been to that refugee camp," said Richardson, a nice way to show viewers how engaged...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 7:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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How Are They Doing?

A quick handicapping: Edwards, Clinton and Obama have all started off well. Obama has been the fulcrum so far and his campaign must be happy. Edwards' aggressive tactics and frank talk have helped him stand out although the focus on...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 7:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Obama and Clinton Face Questions on Race and Gender

Give credit where credit is due. The questions to date have been on point. The most recent question was on whether Obama's race or Clinton's gender would be a hindrance to them being elected to the White House. Sens. Hillary...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 7:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Edwards Works Hard to Stand Out

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is coming out fighting tonight with an aggressive attempt to differentiate himself from the rest of the field. "Do you believe compromise and triangulation will bring about big change?" asked Edwards. (Triuangulation, of course, came...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 7:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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Focus on Obama

The first 15 minutes of the debate have been dominated by Obama. Not only have several questions been directed at him but he also got lucky when former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) attacked him for using bundlers to raise money...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  July 23, 2007; 7:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Who Can Best Bring About Change?

The first question of the night was on whether any of the candidates were committed to real change -- a nice start for the Obama campaign. "People have an urgent desire for change in Washington," said Obama, emphasizing that his...

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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A Debate Disclaimer

Before tonight's Democratic presidential debate gets started, a quick disclaimer: We are blogging this event in real time. The following posts are meant to provide a flavor for the proceedings but should not be treated like an official transcript. (I...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Hello From.....

WASHINGTON(!)(?). Ah the glories of airplane travel. The Fix -- along with several other reporters and interested parties -- was booked on a pre-noon flight down to lovely Charleston. Five hours of delays later on an airline that will go...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Giuliani's Ads

Even as Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign was collapsing, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was moving to answer questions about whether he could compete organizationally with former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) Over the past few weeks, it seems...

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Democrats Gather in S.C. for CNN/YouTube Debate

The Fix is en route to Charleston, S.C., today for another (!) presidential debate. This time it's the Democrats and there's a twist: Instead of a moderator asking questions, the questions will come from people across the country via Youtube....

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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