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Grading the Candidates

The Fix was -- and brace yourself here -- something of a nerd in school. It's not terribly surprising then that I tend to see politics through the lens of grades.

Today we offer up our report card on the fundraising first quarters for the presidential candidates of both parties. The grades are born of a combination of raw numbers and expectations, and we're not messing with any pluses or minuses -- just straight letter grades. Not every candidate is graded as we sought to limit our evaluations to candidates with a real chance of winning the nomination. We'll update and re-publish this post whenever Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) releases his totals.

As always these grades are aimed at sparking a conversation -- not ending one -- so feel free to agree and disagree with my evaluations in the comments section below. And, always remember -- in the words of Republican cash-collector extraordinaire Jack Oliver -- that fundraising is "a marathon not a sprint." If your favorite candidate receives a low grade in this quarter he (or she) has three more this year to make up for it.

To the report card!

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.): A
Say what you will of Clinton's $26 million haul (and people have already said plenty), the reality is that no candidate had higher expectations and more to lose in the first quarter than Clinton. We know she hasn't released the breakdown of how much of that $26 million is for the primary and how much is locked away for the general election, which raises the question of whether her total is inflated with money she can't spend unless she wins the nomination. But, we also know that Clinton's $10 million transfer from her Senate account gives her a whopping $36 million in receipts for the first three months of the year -- a total no other candidate will match. Did she blow away the field? No. Did she do enough to remain the frontrunner? Yes, barring a gargantuan total from Obama.

Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.): B
Edwards was the story in the first quarter of 2003 when he wowed the political world by leading the Democratic field with $7.4 million raised. This time around he nearly doubled that total by raising $14 million and yet we are giving him a "B" rather than an "A". Why? Because even though Edwards met his expectations he faces the likely prospect of being outraised by nearly $10 million by both Clinton and Obama. Edwards' s team seems confident that $30-35 million will be enough to win the nomination and he is on pace to easily meet that goal. But with California, New York and Florida moving up their primaries and Clinton and Obama spending freely, the race could get a lot more expensive very quickly.

Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.): B
Remember these grades are a combination of actual cash collected and expectations. Throughout the last month rumors were flying that Richardson was likely to disappoint in fundraising. Well, those rumors turned out to be unfounded as Richardson raised $6 million in the quarter. Consider that Richardson hails from a donor-deficient state and spent a large portion of the first three months of the year attempting to push his agenda through the state legislature, and the number is more impressive. Any Democratic candidate not named Clinton, Obama or Edwards is operating on a different financial playing field and Richardson's strong showing keeps him firmly atop the second tier.

Sens. Joe Biden (Delaware) and Chris Dodd (Conn.): C
We decided to err on the side of caution when it came to grading Biden and Dodd. Both could have easily been dropped a letter grade for their performances -- $4 million raised for Dodd and roughly $2 million for Biden. Dodd was widely expected to place fourth behind Clinton, Obama and Edwards given his longtime connections within D.C.'s Democratic establishment and his perch as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. But, Dodd was unable to top Richardson in the three month dash for cash, which dents his chances of being the candidate best positioned to benefit from a stumble by one of the frontrunners. Dodd's saving grace is that he transferred $5 million from his Senate account to his presidential bid, which gives him total receipts of $9 million for the quarter and $7.5 million on hand.

Biden's overall take of nearly $4 million includes a hefty transfer from his Senate campaign. While Biden has sought to downplay the importance of money to the nominating process, it now sounds like wishful thinking given how far behind the frontrunners he finds himself. His campaign kept its expectations low but good spin doesn't pay for ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond. Biden is a talented communicator with a wealth of experience, but he faces a major challenge to convince donors to invest in his campaign over the next three months.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.): A
Romney's $23 million haul, which includes a $2.35 million personal donation, is the story of the first quarter. Everyone expected Romney to do well given his ties to a variety of pots of money but no one expected him to rival Clinton's total contributions for the quarter. That massive haul ensures that Romney will be this quarter's John Edwards -- a little known candidate running low in state and national polls who ensures a spot in the top tier thanks to his fundraising prowess over the first three months of the year. Need evidence? Romney made the rounds of the network morning programs today touting his cash totals.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (N.Y.): B
Giuliani's $15 million raised keeps him in the pole position for the nomination. And the $10 million he collected in March allows his campaign to argue that the campaign has momentum heading into the second quarter. For Giuliani the next three months -- ending June 30 -- are even more crucial than the first three months. He entered January with major doubts over whether he would even run. He left March fully in the race and with poll's showing him as its frontrunner. If Giuliani can't maximize his polling and the positive buzz around him between now and the end of June he will have big problems.

Sen. Sam Brownback (Kans.): C
We've been saying for months that Brownback is running a different kind of campaign than any of the top-tier candidates. Brownback has and will continue to rely on an army of volunteers to provide the manpower for his campaign. He also is focusing heavily on the Iowa caucuses (and the Ames straw poll this August) as his one chance to make the leap. With those factors in place, Brownback's $1.9 million raised -- a total that includes a $575,000 transfer from his Senate committee -- is enough to keep him in the conversation. If he can continue to raised $2 million or so a quarter, Brownback will have between $5-8 million to spend on the early days of the nomination fight. That should be enough for his longshot candidacy.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.): D
McCain's $12.5 million raised is by far the most shocking -- and disappointing -- number over the first quarter. Any time the release announcing your fundraising numbers include an acknowledgment from your campaign manager that the totals are not where the campaign would like them to be, it's a problem. For McCain, his fundraising showing is likely to be used by his rivals as further evidence that his status as the race's frontrunner is no longer operable. McCain needs to answer back quickly to quiet these whispers. And, given his success in recruiting the fundraising whales that helped bundle millions of dollars for President Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004, McCain should be able to do so. But, make no mistake: His candidacy has taken a hit with these first-quarter fundraising numbers.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.): F
The tale of Huckabee's presidential run is one of missed opportunities. Over the last six months of 2006, social conservatives seemed ready to get excited about one of their own, but Huckabee did next to nothing to build a campaign organization that could take advantage of this energy. And, by raising $500,000 over the first three months of the year, Huckabee seems to have cemented his status as an also-ran in 2008.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 3, 2007; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: California Dreaming


bill richardson is doing good i just hope he can hold on cause if he can he will have a chnace to win, however he needs to get his name out there so people know him

Posted by: american who cares | April 16, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 9, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul has not even been able to report his 1st quarter fund raising numbers yet. That campaign must have some really bad accounting practices.

Posted by: Ricco | April 9, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Toward the Republican Candidates: From a financial standpoint, these grades are fair,however,the less known candidates like Sam Brownback have the proven track records which Romney and Guiliani's millions of dollars CANNOT buy.

Posted by: True Conservative | April 7, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I refuse to believe that you were a nerd in school. Even though I graduated years ago, I am still one, and I know that no self-respecting nerd would ever grade candidates on the basis of popularity (that is to say, in terms of how many rich friends they have). We're interested in ideas, remember?

As for the statement that "[n]ot every candidate is graded as we sought to limit our evaluations to candidates with a real chance of winning the nomination": I find it deeply disturbing that members of the media feel they have the right to decide who has a realistic chance of winning. Dark horse candidates have won before (nerds study history), and those who discount certain candidates may well find themselves surprised-- and embarrassed-- again.

Posted by: EKSwitaj | April 5, 2007 4:49 AM | Report abuse

I have all the chips. It is time for you, low money raisers, to quit and go home. Iowa will windrow what is left and send the pretenders home.

Posted by: Reece Conrad | April 4, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Chris -

Please just do away with the charade and come right out and tell us you are on Hillary's payroll.

I am so glad that I have moved out of "Rome" (a.k.a. - Washington, D.C.) and no longer subscribe to the Washington Post, rather, am reading a real paper (the New York Times) which at least is honest about being intellectual if not bent towards the left. You are doing a disservice to the legacy of Ben Bradley and the Watergate era of reporting for that paper.

Now - you must have done poorly in school if these are the grades you give the candidates.

First of all - to count money transferred from Senate or Congressional accounts should not be counted as "fundraising" for the 1st quarter as this money was not "raised" in the 1st quarter. Rather, this is "old" money from days/campaigns gone by.

Second, it is "stupefying" to think that Hillary gets an A with Romney. Romney should get an A+++ and Hillary should get a B- given that she has tapped out her donors.

Try not to be such a Roman in the future - we already get plenty of that from Nora O'Donnell and the rest of the crowd trying to cement their sinecures on T.V.

Posted by: Jonathan S. Tuttle | April 4, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

One distinction CC fails to make is that candidates like Richardson and Huckabee actually have full-time jobs that limit the time available for campaigning and fundraising.

That's unlike Romney and Guiliani. Or for that matter, the part-timers from Congress. Of course, some MA posters have indicated that Romney didn't spend much time in his state when we was Governor, and they said they were thankful for that.

Posted by: pacman | April 4, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

...and John McCain ought to be out there reminding voters that he was the only one not to roll over and play dead in front of the Bush juggernaut.

Posted by: Viejita del oeste | April 4, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

To the person who asked why is money so important:
You were being ironic, right? In 1999 the GOP didn't even run a serious primary because they were all afraid of Bush's money and name recognition. Hillary is this year's George W. Bush. We will see if the American people learned anything from 1999 -- the media certainly has not.

Posted by: Viejita del oeste | April 4, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul raised half a million in few weeks without even trying compared to Huckabee's 17 months.

Posted by: Sean Scallon | April 4, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is now pretending to be a conservative after years of governing from the left and calling conservatives "Shiites" just because they were against his tax increases.

Huckabee cannot raise money because he is a phoney.

Posted by: Razorback | April 4, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

'Gingrich: When I Said 'Language Of Living In The Ghetto,' I Meant Hebrew (Or Maybe Yiddish)

Newt Gingrich said this past weekend that the U.S. should abolish bilingual education so that people aren't speaking "the language of living in a ghetto."

But last night on Hannity & Colmes, Gingrich claimed his statement "did not refer to Spanish." Gingrich insisted, "What I meant is very clear[]," but then wouldn't say which language he was referring to.

Gingrich said, "Now, I'll let you pick -- frankly, ghetto, historically had referred as a Jewish reference originally. I did not mention Hispanics, and I certainly do not want anybody who speaks Spanish to think I'm in any way less than respectful of Spanish or any other language spoken by people who come to the United States."

This is hilarious. Newt says everyone who speaks Spanish lives in the ghetto. I'm not a fan of bilingual education, I think if people want to live here, they should learn English. But the republicans sure aren't much good at pretending they're not racist.

Posted by: drindl | April 4, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Interesting comments about Dr. Ron Paul. The thing is, I lived in TX and know that his district was gerrymandered to marginalize him...and he still won.

I guess the only thing you can go by is his voting record...Turns out he's not a politician, but a real statesman. The people of our republic need him to fight for the freedoms that no one seems to notice are quickly disappearing.

Posted by: Ray | April 4, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

'As part of the missile defense system, the Defense Department wants to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. The Bush administration claims that such facilities are necessary to create a missile "shield" capable of picking off Iranian nukes. There are a few outstanding issues: 1) The intended host countries aren't sure they want the facilities; 2) Iran doesn't yet have any missiles capable of posing a legitimate threat; 3) the proposed system scares Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently warned that it would spark an "inevitable arms race." The bigger problem is that so far, they don't actually work- having failed every single test and benchmark, in spite of more than twenty years of development and tens of billions of dollars invested.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The service bears much of the brunt of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush has asked for another $100 billion in military spending for those conflicts. Most of that money would go to Iraq, where the Pentagon estimates the cost of combat at about $2 billion a week.

Posted by: $2billion a week | April 4, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

ou'll love the book and the story of Rangel's life. And I suspect you'll have the same thought I did when you finally set the book down: How many more Charlie Rangels will be denied their shot at the American dream because Capitol Hill's corridors are now filled with corporate America's lobbyists, who are working to assure that our middle class and those who aspire to it have as little representation as possible? (Watch Lou's interview with Rep. Rangel)

Chairman Rangel and other House and Senate leaders face an early test of the Democratic Party's commitment to restoring the vigor of the world's most successful political economy. The test will come in the form of the mind-numbingly dull piece of legislation called Trade Promotion Authority, or "fast track." But there is nothing dull about the impact of the legislation, through which Congress cedes its constitutional authority on trade policymaking to the White House (as cited in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution).

Thirty-one years of consecutive trade deficits and the loss -- in just the last six years -- of millions of manufacturing and good-paying middle-class jobs to outsourcing have been the result of what I consider this unconstitutional ceding of power to the executive branch in the form of fast-track authority.

Last week, I testified to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade that our failed "free trade" of the past three decades has been the most expensive policy the U.S. government has ever pursued.

I also told the committee: "The pursuit of so-called free trade has resulted in the opening of the world's richest consumer market to foreign competitors without negotiating a reciprocal opening of world markets for U.S. goods and services. That isn't free trade by any definition, whether that of classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo or that of current propaganda ministers who use the almost Orwellian term to promote continuation of the trade policies followed for the last three decades." Extending fast-track authority assures that continuation.

I'm not alone in the view that free-trade-at-all-costs has harmed American workers. Princeton University economist and former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman Alan S. Blinder has joined Nobel laureates Paul Samuelson and Joseph Stiglitz and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as skeptics of the benefits the faith-based economists in this administration love to tout.

Blinder is now stating loudly that a new industrial revolution will put as many as 40 million American jobs at risk of being shipped out of the country in the next decade or two. Blinder has said, "Economists who insist that 'offshore outsourcing' is just a routine extension of international trade are overlooking how major a transformation it will likely bring -- and how significant the consequences could be. The governments and societies of the developed world must start preparing, and fast."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is well removed from the top tier. Top of the second tier would be a fair slot for Edwards.

"Richardson's strong showing keeps him firmly atop the second tier"

Posted by: zac | April 4, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

For a justifiable "A" Hillary Clinton would have to play in her own fundraising league. Yet, since that doesn't seem to be the case despite all her institutional advantages, I think her "aura of invincibility" is taking yet another hit.

Should Obama come into the 20 million range, then I don't see how that cannot be seen as damaging to Clinton's prospects.

Posted by: Charles | April 4, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Not a great job by Hillary. $30 million would have been an A-. $26 million is a B at best. Certainly didn't do better than the other front 3.

The real question is who holds up next quarter. Time for the candidates to get down to nuts and bolts.

Posted by: Nissl | April 4, 2007 3:09 AM | Report abuse

GREAT for bill richardson. if people look at this mans resume , he is far the best candidate for the presidency. WAKE UP EVERYBODY. YOU WANT OUR COUNTRY TO GAIN RESPECT AGAIN WORLWIDE, AND TO BRING BACK CONFIDENCE TO AMERICAN PEOPLE. SUPPORT THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB

Posted by: eric j | April 4, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, Mike. Another odd little thing that has been overlooked is the repubs had some folks in Syria this past weekend and GW made no mention of this little known fact and bashes the dems for being there. The word for that is H y p o c r i t e. Hope I spelled that correctly.

Posted by: lylepink | April 4, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at all this talk about Ron Paul. He has as much of a chance to win the nomination as Tim Kalemkarian does. He's kind of in the same league as Dennis Kucinich -- a reasonably qualified enough of a person, but appealing to a tiny segment of the electorate.

Posted by: Eric | April 3, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

We thought there was just a little irony in George W. Bush's complaining this morning that Congress left for its spring break before getting him a final version of the "emergency" supplemental spending bill for Iraq.

It turns out we weren't the only ones.

Think Progress caught the following post-press-conference commentary from CNN's Elaine Quijano: "We should mention President Bush is heading to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, tomorrow to begin his own Easter weekend break."

Maybe it's different for the president. After all, we can probably safely assume that not many of those America-hating, cut-and-running Democrat members of Congress will be out clearing brush.

Posted by: | April 3, 2007 11:32 PM

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney outperformed all other GOP presidential candidates in the raising-money race in the first quarter of 2007, and the news earned him a victory lap on the network morning shows today.

He got a nice "congratulations" from NBC's Matt Lauer, but ABC's Robin Roberts really poured on the love. The following are some of the actual questions she posed to Romney this morning:

"Now we're going to talk to the man of the morning, former Gov. Mitt Romney. We spoke from Watertown, Mass., to discuss those staggering fund-raising totals that are the talk of the town. Gov. Romney, we certainly do appreciate your time this morning. Third in the Republican polls, but you have everybody's attention this morning. So where's the money coming from, Governor?"

"You said the money is coming from all the states. The New York Times this morning is reporting that 15 percent of the money raised in your campaign is coming from the state of Utah. Many speculate that it has something to do, of course, with your being a Mormon. Does your religion factor in at all in your campaign and in your fund-raising?"

"Many are wondering if you will do -- take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate doing the same?"

"You bring up your wife and your children and being married to the same woman for over 30 years. When you say something like that, are you -- it's in such contrast, of course, with what is being said about people that you're running against who have been married multiple times, such as Mayor Giuliani and John McCain. Are you -- is your hope that people will see the contrast?"

"Your message is very strong. The Washington Times also says -- forgive me -- it's your appearance and you're right out of casting central because of your appearance in that. And they even went so far as to say that your hair is presidential. How do you respond when people talk like that?"

Posted by: | April 3, 2007 11:34 PM

The tragic emptiness

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

bush-- getting it? not even remotely possible

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, acknowledging that humans are at least partly responsible for global warming, said Tuesday that he took "very seriously" the Supreme Court's ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles as pollution.

But he attached two conditions that appeared likely to retard EPA regulation of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat at the Earth's surface: He said any regulatory program should not slow economic growth, nor should its benefits to the atmosphere be offset by mounting emissions from China, India and other growing economies.

Bush's stance sets up a potential conflict with the Democratic Congress, which has been laying the groundwork for tougher regulation of greenhouse gases.

"The president still doesn't get it," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.

She said his legislative proposal to encourage cleaner automobile fuels would actually result in greater emissions of greenhouse gases. This is because Bush has proposed a program of liquefying coal for use in automobiles -- a process that releases substantial amounts of carbon dioxide.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Monday that the EPA was required by law to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants. The administration, siding with automakers, had argued that carbon dioxide was not a pollutant as defined by the Clean Air Act, but the court held that it was merely a different kind of pollutant.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

'The Borgen Project is Ludicrous and You are a Moron'

wow! what a brilliant insight! now i can see it all so clearly!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

thanks to the zoukites, this site has has now turned into drivel.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Since when are politicians graded according to how much money they raise? Am I missing something here? What ever happened to evaluating the candidates based on their views on the issues, their intelligence, their experience, their honesty, their integrity? I've hardly heard a word about those criteria in the past few weeks. What has happened to our culture and society? What happened to the "Land of Opportunity" in which a person could go from rags to riches, from a humble log cabin to the White House? The way this political system has become, Abraham Lincoln would not have made it past County Dogcatcher. Mr. Cillizza, viewing politics through the lens of grades is fine with me. But I had hoped to see a report card that grades candidates on personal and intellectual merit, not on their ability to rake in the most millions of dollars. And we wonder why corporations rule the world!

Posted by: Diana Greene | April 3, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Where is Ron Pauls' mention? I think if people listen to his message, they would support his candidacy. He obviously needs funding, but I think his message would resonate with voters.

Posted by: Paul Supporter | April 3, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is the only democrat I will vote for! I will also be making donations to her campaign! She is the only candidate that is qualified to get the nomination and be elected President in 2008!

Posted by: Mike | April 3, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Democratic Leaders Play Good Cop, Bad Cop on Bush Iraq Policy

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

McCain takes a trip to Iraq is the most under reported story I have seen in a long time. The words he spoke defy all reason. Saying words to the effect that anyone could take a walk there in safety. We now learn that snipers were placed along his route, before he took the walk and he was protected by a hundred troops on the ground along with armed vehicles, and helicopters and gun ships in the air. About the only thing I can see for him now is when he will drop out or quit the 08 race. He has lost the support of those that believed he would speak the truth, and now by any measure he was flat out telling lies about the safety there.

Posted by: lylepink | April 3, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

richardson supposedly has 5 million on hand, which should put his numbers much closer to what the others have, making it all the more impressive.

Posted by: will c | April 3, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 3, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project is Ludicrous and You are a Moron

What you are really asking is for the American tax payer to subsidize the ENTIRE world's problems. Do the individuals at the Borgen Project ever stop to think why our defense budget is what it is today? Perhaps staving off the efforts of communism and nazism throughout the world had something to do with it you twit. Government spending solves everyone's problems eh?

It does not matter how much money we pour into developing and under developed nations so long as they struggle under dictatorships and oppression. Dumping money into the middle and far east in order to combat terrorism is a futile effort. Al Qaeda is run by a bunch of millionaires. Perhaps THEY felt economically depressed and exploited when they decided to take up arms against the west. Do you think an influx of American funds would not be labeled as an influx of American imperialism and oppression? Terrorism, much like socialism, is about control and power.

Stop embarrassing yourself for Christ's Sake.

Posted by: dmilton | April 3, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, these candidates will create a better foreign policy, especially concerning terror and poverty. Since no improvement is being made on the Iraq War, we need to spend our resources on other issues such as global poverty in order to discourage more terrorism and wars. According to the Borgen Project, in reality only .16% of our federal budget is spent on poverty reduction, the least among wealthy nations. We should let our representatives know that we want change.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse


Damn, it really cannot be so hard to do.

Posted by: roo | April 3, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of all the attention paid to national polls because
1.) national polls would only matter if we had a national primary (and in reguard to Feb. 5th, only the states holding primaries should be considered in polling covering that "national primary")
2.) They factor in "Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents." No matter how Democratic-leaning they are, independents can't vote in many states' primaries.

Better indicators are:
1) Fundraising
2) Polls of Republicans/Democrats in their parties respective primaries in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada (only for Dems), and South Carolina
3) Polls of states in the Feb. 5th primary

Posted by: J Perez | April 3, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll get you, Lib's! and your little dog, to! Te he he he he he he ...

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 3, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse


Hillary an A. Wow. You have to be kidding. With all her built in advantages she raised just a bit more then Mit and likley Obama. She came in with a great donor list and going after the low hanging fruit. Obama and Edwards will truly gain on her in Q2 and Romeny just blows them all away. When the dreak down comes back, she will have raised less for the primary battle then Obama and maybe Edwards. I would give her a B-.

By the way Chris. When you suck up to Hillary the way you you take off that awful toupe.

Speaking of Terry McAuliffe. That book is so full of lies about his life and what he did that he slandered himself in that book. Just rememebr the 1992 Harkin campaign, ran it right into the ground and somehow take credit for the 1992 Clinton/Gore victory, where you were the back up catcher in Trenton and you know it.....This is not to say that Terry is not a great fund raiser..he is..but with Mantz, Nancy and Terry on board and you do not blow the field ways with WJC and HRC, there is problems in the campaign and with the message..not with the staff...

Chris..start believing in yourself and say really what you think and bald is beautiful...

Posted by: J. P. Turtle | April 3, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm only not sure about Dodd's grade. Dodd's cash was supposed to rival Hillary's. That might've been older expectations though. I think Dodd and Biden did badly. Biden's pretty much running for Secretary of State, so a C may be fair for him. I'd give Dodd a D for poor showing, however. I'd be interested to see if Obama can rival Hillary in funds raised, or also if he does poorly. If he outraises her by a considerable margin, or maybe even simply gets within a couple million of her, it might be the beginning of the end for Hillary.

Posted by: J Perez | April 3, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Appreciate the support kingofzouk

There is a little bit of that supportive information for my stance. And your response? Yes, more factless ramblings. Please elaborate further on how the current policies residtribute wealth from the middle class to the rich? The fact that we are pilfering the rich slightly less than in previous times does not automatically insinuate that we are pilfering the middle class. Middle class tax rates have not risen. Inflation is stable. Unemployment is at record lows. And the market is at record highs. Where exactly is the middle class hurting? You cite trade deficits and the failing manufacturing sector. Those two are hand in hand as we transition to a service based economy. I can not dispute the failings of our manufacturing industy. But I can question the catalysts. People like you wish to tax and regulate business, support unions, and a minumum wage yet stand there and say we need to do something about job flight and maunfacturing. All those idealistic socialist values you support ARE the reason why jobs are leaving and manufacturing is failing. I am filled with disgust.

Bush and the Republicans are by no means conservatives in my book. But on taxation and pro-business policy they are close. Its time to open your eyes and enter the real world son. America is the wealthiest and freest country in the world for a reason. YOU and those like you are not that reason.

Posted by: dmilton | April 3, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Zouk likes to make up things that people have never said, then laugh at the nonexistent people for hypothetically saying such stupid things. At least he has a hobby.

Posted by: Blarg | April 3, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, And Bush is respected...... Te he

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 3, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

It's not surprising that McCain's fundraising is faltering. He's no longer the 2000 Straight Talk guy.

You all probably heard about his trip to Iraq where he strolled around the central market in Baghdad and later insisted the violence was getting better.

What he didn't tell you was his delegation arrived at the market with more than 100 soldiers in armored Humvees.... the equivalent of an entire company.... and attack helicopters circled overhead while soldiers redirected traffic from the area and restricted access to the Americans.... sharpshooters were posted on the roofs.

McCain's lost his political Straight Talk bearings, and his heart doesn't seem to be in the hunt.... I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to spend more time with his family.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"all i can see is his hair."

It is these kind of comments that re affirms my opinions of Romney. He seriously is the best candidate if these are best rebuttals.

Posted by: Russell | April 3, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"LAS VEGAS - Sen. Harry Reid used the dedication of a new Nevada National Guard armory Tuesday to declare the Iraq war "a failure" but insist that U.S. troops and National Guard members fighting the conflict deserve public support. "

How many sides of his mouth are there? does this make sense to even you moonbats? Please explain. he is most assuredly a ninny.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 3, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"all i can see is his hair."

It is these kind of comments that re affirms my opinions of Romney. He seriously is the best candidate if these are best rebuttals.

Posted by: Russell | April 3, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Al gore is a respected climatologist. Te he

bill clinton is a respected moralist.

hillary clinton is a respected ethicist

Vilsack is a respected fundraiser

howard dean is a respected polemist

john kerry is a respected vietnam vet

No matter how many times you chant it, it still makes one fall down laughing. good comedy here today.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 3, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Kruggman is a respected economist - hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

He has succesfully predicted 15 of the last 3 recesssions. He is a proven liar.

"Stocks surge on positive housing data By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer
35 minutes ago
"Stocks surged Tuesday on signs of resilience in the housing market and the U.S. consumer, with falling oil prices giving investors an extra reason to rally. The Dow Jones industrials gained more than 120 points.

The National Association of Realtors' index for pending sales of existing homes rose in February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.7 percent. The index is well below where it was a year ago but stronger than investors expected, reassuring them that the housing sector, while weak, is not being pummeled by the struggling subprime mortgage sector."

If only the economy would go sour you could blame that on bush, you will not, however, credit him with its strength.

FYI - economists deal in facts and numbers, not politics or fantasy as kruggman does. You must be really desperate to side with him as your idol. Of course if your main woman is off delivering surrender terms to syria and the head ninny of the senate is preparing to shaft the Army, your days are numbered.

three months and not one new law passed by the Dem congress. talk about do nothing. they have done less than nothing if you include theri best attempt at losing a war and acting treasonous to win an upcoming election. Disgusting and shameful. Remind me what Dems stand for besides appeasement, surrender, investigations, spin, lies, spending, taxing and corruption. Nope, I think that about covers it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 3, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Russell. I think that Romney is the story no matter what his religion is. His number was staggering. Ive had him winning the whole thing for more than 6 months now and I feel pretty confident.

Posted by: George | April 3, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

all i can see is his hair.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree on your assesment of Richardson, but don't you think he deserves at least a B+ if not an A.

Posted by: mountain man | April 3, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

in response to the comment, "What mitt's totals show is how many mormons want one in the WH."
I read that 15% of Romneys donations came from Utah. Lets suppose that every one of those votes were mormons, (which is absurd, considering that even Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah, a mormon announced his support for McCain) that is 3.09 million, which still gives Romney 17.51 million. That is still first place among republicans. Get over the fact that he is a mormon, and look at his results!

Posted by: Russell | April 3, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

As everyone in Texas knows, Ron Paul is a mud-slinging hack and can't win outside his gerrymandered district.

Posted by: michael | April 3, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Let's ask the top Iraqi military officer in charge of guarding the Shatt al-Iraq waterway where the Brits were actually apprehended. This man is working for the U.S.-backed regime and probably not inclined to make up stuff to embarrass the U.S. president, who gives him his paycheck. So his opinion should be relevant here. Let's ask Brigadier General Hakim Jassim.

The good general told Associated Press the day after the March 23 incident: "We were informed [about the British troops' arrests] by Iraqi fishermen, after they had returned from sea that there were British gunboats in an area that is out of Iraqi control. We don't know why they were there.'"

Gen. Jassim---again, working for the Anglo-American occupiers of his nation---does not sound outraged by the Iranian action. And notice how the Iraqi client-state apparatus, which for some time has been telling Washington, "Don't drag us into your anti-Iranian projects" is not calling the detained Britons "hostages." It has indeed (with much of the world) protested the illegal U.S. detention of Iranian diplomats in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

(That particular instance of "inexcusable behavior" hasn't gotten much press in this country. Nor has the subdued Iranian response to the provocation.)

Gen. Jassim would agree that the Shatt al-Arab river where the Brits were seized has no clearly marked boundary and has been the focus of past quarrels between Iraq and Iran. (Commodore Peter Lockwood of the Royal Australian Navy, commanding the Coalition task force in the waterway last October, said as much: "No maritime border has been agreed upon by the countries.") Craig Murray, once head of the British Foreign Office's maritime section, writes that Prime Minister Blair "is being fatuous" in stating that he is "utterly certain" the British ship was seized within Iraqi territorial limits. Murray, best known as the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan (who exposed British complicity in torture in that country) writes as follows:

"There is no agreed boundary in the Northern Gulf, either between Iran and Iraq or between Iraq and Kuwait. The Iran-Iraq border has been agreed inside the Shatt al-Arab waterway, because there it is also the land border. But that agreement does not extend beyond the low tide line of the coast.
"Even that very limited agreement is arguably no longer in force. Since it was reached in 1975, a war has been fought over it, and ten-year reviews--- necessary because waters and sandbanks in this region move about dramatically---have never been carried out."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Exclusive: Republican Delegation Currently Visiting Syria, Spared From White House Attacks

The White House today lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for daring to visit Syria in the coming days. White House spokesperson Dana Perino:

I do think that, as a general rule -- and this would go for Speaker of the House Pelosi and this apparent trip that she is going to be taking -- that we don't think it's a good idea. ...

I'm not sure what the hopes are to -- what she's hoping to accomplish there. I know that Assad probably really wants people to come and have a photo opportunity and have tea with him, and have discussions about where they're coming from, but we do think that's a really bad idea.

Not only are the administration's attacks on Pelosi hypocritical, but the timing suggests they are a partisan hit. ThinkProgress has learned that a delegation of Republicans is currently in Syria. (This has not been previously reported by the press.) Why did the White House wait until Pelosi's imminent visit to raise this issue publicly, and not make mention of the Republicans already there?

Here's what the White House isn't talking about:

Republican Reps. Aderholt and Wolf are currently visiting Syria. According to a congressional official on Rep. Robert Aderholt's (R-AL) staff, Aderholt and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) are currently visiting Israel and Syria.

Republican Rep. Hobson accompanying Pelosi on Syria visit. Speaker Pelosi will be traveling with a contingent of members of Congress to Syria. The delegation includes Reps. David Hobson (R-OH), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV).

Moreover, as the AP reports, "Earlier this month, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey held talks with a senior Syrian diplomat on how Damascus was coping with a flood of Iraqi refugees, the first such talks in the Syrian capital for more than two years."

UPDATE: Bloomberg confirms our account:

Michael Lowry, a spokesman for Representative Robert Aderholt, said that the Alabama lawmaker will visit Syria as part of a Republican delegation led by Representative Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican. Wolf is the top Republican on the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department.

Perino wasn't available to comment about that trip.

Posted by: The lying WH | April 3, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Dmitton -- Krugman is a respected economist. You're a tinfoil loon with not a shred of evidence to support your opnions. The housing bubble is about to burst. We are borrowing $3 milion dollars an hour to finance a war that has done nothing but weaken our hand in the middle east. Our military is broken, lacking supplies, equipment, sufficient medical care and support systems. Tens of billions of dollars have simply into a black hole in iraq. We have both the biggest deficit and biggest trade deficit ever. Our manufacturing sector has gone under.

So-called 'conservative' economic policies are neither conservative nor effective. They are a train wreck about to happen.

Redistribution of wealth iswhat they are all about, in fact. Redistributing from the middle class to the very wealthy. That's the whole point.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

What mitt's totals show is how many mormons want one in the WH.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Why bother giving any of these candidates money? Most of it will be wasted on annoying TV ads airing repeatedly for months on end until the election occurs.

I wish those running for president would stop treating everyone as if we're all brain-dead. I know a lot in this country are but many aren't. We don't need to be flooded with presidential advertisements. Give everyone who wants to run the same damn budget from public funds and let them live within it.

Posted by: Mike | April 3, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

latest NH polls just on CNN: Hillary drops by 10 points and also her negatives go up by 10.
Maybe there is need to regrade Hillary.
She is weakening.
She is also weakening in Iowa
Edwards and Obama are gaining strength.

Posted by: vwcat | April 3, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe how quick people lose site of Romneys credibility, when he shows time after time how much influence he has. why is his first quarter results so surprising to so many people, when he raised 6 million on his first day?

Posted by: Russell | April 3, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris -- the nerds always get the girls! Insightful as always.

Posted by: Jennifer | April 3, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Ron Paul, I refuse to grade candidates based on the amount of money they've raised. It shows us absolutely nothing about the candidate, and further isolates them from the american people.

Posted by: brody | April 3, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris -

There's some good insight here, but I've got to give you an A-. You're a professional journalist! There's no excuse for a superfluous apostrophe...

"He left March fully in the race and with poll's showing him as its frontrunner. "


Posted by: David | April 3, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of Congressman Ron Paul (R. Tex)?

Look into it!

Posted by: Ray | April 3, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ROLL TIDE!!! Let's go Saban!!

Posted by: Jeremy | April 3, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I have a few thoughts:
1. All Hillary really has going for her as the "inevitability candidate" is CASH and frankly, that will not prove to be enough to win the general election and maybe not even the nomination.
2. It is my most fervent (but likely to be unfulfilled) thought & hope that my fellow citizens wake up to the fact that the influence and giveaways of earmarks etc. that our present system of campaign finance permits GREATLY EXCEEDS the cost of financing ALL federal officeholder campaigns. The latter figure is estimated @ $2B. The former is a mind boggling multiple of $2B and I believe real change will not come to D.C. until the way we finance campaigns is fundamentally changed.

Posted by: Mark C. | April 3, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

To the Anonymous Individual So Enraptured with the Asinine Ramblings of Krugman

You try to redirect this forum to the supposed outdated economic and social policies of the Republican Party with no supportive information to back your claims other that the idiotic utterences of Paul Krugman, a man who, despite his obvious social foresight, is demolished thoroughly by an idiot like O'Reilly everytime they meet. The concepts of the free market and unregulated trade are verified and validated by all economic theory. Government intervention and wealth redistribution do nothing by create waste. I know in your ideal society, where all individuals are equal and wealthy and there is no suffering, you believe these futile ideals would thrive. But, as I am so sad to say, the socialistic economic policies you so forcefully back have no proven economic worth and just happen to cause more harm than good.

The electorate cares nothing for the social woes of the lower class. It sounds harsh but no one votes on solutions for another's problems. The vast American middle class votes on the issues that affect them: the war, the economy (which ain't doing to bad), and the social issues that match their believe systems: stem cells, abortion, gay marriage ect...

As "outdated" as the conservative economic policy may be, its proven effectiveness far bests the proven ineffectiveness of the policies of the Democrats, Krugman, and YOU.

Posted by: Dmilton | April 3, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for the comments to be picked out from last week's Wag The Blog. It was a very interesting topic and got lots of good responses.

What happened this week, Chris?

Are posts from Fixers not actually wagging this blog?

Posted by: Golgi | April 3, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Reports that Obama raised over $20 million are on the cable channels and he is waiting to get the max news play by holding off on the total. Look for Obama to raise a lot less in the future, once the folk realize that Hillary will be the next POTUS and will contribute more when they realize getting on a winner is in their best interest. Richardson is going to do a little negotiation work, which he is so good at, and I do not rule him out as the VP pick for Hillary, which she has so many to choose from.

Posted by: lylepink | April 3, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

JD - good point; in the compressed primary schedule he might get away with this, would not have in years past.

Posted by: CJVA | April 3, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Ron Paul on this list? He's the most popular Republican running for President, even though the mainstream media doesn't report him.

Posted by: Andrew | April 3, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

'if you pay', let me ask you an honest question:

Can Rudy effectively ignore the fickle and demanding New Hampshire types and focus on the bigger fish (from a delegate standapoint)? In other words, is Calif, Nevada, SC, Iowa, then Super Tuesday enough to win regardless of New Hampshire results?

Posted by: JD | April 3, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse


In its coverage of Bush's presser today The New York Times fails to report Bush's acknowledgment that Republican House members visited Syria. Instead, the paper only reports Bush's criticism of Pelosi's trip.

Posted by: THE LIBERAL MEDIA LIE | April 3, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see where Republican candidate Ron Paul stacks up against Brownback, Huckabee, Hunter, Tancredo, Gilmore, and (Tommy) Thompson -- the rest of the GOP field the media usually ignores. Ron Paul has been getting a lot of notice on the Web.

Brownback's totals were very lackluster.

Posted by: Lex | April 3, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Q I want to clarify on the -- you're saying it was a bad idea, then, for Speaker Pelosi to go for all these various reasons to Syria. It's a bad idea, then, for Jim Baker to have gone, a bad idea for Frank Wolf to go as well, right?

MS. PERINO: We think that it is not a good idea for U.S. officials to go and meet with Assad, because it alleviates that pressure, and also because meetings haven't produced anything. They've been meeting just to meet, and he doesn't change his behavior. In fact, he uses those meetings as a reason to say that he doesn't need to do anything.

Q When you don't meet with him, he doesn't change his behavior either.

MS. PERINO: Well, we'll see.

Unless I'm a lot more dense than I think, neither of those was an answer. So it stands: Republicans visiting Damascus, Okay. Democrats, visiting, Hurts America.

As Greg notes here, the president said today that he doesn't like Republicans or Democrats visiting Syria. But he only gets his press office to make a stink when it's a Democrat.

Enough on this one. A bunch of reporters got played on this one. And now they're too embarrassed to retrace their steps.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I knew as a general matter that the White House was just bamboozling the press with this Pelosi-in-Syria malarkey since plenty of Republicans from Congress have recently gone there too. But I didn't know the precise details. In addition to recent trips by other Congressional Republicans there's actually a GOP House delegation in Syria right now, according to ThinkProgress. And in March a senior State Department official held talks in Damascus about flow of Iraqi refugees.

So which member of the White House press corps or which cable network host has directly asked an administration official why they're only concerned when prominent Democrats visit Damascus and not Republicans. Wolf Blitzer, whatever hack they've got on the air at the moment on Fox, MSNBC? Whichever. Someone let me know when someone puts a question like this directly to an administration official.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry continues to push for the release of five Iranians detained during a US military raid in January, Iraq's Deputy Foreign Minister Labid Abawi told CNN on Tuesday.

Posted by: whose side are they on? | April 3, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

NEW CASTLE, N.H. - The signs on Rudy Giuliani's campaign bus say "Join Rudy."
But so far, it hasn't been easy.
The former New York City mayor is a frontrunner in the polls and second in GOP fundraising, but when it comes to face time with New Hampshire's famously choosy voters, he has not been as accessible as others.
So far in Giuliani's campaigning here there have been no Main Street walks, no town hall meetings and no meet and greets at businesses.
Before this week's trip, Giuliani's last visit to New Hampshire was in January. On Monday, Giuliani attended a house party in Hampton Falls - his first ever. On Tuesday morning, he attended a business breakfast at the Wentworth-by-the-Sea grand hotel in New Castle. Both events were guest-list only. After brief one-on-one interviews with selected press, Giuliani boarded his bus again Tuesday morning, bound for an airport and a flight to Iowa, home of the nation's first presidential caucuses.
With reports this week that Giuliani's campaign raised $15 million since the beginning of the year - $10 million in March alone - he said that as long as the money keeps rolling in, he'll be showing up more.
"If we can keep continuing that, then we'll have the money that's going to be needed to contest," he said. "With all of these primaries kind of lumping themselves together _ the big pressure it puts on us is you need enough money to be able to carry on simultaneous campaigns, and I'm very confident that it will get there."

Posted by: if you pay him, he'll pay attention to you | April 3, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Had a really poignant drive into town. Turned on the Fargo radio for weather and road reports. Right at the freeze mark and rainy dismal white-knuckle driving all the way back. Then the radio mentioned a motorcade for the Frazee soldier's remains which were arriving in Fargo and asked people to come out to honor him. Just west of Hawley we started seeing pickups and SUVs at the ends of driveways. Flags flying in front yards. By Dilworth, the fire dept trucks were all out along the road. As we drove into Moorhead, the police escort led the way for their group. My God, I had tears running down my cheeks. Flashing our lights seemed such a small gesture. All those fatheads on the Sunday shows and cable news with their strolls and photo-ops and posturing. And it's all about this. One 28-year-old kid coming home for the last time.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Grover Norquist may say that the lizard brains will follow Commander Codpiece no matter what:

The base isn't interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush. If Bush said tomorrow, we're leaving in two months, there would be no revolt.

But as Paul Krugman notes, the "don't give my tax dollars to brown people" movement that Grover spawned does demand its own peculiar handicapping form of fealty:

You know that perceptions of rising inequality have become a political issue when even President Bush admits, as he did in January, that "some of our citizens worry about the fact that our dynamic economy is leaving working people behind."

But today's Republicans can't respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won't let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.

The Republican Party's adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can't offer domestic policies that respond to the public's real needs. So how can it win elections?

I don't doubt that the base has little interest in Iraq, except for the fodder it provides for racist eliminationist fantasies and authoritarian stripping of hippies' rights. They certainly don't like to lose, and Sunday in the Park with McCain notwithstanding, they'd probably just rather paint the sky of bizarroworld another color and pretend the whole damn thing never happened.

Still, their hatred of regulation, oversight and government in general is going to stand in the way of the GOP addressing domestic issues that people seem to care about. Krugman again:

The good news is that all the G.O.P.'s abuses of power weren't enough to win the 2006 elections. And 2008 may be even harder for the Republicans, because the Democrats -- who spent most of the Clinton years trying to reassure rich people and corporations that they weren't really populists -- seem to be realizing that times have changed.

A week before the Republican candidates trooped to Palm Beach to declare their allegiance to tax cuts, the Democrats met to declare their commitment to universal health care. And it's hard to see what the G.O.P. can offer in response.

The base may be following Bush, but all he seems to be doing is providing a beacon over the edge of a cliff.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

'Grappling with a monster? Isn't that how Bill decribed his marital bed?'

GOPIES, blinded by their hate of Hillary

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Drudge didn't bury it. It's not important. Gore's not running!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Drudge buries the lead on the California poll... The real news is at ... Gore and Hillary running neck-and-neck in California

Posted by: William | April 3, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris, two small errors you should fix:

The first is that you should use the word "your" (not "you're") in the following sentence: "If you're favorite candidate receives a low grade in this quarter he (or she) has three more this year to make up for it."

The second is that the Edwards total you referred to in the following sentence was his 2003 first quarter haul from the LAST presidential cycle: "Edwards was THE story in the first quarter when he wowed the political world by leading the Democratic field with $7.4 million raised."

I give you a "B" for grammar and accuracy. If you're not so sloppy next time, I might give you an "A."

Posted by: Sister Mary Elephant | April 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Objective advice for the RNC Toad

An Inside-the-Bushies Mentality
By David Ignatius
Friday, March 23, 2007; A17

What infuriates me about the Bush administration is its disdain for people...You sense that scorn reading the e-mails that have surfaced in the flap over the firings of U.S. attorneys...What interests me about the Justice e-mails is that they are a piece of sociology, documenting the mind-set of the young hotshots and ideologues who populate the Bush administration...

The Bush political operatives have become the people the Republicans once warned the country against -- a club of insiders who seem to think that they're better than other folks. They are so contemptuous of government...that they have been unable to govern effectively. They are a smug, inward-looking elite that thinks it knows who the good guys are by the political labels they wear.

This contempt has been evident in many of the administration's failures. The disastrous incompetence of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 flowed from its status as a clubhouse for ambitious conservatives eager to punch a political ticket in a country they knew nothing about...

After Katrina, it became clear that the public wanted a change. Americans want to be confident that those in charge of the country's business are members of what I call "the party of competence," whatever their political affiliation...But the Bush administration didn't get it. The purge at Justice came after the November election blowout. They acted as if they were still on a roll.

Here's the challenge for the Democrats: Become the party that fixes things, that solves problems, that respects expertise and professionalism. Let the GOP be the party of smart alecks and know-it-alls and smirking e-mail writers. The Republicans have made a bed of political arrogance; let them sleep in it for a good long while.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Grappling with a monster? Isn't that how Bill decribed his marital bed?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

hey chris i to was something of a geek in high school but i dont feel sorry for you since im in college now and we all know college girl love smart dudes

Posted by: the candy | April 3, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of your grades Chris except two.
Clinton should get a B too. Nobody in their right mind thought that the Clinton campaigns 15 million target was legit, they were shooting for 30 plus. The fact that she didn't break 30 million is a real story. She has the NUMBER 1 democratic fundraiser as her husband and he is exclusively raising money for her. If we assume that 5 million of her money is for the general then she raised less then Romney (although I think he maxed his real donors out and he will have a hit next quarter with Guiliani taking the lead).

The other is Biden. The two mil he brought in should have gotten him a D at best. He is a well known senator with ties to the Boston blue blood money. Taking in two million shows that the people who bankroll these things ain't feeling it. Dodd I'll give you but Biden is barely breathing anymore.

Lastly, I hope Fred Thompson and Gingrich are paying attention, if they want to run they better get in now cause it takes a long time to raise 50 million which I think Romney, and Guiliani will hit by the end of this year.

Posted by: Andy R | April 3, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The fate of 12 German giant rabbits delivered to North Korea is in doubt. The breeder who sent them suspects they have been eaten by top officials rather than used to set up a bunny farm. Berlin's North Korean embassy denies the allegation. One thing is sure: the country will have to find another seller.

Grappling with a monster. One of these rabbits can easily feed eight people.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 3, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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