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McCain, Romney and the Endorsement Race

Roughly two dozen GOP House members gathered at the Capitol Hill Club Tuesday to declare their support for Mitt Romney's bid for the 2008 Republican nomination.

Rep. Jim McCrery (La.), the leader of the bunch, said the assembled group was just the start of Romney's inroads on Capitol Hill, noting that he has a list of more than 50 Members who he is actively working to recruit to the campaign of the former Massachusetts governor. "There will be more joining this initial whip team as weeks go by," McCrery predicted.

The show of force, which drew only a handful of reporters, was the latest in a series of competing announcements by Romney and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), as each tries to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their support among GOP insiders in Washington. (At the end of this post you can find a list of who's supporting who.)

How much does this back and forth matter? To be frank, not all that much. As Shailagh Murray and I wrote in a recent edition of the Sunday Fix, there are only a few endorsements that carry any real significance in deciding the nominee; the rest are nice to have, but far from decisive.

So why then are Romney and McCain putting so much focus on lining up members of Congress? For Romney, showing that he has support inside the Beltway is part of a broader effort to show that he is a candidate that can appeal to all different classes of Republicans. While he is still likely to center his campaign message around his outsider image as a former governor and businessman, Romney and his political team are smart enough to recognize that he needs advocates in Washington to make the case to the city's chattering classes.

McCain's goal in securing support in Congress is slightly different. In 2000 McCain was the renegade running against the establishment. This time he is the establishment. And the establishment candidate needs to show that he has support from within the halls of Congress. The more support McCain lines up -- both inside and outside of Washington -- the more he adds to the sense that he is the inevitable nominee.

Much of the competition is also driven by a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality that pervades both presidential campaigns. If McCain announces an endorsement from Michigan, Romney has to have a Michigan endorsement soon after. And vice versa.

Most voters have no idea this tit for tat is even going on and likely never will. But, the back and forth over congressional endorsements isn't aimed at the average voter. Its targeted at junkies (like The Fix) who monitor the ups and down of the presidential race by the day -- or even by the hour. Neither McCain nor Romney is willing to give an inch when it comes to this perception game, so expect the endorsement race to continue in the weeks and months to come.

Here's the most-up-to-date list (as of Tuesday night) of members of Congress who have declared support for one of the three Republican frontrunners:

GIULIANI (4 House Members)

Rep. Mary Bono (Calif.)
Rep. Vito Fossella (N.Y.)
Rep. Peter King (N.Y.)
Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas)

MCCAIN (6 Senators, 14 House Members)

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.)
Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.)
Sen. Gordon Smith (Ore.)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine)
Rep. Specher Bachus (Ala.)
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
Rep. Ric Keller (Fla.)
Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.)
Rep. Ray LaHood (Ill.)
Rep. Steve LaTourette (Ohio)
Rep. Dan Lungren (Calif.)
Rep. Rick Renzi (Ariz.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
Rep. John Shadegg (Ariz.)
Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.)
Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.)

ROMNEY (1 Senator, 22 House Members)

Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.)
Rep. Rodney Alexander (La.)
Rep. Robert Aderholt (Ala.)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.)
Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.)
Rep. John Campbell (Calif.)
Rep. John Duncan (Tenn.)
Rep. Tom Feeney (Fla.)
Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
Rep. Dennis Hastert (Ill.)
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.)
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (Mich.)
Rep. Ron Lewis (Ky.)
Rep. John Linder (Ga.)
Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.)
Rep. Jim McCrery (La.)
Rep. Tom Price (Ga.)
Rep. Ralph Regula (Ohio)
Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.)
Rep. Mike Rogers (Ala.)
Rep. Bill Shuster (Pa.)
Rep. Mike Simpson (Idaho)

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 7, 2007; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Wow, I had no idea Mitt Romney had so much support in Washington. I haven't really heard much about him until today and I really like what I heard in his speech and on his website. I was actually leaning towards Obama over McCain (he's just too old for me, I mean come on, he'll almost be 80 if he got reelected!) Now I have found a GOP candidate that has an IQ and makes sense. Romney will get my vote for sure if he makes it past the primaries, otherwise I'll go for Obama, but never Hillary

Posted by: Tyler | February 14, 2007 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Well, of the endorsements I only see few that would mean much. In the early state of South Carolina, that could be a very ugly primary there. Not just for the Presidential primary, either. No state office holder is up for re-election, except US senator Lyndsey Graham. Graham is going to be challenged in a Republican primary by current state treasurer Thomas Ravenel. Graham has endorsed McCain and the other Republican US senator, Jim DeMint, has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Wonder who DeMint is endorsing in the senate primary: Graham or Ravenel? DeMint is loved by the "Club for Growth" org. and his endorsement of Romney could help Romney raise money from the club. It could also make Ravenel's primary challenge to Graham formittable. The Republican Senatorial Committe, McCain and Graham vs. the Club for Growth, Romney and Ravenel...that's just the Republican primary with DeMint rooting for Romney...will he support Gravenel?

South Carolina, as an early primary state, will be very well watched, as it always is. But this year, it could turn into a Republican civil war...in a conservative state like SC it would be a democrat's dream.

Posted by: reason | February 12, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I Voted for Bill Clinton in '92, in part, because he said, "a vote for me would be a vote fro my wife too". It was the idea that two heads are better than one. It will be a huge factor in my decision should Hillary be in the '08 general election. Sometimes she personally appears disingenuous, but the track record of the Clinton Administration is resoundingly positive. ANYTHING...anything at all with exception of Brownback, will be a huge improvement over the Bush administration. I hope we Americans can show our intelligence in the '08 elections.
Sincerely,
P. Habib

Posted by: Paul Habib Austin, TX U.S.A. | February 11, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

NJ, that may just be the dumbest post ever to be posted on the Fix.

Posted by: William | February 8, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

apparently, it has to be said once again...Mitt Romney, when he led MA as Governor, both voted and his behaviors emphasized he was fiscally and socially conservative. His voting and his behavior also showed his intelligence and his creativity in addressing critical issues to his constituents. Mitt Romney has achieved great results in his personal life, business life and in politics. And each one of his results has made his community better. We need more of that in our leaders. Our country faces financial issues, social issues, healthcare issues, security issues, military issues, trade issues. We need leaders who will identify solutions and get results which benefit our country. I view Mitt Romney's record as an indication that he cares about this nation and we can be better with his leadership. And because he improved liberal MA and conservative UT (Winter Olympics), Mitt Romney's record shows he can get results with a Democratic or Republican Congress, and with a Conservative or Liberal Court.

Posted by: NJ | February 8, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: anonymous | February 8, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

apparently, it has to be said once again. as a massachusetts resident and voter, let me assure you that mitt romney is about as insincere as they come. whatever you want to hear, he'll say - which should give some of you christian soldiers pause in dubbing him your anti-abortion / traditional marriage savior. he had no problem with the more liberal view on those issues in his last campaign for governor of massachusetts.
this mitt is trying to catch you. don't be fooled.

Posted by: meuphys | February 7, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

These endorsements are of most importance to Romney. An endorsement from a conservative house member helps enhance his conservative image.

Whats the likelihood of Guiliani & McCain splitting the moderate vote, so that Romney comes through as nominee. He's certainly going to have the cash to build name recognition.

McCain hasn't locked it in, which means he's in real trouble. Particularly as Iraq gets worse...

Posted by: JayPe | February 7, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Boy, that lying about being drafted by the Major Leagues is a real campaign killer for Richardson. He's got nothing else in the resume on which to fall back.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

McCain's the winner. Count on it. One Trent Lott trumps 2 dozen house members.

Posted by: SteveinVa | February 7, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It seems like the Dems just can't stop stepping on landmines, and we're only still 11 months from the first primary.

OK, so what do we have?

Joe Biden - Heavily damaged, though not yet out. He can be painted by his Dem primary opponents as a racist. He's basically thrown away the asian and black support he may have gotten.

John Edwards: Can you even IMAGINE what the GOP would to Edwards in a general after this blogging scandal? How about nice quotes from Edwards' bloggers in 30 second prime time ads? I really can't see Edwards surviving this. If he doesn't fire the bloggers, he loses the Catholic vote BIG in the primaries. If he does fire them, and apologizes, he risks losing the respect of the anti-Christian Deaniac liberal base. So he's in a quandary.

Obama - When Obama first pondered running, there was unfettered euphoria among the liberal base. Now that has worn off a little, and reality is once again setting in. The liberal base realizes that a 1/2 black guy with a far, far left state senate record, a Muslim past, and a terrorist sounding name is going to be a disaster in the general election.

Obama has nowhere to go but down, and he will go down hard in the primaries, if not before. Also, skeletons in Obama's past WILL be dug up.

Richardson: Was friends with a serial child molester, lied about being drafted into the major leagues, as well as some other smaller ethics questions.

I don't think that those liabilities automatically sink him, and he will benefit from Edwards' anti-Catholic blogging scandal.

But he will not be able to match Hillary in fundraising, and his Hispanic heritage will hurt him.

Vilsack - Vilsack has nowhere to go but up. No one knows him right now, and he's boring and uncharismatic, but if he does well in IA and NV, he could pick up some steam. WHEN (not if) Obama crashes and burns, and if Edwards and Richardson suffer problems, Vilsack will move up to be the anti-Clinton.

Chris Dodd: In the Kerry mold. Not a winner, and the liberal base knows it. Same story with Biden.


Al Gore was be seriously tempted to jump in, and become the automatic frontrunner with Hillary for the Dem nomination.

Posted by: William | February 7, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey JimD: How's life in sunny Florida? The fun was a little bit out of it after we got our clocks cleaned in November, but there is always 08. With the public getting a full view of some the left wing wackos in Congress, our chances are improving dramatically for a comeback. It should be fun watching Hillary in the debates, but your guy won't be allowed (CLARK) to the party if Hillary and accolates have any say in it. It's okay and come back and vote republican next year.

Posted by: bhoomes | February 7, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"But you see, the MSM never reported that, did they? Because they are only interested in smearing Democrats."

It is a pretty safe bet that most media outlets, mainstream or otherwise, will go for topics that attract readers. Conflict is one thing that attracts readers. So now that the Democrats are on top of Congress (hurrah!!), they are a more appealing target than they used to be. The stronger the party, the juicier the conflict...

It is a healthy sign for the Democrats that they are attracting MSM scrutiny, believe it or not.

Posted by: Golgi | February 7, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, btw? The guy, Bill Donohoe, who accused Edward''s bloggers of bigorty? This is something he said n the December 8, 2004 broadcast of Scarborough Country, in a discussion of Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ:

"Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah."

But you see, the MSM never reported that, did they? Because they are only interested in smearing Democrats.

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - I surprised that one slipped through.

It surely must be considered profane in the editorial and board rooms at the Post.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 7, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

'I second Golgi's call for the Post to do an article on paid political bloggers. No news organization has better access to the sources and information needed.'

Since reporters are often totally partisan, I suggest that the Post do an article on the political affiliation of reporters, pundits, editors, publishers, and the CEOs's of the corporations which own them.

Seem fair enough? After all, everbody in DC is owned. We deserve to know by whon, don't we?

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"tithing Catholics?"

Not any of the ones I know.

Not taught as Church doctrine that I know of either.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 7, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the bloggers and their First Amendment rights - This isn't a free speech issue.

It was an employer-employee issue. Apparently they weren't doing what the employer wanted, so they were let go.

Even if the employer had written the material for them, it's no longer in his best interest to work that way; so, they are let go.

Nobody is stopping them from going onto sites and exercising their First Amendment rights to make cases for their various causes; they're just not getting paid to do it by that employer.

It bothers me, but doesn't surprise me, that blogs are subverted by paid hacks.

I second Golgi's call for the Post to do an article on paid political bloggers. No news organization has better access to the sources and information needed.

Chris, time to pitch Golgi's idea to the editors.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 7, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

RE:"yes, pelosi has asked for a military plane.
denny hastert had a military plane at his disposal. all speakers in modern times have had a military plane.

is that simple enough for you to understand?"

Modern times?? only since 9/11 drindl.

in re:
the speaker's plane, "Pelosi One."...
"This is a bullet point to a larger value -- Pelosi's abuse of power continues," ... "It began when the speaker denied minority rights to Republicans, continued with her 'TunaGate' scandal, and now she's exploiting America's armed forces and taxpayers for her own personal convenience."

the request went beyond what was offered to former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois

In addition, the speaker's office requested an Air Force plane to take her to a weekend Democratic retreat in Williamsburg, but the Pentagon declined.

Mr. Hastert on one occasion used an Air Force plane for such an event. The Air Force later determined it was a mistake, and such flights were not repeated.

...the Pentagon will likely give in to Mrs. Pelosi's requests for a large plane and travel entourage, given her and Mr. Murtha's power over defense spending.

Abuse of power is bipartisan drindl, even you should know that.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 7, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics,"

yep, truth to power

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 7, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen an pole data on how the Dems match up against McCain in Maine? With both senators, who are fairly popular in the state, on his team is there a chance that Maine could go red?

Posted by: Lewiston, ME | February 7, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse


The various comments about how the right wing bloggers are just as bad, or (if you believe that the right wing is more evil than the left wing, which many posters here do) even worse, and about how the Catholic Leagues doesn't have the right to tell John Edwards who he can hire to post propaganda on blogs, are perfectly valid.

But I still would really like to see a good thorough Washington Post article on the topic of hired bloggers from *all* campaigns, both D and R.

Interesting questions are:

1. How many bloggers does each campaign hire?

2. What blogs are most frequently targeted by propagandists?

3. Are there any campaigns that stand out from the crowd by refraining from hiring any bloggers?

4. What are the 100 most common words (SIPs, to use Amazon.com-speak) used by bloggers hired by each of the different campaigns?

Posted by: Golgi | February 7, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics," Marcotte wrote on the blog Pandagon on Dec. 26, in an excerpt cited by Donohue.

If you are interested in what the man finds offensive.

Posted by: FH | February 7, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"they criticized the pope and the church for its opposition to homosexuality, abortion and contraception"

As usual they are merely speaking truth to power. Very few Catholics practice what the pope preaches when it comes to contraception; popes in general push staunchly anti-christian positions regarding contraception.

Abortion is much debated but when it comes right down to personal experience/'choice' I'd happily bet that few are as committed as they need to be.

The central problem is that any Catholic mucky-muck must be fully and publically indoctrinated into all of the pope's positions. The flock is free to not practice what he preaches, however.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 7, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Golgi -- here's winger bloggers who mccain is courting.. malkin is a vicious racist who has said truly disgusting things about Obama. Not a peep out of the compliant MSM..and then there's the poster Riehl World, who calls all women 'feminazis' and 'neocastratis' ... apparently, that's fine too.

You'll notice, by the way, that even tho McCain is groveling at the feet of these racists and misgynists, they think they're too good for him, you see. He's not rabid enough... so forghet it if you think anybody rational is getting the R nomination....

'Michelle Malkin links to Mary Kay Ham feeding back on a John McCain campaign conference call. MK uses the concept of a lover's quarrel to discuss McCain's relationship with bloggers. For the record, my battered spouse line isn't directed at MK personally.

Call me the tough love type. McCain is courting the blogosphere because he wants something. I don't care that he wasn't doing it before, what I care about are positions that he has taken over the last six years - and more. Frankly I can't even remember everything for which I see him as unacceptable for POTUS.'


I'd also expect much outrage from the neo-castrati directed at a man for posting it.

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

drindl,

Martinez supports the Bush guest worker/legalization proposal. His appointment was an outreach to Hispanics. He was excoriated on some right-wing blogs when the nomination was announced. There is a strong nativist strain among many in the GOP base. However, the Miami Cuban population is not particularly energized by the immigration issue.

bhoomes - hey guy, haven't seen you in here in a long time (although I have spending a lot less time here myself).

Posted by: JimD in FL | February 7, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Nor-easter --I thought the reason the cons didn't like mel martinez [cuban] was because he was pro-amnesty -- am i wrong?

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse


'WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, demanded that Edwards fire Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan.

Donohue cited posts that the women made on blogs in the past several months in which they criticized the pope and the church for its opposition to homosexuality, abortion and contraception.'

You see golgi? This was everywhere today--CNN, ABC, NYTimes -- a coordinated hit job. Because two young women exercised their constitutional right to differ with the pope.

It's been a blogger lynching. Hope you enjoyed it.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

'don't liberals want to know? '

we do, airhead, that this is the usal non-story.

yes, pelosi has asked for a military plane.

denny hastert had a military plane at his disposal. all speakers in modern times have had a military plane.

is that simple enough for you to understand?

Posted by: liberals already know... | February 7, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

so golgi, you prefer to get your information from institutional corporate media with a vested interest in manipulating elections so that 'business friendly' candidates win?

Even though you know most pundits are simply mouthpieces for republican talking points? You think rush limbaugh and ann coulter are okay, same as the MSM does? You have a problem with bloggers exercising their first amendment rights? By the way, when did it become the 'duty' of media to out individuals? I really thought what media was supposed to do, was report news -- you know, and government corruption, and what have you.

By the way, most of the bloggers who are hired by anyone are the first to publicly acknowledge that. But they are bing viciously attacked by MSM. But ONLY the bloggers dems have hired -- and please don't tell me it's because they are more 'obnoxious' or ' crude? than the Riechwingers. That's quite impossible.

If you want to get your information [or more concisely, lack of it} from the likes of the Post and NYTimes, you can be as in the dark as you wish.

***--

In his Op-Ed at the International Tribune yesterday, former CIA official Milt Bearden (Pakistan 1986-89) makes an excellent point about the wars of the past century, namely, that the countries who started all the major ones wound up losing them.

WASHINGTON: As the drumbeat for war with Iran grows more insistent, the search for a "casus belli" compelling enough to calm a newly assertive Congress and convince an increasingly questioning American public intensifies. Themes of justification for such a war fluctuate between fears of a nuclear-armed Tehran and the "smoking gun" of Iranian involvement in America's misadventure in Iraq.
But before Americans get sent off to a third war in a Muslim country, it is worth recalling that in the past century, no nation that has started a major war has ended up winning it. Moreover, in the last 50 years, no nationalist-based insurgency against a foreign occupation has lost -- a lesson that I learned personally when, beginning in 1986, I found myself in Pakistan, managing the CIA effort to aid Afghan resistance fighters battling Soviet troops.

This point is best illustrated by looking at the wars the Cold War enemies waged by proxy in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to be careful, if he cannot kick the habit, people may conclude he lacks the self discipline to be President. Trying to kick a tough addiction with all of the stress of a Presidential Campaign is probably not the best time to try to quit. I quit 25 years ago after three previous failed attempts, its one of toughest things to do. Good luck to him, I like him the best of all of the dem candidates.

Posted by: bhoomes | February 7, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"with amnesty the cubans favor..."

My understanding is that:

Cubans have a specific exemption from the normal immigration restrictions, to where if they can make it to U. S. soil, they automatically are allowed to stay? So, they don't need amnesty.

And, that South Florida Cubans don't identify with the Mexican/Central American Hispanics who come in through Texas, Arizona and California?

So, why would they favor Amnesty?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 7, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Sen. Barack Obama is attempting to kick his longtime smoking habit as he gears up to run for president"

Is this supposed to represent a problem? It is always a good idea to quit smoking.

Posted by: Golgi | February 7, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is pro-military alright... as long as they are squiring her around the globe in military aircraft!
..the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."
"They are pressing the point of her succession and that the [Department of Defense] needs to play ball with the speaker's needs,"

Meanwhile...
Sen. Barack Obama is attempting to kick his longtime smoking habit as he gears up to run for president, a family friend told the Chicago Tribune this week. Valerie Jarrett said the 45-year-old Illinois Democrat isn't just concerned about the political implications of a role model being caught with a cigarette -- there's also the basic, old-school concern about, you know, his health.

Posted by: don't liberals want to know? | February 7, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

- "As the facts of the White House cover-up now tumble out into open court, it's important to remember that if it hadn't been for Patrick Fitzgerald's work, there's little doubt the Plame story would have simply faded into oblivion like so many other disturbing suggestions of Bush administration misdeeds. And it would have faded away because lots of high-profile journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and NBC wanted it to."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"THE MSM is really going after lefty bloggers who have been hired by democratic candidates."

paraphrase, MSM is finally doing its duty identifying hired bloggers on either wing as equally obnoxious and shameless.

I hope there is an MSM article about exactly WHICH Democratic candidates hire the largest number of, and the most obnoxious, paid bloggers.

An article like that will increase my own personal readership of the Washington Post or the New York Times, on the day it comes out.

Posted by: Golgi | February 7, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

IRAQ IS A PROXY WAR, WHERE WE ARE CAUGHT BETWEEN IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA, the real combatants. But our people are the ones getting killed.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

THE MSM is really going after lefty bloggers who have been hired by democratic candidates. a virtual cruxifiction... funny, they don't seem to have the same kind of issues with rightwing bloggers or pundits or talk radio hosts like coulter or limbaugh and the like, who advocate outright murder of 'liberals', women, homosexuals, musliims, etc.

************

And the Washington Post and the NYTimes wonder why readership is going down? Because you insult your readership's intelligence with your blatant pandering to repugs.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

' A Sea Knight helicopter crashed Wednesday northwest of Baghdad, sending flames and black smoke into the sky, the fifth chopper lost in Iraq in just over two weeks. An Iraqi air force officer said it was downed by an anti-aircraft missile.

The al-Qaida-linked Sunni group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it would later issue a video of the helicopter's downing.'

[hint: the sunni group is funded by saudi arabia, not 'al-queda' -- unless al queda and saudi arabia are now indistinguisable...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

more corruption and theft of taxpayer money in iraq -- by the CIA--

'CIA officers operating in northern Iraq bought drinking water from a bottling plant there for years prior to the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

That changed soon afterward. A CIA officer handling logistics for the Middle East and other regions recommended that an American company provide water and other supplies, according to former government officials.

The U.S. contractor that benefited from the multimillion-dollar deal wasn't just anyone. The company had personal ties to the officer, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who would soon leave his logistics post in Frankfurt, Germany, and move to Washington to become the CIA's third-ranking official.

In at least one written communication, a Baghdad CIA officer complained about the no-bid contract. According to one official, the officer believed the deal was simply unnecessary because safe water was available commercially but he was ignored.

The water contract, while small on the scale of the billions that flowed into Iraq, raises questions about why U.S. taxpayer dollars went to well-connected businessmen rather than Iraqis who could have benefited from a share of postwar reconstruction business. And the case provides a window into the murky world of covert government business arrangements.

Foggo retired from the CIA last year. He is now at the center of a federal investigation, nearing completion, into whether he improperly steered contracts to companies controlled by his best friend, San Diego defense contractor Brent Wilkes.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego are preparing to seek indictments against Foggo and Wilkes on charges of honest services fraud and conspiracy, two government officials familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press last week.'

Posted by: lark | February 7, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Ar the Libby trial:

'Former Ambassador Richard Carlson is on the Advisory Committee of Libby's defense fund. Hey, Tucker: who's your daddy? Do you or does MSNBC disclose this connection in the course of your running commentary on the case? No, I didn't think so. Oh, and while we're over there, who's that in charge of the Libby defense fund? Why, it's Max Sembler, Lieberman's go-to fundraiser for his last campaign bid. Small world, eh?'

Really is amazing how much in bed the DC media is with rightwing politicians. Apparently Tim russert's main function is to push WH propaganda. I figured that, but this trial confirms it all.

You media who**s are part of the reason we now have a completely dysfunctional country. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: lark | February 7, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Nobody is more hated in the GOP than Hagel,

--yeah and he's probably the only one with a shot

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

yes, judge, they will undoubtedly get one of their Cotton Mathers to run, someone who thinks married couples who use birth control should be imprisoned, and 13-year old girls should be forced to bear the children of sadistic rapists or their own fathers.

There is no moderation left in the republican party. They did it too themselves. They drove all the sane people away.

Posted by: drndl | February 7, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Unless an endorsement brings money and organization(ie: labor endorsements)they are totally worthless. Nobody is more hated in the GOP than Hagel, unless he is totally delusional and back smoking grass again, I have to think he is trying to position himself as a VP on the Demccratic tickett. (like Kerry going after McCain to be on his ticket)

Posted by: bhoomes | February 7, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Blarg: agreed but it does raise the specter of a Really Scary Republican (essentially) candidacy. He'll continue to speak in code to the evangelicals but make Bush's delusions about godliness look like a passing fancy. And American politics will appear to lurch toward the plot from The Handmaid's Tale.

Having said all that the D's will win in a walk.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 7, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'd really like for that to happen. Not just because it would ensure the election of the Democratic candidate, but because it might start a dialogue on reforming the electoral system to support more than two parties. And that's a good thing, whatever your political beliefs are.

Posted by: Blarg | February 7, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

yes, the cuban connection is mccain trying to cover all bush bases... will be angering some cons tho with amnesty the cubans favor...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

As has been stated previously, under these conditions I think a 3rd party candidacy driven by the extreme right is clearly inevitable. Add to that the fact that Dobson and his ilk think they have a mandate from God and any of the above candidates will guarantee such a 3rd party challenge. It's like the Blues Brothers - "I'm on a mission from God" - but at the opposite end of the political spectrum.

No matter how quirky/quixotic/pointless the candidacy may seem at the time if they have at least a minimal political stature (no, Duncan Hunter, this doesn't include you) they will move forward if the GOP nominates either McCain, Romney or (especially) Rudy. And gather steam quickly as the so-called 'religious' right coalesces around them.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 7, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

What's with Cubans from FL (the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen) backing McCain? The mind reels at the possible deals.

Posted by: Rick Pincus | February 7, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

while you're delving into Mcain's politics, take a look at the 9issue of the Hopi anf the land coveted by peabody coal. Mcain's view wqas clear. He declared that a "final solution" was required. Does this squar with thew values held dear by Americans? Whateveer he maty say, He's still a republican and a bush-lite

Posted by: john wilcox | February 7, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

In terms of American conservatism - "Rudy's Problem" is correct - but in terms of true conservatism - there is nothing conservative about American conservatives.

By chance I caught about 5 minutes of the Laura Ingram show yesterday - she was saying how Reagan was the true conservative-

Reagan - record spending record deficits - sounds like Bush II to me.

Reagan - wasted money on the B1B Bomber after every engineer told him the plane would not fly - it never flew

Reagan - started a needless war in central america leading to the influx of hundreds of thousands of illegals from central america

Reagan - negotiated with Iran to win the White House - then armed a lunatic (Sadam) to destroy Iran

Reagan - loved saying "there they go again" referring to Democrats telling the American people we need to deal with our problems - Carter told us we needed to deal with the oil problem or we would suffer the consequences - reagan said "there he goes again"

This is the conservatism of "Rudy's Problem"

God save the country if we must suffer a 3rd presidency under such lunacy -

How did it become conservative for conservatives to claim the churches have no right to decide what a marriage is and is not because that right belongs to the government - this is lunacy and reflects how American Conservatism is anything but conservatism- conservatism is now regulating our churches

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
http://balancingtheissues.com/
Bring back the Snickers Commericial

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 7, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

'http://www.pandagon.net'

scroll down a tiny bit to 'guiliani'

note the photo. think of the possibilities...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Choice isn't his only problem with Conservatives. Check out this comment from ProLifeBlogs.com:

"I challenge those who think conservatives should vote for Giuliani to name *a single issue* that is a) controversial and b) relevant to contemporary politics on which Giuliani takes a clearly conservative position. Abortion? No. (He even supports legal PBA.) Gay marriage? No. Immigration? No.

So, let me get this straight. We're supposed to think we have lots of "common ground" with him because he supported NYC police in stopping people from urinating on the public streets in New York City and because he made impressive frowny faces after 9/11? Spare me. Conservatives have no common ground with this guy at all.'

Posted by: Rudy's Problem | February 7, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Rudy, based on the polling has the support of the people - Congress however appears to support McCain -

It seems to me, once again, the Republican Congress is out of sink with the Republican voters - for the record I believe the Democratic Congress is just as clueless.

It seems to me that so much support from a Congress the American people hate could backfire on McCain- If I were Rudy I would be telling people - why is it that you think Congress you hate prefers McCain over me?

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

http://balancingtheissues.com/
Put the Snicker's Commericial Back on

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 7, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't think any republican can be elected in 2008. They've all become totally unhinged and incoherent.

Newt Gingrich blames loose American women for 9/11.

I guess he should know -- he's married three of them.

Rudy has gone through three also -- that we know of. And god knows how many mistresses. Or abortions.

McCain looks like a real gentleman -- he's only dumped one wife.

And then there's Mitt -- far as we know, good solid family man. But -- a flipflopper on every possible issue. From Massachusetts. That religion.

And the rest? Mostly one-trick ponies nobody has heard of --and would alienate 80% of the population with their wacky extremist views [draconian punishment for birth control]...

Gonna be a fun primary -- like destruction derby.

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

'Why they really hate us. It's not because they despise freedom, after all. And it's not because of all the treaties we've rejected or withdrawn from; in fact it has nothing to do with our foreign policy at all. No, teenagers worldwide hate us because of our loose women. At least, that's what Newt Gingrich and Peter Schweizer seem to be saying in this L.A. Times article:

'Public opinion surveys around the world consistently show that many people overseas find Americans overbearing, aggressive and domineering. Often this is ascribed to American foreign policy that is said to have offended so many. As it turns out, the problem may not be in Washington at all. Instead, think Hollywood.

A new study demonstrates that, thanks to Tony Soprano, "Sex and the City" and young pop divas, Hollywood has given us our unflattering image.

When the statement was made that "many American women are sexually immoral," teens in Taiwan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, China, Pakistan and South Korea agreed'

'Now, the Hoover Institution's Peter Schweizer is hawking yet another of his signature Ronald Reagan fetish tomes, while disgraced former congressman Newt Gingrich needs to keep hope alive by seeing his name in print every so often, so this piece by the two of them is not to be taken too seriously. And as is typical for an article that is mostly pure Gingrich - grandiose and incoherent - there are a few gems, like "we need public diplomacy programs that put the world in touch with real Americans, not celluloid Americans", and "entertainment has consequences". But mostly, the article is just a piece of the concerted attack on "Hollywood" now taking place in direct response to the recent surge of not-pro-war celebrities.

"These results suggest that pop culture, rather than foreign policy, is the true culprit of anti-Americanism," Melvin DeFleur says.

Why should we worry about what foreign teenagers think about us? Aside from the fact that these young people will soon be adults and influence politics in their countries, the DeFleurs point out that teens "are the ones who are trained and equipped to conduct terrorist acts."

Get it? It's gyrating teenage singers, and Sex and the City reruns, which are the true culprits, the root cause of anti-American feelings. And Britney Spears videos must be prime recruiting tools for al Qaeda, too. So America is to blame for terrorism after all. Or at least, those loose and immoral American women are to blame.

To top that off, Gingrich recommends appeasement as well. Instead of fighting for the right of Americans to determine our own cultural destiny, he would have us give up our own art and entertainment, censor and suppress our most popular performers, just to satisfy the bizarre demands of those who would terrorize us. But if we do that, just who will have won?

If anyone was handing out awards to those who suggest that American actions may be a cause of terrorism, or who advocate a policy of appeasement, Gingrich and Schweizer would surely merit a prize or two.'

Posted by: Newt Gingrich Blames America For Terrorism | February 7, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to cooperate on oversight activities, according to testimony offered today by GAO Comptroller General David Walker and Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner. The investigators highlighted the role of Philip Perry -- Chief Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security and Vice President Cheney's son-in-law -- as the major stumbling block in their investigations.

Walker said the DHS strategy in dealing with investigations is to "delay, delay, delay." CongressDaily reports:

The news is another in a series of black eyes for the agency. In a recent federal survey, DHS employees "scored last or almost last in leadership and workplace performance." The latest semiannual report from Inspector General Skinner highlighted "a litany of staff misconduct: immigration officials demanding sex in exchange for visas, airport screeners stealing money from tourists' luggage, federal air marshals smuggling drugs, and employees from various DHS agencies committing sex crimes."

we're now all officiallly BANANA REPUBLICANS

Posted by: YOUR REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT INACTION | February 7, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

'U.S. debt has risen $3 trillion since Bush took office in 2001. That debt skyrocketed following an economic slowdown that began in late 2000 and Bush tax cuts amid huge increases in spending for the military and domestic security after September 11.'

--military and domestic security = fat no-bid contracts for republican lobbyists and contractors

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Spratt said Bush's plan projects a $61 billion budget surplus in 2012 while assuming only $50 billion in war costs in 2009 and none after that. This year, fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total around $170 billion.

Bush's budget also does not factor in permanently fixing a quirk in the U.S. tax code so that middle-class taxpayers do not get hit with tax bills designed for the wealthy. The fix could cost around $1 trillion. '

Posted by: the budget -- bush's little joke | February 7, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outspoken supporter of the Iraq war on Tuesday called for a new tax to pay for its astronomical cost as Congress opened a debate on President George W. Bush's $2.9 trillion budget plan for next year.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut proposed a "war on terrorism tax" at a Senate hearing during which he said the Pentagon's $622 billion defense budget proposal for fiscal 2008 threatened to crowd out funds for domestic programs.

The lawmaker, a former Democrat turned independent, favors a U.S. troop buildup in Iraq.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind on and their costs could hit $662 billion by the end of next year, Congress is becoming increasingly worried about cutting domestic programs to keep wartime budget deficits down.

Even moderate Republicans have rebelled against tight budgets for social programs, saying last year they had been "cut to the bone and into the marrow."

Posted by: lieberman hoist on his own petard | February 7, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

W'ASHINGTON (AP) -- More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months - at least 334 through Jan. 31 - than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.

Not since the bloody battle for Fallujah in 2004 has the death toll spiked so high.

The reason is that U.S. soldiers and Marines are fighting more battles in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and other cities. And while hostile forces are using a variety of weaponry, the top killer is the roadside bomb.

In some respects it is the urban warfare that U.S. commanders thought they had managed to largely avoid after U.S. troops entered Baghdad in early April 2003 and quickly toppled the Saddam Hussein regime.

And with President Bush now sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, despite opposition in Congress and the American public's increasing war weariness, the prospect looms of even higher casualties.'

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the Intrepid Liberal - Romney would be a weak nominee. I can picture the "flip-flop" ads now. I also think that he will not be able to attract the same level of support in Southern and border states that GOP candidates need to win. There are a number of folks on the Christian right who could not stomach a Mormon from Massachusetts. Add to that his changing position on social issues and I cannot picture him winning. He MAY be able to win the nomination if multiple candidates remain in the race for a while. The GOP primaries are winner take all for delegates and you do not need a majority to win against a crowded field.

Giuliani would be electable in a head to head general election but I believe that his nomination (a very unlikely event) would result in a third party challenge from the Christian right. That would guarantee a Democratic president. Hagel would probably do very well in the general but I do not see how he could get the nomination. Unless there is a miraculous turnaround in Iraq, I cannot see McCain winning the general election. His pandering to the religious right would also weigh heavily against him in the general election. Imagine clips of him calling Falwell "evil" in 2000 juxtaposed with clips of him sucking up to Falwell from 2006 on. His "straight talk" image has been badly damaged. I also think that his age and health might get some negative attention. There is also always the possibility of a macacca moment fueled by his legendary temper. I doubt Brownback could win the nomination and, if he did, he would never win the general election. He is simply too far out of the mainstream on social issues. He could be tarred by association with some of his extremist supporters - like the ones who oppose life of the mother exceptions to anti-abortion laws and want to criminalize birth control.

Posted by: JimD in FL | February 7, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, Romney doesn't scare me at all. Pro-choice and pro-gay rights as a candidate for state office in Massachusetts. Now he's pandering to the assinine conservative right on those issues. If he became the nominee he'd likely try to navigate to the center and be further exposed as having no core. An easy mark and no amount of endorsements can help him.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | February 7, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

'After 10 years and $1.7 billion, this is what the Marines Corps got for its investment in a new amphibious vehicle: A craft that breaks down about an average of once every 4 1/2 hours, leaks and sometimes veers off course.

And for that, the contractor, General Dynamics of Falls Church, received $80 million in bonuses.

The amphibious vehicle, which can be launched from a ship and then driven on land, is so unreliable that the Pentagon is ditching plans to begin building the first of more than 1,000 and wants to start over with seven new prototypes, which will take nearly two years to deliver, at a cost of $22 million each.'

THIS IS WHAT IS KILLING US. PRIVATE CONTRACTORS ARE OUT OF CONTROL.

They run the government. They are accountable to no one. They are rewarded for failure. We pay through the nose and our self defense suffers.

this is what eisenhower warned of. ... permanent war, enabled by contractors. here we are.

Posted by: like paying taxes? | February 7, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

To be very honest after the Iraq war I have little confidence in any of the above. May be we could use a transplant face and change the complete scenario then vote blindfold as with the eyes open we see. With eye closed we may just make it. I mean chose good politicians who talks less and does more.

Posted by: Firozali A. Mulla MBA PhD | February 7, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

'The story of the bad Rudy has, his poor relations with the black community and his mishandling of the 1999 Amadou Diallo case, in which police fired 41 shots at an unarmed African immigrant... Most New Yorkers were horrified, not by his defense of the police, but by the arrogant and astonishingly tone-deaf way in which he handled himself. His ridiculously thin skin and mile-wide mean streak were not allegations made by whiners and political opponents. They were traits widely known to his supporters. Which is why, if you ask Giuliani backers in New York City who was the better mayor--Giuliani or Mike Bloomberg--I'd wager that a strong majority would say Bloomberg.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree with CC that none of this means much. If anything the long lists of forgettable names devalue each and every endorsement; the point behind endorsing a candidate is to be able to tell WHY one is endorsing him or her.

Besides, since all 3 of the top GOPpers have (conservative) feet of clay, this competition for names means about as much as a burp in a barroom. You might notice it at the time, but it won't mean a damn thing in the morning.

Posted by: Iva Norma Stitts | February 7, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

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