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The Register Endorsement

There is perhaps no process more shrouded in mystery and secrecy than newspaper endorsements of political candidates. The editorial boards that make these decisions exist entirely independent of the newsroom staff and their members often covet their anonymity and the influence their posts deliver.

As newspaper circulation continues to decline in markets small, medium and large and more and more people go to the Web to get their journalism (God bless each and every one of you), the power of any one paper's endorsement has been reduced considerably.

With all rules, however, there are exceptions. For Republicans, that exception is the Manchester Union Leader whose conservative editorial page still carries significant weight with GOP base voters in the Granite State. The Union-Leader has chosen its horse already in this election, however, penning an editorial endorsing Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) on Dec. 2.

For Democrats, the ultimate endorsement prize is the Des Moines Register, which has yet to pick its candidate - a decision that is almost certain to come after Thursday's Democratic debate sponsored by the newspaper and Iowa Public Television.

Although the Register's endorsement of former Sen. Bill Bradley (N.J.) over then Vice President Al Gore proved ineffectual to the challenger's candidacy seven years ago, that hiccup has been forgotten given the Register's role in 2004. In that race, the paper's nod is widely credited with then-Sen. John Edwards' (N.C.) surprising second-place finish in Iowa and emergence as Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) main rival for the nomination and then ultimately his ticketmate.

With Iowa being cast as the central contest in the race for the nomination, every Democratic candidate craves the Register's nod and hours are spent within the innermost sanctums of these campaigns trying to read between the lines of the paper's daily editorials.

Take the editorial published on Tuesday that urged a "realistic" approach to removing troops from Iraq.

"The next president won't take office until more than a year from now, and conditions on the ground could be far different," read the editorial. "Setting a general timetable for withdrawal and beginning the pullout would show the Iraqis they must figure out how to run their own government and provide their own security."

And, for good measure, the editorial board added: "Despite the eventual goal of leaving no residual forces in Iraq, it's irresponsible to insist that all forces, including non-combat troops, must come out and criticize competitors who won't commit to that by a certain date, as Bill Richardson has done. That's pandering to voters seeking easy answers."

It doesn't take an expert tea leave reader to see that the above words are, um, bad news for the New Mexico governor. Richardson has staked much of his campaign on his proposal to remove all troops from Iraq by the end of the year and, the Register editorial board at least, doesn't agree.

But, if not Richardson who? Read one way, the Iraq editorial cited above is supportive of the approach that Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) has advocated for months. Biden's proposal to split the state into three separate regions for the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds offers a way forward in Iraq that has already garnered some Republican support. The issue also plays to Biden's strong suit -- his 30 plus years of foreign policy experience.

So, Biden it is.

Well, not so fast. Biden remains a decided longshot in the race and it's hard to imagine the Register throwing its support behind someone for whom a "win" would be a third place showing.

That fact seems to narrow the Register's likely choice down to just three: Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Edwards.

The lone major difference between the trio when it comes to the war in Iraq is that Obama opposed the conflict from the beginning. Both Edwards and Clinton voted for the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq; Edwards has apologized for that vote while Clinton has said that if she knew then what she knows now she never would have supported the measure.

Is that difference enough to tip the Register's hand? Perhaps.

But what about Clinton, whose practical politics have drawn her considerable criticism during the campaign but seem to line up nicely with the sort of blueprint for Iraq that the Register is advocating? Clinton could also benefit from the fact that six of the seven members of the editorial board are women but that, of course, presents a dilemma in its own right.

"It will cause all sorts of second-guessing," Carol Hunter, the editorial page editor recently told the Post's Howard Kurtz. "We can't win. If we endorse her, it will be 'Well, of course.' If we don't, there will be all sorts of questions raised about why."

Edwards was the paper's pick in 2004 and has dedicated much of the last three years to cultivating and consolidating his base of support in Iowa. Hunter, as Kurtz noted, has praised Edwards for his focus on poverty. But, the membership of the editorial board is almost entirely new in this election and therefore it's not likely Edwards can depend on residual good will for the nod.

The truth is that those who know just aren't talking and the rest of us are left to speculate. In 2004 the endorsement came on Jan. 11, eight days before the Iowa caucuses. Given the upcoming holidays and the Jan. 3 caucus date, it seems likely that an endorsement will come sooner this time around. Our guess? Either this Sunday (Dec. 16) or next (Dec. 23). And we really are waiting with bated breath.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 12, 2007; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

My only explanation for this ridiculous endorsement is that the women on the DMR board want to relive Bill's sexual exploits during the previous Clinton era. I guess those tawdry stories added a little spice to their boring lives.

Posted by: zb95 | December 16, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Ms Clinton has done nothing but play dirty politics since her numbers began to slide. Her campaign has tried to bring down Obama with all sorts of wild baseless attacks such as: 1) he is corrupt and has a slush fund; 2) he is obsessed with being president which started in kindergarten; 3) he is too liberal and is hiding his true beliefs; 4) he is a closet radical Muslim intent on destroying America; 5) he is a drug addict and drug dealer. Yet, DMR rewards this with an endorsement. Pathetic.

Posted by: zb95 | December 16, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The DMR article states "The choice, then, comes down to preparedness". So 8 years of having tea and crumpets with wives of foreign leaders has prepared her for being president? I think not. Do you forget that she voted for the Iraq war and was a Bush Iraq war cheerleader for years? She also voted to back Bush on the bogus Iran resolution. Does that sound like she is prepared for anything?? She only floats with the political winds. This election is about integrity, honesty, straightforwardness and hope, none of which Ms Clinton offers much of. The DMR is wrong, very wrong on this endorsement.

Posted by: zb95 | December 16, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

How on earth could The DMR possibly select Hillary Clinton?!? She offers nothing but more of the same. She represents what many hate most about politics. Half of this country despises her and growing. Many in her own party will never vote for her. Obama has inspired the people of Iowa and all across America. He offers hope, integrity, vision, passion and possibly a chance to bring this country back together again. Hillary Clinton will only divide us further. Is that what the DMR wants? Sad.

Posted by: zb95 | December 16, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Drndl/Claudia, I am now convinced YOU are the most popular person on this blog. Certainly, your comments seem to fuel the most reactions! :)

"If you want to think for yourself, then close your newspaper, turn off your computer, and seek out the candidates 1-on-1 and ask your own dam* questions. If you are able."

bsimon, regarding that comment -- I get what you're saying, but how do you propose we get the information on the candidates' stances if we don't live in Iowa? What if we never get a chance to talk to them? You know, as well as I do, that your comment is preposterous. You just didn't like my dismissal of Iowa.

Posted by: femalenick | December 12, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The sad irony is that Richardson is the only one that clearly sees the situation in Iraq as it is and has the experience and knowledge to wage the diplomatic offensive that will be necessary once the US leaves Iraq. Obama, Clinton and Edwards all refuse to pledge to exit Iraq by 2013.

Posted by: shcassidy | December 12, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What's unrealistic is that Americans think they know what's best for the Iraqi people.

Some research on the history of the region, and international terrorism, will demonstrate that Biden's 3-state federalist solution will only erupt more conflict once they are divided. Iraqis have lived together in peace (excluding Saddam's madness) for many decades. They can do it again. Waiting there without an immediate withdraw does not reconcile the lowered death rates either. Unfortunately, expect there to be another surge in violence soon. Militias need time to regroup.

Richardson's plan is the most realistic, logistically and diplomatically. It has been approved by many retired generals, which you can see on his campaign website.

Posted by: mb63143 | December 12, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Endorsements by politicians, people of wealth, and newspapers should not be taken seriously, because they are looking out for themselves. Most politicians, unions, newspapers and people with money endorse candidates because they're looking out for themselves and not the majority of Americans. It's about what is it worth to me and not about what is it worth to America. American voters should not be fooled by endorsements. They need to decide for themselves who they believe is the candidate with the right vision for America's future is. They need to decide for themselves who the most honest candidate is. They need to decide for themselves which candidate has the best judgement and integrity. Voters should not blindly follow the endorsement of those who have cut deals with candidates for their endorsement, because after the election it's these people who benefit the most, not the ordinary voter.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | December 12, 2007 05:04 PM

"

100%. When endorements are announced the question the voter asks, is "What's in it for the endorser."

If their is little or nothing to gain financially, I think the enorsment has a little more weight, Like oprah. If it only for financail reasons, it should be looked at as a bribe.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I am not swayed by endorsements from any of these mentioned. I try and find the candidate that AGREES WITH ME on the issues I believe most important, then who would have the best chance of getting them done.

Posted by: lylepink | December 12, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Endorsements by politicians, people of wealth, and newspapers should not be taken seriously, because they are looking out for themselves. Most politicians, unions, newspapers and people with money endorse candidates because they're looking out for themselves and not the majority of Americans. It's about what is it worth to me and not about what is it worth to America. American voters should not be fooled by endorsements. They need to decide for themselves who they believe is the candidate with the right vision for America's future is. They need to decide for themselves who the most honest candidate is. They need to decide for themselves which candidate has the best judgement and integrity. Voters should not blindly follow the endorsement of those who have cut deals with candidates for their endorsement, because after the election it's these people who benefit the most, not the ordinary voter.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | December 12, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

oops - I fat fingered the last post, meant to add

Unfortunately, I do not think that is a very likely scenario.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 12, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with you bigred1120 - the top four Democratic candidates are all flawed and Biden is head and shouders above them. I would devoutly wish that he gets the endorsement and it enables him to win or finish second and the momentum propels him into the top tier.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 12, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"and seriously, who reads the paper nowadays when theres the internet?" Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:02 PM

Old people, that's who. And guess what, they vote/caucus religiously.

Despite what all of us here in the blogosphere might like to think, many of the people out in the real world are oblivious to what is going on here.

Also, regarding the endorsement, I think it will go to Biden because he is the best candidate, despite his polling, and the top three (or four including Bill R.) are all flawed candidates.

Hillary has the highest negatives of any candidate on either side, Obama is too inexperienced, Edwards is also too inexperienced and did't get it done in 2004. (He didn't even help the ticket carry his home state.)

Posted by: bigred1120 | December 12, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Brooks,
Why are you pointing finger for nuclear information to India? Do you have any proof or you just hate India and their citizens ?

Posted by: skarfam | December 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Zouk loves to bait. He is a master at it. I'll give you that

He is a master baiter.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The great thing about the endorsment game is, you get to see where teh endorsee stands. In the democratic istances, you have many unions or groups endorsing clinton for financial reason. You have individuals and other groups endorsing Edwards and Obama.

So the idealogical endorsments are going to the liberals. The bribe money votes are going to the moderates. Gives us a change to look at hillary's endorsments for what they are. I wish bribery was as serious as an offense as it was in past republcains/democracies. Corruption always is the beast that rots govenrment from within.

I say chanrge the lobbyists for bribery. What how fast BRIBEY in politics stop if they start getting 40 years each. The only way to fix our government. Accounability. They must be accountable to the people, not just stock holders. Politics is not econmics. Politics is war by other means. Bribes are still bribes, no matter what you call them.

Look at clintons endorsments and ask why these groups endorse her. Money? Or principles? Money or the future of this great nation? To those that would say they are the same, youo are lost. Money is only worth the tangible things it buys.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Might be curious if they endoresed no one. I won't try to fathom who the "Register" will endorse, but feel it would mean the most to Edwards.

Clinton's in a downward spiral and I agree with some above that the paper's not Obama's biggest fan.

For those Hawkeyes who are upset at Illinois, may I state the following. My grandfather was born in Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois so can I cross over to Davenport and vote twice?

Posted by: Smokescreen | December 12, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I think Oprah's embrace of Obama will turn out to be the most influential endorsement of the nomination race.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 12, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Me three on Richardson. The pull 'em out ASAP policy in Iraq sealed it for me.

Next!

Posted by: bsimon | December 12, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

When I first posted here I was strongly considering Richardson. That was so long ago. His Iraq "stategy" and his not being ready for television doomed his campaign.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 12, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"I thought highly of Richardson until he came out with his plan. It was completely unrealistic, and would lead to serious problems in the region. For someone who is supposed to have such great experience it was a rookie move." posted by AndyR3

I had great hopes for Richardson - a moderate, Southwestern governor, good record, extensive experience on the national and international scene .... and then he espouses a ridiculously unrealistic plan for Iraq.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 12, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Word is born. How did india get it's nuke program? Who gave them the knowledge?

So who is spreading the technology of nukular weapons around the globe? I say disarm, other than a few "responsible "countries, outside of teh constant fight fry. Like switzerland. That was the purposes of nukes. Not for everyone to have them, but the good guys. Not to wag MORE war but less.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree that they are unlikely to endorse Obama, most especially because Yepsen has been so negative toward him in the last couple of weeks. Indeed, I think it may be Edwards and it should help him. I don't know if it's enough to put him over the top, though. I'm beginning to believe all the press about the strength of Obama's organization in Iowa. I hope they're right.

Posted by: cmss1 | December 12, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

claudialong - And just to make you feel even worse, Jordan, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, and who knows where else, all have nuclear "energy" programs thanks to our "allies" in India. In fact, Argentina and Brazil's programs are out-in-the-open nuclear WEAPONS programs.

Once upon a time the United States had the moral authority to do something about this sort of dangerous proliferation, but no more. We tortured prisoners, we filmed prisoners being tortured and in the face of court orders to preserve those tapes the Bush Administration ordered them destroyed, we had actual discussions, taken seriously by the administration, *still* taekn serious by this Whitehouse, about using nuclear bunker busters to knock out Iran and North Korea's programs, using nuclear weapons to wipe out their military bases, U.S. corporations have established factories using child labor in Indian and Bangledesh to make clothing, slave labor (Karin people) in Burma that even made cmpaign buttons for the 2004 Republican election effort, those same corporations have moved millions of jobs from North Amercia and Europe to Asia producing poisonus children's toys and generic pharmaceutical drugs (in India) that are outright danerous and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, and much much more. We SQUANDERED our moral authority, "we the people" allowed our government, our elected leaders, both Democrat and Republican, to toss it in the garbage and p*ss on it. Never again, no more votes for evil men and women, even the lesser of two evils. Either we are a moral nation, a nation recovering it's moral staure in the world or we deserve anniliation.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 12, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"we ARE WINNING MILITARILY; Good enough for the time being"

So... The surge was designed to produce a stable environment in which the Iraqi gov't could start doing its job & running their own country, eventually taking over security, etc, enabling us to leave, or mostly leave.

Instead, with 140% (give or take) of 2005 troop levels, we've achieved 2005 levels of violence. This is touted as a major accomplishment?

Meanwhile Sec Gates is calling for NATO to refocus in Afghanistan, as the Taliban is rebuilding strength, as is al Qaida. It is unclear whether we have any spare troops to contribute to a NATO surge in Afghanistan, as our spares are serving in Iraq.

Posted by: bsimon | December 12, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"toil in obscurity"

don't you mean NBC, CNN, NYTimes, Krazy Keith, Kruggman et al?

I think Rush has the biggest audience on radio, O'Reilly and Fox the biggest audience on cable, etc.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Regarding questions about Iowa's fitness to be first-in-the-nation caucus. After spending many years living in large cities on both coasts and now in Iowa, I must say that I find the people here much more representative of real America. Nearly immune from the jaded politics of DC and the trends/fads of the large cities, people here are in touch with family, community, schools, health care, alternative energy and the economy. I would rather have the next president decided by a small group of highly informed voters in a truly democratic setting than by people who have to commit nothing more than pulling a lever in the voting booth.

Posted by: PrairieRobin | December 12, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Johnsoap: A 3rd finish by Biden would be hugh for him and would give him a legitimate shot at being the Dem nominee. He would be taken seriously by all the talking heads and would garner a lot of media attention that could propel him in NH, where he is a neighbor being that he's from Delaware. I like Joe or Obama, wouldn't vote them but if they won I would not be sick to my stomach as I would if Hillary won. I don't even want to go there.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse


I see rufas has entered the fray with the usual Lib defense of its positions.

the total weakness in everything Lib is on display. Please manage to proclaim this to the voters before the next election. We deserve to know what cowards you all are and how indefensible your positions are. but I think the word is getting out. all the false campaign promises from last time will be broacast again before the next time. Ooooopppps.

but you will respond - no fair using our own words against us.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Zouk is a fascist propogandist geroge bush lawyer. ignore him. You'd get more give and take taking to a brick wall outsdide. Zouk does not care about the issue. Lie spin and discredit. Divide and conquer. That is the gop game. The only power they have is the power you give them. LEt the zouks and rush's of the world toil in obscurity. Ignore him/her.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Biden remains a decided longshot in the race and it's hard to imagine the Register throwing its support behind someone for whom a 'win' would be a third place showing."

This is different from Edwards in 2004... how?

Posted by: johnsosp | December 12, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

educate ourselves about politics in general instead of knee jerk reactions like that

I would estimate that I am fairly knowledgable about politics in general. did you mean Democrat talking points in general? For example, an American citizen has more to fear from the CIA than Muslim jihadists? Is that the fear you are trying to dispel? Or is it the fear that we may scare a terrorist into revealing secrets with aggressive methods?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

drindl's military solution - most laughable post of the week:

invade our allies, talk our enemies into submission. Over throw elected democracies, appease dictators. Abandon a military victory, start a new effort elsewhere.

and that pretty much sums up why the loony libs will continue to lose elections.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, by all means, next time vote with ignorance in mind - that is vote D

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 01:28 PM

point proven, maybe if we would educate ourselves about politics in general instead of knee jerk reactions like that. maybe america would be a better place.

im jumping out for a few, work is piling up,be back in a few.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

too bad, the neighborhood always goes to hell at noon. CC, I'm sorry for you.

Posted by: claudialong | December 12, 2007 01:26 PM


Translation - my perverse views on everything about the sky falling get called into question. since when do I have to defend my views? Everything I say is "settled".

whatever, drindl. just keep barking at the moon.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, by all means, next time vote with ignorance in mind - that is vote D

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes-ya know, if americans feel unsafe, its because its the non stop fearmongering of the last 6-7 years. (not pointing any fingers but you know who you are).may i recommend that the next time you vote, dont vote with fear in mind?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

too bad, the neighborhood always goes to hell at noon. CC, I'm sorry for you.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, 22% of Americans approve of Congress, essentially unchanged from last month

doing a great job brownie..... I mean Harry worthless speck of dust Reid

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

'HONG KONG - Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Monday that the American economy might slip into recession by year's end.'

'while ignoring an enemy who has sworn to kill us'

tht would be al queda. in pakistan.

an ally who has a deal with bin ladin and the taliban not to bother them? they call it a 'truce'

mushareff elected? LOL. pakistan is now a police state. But I guess that's what you like and hope for here.

but don't let facts and reason get in our way.

It's very easy to criticise about Pakistan, etc., but ultimately, how about some solutions?

i state the solution previously. US special forces and spies into the Waziristan area -- no more US taxpayer money unltil mushareff cracks down.

Joe Biden agrees, certianly on the latter party, probably secretly on the former.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

In anticipation of the introduction and vote on a massive appropriations bill this week, Republican staffers, outside interest groups, and spending watchdogs are preparing for a frantic race to figure out what exactly is in this bill.

Republicans have been largely locked out of drafting meetings for the omnibus spending bill, which funds almost every federal agency. Despite the Democrat's new transparency rules this year, this appropriations measure is moving as an "amendment between houses", which exempts the bill from earmark disclosure rules. I find this especially disturbing because Democrats, since winning the election, have peddled transparency and accountability ad nauseum as mandates from the American people to which they hold sacred. Now, on the eve of this massive collection of spending bills worth billions of dollars of taxpayer money, their mandate is suddenly nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, even as they prepare to blitzkrieg enormous legislation stuffed full of secret earmarks in absolute silence, we now see what transparency really means to the Democrats.

Last week the Rules Committee approved a rule to introduce the bill Tuesday and fast-track it to the floor the same day. This skirts normal procedures which require 72 hours notice before a bill goes to the floor. To prevent this, Republicans offered an amendment that would have required a published list of earmarks, but the amendment was defeated.

This bill was anticipated to come to the floor last night, but Democratic leaders pulled the bill in light of the inability to reach consensus among their own caucus, not to mention Republicans, concerned with the fiscal ramifications and undisclosed pork throughout the bill.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) claims Republicans were bargaining in bad faith, but the truth is we were never invited to the table.

One of the great challenges will be finding where they buried earmarks in thousands of pages of legislation in only a few hours.

http://greeneyeshade.townhall.com/blog

the party of central power - CCCP

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Its a very dangerous World we live in. You better quit Reminding us of that Jay, if you guys want to win next year. If Americans feel unsafe in Nov 08, we win, you lose. I am firmly at this stage for Mitt and will stay with him. I have made up my mind. Huck better stop the nonsense with the religion or I will not even support him for VP.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 12, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

drindl's sagacity points to invading an ally who has an elected government while ignoring an enemy who has sworn to kill us. does anyone wonder why Libs are never trusted on foreign policy? now you know.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 01:12 PM

tranlation:he may be a b@stard but he's our b@stard!

hmmm let me see a dictator who just stepped down from his army post,who belongs to a party thats a shade lighter than the taliban, with his country under marshal law. man with friends like him and that saudi monarchy who needs enemies?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

drindl's sagacity points to invading an ally who has an elected government while ignoring an enemy who has sworn to kill us. does anyone wonder why Libs are never trusted on foreign policy? now you know.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, although I don't agree with you much of the time, I feel your frustration here. It's very easy to criticise about Pakistan, etc., but ultimately, how about some solutions?

In the eyes of the liberal extremist, of course it's Bush's fault that Musharraf hasn't kept ahold of that country tighter, isn't more benevolent, they have nukes, etc...

When Kerry was asked in the '04 campaign, what he would do differently than Bush, his answer was always the same: "I'd also (engage in diplomacy, go to war, threaten sanctions, fill in the blank), but I'd do it better, I'd have been successful"

It's the kind of answer people give when all they can do in life is complain and have no solutions to offer.

Posted by: JD | December 12, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

well said egc52556. Ignore the authoritarians telling you how to vote. they are trying to froce the left's hand as they are trying to get hillary the nomination. Calling her enivitable. Attacking her like she is the nom. They wish. Hillary is the only dem, the r's can beat. They wish she would get the nom.

Vote as you wish. to all those telling you what matters and what doesn't matter, they show their fascist faces.

Good luck and God Bless.

Please take a seriou slook at Sen. Obama, if you already haven't

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 12, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"we'r heaidng into a recession and deeply in debt to the government of China,"

Let's see, who is more plausible - drindl or Greenspan? close call but......

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the myth that the Democrats' 2006 victory represented some sort of tidal wave of good-government reform is laying on the ground in a battered heap of implausibility. Senate Democrats recently abandoned the canard of "paygo" - a budgeting gimmick that requires paying for tax cuts or spending increases with spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere. Pork-barrel spending - the GOP's Achilles' heel in '06 - is now the Democrats' problem.

Twice since the Democrats took over Congress with a much-trumpeted "mandate" to end the war, they've ended up voting to fund it, and it looks like it will happen again. The Bush and Maliki administrations have announced a long-term partnership that will permit military bases in Iraq for years, if not generations, to come. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's antiwar point man, Rep. Jack Murtha, accidentally admitted last week that the surge was working. And we've now learned that Pelosi and other leading Democrats have known about CIA waterboarding since 2002 and were apparently fine with it then.

The lesson that Democratic victory isn't magically transformative is a grievous one for the activists who'd dreamed of a fairy-tale deliverance from Bush. And the first stage of grief is denial - that's why they're flocking to Obama.

As Washington politics grow more disappointing, Obama's appeal grows because not just any Democrat will do anymore. As Oprah put it over the weekend, "You got to step out of your box. We can step out of our box and dream America anew again by supporting Barack Obama."

Translation: Voting for Hillary will keep you in the box. The first female front-runner for president is, amazingly, the candidate of the establishment. For all except a few feminists, she's a buzz-kill. Voting for Clinton just doesn't make Democrats feel good about themselves.

They still want a victory that will magically change the world. Unfortunately for her, neither "Democrat" nor "Clinton" nor "Hillary" is an abracadabra word anymore. But "Obama" is.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=the_democrats_feel-good_guy&ns=JonahGoldberg&dt=12/12/2007&page=2

But maybe Santa or the tooth fairy will emerge and finally win an election for the Dems. but they lost the LA special election too. what is that 0 for 3 since their methods were revealed?


Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

We simply don't have the resources to protect ourselves from our actual enemies, because they're all in Iraq.

Meaning our 'resources' as regards our military. Of course, we'r heaidng into a recession and deeply in debt to the government of China, so that's a problem too.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

ARE WINNING MILITARILY-ok bhoomes but wasnt the surge about trying to get the iraqi parliment some breathing room so they can have political reconciliation?

sorry not me moving the goal posts, but please stop changing history.

also, no one is saying invade pakistan,but seriously, do you really feel safe that mushariff is one gun shot away from a nuclear armed taliban(and not predicting what india is going to do.)

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis
Bubbles cannot be safely defused by monetary policy before the speculative fever breaks on its own.

BY ALAN GREENSPAN

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010981

some actual economics for those who are tired of drindl's hogwash.


Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

'We do not at the time have the necessary support anywhere to invade Pakistan to clean out Al Queada.'

These are our enemies who attacked us on 9/11, and are planning on attacking us again. We don't need no f*cking support from anyone. We don't have to ask anyone's permission to defend ourselves. We simply don't have the resources to protect ourselves from our actual enemies, because they're all in Iraq.

Looks like this election is shaping up to be a relgious war:

'The interaction of religion and politics is helping to roil the Republican presidential race, with Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney gaining ground, while support for Rudy Giuliani, down especially among conservatives and highly engaged voters, has slipped to its lowest level of the year.

With a rally among evangelical Protestants, Huckabee's advanced sharply in this national ABC News/Washington Post poll, while Romney's made some progress allaying concerns about his Mormon religion. Along with Giuliani's diminished lead, his one-time chief competitors, John McCain and Fred Thompson, are near their own lows.'

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Jay/Claudia: Fairly safe means we are being effective at keeping them on the defensive and Jay please quit moving the Goal Posts, you guys(maybe not you) said the Surge was doomed to failure with more Americans getting killed. The opposite is true and we ARE WINNING MILITARILY; Good enough for the time being. We do not at the time have the necessary support anywhere to invade Pakistan to clean out Al Queada. Unfortunately, we have to be attacked again before we can get that support. Just the reality of it, I do not like it any more than you.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 12, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I was born, raised and lived in Iowa until this past summer. I can tell you from what I have seen, that Register endorsement is powerful in two different ways. 1) If people are truly not sure who they want to support, it can make people lean that way. 2) If a supposed 2nd tier candidate gets the nod, it gives people who were not sure if they're vote would be wasted to actually caucus for the person on at least the first ballot. And that first ballot is huge. People who go to a candidate who does not get viability have power in the second and final round. Sometimes they will move as a block. Or, if they're close to viability, they will try to pick up other people and that endorsement can help there, too. So with how the caucus system works, it can be very helpful to the candidate who gets the endorsement.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | December 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I live in Iowa and I caucus.

EVERYTHING I read has an influence on me and my vote. If you think it is a waste of time to pay attention to an endorsement from professional journalists and politicos who have spent several hours with all the candidates in close quarters, then I don't know why you are even bothering to read The Fix.

If you want to think for yourself, then close your newspaper, turn off your computer, and seek out the candidates 1-on-1 and ask your own dam* questions. If you are able.

Until then read all you can, make your own judgments the best can, based on the best 2nd-hand information you can find.

P.S. Complaints about the insignificance of Iowa should just shut it. Iowa is completely ignored by the urbanite politicians of America except during Presidential primary season. If this is what it takes to get a little attention now and then, so be it.

Posted by: egc52556 | December 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

bhoonmes, any day now al queda will have hold of Pakistan's atomic weapons. and we are doing nothing to stop them. we don't actually know where they are, but the Saudi princes were given a tour of the facilities -- all of them -- just last month.

we are less safe than we ever have been.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

no - not facts, we Libs detest facts:

According to the AP, Clinton also said "his wife's bipartisan work in the Senate proves she can accomplish her campaign's message of change, and that records matter more than rhetoric." But Hillary couldn't even get her massive health-care plan through a Democratic House and Senate. In Carl Bernstein's biography, he reported Hillary made enemies among Senate Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan by threatening to "demonize" them if they didn't swallow her health plan whole. Does that sound like a formula for bipartisan rule in 2009?

Looking at Hillary's public record would also mean taking a serious look at her very liberal Senate voting record. She has a perfect 100 pro-abortion score with NARAL Pro-Choice America. Except for "gay marriage," she's pretty much perfect with the gay Human Rights Campaign lobby. She gets an F from the National Rifle Association. On fiscal issues, she gets an F from the National Taxpayers Union, a 14-percent score from Citizens Against Government Waste, and only a 6.7 percent score from Americans for Tax Reform. Her lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 9 percent.

At every turn, whether it is scandalous behavior or a scandalously liberal voting record, Bill Clinton knows full well that if the press were really focusing "like a laser beam" on Hillary's past, her poll ratings would be dropping, not skyrocketing.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=revisit_the_clinton_record&ns=BrentBozellIII&dt=12/12/2007&page=2

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

so sad...

'Polls show the public holds congressional Republicans in low esteem. Boehner's effort to craft a new agenda for Republicans remains under wraps. And in the minority leader's own words, their fundraising "sucks."

"Now the money sucks for two reasons," Boehner said in a Politico interview. "People are mad at the president; they are mad at the party. People just turned off the spigot."

Boehner has undertaken a study, consulting corporate image experts, to "re-brand" the party. But so far, no big ideas have emerged.'

LOL -- your party is out of ideas. Looking everywhere, but can't find a single one--so they've 'undertaken a study' consulting 'image experts' to tell you how to think. maybe they'll tell you to wear earth tones...

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes-nice seeing you again. but seriously,can you point to any political movement in iraq? and define fairly safe if al quida is still operational,especially in light of the bombing in algeria?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If it's the economy stupid its because we made you fairly safe from terrorism and also winning the War in Iraq. As an early supporter of Huckabee, he's losing me fast with his focus on Religion. I was bothered by his ad as a Christian Leader and now in an interview with the NY Times, he;s again injecting Religion into this race. Please someboy ask him if his apparent materialism is a part of his Christian Faith!

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 12, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

http://wonkette.com/politics/war-on-christmas/santa-jesus-killing-themselves-332999.php?autoplay=true

this proves to me that everyone in the RNC is just as simple-minded and hateful as their most rabid adherents. the 12 days of christmas, folks, seething with hatred for democrats, lies, etc.

most of you won't be able to get rhough it, i only got to 'on the 4th day of xmas the liberals gave to me -- '$4 bucks a gallon.' you see--bcause it's the evil democrats who are resonsible for Iraq and the price of gas.

yyou can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

zouk-well since you asked, (and no today is not opposite day) a few things happened
1)low turn out in those two districts,(it was raining in OH-5 so weather is a factor also)
2) the districts themselves were conservative.
3)forcing the RCCC to spend money in what was supposed to be a safe seat, is pretty much a win in that column.
4)from what i saw on my cable news networks(before the weather knocked my direct tv out) was yet another missing white woman(i thought stacy peterson was dead, huh funny.)

but hey congrats to your two new gop reps and keeping the status quo intact!

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, are you implying that CNN is biased against the GOP? :-)

To be fair, those were GOP holds, not really new wins. But you're right, it would be news if the Dems had captured those seats, sort of a man-bites-dog story.

Posted by: JD | December 12, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: The candidate's name is in bold and accompanied by a link the first time it's used. Edwards' name is bold and earlier in the piece.

Novamatt, you make a good point that an endorsement matters more in a caucus. In the caucus, a voter might have to make multiple candidate selections. I could imagine voters deciding on their first-choice candidate, then using the newspaper endorsement to come up with a choice for the second round.

Posted by: Blarg | December 12, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The NYDailyNews reports on the chaos inside the campaign of the woman who has to wake up every morning knowing 50% of the country hates her. While the wheels are coming off, staff has to deal with a purple-faced Bubba screaming down the phone. If they do this over Iowa what would Team Clinton do back in the White House when "they" head this way again?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

nice try KOZ. When the GOPers hold strong GOP seats, it's really not such a big deal.

Posted by: Spectator2 | December 12, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

What - no mention of the utter stomping of the Dem in OH-5. 50 -36 Just can't win elections can you Dems? something tells me if the Dem had won or even come close, the Lib media would have trumpeted it to the sky as a momentus sea change in the electorate.

Likewise in VA-01 Whitman (r) won 63-35. Not a peep from CNN.

so the obvious result of Dems winning the congressional majority is that the voters see the difference between the promises (aka - lies) and the reality and revoke the trust in the Dems. Loof for more of the same in 2008.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

CC: "expert tea leave reader"? Come now... Might this sloppiness (and your generally uninspired, banal observations) demonstrate the value of editors and explain why internet journalism isn't respected?

Posted by: pepin | December 12, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

back on topic, i wonder if CC would contrast the potental endorsement of the des moines register to the national review's picking of romney?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess we have all complained about the Post and MSM's not too thinly veiled support of certain candidates, but Chris this is really low. Clinton and Obama in 16 point type, bold and underlined, hyperlinks to their web pages, followed by Edwards in small print. If there is any integrity left at the Post, you will correct this immediately.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 12, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I can see an endorsement from the DMR mattering for someone who hasn't been paying super-close attention and likes a cluster of candidates. Which probably fairly describes a number of central Iowa voters.

Also, I think endorsements matter more for caucus-goers than primary voters. A caucus is, after all, performative voting among one's neighbors. People notice, and the semiotics of standing up for a Kucinich or a Hillary or an Obama can mean a great deal. To support the DMR-endorsed candidate is a safe move.

An endorsement that used to matter a great deal was the Manchester Union Leader's, back when the Loebs were the fiercest rock-ribbed conservatives in a rock-ribbed conservative state. The Union Leader and New Hampshire have changed over the last few decades.

Posted by: novamatt | December 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's how our lax lending regulations have destroyed america's credibility in the financial world, and allowed China and Middle Eastern countries to buy the Western world's financial institutions. If we get into a tiff with them, they can simply freeze our assets....

'Now, in a reversal of fortune, it's Swiss banking that is desperate for help. The cash crunch, precipitated by America's mortgage crisis, has blown a hole in some hitherto rock-solid balance sheets.

As a result, the Gnomes (who in folklore live underground and guard treasure) have been forced to shove their wheelbarrows round the world's financial centres in the hope that kindly investors will chuck in some dollars.

Mighty UBS - formerly the Union Bank of Switzerland - has turned to the government of Singapore for a recapitalisation, after losing $13.5bn in the US sub-prime market. The Singaporeans have injected nearly $10bn into the bank, with an extra $1.7bn coming from the Middle East (probably Oman).

It is another example of the extraordinary recalibration of power between Old World financial empires and state funds from emerging nations. Singapore's move comes shortly after the Chinese bought a stake in Barclays, and Abu Dhabi shored up Citigroup.'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/12/12/ccjeff112.xml&CMP=ILC-most

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"given the tone of Yepsen's columns I would guess they would go with the establishment and corporate Hillary."

Is Yepsen on the editorial board? Or just a columnist? In either case, a good observation.

Posted by: bsimon | December 12, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

claudia-i remember a old saying that would pretty much sum up your post. (no offense of course)

"its the economy stupid"

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

given the tone of Yepsen's columns I would guess they would go with the establishment and corporate Hillary.
Obama seems to make them upset because he lives in next door Illinois. and the paper, especially Yepsen, seems to love to cast those of us in Illinois as criminals and mobsters. Nevermind that Chicago is one city in a largely rural state. We are all mobsters in his pea size brain and seems to think we are sneaking over the boarder of Illnois into Iowa (I'm sure we are also thought as illegals as well) to steal the caucus.
I sincerely hope my neighbors to the west do not hold the same views as their newspaper does about us in Illinois.

Posted by: vwcat | December 12, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Just in time for Christmas:

'Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads.

In a report "Recession Coming" released today, the bank's US team said the credit crunch had started to inflict serious damage on US companies.

"Slipping sales and tightening credit are pushing companies into liquidation mode, especially in motor vehicles," it said.

"As delinquencies and defaults soar, lenders are tightening credit for commercial, credit card and auto lending, as well as for all mortgage borrowers," said the report, written by the bank's chief US economist Dick Berner. He said the foreclosure rate on residential mortgages had reached a 19-year high of 5.59pc in the third quarter while the glut of unsold properties would lead to a 40pc crash in housing construction.'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=A1YourView&xml=/money/2007/12/11/cnusa111.xml

wonder what effect THIS will have on the election?

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

femalenick writes
"The caucus process sounds nuts at best - where a second choice can end up the winner."

I disagree. It actually makes a lot of sense, like 'instant run-off voting'. Rather than producing a winner based on a plurality, you get a winner based on more of a consensus. People who's favorite candidate might be polling in single digits still end up playing a part in the process.

Posted by: bsimon | December 12, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"With all due respect to the fine citizens of Iowa and the Register, should so much emphasis and importance be given to them?"

Good question, rdklingus. I personally don't think so because of two reasons:

1) Iowans are not representative of the general population because the population and economy lacks the diversity of most states and Evangelical Christians make up 40% of the electorate

2) The caucus process sounds nuts at best - where a second choice can end up the winner.

I've stopped paying attention to the polls in Iowa as a result -- and clearly newspaper endorsements are meaningless.

Posted by: femalenick | December 12, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the folks above that this endorsement doesn't mean much, but then again I don't live in Iowa so who knows.

I will say though that there view on Richardson's Iraq ploy, oh I mean plan is spot on. I thought highly of Richardson until he came out with his plan. It was completely unrealistic, and would lead to serious problems in the region. For someone who is supposed to have such great experience it was a rookie move.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 12, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

ill say it once and ill say it again, endorsements are a dime a dozen, the only one that really matters is the folks who go out and vote for their canidate.

and seriously, who reads the paper nowadays when theres the internet?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | December 12, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to the fine citizens of Iowa and the Register, should so much emphasis and importance be given to them?

Posted by: rdklingus | December 12, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

'the preservation of marriage, '

funny thing is, the biggest threat to marriage is divorce. so the easy solution is a constutional amendment banning divorce. problem solved.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Des Monines Register will endorese Hillary because they will be threatned by Clinton Inc. to never ever get an interview again with Bill if they don't. The Clintons use fear in getting their endorsements. They say like GWB likes to say "If your not for us then your against us" The democratic political establishment is simply afraid of them. Afraid of picking the wrong horse and being froze out of the WH if Hillary should win. (Yeah Right)

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"Anyone who decides for whom to vote based on the (biased) endorsement of a paper's editorial board ought to be disenfranchised."

I'm thinking along those lines. If Iowans are 'experts' at winnowing down the candidates by paying close attention to the nuance of the living-room politics forced upon our next President, how on earth could a newspaper endorsement affect the outcome?

Posted by: bsimon | December 12, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who decides for whom to vote based on the (biased) endorsement of a paper's editorial board ought to be disenfranchised.

Educate yourself on the issues, think for yourself, and make a decision; else, stay home and let those who know what they are doing make the call.

Posted by: JD | December 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt that this means much anymore, CC. This is probably a more important story...

'Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney earned a much-needed conservative shout-out today, winning the endorsement of National Review magazine, which called him "a natural ally of social conservatives" and said he is "a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest."

I fully expected them to go with Rudy, the sweetheart of the neocon cabal.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how the DMR can't go with Edwards again. He fits their mold of the "perfect candidate."

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | December 12, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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