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The Line: Shaking Up the GOP Presidential Rankings

Wow. What a week.

Former Sen. John Edwards's (D-N.C.) announcement on Thursday that his wife's cancer has returned -- but that he will remain in the race -- was yet another reminder of just how unpredictable politics can be.

It's tough to gauge what impact Elizabeth Edwards's cancer relapse will have on the contest. As we wrote yesterday, there are more questions than there are answers right now.

For the moment, Edwards stays in third place in our ranking of the Democratic field -- behind Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.). On the Republican side, however, we have a new No. 1!

As always, the No. 1 candidates below are the ones most likely to win their party's nomination in 2008. It's still early in the cycle and much can change, so don't be too disappointed if your favorite candidate doesn't crack the top five at the moment. The comments section is open for debate.

REPUBLICANS

1. Rudy Giuliani: Talk to a dozen or two Republican political operatives about who they think will win the nomination and there's a decided lack of consensus. But the candidate who gets named the most in those conversations is none other than Giuliani. There's no question that the former mayor of New York City remains a tough sell to the average Republican voter in Iowa or South Carolina. One thing in Hizzoner's favor is the fact that the nomination calendar is changing rapidly, as states like New York, California and Florida all appear ready to move their primaries up to Feb. 5, 2008, or sooner. Those moves give Giuliani a believable path to the nomination that simply didn't exist in earlier primary fights. That path is not without peril, however. To date, most of the focus of the Giuliani coverage has been on his social views and how they might be out of step with Republican voters. If the nomination fight is bound to occur in states with more moderate GOP voters, we can expect the spotlight in the coming weeks and months to turn to Giuliani's business dealings and his personal life. Can Giuliani weather it? (Previous ranking: 2)

2. John McCain: For the first time since we started doing the presidential Line, the Arizona senator isn't ranked as the most likely candidate to win the 2008 Republican nomination. But don't put The Fix in the camp of people who think McCain's campaign is hopelessly floundering. McCain and his top-notch campaign staff understand that presidential nominating contests go in cycles: Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. McCain has slipped from frontrunner status for the moment, but his strong institutional support -- both nationally and in key early states -- sets the stage for a comeback. And don't forget that McCain is the only one of the top three GOP candidates who has done this before; he's not likely to panic at the first sign of trouble or even -- gasp! -- at being demoted to No. 2 on the Line. (Previous ranking: 1)

3. Mitt Romney: It seems like at least once a week now, something like this pops up on YouTube. The steady drumbeat keeps the "he's not who he now says he is" story line alive. And there is nothing that voters hate more than a politician who they believe is telling them what they want to hear as opposed to what he or she really believes. Romney is walking a very fine line; as we have said before, a politician without his incredible natural political skills would have already faltered. The silver lining for Romney remains his vast fundraising potential; we hear he will finish either first or second in the GOP money chase when the books close on the first quarter on March 31. (Previous ranking: 2)

4. Sam Brownback: There's a major drop off between the top three contenders for the Republican nomination and the candidates occupying the fourth and fifth slots. Brownback is the best of the rest at the moment thanks to his laser-like focus on Iowa, which may or may not be yielding results, and his strong social conservative credentials. Brownback has neither the fundraising capacity nor the national campaign staff to measure up against any of the top three candidates. But he will likely have more volunteers than any of them and a solid ground game in Iowa built around churches. If Brownback can finish in the top three in Iowa, he immediately becomes a factor in New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond. If Brownback places out of the money in Iowa's caucuses, his campaign if effectively over. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Fred Thompson: Why not? We're skeptical about whether the former Tennessee senator is truly interested in the race. But if he decides to run, doesn't he have a better shot at the nomination than Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) or former Govs. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) or Jim Gilmore (Va.)? Thompson compiled a surprisingly conservative record during his eight years in the Senate, and he certainly looks the part of a president. But he has always been a reluctant campaigner and fundraiser, so it's somewhat hard to imagine he would voluntarily enter a race where he would have to spend seven days a week doing just that. It speaks to the thinness of the Republican field that Thompson can immediately claim a spot on the Line simply by floating his own name. (Previous ranking: N/A)

DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton: When you stand too close to a picture, it's hard to make out what you're looking at. Step back and it becomes clear. From our vantage point, people predicting Clinton's downfall are standing way too close. Step back and it readily becomes apparent that Clinton is building premier operations in each of the early states (more on that early next week on The Fix) and is heading toward a $30 million-plus first quarter (when the $11 million transfer from her Senate account is factored in). No other candidate can boast that potent combination of organization and money. Yes, we still believe Clinton has a problem with the party's base over the war in Iraq, and it doesn't look like either side is ready to yell "Uncle!" just yet. But the idea that she doesn't remain a solid frontrunner is simply not supported by the facts. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Barack Obama: Not surprisingly, the intense media focus that comes with a rise as meteoric as Obama's has unearthed a few stories -- most notably this one about his investments -- that take a bit of the shine off the Illinois senator. Still, none of these stories is anything close to a knockout punch, and if that's the worst that comes out about Obama he is in great shape. We continue to wonder whether Obama hasn't painted himself into a corner by pledging to run a different kind of campaign. Does that mean his campaign staff isn't doing any opposition research on other candidates? Or, if they are, will they use it? One other challenge awaits Obama in the coming months: Translating his lofty rhetoric of hope into real-life policy proposals. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. John Edwards: The news of Elizabeth Edwards's illness marks a critical moment in her husband's campaign. Do voter see the Edwardses' decision to continue with the campaign as a sign on their commitment to changing the country, or will they interpret it as being driven by blind ambition? Early returns suggest the former option is the more likely, a development that is good news for Edwards's chances at the White House. Like so many other things in this campaign, there is no obvious historic parallel that helps us understand what the future will hold for Edwards. For now, his strong standing in Iowa and what is expected to be a solid first quarter fundraising report keep him in The Fix's top three. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Bill Richardson: People regularly ask why we don't rank Richardson higher on our Line. A recent address to the International Association of Fire Fighters typifies the reason. Unlike most of the presidential candidates who addressed the group, Richardson seemed to speak largely without a script and his remarks quickly turned into something closer to a stand-up comedy routine than a stump speech. Was Richardson entertaining? Without question. Was he presidential? Not even close. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Chris Dodd: Dodd made the Line last month only after former Gov. Tom Vilsack (Iowa) dropped from the race on the same morning the Line came out. This time we seriously weighed moving him into fourth position. Why? Informed chatter suggests that Dodd will have a stronger-than-expected fundraising showing over the first three months of the year. And, as we recently wrote in The Sunday Fix, Dodd has made some impressive staff hires. Process aside, we're still fuzzy on what Dodd's niche is in the race. The anti-war slot is already filled nicely by Obama. The establishment favorite? Clinton. Populist outsider? Edwards and/or Richardson. Dodd is clearly the favored candidate of Capitol Hill -- you'd be hard-pressed to find someone in the halls of Congress who doesn't like the senator from Connecticut. But in a cycle where voters seem sick of the status quo, can a candidate who has spent nearly three decades in Washington gain traction? (Previous ranking: 5)

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 23, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Edwards Factor: What We Know and Don't Know
Next: Vilsack Joins Team Clinton

Comments

I expect support for Brownback to decline. Right now he is polling around 1-2%. But when Iowans learn about the Senator's pathetic legislation, he's going to drop to zero.

I am referring to the ridiculous bill cosponsored by Senator Brownback named the 'International Marriage Broker Regulation Act'(or IMBRA). Brownback's bill is one of the most pathetic, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ANTI FAMILY laws in the history of the United States. This draconian bill, which became law on March 6th, 2006, implies that ALL Americans (mostly Conservative American men) are violent sexual abusers and wife beaters unless proven innocent. I DISAGREE!!!

IMBRA was discreetly attached to another bill, the 'Violence Against Women Act of 2005'. This law is better described as the 'International Romance Regulation Act', which is exactly what it is. Under Senator Brownback's outrageous law, all Americans must submit a detailed criminal background report in order to communicate with a woman in a foreign country. How absurd! The form is likely to get lost in the mail, and she will have no incentive to respond and send back her approval (again by postal mail) without a photo or bio. This law applies for all forms of communication including: e-mail, telephone, postal mail, text messaging, and in-person meetings. Penalties are severe: $25,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison for saying 'Hello'!

In order to drum up support for his atrocious bill, Senator Brownback along with other proponents (radical feminist group Tahirih Justice Center) concocted the sinister-sounding label 'marriage broker'. What is a 'marriage broker'? It is nothing more than an introduction or penpal service. So now all-of-a-sudden according to the U.S. Government, a penpal service will now be known as a 'marriage broker'. For your information Senator Brownback, nobody is getting married, and nobody is being 'brokered' when two consenting heterosexual adults decide to communicate.

This law also scrutinizes ALL international marriages no matter how the couples actually met. Most international marriages do not involve sinister-sounding 'marriage brokers', but because the government has no way of knowing how a couple actually met (it is none of their business anyways), they decided to crack-down on all visa petitioners. Now any irrelevant DUI's, misdemeanors, fraudulent protection orders, and even arrests not leading to any conviction must be disclosed to your fiancee, which is a good way to become un-engaged. This is exactly what Senator Brownback and the feminists want. Their goal was to shut down introduction agencies and to keep American men away from foreign women. This law is a SCANDAL based on fraud, deception, cooked statistics, 'manufactured' hysteria and propaganda regarding abuse and trafficking of foreign women to support ulterior motives. In reality, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CONVICTIONS FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVOLVING AN AMERICAN-OWNED INTRODUCTION AGENCY. And THERE ARE NO DOCUMENTED CASES OF ABUSE OF FOREIGN WOMEN BY AMERICAN MEN PRIOR TO MARRIAGE.

On December 16th, 2005, Senator Brownback told his colleagues in the Senate that the "Tahirih Justice Center are frontline experts" and that customers of 'marriage brokers' (a false label) "need to clean up their act". No Senator Brownback, you "need to clean up your act". After he was elected, he took an oath to uphold the Constitution. But his draconian law violates the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.

Senator Brownback claims to be Pro Life, yet for this bill he teamed-up with radical left wing Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) who openly supports the murder of human fetuses. He claims to support traditional marriages, yet his asinine bill criminalizes communication and love letters by heterosexuals. He has partnered with a wacko feminist not-for-profit organization named after an Iranian martyr: the Tahirih Justice Center. Senator Brownback has alot of explaining to do.

So far Brownback hasn't talked about his IMBRA law during the campaign. Is he afraid of something?

Posted by: Freedom | March 28, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Imagine Rudy Giuliani winning the Democratic nomination and going up against the party that gave us Willi Horton, the Playboy ad, the Swiftboaters, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and the amazing outfits that turned Max Cleland (who left one arm and two legs in Vietnam battlefields) and John Kerry (who went to Vietnam and was awarded military medals) into unpatriotic Americans (over, of all people, a bunch of GOP draft dodgers, including the current Commander-in-Chief.) Imagine the possibilities!

Posted by: R M Gopal | March 27, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Imagine Rudy Giuliani winning the Democratic nomination and going up against the party that gave us Willi Horton, the Playboy ad, the Swiftboaters, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and the amazing outfits that turned Max Cleland (who left one arm and two legs in Vietnam battlefields) and John Kerry (who went to Vietnam and was awarded military medals) into unpatriotic Americans (over, of all people, a bunch of GOP draft dodgers, including the current Commander-in-Chief.) Imagine the possibilities!

Posted by: R M Gopal | March 27, 2007 1:27 AM | Report abuse

I am a New Yorker who survived the Giuliani Era. If you think we have a megalomaniac in the WH now, Rudy would put him to shame. He ran his fiefdom in NYC like he was in office forever ... in fact, he tried to make it so. He "suggested" that he just stay on in office for a while because of the urgent circumstances ... this despite the change in the law that imposed term limits on all city offices, including the Mayor! He thought he could manipulate and maneuver himself into an additional term, and then another and another ... It didn't work! New Yorkers are too savvy for that.

Which is why he would have a hard time in the NY primary ... or the NJ. We know him. And, we don't trust him. He is a past master at cronyism. Can you say the name Bernie Kerik? Gonzo is minor league compared to him as a buddy to the chief.

Oh, BTW, as a US attorney ... he had most of his prosecutions reversed on appeal! You can look it up. The man is a sad caricature of what a chief executive should be.

Fortunately, he is not my problem, because I am a Democrat!! We have a surfiet of talent. I would be proud to have almost any of the prospective candidates as our standard-bearer. Right now I am leaning toward Richardson ... governor, ambassador, UN experience, all around good guy ... and for those who care about such things, he's half Hispanic to boot.

Posted by: GillianB | March 26, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

pro-choice* senator, Thompson ran as pro-choice.

Posted by: Cam | March 26, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who cites O'Reilly as a credible source is a crank."

Nonsense, he was quoting directly from sources, either letters or newspapers. Don't fit me under any stereotype just because I give you facts. My (ha) was supposed to mean O'Reilly should be taken with a grain of salt, but no, ramble on.

I'm thinking I like Thompson too, though may I point out that Thompson ran as a pro-life senator and that Gov. Romney has also never been divorsed.

Posted by: Cam | March 26, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Good observation there, Mark. I also like Fred Thompson. Not only b/c I feel that he's actually an intelligent and capable man, which should be a very important quality in any elected leader. But b/c he also seems like an honest and upstanding citizen of our nation. As I know of, he's had no nasty divorces, incidents of adultry, ect. Not to mention his down to earth approach to life. Touring Tenn. in a pick up truck while running for US senate isn't something your average candidate would be about. When I read that, I thought of democrat Bob Graham of Florida doing the "job for a day" program, when he was governor. I think Thompson could be a very fine nominee, and more importantly, an effective President. I also think McCain could be an effective President. Richardson also has the mentality to get things done. So I guess we will see what happens.

Posted by: reason | March 26, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Let me introduce some history. I am a 63 year old lawyer who remembers Watergate as painful for the image of my profession. Fred Thompson served as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate investigation and my recollection of him is favorable. I think he also served as Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the early 90s with distinction. He was an effective U.S. Senator and cannot be dismissed as mere dilletante actor.

I believe that among the possible races in which the debate would be elevated above the insipid and irrelevant would be one pitting Biden and Thompson. I earlier suggested Richardson against McCain as a potential civics lesson.

We simply cannot afford to have candidates whose resumes and leadership skills do not rise above Bush v. Kerry, but I fear the parties will inflict pain again.

For those of you who are charmed by the gaming aspect of politics, I hasten to point out that there is a
strong chance the other party will prevail in any election. You should want each party to nominate its most proven wise leader, not its flavor of the moment, nor its best money-raiser, unless [s]he is coincidentally an astute and careful leader.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | March 26, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Three leading Republicans said yesterday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled the firings of eight federal prosecutors in December and may not have been truthful about the full extent of his role in the dismissals.
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Growing questions within Gonzales's own party about his credibility follow the release last week of Justice Department documents that show he took part in a high-level meeting Nov. 27 held to plan the firings, despite his repeated assertions that he had delegated the personnel decisions to his staff.
"He has said some things that just don't add up," Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican of South Carolina and member of the Judiciary Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
In separate television appearances yesterday, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the committee, and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska also raised questions about Gonzales's honesty.
"We have to have an attorney general who is candid and truthful," Specter said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And if we find out he's not been candid and truthful, that's a very compelling reason for him not to stay on."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 26, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Cam, you are a moron. Anyone who cites O'Reilly as a credible source is a crank. And clearly that applies to you. You're obviously one of the 30 percenters -- the brown shirts who believe any fairy tale they sell you on Faux. You'd be far better in a communist or fascist state, where you could happily do what you're told and never try to think. Just like now. Democracy is wasted on you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 26, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Carol Lam*

Posted by: Cam | March 25, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

you apparently missed my '(ha)'.

All joking aside, Bill quoted Dianne Feinstein in letter to the Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales, June 15 2006, in which she complained that U.S. attorney Miss Lamb has 'some of the most restrictive prosecutorial guidlines nationwide for immigration cases such that many Border patrol agents end up not referring the cases.' Bill then showed a clip of her now accusing the Bush admin. being in a 'bunker mentality' and that she thinks a lot is going to come out of this.

Paul Charlton was the 'no prosecuting under 500 pounds' guy, and Kevin Ryan apparently had such poor performance that a Democratic judge was threatening to go to Congress and make a public fuss.

'He is no more qualified to be president than any other successful businessman with Ken Doll hair and a hunormous ego.'

What are you, an unofficial gun? If you're going to respond to everything someone posts pro-Romney here you might as well be sensible. ;p

Posted by: Cam | March 25, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Never mind - I just read your 2nd post, in which you cite the O'Reilly Factor as a source of news. I will give up trying to change your mind - you're hopeless.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Cam, Romney is both a phony and an elitist @$$hole. He is no more qualified to be president than any other successful businessman with Ken Doll hair and a hunormous ego.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I am disgusted by what has turned out to be nothing more than a mix of chatter and name recognition making up the rankings of the candidates. There is NO talk of policy proposals / differences - but why should there be? NO ONE IS ASKING FOR IT. We get the campaign and candidates we deserve, and based on our lack of curiosity / understanding, we seem poised to elect yet another president by means of a popularity contest, rather than on the more demanding basis of the strength / weakness of his / her ideas. Is this really what Washington, Adams, Frankin et al had in mind 230 years ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what is worse: two New Yorkers having the nominations (Hillary and Rudy) or more damned Texans?!

Posted by: al_jal | March 25, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

No way Guiliani should be #1 on the line for the Republican nomination. #1 is undoubtly McCain. Romney has a better organization but Guiliani does have more name recognition right now, so maybe #2, but definately not #1. Wait til the campaign and swift boating starts, he will drop rapidly. Clinton should be #1 right now for the dems., good call. Although Edwards seems to be gaining steam and raising alot of money, Obama is losing steam.

Posted by: reason | March 25, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh and if you people had been watching O'reilly (ha) you would know that in 24 hours they had been able to come up with why at least 3 of the attorney's were fired. One seemed to intimdate people who brought illegal alien cases to her. Another had an un-ceremonial policy of not convicting any drug smuglers with under 500 pounds of illegal supstance or something.

Posted by: Cam | March 25, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I think its so funny how the Main Stream Media and the DNC are trying to nip Romney's campaign off at the bud. They know he's the real conservative threat in the GOP right now (we'll see what happens here with Thompson) thus this 'steady drumbeat'.

'He's not who he says he is'? How disingenuous.

For one thing, his abortion change really isn't that incredible. Even in '94 he professed to be pro-life personally (in '02 he said he wouldn't be given either label because he would change no existing laws). His change in political philosophy came when the libs and their scientists snuck a cloning provision into a stem-cell bill without even telling the public (look up the article 'Mitt Romney Exposes stem cell duplicity'). Cloning human life only to be destroyed a few weeks or months later, what an unthinkable landmark. How could anyone not take a step back and think about where this country is going on the value of human life after something like that? I find his change in political philosophy more than credible.

Posted by: Cam | March 25, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I,ll take the reminder any day of the week! Anything can happen.Circumstances and events as it happens tells of the unforeseen.

Rather like a construction estimate-you can look at everything in probables-but you cannot predict the unforeseen. and even if you do-you still must deal with it!

What happens in tomorrows news-can change things completely.

Posted by: deskjet | March 25, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Under the fold in the LAT, environmentalists, abortion rights advocates and gay activists claim presidential candidate Mitt Romney once courted them with the same vigor he now courts social conservatives.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Years of violence have all but destroyed Iraq's intelligentsia, according to the LAT. Those who haven't been killed already are trying to flee the country, leaving the struggling nation with a dearth of potential leaders.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"The Los Angeles Times leads with a scoop: CIA intelligence reports that the U.S. supported head of the Columbian army is in league with "right-wing militias that Washington considers terrorist organizations."

It's Reagan Redux -- all the CIA-sponsored terrorists and murderers, all the clubfooted cronyism and incompetence, all the corruption and criminal acts and lying to Congress and foreign policy blundering.

Oh right -- it's the same people.

How many innocents did your tax dollars murder today?

I think we sponsored the murder of, what was it, 30,000 inoocent villagers of Central America, by death squads... land of the free, oh yes, land of the free.

Posted by: 1970's all over again | March 25, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Cannon of Utah defended U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Saturday after newly released documents showed Gonzales was in a meeting where he approved the firing of seven U.S. attorneys.
The revelation appeared to contradict Gonzales' earlier statements that he was not aware of the details of a plan to fire the prosecutors, and to support what Kyle Sampson, a Utah native who was Gonzales' chief of staff, has stated through his attorney: that many senior Justice Department officials were aware of the U.S. attorney discussions.
Cannon said that there is "nothing wrong with firing a U.S. attorney for the reason of politics."

Posted by: Banana Republic of USA | March 25, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Four of the seven top U.S. Coast Guard officers who retired since 1998 took positions with private firms involved in the Coast Guard's troubled $24 billion fleet replacement program, an effort that government investigators have criticized for putting contractors' interests ahead of taxpayers'.

They weren't the only officials to oversee one of the federal government's most complex experiments at privatization, known as Deepwater, who had past or subsequent business ties to the contract consortium led by industry giants Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

The secretary of transportation, Norman Y. Mineta, whose department included the Coast Guard when the contract was awarded in 2002, was a former Lockheed executive. Two deputy secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security, which the Coast Guard became part of in 2003, were former Lockheed executives, and a third later served on its board.

Posted by: where your tax dollars go | March 25, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I see my fan club members are up bright and early this am. I do have what may be considered important to those of us supporting Hillary. I found the Elect. College, and going over what I think are pretty safe states, I have a total of 288. This is covering 20+ states. Another interesting "SPIN" is about the fired DOJ folks. This is routine and anyone with half a brain knows it to be a fact. This is only another miscue that has been brought out and for something to be done about it is yet another thing we can chalk up to how importand control of the court actually is. Sad to say, I just cannot see anything being done to address the problem.

Posted by: lylepink | March 25, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Member of the Mile High Club: Tim Kalemkarian, Frequent Guest at the Playboy Mansion: Tim Kalemkarian, Frequent Visitor to Amserdam and Las Vegas: Tim "the Tong" Kalemkarian. Tim Kalemkarian: oh, he so horny...

Posted by: Tim K. | March 25, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

JUST KIDDING! I had to add that in case Hillary was keeping an eye on this blog. If you're reading, my darling, don't worry. I would never weave my Hiwwy! XOXOXOXOXO

Posted by: lylepink | March 25, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This will be news to most of you, but I have to tell you that as of today, I no longer support Hillary for POTUS. I am wavering between Fred Thompson and Dennis Kucinich. Can anyone offer me some insight on either of those two candidates?

Posted by: lylepink | March 25, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I'M MELTING! What a world, what a world...

Posted by: Hillary | March 25, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Capo di tutti capi: Tim Kalemkarian, Consigliere: Tim Kalemkarian, State Gaming Board Chairman Tim Kalemkarian, Hitter Tim Kalemkarian. Tim Kalemkarian: a real standup guy.

Posted by: Vito Corleone | March 25, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Clinton fires all 92. So you can arbitrarily fire 92 but you can't fire 8 if you have a reason - like they aren't implementing your policies."

Wrong. Why do people keep repeating this as if it's some kind of valid point? (Oh, right, to be intentionally misleading. Now I remember.)

Let's go over this again. Clinton fired all the US Attorneys when he took office. This is because those attorneys were appointed by his predecessor. All presidential appointees are fired when the White House switches parties. Reagan fired all the attorneys. So did Bush II. There is absolutely nothing wrong with firing all attorneys upon taking office.

That is in no way comparable to what Bush did recently. He fired a few attorneys because he thought they weren't prosecuting Democrats enough... and because they were prosecuting corrupt Republicans the Bushies wanted to protect. In particular, at the CIA, starting with Dusty Foggo, who Carole Lam was hot on the trail of, after getting evidence on hin from Duke Cunningham. Kyle Sampson sent an email saying she should be fired the day after she announced opening the case on Foggo.

All of the fired attorneys had been given excellent reviews.

Stop this pathetic lying and denial -- this was clearly a Stalinist-style purge from an administration that law increasingly, and dangerous, above the law.

Stop pretending that the WSJ doesn't have an agenda, which is protecting the corporate war profiteers that Bush is trying to protect -- so that they can continue to loot the treasury to line republican campaign coffers.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I know it's true because Rush said so.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 25, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Each day, thousands of pieces of intelligence information from around the world -- field reports, captured documents, news from foreign allies and sometimes idle gossip -- arrive in a computer-filled office in McLean, where analysts feed them into the nation's central list of terrorists and terrorism suspects.

Called TIDE, for Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, the list is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States. It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates, created to close one of the key intelligence gaps revealed after Sept. 11, 2001: the failure of federal agencies to share what they knew about al-Qaeda operatives.

But in addressing one problem, TIDE has spawned others. Ballooning from fewer than 100,000 files in 2003 to about 435,000, the growing database threatens to overwhelm the people who manage it.

TIDE has also created concerns about secrecy, errors and privacy. The list marks the first time foreigners and U.S. citizens are combined in an intelligence database. The bar for inclusion is low, and once someone is on the list, it is virtually impossible to get off it. At any stage, the process can lead to "horror stories" of mixed-up names and unconfirmed information, Travers acknowledged.

The watch lists fed by TIDE, used to monitor everyone entering the country or having even a casual encounter with federal, state and local law enforcement, have a higher bar. But they have become a source of irritation -- and potentially more serious consequences -- for many U.S. citizens and visitors.

Posted by: he's sees you when you're sleeping... | March 25, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Bambargia! Kirgudu.

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Grrrrr..... grr.....

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh Hillary,
your spacious back
clad in designer silk
You voted to attack Iraq
'gainst Sad-dam and his ilk
And you were wrong, yes you were wrong
But still we all can see
How your ambition shoulders on
Un-for-tu-nate-a-ly!

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

They only want Thompson because he is a TV star and comfortably little is known about his views publicly except "conservative" - not many specifics. He's an empty vessel in which all kinds of different Gopers can each see his or her own favorite cause. He may be an intelligent guy, but let no one be fooled - just because he played a character on a popular TV show, he's nowhere near the savior Republicans have been describing.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 24, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

There are a number of Newt, Gore and Thompson "what-if" polls. On the Republican side, nobody beats Thompson. On the Democrat side, Gore can't score.

On both party polls, Thompson beats both Hillary and Obama.

Right now, The Republican polls say, "We want..." while the Democrat polls say, "Anybody but...".

Posted by: marv | March 24, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Now, boys, do I have to stop this car, or are you going to behave?

Posted by: hillary | March 24, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, no name, I am not quite that smart or wise in my old age to even come close as to how clever it was.

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - I was disappointed to see you advise that "she floatus my POTUS" was the work of an imitator.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 24, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I see my admirer is back again. Thank you for your support.

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Today, I'm burning books! I was lying in bed this morning, eating Froot Loops, drinking an orange soda, and watching Rachel Ray, when suddenly it came to me. Liberals write doen their ideas! We have blanketed the airwaves with Fox News and the other fine Fox programs, but liberals are what those nerdy kids in your homeroom, the ones who actually did their English homework, grow up to be. They learn to "develop an appreciation of literature," and so they "read." Well, good for them. I just read Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Tom Clancy, and Limbaugh and O'Reilly I don't even have to sound out the hard words because they have the same message all the time, and it's on the radio in simpler English anyway. Tom Clancy is harder, but once you understand his basic plot structure (and you've seen one or two of his movies), you can pretty much make up the story yourself, and no one will know the difference. So anyway, after I realized this, I figured, if we all burned at least a book a day, conservatives can chop liberal thought off at the roots. Who's with me?

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Here is an interview with Thompson on FOX....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258222,00.html

Sounds to me like he will get in. And, I believe if he does he'll go to the top of the pack. The GOP could do worse.... yes I actually said that. Their current field is lame, that's why Thompson could impact.

But.... he thinks we should basically "stay the course" in Iraq. Not sure anyone can win with that position.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 24, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Richardson may appear funny...but his "jokes" are true. He appears to really make things happen unlike the three candidates above him in your rankings. I suspect Clinton will be the first to stop laughing.

Posted by: The Left Coast | March 24, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Considering what this country faces in the years ahead, we all need to stand back and scrutinize each presidential candidate in the light of certain serious realities:

An oncoming world-wide Islamic fundamentalist clash with the West...an ongoing Mexican invasion of the U.S...a nuclear armed Iran...a mind-boggling deficit...a rapidly arming China...a Chinese product chokehold in our market...loss of U.S. production jobs overseas...diminished U.S. armed forces...loss of respect around the world...to say nothing about the utter failure of our two-party system.

Whatever your motives, can the candidate you're promoting really be able to effectively face these serious threats? Many Americans do not yet see such a candidate in the new "Gathering Storm" of the early 21st century. What we do not need is a continuing,ego-driven dynasty from either side of our political system. Been there, done that.

And now, some words from our abundant, paid political staffers.

Posted by: Concerned | March 24, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a candidate for the presidency, the senate, and the house of representatives. Anonymous neither works for nor speaks for my office. Please, good people, stop contributing to what is not a legitimate political cause, and donate instead to the Tim Kalemkarian Fund for Anonymous Campaign Instigators.

Posted by: Tim Kalemkarian | March 24, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

There are many former and current politicians along with grassroot voters and bloggers discussing Fred Thompson. Should he get in the race, it would be good for everyone. Some have noted that Thompson does appeal to moderate democrats. It is sad that we have to be divided with comments coming from the right and left. It should never be about anything but the issues. On the issues, there is a big divide. Personally, I would like to see us come together as Americans who want what's best for our country. I do think we need a candidate who can bridge that gap. We need real commonsense solutions and compromise. As a nation, we all need to show more empathy and understanding for each other. Surely, there are some big boys and girls that can come to the table.

Posted by: Shelby | March 24, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh Hillary, my precious
You drone on and on and on
Oh Hillary, oh Hillary
neck like a wrinkled swan
And google eyes, reptilian head
like monster from the sea
Oh Hillary, you grind me nerves
so ve-ry eas-si-ly

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I have nothing against Thompson. I'd like to see him run; he seems like a decent guy, and I respect old-school conservatives a lot more than Bush-style conservatives. I just think the sudden appearance of the fan club is kind of silly.

Posted by: Blarg | March 24, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

There is a very strong movement to have Fred Thompson run...I think he would be a very strong candidate, and likely GOP winner. Many renet internet polls show Thompson's surge of interest among voters. The Dem's better hope Fred doesn't jump in.

Posted by: DonOregon | March 24, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

c'mon tarheel, the right bashes the left with as much abandon and disregard of facts as the left bashes the right. Haven't you ever heard of Anne Coulter? KOZ actually has some good points but he undermines his credibility with some of his rants especially his global warming denial after going on and on about basing policies on facts and science.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 24, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: Those could be planted posts, but they could also be real. Thompson could be the one to take McCain's place of 2000 with actual straight talk.

A number of us remember Thompson as Watergate Co-Counsel before he was a Senator. Without betraying Republicans, he didn't betray the country just to protect Richard Nixon and his co-conspirators. You may not like his basic positions, but you do get the feeling that they are his honest beliefs and that he is not pandering.

Right now to most people, except Tennesseans, Thompson is just a name. The more exposure Thompson gets, the more the general public will find out just what his specific positions are. First, of course, he has to decide he wants to run.

With the problems the announced Republican candidates have, I can see a swell developing just to support someone who isn't "flawed." Makes me wonder why Huckabee isn't higher, or somebody isn't pushng Lamar Alexander.

I can see Thompson getting support (especially money) very quickly if he shows a real interest in running; simply, because he isn't one of the others.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | March 24, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: anonymous | March 24, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Blarg.... Don't let the Thompson fan club beat you down. A fan club isn't a grass roots base.

A fan club collects autographs and swoons.... kind-of like they did for Georgie. Substance doesn't matter.

Thompson fans, let's hear your cheer.... Go Fred Go.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 24, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I guess it was a coincidence. It's just grassroots support. That's why a bunch of new people came here to praise a minor candidate after a post mentioning that candidate. People who have never posted here before. And who all came within a short period of time. And who made posts that look like they were written by the Thompson campaign. I guess that's just how grassroots support works now.

Posted by: Blarg | March 24, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

About how Gov. Vilsack announcing his support of Hillary will help her in Iowa.... not.

Vilsack didn't support our current gov. in the primaries and lost the turn-out-the-vote base. A more important question... will our new gov. Culver openly support a candidate. That is an endorsement that might help in Iowa.

About Bill lying under oath.... why was he under oath? Because he was being hounded about his personal life. Nothing to do with Whitewater.

Please, GOPers, take off the blinders. Based on your outrage at Clinton, how can you defend not only the GOP's current crop of morally-challenged candidates, but continue to view a lying Bush and his administration as anything but repugnent?

For myself, a person's personal life should stay that way. Perhaps since many Repubs evidently now feel that way also, are both sides closer to a consensus on choice?

And, while on the subject of life, how is it that the life of the unborn is so important, but the lives of our troops aren't? Why aren't they being trained and outfitted as necessary. Why are they being rotated like recycled garbage, and when recovering from injuries are left to rot in a sub-par environment?

Really, the rabid right have no shame.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 24, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Aussie view: Your use of the word "Hypocrites" pretty well sums up what most folks are thinking. The Iowa caucues could go either way, and don't count Hillary out in that state. These changes of primaries in Ca., Fl., and NY. would seem to favor Hillary and if true she will be well on the way to The White House. Add Mich. Ohio, and Penn., where Bubba is quite stong and will be a great help in these states in particular. I don't have the votes of each state and would like to know where i can find them. Thanks, lylepink

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

TG - yes lying under oath was Bill's big mistake, but what was he doing testifying in the first place? Republicans were 'disgusted' with his actions, and funnily enough now they are willing to excuse their own candidates for the same thing. Hypocrites.

Posted by: Aussie view | March 24, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards is NOT leading in Iowa. He is tied with Hillary and any lead is so small that it is overruled by the margin of error. John Edwards has been campaigning in Iowa for years - he practically lives there. Hillary has only begun campaigning there.

Do the math.

Everyone else in the country, John Edwards is stuck, and I do mean "stuck" in third place, and a very low third place at that.

John Edwards is not going to be the Dem nominee.

Posted by: Amy Hunter | March 24, 2007 5:40 AM | Report abuse

WesfromGA I think Chris ment how the hell is Obama actually going to change the tone of washington, refraim from negative campaigning or any of his other lofty nieve rhetorical goals.

Posted by: mountain man | March 24, 2007 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson has been bashed a little about being Gay, I don't believe it for a second. Ask Lorrie Morgan, A country singer, who from all accounts, has been around the block, so to speak. He dated her for quite a time. Hillary is my favorite, and I just don't like the smear tactics used by some.

Posted by: lylepink | March 24, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

"Humans don't cause global warming, a jury of sixth graders at Trail Ridge Middle School concluded Thursday after hearing opposing arguments from their peers.

Are you smarter than a 6th grader?"

Are you a complete moron?

Who cares what 6th graders think? I care what the VAST MAJORITY of scientists think - and the VAST MAJORITY of scientists say that global warming is is caused by humans.

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 24, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson is for real, and so is the incredible groundswell of backing that is building momentum for him every day.

Posted by: Pastor Dan | March 24, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Very good rankings! I think overall they are right on, although I don't know to whom to assign the #5 spot in the Rep. or Dem primaries. Rep. #5 could go to Huckabee or Gingrich, although it seem seems increasingly unlikely to me that the latter is really running. Also, not sure if Fred Thompson is serious about running. Dem. #5 could also go to Biden. On McCain -- I don't think his campaign is floundering but he is in a tough spot that I'm not sure he can escape from. On Romney - He has a lot of strengths but a lot of enemies. Depends on whether a preferable conservative candidate can arise. Guiliani is strong, I won't deny it, but his strength is based on an image. It's not that the image isn't, to some degree, based in reality. I just don't know if he can maintain it forever. Eventually, he'll have to answer serious questions about his positions and his plans for running the country. On Sam Brownback - Obviously money and name recognition are an issue. I agree that he's still a distance behind Romney, but he's running a smart campaign. Look for him to rise in the polls. On the Dem. nomination - I agree. I doubt the Top 3 will be challenged. There isn't an ideological void like there is in the Rep. party. The Rep. nomination is much more unstable - a Brownback or Huckabee, a Thompson or maybe even a Gingrich (or someone else) could very well supplant one or more of the top 3. Depends how it all plays out. It should be a lot of fun:)

Posted by: Diane | March 24, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"One other challenge awaits Obama in the coming months: Translating his lofty rhetoric of hope into real-life policy proposals."

Chris: Who's writing the talking points suggesting Obama is light on policy? It is not a fair criticism.

A comparison of the records of the two major candidates doesn't show that one is significantly "lighter" or less specific on policy than the other:

*Both Clinton and Obama have written books that spell out their policy views and political philosophies. (I don't believe either book was ghost-written.)

*Senator Clinton played some role in shaping policy in her husband's administration, but, with the exception of the health care task force, her level of involvement is not a matter of public record. However, her performance as a Senator leaves no doubt that she has mastered policy detail on a wide range of issues. Senator Obama was a state legislator in Illinois. His record there is open for scrutiny. Illinoisans closer to the scene can correct me, but I don't think anybody ever seriously challenged him as light on policy experience or specifics as a state legislator or U.S. Senate candidate. (Such a person would not relish debates, but Obama welcomed debates with Alan Keyes.)

*Both Senators have proposed legislation on a range of issues: Clinton addresses health, banking, foreign policy, energy, and education, among others; Obama addresses nuclear non-proliferation, energy, foreign policy, ethics reform, and education, among others.

*As of today, Senator Clinton is the sponsor of 24 major bills, 5 minor bills, and 4 amendments in the current session of Congress. The full Senate has acted on just one of these proposals, approving a bill to commend New York subway hero Wesley Autrey.

*As of today, Senator Obama is the sponsor of 16 major bills, 1 minor bill, and 8 amendments in the current session. The Senate has acted on just two of these proposals: It passed an Obama amendment to require lobbyists to disclose who they 'bundle' campaign contributions for; it rejected an Obama amendment to revise the way Homeland Security funds are distributed.

The two Senators are also similar in their legislative success:

*In the 109th Congress, Senator Clinton was the sponsor of 90 bills and 87 amendments and an original co-sponsor of 301 bills and 160 amendments. (638 in all)

*In the 109th Congress, Senator Obama was the sponsor of 66 bills and 86 amendments and an original co-sponsor of 161 bills and 125 amendments. (438 in all)

*In a ranking of number of bills sponsored in the 109th, Clinton's 90 is toward the top of the list. Obama's 66 is closer to the middle. Senators Chafee (8), Pryor (12), Shelby (12), and Byrd (13) are at the bottom. Senators Santorum (156), Feinstein (129), Frist (125), Schumer (98), and Brownback (97) are at the top.

*In his first two years in the Senate (109th), Obama sponsored or cosponsored 321 bills. Of these, 13 measures reached President Bush's desk--7 major bills and 6 minor bills. Obama was the lead sponsor of one of the seven major bills. President Bush signed Senator Obama's bill promoting bilateral assistance to and democratic reforms in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December 2006. The bill had 4 GOP co-sponsors and 8 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate (including Senator Clinton). Obama also sponsored 25 amendments that were adopted by the Senate and cosponsored another 64 amendments that were adopted by the Senate.

*In her first two years in the Senate (107th), Clinton sponsored or cosponsored 488 bills. Of these, 13 measures reached President Bush's desk--6 major bills and 7 minor bills. Clinton was the lead sponsor of none of the six major bills. Senator Clinton sponsored 13 amendments that were adopted by the Senate and cosponsored another 35 amendments that were adopted by the Senate.

Clinton: 13 of 488 bills she sponsored or cosponsored in her first two years in office became law (2.66%). 48 of 168 amendments she sponsored or cosponsored in her first two years were adopted by the Senate (28.57%).

Obama: 13 of 321 bills he sponsored or cosponsored in his first two years in office became law (4.05%). 89 of 258 amendments he sponsored or cosponsored in his first two years were adopted by the Senate (34.50%).

*In the 107th Congress, the 50-50 Senate was in Republican control from January to June 2001 and in Democratic control from June 2001 to November 2002, with a 1-seat advantage. The House had a 7-seat GOP majority.

*In the 109th Congress, the Senate was in Republican control with a 10-seat margin. The House was in Republican control with a 29-seat margin.

*There are many ways to interpret these numbers. However, I don't see in either Clinton or Obama a lack of policy detail or understanding of a range of important issues. Both candidates have put plenty of policy ideas forward by my count. Why aren't we talking about them?

Posted by: WesfromGA (Obama supporter) | March 23, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Is blargy suggesting that it is a negative for a candidate to have loyal, informed, and enthusiastic support?

If you think think there is excitement now, wait until Senator Thompson makes his announcement!

Posted by: tmc32 | March 23, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

BLARGY....Would you prefer 3,400??? ;- )

Posted by: Winghunter | March 23, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

JackK, don's expect Blarg to understand grass roots support. Blargie will never believe a conservative movie actor turned national politician could ever win the white house. Wait, that already happened in 1980 and 1984 and it produced the largest blowouts in the history of U.S. presidential elections. Thompson has those same qualities.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Its called grass roots Blargy....why don't you go try to grow some with whoever you support

Posted by: JackK | March 23, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I won't even go into some of the outright slander I saw posted in some earlier comments concerning the possible candidacy of Fred Dalton Thompson, all I have to say is this:

The Dems with any degree of comon sense and objective thinking should be "TERRIFIED" of Fred winning the Republican nomination. And for those of you who are not....thank you, you will make our job much easier when he announces.

Posted by: Jackk | March 23, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

4 pro-Thompson posts in an hour. What a coincidence.

Posted by: Blarg | March 23, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Until Fred hinted at a run, I didn't like any of the conservatives. Now I will be glad to help FDT get elected. Conservative voters had little to cheer about until FDT!

Run Fred Run

Posted by: TNFREDFAN | March 23, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Fred is at #5 this week and as the word spreads, like a brushfire in 100mph winds, he'll be and is the #1 choice.

Many people remember this man for everything a president should be...what he must be.

The homework has already been done for anyone who needs/wants to know about Fred Thompson by volunteers who are ready to help in any way they can.

One of these places is www.draftfredthompson.com

There are over 3,000, that's right, three thousand volunteer members ready and willing to talk to everyone about who he is, what he believes in and how he will help us as the 44th President of The United States.

Well, why are you still reading this? Let's Do It!! ;- )

Posted by: Winghunter | March 23, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

None of us knows what tomorrow may bring, but I know if former Senator Fred Thompson should decide to run, all conservatives can hold their heads high. Fred Thompson is in step with grassroots conservatives. Mr. Thompson knows the issues and can take command of any debate. At the same time, he has a likeable, commonsense appeal, that most citizens would find refreshing . He's a great communicator, and he doesn't take himself too seriously.

Posted by: Shelby | March 23, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

If one of the republican candidates above had his name in "lights" it would be Fred Thompson. Here is a man that even liberals concede is one of the smartest men to sit in the Senate, he's conservative enough to satisfy the requirements of conservatives, and a gifted enough orator to win us back our "Reagan Democrats." He is in a word, right down the middle of the (real) road. Not withstanding the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, Kennedy, Reid,Kucinich, who seem to favor a United Nations "Euro-influenced" government. I predict Fred will run. I predict Fred will win.

Posted by: Mike in Lancaster PA | March 23, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

It seems that most of you are from the east coast. From here, the candidate fields look respectable, and a McCain v. Richardson election contest looks like it could offer the nation a civics lesson with more light than heat, with the lure of a competent president at the end. That potential, a campaign with more substance than fury, seems a possibility for several of the other projected contestants, too.

But so much can change, so fast. Primary voters in both parties are capable of overlooking competence for perceived political advantage. The narcissism of petty differences can take root. All thought can be lost in a wave of emotion generated by a clever advertisement.

I hope, then despair, then go back to work.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | March 23, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel - You are paying the price for the ravings of the wingnut over the past year. The name calling usually started in his posts. The civility is actually more noticeable, when he doesn't post.

As to what he said about the "professional journalists." They don't have agenda. They always present all of the information objectively. Right!

Do WSJ, Fox Noise and the Times' journalists get a free pass from the ravings about MSM bias of the wingnut? Seems so.

Zouk unlike you, the WSJ journalist didn't create historical facts, they were just slanted in the article. Slanted enough to give a false impression and distort history.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

That Chicago city scandal with Mayor Daley sure says a lot about the Democratic Party's philosophy on political hiring and firing. The Chicago Democratic Party machine is actually the biggest in the nation, even larger than New York City.

And the head of the New York City Democratic Party was just convicted. New York Times. Former Democratic Leader in Brooklyn Is Convicted, By Anemona Hartocollis, Published: February 24, 2007. Clarence Norman Jr., leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, since 1990, was convicted February 23 of coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to shake down judicial candidates in exchange for party support.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - Good points. And typically, what could have been handled with little damage to an Administration has ballooned into a major problem, much of it because of hubris on their part.

But they do have legitimate points. What oversight role does the Congress have over the Administration when it comes to making policy? As a co-equal branch, the Congress can only exercise oversight when it comes to following or violating the law. Even though Sen. Leahy says that he is concerned not for the Department of Justice, but for the entire judicial system. Is that enough?

If one Branch exercises any control over another Branch, outside of what is historically accepted, then co-equality ceases to exist, doesn't it.

Everybody knows that Rove is up to shenanigans in everything he does. Were they illegal in this matter, or just politics? If you put Rove under oath, are the questioners limited to asking questions strictly germane to this topic? Or could he be asked anything? "Do you know anything about those Diebold voting machines in Ohio, Mr. Rove?" Wouldn't every Democrat just love to get Rove or Cheney under oath with no holds barred.

Colin mentioned the other day that there's little case law on this. There's a good reason why. Whoever loses, loses a lot. Not only for themselves, but for all of their successors. So, both Branches try to avoid having to have that Third Branch, the Courts, make the call. A compromise is usually the outcome. But this Administration called the shots for so long, they may not realize that.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Spin, SPin, SPIn, SPIN.

Posted by: lylepink | March 23, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel, as you can see from just above, the WSJ has an agenda so a researched article by a professional journalist has less value than a frustrated blogger on a leftie site. the same can be said for anything that is reported in Wash times, fox news, national review, etc. all lies, everything ever printed. Only in Demland. and anything you say which doesn't comport wih the Lib worldview, is a lie. Now do you see how it works. That is because they are so open-minded and willing to listen and discuss, like in a Democracy, make that a Republic.

Have a good weekend, keep up the good fight.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Daley agrees to set up fund to compensate victims of hiring scandal, March 21, 2007, Chicago Sun Times, by Fran Spielman, City Hall Reporter.

Democratic Mayor Daley of Chicago agreed Wednesday to establish a $12 million fund to compensate victims of City Hall's rigged hiring system and abandon his five-year-old effort to vacate the federal Shakman decree banning political hiring. Daley's former patronage chief was convicted of rigging city hiring and promotions to benefit Daley supporters and workers for the Democratic Party. Plaintiff Michael Shakman said the city "should have fixed its hiring system a long time ago" -- long before Daley's patronage chief was convicted of rigging city hiring. The $12 million fund, disclosed last month by the Chicago Sun-Times, would be administered by federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan. Brennan was appointed in August 2005 by a federal judge livid with the city for making a mockery of the Shakman decree, which was supposed to end political hiring and firing.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

dumb richard - you are hilarious, you preface your comments by flatly stating you are not partisan and then launching into the most partisan diatribe of the day. that sets the stage for some real lame-brained analysis.
for example:
china dumps all the debt they hold - to whom, we owe them. they collect on it as we see fit or renege. they could sell it at a discount. why is that dumb on our part? It is short-sighted on their part if you are stupid enough to believe that the Us economy is in any trouble. It seems the chinese don't agree. they are voting with their pocketbooks and you are exhibiting your ignorance with your weightless opinion. why doesn't the worthless paper bother with the SS trust fund?

There is no motion toward a draft and will not be. the depleted military is sending additional brigades into combat. doesn't sound depleted to me. they are getting record reenlistments and recruiting.
Europe gets most of its oil from the mideast, not us. the pres is the leader of the military and all things foreign. It has always been this way until General Pelosi came along.

Are these more Dem facts that the rest of us don't share. It depends on the meaning of the word "facts" now doesn't it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

JimD, I agree there is way too much bashing in these posts. But KOZ's point is at times it makes zero sense. When I posted some New York Times and Bostom Globe articles on prominent Democrats that recently (2007) had been convicted of corruption and were going to jail, Drindl called me a crackhead and Judge Crater called it BS and unsubstantiated crap. Where did that come from? I didn't even comment on the articles, just let them speak for themselves. This is the response to documented court cases and jail sentences.

I don't see that over the top swearing by Republican supporters. There is definitely a different attitude that seemingly allows far left Dems to justify bashing someone no matter how many documented facts you produce. And as KOZ suggests, maybe that's their only recourse when faced with facts. It really says more about them, and their party, than the person they are bashing.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

TG - One other point on your comment "In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition"

It is more unprecendented to not replace all U.S. Attorneys as administrations change. Jimmy Carter replaced all but one - now a Bankruptcy Judge in the Central District of Illinois (Danville).

You should realize that it is administratively impossible to remove all at once. Even if an Administration announces up front that all will be replaced, the changes actually take place gradually. Most of them are smart enough to know that if an opposition party President is elected in November, they will be gone sometime after the next January 20th. So, they start getting their ducks in a row the day after the election. Every once in a while one does actually have to be booted out. That's usually a ploy on their part to create headlines to position themselves for a run for some political office.

The purge in the middle of an Administration is what is unprecedented.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

veniceetc, crate, zook

Get off your soap boxes, stop the verbal jousting and look past the end of your noses.

My comments are not partisan.

Here is the way it is. If this spineless congress doesn't take control of Iraq from the Current Occupant, we are headed for a serious real, honest to God, big-time war in the Middle east. Not a half baked civil war that we are stuck in up to our eye balls

1. Our military is depleted. Who cares who caused it. It is the way it is. You guys going to sign up or let the Current Occupant draft your kids?
2. those folks in the Middle East control alot of the OIL that our country runs on. They won't beat us militarily. They will beat us economically.
3. If China gets skitzy (or worse they decide to take advantage of us getting dragged into a broader war in the middle east-more likely) and dumps all of our debt they are holding, the US goes out of business. In bankers parlance, the US government's 'full faith' guarantees will not be worth the paper they are printed on.

Grow up, stop being naive, and stop bickering. This stupid war is very dangerous. If we let the foreign policy illiterates in the White House continue on their merry way, the great American Experiment in Democracy is over.

And right now this spineless congress is feasting on Pork. Instead of confronting the Republican political brinksmanship.

Check.....Check mate.

Posted by: poor richard | March 23, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

anon says, about US attys
"It's not cut and died. It's all very subjective, and a great deal of leeway is given to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion."

True enough. Given the case at hand, there is enough circumstantial evidence to make a thinking person wonder whether or not Justice & the AG are giving Congress the straight dope. The WH continues to act as though they have something to hide. Seems like if they'd just let Congress play at oversight for a couple hearings, the whole thing will blow over. By fighting the subpoenas, the WH is making a mountain out of a molehill. They'd have been smarter to march Rove up to the hill upon the first invitation & instructed him to invoke exec privilege on the stand, rather than have this standoff in the press.

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

that was me, the good noname.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

It's the bomb that will bring us together

since we're quoting Morrisey.
Roo - did you mean edwards when you said the 1st gay man? He may be extremely effiminate but probably not too gay. do I have to go to Gray's rehab now?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You create history. Get called on it. And ignore it.

Yet you demand others to answer the questions, or to provide facts.

Those that create history have little credibility - anonymous

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Ignorant coward - on occasion you actually say something of worth and intelligence. then in another instance you go off the deep end. now I am wondering if Mr no-name is one individual or not. Are you just being peevish while refusing to even invent a moniker for yourself? Exactly what is the point of this? when you finally get a name I will be happy to humiliate you fully.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"can you please invent seme Liberal facts "

Take him up on it, TG. He invents history salted with false factoids all of the time.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

drindl--"I don't know -- why not Fred Thompson? We could have a really interesting election -- the first woman, the first black man, or the first gay man for president, anyone?"

Morrissey would be happy, at least :)

America/
Land of the free/
They say/
But where the president/
Is never black, female or gay/
And until that day/
You've got nothing to say to me/
...

Posted by: roo | March 23, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

TG- The WSJ just may have an agenda in what they are printing on this. Surprised? I'm not.

It goes back to the beginning of the system. U.S. Attorneys are political animals, they are political appointees, they do not become angels when they raise their right hand to take the oath. We just hope that they administer justice fairly. Most do, but not all do. And Party doesn't make any difference when you have almost 100 of them. There are bound to be some practicing politics.

You should be worried about what the other 85 are doing than still quibbling Clinton, Web Hubbell and company. That's history. The other 85 are still in place as the most powerful non-elected Federal officials in their geographic areras.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - "Selectively enforcing the law would be both illegal and unethical." Not really. Prosecutors do it all the time. It is called "exercising prosecutorial discretion". No prosecutor has enough resources to pursue all crime, so they choose what to pursue.

You qualified it well later on with "The President and AG do not get to tell the prosecutors which cases to pursue and drop. For instance "Lay off Randy Cunningham" is not ok. "Focus on immigration instead of corruption" is ok. "Focus on corrupt Dems but not corrupt Repubs" is not ok." Correct, general direction comes from the top, obvious prosecutions that flow Administration program initiatives are routine.

When a sensitive case comes up though, the U.S. Attorneys do go to the AG. The AG could advise that he thinks a case lacks litigative merit, when he's really short-circuiting a prosecution. Or, he could advise to prosecute even if the case does lack litigative merit, if it suits his political purposes.

It's not cut and died. It's all very subjective, and a great deal of leeway is given to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

This is not a Republican thing. It historically has worked the same for both Republicans and Democrats.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Zouk said "always a Dem method - kill the messenger, slur their motivations, hope no one notices you ignored the point entirely" The Dems certainly do not have exclusive claim to that method - which is why many of us in the middle despise both parties.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 23, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

TG - I don't FEEL those facts are fair. can you please invent seme Liberal facts I can use. the global warming model should help you invent science we can use for political ends. If all else fails, take a slanted poll and report is as news on the front page of the NYT.

I bet the slurs about the owner of the facts will follow (WSJ editors eat babies, etc.), all the while ignoring the claims themselves. always a Dem method - kill the messenger, slur their motivations, hope no one notices you ignored the point entirely. but I said this already above.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

'I actually have the utmost respect for the troops as evidenced by my belief that they should get all the resources they need'

liar. it's 4 years later and they still don't have the equipment they need and you've never uttered a peep about it because you really don't care. everything is a pose. you're a complete phony.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"but when bush fires 8 who are not doing their job - not prosecuting pot sellers, not prosecuting illegal immigrants, not prosecuting Dem political cheats, etc., all of a sudden it is a big deal."

Your outrage would carry more weight if those attorneys had not received good reviews from their bosses prior to being fired. Atty Iglesias, among others, had been commended for competence in job reviews. If they're being fired for poor performance, the AG should have no trouble demonstrating in what ways they've underperformed. Given the shifting stories of why they've been fired, there appears to be more to the story than 'they're not doing their jobs.'

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I found this instructive from WSJ:

As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.

At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: "All those people are routinely replaced," he told reporters, "and I have not done anything differently." In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.

Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to "politicizing" Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's get some actual facts straight - no president ever fired ALL attornies upon arriving in office. It is usually done over time in a gradual fashion. clinton came aboard and fired all but one in an effort to disguise the firing of two in particular, the ones investigating him and his donors. Perfectly legal and since it was a Dem covering up corruption, no one noticed.

but when bush fires 8 who are not doing their job - not prosecuting pot sellers, not prosecuting illegal immigrants, not prosecuting Dem political cheats, etc., all of a sudden it is a big deal. gonzalez clearly messed this up by not coming out forcefully and simply stating, they were fired because they sucked. but honesty has never been appreciated by Dems. they prefer the conspiracy and shady tricks approach.


Ignorant coward - you should at least post links to information you plaigerize from other sources. Or perhaps your real name is Joe Biden? and I always thought you were eleanor clift.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For those of you with an interest, here's an unscientific poll on the divorce question:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17662271/site/newsweek

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Zoukie: Get your history straight. both Dollar Bill and the Shrub cleaned house when they got in. But the fired eight were actually the Shrub's own selections. It's just that they were not as loyal "Bushies" as his political folks wanted. It seems like they recognized they represented all of the people in their region, not just representing the party of the person who appointed them.

In fact, one had the audacity to go after the prominent Corrupt Cunningham, an actual Republican! Will the Shrub go after Chief Justice John Roberts, if Roberts doesn't vote the way he wants? There's probably something in the Patriot Act that will allow Little Al to say that the Shrub has the power to call "do-over" about his Supreme Court appointment.

Posted by: pacman | March 23, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

DD - you seem to skip all nuance - unusual for a Kerry guy or gal. I said that dying is certainly part of the military way of life. It is sad but true. It is better than civilians getting killed. If it goes to advance a worthy cause, it is often worth it. Of course each individual would need to decide what causes are worthy and deserving of lives.

I actually have the utmost respect for the troops as evidenced by my belief that they should get all the resources they need, no strings attached, and more if desired. I also beleive they should finish the mission and win the war. this proves that the goal was worthy and that the sacrifices mean something.

altenative views seem frail in claiming support for the troops. mostly mouthing for the camera, as usual.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

there would be no 'emergency' spending bill if proper procedures had been followed in the first place and money for the occupation had been included in the budget.

$500 billion and counting..,, but wait, the oil will pay for it. won't cost us a thing, rmember? LOL

$195 million a day...

One day in Iraq could close the financing gap for interoperable communications in 41 small cities, 36 mid-sized cities, or 6 large cities so that federal, state and local first responders can talk to one another during an emergency.

One day in Iraq could purchase 780 fire trucks for improving local emergency response capabilities.

One day in Iraq could employ 4,919 fire fighters, 4,222 police patrol officers, or 7,052 paramedics and emergency medical technicians for one year each.

One day in Iraq could double the federal budget for nuclear reactor safety and security inspections to ensure that these potential terrorist targets are adequately protected.v

One day in Iraq could pay for 1,101 additional border patrol agents to better guard our borders against potential terrorists.

One day in Iraq could provide 9,750 port container inspection units to detect hazardous materials being trafficked into the country.

One day in Iraq could provide 1,332 explosive trace detection portals for airport screening of passengers, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

One day in Iraq could provide 6,290 local law enforcement agencies a bomb-detecting robot.

One day in Iraq could provide 4,875 narcotics vapor and particle detectors.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

When the books close on March 31, a much larger story than this will be told. In terms of donors, it really looks like Clinton, Edwards, Romney and McCain are honestly the top tiers. But we will see when the actual figures comes out. I'm guessing Romney and Clinton top the list.

Posted by: reason | March 23, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Roo: As I've previously advocated for the narrow, well-defined bills that the 110th has already passed I agree with you completely. But, this is politics as it is practiced in the US Congress. Not apologizing for it as it is what it is and nothing we say or do here will change that. In the scheme of things I regard it as the means to a valuable (at many levels) end. And the Code Pinkers and other like-minded citizens agree but wish they'd have promised more pork just to end the war.

Now, if they continue to drift in this direction (Bridges to Nowhere, anyone?) they deserve to be kicked out post-haste, an intra-party sentiment you'll never hear from the Calcified Ones.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

TG says
"There is just no scandal here. What was unlawful, illegal or unethical?"

Selectively enforcing the law would be both illegal and unethical. If Gonzales and/or his people fired prosecutors because the prosecuted Repubs or failed to indict Dems in a timely fashion there is certainly an ethical problem, potentially a legal problem. At a bare minimum, WH aides and/or AG Gonzales have misled Congress - a crime in and of itself. Yes, the Atty's serve at the President's whim, nobody disputes that. The President gets to nominate replacements & direct their efforts. The President and AG do not get to tell the prosecutors which cases to pursue and drop. For instance "Lay off Randy Cunningham" is not ok. "Focus on immigration instead of corruption" is ok. "Focus on corrupt Dems but not corrupt Repubs" is not ok.

Make sense?

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton fires all 92. So you can arbitrarily fire 92 but you can't fire 8 if you have a reason - like they aren't implementing your policies."

Wrong. Why do people keep repeating this as if it's some kind of valid point? (Oh, right, to be intentionally misleading. Now I remember.)

Let's go over this again. Clinton fired all the US Attorneys when he took office. This is because those attorneys were appointed by his predecessor. All presidential appointees are fired when the White House switches parties. Reagan fired all the attorneys. So did Bush II. There is absolutely nothing wrong with firing all attorneys upon taking office.

That is in no way comparable to what Bush did recently. He fired a few attorneys because he thought they weren't prosecuting Democrats enough. That's a problem. The Department of Justice does not exist solely to serve the political goals of whichever party is in power. That's not justice.

Posted by: Blarg | March 23, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I personally applaud pork from politicians. who else would know what projects can benefit the general welfare in their districts. as long as it gets voted on and is transparent, I encourage all the pork you can eat. this cumulative amount of money is peanuts compared to SS, meicare and medicaid.

BUT - to attach it to an emergency military spending bill in an effort to garner wavering votes is not proper.

I will not go into why this should not be an emergency spending bill but instead be part of the regular "on-the-books" funding.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

'proud'

are you a parrot? 'general pelosi'? sound like you've been listening to waaaay to much sean hannity and rush.

as far as zouk is concerned, i didn't say he said that today. but he did say it. ask him. he doesn't give a damn about the military. if they get killed, well that's part of their job, he says. too bad.

Posted by: DD | March 23, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater--"Is this a new Faux News talking point? Sounds like it. As if the R's would be doing 1% (HA!) of what the D's are doing now (which, unsurprisingly, involves a trivial amount of pork compared to the R's excesses) to try to stop the war."

Stop being an apologist. Because They did it too--yes, to much greater degree--does not excuse any actions.

1) It is completely irresponsible, immoral and most particularly against their own campaign promises. Each bill should be well-defined, narrow in scope and should contain no unrelated provisions.

2) It gives Republicans 'gotchas' that can be used to divert attention from important matters.

Posted by: roo | March 23, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

DD - what are you talking about? zouk never said he doesn't care about the troops.

You've obviously been listening to general Pelosi's talking points for too long. Time to take a break until Olberman comes on and you can reload.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

DD

I think if Rove et al testify under oath they should be held accountable if they lie. Do I think they should testify? Not sure, I really don't think there is a scandal here. As Zouk points out. Clinton fires all 92. So you can arbitrarily fire 92 but you can't fire 8 if you have a reason - like they aren't implementing your policies. Well what is the reason for replacing all of them - so they will implement your policies, be loyal to you. And by the way, I am not saying Clinton was wrong. It was his prerogative to do so. It is the executive branch afterall. Do I wish that the US attorneys office was not political - sure but that isn't reality. Reality is that each admin has different policies and laws that they want to be sure are enforced. There is just no scandal here. What was unlawful, illegal or unethical? Please articulate it for me because maybe I am missing something.

Also, your response to what were pretty valid points by Zouk is just basically to insult him personally.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And what evidence is that? Scientific evidence, the kind you hate?

You also said, 'Mars is ALSO warming,' so you agree Earth is?

Posted by: DD | March 23, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives Take on Bush Over Presidential Authority
A group of conservatives, including a former Republican congressman, are taking on President Bush over what it calls his abuse of power.
http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/03/conservatives-take-on-bush-over.html

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

'I don't care how pols treat their wives'

obviously. I don't think you care much about anybody but you. you say you don't care about the troops either. or the poor or the disabled, or children, or anybody really.

if you have a wife, i feel real sorry for her.

Posted by: DD | March 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Evidence shows Mars is also warming. I don't suppose Al gore's jet exhaust is causing this one, do you?

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Because 6th graders are so good at analyzng and solving the world's problems -- wtf?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Gore said, 'If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action."

At one point, Inhofe held up a photo of icicles in Buffalo and demanded: "Where is global warming when you really need it?"

The audience snickered at him. Joe Barton started reading the newspaper, then discovered he wasn't getting much support even from his own side. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) admitted he paid to see "An Inconvenient Truth." Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), implicitly rebuking flat-Earth colleagues, said: "It's possible to be a conservative without appearing to be an idiot."

Posted by: advice for zouk | March 23, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Humans don't cause global warming, a jury of sixth graders at Trail Ridge Middle School concluded Thursday after hearing opposing arguments from their peers.

Are you smarter than a 6th grader?

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Gorebot 3000 is getting plenty of rest for his run when he finally enters the fray in November or thereabouts.

And if he runs, he wins.

Posted by: Joey B | March 23, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

'You just can't lie under oath or to investigators or whatever. '

So do you think Rove and the others implicated in Purgegate should testify under oath?

Posted by: DD | March 23, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

drindl - the alternative viewpoint on this is that a certain type of person realizes they can't stay married any longer and doesn't try to hide it or lie about it. A different type of person, who can't tell the difference between a lie and the truth, hides everything that might make them look bad to anyone. they live this life of lying always and pile lie upon lie until confronted with insurmountable facts to the contrary. following attempts at denigrating any accusers and conspiracy theories, they try to shift the focus or blame elsewhere or offer non-answers. do we want serial liars in office - regardless of what they lie about?

I don't care how pols treat their wives, I am not marrying them. Most treat spouses badly. I do care whether they lie about everything and anything.

Why do Dems ignore lies from the left and not from the right. example - Baron Von wilson was proven to be a liar, scooter was manuvered into forgetting. clinton fired 92 to get at the important 2. Bush fires 8, who deserved it and look at the response. Bush is called too dumb, but smart enough to lie and fool hillary and kerry into voting wrongly on the war. Now when they change their minds for political purpose, he is the liar.

I guess it depends on the meaning of the word "is" or maybe I lied about that before I told the truth about that. either way, don't expect even treatment of liars from the left. their morality is up for sale, as evidenced by the vote today. War is bad, let's stop it someday and here's a couple bucks in case you aren't so sure. Is this what you wanted when congress changed hands. Be honest. at least as honest as a Dem can be.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Why would they try to override a veto?" Yep, and then in 2008 the D Congressional/Presidential candidates get to say "Well, the war WOULD have been over by now and the troops would be coming home."

A perfectly brilliant strategy for channelling the anger of an increasingly war-weary (~70% of us at least) nation. Thank you George W. Bush for being played like a fiddle.

Think it won't work? You must not have been alive/sentient at the end of the Vietnam War. Win, lose or draw people will be even more sick of the war than they are now. And Bush's "stay the course" doctrine (or whatever he's calling it then) of eternal war will tar and feather the entire GOP.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Not TG,

Don't disagree with you on libby at all actually, or Martha Stewart or Barry Bonds or Lil Kim, or whomever. You just can't lie under oath or to investigators or whatever. It is a hallmark of our system in my view.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

'Is this reason enough, by itself, to disqualify a candidate? That's all I'm saying, regardless of R or D.'

I think it's a matter of degree. How they handle it displays their character. Yes, a lot of people commit adultery. But how do they treat their spouse? Do they try to keep it secret and not hurt the spouse? Or do they dump the spouse and viciously, publicly, humiliate her? Because that's what Rudy did once and Newt has done twice.

To wound is bad enough, to deliberately, publicly rub salt in it is just vile.

Posted by: drindl | March 23, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

'public doesn't support losing a war'

No, they don't. I expect that's why they threw so many members of the party that lost the war out of ofice, hmm...

'Nearly seven in 10 of those polled want to see U.S. troops leave Iraq either immediately or within a year. In addition, more people would prefer Congress to run U.S. policy in Iraq than President Bush.'

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Shorter TG--"I'm your typical hypocrite."

Incidentally - not to pick at a scab - but I believe that it was obstructing justice by lying under oath that was Libby's big faux pas. Outing a covert CIA officer to two or more journalists as political payback just makes him a slime ball. Being a slime ball has never been a disqualifier for being Chief of Staff to the current Vice President.

Posted by: not TG | March 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

venicemenace says
"please enlighten me how a bill that passed the House of Representatives by something like six votes is going to garner 60 votes in the Senate and THEN get even more votes the second time around in the house to override the President's veto."

Why would they try to override a veto? The Pres asked for emergency appropriations for Iraq, they said "OK, but with benchmarks." If he chooses not to accept their conditions, he doesn't get the money. There's a metaphor there, something about noses, faces & spite. Dare he?

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It is very simple, they don't have the votes. the public doesn't support losing a war and the pols know it. but in their desperation to get elected next time, they put on continual shows. forget the interest of the nation, it is about their own personal interest. And if they have to buy off a few wavering votes, the rules and morals are irrelevant. that is Dem politics.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Poor Richard, please enlighten me how a bill that passed the House of Representatives by something like six votes is going to garner 60 votes in the Senate (enough to override the filibuster) and THEN get even more votes the second time around in the house to override the President's veto. It doesn't matter that the Democrats "won" the 2006 elections, they still don't have the majorities to override the President. Your expectations are unrealistic.

"They need to get control of the War...and the Consitution gives them that power, all the blather about Commander in Chief aside. The Constitution's Presidential powers do not make him Emperor."

I agree with your last statement, but as long as the Republicans in the House and Senate continue to stick together and support the President's war policy, that policy cannot be changed by a slim Democratic majority. THEY DON'T HAVE THE POWER TO DO WHAT YOU ARE DEMANDING. I'm sorry to shout but you are blaming the wrong people. The "pork" issue is just a distraction and trust me, that money will never be spent.

Posted by: Venicemenace | March 23, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

People keep talking about Giuliani's stance on a social issues, but did that really drive Republican voters last election? People are worried about the Democrats taking over and that will motivate how they vote. The thought will be, "someone who can beat Hillary." Who better than America's Mayor. McCain will also be a strong front-runner. Romney will fade away.

Posted by: Bryan | March 23, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and don't forget Iraq-- any Republican who supports Bush's sending more troops (such as both Guiliani and McCain do) can forget his chances in the general election.

Posted by: Dee | March 23, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

How are your salon dinners going? Getting out to the real world much. You are all about operatives and cash and little about substance and the candidate. You have never really run a campaign have you? It is the horse and not the jockey. Sure cash is important and Hillary, Obama and Edwards will have it on our side. Gore will as well if he gets in. Then is gets down to the candidate, the message and the personality. The operatives and staff are really not how it works other then perhaps in Iowa. In fact Chris, you have not mentioned that overrated Michael Whouley in weeks. Why not....too busy finding looking for a better hair weave?

Posted by: Bill Pond | March 23, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm, I think you're wrong, bsimon. I'll agree that Hillary's negatives are high, including among some Democrats. However, I think her positive numbers are higher. What's more, Bill is probably the single most popular politician in the country these days, and you can bet he'll pull back the party faithful-- and a lot of independents.

The comparison will be something along the lines of: balanced budget, no war, cleaner environment, less stratification of the economy (i.e., a larger middle class), competent people running federal agencies-- Clinton (Democratic) years. Record deficit, disastrous war, oil companies gouging America (and near-collapse of the EPA's mission), scientific findings muzzled if they don't conform to policy, cronyism within agencies like EPA, NOAA, and FEMA (not to mention Rumsfeld at DoD), the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, etc.-- under Republican control.

We've got two more years under Bush. For the last few months, there seems to have been one scandal after another. I'll grant that none of these scandals had to do with sex, but frankly, I think the American people will be a lot more upset about things like the cronyism gutting FEMA, than they ever were about Clinton's personal affairs.

Personally, I'm hoping that in July or August, Gore announces he'll run. He's my top choice. But I still think that ANY Democrat who gets the nomination will win the general election, and that includes Hillary.

Posted by: Dee | March 23, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -
But Hillary will draw out enough people who usually don't vote that it should balance it out. And her attack machine is rather formidable. GOPers should fear her.

Political buzz Radio is live online at 6PM EDT today. It's a New Hampshire primary special, with James Pindell, Michael McCord, and Fergus Cullen, NH GOP chairman, as guests.
http://blogtalkradio.com/hostpage.aspx?show_id=17000

Posted by: mpp | March 23, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Thompson is the fantasy candidate because the Republican field is SO flawed. Look to an actor who plays a more credible and balanced role on television than he ever did as a politician! Fool the public if you can, you guys have nothing else at this point.

If you think Guiliani will survive the Dobson Taliban, think again.
You can't run a campaign based only on the events of 9/11 especially when we are stuck with an unpopular ( hated is a better word) administration that has cravenly exploited the attacks to further their agenda.

Newt is a dinosaur, Brownback is a kook, McCain sold his soul and Romney has waffled so much that he has zero credibility ( and sorry, the mormon thing is not going to help him).

Posted by: maria | March 23, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Dee says
"I don't think it matters all that much who wins either nomination-- the Democratic candidate will win."

If the Dems nominate Hillary, your theory goes out the window. There are enough people - Dems included - who don't like her that her candidacy would make for the highest chances of a Repub victory.

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Another writer, along with searching for a Liberatarian to crack down on the border, mentioned Giuliani as the best candidate for the Democrats.

Giuliani is unacceptable as the Democratic candidate because as Mayor of NYC he broadly crossed the line between aggressive law enforcement and harrassment of minorities.

The hero of 9/11 is best remembered in NYC as the architect of police policies that resulted in law abiding young black and hispanic men being gunned down in their own neighborhoods by roving police squads.

The worst of this is that the profiling created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust of authority without compensating benefits.

It is easily demonstrable and true that the decline in crime during the 90s was the result of the Clinton economic expansion.

NYC's resurgence as a desirable city to live in stems from the same phenomenon.

Resurging urban crime and NYC's recent loss of desirability as a residence stem from the return to trickle down misery stemming from Bush/GOP tax the poor economic policies.

Rudy is merely a skilled politician who shows up at the right times in the right places.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, NY

Posted by: robert chapman | March 23, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I don't think most Americans care at all about whether a given politician has been strictly monogamous or has had 100 affairs. The problem is that after the GOP howled about Clinton's affair, plus the comments from the religious right about his wrong-doing, that it's pretty hypocritical for the GOP to suddenly say that it's OK in their candidates.

I don't think it matters all that much who wins either nomination-- the Democratic candidate will win. The electorate is definitely trending Democrat. I live in a very wealthy area, where I was an election judge last year. In 2000 and 2004 the precinct went heavily Republican. In 2006, Republican candidates won only by a slight margin-- about 5% overall, as I recall. The registrations reflected that as well; several people came in during the primary and when asked for their party affiliation, told me that they "should be listed as a Democrat now." Not a single person changed their affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Registration ran somewhere around 60 to 65% Democrat among new voters under the age of 25, too.

I think George Bush has ensured that Republicans will be a minority party for many years to come.

Posted by: Dee | March 23, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with you, Chris, and agree with a few of the commenters: Richardson is a fantastic public speaker AND his style is great. He is motivating, articulate, friendly, humble, intelligent, and engaging. I don't think any verbal fumbles he might make will be bad for him; just look at the guy who got elected in 2000 and 2004... I love the possibility of an intelligent, experienced, liberal Dem candidate with strong, clear positions on important issues -- who isn't monotonous, patronizing, or canned.

Richardson supporters -- or even those of you still on the fence: if you really want to keep your options open, please consider contributing to the Richardson campaign! The quarter ends at the end of the month, and his camp. needs money just to last til his moment arrives, whenever that is.

www.richardsonforpresident.com

Thanks for reading,
a Richardson campaign volunteer in DC

Posted by: Alison | March 23, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Can I just point out that this comment upthread is far and away the best Freudian misspelling I've seen in a long time:

"Thompson is the only candidate that can claim with impugnity the Reagan legacy..."

That's just simply beautiful.

Posted by: AJL | March 23, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Dems could win in a walk IF:
They could get Obama/Edwards or Edwards/Obama to share the ticket.
Even better if they could also prename:
Hillary - Secy of State
Dean - Secy of Health & Human Services
Clark - Secy of Defense
Fitzpatrick - Attny General
Gore - head of EPA

Posted by: Lu Franklin | March 23, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Four members of the anti-war group Code Pink were arrested outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday afternoon, following an announcement that they would seek to take over the office. The group's members had planned to hold a symbolic "Pin the war on the Donkey" demonstration at Pelosi's office to show their frustration with the Democratic leadership's inaction on ending the war in Iraq.

what happened to "Dance with the one who brung ya?"

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Mouse - Whatever you do, don't run King of Zouk.

Posted by: Hillary | March 23, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Mouse asks
"who would you like to see run for President who is not already an announced or unannounced candidate?"

I lament the absence of Feingold. I think the current focus on the ability to raise money and whatever intagible quality 'electability' represents dooms us to substandard major-party candidates until the system changes.

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Good idea for this site's regulars" KOZ being the most regular of them all!

Posted by: ashamedtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

While I may not agree with all or even most of them, I believe that both parties have the strongest fields of contenders that I have seen in a generation.
So I was surprised at the negative comments on the quality of the contenders, particularly the Republicans.
My question--who would you like to see run for President who is not already an announced or unannounced candidate?

Posted by: Mouse | March 23, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Thompson is the ideal candidate. He has judicial experience (Law and Order); military and CIA Experience (Hunt for Red October and No Way Out); executive branch experience (In the Line of Fire); and high level managerial experience (Days of Thunder).

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What we need is romney and thompson. With the comptence and articulateness (something desperately needed in the GOP!) of these two, the democrats would not stand a chance.

I think McCain is done, Guliani will continue to fall, but not completly, and Romney and Thompson will rise as winners.

Some underestimate Romney. He will suprise.

Posted by: jon stuart | March 23, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

anon writes
"And could you imagine a debate between Thompson and any of the Dems top 3? Thompson would crush them all."

Two of the 3, I can see. All he has to do to Hillary is get her to utter "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." Get Edwards to box himself into an embarrassing corner a la the Cheney debate & mentioning the daugher. But Thomas-Obama? I'm not sure that's a definite crusher on the part of Thomas.

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, funny. The NY Times thing made me almost spill my coffee. Those posts that start with "I don't know one person who" probably should automatically be ignored. Move on the the next post.

Bush got more votes than any other presidential candidate in history, 60 million. The Democrats don't know any of these people! I hope they continue to deny their existence next time around. That's been a winning presidential campaign strategy in three of the last ten presidential elections. And Perot threw one election to Bill Clinton. So really, 2 out of 10. Reach my lips, Dems, ignore the red states, ignore the red states, please.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

KOZ says
"How desperate were Dems to win last time when nominating Kerry? It went against your gut, but you did it anyway and hoped for the best. The sheer virulance of Dem voters turned out nicely for Kerry as he got more votes than deserved. the shoe may be on the other foot now, although Bush2 was a distinct compromise from conservative principles, but we wanted to win more than stick to our guns, so to speak. history repeats itself. We will take rudy because he can win. you will dump hillary because she can't."

Do you see the irony in comparing Rudi to Kerry? Seems to me like the Dems were dumb to nominate Kerry; can you see how the Repubs will have the same problem if the nominate Rudi? (I doubt they will)

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If Thompson throws his hat into the ring you're going to hear a huge sucking sound of support flowing his way at the expense of McCain, Romney and Rudy. He will win the Republican nomination hands down.

And could you imagine a debate between Thompson and any of the Dems top 3? Thompson would crush them all.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If you're a veritable smokestack of moronic ramblings, inane opinions and bug-eyed rants, and you'd rather not sacrifice your venting lifestyle for the sake of rationality, then moron offsets are just the ticket for you. Just pay someone else to "scrub the air" with good sense after you belched forth some gassy nonsense, and you won't have to bother rethinking anything.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=scrub_the_airwaves_with_moron_offsets&ns=JonSanders&dt=03/23/2007&page=1


Good idea for this site's regulars.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris-

I applaud your reasonable inclusion of Fred Thompson.

You have to keep in mind, though, the possibility that Bill Richardson is simply waiting for his moment, which is not for another six months??? I'm not convinced he'll win the nomination, but I am sure that he is strategically waiting for Hillary and Obama to tire themselves out.

Posted by: jojo | March 23, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

How desperate were Dems to win last time when nominating Kerry? It went against your gut, but you did it anyway and hoped for the best. The sheer virulance of Dem voters turned out nicely for Kerry as he got more votes than deserved. the shoe may be on the other foot now, although Bush2 was a distinct compromise from conservative principles, but we wanted to win more than stick to our guns, so to speak. history repeats itself. We will take rudy because he can win. you will dump hillary because she can't.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When Republicans are adulterers I SUDDENLY feel the need to ask is this reason enough, by itself, to disqualify a candidate? After all, I never said 'boo' about Clinton's adulterous ways. No, no, I never took part in the Republican 24/7/365 shamefest of the 1990's. I was the one defending Clinton to all the Republicans around me. "What does adultery have to do with a man's ability to do his job as President?" I said. "I mean, after all, it's not like Americans are dying because of this particular moral failing. That'd really be grounds for impeachment."

Posted by: ashamedtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, Proud, other Republicans - how exactly do you think Rudy could win the GOP nomination? I hear a lot of talk about him winning, being in the lead, having plenty of money, but actually getting the GOP primary votes - I just don't see it.

I still think the Dems will win in the election, but I would guess that if he can get through the primary, Rudy would have the best chance of anyone. McCain's now got the "crooked talk express", and Romney has a multitude of problems as he tries to satisfy everyone, ultimately satisfying no one.

Posted by: Capster | March 23, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Like we need NY to win. Never expected to or required it. but it will strain the Dem resources to put it in play somewhat. don't get me worng, NY is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to pay their taxes or suffer their laws.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"captured the endorsement of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack"

And that's a bonanza of what, 5 or 6 votes?

Posted by: ashamedtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

We need McCain! He is the only one with the experience and fortitude to see us through the coming years. I honestly think he will try to look out for the best interests of this country, and not just himself.

Posted by: Chris | March 23, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"lying under oath that was Clinton's big faux pas" = "a Republican is involved we become fixated on giving them a pass regarding their personal life. A double standard is used just because it's the opposition party"

Posted by: ashamedtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

veniceetc

I am naive about pork, but you confirm my statement.

"The symbolic legislation is laden with pork, true. But it will never actually become law, because the Republicans will never allow any limitation on the President's war plans to become law. The pork projects are simply included as an extra enticement to garner votes (for symbolic purposes) or to attack GOP congressmen in the '08 elections."

Regardless of whether the Republicans will allow the bill to pass (eventually it will), I am very aware of the validity of the statement. Simple truth is not naivete.

Quite frankly the rationalizations minimizing the lack of leadership on both sides of the aisle in the face of a corrupt (Abramoff to Cunningham to API-sounds a bit like adouble play combination), disingenuous (where to start...WMD to dismissed Attorneys General), and quite frankly politically naive (again where to start...but right now Iran is the political miscue depending on the day) administration by attaching unnecessary nuance and complexity is offensive to those of us who worked for a change in direction in both Houses.

If the Democrats don't get serious about what those of us who busted our butts in the '06 were aiming for, we will throw them out on their keesters in '08 and all of the twaddle in the Fix and everywhere else about Hil, Rudy or Barack will be for naught.

We have no expectation of the Spend 'n Spend some more Republicans...or is that Guns 'n Butter Republicans. We'll continue to work to throw out what's left of them.

But we may not stand with the last bunch of Democrats if they get caught up in Pork politics.

They need to get control of the War...and the Consitution gives them that power, all the blather about Commander in Chief aside. The Constitution's Presidential powers do not make him Emperor.

Posted by: poor richard | March 23, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Democratice race gets a little tougher for those below #1.

A scoop from Henry Jackson of the AP:

Vilsack to Endorse Clinton for President
By Henry C. Jackson, The Associated Press
Friday, March 23, 2007; 11:30 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a major political coup, captured the endorsement of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who recently abandoned his own presidential bid, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | March 23, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"I guess that makes it okay."

Ummm...If you'll note, I specifically added my own view of the morally repugnant nature of adultery and that I don't personally think it's ok to take lightly the commitment of marriage.

Is this reason enough, by itself, to disqualify a candidate? That's all I'm saying, regardless of R or D.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel - how could Bush have won - NYT editors don't know one person who voted for him.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

no just people who live here and know him tarheel. obviously you don't.

Posted by: big apple | March 23, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally - not to pick at a scab - but I believe that it was lying under oath that was Clinton's big faux pas. The adultery just makes him a slime ball. Being a slime ball has never been a disqualifier for high political office.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged during George W. Bush's presidency, as attitudes have edged away from some of the conservative values that fueled GOP political victories, a major survey has found.

The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, found a "dramatic shift" in political party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, 50% of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, whereas 35% aligned with Republicans.

What's more, the survey found, public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has decreased.

The findings suggest that the challenges for the GOP reach beyond the unpopularity of the war in Iraq and Bush.

"Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has to do with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans will have to contend with," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew center. "There is a difference in the landscape."

Posted by: failed conservative policies | March 23, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It always amazes me how someone claims to be from New York and knows everyone there hates Rudy Giuliani. Here are his election FACTS, not rhetoric.

Giuliani won the 1993 election against incumbent Mayor David Dinkens by a margin of 53,367 votes, with 49.25% of the electorate to the incumbent's 46.42% share. He became the first Republican elected Mayor of New York City since John Lindsay won election in 1965.

Giuliani's opponent in 1997 was Democratic New York City Councilwoman Ruth Messenger. Giuliani won 59% of the vote to Messinger's 41%, and became the first Republican to win a second term as Mayor since Fiorello H. LaGuardia 1941.

An 18 point win and 15 point increase in victory margin AFTER citizens/voters got to know him in his first term. It sounds like all those New Yorkers posting negative comments about Rudy are just old Dinkens and Messenger supporters.

Posted by: tarheel | March 23, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Amusingly, the top candidate for each party has significant problems with the party base. I agree that they are still the top candidate for their party at the moment for the reasons listed by CC.

Posted by: CJVA | March 23, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I only mentioned adulterous because the GOP brought it up, and hit Bill Clinton over the head with it for years... and still do.

So, now I guess religious conservatives think adultry is no bar to nomination. Changing times, changing ethics.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 23, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Let me give you an answer on the difference between gay marriage and adultery:

Gay marriiage, is like marriage. Two people who love each other, who want to make a commitment to each other and perhaps have a family together.

Adultery is when someone cheats on their spouse, when they hurt someone who loves them, when they lie to CYA, when they betray trust and abandon their families.

See the difference now?

And btw, I've been married 25 years and I don't believe in adultery. However I could forgive my husband for cheating on me, but not for dumping me and our kids.

Have you ever met any actual 'liberals'?

Posted by: drindl | March 23, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

It is always so amusing to see a bunch of liberal bloggers handicap the Repub race. Fred (I am now referring to all stars by the one name tradition of madonna) could be a very exciting candidate, he has few skeletons and has already been president on TV. But ultimately Rudy will win the nomination and the election because he is willing to steal Dem positions and retain the mantra of conservatism. all those guys you say won't vote outside of guns, god and gays will certainly not vote for Hillary. they may stay home but a congressional election is no good way to predict presidential elections. Even still, that portion of the R voters may be a lesser proportion that is generally thought and can easily be overcome by the middle of the road voters who would convert back to loyal conservatism.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 23, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Everybody decries pork, but everyone likes the pork that benefits them. As a former Oregon Republican congressman once told me, "Pork is spending that's in someone else's district."

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | March 23, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

'I hate it when people continue to harp on 'adultery' like it's some gigantic scarlet letter or something.'

Oh dear, this from the party who howled in outrage, outrage, outraged outrage for years about Bill Clinton's adultery and 'family values'. And he didn't even dump his wife and kids for the woman.

What will you tell the children, dear? It's the 21st century now? I guess that makes it okay.

Posted by: drindl | March 23, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon,

Your sarcastic response is perfectly appropriate. I suppose that when I got married, I made a commitment that I wouldn't do that sort of thing ... you know ... have relations with someone not my wife. Call me old fashioned but I take that commitment seriously.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I like your blog. It's great fun to follow and informative in a fast food kind of way. I don't like fast food, but it was the best metaphor I could come up with this early in the morning (in California).

Posted by: the highway scribe | March 23, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"I hate it when people continue to harp on 'adultery' like it's some gigantic scarlet letter or something. For pete's sake people, this is the 21st Century... .
practically everybody's been divorced or had an affair or knows someone who has."

How many times is acceptable? Once? Twice? Three times? How about an existing and ongoing affair? Hey, man, its the 21st century - get with the times. Let people experiment with their personal lives. If the Pres wants to open the 4th floor for a big, nekkid party for top donors, let him/her reward contributors as they see fit. Take them puritannical mores back to the 17th century...

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous:

I read this:

"The gop hates the 'liberals' with a passion that I haven't seen seen the way the germans hated jews.

Think about what they call us -- 'godless' 'traitors' 'evil' murderers, rapists, you name it. 30 years of talk radio and foundation-funded propaganda have absolutely poisoned the minds of a good percentage of the populationn to the point where i'm sure many of them would be happy to send us to the gas chambers, let alone ever ever vote for any candidate with a D, even if it was Jesus or Abe Lincoln."

And I had to laugh. Have you ever read any of the posts on this site? There is plenty of hate and venom on the liberal side. In fact, it predominates the discussion and your own post is full of it.

I suppose that in your view, if you share the hate of the repugs, as I think they are frequently called here, that hate is ok because it is righteous hate. The righteous hate of the true believers is perfectly permissible. It is just when the hate is such that you disagree with it that it becomes more like the Nazis.

Please buy a mirror today and take a long look at it. By the way, I don't hate you.

Posted by: TG | March 23, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"All in all, the Repub choices are, well, desperate. Adulterous, forked-tongued empty suits who can raise money."

I hate it when conservative Republicans continue to harp on 'adultery' like it's some gigantic scarlet letter or something. For pete's sake people, when a Republican has committed adultery I suddenly realize that it's the 21st Century.. .
practically every Republican candidate has been divorced or had an affair (not that I'm advocating it) or knows someone who has.

Republicans attack the cause of gay marriage, personal freedoms, etc and yet have the gall to conveniently leave out adultery (by a personal standard) because it is a reason by itself not to vote for a Republican candidate.

Voters who don't like hypocrisy are trying to apply the Republican's own standards to Republicans.

When a Democrat is involved we become fixated on a candidate's personal life. When a Republican is involved we become fixated on giving them a pass regarding their personal life. A double standard is used just because it's the opposition party.

Posted by: ashamedtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yuck. Giuliani & Hillary, could they pick two more uninspiring people? Not to disparage either person's accomplishments in life, but instead to note their perceived inability to inspire the country & close the partisan divide a little bit.

What's the Unity 08 crew up to?

Posted by: bsimon | March 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Why not Hillary? We could have the first gay woman. I can see the heads of 'social liberals' all over the country exploding.

Posted by: silver spring | March 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Little Freddie Hiatt and WaPo got taken to the cleaners today by Obey on the House floor.

Poor Freddie. Can Gigot come over and beat up big bad Obey for him?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson is the only top-tier, potential or actual Republican candidate without a mountain of baggage. And, Thompson is the only candidate that can claim with impugnity the Reagan legacy, conservative credentials, charisma of an actor, and all. Thompson runs, works the 7-day weeks, raises the money and wins the nomination! I vote Democratic.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Chuck Hagel will run for a safe 3rd term, not risking the rejection as a presidential candidate. He is going NOWHERE.

Fred, Newt, Condi:
all 3 can enter late and raise enough money to compete. The voters want them to run, and we shall see what happens by October 2007

Posted by: Joe | March 23, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

PS -Joe Biden maccaca-ed his own candidacy right out of the shoot with his remarks about Obama.

I'm afraid his gift for verbal diarrhea combined with the lengthy Senate career will terminally doom him to bottom tier status. imo

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"All in all, the Repub choices are, well, desperate. Adulterous, forked-tongued empty suits who can raise money."

I hate it when people continue to harp on 'adultery' like it's some gigantic scarlet letter or something. For pete's sake people, this is the 21st Century... .
practically everybody's been divorced or had an affair (not that I'm advocating it)or knows someone who has.

Liberals champion the cause of gay marriage, personal freedoms, etc and yet have the gall to suggest that adultery (however repugnant by any personal standard) is some reason by itself not to vote for a candidate.

Liberals are still trying to get back at repubs b/c of Clinton I.

Are we fixated on candidate's personal lives or not? Which is it? No double standard should be used just because it's the opposition party.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 23, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

In my view, Senator Joe Biden is the best candidate for President. It is my hope that Americans will see through the media's annointing of lacklustre candidates by supporting a candidate with substance.

CC, will Biden ever make your top 5? Show him some love. The Senator has been getting good reviews and drumming up solid support from his visits to the early primary states.

Posted by: PS | March 23, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't know -- why not Fred Thompson? We could have a really interesting election -- the first woman, the first black man, or the first gay man for president, anyone?

I can see the heads of 'social conservatives' all over the country exploding.

Posted by: drindl | March 23, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think a partridge in a pear tree should be on CC's list... why not. Fred Thompson? Please, this is my country you're talking about, not some audition for American Idle.

All in all, the Repub choices are, well, desperate. Adulterous, forked-tongued empty suits who can raise money. They make a so-so Dem field look good.
http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 23, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

It's true. The Dems cannot defund the war with troops in the field. You just don't do that. All they can try to do is influence republicans to come over so there will be enough votes for a veto override.

Until republicans relent and help stop this useless hemorhaging of our troops, this will continue to be their war and they will wear it around their necks like a dead skunk in 2008.

Posted by: Sal | March 23, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"they call it 'free speech' in my country"

I hate it when people invoke "free speech" in places where it simply does not apply.

The First Amendment does not apply to posts on the Washingtonpost.com website, it applies to government limitations on speech. If WaPo decided to start blocking your IP address tomorrow (which they will never apparently do, since Che continues spamming every forum on this site), they can do it.

Debate about whether off-topic posts are fair game all you want - it's an open question - but don't cry "Free Speech", that's asinine.

Posted by: Venicemenace | March 23, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Republicans almost always anoint the establishment's frontrunner (e.g., Dole in 1996), which means McCain is very likely to come out on top for the nomination. When all is said and done next February, McCain and Clinton will be left standing. But McCain's age, and Clinton's long-standing personal unpopularity with most independent voters, will set up a battle royal. Plus, McCain has sold out to the Wingnuts and is looking more and more like The Manchurian Candidate. If Hillary can overcome skepticism about her and about a woman candidate in general (a very big "if"), she can narrowly defeat a 72-year-old fart.

Fred Thompson will not run because the bloggers are ready to pounce on the well-known rumor that he is a closeted gay man (hypocrisy, anyone?).

Posted by: Progressive | March 23, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"We sent them to DC to stop the war and they give us what? Pork, Pork and more
Pork."

This is a very naive, uninformed view - but it's understandable, given the horrible reporting of the news media on the new Iraq war bill in the House.

It is obvious to any astute observer that the Democrats do not have the power to stop the war. If your goal is to end the war, you should be blaming the Republicans who are successfully stonewalling any effort to do so. The Democrats have been reduced to trying to pass symbolic legislation (that has no possibility of making it through the Senate, much less a veto override).

The symbolic legislation is laden with pork, true. But it will never actually become law, because the Republicans will never allow any limitation on the President's war plans to become law. The pork projects are simply included as an extra enticement to garner votes (for symbolic purposes) or to attack GOP congressmen in the '08 elections.

I am growing increasingly frustrated by the news media's discussion of this bill as if it has any chance to become law. I don't blame people for misunderstanding the bill and the circumstances that led to its creation. If you're angry about the war, do not blame the Democrats - even after the 2006 elections, they are powerless to end it.

Posted by: Venicemenace | March 23, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

they call it 'free speech' in my country, 'middle ground' -- why don't you go somewhere else?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged during George W. Bush's presidency, as attitudes have edged away from some of the conservative values that fueled GOP political victories, a major survey has found.

The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, found a "dramatic shift" in political party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, 50% of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, whereas 35% aligned with Republicans.

What's more, the survey found, public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has decreased.

The findings suggest that the challenges for the GOP reach beyond the unpopularity of the war in Iraq and Bush.

"Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has to do with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans will have to contend with," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew center. "There is a difference in the landscape."

Posted by: conservative revolution? over. | March 23, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

evil emanates, et al: what's with all the off-topic crap you are posting here? Why don't you go find a blog where they give a sh*t?

Posted by: Middle Ground | March 23, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

the problem, matt, is 'miniscule' .. republican have, currently, zero going for them in this state.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I can only speak for one state in the big Feb. 5 primary push, my own of New York. Here, Giuliani is a GOD among the state's miniscule Republican party and will likely harvest almost all the delegates.

Posted by: Matt | March 23, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The plural possessive form of Edwards is: Edwards', NOT Edwardses'.

Posted by: John | March 23, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

It's ugly but the dems don't have any choice but to horse trade to get what they want -- which is votes for mandatory benchmarks for the iraqis. So to all you purists out there, I suggest you visit Congress one day and see how it actually works.

Stop wishing for the tooth fairy to bring you a perfect world. The republicans have zero interest in ending this occupation -- it's too profitable for them. So if you're going to trash the dems you might as well jist accept we will be there forever.

Posted by: Sal | March 23, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"We sent them to DC to stop the war and they give us what? Pork, Pork and more Pork."

Is this a new Faux News talking point? Sounds like it. As if the R's would be doing 1% (HA!) of what the D's are doing now (which, unsurprisingly, involves a trivial amount of pork compared to the R's excesses) to try to stop the war.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Soon after he was confirmed as Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates began to advocate closing down Guantanamo Bay, The New York Times, reports. He argued that the base "had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guantanamo would be viewed as illegitimate."

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice backed him up. But they had a powerful contingent opposing them:

Mr. Gates's arguments were rejected after Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and some other government lawyers expressed strong objections to moving detainees to the United States, a stance that was backed by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, administration officials said.

Posted by: evil emanates from the VPs office like sulfur | March 23, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Chris - you are underestimating Romney and Huckabee - you should see Romney rise in the polls soon and then Huckabee will stay around as a good vp candidate.

Go Hoyas

Posted by: Mick | March 23, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

'In a famous scene in the classic film Casablanca the police inspector Renault - when challenged that illegal gambling was occurring right under his "inspecting" eyes - replies with some self-mocking irony, pretending he was clueless about the mischief: ""I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

Similarly today a slew of banking regulators and supervisor expressed shock, shock, surprise and dismay - as they put it only today when summoned to a Congressional hearing - that abusive lending, fraud and predatory lending was taking place on a serious scale under their regulatory and inspecting eyes. Indeed, Bloomberg titled a story today with "Abusive Lending, Fraud Fueled Subprime Loan Crisis, U.S. Comptroller Says". The Comptroller of the Currency is now talking about "abusive lending" and "fraud".

Similarly, a host of other regulators, who testified at a Congressional hearing, made a similar mea culpa. For example, under the headline "Fed Says It Could Have Acted Sooner to Stem Subprime Mortgage-Loan Turmoil" Bloomberg reported that "The Federal Reserve could have acted faster to prevent a meltdown in the subprime-mortgage market by curbing the lax lending standards that contributed to the crisis, the Fed's chief bank supervisor said. ``Given what we know now, yes, we could have done more sooner,'' Roger Cole, the Fed's director of banking supervision and regulation, told the Senate Banking Committee in Washington today, as regulators testified for the first time before Congress on the market rout.'

'Given what we know now' --We've seen this scenario acted out oever and over again over the last few decades. Deregulation and lack of oversight lead inevitably to financial disaster, and taxpayers always end up paying hugely for it. But as long as there's easy money to be made, the cons will keep pushing theri snake oil schemes.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Hillary vs. Rudy? Seems to me that could be the Perfect Storm that would lead to a successful third party campaign. HRC and RG have more in common than they have in honest differences and both could suffer from the Politics As Usual, or Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum, charges. I know, someone will blast this post as my not understanding the finer nuances of their positions. Well, guess what? The vast majority of the independent swing voters do not care about finer nuances. They vote based on impressions that can be rather superficial. In this case, despite the differences in their personal personnae, HRC and RG offer very few contrasts--provided that HRC wouldn't turn into a flaming socialist once she was elected as the Rupublicans would have you believe. When the choice is among the two major party candidates who appear to be twins and a clearly different third party candidate, guess who will get the swing vote? See the 1998 Minnesota governor race as an example of how this works. Are you listening, Chuck Hagel?

Posted by: Middle Ground | March 23, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON -- Former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles will plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation, The Associated Press has learned.

Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist who became an architect of President Bush's energy policies while at the Interior Department between July 2001 and July 2005, is the highest ranking Bush administration official implicated in the Washington lobbying scandal.

The former No. 2 official at the Interior Department has agreed to a felony plea admitting that he lied five times to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and its investigators about his relationship with Abramoff, people involved in the case told the AP.'

Posted by: another one... | March 23, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

A sad lot.

More of the same. But then the Gullible 51% have given us the travesty that is the current white house and a large minority of Congress. No speaking for the convoluted thinking of the conservatives.

Guiliani. What makes him any more qualified than Obama, particualrly when it comes to foreign affairs? Actually Obama has a live passport with some foreign stamps on it. Does Rudy even know where the International Terminal is at Kennedy?

Doesn't matter. The Democrats are going to get their butts thrown out in 2008. They had a great opportunity and decided to make believe they are 1990's Republicans.

We sent them to DC to stop the war and they give us what? Pork, Pork and more
Pork.

No one can say that the Republicans in Congress have the market cornered on shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by: poor richard | March 23, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

CPAC aka HaterFest

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Carter at Vdare.com tells about the recent CPAC conference, i.e. conservatives meeting. The two candidates most against immigration are Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter. Romney is against amnesty, however.

Posted by: Old Atlantic | March 23, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

CSH, the numbers don't back you up on your assertation that Hillary is the front-runner in the ealry voting states. Iowa polls have consistenly shown Edwards ahead. The current situation with his wife's cancer coming back and the amazing way they handled it will only strengthen his appeal with voters in Iowa.

Posted by: Andy R | March 23, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes - absolutely correct. The "downfall" of Hillary's campaign is something that exists only in the small minds of the haters and FOX news. Despite months of the Obama love fest - she remains the clear frontrunner. State by state and in all the national polls, Hillary has maintained a clear lead and will likely be the nominee - and a very strong nominee at that.

Should anyone doubt Hillary's star power - it will be on full display for her big Hollywood fundraiser on Saturday - this event is expected to take in a lot more than Obama raised in Hollywood last month. So the haters and FOX news will have to stop screeching about how she lost Hollywood to Obama.

Posted by: csh | March 23, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Bill Richardson is doing exactly what he needs to do in letting the voters get to know him as a person. He is by far and away the best candidate on paper and throw in the fact that he's a genuine human being and he will make serious inroads. The public hears him speak, and sees a man who is able to communicate without a bunch of handlers and polling. They think to themselves, "I should learn more about this guy" and when they see his experience that clinches the deal.

Posted by: Mike | March 23, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

'The U.S. military's faulty war plans and insufficient troops in Iraq left thousands and possibly millions of tons of conventional munitions unsecured or in the hands of insurgent groups after the 2003 invasion -- allowing widespread looting of weapons and explosives used to make roadside bombs that cause the bulk of U.S. casualties, according to a government report released yesterday.

Some weapons sites remained vulnerable as recently as October 2006, according to the Government Accountability Office report, which said the unguarded sites "will likely continue to support terrorist attacks throughout the region." For example, it said hundreds of tons of explosives at the Al Qa Qaa facility in Iraq that had been documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency were lost to theft and looting after April 9, 2003.'

rumsfeld, basically, just handed terrorists all the explosives they would ever need on a silver platter.

Posted by: IEDs -- rumsfeld's legacy | March 23, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I think Chris got the Richardson thing right. He has all the credentials to be the president, he is a great public speaker, BUT he has a tendency to shoot from the hip and that is a very dangerous trait when everything you say is recorded and analyzed at nausea.

I watched the Edwards's New Conference live yesterday and I can say one thing, if Elizabeth Edwards were running for president she would win in a landslide. You watch her speak and you beleive that she really does care. I myself was a Richardson guy but was keeping my options open. I will rethink that stance after I saw the way the Edwards handled this situation.

Posted by: Andy R | March 23, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I am coming over to the view that Giuliani will win the Republican nomination. With the stampede of big states to hold their primaries earlier and earlier, the process is becoming more and more tilted towards candidates with money and name recognition. Republican primaries are, for the most part, winner-take-all for delegates. A candidate does not need a manority of the primary vote to win in a crowded field. All that works in Giuliani's favor.

The second factor in his favor is the competition. The base has a deep and abiding suspicion of McCain. Although his positions have been more consistently conservative than either Romney or Giuliani, a large number of conservatives despise him. Much of his support is based on his supposed electability. If he starts to lose early primaries, a lot of his support will evaporate. As for Romney, the Massachusetts flip-flopper thing will torpedo his chances.

The other factor to keep in mind is that the hard core religious right is influential but not a majority of the Republicans. Some are swallowing the 80% solution and supporting Giuliani, some are supporting McCain because they think he can win and some are in Romney's camp. None of the candidates in the race really excites the evangelicals. Brownback might start to attract a substantial evangelical following but it hasn't happened yet. Remember, too, that the "purest" candidate in the view of the evangelicals never wins the nomination, e.g., Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes, John Ashcroft, Gary Bauer, et. al.

David Ignatious has an interesting column today with some advice for the Democrats-"Become the party that fixes things, that solves problems, that respects expertise and professionalism." However, that prescription could also apply to Giuliani. He could sell himself as the candidate of expertise and professionalism. Most of his positions - national security, law and order, fiscal conservatism - are in line with the standard Republican platform. And he only needs about 35% of the vote to win the early primaries.

I also think that if Hillary Clinton starts blowing everyone away early, that will increase Giuliani's support since he polls so well against her. Hillary Clinton could be the greatest get-out-the-vote motivator the Republicans ever had.

I will turn the old conventional wisdom on its head - it had been said many times taht Giuliani could win the general election but not the nomination. I think the opposite. He could win the nomination but could not win the election. The reason he would lose the general election is that he would incite a third party challenge from the religious right that would also attract support from NRA types. There are not enough of these hard core types to deny him the nomination in a crowded field. However, a significant minority will never reconcile themselves to a candidate with his marital history and social issue views.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 23, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I guess Bill Richardson needs to apologize for not being a focus group scripted, manufactured, Robo-candidate to engender the same affection that CC has for HRC. Now that's a MSM I want out there looking out for the people's interest. Thanks a lot CC.

Posted by: Pdoggie | March 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

For a laugh:

Jon Stewart explains that "President Bush gave an impromptu press conference yesterday in the White House's Diplomatic Reception room -- presumably because the Petulant Tantrum room was booked."
http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=84114&ml_collection=&ml_gateway=&ml_gateway_id=&ml_comedian=&ml_runtime=&ml_context=show&ml_origin_url=%2Fmotherload%2Findex.jhtml%3Fml_video%3D84114&ml_playlist=&lnk=&is_large=true

Then John Oliver explains to Stewart: "If Karl Rove knew he'd one day be forced to testify under oath about advice he gave the president, he'd have to limit that advice to things that weren't shameful, illegal or spectacularly boneheaded."
http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=84110&ml_collection=&ml_gateway=&ml_gateway_id=&ml_comedian=&ml_runtime=&ml_context=show&ml_origin_url=%2Fmotherload%2Findex.jhtml%3Fml_video%3D84110&ml_playlist=&lnk=&is_large=true

Also hilarious:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/cartoonsandvideos/toles_main.html?name=Toles&date=03222007

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you complete lyle, that hate is a disease. This country is currently nearly paralyzed from it.

The gop hates the 'liberals' with a passion that I haven't seen seen the way the germans hated jews.

Think about what they call us -- 'godless' 'traitors' 'evil' murderers, rapists, you name it. 30 years of talk radio and foundation-funded propaganda have absolutely poisoned the minds of a good percentage of the populationn to the point where i'm sure many of them would be happy to send us to the gas chambers, let alone ever ever vote for any candidate with a D, even if it was Jesus or Abe Lincoln.

I mean, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh talk quite openly about killing liberals. They say they're joking, but you know they aren't and their listeners aren't either. Posters here can be bad enough but you should go to some of the rightwing sites and you might be amazed at the level of eliminationist rhetoric.

They say 'liberals' are in league with al queda, that we are as much the enemy, as them. That we are the source of all their problems -- just like the nazis did to the jews.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Allen: you are correct about CM. The hate he has for Hillary is a disease. I know folks will not agree with me that hate is a disease, but it really is.

Posted by: lylepink | March 23, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Richardson's address to the firefighters typifies why he would make a GOOD candidate. Because if the last two elections have taught me anything, it's that the people want to vote for a real person, not a scripted automaton. Of all the candidates at that forum, Richardson is the one that people are going to remember the next day and think, "I liked him."

The fact that he offers that likable personality to go along with outstanding leadership credentials (as an actual chief executive) and by far the best resume of the bunch, that gives people the chance to have their cake and eat it too.

Posted by: Artie | March 23, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

CC, btw, saw you on Olberman last night. You need a new stylist -- you look like Tucker Carlson. It's not a good look. Way too much makeup -- too orange and even. Looks like an undertaker put it on with a trowel. Your hair is too shiny -- looks like Howdy Doody. And please, get rid of the brown corduruy jacket and loud checked shirt... it hurt my eyes. Overall, you looked like all of you had just come from being steamed and pressed.

Try to loosen up a little and look and act human. You have a sort of deer in the headlights presence.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"It speaks to the thinness of the Republican field that Thompson can immediately claim a spot on the Line simply by floating his own name."

It's a real turn around for CC to publicly acknowledge this. I'm a bit shocked. Gee, maybe he isn't supporting HRC because he thinks she's the most beatable?

"that take a bit of the shine off the Illinois senator"

An eensy-weensy teeny-tiny bit that 99% of those who would seriously consider voting for him won't care about one bit. Compared to the immense baggage (personal, political) that any leading GOP candidate will be staggering around under the weight of Obama looks like a bloody saint.

The GOP field just looks thinner and thinner as time goes by. CC's got it right. I truly believe that McCain will end up winning it by being the slow and steady tortoise relative to Rudy's or Romney's 'flaming' hare.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 23, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

mouse -- if what your party wants is the most morally repugnant character possible, please run Newt. I hope his ex=wives will both go on Oprah every day and talk about what a beast he is.

Maybe he'll ask his child bride, Callista to campaign with him. what is he, 40 years older than her? She was 19 when they met. Please never mention the word 'monica' again, okay?

I heard the guvenerator call in to junkie limbaugh's show -- he's a master politician, regardless of what you think of him. limbaugh had been criticiaing him publicing for not bieng conservative enough and so ahnold called him and had him groveling within a minute. rush pretends to hate hollywood, but the truth is, he has a mancrush on certain actors.

Ahnold said you have to compromise in governing, he learned that the hard way. rush says that's giving up your principles, you have to take a hard line. ahnold says you can campaign any way you like, but once you're elected, you represent all the people, not just one party.

But tush rejected anyform of compromise whatsoever. Which demonstrates very graphically why the gop can't govern. Not interested in it -- all they want is to wield power like a blunt instrument.

Posted by: drindl | March 23, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I still think that it will be Rudy versus Edwards.

I think that they are the 2 major candidates who seem the least scripted.

We'll see. The map could be very different if these 2 were the candidates.

Posted by: Pittsburgh Kid | March 23, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Fred thompson at 5? The guy's not even running yet. Why not go ahead and put Reagan at #1?
http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: pke | March 23, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I strongly believe that, when all is said and done, Newt Gingrich will run for President and secure the nomination.
Does anyone agree with me?

Posted by: Mouse | March 23, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

JD sez - **I heard Rudy on Sean's show yesterday, and most of his positions represent most of America - reasonable compromise positions on gun rights, abortion, foreign policy. Tough on crime (the proxy for illegal immigration). **

This is precisely why Rudy will not win the GOP nomination... *positions that are reasonable compromises* for most of America just do not win you the GOP nomination, which will be determined by far-right positions (no to abortion, no to gun control, no to gays, yes to hypocrisy). Why do you think McCain, Mr. Straight Talk, has been sucking up to the likes of Falwell and the Christian right, whom he'd called agents of intolerance? Simple. He knows who can deliver...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Is Chris Matthews working for Giuliani and Obama? He never seems to have any positive to say about Hilliary.

Allan Fraser.

Posted by: Allan Fraser | March 23, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Is Chris Matthews working for Giuliani and Obama? He never seems to have any positive to say about Hilliary.

Posted by: Allan Fraser | March 23, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I was actually hoping to vote Republican next year ivo their historic illegal alien law enforcement platforms. But Rudi and John and Mitt and Newt are no different from Hily and Bama on that issue. Actually, Rudi makes a better Democrat candidate that Hilly. I guess I'll have to find out who the libertarians are running next year.

Posted by: Greencase | March 23, 2007 8:07 AM | Report abuse

IMHO and intreped, I'm really surprised that you don't think Rudy can win the nomination. Why do you think there will be a backlash against Rudy in most of the country? (outside Calif, NY, NJ?) I think if the GOP is sufficiently desperate, they will take the 80% solution and nominate the guy they're pretty sure can beat Hillary (as per the most recent polls, anyway, especially the non-partisan Quinnipiac).

I heard Rudy on Sean's show yesterday, and most of his positions represent most of America - reasonable compromise positions on gun rights, abortion, foreign policy. Tough on crime (the proxy for illegal immigration).

Obviously his personal life will be his Achilles heel, but virtually every candidate, on both sides, has a fair amount of baggage there (except Edwards, and it'll be interesting if his wife's tragic illness gets him some kind of sympathy vote, especially if she dies beforehand...ghoulish I know, but hey that's politics).

Posted by: JD | March 23, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani? It just isn't going to happen!

As anyone and everyone in New York knows, Giuliani can be charming, but not for very long. He's just not a nice guy over the long haul and in the course of the ramp up to an unfortunately front-loaded primary season, Americans will see Giuliani for the person who New Yorkers know him to be.

Like Bush, Giuliani's finest moment in public life was how he initially responded to September 11th. Bush has proven that he could milk those few weeks for on-going political gain, but Americans aren't buying that approach any longer from Bush nor will they with Giuliani.

When all is said and done, no one can make a sow's ear into a silk purse, although Giuliani certainly will try by limiting opportunities for the public to see him in unscripted settings. Sound familiar?

Posted by: IMHO | March 23, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
www.onlinejournal.com

The US attorneys "showdown"--Democrats seek to evade a confrontation

By Bill Van Auken
23 March 2007

The supposed constitutional "showdown" between the Democratic-led Congress and George Bush's White House over the firing of eight federal prosecutors has served primarily to shift the focus of media attention and official public debate away from the war in Iraq.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday followed the lead given by a House Judiciary subcommittee the day before, voting to authorize the issuance of subpoenas to compel Bush's chief political advisor Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and other officials to testify under oath on the firing of the US attorneys.

The votes followed a televised statement by President Bush on Tuesday preemptively rejecting any such testimony and accusing the Democrats in Congress of "demanding show trials" and engaging in a "partisan witch-hunt." Bush said that he would "oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials." Instead of sworn testimony, Bush said he would make officials available for "interviews."

In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees, White House counsel Fred Fielding, a veteran of the Nixon White House during the Watergate crisis, spelled out the restrictive terms offered by the administration. "Such interviews would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony, or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas," Fielding wrote.

White House spokesman Tony Snow clarified on Wednesday that if subpoenas are issued, the offer of closed-door interviews, without oaths or transcripts, will be "withdrawn."

The actions by the two Congressional panels, combined with the intransigence of the White House, have led to widespread media reports of a "confrontation" and "impasse" between the legislative and executive branches of the government, with increasing comparisons between the present controversy and the Watergate battle over White House tapes 33 years ago.

The present controversy does involve significant substantive issues related to the general criminality and corruption that pervades the Bush administration, which carried out an unprecedented mass firing of US attorneys in the middle of a presidency.

First, there is the concern that such an action serves to diminish any independence on the part of officials who are supposedly entrusted with the impartial enforcement of the law, turning them into direct political pawns of the White House.

Second, there is substantial evidence that those fired were singled out for failing to toe the Republican administration's political line, and, at least in some cases, in ways that could be illegal.

For the rest of this article please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/mar2007/subp-m23.shtml

Posted by: che | March 23, 2007 5:53 AM | Report abuse

If New York moves its primary up to February 5th, Guiliani will become a king maker but not the nominee. Of course he wins NY and NJ is on February 5th too. In California, he'll run to the right of McCain on immigration and taxes. And with the winner take all system in the GOP that's a whole lot of delegates right there.

But in the rest of the country there will be a Guiliani backlash in the GOP. And if no other consensus candidate emerges, perhaps Guiliani is in position to annoint the next king. I wonder what his terms would be.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 23, 2007 5:47 AM | Report abuse

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