Monday, March 05, 2007
CNN Political Ticker AM
For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker. All politics, all the time.
Compiled by Stephen Bach
CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
The Selma, AL, visit "became a proxy battle for black support between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, whose candidacy represents a threat to Mrs. Clinton's traditional base." (New York Times)
Obama "staked his claim to the African American experience Sunday, despite a personal background far from the bloodshed that was typified in this Deep South city during the struggle for civil rights." (Los Angeles Times)
"BARACK WINS BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE" (New York Daily News front page)
"Can you help us raise $100,000 in 'Coulter Cash' this week to keep this campaign charging ahead and fight back against the politics of bigotry?"
Also on the Political Radar:
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
"THERE IS NO PLAN B": During a White House meeting last week, a group of governors asked President Bush and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about their backup plan for Iraq. What would the administration do if its new strategy didn't work? The conclusion they took away, the governors later said, was that there is no Plan B. "I'm a Marine," Pace told them, "and Marines don't talk about failure. They talk about victory."... In the weeks since Bush announced the new plan for Iraq -- including an increase of 21,500 U.S. combat troops, additional reconstruction assistance and stepped-up pressure on the Iraqi government -- senior officials have rebuffed questions about other options in the event of failure. Eager to appear resolute and reluctant to provide fodder for skeptics, they have responded with a mix of optimism and evasion. Washington Post: No U.S. Backup Strategy For Iraq
BUSH, CHENEY TO TURN UP VOLUME ON WAR ON TERRORISM: Both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will give speeches in the next few days on the war on terrorism, to the applause of Republicans who say the White House needs to be more aggressive in selling the successes in Iraq. "The administration should step it up when it comes to messaging," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who is one of the strongest supporters in Congress of the president's Iraq policy. "I think the president has to do more. People like myself have to do more." Mr. Graham said the president is "doing a better job of connecting the outcome in Iraq to the global war on terror," but added that Mr. Bush should "mix it up" in how he communicates the war's stakes. "Don't always go to a place where there's a bunch of troops behind you," he said, referring to Mr. Bush's many speeches at military bases. Washington Times: Bush, Cheney turn focus to terrorism
"ANTI-RUMSFELD" GATES "WINS HEARTS AND MINDS" WITH NEW STYLE: Robert M. Gates is finding Donald H. Rumsfeld an easy act to follow, as the new defense secretary wins hearts and minds throughout Washington and overseas. "Stylistically, it's night and day," said Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. With Gates's modest manner, Udall said, "He's the anti-Rumsfeld." At the Pentagon, where Gates has been greeted as a liberator, "you can already feel the stability," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles F. Wald, formerly the deputy U.S. commander in Europe. He said he considers the appointment of Gates to be the Bush administration's best move in years. Washington Post: At the Pentagon, Gates Seen as Liberator
VETERANS AFFAIRS "FACING INTENSE POLITICAL AND PUBLIC SCRUTINY": As President Bush ordered an investigation of the military's care of wounded soldiers and veterans last week, Jim Nicholson, secretary of veterans affairs, darted between events, seeking to put a positive public face on his beleaguered agency. In Chicago on Friday, Mr. Nicholson spoke to a group of Navy boot camp graduates, toured the North Chicago V.A. Medical Center, and visited a private trauma clinic to gather ideas on providing special care for injuries like brain trauma. "If there is even one injured veteran that falls through the cracks then that is too many," he said in a telephone interview at the end of the day. "It pains me to hear about problems in our system, but I am a competitor, and I am finding that it is strengthening my resolve and deepening my commitment." New York Times: Focus Is on Veterans' Chief as Inquiries on Care Begin
DOMENICI SAYS HE CALLED PROSECUTOR, URGED DOJ TO DISMISS HIM: Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, said Sunday that he had urged the Justice Department to dismiss the state's top federal prosecutor, who in December was one of eight United States attorneys ousted from their jobs. In addition, Mr. Domenici said in a statement that last year he called the prosecutor, David C. Iglesias, to ask about the status of a federal inquiry in New Mexico. The case centered on accusations of kickbacks in a courthouse construction project in which a former Democratic state official was said to be involved. New York Times: Senator Sought Dismissal of New Mexico Prosecutor
GORDON STEPPING DOWN AT NAACP: The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said on Sunday that he was stepping down after only 19 months on the job, signaling divisions within the organization, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group. The president, Bruce S. Gordon, 61, a former Verizon executive who was relatively unknown in the civil rights community when he was tapped to run the N.A.A.C.P., said he resigned because of differences with the board over his role and the direction of the organization. New York Times: President Is Leaving N.A.A.C.P.
BEFORE BLASTING SATRADIO MERGER, ASHCROFT OFFERED TO LOBBY FOR XM: Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who sent a letter this week to his successor Alberto Gonzales blasting the proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., approached XM in the days after the merger was announced offering the firm his consulting services, a spokesman for XM said Saturday. The spokesman said XM declined Mr. Ashcroft's offer to work as a lobbyist for the company. Mr. Ashcroft was subsequently hired by the National Association of Broadcasters, which is fiercely opposed to the merger. On its behalf he conducted a review of the effects on competition if the two satellite radio companies were allowed to merge. In a letter sent to Mr. Gonzales Feb. 27, Mr. Ashcroft concluded the merger would have a significant negative impact on competition in the market and urged the current attorney general to withhold approval for the merger. Wall Street Journal: Ashcroft Offered His Services to XM Before Being Hired by NAB, XM Says
CPAC WRAP - GINGRICH, STEELE WERE THE "BIGGEST STARS": Michael S. Steele and Newt Gingrich were the biggest stars according to activists who attended the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani pulled off CPAC's biggest coup, former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III was the biggest surprise, and Ann Coulter was the biggest loser. Mr. Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor -- rejected last fall by the Bush White House for chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC) -- was mobbed by hundreds of attendees wanting their picture taken with him on the dais after he served as master of ceremonies at the Thursday banquet featuring Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton. Washington Times: CPAC embraces Steele, Gingrich
OBAMA SAYS HE'S THE "OFFSPRING OF THE MOVEMENT": Presidential candidate Barack Obama staked his claim to the African American experience Sunday, despite a personal background far from the bloodshed that was typified in this Deep South city during the struggle for civil rights. Yes, the senator said, his grandfather was a Kenyan, but a racist system similar to America's limited him to work as a cook for whites. Yes, Obama said, his mother was a white woman from Kansas. But she learned colorblindness from the likes of Selma's 1965 freedom marchers, marrying the son of that cook in Hawaii. All of that, Obama said, made him "the offspring of the movement" - and it made his first visit to Selma a sort of homecoming. "Don't tell me I'm not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama," the Illinois Democrat said. Los Angeles Times: Obama, Clinton reach out to black voters
HILLARY GETS BACK THE SPOTLIGHT BACK IN IA: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday made a stronger pitch for universal health care and again defended her Iraq position, at the outset of a campaign swing through Iowa. Beginning with an evening event attended by more than 500 people at the University of Dubuque, Clinton's two-day stop in the leadoff caucus state was tightly controlled and not yet the retail campaign she promised when she launched her campaign in January. "I have some goals. One of them is we're going to have universal health care coverage," the New York senator said, prompting loud cheers from the capacity crowd on the Dubuque campus. Des Moines Register: Clinton urges health care for all
SILICON VALLEY ON OBAMA - "HE WILL TAKE OFF LIKE A HOT IPO": Silicon Valley leaders whose endorsements have been key in past presidential races give Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton high marks, but say there is little to learn about her candidacy. Instead, they have bubbling curiosity about her fellow 2008 contender, Sen. Barack Obama. "He's a once-in-a-generation talent. He's just the real deal," said Jude Barry, longtime Silicon Valley political observer who founded Obama for America. "He's not well known here but he will take off like a hot IPO." Translation: Local insiders who track stock deals and initial public offerings the way Washingtonians follow politics have growing interest in the Illinois Democrat. Many of them think Mr. Obama could be Silicon Valley's next new thing. Washington Times: Silicon Valley looks to Obama
GIULIANI'S SON ADMITS PROBLEMS WITH DAD, BUT SAYS HE'LL BE A GREAT PREZ: Rudy Giuliani's son seems to think his dad would make a better President than he did a father. "I got my values from my mother," 21-year-old Andrew Giuliani told ABC in an interview quoted on "Good Morning America" yesterday, the same day the Daily News spotlighted the rift between the former mayor and his only son. "She's a strong influence in my life," Andrew Giuliani said of his mother, Donna Hanover, seemingly drawing a contrast between her and Rudy Giuliani. "She's a strong woman." Andrew's outspoken comments came after more than a year of frosty relations between the Duke University student and his father. Insiders say Giuliani has increasingly chosen to spend time with third wife Judith Nathan rather than Andrew and daughter Caroline, 18. New York Daily News: My dad the dud, Rudy's son says
EDWARDS HEALTHCARE DVD TO LAND IN 70,000 IA MAILBOXES: John Edwards is mailing DVDs to more than 70,000 Iowa households this week, an aide said, introducing the audience of likely caucus-goers to his plan for universal health care with a combination of passion, wonkiness and implicit comparison with his rivals. Edwards' video – which you can watch on Politico.com - is the first effort this presidential cycle to reach voters directly and in numbers beyond those who tune into announcement speeches on television or on candidates' Web sites. The mailing reflects the continuing centrality of Iowa in the presidential primary process, and to Edwards' campaign in particular. "I keep hearing people describe me as a 'populist'," Edwards says late in the six-minute, seventeen-second video, which alternates between the candidate and unnamed Iowans speaking about their health-care worries. "If being a populist means you feel deeply and strongly committed to regular people having a real chance and not getting run over by big, powerful interests - oh yeah, if that's true, I'm a populist." The Politico: Edwards Sends Video to 70,000 Iowans
BIDEN ON THE TRAIL IN SC: Sen. Joe Biden told South Carolina audiences on Sunday he expects to spend a lot of time campaigning in the state because the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination essentially will be determined by the first Southern primary. "I think it's going to be over after South Carolina," Biden said. "I'm going to be spending a lot of time here." That includes spending time courting independents in a state where voters don't register by party. "If the Democratic nominee cannot attract independents, Democrats cannot win," said Biden. Stumping in the state's rural heartland, the senator from Delaware said Iraq remains the key issue. "Iraq is sort of that boulder in the road that you have to move before you can get to the rest of the issues," Biden told a group at Coker College in Hartsville. AP via Yahoo! News: Biden courts independent voters in S.C.
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