Friday, November 10, 2006
The Cafferty File: The race is on
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

How long of a break do Americans deserve before the 2008 presidential campaign starts?

I think the campaign should start right away! The sooner we start, the more time the blogosphere will have to thoroughly investigate the prospective candidates. Let's get all of the "macaca" moments out of the way, separate the wheat from the chaff and get on with addressing the real issues facing the nation.
Bill, Brooklyn, New York

One year. If they wouldn't waste money on TV ads, had national debates and wrote intelligent op-ed pieces, we could conduct the entire campaign in one year.
Larry, Scottsdale, Arizona

One year and 10 months from now would be an ideal time to hear from candidates again. Then let incumbents run on their records and those seeking office run on what they hope to bring to the office.
Lillian, Wayne, Illinois

What does the Republican Party have to do to regain the confidence of the American voter?

Jack, the Republicans just need to sit back and watch the Democrats screw up. We the people will be tired of their shenanigans by '08.
Ernie, Louisiana

Jack, Republicans have to do the same thing I expect from the Democrats if they want my respect. All they have to do is "listen"! If politicians can stop voting for their own agendas and their party's agenda and start representing the Americans that elected them, then they will do OK.
D.W., Cedar Creek, Texas

The Republican Party needs to emphasize its traditional values like limited government and a balanced budget; these are the ones that originally won the minds of Americans.
Matt, College Park, Maryland
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/10/2006 05:45:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The Cafferty File: U.S. Image Abroad

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

How will the midterm election results impact America's image abroad?

The only way our image could get any better would be if George W. Bush himself would resign. He is going to go down as the worst president in the history of the United States of America.
Bobby, Danville, Illinois

Based on e-mails from friends in Europe, I can tell you that America's image has already improved. People there are breathing a sigh of relief that we have finally come to our senses.
Joe, Atlanta, Georgia

The Republican Party losing seats in both houses of Congress will show that the American people, as well as a variety of others around the world, are genuinely displeased with the current administration and that we are now taking active means to change this country's foreign and domestic policies.
Joseph, Baltimore, Maryland

Our image has hit rock bottom with a president whose grasp of political subtlety and knowledge of the world was woefully inadequate. Will our image around the world improve now with checks and balances imposed on Mr. Bush's impulsivity? Yes. It could not have gotten much worse.

How might U.S. policy in Iraq change with a new Secretary of Defense?

Jim Baker can advocate all the change he wants, but the truth is that we're stuck in Iraq forever. Bring the troops home in the middle of a civil war? What are we going to do, invite Iran to fill the vacuum left when we leave?
Thatcher, Scarborough, Maine

Change the Secretary of Defense, change the policy in Iraq? I think not. There are things that once they are totally botched cannot be fixed. The U.S. must remove all our forces tomorrow and "reap what the Republicans have sown." The only thing we can hope for is minimal damage to an impossible situation.
Mike, Century Village, Florida

Hopefully the arrival of a new Secretary of Defense will lead to less arrogance and the 'frat-house'-styled decision-making that has plagued our national and international policies.
Michael, New York

It's simple: Gates has different people to listen to now and they're not the usual hard-headed Republicans. With more Dems breathing down his back coupled with the anticipation of the entire nation, somebody better be coming home, and I do mean before "Bushy" leaves Washington.
Victoria, Pensacola, Florida

Does the Democratic victory in the midterm elections help or hurt Sen. Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president in 2008?

Senator Clinton will never be president... She is simply too divisive. The first female president of the U.S. is far more likely to be the new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Watch for her in 2012, perhaps on a combined ticket with Obama.
Joe, San Diego, California

It's the worst possible case for the Democrats. The Republicans have handed the Democrats an exploding cigar - soaring deficits, housing bubble, wars, and general dislike of America around the world. In 2 years they'll say "are you better off now..."
Jeff, Carmel, New York

Hillary's chances will be improved if the Democrat-controlled Congress can improve the current rat-infested hallways of Washington, accomplish some significant goals for the middle class in the next 2 years without getting accused/convicted of bribe-taking, sexual escapades, and other criminal/immoral behavior, AND have us out of Iraq by the time of the election. If not, all bets are off!
Lynn, Phoenix, Arizona

As a moderate and not aligned to any political party, I can't see myself voting for Hillary Clinton. I think that it's time for America to move forward. Hillary Clinton running will only bring back all the controversy that surrounded Bill Clinton's time in office... Time to move forward, not drag up the past.
Doug, Arlington, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/09/2006 05:57:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Netroots, GOP leaders, and recalls

A major manufacturer issued a recall of 11 million bottles of pain-relieving pills on Thursday.

NetRoots' net gains
In the realm of online fundraising, the liberal blogosphere triumphed in the run up to Tuesday's elections, managing to raise more than 17 million dollars for its favorite candidates. Now that most of the election results are in, did liberal blogs like DailyKos, My DD, and Swing State Project pick the right horses?

GOP shake-up?

After losing the House and Senate, some Republicans are calling for a major party shake-up, and the jockeying for leadership positions on Capitol Hill has already begun. We take a look at the buzz online as Republicans in the House make plays for leadership roles.

New headache
A major generic drugmaker recalls a reported 11 million bottles of store-brand acetaminophen after it found the pain pills might contain metal fragments. Does your medicine cabinet include any of the recalled bottles? Check the store list and batch list on the FDA Web site.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/09/2006 04:10:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Cafferty File: Winners & losers
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Tom Delay says, "The Democrats didn't win, the Republicans lost." Is he right?

Tom who? Is that the disgraced ex-congressman from Texas? Oh yeah, he was the one who started the downfall of the Republicans so they could lose. No matter, the brattle that dribbles from his mouth is of no consequence except to those in his own mind.
Art, Washburn, Maine

Of course DeLay is right: the Republicans lost, and he is part of the reason they lost. Finally, people across the country got sick of the scandals, incompetence, stubbornness, and complete mismanagement that has been the hallmark of the last 6 years.
Tom, Nebraska

As I understand it, any time there is a loser, there is also a winner! If the Republicans lost, then the Democrats must have won! Personally, I believe America won in this case!
G., Abingdon, Virginia

Jack, Please remind me why I should care about what Tom DeLay thinks or says?
Jane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

What should the Democrats' priorities be in Congress?

Minimum wage, middle class people, immigration, the economy.
Sharmaake, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

The American people heard a voice in the darkness and it was the voice of change. Now the Democrats have to get their act together and show the American public they are capable to change direction and still keep America safe and financially sound. They have two years to put up or shut up.
Rich, Etters, Pennsylvania

#1 , War profiteering. If what's been going on in Iraq and Kuwait with Halliburton, KBR, etc. happened during WWII, they would have been jailed and charged with treason. Why is what they are doing now not considered treasonous? We want our money back, and give it to our troops, NOT to line their pockets.
Marty, Orange Park, Florida

I hope the Democrats will address populist issues such as minimum wage, education, social security, and health care. Of course, the war in Iraq and national security issues are important as well, but recent problems in such areas owe more to mismanagement than partisan politics.
Chris, Phoenix, Arizona

How will the next two years be different for President Bush?

Jack, It is now time for Bush to learn to play with others. It will be no longer his way or the highway. Three cheers for the people or the United States of America!
Deb, Littleton, Colorado

These next two years will be different for the president because, for the first time in quite a while, Bush will have to emerge from his insular bubble of willful ignorance and face the many unpleasant realities that have emerged during his time in office. Our country is in some serious trouble. Hopefully, Bush will have to face the fact that he has no one to blame but himself.
Eileen, Horseheads, New York

How will the next two years be different for George Bush? One word finally applies: accountability.
Scott, Flint, Michigan

He won't be able to find his rubber stamp anymore.
Randall, Merced, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/08/2006 05:41:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thank you, Tryst!
2 am ET and we're calling it a night. To the Tryst staff, thank you so much for making this night an unbelievable success!

Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/08/2006 02:00:00 AM ET | Permalink
1:30 am ET
... and still going strong:

Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/08/2006 01:30:00 AM ET | Permalink
"The brakes are on everywhere..."
Some late-night observations from the right:

"It is a good, good night for Democrats, a bad bad night for Republicans, and a brutal night for my predictions. It is a tushie-kicking from coast to coast," writes Jim Geraghty at National Review Online.

Ann Althouse: "I'll have to rethink this tomorrow, but it seems to me that not much can happen in the next two years. The brakes are on everywhere. The watchword is 'humility'... isn't it?"

"Silver linings are few and far between tonight," writes Power Line's Scott Johnson, but he finds one in the MN GOV race.
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/08/2006 12:49:00 AM ET | Permalink
All eyes on VA
Paul from Power Line headlines a post, "Bye-bye Senate?" "Webb is now leading Allen by more than 2,000 votes with 99 percent of the vote in."

"Webb has taken the lead. He is going to win this, but get ready for a vicious fight," blogs Chris at MyDD.

Atrios: "Webb Pulling Ahead. Oh my..."
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/08/2006 12:12:00 AM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Dems take House
"Since 1994, we have had a Contract on America. No more. Goodbye, Republicans", exclaims Talk Left's Jeralyn Meritt.

"There are a lot of House races yet to be called, but I think this WILL turn out to be the GOP bloodbath I predicted earlier," blogs Robert Bluey at Human Events. "Despite their strong showing in the House, our friends on the left aren't as giddy as I expected. They may be holding back their enthusiasm until all the Senate races are called."

Marc Lamont Hill comments that, "while this is far from a major surprise, it's still a relief to see that no last minute shenanigans came to pass. Of course, I'm not terribly excited or optimistic about a Democratic House, I'm happy to see some semblance of democracy (i.e. checks and balances) restored to the American political system."
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/07/2006 11:47:00 PM ET | Permalink
More photos from blogger party
Check out these blogs for more excellent photos from tonight's event at Tryst: Althouse, AMERICAblog, FishBowlDC, and Wonkette.
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 11:02:00 PM ET | Permalink

Jacki interviews Wonkette's Alex Pareene for Pipeline.

"Consensus in CNN blogger land"?

"The polls are closing, the initial results are in. The only question is, how big a loss for Republicans? I'm thinking more than 20 seats. That seems to be the consensus here in cnn blogger land -- particularly among the liberal bloggers," writes TalkLeft's Jeralyn Merritt.

"There seems to be a general consensus in the room among the bloggers (both liberal and conservative) that Democrats will take control of the House and fall short of taking control of the Senate," writes Wizbang's Kevin Aylward.

Kevin spent an hour circulating through the party and compiled an exhaustive list of every blogger's predictions. Check it out here.
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 10:13:00 PM ET | Permalink
CNN calls it for Casey

Rick Santorum, the Senate's third-ranking Republican, is set to fall to the Democrats.

On the right, James Joyner from Outside the Beltway calls it "no big shocker." Dean Barnett of Town Hall writes, "Santorum going down is a body blow" and hopes that he "stays active in politics."

On the left, John from Crooks and Liars calls it a "blow out." Steve Clemons from The Washington Note congratulates "all the folks who were key parts of the Casey campaign."
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/07/2006 10:02:00 PM ET | Permalink
Reaction from the room...

"Another pick-up for the Democrats. Whitehouse defeats Chafee....another race the GOP said was closing so quickly that they'd win. Wrong again," says John at AMERICAblog.


"This one is my heartbreak of the night." - Lorie at Wizbang.


"The good news is that Connecticut has re-elected Joe Lieberman. The bad news is that sweetest Senate result to date involves a Democrat winning," says Scott at Power Line.

"Joe Lieberman was just projected the winner and surprisingly there were no hisses to be heard from the liberal bloggers in the room," says Lorie at Wizbang. "I think this one has been a done deal for so long that the level of emotion is somewhat played out."
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 09:55:00 PM ET | Permalink
On Ted Strickland's projected OH GOV win...

Rep. Ted Strickland has beaten J. Kenneth Blackwell in the Ohio governor's race.

CNN projects that Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland will win the Ohio governor's race over Republican Ken Blackwell, the Ohio secretary of state.

Strickland would replace outgoing Ohio Republican Gov. Bob Taft. This is a Democratic pickup.

The left is rejoicing ...

"The evil Ken Blackwell has been defeated," says John at AMERICAblog.

"Say good-bye to the man who handed Bush the win in 2004," says Jamie at Crooks and Liars.

While the right is lamenting ...

"It just wasn't the year for Blackwell (R)," says Adam at RedState.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 11/07/2006 08:54:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Cafferty File: Democrats' priorities?
We asked viewers the following question and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

If the Democrats get control of Congress, what should their priorities be?

The only hope this nation has of regaining its moral standing in the world lies in investigating the incompetence and irregularities so common in the current administration. We must prove to the world that the last six years were an aberration.
Steve, Washington

So many issues, so little time. But one does top my list: Create a culture of dignity and acceptance for all OF us, whoever we are, wherever we are on life's journey. Congress can take the lead to inspire people to lose the anger and hatred, and come together to fight our common battles.
Nancy, Cleveland, Ohio

It would be a huge mistake for Democrats or anybody else to seek retribution for the excesses of the last six years. Americans are sick of partisan bickering. It's long past time for Congress to be tending to the actual public interest—global security, an economy healthy across all income strata, public health. Let's surprise ourselves and get 'er done, for a change.
John, Nuevo, California

Should the Democrats win, they should: 1) Let the administration know there is a new sheriff in town. 2). If the administration becomes reasonable, the new sheriff will not start a lot of investigations.
B., Portland, Oregon

As a recovering Republican, I think the first responsibility the Democrats have should be finding someone to utter once again those immortal words of 32 years ago..."My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over!" No kidding Jack. I just returned from the polls where I voted for more Democrats today than I have in the past 28 years combined! It's time we threw all of the bums out and started over. Viva la revolution!
Bill, Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/07/2006 08:43:00 PM ET | Permalink
On the same-sex marriage amendments...
"I guess we can rule out the whole Ted-Haggard-scandal-will-keep-conservative-Christians-home-on-election-day mantra, eh?" says Patrick at Ankle Biting Pundits.

Marc Lamont Hill blogs, "As you know, bans on gay marriage are on the ballot Tuesday in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. With the exception of Colorado, it looks like the bans could win out across the board."

"Here's hoping that amendment has the same effect for Allen in Virginia that it did for Bush in Ohio in 2004," says Chris at Human Events.
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 08:23:00 PM ET | Permalink
"A roomful of bloggers..."
"The great thing about being in a roomful of bloggers is that you get to hear the rumours before they get blogged." - Jerome at MyDD

"I figured that we would have a quiet atmosphere, sort of lounge-like, and that we would be mostly focused on our computers. Instead, this is a madhouse, but a fun one" - Capt. Ed at Captain's Quarters

"They don't even have us segregated into separate corners, so we all have to be civil. I guess that is good for comity. It's a lot harder to flame people's opinions in person." - Betsy at Betsy's Page

"It's a little weird - the wingnuts have staked out their little enclaves, and are scowling a lot. The progressive bloggers look a bit more relaxed and cheery - with a few exceptions on both sides." - Christy at Firedoglake

"CNN has brought in an incredible crew of conservative bloggers... I appreciate their company tonight. We ain't gonna give the lefties any Schadenfreude on our account." - Scott at Power Line

"Everyone thus far seems civil. Some of us have been wondering if folks have grouped themselves along party lines. Guess we'll find out once the returns start coming in. I myself have chosen to wear a purple tie to show my solidarity with America's moderate voters." - Stephen at Lost Remote

"At least it's an open bar. Back to you, Wolf!" - Alex at Wonkette
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 07:03:00 PM ET | Permalink
Exit polls on the issues

Some quick reaction to CNN's reporting of the issues most important to voters, according to exit polls of voters across the country.

Asked which issues were extremely important to their vote, 42 percent said corruption and ethics; 40 percent, terrorism; 39 percent, the economy; 37 percent, Iraq; 36 percent, values; and 29 percent, illegal immigration.

"The surprise is 'terrorism,'" says Wonkette, "because that's been showing up as a top priority for only 12% of voters. The other three priorities are all poison for the Republicans."

"Just saw them saying on CNN that 'Corruption' was the number one issue mentioned by voters in exit polls. If -- and it's a big "if" -- this is an accurate reflection I think the GOP will wish it had passed all those promised ethics reforms that it didn't deliver," says Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

Reynolds, by the way, is participating via webcam at the party:

Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 06:27:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Cafferty File: Taking the initiative
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

What initiative would you put on your state's ballot?

I'd like to see real, actual campaign finance reform, even if only at the state level. Cap spending on campaigns at a certain level for all candidates so we have less fund raising, less soft money, and more work.
Rich, Jacksonville, Florida

Jack, How about a ballot initiative for California to secede from the U.S.?
Henry, Los Angeles, California

An initiative that states elected officials shall only be paid the median income of the area they represent.

Here in North Carolina, I would like to see a ballot initiative to ban smoking in all restaurants.
Tim, Greensboro, North Carolina

Any soldier that carries a weapon in a war theater should have a substantial increase in their pay. The risk of combat should be rewarded with an income at least as much as some congressman.
W., New Mexico

How much damage has the Bush administration's agenda done to the Republican Party?

My mother, who first voted for president in 1960, has always voted Republican. She has said it will be a long time before she votes Republican again.
Eddie, Star City, Arkansas

Dear Jack, Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave. The party founded 150 years ago amidst a crusade against slavery has become a conglomeration of greed and intolerance. The Bush years have discredited the GOP label for a generation.
Hans, Washington, D.C.

The Bush agenda has done huge damage to the Republican Party, which is not going to be able to be repaired in the near term and which will hurt Republican candidates in the 2008 election. The GOP has traditionally stood for limited government to protect equal rights. So much of what the Bush agenda has been about is contrary to these principles.
Rex, Sheridan, Wyoming
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/07/2006 05:39:00 PM ET | Permalink

CNN satellite truck parked outside Tryst on 18th Street in Adams Morgan.

Steve from The Washington Note has dubbed this "BlogStock."
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 04:34:00 PM ET | Permalink
Participating Bloggers:

Ann Althouse

John Aravosis

Patrick Hynes

Betsy Newmark

Ed Morrissey

John Amato

Duncan Black

Christy Hardin Smith

Patrick Gavin

Robert Bluey

Bob Cesca

Glenn Reynolds

La Shawn Barber

Stephen Warley

Marc Lamont Hill

Jerome Armstrong

Andrew Noyes

Jim Geraghty

James Joyner

Pam Spaulding

Scott Johnson

Nick Gillespie

Mike Krempasky

Jeralyn Merritt

Judd Legum

Mary Katherine Ham

Steve Clemons

Lorie Byrd

Alex Pareene
Posted By Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau: 11/07/2006 09:00:00 AM ET | Permalink
Monday, November 06, 2006
The Cafferty File: Must Rumsfeld go?
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

What does it mean when an editorial in the Military Times newspapers says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "must go"?

Having served in the Army for over 21 years including a tour in Iraq, I believe that Mr. Rumsfeld should be relieved of his duties as Defense Secretary along with President Bush for placing us in Iraq. Military personnel generally will not openly voice their opinion but will commonly use the Army Times as a means to communicate and have a voice.
Dennis, Lebanon, Tennessee

I enlisted in 1974. In my 15 years in the Army and since leaving honorably, I never recall all the military newspapers unanimously calling for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense. But then again, I can't remember anything like the Bush administration in my lifetime.

Once again the liberal press misleads the public. The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Times are owned and published by Gannett and do not speak for the military leadership. It is the press that keeps this war going. When you divide our people, you give aid to the enemy.
Al (USAF, Retired)

Jack, What does it mean? Why it means it's time for President Bush to give the Rummy the Medal of Freedom!
Doug, Knoxville, Tennessee

Is President Bush a factor in how you'll vote for Congress tomorrow?

Yes, it is. Enough of this rubber stamp Congress. It's either take the stamp pad away from them now or allow them to buy more ink and stamp away in the future.
Keith, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee

Tomorrow's vote is more a referendum on the Republican party than it is a referendum on Bush. Republicans need to be relieved of governance responsibilities in favor of leadership that will stand up to the current administration.
Sue, Tacoma, Washington

Bush will affect the way I vote. I am against the war, his administration and the people he put on the Supreme Court.
Leanne, Ashland, Oregon

You bet it did! I am and always have been a registered Republican (I'm almost 50). For the first time in my life, I voted a straight Democratic ticket. Our household voted using absentee ballots so there would be a verifiable paper trail.
Karen, Olathe, Kansas

When it comes to Iraq, how much does the oil matter?

It's all that matters. It was never about protecting the flow of oil, but impeding the flow. How else do you drive up the price of a commodity, except by controlling the supply?
Brian, Dunwoody, Georgia

Dear Jack, Oil has always been the issue in Iraq. It was the issue in Lawrence of Arabia's time. It is naive in the extreme to think it isn't still the issue. But does it warrant the United States waging war in the gulf region? Decidedly not.

How much does the oil matter in Iraq War? It was, is, and always will be the reason we sent all those soldiers to die. It ain't worth it. No way, no time.
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 11/06/2006 05:40:00 PM ET | Permalink
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