Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gingrich: Out

Following Thompson's (and Keyes') entrance to the 2008 Presidential race, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has decided to stay out of this race. He isn't endorsing anyone and he insists he would have been a contender...

My Way News

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday he could have been a contender, but has no regrets about skipping the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Gingrich said he'd had a Web site ready to launch this week and already had received several million dollars in pledges.

"I think we would clearly have been competitive financially within three weeks, and we literally had not even set up the Web site yet," he said. "But what hit me was it would have been an underdog campaign. I mean, clearly, if you were going to come from behind, I think it would have been a real campaign. I think we would have had a chance to win."

Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said Saturday that Gingrich opted out of the race, a crowded one with nine candidates, after determining he could not legally explore a bid and stay as head of his tax-exempt political organization.

Besides the potential legal difficulties, Gingrich said running would have wasted the effort spent building up American Solutions for Winning the Future, the tax-exempt political arm of his lucrative empire as an author, pundit and consultant.

"To give up and kill an organization we spent a year on and that had 2,000 sites around the country where people had now invested their time and effort just to look at whether or not you could run, I thought would be irresponsible," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Just last week, Gingrich said he had set an Oct. 21 deadline to raise $30 million in pledges for a possible run, acknowledging that the task was difficult but not impossible.

He said Sunday that the deciding factor was learning he risked violating the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

"I thought there was a way that you could continue the momentum of those ideas while I began to prepare a presidential campaign," Gingrich said. "What we learned yesterday morning was, I mean, it's literally a go to jail, criminal activity."

In a taped appearance broadcast on "Fox News Sunday," Gingrich also criticized the law.

"The effect of the McCain-Feingold censorship act has been to weaken the middle class, to make it harder to have a middle-class candidate and to make it much, much harder to raise money and so I think you've got to be realistic about what it takes to campaign," he said.

Gingrich said he would not align himself with any of the candidates.

"I'm not going to endorse anybody. I'm going to try to offer ideas that hopefully all of them can look at," he said.

Gingrich is the latest Republican to decide against joining the race. In early September, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel announced he would not run for the White House or seek a third term.

LINK: Gingrich Says He'd Have Been a Contender

Well, this makes the campaign coverage a bit easier...

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I met John Edwards!

I know I'm a bit late in reporting this, but college life has been tough. I am constantly busy. I have school at UWM, my job at American Serb Hall, and my internship at U.S. Senator Herb Kohl's office. So, I apologize in being late.

Anyway, what happened was pretty cool. John Edwards was campaigning in Milwaukee, at my place of work -- Serb Hall. So my boss (a Republican) told me Edwards was coming. He told me he would let me in free and I could bring my video-camera. So I did. I showed up and hour early and waited. Edwards, naturally, didn't start till 45 minutes after he was scheduled, even though he was in the building. While we waited, I looked around to find a good vantage point for video-recording. My boss, who was supervising the event, told me what door he was coming in, so I staked out there.

When he finally came out, it was fantastic -- I got a great shot of his entrance and some lovely video of him shaking hands with people. In fact, on my video, you will see a close-up of stomach as he shakes me hand. You can also hear me say, "Good luck, Senator." Original, I know.

Anyway, he started his speech and I videotaped the entire thing -- it was a wonderful speech. He really has put together a good campaign. Also, I took a lot of pictures that night. I shook his hand three different times, each hoping for an autograph or a photo with him. Alas, I got none. The masses were just to hard to get through.

When he left, I felt a tad disappointed that I didn't get a photo with him...

...Until the next morning when I checked to see what our local media had to say about the event.
The picture at the top is me and Sen. John Edwards. It is from the TMJ4 (NBC affiliate here in Milwaukee) website. This is the photo they used to report the event. Needless to say, I am quite happy. I got a photo with him after all. I'm also in the TMJ4 video for about 3 seconds.

As soon as I get the video onto my camera, I will upload it here and you will be able to watch it. However, I have an older camera and I have to get a friend to help me get he video off of it first. When I post the video, I will repost this entry.

I can, however, post a few photos from the event...

...A picture of the TV as the local FOX affiliate reports life.
...My one cell phone picture that is worth posting,,,
...Giving his speech...
...This is kind of a funny photo...
...Edwards was kind enough to sign autographs for awhile...
At the end of the event, I watched him drive away and realized that, potentially, I had just met the President of the United States. I also realized that when my parents or relatives would tell me they met Clinton, or Reagan, or Mondale, or whoever -- they met them at events like these. And these events are fun and easy to go to. Considering how early this ridiculous 2008 race is, I am very excited -- I intend to go to a lot of political rallies, Democrat and Republican.

On a side note, one of the managers at Serb Hall apparently asked Edwards, "If you get the nomination, who will be your running mate? Hillary?" To which Edwards responded, "Oh, Hell no."

I heard this secondhand -- it's not official, but I don't doubt the source.

One last thing this even helped me realize: it is too late for Al Gore to enter the 2008 Race. So I need to stop pretending and pick a candidate. And my candidate is John Edwards.

Here's the story from the local news media (Today's TMJ4), video is on this page...
The election is more than a year away - but candidates for president are already targeting Wisconsin as a key state. Democrat John Edwards was in town Monday night.

Three years after winning Wisconsin as John Kerry's running mate, John Edwards is back for another round.

Some issues are the same. Some have changed.

“We don't need a surge in Baghdad,” Edwards told the Serb Hall crowd. “We need a surge in New Orleans!”

Edwards voted for the Iraq war, but now says it was a mistake.

"I think it's time for Congress to do what the American people put them in charge of doing and that is to bring an end to this war," Edwards said.

He's also critical of General Petraeus' report Monday that hints at progress in Iraq with the troop surge.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson: "Do you think there's any value to the Petraeus report that adds value or trust to the debate over whether we should be in or out of Iraq?"

John Edwards: "The problem with what Petraeus is saying is he's not addressing the underlying question: What are we doing to make any political progress in Iraq?"

Most of the issues Edwards talked about are familiar to Wisconsin voters from his presidential campaign in 2004 and he hopes that will help him in 2008.

Charles Benson: "What do you think of this state given that the presidential primary could be over by the time you come back to Wisconsin?"

"The flip side to that is that the presidential primary in Wisconsin could be critical," Edwards said.

We should know in about five months.
LINK: John Edwards Campaigns In Milwaukee

MSNBC also reported on the event...

Link: John Edwards in Milwaukee

ABC's affiliate, WISN, also reported on the event...

LINK: Edwards Gets Endorsement, Cash During Milwaukee Campaign Stop

VIDEO: John Edwards' Campaign Stop in Milwaukee (It wasn't working for me)

FOX's affiliate, MyFoxMilwaukee, also reported...

VIDEO / LINK: John Edwards Visits Milwaukee (Notice the FOX-style subtle salute to Ronald Reagan at the end)

The Edwards campaign team also noted the event here (more pictures).

First, Michael J. Fox, now Edwards, who's next?
-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lazy Like a Fox: Fred Thompson is in!

As Tommy Thompson steps out, Fred Thompson steps in...

Newsweek did an extensive article on his entrance of the 2008 Presidential Race...
Fred Thompson does not want to meet the Butter Princess. Everywhere he turns at this morning's meet-and-greet at the Minnesota State Fair, he is surrounded by hundreds of star-struck onlookers, many of them "Law & Order" fans who line up three-dozen deep for a close-up with the actor who would be president. Thompson, a sometimes reluctant campaigner, is in full movie-star mode, and has his good-ole-boy charm set on high. All the women he meets are "honey" and the men "buddy." Even dressed down in khakis and a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, he is hard to miss. At 6 feet 6, he is head-and-shoulders taller than anyone around him. Posing for picture after picture, he reflexively stoops to fit in the frame. Some fans ask him to autograph DVDs of "The Hunt for Red October" and "In the Line of Fire," movies in which he had small but memorable parts playing powerful, world-weary men. "Run, Fred, run!" comes a shout from the crowd. Thompson lets out a long, low chuckle. All in all, he looks downright thrilled to be here.


Page: 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
LINK: Is Fred Thompson Made of Presidential Material?

VIDEO: Thompson: Ready to Run

The "Law and Order" Candidate is in! Will Gore, Gingrich, or Clark also enter?

-Mr. Joseph