Thursday, January 31, 2008

John Edwards drops out...

Well, I was ever disappointed to get this news. Edwards was my candidate. And now I can't say that I met the man who might be President. Oh well, it was a long shot anyway and he gave it a good run. All this means is that Obama probably has a better chance of getting the nomination.

I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters. We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.

It is appropriate that I come here today. It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path. We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we'll create hope and opportunity for this country.

LINK: Remarks Of John Edwards Today In New Orleans


LINK: Thank you.

Best of luck to you, Senator...

-Mr. Joseph

PS Anyone remember this great story the Onion did of him?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giuliani drops out, endorses McCain

Wow, this guy was at the top of the list this Summer, and McCain was all but out. What a turn of events. So his "Florida or bust" strategy went bust, and even Ron Paul lasted longer than "America's Mayor".

At a very well attended press conference here just a few hours before he was scheduled to participate in yet another GOP debate, Rudy Giuliani announced his departure from the presidential race and his endorsement of John McCain.

"I'm fully aboard, 100%," Giuliani said, announcing that if McCain would have him, he plans on campaigning on the senator's behalf in Feb 5th states. "I don't do things half way. I do them 100%, and when I believe in a man ­– like I do John McCain – this will become, to me, as important as my own election was."

With Cindy McCain looking on adoringly, Giuliani added more evidence to the 'anti-Mitt Romney' story line, as GOP establishment becomes more content lining up behind McCain's candidacy.

"There will be a clear choice this November and I believe that my life has prepared me for a life of service and a life of dedication," McCain said. "My strong right arm and my partner and my friend in this effort will be the former mayor of New York City, all-American hero, Rudy Giuliani."

McCain explained that he and Giuliani were uniquely aware of the threat of 'radical Islamic extremism,' and when he talked about a "clear choice" in November he implied that the Democratic candidates were not up to what he often calls "the transcendent challenge of the twenty first century."

Less than an hour after McCain and Giuliani left the spin room virtually arm-in-arm, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held his own press conference and openly hinted that his own endorsement of McCain could come as early as tomorrow. When asked specifically if he is planning an endorsement, Schwarzenegger said he had "no news today" on the topic.

But he said that Giuliani's departure from the race certainly indicates that "the dynamics have changed," and he went on to announce that he will be attending an event with McCain tomorrow that will focus on conservation and the environment.

Schwarzenegger's endorsement – if it does come – could have the same effect that Gov. Charlie Crist's endorsement had on McCain's campaign in Florida, providing an influential last-minute bump in a delegate-rich state.

And then there were four...

-Mr. Joseph

Clinton, McCain win Florida...

In a repeat of New Hampshire, Sen. McCain and Sen. Clinton won each party's primary in the state of Florida...

Epoch Times...
With all but a few precincts reporting, the results of Florida's primary election are clear: Sen. John McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton are the big winners in Florida.

Arizona Sen. McCain defeated former Massachusetts Governor Romney 36% to 31%, a healthy margin of victory in a state full of transplanted Northeasterners.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had counted on scoring big in Florida to prove his campaign's viability before Super Tuesday, garnered less than 15% of the vote.

Some media are reporting that Giuliani will withdraw form the race and endorse McCain.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton decisively defeated Barack Obama by 17 percentage points, 50% to 33%. John Edwards finished with 14.5%.

Some exit polls showed Obama as a clear favorite over Clinton. It remains to be seen exactly where Sen. Clinton drew her support, and where Sen. Obama will have to work harder if he is to remain an par with Sen. Clinton.

Florida used to hold its primary election in March, but switched to late January to give the state a greater voice in determining the fate of the Presidential candidates.

This switch angered both national parties. The Democratic national party actually has a rule which states that no Democratic primaries can take place before February 5 (Super Tuesday.) Because of this, democratic candidates were not allowed to campaign in Florida. Many feel that this gave the GOP a chance to convert some Floridians in this important swing state.

Because official campaign efforts were prohibited, the results of the democratic vote likely reflect the strength of the different candidates' grassroots campaign machines. With no official support form the candidates, the ability of the citizens' organizations probably made the difference.

Florida voters are also deciding to adopt or reject property tax reform measure Amendment One, which would raise the Florida Homestead Exemption, cap property tax increases for Florida residents buying new homes, and change the appraising methods for determining the value of some properties.

Many voters found the amendment confusing, while others resented the scare tactics used by its opponents, who claimed that if Amendment One passed, essential services such as police and fire protection would be cut.

Ultimately, the prospect of lower property taxes and transferable resident benefits won the day.

Because of an amendment passed in 2006, future amendments to the Florida State Constitution would require a sixty percent majority to pass into law. Amendment One earned nearly 65%.

LINK: McCain Beats Romney, Hillary Beats Obama in Florida Primary

I am absolutely stunned that McCain is doing as well as he is right now.

-Mr. Joseph

Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama wins SC Primary!

Congratulations to Barack Obama! Alas, John Edwards' campaign is in trouble, but hopefully his role as "kingmaker" will make Obama the nominee.

Sen. Barack Obama claimed a significant victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, telling supporters "we are hungry for change."

The Illinois senator earned more than twice the vote that rival Sen. Hillary Clinton did, 55 percent to 27 percent, unofficial returns showed.

Former Sen. John Edwards was third with 18 percent.

"Tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina," Obama said to supporters Saturday.

A win in South Carolina was considered crucial for Obama, who won Iowa but finished second to Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada. See what the results mean »

"I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina," he said.

"The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders," Obama said. "It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.

"It's about the past versus the future."

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Obama had 55 percent of the vote. Clinton was second with 27 percent, followed by Edwards, with 18 percent. Obama's victory capped a heated contest in South Carolina, the first Democratic primary in the South and the first with a largely African-American electorate.

Obama, who is hoping to become the the nation's first African-American president, did well with black voters, who made up about half of Saturday's electorate, according to exit polls.

Black voters supported the Illinois senator by a margin of more than 4-to-1 over his nearest rival, exit polls indicate.

Among white voters, Obama took about a quarter of the vote, with Clinton and Edwards roughly splitting the remainder, according to exit polls.

Clinton congratulated Obama and said she was excited to move forward to the Super Tuesday contests on February 5.

"Millions and millions of Americans are going to have the chance to have their voices heard and their votes counted," she told supporters at Tennessee State University.

Edwards also looked ahead to the next contests.

"Now the three of us move on to February 5, where millions of Americans will cast their vote and help shape the future of this party and help shape the future of America," he said.

"Our campaign from the very beginning has been about one central thing, and that is to give voice to the millions of Americans who have absolutely no voice in this democracy."

LINK: Obama claims big win in South Carolina

And as long as more Democrats are voting than Republicans, it can only be good news.

-Mr. Joseph

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sylvester Stallone endorses McCain!

Mike Huckabee has Chuck Norris, but McCain now has Stallone. I hope this being stuck in the back of my mind won't ruin the new Rambo movie for me. I'm seeing it tomorrow.

Crooks and Liars...
GOP presidential hopeful John McCain joined the Fox & Friends gang Thursday morning and they had a little surprise for him. Apparently, actor Sylvester Stallone is a big fan of the Senator and thinks he’s the right man for the job. McCain gets all fired up and does his best Rocky impression and Steve Doocy tells him to go pound a side of beef. Watch out, Governor Huckabee — your celebrity endorsement just got some competition. Oy…
LINK: Chuck Norris Hearts Huckabee, But McCain has RAMBO!


I wonder if this means that Stallone has to fight Chuck Norris...

-Mr. Joseph

Kucinich to drop out

I'm surprised by this news. In 2004, he continued to run after Kerry had been nominated. This will probably disappoint a few of my friends.

Alas, here is the scoop...
Dennis Kucinich is staying home.

Two weeks after insisting he could run for Congress and president at the same time, his decision Thursday to drop his second bid for the White House suggests he is concerned about winning a seventh term in Congress.

He faces four candidates in the Democratic primary, including Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, who has become his chief rival by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and winning media attention.

Kucinich, 61, who has easily won re-election, wouldn't say Thursday what influenced his contested congressional race had on his decision to drop out of the presidential contest. Kucinich will hold a news conference at noon today at a downtown union hall to explain his decision.

He cited his exclusion from national debates and the practical strains of running a national campaign as reasons for leaving.

"There is a point at which you just realize that you, look, you accept it, that it isn't going to happen and you move on," he said during a Congressional endorsement interview with The Plain Dealer editorial board and reporters. Kucinich stayed in the 2004 presidential race until late summer, when he had little competition for re-election back home.

Kucinich said he will not endorse another Democrat in the primary.

Kucinich is seeking a seventh term in Congress, but his long-shot bid for the White House has drawn four Democratic opponents.

When he kicked off his congressional re-election bid Jan. 9, he said he would focus on his local race, but then ratcheted up his presidential bid, campaigning in Michigan and Nevada and filing unsuccessful legal appeals to stay on the ballot in Texas and to win a spot on stage during presidential debates. He has fared poorly in early presidential contests.


LINK: Kucinich drops presidential bid


For more coverage of Dennis Kucinich, go to the Openers blog.

It's just Hillary, Obama, and Edwards now... and Gravel.

-Mr. Joseph

PS Although I never totally supported his candidacy, I will always appreciate his stance on the SOA. And my favorite photo from the SOA Protest last fall was one of Kucinich's youngest supporters...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

O'Reilly vs. Levin?

Even though he's got Scarborough, Imus, Snoop Dog, Al Franken, Olbermann, David Brock, and so many others ready to duke it out with him, I never thought I would hear about this feud...
Attack. Demonize. Divide and Deride.

It's the right wing Lords of Loud bread and butter. Ripping the opposition is as comforting to talk show hosts as Jessica Simpson is to a New York Giants fan.

Oh, they'll yell all day how the evil Left throws around the Nazi card. Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg's newest tome, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning" is being pimped across the dial by right-minded Lords of Loud.

But this week the Right Wing whack attack took an even darker turn...inwards. And when I heard the light and lilting modulated tones of talk show host Mark Levin on his daily show throwing down the gauntlet at the feet of journalist Bill O'Reilly yesterday, I nearly fell off my No Spin Recliner.

Levin was royally annoyed that Bill had anointed himself chief oversight for talk radio standards of demeanor when he brought on six talk show hosts on the TV Factor to discuss what is the right or wrong behavior for radio hosts.

Though no names were bandied about on the Factor, Levin felt Bill was referring to Levin himself as an example of someone who had the temerity to mock politicians, physically and otherwise.

How upset was the normally calm and collected Levin? After saying that O'Reilly had no audience and would be off the air in a year, he said the worst thing you could say about the performance of a host, that O'Reilly "phones it in." In radio parlance, he basically just shows up and wings it.

But the real shot hit the fan when Levin reminded his audience that Bill was involved in a "porn"(Levin's word, not mine) scandal where he was taped sexually harassing a younger subordinate, one in which Bill had to pay millions to make it go away. Levin said that if Bill didn't stop taking on the mantel of talk radio's ombudsman, he would "do an hour on the porn" during his own show.


While Levin's show is syndicated by ABC and O'Reilly by Westwood One so there's no love lost there, but there are outlets, like KABC in Los Angeles, where both shows broadcast over the same station. Having one host going to war with another one in the same lineup should make for a bunch of tight sphincters in a number of program directors' offices.

Will Bill acquiesce to Levin's demands or will the Nospinster tell Levin to stick it where the AM signal is difficult to receive?

Will Levin allow O'Reilly to tell him how he should behave on his own show or will he end up broadcasting a show that would guarantee to draw Levin's largest audience?

We should know soon, but I can already feel the WWE verberations on the airwaves.

Levin vs O'Reilly.

Steel Cage Radio Match

No Loofas Barred

Vince McMahon, eat your heart out.
LINK: Right Wing Talk Wars! Mark Levin Threatens O'Reilly With Hour Exposing Bill's "Porn"

And by the way, yes, the Mark Levin mentioned here is the same one that was dubbed Sean Hannity's "Cabin Boy" by Alec Baldwin.

Oh, please let this escalate!

-Mr. Joseph

The 2008 Presidential Elections: A Closer Look at the Democratic Candidates

With the primaries heating up, I thought it would be a good idea to analyze the remaining Democratic candidates, given that I am a Democrat. I may analyze the Republican field later this week.

Hillary Clinton...

Senator Clinton is the obvious establishment candidate on Democratic aisle. She has been involved in politics for all her life and she is clearly an expert in the arena. I like Senator Clinton and I could vote for her in good conscience because she is an effective Democrat, a natural leader, and has lead a life full of political experiences. It seems to be an ignorant trend to whine and promise to "move to Canada" if she is elected, and unfortunately, that ignorance is heard quite a bit. But the bottom line is that we all know she would be a very effective President. She's Pro-Choice, pro-civil unions (believes states should decide on gay marriage), against CAFTA (despite her husband supporting NAFTA), pro-gun control, and claims she is the best to implement a "uniquely American" universal healthcare. In addition she has voted with Democrats 96.7% of the time and, although deeply spiritual, she has a near flawless voting record on supporting the separation of Church and State.

In short, like I said, she is an effective politician and reliable Democrat. However, for years she has been the target of some of the most vicious Right-Wing attacks, I would argue that she has endured the most vile smear campaign against of all recent politicians, so one has to admire her resolve.

My only criticism is that she is, in fact, the Washington Insider. She is the Establishment candidate in an election focused on change, and because of that, I personally cannot endorse or support her, unless she is nominated. And that is because, although the establishment candidate, she is definitely more qualified than ANY of the Republican candidates. I'll get to them later.

LINK: Hillary Clinton on the issues

Barack Obama...

Senator Obama has run a fantastic campaign that focuses on the theme of change. He claims that he can bring the honesty, integrity, and positive change that Washington so desperately needs. His campaign has focused on reaching out to others, rising above the petty politics of a campaign, and ending the culture of corruption this last administration has allowed and encouraged to flourish.

Although his record in national politics is limited, his campaign articulates that he is very much Pro-Choice, pro-civil unions (although against gay marriage), interested in amending NAFTA, very pro-gun control, supports comprehensive health care reform, and wholeheartedly supports the separation of Church and State.

I was overjoyed to see Obama win Iowa, and I really hope he will get the nomination, for it seems (at least at this point) he is the only Democrat who has a chance at defeating Hillary in the Democratic primary. His message is uplifting, his speeches are inspiring, and his campaign has been run very well. However, I am terribly upset set to see the topic of race being brought up. Clearly this country still has a problem with racism and I am ever disappointed in this part of the American public that still have issues with a black President.

LINK: Barack Obama on the issues

John Edwards...

Senator Edwards is my pick for President. The man is intelligent, compassionate, and capable of leading this country. He truly cares about the working class -- there is a reason so many major unions endorsed him early. Alas, the media has decided that the Democrats are in a two-person race and have unfairly counted Edwards out. Because of this, Edwards will probably end up taking the role of "kingmaker" by choosing to either endorse Hillary or Obama.

He is staunchly Pro-Choice, pro-civil unions (he still struggles on the issue of gay marriage), very pro-union, opposes NAFTA, has promised to end the Iraq War within his first year, pro-gun rights, and is for universal healthcare. Martin Luther King III and Ralph Nader have endorsed him, and Michael Moore hinted that he is the best choice on healthcare issues.

People like to crack jokes at Edwards because of the $400 haircut nonsense and the "Breck girl" comment, but the bottom line is that he is a man of integrity who cares deeply for those who are struggling in this country. His message has always been one about standing up for the little guy, and although cliche, I believe he means it. I don't agree with Edwards on everything, but I honestly believe he is the best choice for the Presidency.

LINK: John Edwards on the Issues

Dennis Kucinich...

I have not followed the Kucinich campaign as closely as perhaps I should have. His candidacy is, unfortunately, not one that is taken seriously (aside from those on the far Left). I saw him speak at the SOA Protest last November and it was very moving. He has a great message, but his attitude perplexes me. He consistently looks for ways to differ from those in his party on issues he should agree with -- from not boycotting a FOX News debate to refusing to sign a "loyalty pledge", Kucinich appears to be antagonistic when it comes to party loyalty. However, some see this as a good thing.

He's right (in my opinion) on all the issues -- Pro-Choice, pro-gay marriage, against NAFTA, he promised to end the War in Iraq immediately, he is pro-gun control, pro-universal healthcare, and is, apparently, deeply spiritual.

Alas, he will get few votes except from his die-hard supporters, which is too bad, because, even if I am not supporting him right now, I agree he deserves much more credit than he is given.

LINK: Dennis Kucinich on the Issues

Mike Gravel...

I did not know much about Mike Gravel at the beginning of the campaign and I still do not. I know he is to the Left on every position, which is good on some issues, but bad on others. Extremism is never good, and I believe Gravel pushes that on some issues.

His campaign is even less serious than Kucinich's. At his highest popularity, Gravel polled at 1%, and now his campaign stops include high schools. In addition, he has been shut out of more debates than he has been invited to.

Personally, I am not much of a fan of Gravel. I like most of his social positions, but his foreign policy seems a bit off, and his personal demeanor strikes me as odd. He seems to be, perhaps delusional.

Whatever the case, Gravel added something to this election and I am glad he still pursues his campaign even though it was over before it began.

LINK: Mike Gravel on the Issues

So that's my late analysis of the remaining Democrats. Like I said earlier, I hope to discuss the Republican field next. Also, please note, all the facts I listed can be verified at

-Mr. Joseph

Gore supports Same-Sex marriage

I'm not sure why he released this video, but it has a great message. Hopefully, this will prod the '08 Dems to step up and take this position too.

Video via Current TV...

LINK: Gay men and women should have the same rights


LINK: Gore for same-sex marriage

Global Warming, the War in Iraq, Healthcare, and now Same-Sex Marriage -- Al Gore is right about everything.

-Mr. Joseph

Still Lazy Like a Fox: Thompson is out!

Fred Thompson marks the first of the top-tier candidates to drop out. Alas, this will probably have little effect on the race. His campaign will be noted by his unfortunate endorsements, a reputation for being lazy, and Nixon's damning words...
Republican Fred Thompson, the actor-politician who attracted more attention as a potential presidential candidate than as a real one, quit the race for the White House on Tuesday after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states.

"Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," the former Tennessee senator said in a brief statement.

Thompson's fate was sealed last Saturday in the South Carolina primary, when he finished third in a state that he had said he needed to win.

In the statement, Thompson did not say whether he would endorse any of his former rivals. He was one of a handful of members of Congress who supported Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2000 in his unsuccessful race against George W. Bush for the party nomination.

Thompson, best known as the gruff district attorney on NBC's "Law & Order," placed third in Iowa and South Carolina, two states seemingly in line with his right-leaning pitch and laid-back style, and fared even worse in the four other states that have held contests thus far. Money already tight, he ran out of it altogether as the losses piled up.

Thompson, 65, exits the most wide open Republican race in half a century; three candidates each having won in the six states that have voted.

In Florida, McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are battling for the lead ahead of its Jan. 29 primary, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee evaluates his next steps amid money troubles.

Thompson's withdrawal capped a turbulent 10 months that saw him go from hot to not in short order.

He began toying with a presidential run last March, emboldened by a fluid Republican nomination fight and a restive conservative GOP base. He also was charmed by resounding calls for him to get into the race—and his meteoric springtime rise to the top of national and state polls.

Fans trying to draft him as a candidate launched an online effort, seizing on his conservative Senate voting record as well as his lumbering 6-foot-5 frame and deep baritone as they argued that he was right out of central casting. They painted him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan and the would-be savior of a Republican Party demoralized after electoral losses in 2006 at all levels of government.

Expectations rose higher—and his standing in polls started to fall as he failed to meet them.

Thompson played coy about his intentions all the while taking steps to prepare for a formal entrance into the race with a flourish. He cut ties with NBC, visited early voting states and delivered high-profile speeches. And, he started raising money and set up a preliminary campaign organization.

He delayed his expected summertime entrance in the race until fall, perhaps missing an opening created by McCain's near campaign implosion.

As he prepared to officially join the race, Thompson was plagued by lackluster fundraising; high-profile staff departures, including some prompted by his wife Jeri's involvement in the campaign, and less- than-stellar performances on the stump. Thompson also endured repeated questions about his career as a lobbyist and his thin Senate record.

Thompson formally announced his bid in early September, but hit a rocky patch from the get-go.

His easygoing style and reputation for laziness translated into a light campaign schedule that raised questions about his desire to be president. A spate of inartful answers to campaign-trail questions—on everything from the Terri Schiavo case to Osama bin Laden—didn't help matters.

Though his star had faded, Thompson earned positive reviews for a series of debate performances last fall and earned an endorsement by the National Right to Life Committee.

LINK: Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race

-Mr. Joseph


LINK: Thompson: Applaud ME

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK III endorses Edwards!

Crooks and Liars...
On Saturday afternoon, John Edwards met with Martin Luther King III, son of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the King Center in Atlanta. He received this note (.pdf) from him the following day:

…I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don’t have lobbyists in Washington and they don’t get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.[..]

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father’s words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

I don’t know about you, but if I got a letter like that, it would be framed and on my wall where every visitor could see it.

LINK: Martin Luther King III to John Edwards: I challenge all candidates to follow your lead

On a day that celebrates MLK's legacy, Edwards receives a wonderful complement from the man's son, and all the media does is declare that the Democrat are in a "two person" race.

-Mr. Joseph

Sunday, January 20, 2008

McCain narrowly beats Huckabee in SC

Damn! More bad news -- I want Huckabee to get the nomination because I think he will be the easiest for the Democrats to beat the in the general election. Well, at least Romney came in fourth -- even Fred Thompson beat him!

What cracks me up is that it is only Guiliani who has not come close in any of the early primaries. What a mess the Republican party is in. And I love every minute of it...

NY Times...
Senator John McCain staved off a spirited challenge by Mike Huckabee to win the South Carolina primary on Saturday, exorcising the ghosts of the attack-filled primary here that derailed his presidential hopes eight years ago.

Mr. McCain’s victory here, on top of his win earlier this month in New Hampshire, capped a remarkable comeback for a campaign that was all but written off six months ago. In an unusually fluid Republican field, his aides said they hoped the victory would give Mr. McCain a head of steam going into the Jan. 29 Florida primary and the nationwide series of nominating contests on Feb. 5.

“It took us a while, but what’s eight years among friends?” Mr. McCain said at a boisterous victory celebration that broke out into shouts of “Mac is back! Mac is back!”

Mr. McCain did best among voters who said experience was the most important quality in a candidate, among those who said the Iraq war and terrorism were their top concerns and among the state’s veterans, who made up a quarter of the vote. He ran about even with Mr. Huckabee, who pressed a populist message here, among the many voters who said their top concern in the election was the economy. He also continued to draw strong support from independents.

Mr. Huckabee’s loss in a Southern state with a strong turnout of religious voters was a setback to his campaign as it heads toward potentially less hospitable states.

Nearly 60 percent of the voters in South Carolina identified themselves in exit polls as evangelical Christians, a group that was heavily courted by Mr. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher. While Mr. Huckabee captured 4 in 10 of their votes, Mr. McCain also made inroads with the group, capturing more than a quarter of their vote.

The South Carolina primary has accurately predicted the Republican presidential nominee since 1980, and since 1988 it has often played a decisive role. The McCain campaign sought to highlight that history here this week, but he is still left facing a scrambled field of opponents, including Mitt Romney, whose lopsided victory in the lightly contested Nevada caucuses Saturday gave him his second win in a week. He defeated Mr. McCain in the Michigan primary on Tuesday.

In his concession speech, Mr. Huckabee praised Mr. McCain for running “a civil and a good and a decent campaign” and vowed to battle on.

“The reason that I want to encourage you tonight is to remind you that politics — and particularly this year, more than perhaps any other — this is not an event,” he said. “It is a process. And the process is far, far from over.”

With 94 percent of the electoral precincts reporting, Mr. McCain had 33 percent of the vote, Mr. Huckabee 30 percent, Fred D. Thompson 16 percent, and Mr. Romney 15 percent.

The distant third-place finish was a severe blow to the candidacy of Mr. Thompson, an actor and former Tennessee Senator. He had been counting on a strong showing in a Southern state to revive his fortunes, and gave a rambling speech in which he urged his followers to “stand strong.”

LINK: McCain Has Big Win in South Carolina; Huckabee Falls Short

We will see how the Democrats fair next week.

-Mr. Joseph

Romney, Clinton win Nevada (and Michigan)

Yuck. I was hoping for a repeat of Iowa, but it wasn't meant to be. Hillary adequately beat Obama, and Romney destroyed his opponents (Ron Paul came in second)! But I don't think this means too much -- there have been now three different GOP winners in four contested primaries (Iowa, NH, Michigan, and now Nevada), so there is no clear front-runner. And Hillary has only beat Obama twice in the three contested Democratic primaries (Obama and Edwards were not on the MI ballot). In addition, both Obama and Edwards beat Clinton in Iowa. So basically, all this means is that nothing is for sure. South Carolina only added to the utter confusion for the GOP and the SC Democrat primary is not until next week, so there is still some time for Clinton, Obama, and Edwards to recoup.

So here's the story on Nevada...

VOA News...
Hillary Clinton has won the Nevada Democratic Party caucuses, after a hard-fought campaign against Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards...Mitt Romney easily won the Republican race in the state.

This is New York Senator Clinton's second win in Democratic Party preference contests, after a victory in the New Hampshire primary January 8.

Senator Obama, who was backed by a strong local labor union, came in second and former senator Edwards came in a distant third.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney campaigned heavily in Nevada and gained an easy win in Republican caucuses over Arizona senator John McCain and Texas congressman Ron Paul. Romney said the people of Nevada had cast their vote for change, and this victory is important. "It's huge for us, and we're very, very pleased," he said.

Michelle Romero, a bellhop at the Las Vegas Hilton, took part in a Democratic caucus held in a casino, and spoke of the issues that concern her. "The economy, our jobs, schools and our family," she said.

Both winning candidates say the economy will be an important issue in the national campaign. Democrats will hold their next primary Saturday in South Carolina, and Republicans are focusing on the Florida primary three days later. Both parties are looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when more than 20 states will hold primaries and caucuses.

LINK: Romney, Clinton Projected to Win Nevada Caucuses

And here's the scoop on Michigan from FOXNews...

... With 100 percent of the voting in, Romney earned 39 percent of the vote over McCain with 30 percent. Mike Huckabee had 16 percent while Ron Paul polled at 6 percent. Fred Thompson had 4 percent and Rudy Giuliani was at 3 percent.

“Tonight proves you can’t tell an American there’s something they just can’t do because Americans can do whatever they set their hearts on, and tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism,” Romney said to a raucous crowd of supporters in Southfield, Mich. “The lobbyists and the politicians realize that America now understands that Washington is broken and we’re going to do something about it.”

Democratic delegates are not being seated at the national convention and most of the party’s candidates withdrew from the Michigan race, leaving Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel the only active contenders on that ballot.

With 100 percent of precincts in, Clinton had won 55 percent compared to 40 percent for “uncommitted,” 4 percent for Kucinich and less than 1 percent for Gravel.

The win put Romney in a strong position heading into Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Florida’s primary on Jan. 29 and Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.


LINK: Romney, Clinton Win Michigan Presidential Primary

To quote John Edwards -- "...what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...".

-Mr. Joseph

Duncan Hunter drops out!

Finally! Now the Republican field is purely made up of *only* the "top-tier" candidates (including Ron Paul) and Alan Keyes. No word from Michael Savage, but what is this talk about drafting Lou Dobbs?

Anyway, USA Today reports...
Rep. Duncan Hunter ended his long-shot bid Saturday night for the Republican presidential nomination, citing his poor showing in the Nevada caucuses earlier in the day as the reason for dropping out of the race less than two weeks after insisting that he was staying in.

Standing at the same navy pier where he announced his candidacy in October 2006, Rep. Duncan Hunter conceded that his dark-horse campaign had failed to capture voters' attention in a crowded candidate field.

"I will take full responsibility for the failure of this campaign to gain traction," Hunter said in a speech to campaign volunteers, friends and a handful of curious onlookers who stopped as they walked along the twinkling harbor front.

"But I don't regret a minute of it — I'll tell you what, it was a lot of fun."

Hunter, a San Diego-area Congressman, said he'd planned to keep his campaign going "until I didn't think there was daylight." In Nevada, a state he thought would be receptive to his rhetoric on securing the border and beefing up national security, he polled just 2%.

Still, Hunter said he felt he scored a political victory in forcing other campaigns to take on issues he championed — border security, the burgeoning economic threat of China and the need to rebuild America's military.

"The other candidates today are talking about things I brought up," he said, alongside his wife, Lynne, and their two sons. "So I think that in itself is a great victory for this campaign."

Hunter, a San Diego-area congressman, spent most of Saturday in Nevada, campaigning in Reno and farther south in the state before returning to California.

In recent weeks he was forced at every stop to dispel rumors that the campaign was already dead and was unable to talk about the issues, campaign spokesman Bob Bevill said. The best showing of Hunter's campaign was in Wyoming's Jan. 5 caucuses, in which he won 8% of the vote — and one delegate — after finishing third behind Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

On his way out, Hunter took a gentle jab at Rudy Giuliani, noting that he still boasted one delegate more than the former New York City mayor.

Hunter declined to say whether he planned to endorse another candidate.

He said he planned to return to Washington, where he is the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, to begin working on the upcoming defense authorization bill.

Hunter, 59, was elected to Congress in 1980 as part of President Reagan's sweep into power. The Vietnam War veteran, a recipient of a Bronze Star, has made his mark on Capitol Hill by advocating for a strong military and border security, and played a leading role in the construction of a 14-mile double fence on the U.S.-Mexico border that is nearing completion in San Diego.

He has cruised to re-election in his conservative San Diego County district since he, as a 32-year-old criminal defense attorney, rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to unseat a nine-term Democratic incumbent. His son, Marine Capt. Duncan D. Hunter, is running to take over his seat when he retires from Congress at the end of the year.

LINK: Rep. Hunter drops out of GOP presidential race

Now who will Ann Coulter support?

-Mr. Joseph

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kerry endorses Obama

Wow, that is quite the dis to Kerry's former running mate John Edwards. Edwards must feel like Joe Lieberman when Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean...

Yahoo! News
John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, gave Barack Obama a timely endorsement Thursday, snubbing Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as his own vice presidential running mate.

Kerry came to South Carolina to embrace Obama, two weeks before the state's primary and with Obama needing a boost after Clinton's emotional victory over him in New Hampshire.

Quoting a black American hero in endorsing the man who hopes to be the first black president, Kerry told a cheering crowd, "Martin Luther King said that the time is always right to do what is right." Now is the time, Kerry said, to declare "that Barack Obama can be, will be and should be the next president of the United States."

The Massachusetts senator said there were other candidates he had worked with and respected but Obama was best able to bring Americans together.

"Who better than Barack Obama to turn a new page in American politics so that Democrat, independent and Republican alike can look to leadership that unites to find the common ground?" Kerry said. "That's what this is about."

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, the third contender in the Democratic presidential race, was Kerry's vice presidential running mate in 2004. Despite their political alliance, the two men were not close personally and differed behind the scenes on campaign strategy in a race that President Bush won.

Edwards responded to word of the endorsement with a diplomatic statement: "Our country and our party are stronger because of John's service, and I respect his decision. When we were running against each other and on the same ticket, John and I agreed on many issues."

Edwards defeated Kerry in the 2004 South Carolina Democratic primary. Kerry had considered running again but decided a year ago he would not.

Kerry dismissed Obama critics who say the Illinois senator lacks the experience to be president. And he took a swipe at Clinton, saying, "Some have suggested in this campaign that Barack is guilty of raising 'false hopes.' ... My friends, the only charge that rings false is the one that tells you not to hope for a better tomorrow."

In a debate in New Hampshire, the New York senator said in comparing her ability and Obama's to fulfill pledges to bring about change: "I think it is clear that what we need is somebody who can deliver change. And we don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered. The best way to know what change I will produce is to look at the changes that I've already made."

Returning to the subject, Obama said when he took the microphone from Kerry: "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

Obama supporters were hoping the timing of Kerry's endorsement could give him a lift as he seeks to put his New Hampshire primary loss behind him. Obama also picked up the endorsement of South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson.

Obama praised Kerry's Vietnam War service, calling him a patriot and a man of conviction.

Kerry was Obama's political benefactor once before, selecting the relatively unknown Illinois senatorial candidate to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. It was Obama's first turn in the national spotlight and helped launch him on a remarkable ascent that has made him one of two leading contenders for the party's presidential nomination only four years later.

Kerry had withheld his endorsement, hoping to have an impact on the race and avoid the fate of fellow Democrat Al Gore, the 2000 nominee who endorsed Howard Dean in 2004 shortly before the former Vermont governor's campaign imploded. Gore has made no endorsement so far this year.

While Kerry has been close to Clinton's husband, the former president, he was incensed in 2006 when she chided him after Kerry suggested that people who don't go to school "get stuck in Iraq." Aides said Kerry meant to jab at Bush and say "get us stuck in Iraq," and that he didn't appreciate Clinton piling onto the criticism he was already getting for the remark.

Kerry's own hopes to run for president this year fizzled with that botched comment. For many Democrats, his words revived bitter memories of his missteps in 2004. troop withdrawal deadlines. In another area, he has backed environmental causes, writing a book with his wife on the issue.

Kerry should be able to provide some organizational and fundraising muscle to Obama.

Since losing the 2004 race, Kerry has kept a national network of supporters intact. He has an e-mail network of 3 million supporters, according to aides. He also has traveled extensively raising millions of dollars for Democratic candidates nationwide.

The Republican National Committee was dismissive about Thursday's endorsement, branding Kerry and Obama "liberal soul mates."
LINK: Former Dem nominee Kerry endorses Obama


LINK: John Kerry Endorses Barack Obama

-Mr. Joseph

And another one bites the dust: Doolittle to resign

Following Sen. Lott and others, Rep. Doolittle once again proves that it is no fun if you are not in the majority. Or if you have a huge criminal investigation bearing down on you...

Think Progress
For months, Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) has resisted his fellow GOP lawmakers’ calls for his resignation. In September he defiantly announced, “I will not step aside. I am running again, period.”

Nevertheless, this afternoon at a press conference in his home district, Doolittle reluctantly said that he would be retiring at the end of his term:

“My wife, Julie, and I have made this decision after much prayer and deliberation. It was not my initial intent to retire, and I fully expected and planned to run again right up until very recently,” Doolittle said after addressing supporters in his Northern California district.

“But it distilled upon us that we were ready for a change after spending almost our entire married lives with me in public service. We are at peace with this choice and look forward to starting a new chapter in our lives.”

Doolittle was gracious in his speech today, but he clearly blames others for his downfall. He has consistently refused to admit to his mistakes, instead resorting to attacks and name-calling against his critics. A look at the individuals and organizations Doolittle likely blames for his resignation today:

FBI: In May, Doolittle accused the government “of leaking word of an FBI search on his home” a day before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress on the U.S. attorney scandal, in an attempt to show that the Justice Department wasn’t partisan.

Justice Department (General): Doolittle said that the Justice Department’s long-running probe of his ethics violations “borders on harrassment.” He also compared himself to the Duke lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape, lamenting that people were rushing to “unfounded conclusions.”

Justice Department (Democrats): In May, Doolittle claimed that “embedded Democratic staffers in the Justice Department” were responsible for the investigation against him because they were allegedly interested in “rehabilitating the reputation of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”

His GOP critics: In September, Doolittle called his Republican critics “weasels” for pressuring him to resign. “This is just self-interest on the part of ambitious people,” he said.

CREW: In September, nonprofit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington listed Doolittle in its annual list of the “most corrupt members of Congress.” Doolittle called the group “underhanded and vile.” “There’s nothing responsible or ethical” about Crew, he said.

Doolittle and his wife are currently under federal investigation for their role in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal, and questions have been raised about his ties to Cunningham co-conspirators contractors Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade.

LINK: Embattled Rep. Doolittle Retires Under Pressure From GOP ‘Weasels’

I wonder if he will "do little" when he's retired. Ha! Ha!

Either way, it is interesting just how far the Abramoff scandal reached...

-Mr. Joseph

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Richardson to drop out

From Yahoo! News...
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power.

Richardson planned to announce the decision Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.
LINK: Richardson ends bid

I'm surprised -- I thought he was going to keep on for awhile...

-Mr. Joseph

Ron Paul’s Old Newsletters Filled With Bigotry And Conspiracy Theories

This is why I don't like Ron Paul and I think he is so overrated...

Think Progress...
Beginning in 1978, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) name graced newsletters that were released on a seemingly monthly basis: Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report. “The Freedom Report’s online archives only go back to 1999,” but The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick recently tracked down physical copies of many of the pre-1999 reports.

According to Kirchick, they’re peppered with a “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.” Here are a few examples:

On David Duke: “Our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom.”

On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “[A] comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

On African-Americans: “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.”

On Gays: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

In his article, Kirchick writes that “with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself” and that “the vast majority of the editions” that he “saw contain no bylines at all.” Paul emphasized this point in his response to the article:

The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts. […]

Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.

But as Kirchick — who has been criticizing Paul for months — notes, “[I]t is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views.”

Some of Paul’s supporters in the blogosphere give him more of the benefit of the doubt, but still admit that the “truly odious material” released under his name is “really stunning.” Andrew Sullivan writes that “it’s up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.”

PDFs of some of the old newsletters can be found here.

UPDATE: A 1992 Ron Paul Political Report said: “I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

LINK: Ron Paul’s Old Newsletters Filled With Bigotry And Conspiracy Theories

I also don't like why he is crossing the picket lines to go on Jay Leno's show: "He doesn't care about the unions or the pickets."

-Mr. Joseph

McCain, Clinton win in NH

From The Observer...
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday night in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House. Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.

"I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded," Clinton said in victory remarks before cheering supporters. "Now together, let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."

Her victory, after Obama won last week's Iowa caucuses, raised the possibility of a prolonged battle for the party nomination between the most viable black candidate in history and the former first lady, seeking to become the first woman to occupy the Oval Office.

"I am still fired up and ready to go," a defeated Obama told his own backers, repeating the line that forms a part of virtually every campaign appearance he makes.

McCain's triumph scrambled the Republican race as well.

"We showed this country what a real comeback looks like," the Arizona senator told The Associated Press in an interview as he savored his triumph. "We're going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and win the nomination."

Later, he told cheering supporters that together, "we have taken a step, but only a first step toward repairing the broken politics of the past and restoring the trust of the American people in their government."

McCain rode a wave of support from independent voters to defeat former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a showing that reprised the senator's victory in the traditional first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.

It was a bitter blow for Romney, who spent millions of dollars of his own money in hopes of winning the kickoff Iowa caucuses and the first primary - and finished second in both. Even so, the businessman-turned politician said he would meet McCain next week in Michigan primary, and he cast himself as just what the country needed to fix Washington. "I don't care who gets the credit, Republican or Democrat. I've got no scores to settle," he told supporters.

After Iowa, Clinton and her aides seemed resigned to a second straight setback. But polling place interviews showed that female voters - who deserted her last week - returned to her column in New Hampshire column.

She also was winning handily among registered Democrats. Obama led her by an even larger margin among independents, but he suffered from a falloff in turnout among young voters compared with Iowa.

Word of Clinton's triumph set off a raucous celebration among her supporters at a hotel in Manchester - gathered there to celebrate a New Hampshire primary every bit as surprising as the one 16 years ago that allowed a young Bill Clinton to proclaim himself "the comeback kid."

She was winning 39 percent to 36 percent for Obama. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina trailed with 17 percent. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was fourth, polling less than 5 percent.

Despite running a distant third to his better-funded rivals, Edwards had no plans to step aside. He pointed toward the South Carolina primary on Jan. 26, hoping to prevail in the state where he was born - and where he claimed his only victory in the presidential primaries four years ago.

It was hard to tell who needed a Republican victory more - McCain or Romney. McCain was the long-ago front-runner who survived a near-death political experience when his fundraising dried up and his support collapsed. He shed much of his staff and regrouped. An unflinching supporter of the Iraq war, he benefited when U.S. casualties declined in the wake of a controversial building in U.S. troops. By the final days of the New Hampshire race, he held a celebration of sorts to mark his 100th town hall meeting in the state he won eight years ago.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the leadoff Iowa GOP caucuses last week, was running third in New Hampshire.

McCain was winning 37 percent of the Republican vote, Romney had 32 and Huckabee 11. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had 9 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul 8.

Clinton's triumph was unexpected - and unpredicted.

Obama drew huge crowds as he swept into the state after winning Iowa. Confident of victory, he stuck to his pledge to deliver "change we can believe in," while the former first lady was forced to retool her appeal to voters on the run. She lessened her emphasis on experience, and sought instead to raise questions about Obama's ability to bring about the change he promised.

The grind took a toll on both of them.

Obama suffered from a sore throat, while Clinton's voice quavered at one point when asked how she coped with the rigors of the campaign. That unexpected moment of emotion became the talk of the final 24 hours of the campaign.

Clinton's performance came as a surprise even to her own inner circle.

Officials said her aides were considering whether to effectively concede the next two contests - caucuses in Nevada on Jan. 19 and the South Carolina primary a week later - and instead try to regroup in time for a 22-state round of Democratic contests on Feb. 5.

These officials also said a campaign shake-up was in the works, with longtime Clinton confidante Maggie Williams poised to come aboard to help sharpen the former first lady's message. Other personnel additions are expected, according to these officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity while discussing strategy.

The close Democratic race resulted in Clinton and Obama each winning nine national convention delegates, with Edwards getting four, according to an AP analysis.

In the overall race for the nomination, Clinton leads with 187 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. She is followed by Obama with 89 delegates and Edwards with 50.

McCain won seven Republican delegates to four for Romney and one for Huckabee. New Hampshire originally had 24 Republican delegates, but the national party stripped half as punishment because the state broke party rules by scheduling its primary so early.

In the overall race for the GOP nomination, Huckabee leads with 31 delegates, followed by Romney with 19 and McCain with seven.

Obama's defeat came as he won an endorsement from the Nevada chapter of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 17,000 workers in the state that votes next. He is still strong in South Carolina, where the Democratic electorate is heavily black and likely to go for the most viable black presidential candidate in history.

The Republican race turns next to Michigan, where McCain and Romney already are advertising on television, and where both men planned appearances on Wednesday. Huckabee also was expected to campaign in the state.

According to preliminary results of a survey of voters as they left their polling places, more independents cast ballots in the Democratic race than in the Republican contest. They accounted for four of every 10 Democratic votes and about a third of Republican ballots. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks.

Republicans were split roughly evenly in naming the nation's top issues: the economy, Iraq, illegal immigration and terrorism. Romney had a big lead among those naming immigration, while McCain led on the other issues.

Half of Republicans said illegal immigrants should be deported, and this group leaned toward Romney. Those saying illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for citizenship leaned toward McCain, while the two candidates split those saying those here illegally should be allowed to stay as temporary workers.

Among Democrats, about one-third each named the economy and Iraq as the top issues facing the country, followed by health care. Voters naming the economy were split about evenly between Obama and Clinton, while Obama had an advantage among those naming the other two issues. Clinton has made health care a signature issue for years.

About one-third said if Bill Clinton were running, they would have voted for him on Tuesday.

LINK: Clinton and McCain Pull Off Upsets in NH

I was happy to see Romney lose again, and given the GOP candidates, I find I dislike McCain the least (besides Huckabee). I was very disappointed to learn that Hillary won, but we can't have everything. Edwards is right: 48 states to go.


LINK: Edwards Fights to Stay Relevant

LINK: Richardson: 'On to the West'

LINK: Kucinich said N.H. shows race wide open

LINK: Giuliani Focuses on Florida After Loss

LINK: Huckabee OK With Third

On to Michigan now...

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (1/09/08):
Once again, Think Progress presents...
LINK: Live New Hampshire Primary Updates

Monday, January 07, 2008

FOX Business News has very low ratings!

Like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch's FBN is tanking...

NY Daily News

Only 6,000 people are watching Rupert Murdoch's new all business cable network during the work day, according to Nielsen ratings data obtained by the Daily News.

And, after eight weeks on the air, Fox Business Channel is averaging just 15,000 viewers in prime time.

If the average number of viewers at night all got together, they wouldn't even fill Madison Square Garden.

For comparison, 284,000 viewers tune in to CNBC during the day, with 238,000 in prime time.

The folks at Fox aren't sweating the low preliminary returns.

"It's so early, I don't know what to make of them," FBC anchor Neil Cavuto said. "We're just coming out of the gate. Going in, I had so low expectations."

Cavuto said the numbers reminded him of 11 years ago, when he joined the then fledgling Fox News Channel. "For years after I left CNBC, it was as if I had entered the witness protection program," he said.

It took FNC several years to make a dent in the ratings and more than five years to beat CNN.

The FBC's audience peaks at 27,000 viewers at 8 p.m. weeknights, the data show. Another high point has been 2 p.m. weekdays, when 17,000 check in.

"I'm not a stranger to this sort of thing," Cavuto said. "I'm a realist. These things take time. It's tough to rate this kind of thing with an audience so small."

"It has not affected our ability to get the President of the United States, all of the candidates, every top-name CEO," he said.

FBN is available in 30 million homes, with an overwhelming majority of that only in homes with digital service. CNBC is in 94 million homes, all of it available to basic subscribers.

LINK: Fox Biz Channel all but invisible

No Fox News is good news...

-Mr. Joseph

Bill O'Reilly Confronts Obama

What ridiculous antics this guy is up to. Has he no sense of decency?

Crooks and Liars has video and a *very* rough transcript...

After Bill O’Reilly had an altercation with Marvin Nicholson, Obama’s National Trip Director—he crashes and asks Obama if he’ll come on The Factor.

Obama: There’s a whole bunch of people over there I’ve got to talk to.

O’reilly: Thank you very much, You’re a good guy. We like you.

Obama: After the primary we’ll go on.

O’Reilly: After New Hampshire.

Obama: After the primary.

LINK: O’Reilly crashes Obama’s NH speech and asks to interview him! Don’t do it!


LINK: Bill O’Reilly in confrontation with Obama staffer at rally: Screams at Marvin Nicholson

LINK: O’Reilly says he called Obama’s staffer an SOB!

LINK: Obama staffer says Bill O’Reilly confrontation got physical!

LINK: Secret Service Restrains Out-Of-Control O'Reilly

LINK: Fox News' Wilson falsely claimed that O'Reilly said "confrontation" with Obama staffer was "just verbal"

LINK: O'Reilly falsely claimed "Obama has dodged every tough interview"

Most ridiculous item of the campaign trail...

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (1/09/08):
Robert Greenwald and FOXATTACKS! did a great job of summing up this incident.

LINK: Bill O'Reilly attacks Obama staffer

Friday, January 04, 2008

Biden, Dodd drop out after Iowa results...

Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have both acknowledged that this is as far as they are going to go and have stepped aside. I liked both candidates to a degree. I support Biden's plan for Iraq and I found Chris Dodd to be a very likable candidate (I especially liked his answer about what his "guilty pleasure" was). However, this is a good time for both candidates to step aside and celebrate how far they got.

The Associated Press
reports on Biden...
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden abandoned his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday after a poor showing in the state's caucuses.

Biden was expected to announce his decision to withdraw from the contest at a campaign rally in Des Moines, according to advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The veteran lawmaker and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee received less than 1 percent of the vote in Iowa's caucuses despite a spirited campaign in which he emphasized his international policy credentials and long career in public service.

It's a case of deja vu for Biden, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination 20 years ago — in 1988 — but left the race before the Iowa caucuses that year amid accusations that he had plagiarized from speeches by a British Labor Party leader.

Biden campaigned extensively in Iowa, focusing his pitch on his plans for ending the Iraq war and the broad foreign policy experience he gained from decades in the Senate. Biden also noted the many time his rivals acknowledged that they agreed with him.

His advisers had hoped for a fourth-place finish and thought even third place was possible.

Biden, 65, has served in the Senate since 1973 after winning a race few expected him to. He was only 29 when elected, but turned 30 — the minimum age for service in the Senate — shortly thereafter.

LINK: Biden to Abandon Presidential Bid

Reuters reports on Dodd...
Long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Christopher Dodd was expected to announce his withdrawal from the White House race after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, sources close to the senator said on Thursday.

Dodd, a senator from Connecticut, heads the important U.S. Senate Banking Committee which is has been working on legislation to address the subprime mortgage crisis.

LINK: Democratic hopeful Dodd to drop White House bid


From Dodd's website...

From Biden's YouTube page...

LINK: Thank you

Congratulations and best of luck to both...

-Mr. Joseph

Obama, Huckabee win in Iowa!

Congratulations to Sen. Obama and Sen. Edwards for defeating the so called "inevitable" Sen. Clinton. It was fantastic to see both of them win. Also, congratulations to Gov. Huckabee for coming from 1% to the Iowa caucus winner!

What a great night!

Here's the story on Sen. Obama's win...
A victorious Barack Obama portrayed his decisive first-place finish in the Iowa Democratic caucuses as a "defining moment" that he said would lead the way to change in Washington and an end to the war in Iraq.

The first-term senator from Illinois promised "a nation less divided and more united" and told those at a victory rally they could some day "look back and say this is the moment where it all began."

Obama, 46, is bidding to become the first black president. He garnered about 38 percent of the vote, comfortably ahead of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady.

"They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. ... But on this January night, on this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do. You did what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days," Obama said.

If elected, Obama vowed, "I'll be a president that ends this war in Iraq and finally brings our troops home, who restores our moral standing, who understands that 9-11 is not a way a way to scare up votes but a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st Century."

"Hope is the bedrock of this nation, the belief that our destiny will not be written for us but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is but who have the courage to remake the world as it should be," he said. "That is what we started here in Iowa and that is the message we can now carry to New Hampshire and beyond."

LINK: Obama Says His Victory Will Bring Change

And on Gov. Huckabee's win...
Long-shot Republican candidate Mike Huckabee declared "a new day in American politics" Thursday after riding strong support from evangelical Christians into a decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister and, like Bill Clinton, a native of Hope, Ark., managed to win despite trailing badly in national polls for most of the year. He out-hustled runner-up Mitt Romney and better-known candidates John McCain, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani with a coalition of pastors, home schooling adherents, gun rights advocates and supporters of a new national tax system.

"This election is not about me. It's about we," the former Arkansas governor told supporters here. He said the victory would ignite "a prairie fire of new hope and zeal."

The victory makes Huckabee a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. That was confirmed instantly Thursday night when the Democratic National Committee's website headlined, "Mike's Win Means More of the Same … Huckabee Promises Third Bush Term."

Now, he moves on to New Hampshire, where Romney and McCain are battling for the lead in the nation's first primary Tuesday. He was scheduled to appear there today with actor Chuck Norris and to play his bass with a local band, Mama Kicks.

LINK: Huckabee: 'A new day in American politics'


Clinton Unbowed by Third-Place Finish

LINK: Romney falls to Huckabee in Iowa

LINK: A Second-Place "Victory" for Edwards?

LINK: Thompson Says Campaign Will Continue

LINK: Ron Paul gets some revenge

LINK: Richardson Stays in Democratic Contest

LINK: Hunter keeps on, despite lacking funds, attention

LINK: Giuliani Praises Huckabee's Iowa Win

LINK: Gravel fights on

I was happy to see Gov. Huckabee defeat Romney, and I was very happy to see both Sen. Obama and Sen. Edwards defeat Sen. Clinton. I had hoped Sen. Edwards would beat Sen. Obama, but alas, one cannot have everything.

It is my prediction that Guiliani's gig is up and he's done. I also predict that if Sen. Clinton comes in third in New Hampshire, she will be out of it.

Now things get interesting...

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (1/07/08):
Think Progress presents Live Iowa Caucus Updates.