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Old 06-14-2008, 08:05 AM   #31
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For McCain -- I submit into nomination the name of John Kasich

He's from the battleground state of Ohio, a strong conservative, a deficit hawk with an actual record of working across the aisle, possesses media savvy and of coarse he's an FOB (friend of Bono).
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:10 AM   #32
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Some call Georgian a good fit for Obama
Ex-Sen. Nunn an ally with defense expertise

By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff | June 16, 2008

WASHINGTON - When a newly elected Senator Barack Obama was staking out issues to champion in Congress, he sent word that he would like to meet with a former senator he had admired from afar: Sam Nunn of Georgia.

Nunn, who during a 24-year Senate career earned a reputation as the Democratic Party's foremost defense advocate while amassing a moderate voting record, met Obama at his office in February 2005. There, the two talked for hours about the issue on which Nunn has spent much of the last two decades: preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

The liberal freshman from Illinois and the national security specialist from rural Georgia immediately hit it off, according to interviews with confidants of the two men.

Nunn, whose somewhat colorless demeanor hides a passion for defense policy, was clearly impressed with Obama's command of the subject, and Obama has called on Nunn since to discuss arms control legislation and other matters, the confidants said.

For two decades, Nunn has been floated as a potential vice presidential candidate by virtue of his national security credentials and conservative southern roots. And each time he has dis missed such talk out of hand, while the party's nominees opted for more liberal choices from states more likely to go Democratic in November.

But this year, the personal and intellectual affinity between the presumptive Democratic nominee and the 69-year-old elder statesman - who abandoned a policy of not backing candidates in Democratic primaries when he endorsed Obama in April - makes him a real possibility as Obama's running mate, according to interviews with current and former government officials who know both men.

"He sounds like he may be more open to it," said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine Corps general who served on Nunn's Senate staff for 24 years and remains in close contact with his former boss. "He has never before endorsed anybody. That was a surprise to me."

Nunn declined to be interviewed for this story and has weighed in only once publicly on the 2008 veepstakes, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that he thought it was "highly improbable" that Obama would ask him to be vice president and "highly improbable" that he would accept.

Those close to Nunn, speaking on condition of anonymity, say he seems more prepared to accept a vice presidential offer this year, helping to offset Obama's lack of experience on national security and giving the Democrats a fighting chance in Georgia.

"I think he would be an excellent choice and would have to be in the top three or four for Obama," said former secretary of defense William S. Cohen. Cohen, a Republican and former senator from Maine, and Nunn recently launched a bipartisan policy dialogue, sponsored by the centrist Center for Strategic and International Studies, designed to elevate nuclear security, climate change, national service, and other "seminal" issues in the national debate.

As a "Southern moderate-to-conservative with a tremendous background on security, [Nunn] would complement [Obama's] tremendous gifts," Cohen said.

Nunn also remains a key political and business figure in his home state, which has not voted Democratic in a presidential election since 1992.

Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, said he believes Nunn could boost Obama's electoral chances in Georgia. "He is still a heavyweight" in local politics, Black said.

But others stress the potential drawbacks to an Obama-Nunn ticket. Nunn, who will turn 70 before Election Day, could undercut assertions that an Obama administration would bring a youthful vibrancy in stark contrast to his 71-year-old Republican opponent John McCain. Nunn himself cited a lack of "zest and enthusiasm" for politics when retiring from the Senate in 1997. Putting Nunn on the ticket could also take some of the sheen from Obama's image of change.

Meanwhile, his past stance against gays serving openly in the military would probably alienate some elements of the Democratic Party.

"It is hard to see [that] the really left wing of the Democratic party would look favorably on him," said Black.

And Nunn's law practice and business dealings - including seats on the boards of Chevron, General Electric, Dell Computer, and Coca-Cola - could come under scrutiny.

But Nunn's post-Senate career has focused on much more than corporate leadership. His prime focus has been on reducing the spread of nuclear materials, part of a lifelong interest in foreign affairs that was passed down by his great-uncle, Carl Vinson, who served in Congress for more than a half-century, from World War I to the Vietnam War.

Vinson, for whom the young Nunn worked, played a leading role in building America's modern military and later was honored when a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was named for him.

Nunn was raised on his family's farm. After graduating from Georgia Tech University and Emory University Law School, he served six years in the Coast Guard Reserve and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1968. Just four years later, he moved to the US Senate, where he often broke with his own party, supporting school prayer, opposing new taxes, and voting to limit death penalty appeals.

Many Democrats are still upset with him over his role in blocking President Clinton's efforts to allow gays to serve openly in the military. However, earlier this month he appeared to soften his position, backing a Pentagon reassessment of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

On other signature Democratic issues such as abortion, the environment, gun control, and affirmative action, Nunn has been a loyal partisan. He also spoke out publicly against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Nunn is currently best known for his work as cochairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation he helped establish with media mogul Ted Turner to fill the gaps in government efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Those efforts first drew Obama to seek out Nunn. According to aides to both men, Obama has elicited Nunn's advice on several pieces of legislation, including to accelerate plans to secure nuclear material from the former Soviet Union.

"They get along really well," said a senior Obama foreign policy adviser, noting that one of his boss's phone calls to Nunn was before Obama traveled to Russia and Ukraine in 2005 to inspect security at weapons facilities. "Nunn is in that category of smart, tough advice."

The adviser declined to be identified discussing private conversations of his boss.

Obama has even tried to follow in Nunn's footsteps, teaming up with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana to secure "loose nukes."

It was Nunn and Lugar who first joined forces in the early 1990s to establish the landmark Cooperative Threat Reduction program to secure Cold War nuclear stockpiles - a program that Obama singled out in his 2006 book as "one of the most important investments we could have made to protect ourselves from catastrophe."

Nunn, for his part, is said to be more concerned than ever about the direction of the country. When he endorsed Obama he said, "We have developed a habit of avoiding the tough decisions and seemingly lost our ability to build consensus to tackle head-on our biggest challenges."
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:01 AM   #33
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Well, it's a good point but I think if asked, he's say yes out of obligation.

Why couldn't the Governor run for Senate?
He's a popular Dem, right? Kaine?

That said, another Dem in the Senate in a purple state, that's a pretty compelling argument. Especially with some pretty good candidates otherwise.

If he went in another direction, I might pick Joe Biden but he was my pick all along, so I am certainly biased.
I agree, I think Warner or Kaine would say yes out of obligation, but that Obama knows full well they need those seats in Democratic hands and would refrain from asking. The only Virginia guy I see him picking is Webb for National security/defense/blue collar whites appeal. However, others can accomplish the same task for him. Short list: Wesley Clark, Sam Nunn, Bill Richardson-these are the probables; a little less likely- Evan Bayh or Bob Graham; outside the box, appeal to independents but unlikely-Chuck Hagel or Michael Bloomberg. I would be willing to bet it is 1 of these 7 I mentioned. Flat will not happen: Hillary or one of her loyalist Governors- namely Rendell of PA and Strickland of OH- this would be suicide for Obama and no balance on issues or regionally.

Like you, I was 100% for Joe Biden from a few days after the 2004 election. I stumbled upon him (had only seen him quoted in foreign policy type articles in the past) when I was randomly looking through Senate Democratic websites for people I would like to see run next time. One look at his website and I knew he was the one. Not just foreign policy, but crime, education, transportation, the budget, judiciary issues, health care, patients bill of rights, energy, the guy has his finger on the pulse, is not a hard core leftist and he can appeal to the middle easily. He has worked across party lines for yrs but can and will come down hard when the Republicans are full of shit.(Bush Israel speech the latest example) I have never observed any person more capable of rattling off, in a concise and understandable, plain spoken manner, every single detail of an issue when asked on the spot. In addition, I met him a few times and he is truly a genuine guy who says what he thinks, appreciates his supporters, does not look down on anyone and has no problem calling people out on their bullshit.

Here is Biden's reasoning, and I am more inclined to believe him when he says this even though everyone who has accepted VP has said the same thing before: He does not want and will not take VP or Secretary of state no matter how good a job people think/know he will do. He has said when there, he can advise, talk to, travel and meet with leaders, negotiate, etc, but that the President will not make an important decision unless they themselves feel it in their gut. So he sees the job as not having too much influence over vital issues. He figures as chair of foreign relations, he can step in and get involved with legislation, organize his fellow Senators and demand a different course from Obama if he does not like it. Everything must go through congress, whereas Obama could (though i doubt he would, he has shown a willingness to surround himself with people who compensate for his inexperience on many issues) hypothetically say to the VP thanks for the advice, Joe but I disagree and we are doing X instead of Y.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:28 AM   #34
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Another Biden fan
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:03 PM   #35
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Here's a question I was thinking about the other day. Does the VP really bring in voters? I'm not asking to be a smartass; I really want to know. I can't ever remember voting for a president based on his VP choice. Are there really that many people who vote that way?
It does to me. I don't like Obama but won't vote for McCain....I am waiting for Obama to announce his VP running mate before I make a decision to cast my vote for him or not.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:16 PM   #36
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It does to me. I don't like Obama but won't vote for McCain....I am waiting for Obama to announce his VP running mate before I make a decision to cast my vote for him or not.
So if you don't like his choice for a running mate, who will you vote for?

And what difference does a vice-president make anyway?
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:55 PM   #37
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I think Sam Nunn won't be asked. Apparently he once fired 2 aides solely because they were gay, and said they would have been considered risks to the CIA and Defense Department.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:05 PM   #38
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Like you, I was 100% for Joe Biden from a few days after the 2004 election. I stumbled upon him (had only seen him quoted in foreign policy type articles in the past) when I was randomly looking through Senate Democratic websites for people I would like to see run next time. One look at his website and I knew he was the one. Not just foreign policy, but crime, education, transportation, the budget, judiciary issues, health care, patients bill of rights, energy, the guy has his finger on the pulse, is not a hard core leftist and he can appeal to the middle easily. .
Great post, U2387
He's a huge defender of civil liberties as well.
I especially agree about how he is able to rattle off those ideas as if from the top of his head and have them make complete sense. Concise and understandable. I saw him on 'Meet the Press' once during the 2004 election articulating the fiasco in Iraq and he just blew my fucking doors off.

I have to admit, part of my real displeasure with the 2008 Dem primaries, aside from picking a lesser electable guy (JMO) among a few solidly electable candidates, was the fact that Biden was an afterthought. There is no better evidence that this is really nothing but a beauty contest than right there. There was one primary debate, I forget which network or even the particular question (re:foreign policy), where Biden quite literally cleaned the clock of every person standing on the stage.

One by one, it seemed they were all stock answers (outside of loony bin Dennis), all perfectly crafted as to not lose favor with 'XYZ' demographics and then Joe was the last to go. He said something to the effect of "Can you believe this mularkey?" Haha. I think he might have used that exact word. He then proceeded to simplify, clarify and offer a solution. The crowd erupted and then the next question was probably something to the effect of "So, Barack, why don't you like Hillary?" A fucking farce of a process, really.

In this day and age, I see myself turning even more and more away from the two political parties and find it near impossible to find a candidate that I could really beleive in. I actually felt proud of Joe Biden. Probably for the first time in my adult lifetime, I had a candidate that I could really believe in. Even if I may not agree with everything, I think he and I come from the same mentality.

Whoever Obama chooses, he needs to get someone who will fight because that's about all a VP is worth during the election. And I agree with your reasoning about how Biden would be more effective as the Chair of FR than VP, although, I think he'd take Sec. of State. Although, I think Kerry might get that position. Kerry was the first big name to jump out and endorse him, that was before it became the cool thing to do. Kerry picked Obama as the highlight speaker at the 2004 Convention as well. So, looks like Biden might just stay right where he is. Which ain't all bad.

To answer Martha's question, "what difference does the VP choice make"?
According to the so-called experts it doesn't do much to help but it can hurt.
Conventional wisdom says that usually they won't help carry States unless they are very popular and the State is already close to a toss up. Like Gephardt probably would have given Missouri to Kerry or a guy like Tom Harkin could probably help in Iowa etc.

There is the demographic factor. According to the so-called experts, you can sure up your 'base' by picking XYZ. This was why Kerry picked Edwards (which IMO turned out to be a big mistake) and why HW Bush picked Quayle (he was supposed to be a good looking guy with strong personality, DOH!), also I think Bob Dole picked Jack Kemp because he was to the 'right' of Dole on certain issues and so on. When you only have two choices, does this really make any difference? I don't think it does.

Obama will not need to pick Hillary to 'sure up' anything, I think he can win without her as much as with her. That's just my hack opinion. I think the reaction by the media about the outcomes in West Virginia and certain demographics etc. were just sensationalism. I think most of that has already passed. Can I just mention that I hate the media?

Then you have the embarassment factor. I believe McGovern picked the guy who had received electro-shock therapy (Eagleton) and ended up having him resign from the ticket. McGovern was destroyed in the election. Did that have a factor? I dunno but some so-called experts say it may have reflected negatively on his decision making skills.

Lastly. It's the future of the party, when you win. Al Gore (most likely) would not have been the 2000 Democratic Nominee if not for being Clinton's VP. George HW Bush (most likely) would not have been the 1988 Republican Nominee if not for being Reagan's VP. Mondale in 1984=Carter's VP and so on. That said, you have Dan Quayle in 1996, who fell embrassingly flat but that could be easily argued to have been a terrible VP pick in the first place.

So does it really matter? I guess it only matters if you make a bad choice and/or you win and have a fairly succesful Presidency, therefore possibly creating the candidate of the future. The other aspect to that in particular is, a lot of politicians are fearful to challenge the VP as it could be seen as some kind of disloyalty. HW Bush and Gore both had challengers but as I recall, I don't think it was really that close. So we probably do make more of it than we should.

I think the vast majority of people vote for the top of the ticket.
I'd have to assume, anyways.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:13 PM   #39
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Lastly. It's the future of the party, when you win. Al Gore (most likely) would not have been the 2000 Democratic Nominee if not for being Clinton's VP. George HW Bush (most likely) would not have been the 1988 Republican Nominee if not for being Reagan's VP. Mondale in 1984=Carter's VP and so on.

This is a good point. I hadn't thought of that.


But I'd still like to see actual research on the voters who really do make their choice for President based on who the VP candidate is.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #40
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I really, really wish Sen Obama would choose a woman. A qualified woman.

Three women who could join GOP ticket

politico.com

David Paul Kuhn Sun Jun 22, 6:18 PM ET

While the vice presidential slot may be John McCain’s best means of wooing those Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters who remain loath to embrace Barack Obama, the Republican party is a thin source of politically viable women, leaving McCain with few top-tier options.

The most-mentioned potential running mates — former Republican candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — are all men. Yet no clear front-runner has emerged, and there are at least three women McCain might select to fill out the ticket. All three would mark a symbolic turn away from Vice President Dick Cheney, the ultimate D.C. old-boys-club insider.

One obvious choice is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She’s as near to Cheney on policy as she is far from him symbolically. Rice, however, has consistently denied interest. While such denials are par for the course for prospective veeps, if Rice is indeed out of the mix, that would leave McCain with three other likely female running mates to consider:

Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be nationally unknown, but in her state she is nothing short of a political phenomenon.

Palin, 44, would add youth to the GOP ticket. As governor she has shown a willingness to veto some of the state’s large capital projects, no small plus for fiscal conservatives. But it’s her personal biography, which excites social conservatives, and reformist background that might most appeal to McCain.

She’s stridently anti-abortion, and recently brought to term her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome. A hunter, fisher and family woman with a rapid professional rise, Palin is a natural for Republican framing.

In 1982, Palin led her underdog high school basketball team to the state championship, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda.” Two years later she won the beauty pageant in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska — and was also named “Miss Congeniality.” By her early thirties, she was the mayor of Wasilla.

In 2003, as ethics commissioner on the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her rising political star by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that impropriety. Though this briefly made her an outcast within the party, within a year several state Republican heavyweights were reprimanded for the conduct she’d decried.

Her reputation with the party thus redeemed, Palin defeated Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary on the way to being elected governor.

As governor, she’s continued challenging the state’s powers that be, even winning tax increases on oil companies’ profits. Her approval rating has soared as high as 90 percent, making her one of America’s most popular governors.

“Palin is becoming a star in the conservative movement, a fiscal conservative in a state that is looking like a boondoggle for pork barrel spending,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who specializes in women’s politics.

“She’s young, vibrant, fresh and now, and a new mother of five. She should be in the top tier,” Conway continued. “If the Republican Party wants to wrestle itself free from the perception that it is royalist and not open to putting new talent on the bench, this would be the real opportunity.”

But several top Republican Party leaders, who asked that their names be withheld so they could speak frankly about vice presidential options, said that Palin remains out of the top tier for now. “Too unknown and inexperienced,” said one GOP insider. Others pointed out that she is not only based far from the continental 48 — and in a state with just three electoral votes that should already be in the bag for the GOP — but also has no foreign policy credentials or experience.



Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina has an up-by-her-own-bootstraps success story, having worked her way from a start as a young secretary straight through the glass ceiling to become Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive from 1999 to 2005. She presently serves as the chair of the organization tasked by the Republican National Committee with preparing the party’s crucial get-out-the-vote operation. It’s no symbolic post, but a crucial position for a party facing an uphill presidential contest.

Along with eBay.com CEO Meg Whitman — who has also been brought up occasionally as a long-shot GOP vice presidential prospect — Fiorina is one of the most prominent female executives of the last decade.

Fiorina is also already close to McCain. The two of them recently sat down at his Arlington headquarters with frustrated Clinton supporters and urged them to shift their political allegiance to him. On the campaign trail and on shows like CBS News “Face the Nation,” she’s served as a ubiquitous advocate of the candidate. Privately, she has also become one of McCain’s most trusted economic advisers.

Grover Norquist, a fiscal conservative leader and longtime party organizer, touts Fiorina’s economic and executive bonafides but labeled her a “dark horse” vice presidential prospect. One Republican state party chairman said, “everybody would be very pleasantly surprised with her” before adding that “the danger is that she hasn’t been vetted” — a concern echoed by several GOP insiders.

These insiders also expressed concern that adding her to the ticket would do little to galvanize social conservatives, some of whom still view McCain with suspicion and antipathy. They also brought up her lack of foreign policy experience, and expressed concern that her reputation as “the most powerful woman in business” — as she was once called by Forbes magazine — could prove a dubious distinction at a time when economic anxiety is reaching levels unseen since the late 1970s.

While McCain has criticized excessive executive salaries, Obama spokesman Bill Burton has already issued a statement pointing out that she “presided over thousands of layoffs at Hewlett-Packard while receiving a $21 million severance package” when she was fired by the company’s board of directors in 2005.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Last week Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the longest-tenured female Republican senator, joined McCain for a fundraising sprint in the Lone Star state. Hutchison, who until recently headed the Senate Republican Conference, now serves as chairwoman of the Republican Policy Committee, two top Beltway party posts.

Hutchison had already engaged on McCain’s behalf, defending his embrace of the controversial conservative Pastor John Hagee earlier this year and making the rounds as a surrogate on the Sunday political shows (including an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”), though, like McCain, it’s a medium that does not suit her. And also like McCain, she is not a gifted campaigner.

In Texas, where she has been comfortably reelected, one Republican strategist notes that she’s “proven she can get scores of Hispanics in a huge state surrogate.”

“She’s underused as a surrogate to the party,” the strategist added.

But despite her popularity in the state and in the party and her years of experience, insiders are skeptical she’ll be selected. Like Alaska, Texas is already a solidly Republican state in presidential races. And adding Hutchison — who supports embryonic stem cell research and is relatively moderate on abortion (she is against outlawing the procedure, though she also opposes federal funding for it) — to the ticket would also alienate some social conservatives.

And then there’s the energy problem. Hutchison has long been a defender of Big Oil, which may make political sense locally but could prove a liability in a national race at a time when oil companies are enjoying record profits even as Americans pay record amounts at the pump.

Insofar as Hutchison, Palin or Fiorina are seriously considered, the question McCain's team may first have to answer is how much of a premium to place on gender.

Then there is the media factor. McCain himself aches for the favorable attention of a press corps he feels prefers his rival. The vice presidential pick is one of the few remaining set pieces that will ensure him the spotlight, and could build excitement about his candidacy. And as even Republicans are noting, they could use a bit of excitement.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:49 PM   #41
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Where's Ann Richards when we need her.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:51 PM   #42
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i'm pulling for Charlie Crist.

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Old 06-23-2008, 05:56 PM   #43
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Ann Richards kicked ass
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #44
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Ann Richards kicked ass
One convention speech does not make a career.

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She was unexpectedly defeated in 1994 by George W. Bush, winning 46 percent of the vote to Bush's 53 percent, despite spending 23% more than the Bush campaign.
Is she responsible for our current nightmare ?
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:05 PM   #45
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Is she responsible for our current nightmare ?


i blame Barbara "this is all working out very well for [victims of Hurricane Katrina]" Bush.
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