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Old 09-23-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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US 2008 Presidential Campaign Thread - Part 2

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Old 09-24-2007, 08:36 AM   #2
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MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Republican presidential candidates can't be any more clear: President Bush isn't welcome on the campaign trail.

Competing to succeed him, top GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and John McCain barely utter Bush's name. They essentially ignore the lame-duck president, or give him only passing credit, as they rail against the status quo and promise to fix problems he hasn't solved.

"We all know Americans want change," said McCain, an Arizona senator, explaining the aversion to aligning with Bush. "I give him credit for a number of things but I think the fact is Americans are turning the page, including our Republican primary voters."

The candidates are walking a fine line. They are trying to tap into the deep discontent those voters feel about the state of the country without alienating any who hold Bush in high regard. At the same time, they have to counter the Democrats' powerful arguments for a new direction.

How candidates handle the 800-pound elephant in the room now could have implications beyond the primary. Privately, Republican strategists agree their nominee will lose next fall if the general election is a referendum on Bush. They say GOP candidates are wise to distance themselves from the president now, given his unpopularity among the public at large.

Bush holds the opposite view.

Asked last week whether he is an asset or a liability for Republican candidates, Bush replied: "Strong asset."

To be sure, none of the candidates want to be attached to Bush's legacy, afraid that doing so will make them sitting ducks for Democrats.

Who can blame them?

The unpopular Iraq war has bogged down his presidency. His party is in an uproar over out-of-control spending on his watch and embarrassing scandals among GOP officeholders. His job performance rating is at a low 33 percent, according to a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Only 28 percent think the country is moving in the right direction. Half of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents think the country is on the wrong track.

Take Dan Wilson, 55, and Janet Frederick-Wilson, 47, of Westland, Mich. The Republicans voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, but they've lost confidence in him over the past few years for what Frederick-Wilson said were a million different reasons. "Overall, he's lost touch," she said.

"He's kind of lost his way, unfortunately," Wilson said. "He started strong and then his office affected him."

Neither has settled on a candidate for 2008; both say they are looking for someone who can make them proud to be Americans again.

Another two-time Bush backer, Margaret Schaefer, 69, of Dearborn, Mich., calls the president resolute and honest but acknowledges woes in the GOP.

"We need to get back to our roots, and I think George Bush thought that's where he was going, but he was led astray," she said. "His legacy's not going to be terrific."

Despite such deep frustration, Republicans on the whole still like Bush _ and don't like those who beat up on him.

That's prompted GOP hopefuls to tread delicately. They rattle off problems and propose solutions, seeking to make the case for change without going as far as to bash Bush, at least not openly.

The straddle _ and the absence of Bush in the race _ was apparent over the weekend as the four leading Republicans spoke to 1,500 GOP activists on an island in Lake Huron.

In separate speeches spanning two days, they repeatedly invoked beloved conservative Ronald Reagan; Bush was hardly mentioned.

All laid out challenges facing the country, from national security to immigration reform to health care, and argued they were the elixirs for what ails the GOP and the country. What little praise there was for Bush was muted by somber assessments of the challenges ahead.

"Republicans for change," declared Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who offered a blistering critique of the GOP. He argued that Republicans bore just as much of the blame as Democrats for failures in Washington, such as runaway spending and ethical lapses in his own party. He claimed he was best suited to lead a dispirited GOP in a new direction.

He gave Bush some praise for keeping the United States safe and restoring integrity to the Oval Office. When pressed, Romney refused to lump Bush in with the very Republicans he was criticizing.

"I'm not pointing fingers," Romney told reporters in one breath, only to say in the next: "We have strayed a little far from our principles and vision, and I think that's happened over the last several years."

McCain used his speech to channel Reagan, comparing the conservative behemoth who faced down the Soviet Union in the 1980s to his own calls for resolve in Iraq and against terrorists. Never once did McCain mention Bush, though he generally panned the president's leadership, saying "the war in Iraq has not gone well."

Rudy Giuliani skirted Bush entirely. He set up an us-against-them scenario with Democrats on just about every issue and argued the country would go backward, not forward, under their leadership. He received perhaps the most hearty applause with his lone direct reference to the president for enacting tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Giuliani said they helped put more money back into the private sector.

As for Thompson, the former Tennessee senator painted a bleak picture of future if changes aren't made, particularly on the economic front, saying "we're on an unsustainable path" and bemoaning the irresponsibility of leaders who haven't solved looming issues though they've had years to do so.

"We've got to send a message to politicians in Washington that we are better than that," Thompson said.

With statements like those, there's little doubt the president hasn't gotten the message.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
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By any reasonable measure, Fred Thompson, the actor-lobbyist-presidential candidate, is off to a rough start. Particularly on policy matters, Thompson has been confused and uninformed about everything from Social Security policy to drilling to Everglades for oil to the 2005 Schiavo controversy.


NBC's "First Read' reports that when Thompson was asked Thursday about Louisiana's "Jena Six" protest of Old South racism on his way into a San Antonio fundraiser, he replied: "I don't know anything about it."

Bush fielded a question about it at his news conference the same day, saying the events in Louisiana had "saddened" him. Thompson's staff said he knew all about the issue but was unfamiliar with the expression "Jena Six."
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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Wake up, Fred! You're running for President! You're supposed to know this stuff!
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
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USA Today

Bush: Clinton will win Democratic nomination, lose White House

The pundit-in-chief says Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination but go on to lose the 2008 presidential election to the Republican candidate.

"She's got a national presence and this is becoming a national primary," President Bush is quoted as saying in a new book by Bill Sammon of The (Washington) Examiner. "And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated."

Sammon's new book, The Evangelical President, comes out today. There's an excerpt in this morning's edition of the Examiner.

"I think our candidate can beat her, but it's going to be a tough race," Bush tells the author. "I will work to see to it that a Republican wins and therefore don't accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House."
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:54 AM   #6
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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Well I do hope GWB endorses the Republican candidate, and lends his support in every way...especially if they don't want it.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
"I will work to see to it that a Republican wins and therefore don't accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House."
One can only hope that he'll be out there. At every possible campaign stop. Constantly.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:25 AM   #9
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with racial tensions mounting due to recent events, i think it is cute that thompson, mccain, romney, and guliani refuse to debate at msu this week. heads up republicans: we latinos and blacks are growing year by year. you can corrupt all the voting booths you want, but you can't ignore our voices forever.

if this party wants to drop its bigoted stereotype, the least these guys, esp since they are considered to be the front runners, could do is to participate in a scheduled debate at msu and univision.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
if this party wants to drop its bigoted stereotype
That's a big if.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
with racial tensions mounting due to recent events, i think it is cute that thompson, mccain, romney, and guliani refuse to debate at msu this week. heads up republicans: we latinos and blacks are growing year by year. you can corrupt all the voting booths you want, but you can't ignore our voices forever.

if this party wants to drop its bigoted stereotype, the least these guys, esp since they are considered to be the front runners, could do is to participate in a scheduled debate at msu and univision.
I agree.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
with racial tensions mounting due to recent events, i think it is cute that thompson, mccain, romney, and guliani refuse to debate at msu this week. heads up republicans: we latinos and blacks are growing year by year. you can corrupt all the voting booths you want, but you can't ignore our voices forever.

if this party wants to drop its bigoted stereotype, the least these guys, esp since they are considered to be the front runners, could do is to participate in a scheduled debate at msu and univision.
these guys all want to win the GOP South Carolina Primary




and other primaries
that are really referendums on who is the White-ist candidate

(these guys know the way to win GOP primaries is to go and hug bigots- like Bob Jones)

they won't be saying much about Jena
except things like

guilty parties (Jena 6) should be punished
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd said Tuesday a fundraising party for Republican Rudy Giuliani seeking $9.11 each from guests exploits the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for political purposes.

The Dodd campaign called on Giuliani to refuse the money raised at the event, saying the theme "is absolutely unconscionable, shameless and sickening." A Giuliani spokeswoman said the $9.11 idea was selected without the campaign's knowledge.

"Mr. Giuliani was quick to express much vitriol for the independent ad created by MoveOn.org last week; we would hope he would express the same kind of outrage and indignation about this group that he is the beneficiary of," Colleen Flanagan, a spokeswoman for Dodd, said in a statement released by his campaign.

Giuliani and other GOP presidential candidates strongly criticized the liberal, anti-war group MoveOn.org for a full-page advertisement the group bought in The New York Times. The ad included the headline "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?," a reference to Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq.

The Dodd campaign also said Giuliani "should reject and/or return any money raised" through the party, which is to be held Wednesday night at the home of Abraham Sofaer in Palo Alto, California. Giuliani's campaign is sponsoring house parties across the country that night for the candidate's backers.

Sofaer said he had nothing to do with the decision to ask for the $9.11.

"There are some young people who came up with it," Sofaer said when reached by telephone Monday evening. He referred other questions to Giuliani's campaign.

"I'm just providing support for him. He's an old friend of mine," Sofaer said of Giuliani.

Sofaer was a State Department adviser under President Reagan and is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Federal election data indicates Sofaer has given nearly $50,000 to Republican causes and candidates, including Giuliani, since 1995.

Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella said: "These are two volunteers who acted independently of and without the knowledge of the campaign. Their decision to ask individuals for that amount was an unfortunate choice."

According to the invitation, "$9.11 for Rudy" is an "independent, non-denominational grass-roots campaign to raise $10,000 in small increments to show how many individual, everyday Americans support 'America's Mayor."'
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:29 PM   #14
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Giuliani

very well may be the GOP nominee

and I hope he is


everything Conservatives say about Hillary

is really true for Giuliani,
but only magnified by about 3 times


he is looking more and more

like Nosferatu

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Old 09-25-2007, 05:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
WASHINGTON (AP) — The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd said Tuesday a fundraising party for Republican Rudy Giuliani seeking $9.11 each from guests exploits the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for political purposes.

The Dodd campaign called on Giuliani to refuse the money raised at the event, saying the theme "is absolutely unconscionable, shameless and sickening." A Giuliani spokeswoman said the $9.11 idea was selected without the campaign's knowledge.

The Ladder to Heaven

Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven?
Did it make you feel like cryin', or did you think it was kind of gay?
Well I, for one, believe in the ladder to heaven.
Oh yeah yeah yeah. 9-11
I said 9-11, 9-11, 9-11, Ni-hi, hi-hine___
Eleven.
Where were you when they ran out of stuff to build the ladder to heaven?

Where were you when they saved that ladder to heaven?

Where were you when they decided heaven was a more intangible idea 'n you couldn't, you couldn't really get there?


-from South Park

......and one from Team America, just for fun

Freedom Isn't Free

What would you do
If you were asked to give up your dreams for freedom?
What would you do
If asked to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Would you think about all them people
Who gave up everything they had?
Would you think about all them War Vets
And would you start to feel bad?

Freedom isn't free
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all chip in
We'll never pay that bill
Freedom isn't free
No, there's a hefty in' fee.
And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five
Who will?

What would you do
If someone told you to fight for freedom?
Would you answer the call
Or run away like a little pussy
'Cause the only reason that you're here
Is 'cause folks died for you in the past
So maybe now it's your turn
To die kicking some ass

Freedom isn't free
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all chip in
We'll never pay that bill
Freedom isn't free
Now there's a hefty in' fee
And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five
Who will?

You don't throw in your buck 'o five. Who will?
Oooh buck 'o five
Freedom costs a buck 'o five
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:20 PM   #16
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washingtonpost.com

Can She Reach Religious Voters?

By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, September 26, 2007; A19

During a question-and-answer session at Tufts University immediately after the 2004 election, Sen. Hillary Clinton identified the alienation of religious voters as one of the Democratic Party's main problems. And the appeal she proposed was straightforward: "No one can read the New Testament of our Bible without recognizing that Jesus had a lot more to say about how we treat the poor than most of the issues that were talked about in this election."

There was a stiff dose of political calculation in her remarks -- but also a streak of sincere liberal Protestantism. As Clinton methodically consolidates her hold on the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans are facing, in the words of her spiritual biographer Paul Kengor, "the most religious Democrat since Jimmy Carter." And this introduces an unpredictable element into a wide-open election.

Republicans are accustomed to Democrats who are either frankly secular -- Howard Dean once asserted, "My religion doesn't inform my public policy" -- or so uncomfortable with religious language that, were the sound on the television switched off, you'd think they were admitting a sexual vice instead of affirming their deepest beliefs.

Clinton is neither secular nor awkward about her faith. She cites her Methodist upbringing as a formative experience, with its emphasis on "preaching and practicing the social gospel." As a teenager in 1962, she heard and met the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago -- what would have been a profound experience for a spiritually alert youth -- and was later politically radicalized by his assassination. The likely Democratic nominee participates regularly in small-group Bible studies and is familiar with the works of Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer -- the theological heroes of mainline Protestantism (and of some stray Evangelicals like myself).

In a nation obsessed by the influence of religious conservatives, it is easy to forget that liberal Protestants were once the dominant cultural influence in America. Beginning in the early 20th century, the social gospel advanced swiftly through most American denominations. Progressive presidents such as Woodrow Wilson spoke in the cadences of this movement: "Christianity was just as much intended to save society as to save the individual, and there is a sense in which it is more important that it should save society."

This high-minded theological liberalism had many successes. It opposed the harsh excesses of industrialization, embraced the civil rights movement, resisted the Vietnam War and led opposition to apartheid in South Africa. It also had debilitating weaknesses -- a preference for democratic socialism, a soft spot for Marxist strongmen, a flitting fascination with trendy causes and a theological shallowness that caused millions to flee the pews.

As an heir to this religious tradition, Hillary Clinton combines two traits that seem contradictory but really aren't -- moralism and social liberalism.

As a moralist, she has been willing to work with conservatives on issues such as religious freedom in the workplace and highlighting the destructive impact of pop culture on children. She has joined congressional efforts against human trafficking and was an early supporter of public funds for faith-based social services. None of this indicates a privatized religious faith.

At the same time, as Kengor points out in his insightful book, "God and Hillary Clinton," her defense of abortion rights has been strident, even radical. She has attacked pro-life people as enemies of "evidence," "science" and "the Constitution." And she has blamed pro-life "ideologues" for the prevalence of abortions because of their "silent war on contraception" -- a remarkable accusation that Roman Catholic opposition to birth control is somehow responsible for abortion in America.

How are religious voters likely to respond to a religious believer who is also a social liberal? Roman Catholics, with their strong commitment to the poor, should be open to a Democratic message of economic justice. A majority of Christians, Catholic and Protestant, support the goals of broader health coverage and increased humanitarian aid abroad. But the most intensely religious Americans of both traditions also tend to be the most conservative on moral issues such as abortion. And it is hard to imagine that these voters will be successfully courted by the most comprehensively pro-choice presidential candidate in American history.

That might change under one circumstance: if Rudy Giuliani were the Republican nominee. Whatever Giuliani promised concerning the appointment of conservative judges, a pro-choice Republican nominee would blur the contrast between the parties on abortion. And between two pro-choice options, a larger number of religious voters might support the one with a stronger emphasis on poverty -- because, after all, Jesus did have a lot to say about how we treat the poor.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
washingtonpost.com

Can She Reach Religious Voters?

No, not the majority of them.

dbs
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:30 PM   #18
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No, not the majority of them.

dbs
Are you their spokesman?
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:32 PM   #19
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An objectable observer and participant.

dbs
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #20
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An objectable observer and participant.

dbs
This coming from the same guy that said Mitt would get most of the religious vote, and then later that Freddie would get it...
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