Where are the '08 presidential contenders?
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama / Mitt Romney / Mike Huckabee / John McCain / → All Tags
Finally! Tomorrow's gaggle of primaries should clear up any lingering questions about who's gonna win the Republican party's presidential nomination. On the Democratic side, things are a lot less clear.
One thing we do know is that the contenders have been criss-crossing the country like true jet setters. We're so jealous. They've been rocking the private jets for months now, but today's just been over the top.
Barack Obama showed up in East Rutherford, New Jersey--home of the Super Bowl-winning Giants--where Robert DeNiro introduced him and Ted Kennedy endured a joke about his defeated Patriots. Hillary Clinton visited an old pal--and teared up--during a stop at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.
John McCain, who's surged into the lead in polls, showed up at Faneuil Hall in Boston while his biggest opponent Mitt Romney cracked jokes about Star Wars droids on his flight between Salt Lake City and Minneapolis. Meanwhile Mike Huckabee called Romney arrogant as he stumped in Macon, Georgia.
· Candidates Make Final Super Tuesday Push [AP, via Google]
· Romney Vows to Push on Past Tuesday [NYT]
· Huckabee Rejects Spoiler Role [Washington Post]
· 2008 Candidates Travel Map [Jaunted]
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / Rudy Giuliani / John Edwards / Fred Thompson / → All Tags
Consider us gobsmacked. With less than a week to go before Super Tuesday, the primary date shared by a whopping 24 states, two candidates are bowing out of the presidential race today.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who we chowed down with (so to speak) in Philadelphia, is set to endorse the man he was beating in November's polls, Senator John McCain. The Arizona Senator is now the Republican front runner. "You don't always win, but you can always try to do it right," Giuliani told supporters last night. Fred Thompson, who never really got the bus running in Iowa, has also ended his bid for president.
On the Democratic side, former senator and 2004 vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is expected to withdraw this afternoon after placing second in Iowa and third everywhere else. (Including, in a stinging rejoinder, in his native state of South Carolina, which Barack Obama won). With his exit and those of Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic field will be narrowed down to two. To the best of our knowledge, it's the first time all this happened in January.
We pity the campaign workers whose last acts in the bullpen will be to cancel all those Super Tuesday travel arrangements.
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / John McCain / Barack Obama / Hillary Clinton / Ron Paul / Rudy Giuliani / Mike Huckabee / Mitt Romney / → All Tags
Check out our Candidates Travel Map to chase down those last undecided primary votes.
Today's the first primary in the nation in warmer-than-usual New Hampshire. The seventeen voters who showed up to the polls in Dixville Notch, the city which began voting after midnight, picked Barack Obama and John McCain. McCain is the big surprise of that pairing after a less than stellar showing in Iowa.
Much has been made of the fact that Hillary Clinton received none of those 17 votes, but maybe a town of 74 isn't a super sample.
Since 1952, the winner of the New Hampshire primary for his party has gone on to be president 85 percent of the time. (McCain is one of those exceptions, having taken the state in the 2000 primary.) Mitt Romney may have had that stat in mind when he stood outside a Manchester polling place trying to catch some of the 45 percent of registered independents, who are free to vote in either primary.
Current polls indicate that Romney's running second, ahead of Iowa champion Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani. Next week, it's off to Michigan, where the candidates of both parties will genuflect to Big Auto on Michael Moore territory. You can bet we'll be following them west.
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / John McCain / Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama / John Edwards / Mike Huckabee / Mitt Romney / → All Tags
Visit our Candidates Travel Map to plan your attack on the Hawkeye State.
It's almost here! The Iowa caucus is tomorrow, officially kicking off the 2008 Presidential primary season. Do you know who you're voting for? Neither do we!
If you're in Iowa right now, you're probably within a stone's throw of a major candidate. Barack Obama's Stand for Change tour takes him to Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Des Moines tonight, while Hillary Clinton can be spotted in Indianola, Mason City and Burlington. John Edwards threw a midnight caucus party in Atlantic, Iowa today, but he's hitting Iowa City and Cedar Rapids as well, with a caucus learning event in Grinnell tonight and a free rally with Bruce Springsteen concert afterwards.
On the Republican side, Mitt Romney has been attending house parties and has scheduled an Election Night party in West Des Moines. Both John McCain and Mike Huckabee are splitting their time in Iowa with other destinations; McCain's coming to Dubuque from Derry, New Hampshire where he's been stumping with Sen. Joe Lieberman, while Huckabee's off to Southern California tonight to be the first post-strike guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The New Hampshire primary is next Tuesday, so don't let down your guard yet! Ready or not, the race is on for real.
'Twas the day after Christmas, all through the Midwest
Each candidate snuggled in his war-room nest
Except for Fred Thompson. Poor Fred and his bus
Went plowing through snowdrifts, campaigning for us.
With less than a week before the primary
Fred's not doing hot and it's getting quite scary.
Was it because we don't like "Law and Order"?
Or was it because his platform was disordered?
Yet to Creston, Urbandale, Chariton he'll go
His fitness as president he hopes to show.
If you see his gold bus, give a honk or a wave.
He's not quitting yet, and that's pretty brave.
Thompson vows his support will get finer.
After Iowa find him in South Carolina.
[Photo of Fred in September: bmcvey]
Mike Huckabee is glad to remind you that Jesus is the reason for the season. The former Arkansas governor traveled further into Iowa's heartland this week, hitting up the small towns of Dike, Marshalltown, Waterloo and Manchester. While John McCain chose to share a message with audiences in Iowa about a Christmas spent as a POW, Huckabee didn't let his audience forget that he is, after all, a Baptist minister.
Huckabee's latest campaign vid, above, is catching a little heat from conspiracy theorists who say there's a well-positioned cross in the background. We say it's too bad Chuck Norris doesn't show up in this clip, like he has in the past.
If you're not planning a trip to rural Iowa anytime soon [Ed. note: You're not?!], don't despair. You can still see the tech savvy Huckabee during his live webcast on New Year's Day. Don't worry: It's at 7:30 pm, so you'll have plenty of time to recover from the night before.
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / John McCain / Mike Huckabee / Mitt Romney / Rudy Giuliani / → All Tags
So John McCain called the retinue of reporters following with him in South Carolina "you little jerks," and we weren't even there! Despite his slide in the polls this year, the Senator from Arizona is not only chipper but appears not to be worried about the Iowa caucus on January 3rd. "If I don't finish in the top 50 in Iowa, I'll still stay in the race," he told the press, which is pretty bold in the face of what looks like a three-way race. (We hear McCain is cool with Mike Huckabee, but not so much with Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.)
On the other hand, the Senator has more national experience than most of the other candidates in either party, and he just got endorsed by 2000 vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman and the classically conservative Wall Street Journal. Today he'll be in Boston at a lunch in Faneuil Hall Market Place with Henry Kissinger. Tomorrow he stops in Louisiana before returning home to Arizona on Friday.
2008 Candidates Travel / Candidates-Travel-Map / Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama / Joe Biden / → All Tags
The last debate before the Iowa caucus concluded last night in a Des Moines-area TV studio. Here's the rundown.
Despite rumblings behind the scenes--a Clinton staffer resigned after comments that Obama's cocaine use as a teen would hurt his bid for the presidency--the fight last night seemed clean, and even friendly at times. Obama offered Hillary a job as his advisor and also forgave Senator Joe Biden for referring to him as "clean" and "articulate."
I have absolutely no doubt about what is in his heart and the commitment that he has made with respect to racial equality in this country. So I will provide some testimony, as they say in church, that Joe is on the right side of the issues and is fighting every day for a better America.
Biden stood out from the pack for the first time, really. His discussion of the tragic car accident that took the life of his wife and daughter seemed heartfelt rather than a sympathy ploy, and he seemed to finally shirk the accusations of racism against him. Twenty days till the Iowa caucus!
[Photo: Des Moines Register]
Communications Professor Kembrew McLeod writes on his website that he dressed up as a robot and disrupted the speech because he wanted Clinton to apologize for misquoting African-American activist Sister Souljah in 1992 and painting her as a militant. After McLeod tossed hundreds of little slips of paper in the air, Clinton asked him to protest in a more environmentally sound manner, but Professor McLeod didn't apologize.
Even Hillary supporters have to admit she has drawn a certain benefit from having her husband on the stump. Michelle Obama shows us the "stinky" side of Barack, and Elizabeth Edwards' inspiring battle with cancer has touched a chord with millions, but Bill's political career might bring back warm memories of a pre-W age for many Democrats. Still, that history can also be a liability.
If you, too, want to get thrown out of a Clinton appearance while dressed as a robot, Madame Senator will be at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey tonight for a fundraiser with New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and singer Tony Bennett. Next up is an event in her hometown at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on December 18.
Thanks to our Iowa friend "Bill S. Preston" for the tip!
This "commercial" sponsored by the Mike Gravel presidential campaign says it all. The guy stares you down for a few minutes, throws a rock in the water and walks away. That's it. Is it performance art or did his campaign manager not have the heart to dissuade an old man in the latter stages of dementia?
Either way, the Democrat from Alaska has established himself as an anti-Hillary who refuses to tow the political line. And he has the nonexistent voter support figures to show for it! But a few Gravel enthusiasts must've been left out of the straw polls because they've managed to put together a rally in Los Angeles, scheduled for Monday, December 10.
In Pan Pacific Park, the Mike Gravel Rally For Freedom will implore attendees to "stop letting mainstream media influence you." The event offers free food between 1 and 4 pm, with Gravel speaking at 3:30. Talking points sure to include: Bring our troops home, marriage for all and... marriage for all. Sounds like a party!
Visit our Candidates Travel Map to know who to believe--by which we mean us, of course!
Earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conducted a tour of Iowa under the slogan "Ask Mitt Anything". But the question he'll address in his speech tomorrow is one people have been asking since Romney threw his hat in the ring: How would his Mormon beliefs affect a Romney presidency?
Mitt hasn't exactly hidden his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; he served his Mormon mission in France, graduated from BYU and lived in Utah while he was running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. And to be fair, many of the same questions which are being asked of Romney were brought up in 2000 when Senator Joe Lieberman became the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate for President--and, heck, in 1960, when John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic candidate for President.
Still, we're interested to see what Romney says when he speaks on "Faith in America" at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas tomorrow. After that, it's off to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (where Romney grew up) and the Republican presidential debate at the University of Miami this weekend.
Let's hope Romney supporters in Iowa still believe in his campaign, as he's currently neck and neck with Arkansas former governor Mike Huckabee. According to the guy behind us at New York's Atlantic Theater Company last week, though, Romney has it in the bag. Thanks for the tip, random prognosticator!
[Photo of Romney volunteering in Iowa: Mitt Romney]
Barack Obama dropped into New York last night, just days after John Edwards made an appearance in Washington Square Park. But Obama skipped Greenwich Village on this visit and went uptown, with a stop at the Apollo Theater.
The Democratic candidate has largely steered clear of race-based campaigning, but he certainly made a statement with his visit to Harlem. (Interestingly, Bill Clinton's offices are just a few blocks from the Apollo.) Chris Rock was in the audience, and a gospel choir provided some musical entertainment.
While the Apollo has hosted plenty of soul, R & B and jazz musicians, it's also hosted The Strokes and the Gorillaz. Every Wednesday is amateur night, an event that kicked off the careers of Billie Holiday, James Brown and Luther Vandross to name just a few. On December 28, the theater will host Forces of Nature Dance Theater for a Kwanzaa celebration.
[Photo: Barack Obama]