Tales from the Trail

Liberal Democrats after Baucus over public insurance option

Senator Max Baucus is taking a bashing from liberal Democrats for leaving public insurance out of the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill.

With the committee chaired by Baucus headed for a showdown on the issue Tuesday, a new ad taken out by the liberal wing of his own Democratic party notes he took millions in contributions from the health and insurance industries and asks: “Whose side are you on?”

Baucus is a target because he kept a public option out of his healthcare bill in order to try to fashion a measure that could win both Republican and Democratic support.

President Barack Obama favors a public option. Under the system he proposes, people who do not get health insurance through their employer could go to a government-sponsored marketplace to buy insurance.

The marketplace would be comprised mainly of private insurers, but Obama also favors a public option to make sure there is enough competition to push down prices.

Slingin’ mud, campaigns get down and dirty

Up until now, the mud slinging in the presidential race has mostly been the Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama accusing the other of lying about each other’s record and views on health care, taxes and the Iraq war.
Now, with less than a month to go until voters go to the polls, the McCain campaign has sent out on the attack his vice presidential running-mate Sarah Palin where she is slinging some serious dirt, accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”

She was referring to William Ayers, a former member of the Vietnam War-era militant group the Weather Underground. Obama met him decades later in the 1990s when he first began his political career in Chicago and the two served on an education board together.

Two days later, she adjusted her language slightly in Florida, not repeating the line about “palling around with terrorists” but saying Obama was “someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country.” 

Obama: Republicans focusing on lipstick and Britney, not issues

CONCORD, N.H. – Barack Obama accused Republicans on Friday of trying to shift the focus of the presidential debate away from serious issues such as the economy and toward frivolous subjects like lipstick, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.rtx8oqq.jpg

Taking on a feistier tone, the Democratic presidential hopeful sought to show his supporters he wants to fight back aggressively against escalating attacks by his rival John McCain.

Democrats have become concerned about the momentum gained by McCain and his new running mate as polls have shown McCain has pulled even or slightly ahead of Obama, erasing the lead the Democratic presidential nominee held throughout the summer.