Tales from the Trail

Barbour says Clinton’s 1996 strategy might help Obama

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Friday offered some advice to the man that he may seek to unseat in next year’s  election, President Barack Obama.

The potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate said he doesn’t expect Obama to follow the lead of a Democratic predecessor and declare, “the era of big government is over.”

But Barbour said if Obama did deliver such a message, as President Bill Clinton did in 1996, “I think his job approval would go up.”

Barbour said it would be “good for the country” and the president if he moved to the political center — just as Clinton did after Republicans won control of Congress in 1994.

“This (past) election was undoubtedly a repudiation of the Obama policy,” Barbour said of the November congressional contests that saw Republicans win the House of Representatives from Obama’s Democrats and increase their clout in the Senate.

McCain, Obama on pocketbook issues — their own

WASHINGTON – If the way someone runs their household accounts is any indication of how they would run the federal government’s, voters might want to look at rtx6ung.jpgthe financial disclosure statements released Friday by White House contenders John McCain and Barack Obama.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee McCain has earned a reputation in the U.S. Congress as a conservative fiscal watchdog.

Yet he and his wife, Cindy, racked up at least $210,000 in credit card debt last year, according to his Senate financial disclosure form.

Obama returns a compliment to Colin Powell

INDIANAPOLIS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday returned a compliment to Colin Powell after the former Bush administration secretary of state told an interviewer that he was impressed with Obama.

Obama, a first-term Illinois senator, has been criticized by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain, as lacking experience on foreign policy.

Powell told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Obama seemed to be a quick study.