Tales from the Trail

Obama again refutes pastor’s comments, emphasizes roots

April 25, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama refuted controversial comments by his Chicago pastor again on Friday and sought to play up his own origins in an effort to combat perceptions that he is an “elitist”.

Hillary Clinton declares war on paperwork

April 25, 2008

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Say goodbye to the FAFSA form if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Democrats, Republicans agree McCain is a ‘natural’

April 24, 2008

WASHINGTON – In a rare display of political harmony, Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee came together on behalf of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.rtr1ik2w.jpg

Obama: You don’t have to talk tough to be tough

April 23, 2008

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday brushed aside Hillary Clinton’s attempts to portray him as someone who lacked toughness and could not stand the heat of the media glare.obamatough.jpg

Pennsylvania Democratic voters see U.S. recession already

April 23, 2008

rtr1z301.jpgWASHINGTON – One interesting tidbit that came out of the exit polling from Pennsylvania Democratic voters is that a large majority believe the U.S. economy is already in recession — contrary what the current president said on Tuesday.
    
A whopping 88 percent of voters in Pennsylvania — a state trying to transition from steel and coal industries to high-tech and medical research — said the U.S. economy was in a recession, with 42 percent saying it was a serious recession and 47 percent said it was a moderate contraction, according to exit poll data on CNN’s Web site (page 5 of data).
 
On Tuesday, President George W. Bush cited the most recent economic data showing small growth in the fourth quarter of 2007. But he also acknowledged that the first quarter figures had not yet been released.
 
“We’re not in a recession.  We’re in a slowdown,” Bush said after meetings with leaders of Canada and Mexico. “We haven’t had first quarter growth statistics yet. But there’s no question we’re in a slowdown.”
 
Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both said the economy was in a recession as has Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain.
 
But White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said on Wednesday such pronouncements were a little early in the game. 
    
“We don’t have data yet and it’s a little premature to declare it so definitively as a recession because the data isn’t in,” she told reporters.
 
The Commerce Department is due to release the GDP figures for the first quarter on April 30, which is also when the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting committee will announce whether it is cutting rates again. 

Bill Clinton takes on Obama, media on race comments

April 22, 2008

Bill Clinton is making news again.

Campaigning for his wife Hillary in Pennsylvania, the former president accused the Obama campaign of “playing the race card” and later lashed out at a reporter who asked him about his comments.billclinton

Obama, Clinton deadlocked in US Senate, 13-13

April 22, 2008

WASHINGTON – Among those who serve with them in the U.S. Senate — an institution often referred to as “the world’s most deliberative body” — endorsements for White House rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are dead even.

‘Why can’t I just eat my waffle?’

April 22, 2008

obama-in-pa.jpgSCRANTON, Pa. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama kicked off a day of campaigning in Pennsylvania by dropping by a Scranton diner for a breakfast of waffles, sausage and orange juice.
 
But the press corps went hungry — hungry for an answer that is.
 
The Illinois senator brushed aside a question from one reporter on his reaction to former President Jimmy Carter’s description of a positive meeting with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas.
 
“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” Obama replied.
    
Reporters traveling with the Illinois senator, fighting with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over Pennsylvania ahead of its vote on Tuesday, are venting frustration over a lack of access to the candidate lately. Obama has not held a press availability in 10 days, though he has given dozens of interviews to local press in Pennyslvania.
    
Republicans have pounced on Obama’s “waffle” comment, suggesting he is evading tough questions.
    
“Today, Obama continued to dodge questions from the media, responding that he just wanted to eat his waffle,” the Republican National Committee said in an email sent to reporters that included press accounts of the waffle incident at the Glider diner.
    
Both Obama and Clinton are far less accessible to the media than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, known for holding lengthy question-and-answer sessions with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus.
    
The sessions last so long that some reporters say they run out of questions.

Feds to keep an eye on Pennsylvania primary

April 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – As Democrats go to the polls on Tuesday to pick between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as their presidential nominee, the Bush administration said on Monday they will be keeping a close eye on the voting.
 
rtr1zn5o.jpgCiting previous allegations that the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, had violated voting rights laws, the Bush administration’s Justice Department announced it would monitor the primary contest.

Financial Times backs Obama in Democrats’ nominating battle

April 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Britain’s Financial Times newspaper, which has bigger paid circulation in the United States than its home country, weighed into the bitter Democratic nominating contest– offering its endorsement to Sen. Barack Obama.rtr1zo49.jpg