Tales from the Trail

Obama backer takes musical aim at Palin as VP pick

October 17, 2008

ROANOKE, Va. – Warming up a crowd for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama in the Blue Ridge mountain region of Virginia, Sen. Jim Webb on Friday took aim at Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin’s qualifications.

McCain’s October surprise? Humor from the candidate and candy from his wife

October 17, 2008

NEW YORK – With just a few weeks to go before the U.S. election, the John McCain campaign is still full of surprises.

Rove, Gingrich weigh in with advice for McCain

October 17, 2008

mccaintux1.jpg 

How can John McCain win?
    
The Republican presidential candidate trails Democratic rival Barack Obama in opinion polls and time is running out before the Nov. 4 election. The Web site FiveThirtyEight, which uses statistical modeling to predict the outcome, gives the Arizona senator only a 5.3 percent chance of victory.

Senator, can you spare a million?

October 16, 2008

WASHINGTON – If you want a recession-proof job, maybe being a member of Congress is the way to go.
 
With the U.S. economy tanking, the 535 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate appear well-positioned to weather the storm, according to an analysis of their personal wealth by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. rtx9mpc.jpg
 
In 2007, the U.S. economy grew at 2.2 percent, the slowest pace in five years, with only 0.6 percent growth in the last quarter of that year, according to government statistics.
 
Things were rosier for those sitting on Capitol Hill.
 
According to CRP’s survey, the net worth for members of Congress grew 11 percent in 2007, “despite indications last year that the economy was headed south.”
 
In that year, senators had a median net worth of about $1.7 million, according to CRP, with 61 percent of senators considered millionaires.
 
For House members, median net worth was about $684,000, with 39 percent in the millionaire club. That compares to about 1 percent of all Americans reaching that status.
 
rtx9mpt.jpgDemocratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a senator from Illinois, had a fabulous year in 2007, when he became the 31st richest senator, up from 70th richest in 2006, thanks mostly to royalties from two best-selling books, CRP said. His net worth grew from about $800,000 in 2006 to $4.7 million.
 
Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain went the other direction, but don’t feel too sad. He was the 12th richest senator, with a net worth of $28.5 million last year, thanks mostly to wife Cindy’s family fortune. That was down from 10th place in 2006.

Missouri voter sues over McCain campaign “hate speech”

October 16, 2008

(UPDATED – adds McCain spokesman comment)

KANSAS CITY – Missouri voter Mary Kay Green has had enough.

The supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama filed a lawsuit this week over what she claims is dangerous “hate speech” coming from the rival campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

In debates, McCain loses blinking contest to Obama

October 16, 2008

mccain-semi-blink.jpgWASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate John McCain may not have blinked first in his debates with Barack Obama — but he certainly blinked more often, which is not a good thing.

Obama, McCain take on each other’s VP picks at debate

October 16, 2008

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – They weren’t part of the debate, but vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden did get some time in the spotlight on Wednesday.
 
At their final debate before the November 4 election, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain were each asked to rate the other’s vice presidential pick.
 
vps.jpgObama, when asked whether Palin, the governor of Alaska, was qualified to be president, demurred.
 
“You know, I think it’s — that’s going to be up to the American people,” the Illinois senator said. “I think that, obviously, she’s a capable politician who has, I think, excited the — a base in the Republican Party.”
 
Notice he did not mention her level of experience. 
 
McCain, when asked about Biden, said he disagreed with his Senate colleague but declared him qualified to be in the White House. “I think that Joe Biden is qualified in many respects. But I do point out that he’s been wrong on many foreign policy and national security issues, which is supposed to be his strength,” McCain said.
 
“In Iraq, he had this cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries,” the Arizona senator continued. “There are several issues in which, frankly, Joe Biden and I open and honestly disagreed on national security policy, and he’s been wrong on a number of the major ones.”

Last presidential debate ends, will the spread narrow?

October 16, 2008

The third and final presidential debate is over after intense sparring between Republican hopeful John McCain and rtx9lnj.jpgDemocratic contender Barack Obama.

Does Joe the Plumber know Joe Six-Pack?

October 16, 2008

(Corrects third paragraph to say Joe about to buy a business) 

Joe the Plumber was the surprise star of the third and final presidential debate, getting no less than 13 mentions in the opening minutes.

McCain, Obama tussle over backing Bush’s policies

October 16, 2008

President George W. Bush is not running for office in November but he was a big topic of conversation in the final presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
 
rtx9l0n.jpgObama often says that his rival would represent a continuation of the policies of the unpopular current president, and at the debate pointed to McCain’s support for four of the last five Bush budgets, which he argued have led to record deficits.