DALLAS – The Democratic Party remains staunchly behind a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Tales from the Trail
WASHINGTON – It’s not exactly news that Hillary Clinton‘s presidential bid was hobbled by a dysfunctional staff that seemed to spend more time battling each other than rivals like Barack Obama. Still, the Atlantic Monthly’s inside look at the Democrat’s campaign paints a detailed — and highly entertaining — picture.
ERIE, Pa. – After a week of slamming his opponent in a barrage of controversially negative advertisements, U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain spoke for more than 20 minutes Monday without mentioning Barack Obama by name once.
His audience seemed to like it.
“I want to hear more about the issues, not bickering between the candidates,” said Ron Holden, a locomotive assembly worker who listened to the Republican senator from Arizona address staff at a large GE Transportation plant here.
“I don’t want to hear about what Obama’s been doing from McCain and I don’t want to hear about McCain from Obama,” said Holden, a registered Democrat who said that he was undecided about which way he would vote in November.
McCain did aim one nuanced blow toward his Democratic rival, recalling Obama’s comment about bitter small town Americans clinging to their guns and their church.
Obama’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, had taunted him over the remark, saying it was evidence he was out of touch with heartland America. McCain gently took a leaf out of her playbook.
“You’re going to seeing a lot of me in this state and we’re going to be on the bus and we’re going to go from town to town, and we’re going to tell people that we know that they love the Second Amendment and cherish their religion, because they believe in America,” McCain said.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate John McCain conducted a whistle-stop tour through the Iowa State Fair on Friday but Freight Train was unimpressed.
The Arizona senator did what all politicians do at the fair. He pressed the flesh. He mounted a soapbox, actually a microphone placed behind bales of straw, and munched on some pork chops on a stick.
He may have won some votes when he praised the fair and its 1 million-plus visitors as true to the heartland of America. But he didn’t win over Freight Train.
The prize boar — all 1,259 pounds of him — stayed resolutely asleep throughout his visit, resting his enormous bulk on a bed of sand.
“I saw the new champion and world record-breaker boar, Freight Train. He’s in good health. I can tell you that,” McCain later said at a fund-raiser.
“I lament and had thought with some nostalgia about last year’s winner Big Red who is no longer with us. But perhaps I had part of him in a pepperoni pizza — who knows,” he said.
SACRAMENTO – Nothing like starting your vacation with an international crisis.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was Hawaii bound when it became clear he needed to make a public statement about the outbreak of violence between Georgia and Russia — as rival John McCain had already done — or risk looking out of touch.
Arrangements were hastily made for a quick press conference during a refueling stop in Sacramento.
American flags were found for a backdrop and Obama came into the small room to make his statement, still dressed in khakis, a black polo shirt and a light jacket.
“This is a volatile situation,” he said. “Obviously we’ll be getting updated on a regular basis. But what is clear is that Russia has invaded Georgia’s sovereignty … has encroached on Georgia’s sovereignty, and it is very important for us to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”
The Illinois senator still intends to duck out of the spotlight in the next week, but Friday was not the day to keep quiet.
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama thinks John McCain is losing his credibility as a maverick.
Sure, the Arizona Republican has sometimes refused to go along with his party. Sure, he has occasionally cussed out Senate colleagues. And, yes, the word “maverick” is regularly attached to his name in the media.
But that was before McCain became the Republican presidential candidate. Now, Obama says, he has started changing his positions to please the party.
“That doesn’t exactly meet my definition of a maverick,” the Democratic presidential candidate told supporters in Indiana this week.
“You can’t be a maverick when politically it’s working for you and not a maverick when it doesn’t work for you,” Obama said.
The Illinois senator began taking jabs at McCain’s maverick image after suffering a week of taunts and insults from the Arizona senator’s campaign. McCain’s aides ridiculed Obama as a celebrity and accused of him injecting race into the campaign.
With some polls showing McCain gaining ground and the two candidates in a virtual tie, Obama is fighting back with his own negative attacks.
He has rolled out speeches and an ad challenging McCain’s maverick image, ridiculing a recent TV spot that touted the Arizona senator as “the original maverick.”