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.

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“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.

Bush’s laws will be scrutinized if I become president, Obama says

rtx69fr.jpgDENVER – Maybe it’s his background teaching constitutional law.

If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.

Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.

During a fund-raiser in Denver, Obama — a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School — was asked what he hoped to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.

“I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution,” said Obama

Baby gets baptised, with a visit from Clinton

hillary-smile.jpgBOWLING GREEN, Kentucky – Katelyn Jenkins got a surprise visit from Sen. Hillary Clinton on one of the biggest days of her life so far. But odds are, she didn’t even notice.

The eight-week-old girl was getting baptised on Sunday morning at the State Street United Methodist Church, where the Democratic presidential contender paused in her campaigning to attend services.

At the sight of the former first lady, the baby’s father said: “I was pleasantly surprised and amazed.”

Obama takes on Clinton’s “electability” argument

obama3.jpg DURHAM, N.C. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama took aim on Monday at his rival Hillary Clinton’s argument that he is less electable than her given his recent series of troubles and because he has not been fully “vetted.”

Amid a flap over comments from his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and other controversies, Obama has seen his poll numbers slide lately against both Clinton and the Republican candidate for November’s election, John McCain.

Obama publicly denounced Wright last week after the pastor moved back into the spotlight and repeated his inflammatory charges that the Sept. 11 attacks were in part retribution for U.S. policy and that the government spread AIDS to harm blacks.

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

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

Clinton, who depicts herself as a fighter in her campaign speeches, has pounced on the Illinois senator’s critique of a television debate last week in which he was put on the defensive about issues such as whether he wears a flagpin and the fiery rhetoric of his pastor. She accused him of not being able to handle media scrutiny.

But Obama said it was the New York senator and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who have been thin-skinned about press questions.

Democrats mix criticism of McCain with praise

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Republican Sen. John McCain’s personal narrative as a war hero in Vietnam has Democrats treading carefully when they criticize him. 

Instead of trading barbs with each other, Democratic White House hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton this week have trained their attention on McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. 

mccain21.jpgObama, an Illinois senator, and Clinton, a New York senator, have assailed McCain for his support for the Iraq war and his backing of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.