Neither Hillary, Nor Rudy

There is a distinct possibility that the two people leading the national polls will fade away: Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. McCain used to be in the lead. But that was months and months back. Three months, now that's a long time in politics.

The endorsements tell you more about the past than the future. Hillary has so many endorsements because there are Democrats across the country who feel like they owe it to her husband.

Howard Dean had all the top labor endorsements in 2003.

The only people who matter are the voters. And they are only now beginning to pay attention.

Healthy, Respectful Competition

Obama and Clinton have that. They have both left room to team up.

It Could Be Volatile

You could have Barack Obama win Iowa, and Hillary Rodham win New Hampshire. And you could have Obama win Nevada and Hillary come a close second in South Carolina. At that point, despite saturation media coverage, you could have the February 5 states voting independent of how the first four states voted. And we could wake up the morning of February 6 not knowing who the nominee is. And at that point the campaigns better have plenty of cash to keep going for one more month.

It could be a roller coaster ride for a good two full months. That is one scenario.

Another scenario. Barack leads the polls in Iowa, and is second in New Hampshire. He wins Iowa, then he wins Nevada. And that leads to Hillary's lead in New Hampshire evaporating. He wins the state. And the gets him a landslide in South Carolina. The black folks down there are suddenly awake to the possibility of a black president. When they finally come, they come with a vengeance.

All that leads to a resounding Obama victory on February 5. Hillary concedes early morning February 6. By the end of that day, we know they have paired up.

Or. Obama slugs it through January, then through February, and early March we know it's him. He picks Eliot Spitzer to give the country a clean break from the 1990s.

In The News

No Holiday for Candidates Washington Post parades, rallies and other celebrations ..... hot dogs and hamburgers and ice cream ..... 119 days left in the year ..... the most front-loaded presidential voting schedule in history. .... midpoint in a marathon. .... there wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday morning from Portsmouth, N.H., to Sioux City, Iowa ...... ever-energetic Romney .... long-distance debate ..... It was 10 full months ago when the first candidate formally announced for president -- and it has been more than six months since that candidate formally quit the race. Everything seems accelerated in Campaign 2008 ...... Industrial-size barbecue grills ..... the annual picnic hosted by the Northwest Iowa Labor Council and the Woodbury County Democratic Party. ...... she did for Bill Clinton in 2004, writing in his name .... she's got a good backbone. She's got Bill to back her up ..... riffing through what has happened to the country since he left office ..... She said she would end the war in Iraq, but do so responsibly. ...... As she always does, she concluded with an appeal to Democrats to help make her the first female president in history. She talked about the parents who bring their daughters to her events and about the older women -- in their 90s -- who have said they hope she succeeds. She said these woman have told her they were born before women could vote in America and want to live long enough to see a woman in the White House. ......... Romney likes where he stands in the race for the Republican nomination. ..... I won the Iowa straw poll, I'm ahead here in New Hampshire, ahead in Michigan, ahead in the Nevada ....... two speeches, two town halls, marching in a parade and greeting voters over breakfast ..... several outfit changes .... Romney's manner never changed ..... ex-governor almost never ceased smiling ...... his usual hyper-focused self .... shaking more than a hundred hands, posing for dozens of pictures, and signing a slew of autographs, all in about 30 minutes. ...... Romney run is a family affair ..... the heavy involvement of the couple's five sons ...... Romney was the only one of the GOP contenders in New Hampshire on Labor Day ..... couldn't resist a few jabs at Thompson. "Why the hurry? Why not take a little longer?" ...... While the Democrats are increasingly beating up on each other and President Bush, the Republican candidates are unified: they can't bash Sen. Hillary Clinton enough. ...... "Hillary Clinton would bring change, but it would be a sharp left turn." ..... shaking hands with voters one at a time in tiny towns dotting western Iowa. ..... He called war "awful" and said it was "wretched beyond all description." ..... a retreat would lead to "genocide, chaos; they will follow us home." ...... "Too much blood spilt there already. We should've never been there." ........ Five months ago, McCain launched what was planned as a mega-campaign with a flashy tour of Iowa, kicking off a months-long spending spree that left his campaign broke. ...... "No Surrender Tour ..... "I've never said anything but that it would be long and hard and tough." ..... the electricians, the sheet metal workers, the operating engineers, and in greatest number, the coal miners ..... chiefs of the United Steel Workers and Mine Workers of America ..... Clinton has won the transportation workers and aerospace machinists, while Chris Dodd got the firefighters ...... it might be the largest Labor Day parade in the country, but such is the state of the decades-old struggle of the labor movement. There were plenty of gaps in the crowd along the route. ........ As Sen. Barack Obama led a rowdy mob down the street here during a Labor Day parade, an organizer wearing a Mitt Romney pin stood on the sidewalk and stared in astonishment. "It's going to be tough to beat that guy," he said, shaking his head, to another man with a Romney sign. ...... Obama (D-Ill.) has not picked up measurable steam in the national polls since he annouced his candidacy more than six months ago. His most obvious strength has been seen in the money he has raised and in the jaw-dropping size of the crowds he draws -- a sign of what his campaign says is its solid ground organization. ....... taking swipes at the Washington establishment and the "cynical math" he implied other candidates were using to calculate a narrow victory rather than a broad consensus. ....... "There are those who tout their experience working the system in Washington -- but the problem is that the system in Washington isn't working for us, and hasn't for a long time" ...... "Think about it. We've been talking about the health care crisis in this country for decades. Yet through Democratic and Republican administrations we've failed to act. And you know why -- because the drug and insurance industries have spent over a billion dollars on lobbying in the past ten years alone to block reform." ....... "Too many in Washington see politics as a game. And that is why I believe this election cannot be about those who can play this game better. It has to be about who can put an end to the game-playing. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high." ..... If the Milford parade several hours later was a snapshot of how Obama is faring, it bodes well. He drew by far the loudest and most boisterous group, who grew so enthusiastic about marching that they started down the road ahead of schedule -- and were thus banished by organizers to the back of the parade line. ..... The Obama crowd, with drums and brass instruments, yelled out: "Obama-oh-eight. Be a part of something great!" ..... she had been an ardent Bill Clinton supporter in the 1990s but could not support his wife. ..... they are the old politics and Hillary is a symbol of the old Washington." ...... Grossman, who has a two-year-old son, was one of a handful of supporters selected to have dinner with Obama on Monday night. Between that and walking with him in the parade, she said, it was one of the best days of her life.
The race for White House enters prime time CNN Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Democrats but in tight race in Iowa .... Rudy Giuliani leads Republicans, but pundits question if he will get nomination ..... in this hectic, fast-paced 2008 campaign season, it's been full speed ahead since the beginning of the year. ...... relatively few people across the country have been paying attention to the candidates up until now ..... now "each and every campaign stop counts ..... She's been touting her experience for months, but now Clinton is also emphasizing that she'll be an agent of change, and that voters don't have to choose between experience and change. ...... she's too entrenched with the status quo in Washington, and that she's too polarizing and not a breath of fresh air that can bring change ........ In New Hampshire, which holds the first primary, and South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary, Clinton remains ahead by a comfortable margin in most polls. ....... four years ago at this time, Howard Dean was skyrocketing in all the national surveys. The former Vermont governor and current Democratic National Committee chairman continued to surge into the autumn and early winter before crashing and burning in Iowa and New Hampshire in January 2004. ........ Obama may trail Clinton in the early national and state polls, but he does lead her in another crucial barometer, campaign cash. .... Obama is also drawing large crowds out on the trail. ...... In the modern primary era, the Republican candidate in the top spot the September before the primaries has won the nomination. But there are questions about whether that will hold this time around. ........ the former Massachusetts governor has a healthy lead in the state polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. ..... Romney's also number one among Republicans when it comes to the race for campaign cash. His large war chest has allowed him to spend millions on television ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. ....... Thompson .... lackluster speeches, disappointing fundraising, critical stories about his lobbying and staff shakeups ...... Republican voters are less enthusiastic about their current crop of candidates than Democratic voters.
After secretive Iraq detour, Bush heads to Australia summit Turkish Press
President Bush Hints At Possible Troop Withdrawals RTT News
Bush Says Pace of Progress May Mean Fewer US Forces (Update4) Bloomberg
Nepal government condemns attacks BBC News
Thompson entry to be watched for effect on Giuliani Newsday
Di confronted Camilla over affair Zee News Diana even warned Camilla to stay away from Charles. ... "couldn`t understand" what her husband saw in his former mistress .... "It was hard for Diana to understand what Charles saw in Camilla. I remember Diana telling me there were three people in her marriage and that she had confronted Camilla at one of the dinners they had - telling her to, `Back off and leave my husband alone`” ..... "She was really madly in love with Prince Charles, he was the love of her life. She was willing to do anything to make it work out. The only thing she could not tolerate was the one thing which would have allowed the marriage to continue - and that was to share Charles"
Tourists Flee As Felix Nears Honduras Forbes
Obama Critiques Clinton
Forbes Democrat Barack Obama on Monday sharpened his critique of lead rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, warning against a return to "divisive, special interest politics" that had demoralized the country even before President Bush took office. ....... "As bad as this administration has been, it's going to take more than just a change in parties to truly turn this country around" ...... "George Bush and Dick Cheney may have turned divisive, special interest politics into an art form, but it was there before they got to Washington. If you and I don't stand up to challenge it, it will be there long after we leave." ...... the latest volley in the "change versus experience" debate that has dominated the dialogue ..... she argued that only a president experienced in the ways of Washington could bring about real political transformation. ...... Obama struck back hard ...... his years as a community organizer and consensus builder ..... sought to frame his hope-driven message as an antidote to the cynicism of political insiders ..... "A lot of people who've been in Washington a lot longer than me, they've got better connections, they go(to the)right dinner parties, they know how to talk the Washington talk," he said. "I may not have the experience Washington likes but I believe I have the experience America needs right now." ....... both Obama and John Edwards have stepped up their claim that Clinton is too cautious and too conventional to bring real change to Washington. ...... He also vowed to tell the truth always as president. .... Obama had a full day of campaign appearances in New Hampshire, where polls show him trailing Clinton by a wide margin. .... He and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney exchanged greetings at the parade .... Obama scooped ice cream for several hundred supporters at an outdoor ice cream social.
Obama touts change, Clinton pitches experience Chicago Tribune "hope and change" .. not just rhetoric but rather "the causes of my life." ..... "Change is just a word if you don't have the strength and experience to make it happen," Clinton said ..... Romney weighed in with a prediction that Clinton would, in fact bring about change, only in the form of higher taxes, bigger government and greater tolerance for "illegal aliens." ...... In most of America, people were enjoying parades and barbecues on Monday ..... As an aide to Sen. John McCain sees it, the senator's weekend swing through Iowa and New Hampshire were more like "the re-re-kickoff." ..... The vast majority of voters aren't paying attention ..... there is a flood of advertising to come that could significantly alter perceptions. ...... push labor-law reforms through Congress that would make it easier for workers to organize.
Obama Touts His Outsider Theme New York Times she is the candidate who can most effectively navigate the political channels of Washington to bring about change. ...... Obama added a dash of vinegar to his line about pundits who believe he lacks experience. ...... Only time in Washington translates into wisdom ..... time served doesn’t guarantee judgment. A resume says nothing about character ..... Obama also left voters with another fresh thought: humility. ..... “I’m reminded every single day that I am not a perfect man. I will not be a perfect president,” he said. “But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.”
As Bush lands in Iraq, Clinton vows to end war AFP
With Big Lead, Is Clinton Beatable? ABC News Many New Hampshire voters believe Clinton can go all the way. .... Mandy Grunwald. "We worry about everything. We try to win every vote." ..... sometimes the front-runners fall flat. .... Edwards said that he believes Clinton is beatable and that his campaign has a good chance because of its momentum. ..... "The problem is most Americans don't feel like they're represented there." ...... some critics believe she has a likability problem. ..... Clinton said even if she heads the Democratic ticket, she fully expects a knockdown fight. ... "The idea that you're going to escape the Republican attack machine
Two-for-One Deal, Take Two Wall Street Journal "The day I'm elected," she said, "I'm going to be asking distinguished Americans -- including my husband -- of both parties, to start traveling around the world, and not just talking to governments and leaders, but talking directly to people and telling them that America is back." ........ Mr. Clinton has said he would continue as head of his Clinton Foundation .... "His expertise at handling high-pressure situations ...... the prospect of both Clintons in the White House doesn't bother him so much as "the idea of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton," with the two families taking turns in power. "What kind of message does that send to the rest of the world?" he said. "It's as if we're a monarchy." ......."Hillary is the best-prepared to be president of any nonincumbent I have ever had a chance to vote for" in 40 years, he said repeatedly. "You want to restore America's standing in the world overnight? Elect Hillary Clinton." ..... Obama has been a Clinton target for his relative inexperience and vague talk of "hope" for big changes. "You don't just do it by hoping it happens. You do it by hard work," she said ...... "Ultimately, to bring change, you have to know when to stand your ground and when to find common ground....You can't always demand everything your own way or you'll never get anything done in America."
Political Memo Bill Clinton’s Challenge: Keep the Focus on His Wife New York Times Mr. Clinton is famously garrulous on an impressive range of topics: Touring a New Hampshire fair on Sunday, he gave an impromptu master class to reporters on how to grow oversized watermelons and pumpkins. So when it comes to a subject he could dissect on a cellular level, like his wife, he could probably soliloquize for days. ....... Even if they were not married, he says, he would still campaign for her as the best candidate. ..... The inner wonk stays buried for this speech — he keeps the dry policy to under a minute. ..... “she has the best plan to give us a clean, green energy future to create jobs, not cost jobs.” ..... asserting that other nations and world leaders are pulling for Mrs. Clinton’s election in 2008. The leaders are not named but seem to be from all over — Asia, Africa, some in Europe, he has said. On Sunday he roped in voters across Europe and Canada as well, citing a new poll that found Mrs. Clinton more popular than the other American presidential candidates in those countries. ........ the closing anecdote: Mr. Clinton invariably chokes up or bites his lower lip as he recalls how a New York firefighter grabbed his arm on a golf course one day and told him that Mrs. Clinton recognized early the potential health threats of 9/11 and sought assistance for workers at the site who became ill. ..... “I was standing there in tears, practically,” Mr. Clinton said in Portsmouth, N.H., describing the firefighter’s praise for her. “He said, ‘I would do anything I could to make her the next president.’ ” .......... whether the Clintons can persuade the firefighter to appear on the campaign trail at some point and hail Mrs. Clinton ..... Mrs. Clinton’s speech sometimes drags. .... finds Mrs. Clinton’s stump speech to be awkward at times.
Campaigning in NH, Obama targets Clinton The Hill “We need to turn the page. We need to write a new chapter in American history,” Obama said. ...... Obama mentioned no fewer than three times that he was opposed to the Iraq war “from the start,” each time drawing his largest applause from the crowd....... Clinton’s and Obama’s efforts were a balance of their rock-star personas and the retail politics for which Iowa and New Hampshire are known. ..... took great pains Sunday and Monday to work the crowds, shaking hands and signing autographs. ...... healthcare .... “It should be our No. 1 domestic priority,” Obama told the table. “We’re going to fight for you.” ...... “He is so naïve,” Obama said, imitating critics. “He’s a hope peddler. He’s a hope monger. Well, I stand guilty as charged.” ..... Obama was joined by his wife and daughters, and the crowds in the park were younger than those greeting the Clintons the day before. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), who has endorsed Obama and introduced Michelle Obama at the event, said the senator is making politics “cool again.”
Starting gun fires, for real, in White House race AFP the most intense US election in decades hit top gear awash in historic potential. ...... a four month sprint ... The Clintons drew huge crowds at a rally under the hot sun in the city of Concord, marvelled at giant pumpkins at a rustic country fair, and wooed voters in an idyllic square here, as dusk fell over a floodlit church spire. ....... The former first lady claimed the legacy of her husband's two-term presidency .... arguing that her simple crusade to become the first woman US president proved she embodied change. ..... Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by the Police. ..... Obama paints the Clintons and President George W. Bush as purveyors of a soiled brand of partisan politics, as he sets his sights on the former first lady in his quest to become America's first black president. ...... "We need a woman in there to clean things up," she said. "Obama is good, but she knows what our lives are like," she said. ..... Mitt Romney, a multi-millionaire businessman credited with saving the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from financial ruin, leads in Iowa and New Hampshire