Archives for Politics

John Carney is a rare ray of hope for Democrats

John Carney of Delaware is a rarity in a campaign season of foreboding for Democrats, a practicing politician with a strong chance of winning a Republican-held seat in Congress. Not that Carney is interested in attaching any national significance to his race. “I’ll support (President Barack Obama) when I think he’s right and I won’t when I think he proposes something that isn’t in the best interests of Delaware,” he says. But with House Republicans on offense in dozens of races in all regions of the country, victories by Carney and a few others challenging for GOP-held seats — most
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Beck: America ‘wandered in darkness’ for too long

From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck told the tens of thousands of activists he drew from around the nation Saturday that the U.S. has too long “wandered in darkness.” His rally’s marquee speaker, Sarah Palin, praised “patriots” in the audience for “knowing never to retreat.” The two champions of the tea party movement spoke from the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago. Some civil rights leaders who have denounced Beck’s choice of a venue staged a rival rally to honor King. Palin, the 2008
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Dems cheer GOP discord

A Republican civil war is raging, with righter-than-thou conservatives dominating ever more primaries in a fight for the party’s soul. And the Democrats hope to benefit. The latest examples of conservative insurgents’ clout came Tuesday at opposite ends of the country. In Florida, political newcomer Rick Scott beat longtime congressman and state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. And in Alaska, tea party activists and Sarah Palin pushed Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the brink of defeat, depending on absentee ballot counts in her race against outsider Joe Miller. The GOP is likely to survive its bitter intraparty
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McCain rebounds

The cast of “Survivor” has nothing on Sen. John McCain. Once labeled a vulnerable incumbent, the four-term Arizona Republican is the clear front-runner against challenger J.D. Hayworth after spending some $20 million and casting his GOP opponent as a late-night infomercial huckster in a series of devastating ads. The primary is Tuesday. McCain, who turns 74 on Aug. 29, has survived the deadly 1967 explosion on the USS Forrestal, 5 1/2 years in a Vietnam POW camp after being shot down near Hanoi and skin cancer. Politically, he has persisted through the Keating Five savings and loan scandal, and two
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Dems scramble to avoid slaughter in midterms

Under no illusions about their challenges this fall, Democrats are expressing optimism that the party’s financial might and voter turnout operations will help stem widespread losses. The GOP’s governing track record may help, too, they say. “There’s a lot of doom and gloom about it, but I think we’re going to do a lot better than people think,” Tim Kaine, the Democratic Party chairman, told Democratic National Committee members at a two-day meeting. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I think a number of factors are moving in the right direction for us.” He pointed to strong July
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Name-calling dominates campaigns

Name-calling is a winner this campaign season. By a landslide. In Illinois, dueling political wordsmiths long ago cast the Senate race as a choice between a “mob banker” and a “serial liar.” The rivals are more generally known as Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat, and Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican. One of them will soon trade in his label for another: the distinguished senator from Illinois. Then there’s Connecticut, and a statement the Democratic National Committee sent around referring to the Republican Senate candidate as Linda “crotch-kicker” McMahon. Asked about his choice of words, spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in an e-mail:
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Quayle calls Obama ‘worst president in history’

The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle unveiled a TV campaign ad Wednesday in his bid for Congress in which he calls President Barack Obama “the worst president in history” and tells Arizona voters that he wants to “knock the hell” out of Washington. Ben Quayle’s provocative ad, aimed at voters in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District ahead of the Aug. 24 GOP primary, was released amid allegations that he posted items under an alias for a racy social website a few years ago. In the campaign ad, the 33-year-old Quayle faces the camera directly and begins by saying, “Barack
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In this election year, inexperience pays off

All hail inexperience — the less familiarity with politics the better, no matter the party or state. “This election is the first time my name has ever been on a ballot,” appointed Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said Tuesday night, hours after dispatching his rival in a bitter Democratic primary. Two major mountain ranges away, first-time Republican candidate Linda McMahon said it slightly differently. “The support of the voters of Connecticut isn’t bestowed by the establishment or the pundits or the media. It isn’t a birthright,” the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive said after winning the GOP senatorial nomination in
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Colorado’s three-ring political circus

In an election year already notable for anti-establishment fervor and spoiler candidates, nothing beats Colorado’s political circus. Party elites have lost control of the nominating process in the state’s three biggest races: the Democratic Senate primary and the GOP contests for governor and Senate. With Tuesday’s primary looming, incumbents and veteran politicians are wondering what hit them. After spending $5.8 million, some of it raised by President Barack Obama, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet had to give his campaign a last-minute $300,000 loan to try to counter a blistering attack ad from intraparty rival Andrew Romanoff. In the Republican Senate showdown,
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A political dynasty ends

They called it “Team Kilpatrick,” a small army of family and friends dedicated to keeping a Detroit congresswoman and her brash, rising star son in office. As election cycles rolled around, team members donned their trademark green and yellow jackets and poured into Detroit’s neighborhoods to knock on doors, pass out literature and get people to the polls. Until now, it always worked. But the formidable machine that helped keep Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in Congress and put her son, Kwame, in the Detroit mayor’s office may have finally ground to a halt with Ms. Kilpatrick’s defeat this week in her
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