Archives for Politics

Can Rick Perry stay on top?

The Republican race for the White House is about to accelerate dramatically, with a series of debates and events testing whether Rick Perry has staying power and Mitt Romney can keep focusing on the president instead of his GOP rivals. September also may settle the field for good, with Sarah Palin perhaps deciding at last whether to run. Perry, the Texas governor, jolted the party last month by leaping to the top of several national polls within days of joining the race. Now, three scheduled debates in 16 days, the first on Wednesday in California, will show how well he
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Religion and politics: Always a volatile mix

Rick Perry dived right in. The Texas governor, now a Republican presidential candidate, held a prayer rally for tens of thousands, read from the Bible, invoked Christ and broadcast the whole event on the Web. There was no symbolic nod to other American faiths, no rabbi or Roman Catholic priest among the evangelical speakers. It was a rare, full-on embrace of one religious tradition in the glare of a presidential contest. Looks like another raucous season for religion and politics. And yet, there was a time when all of this was simpler. Protestants were the majority, and candidates could show
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GOP leaders oust tea party-backed New Hampshire chairman

A tea party-backed chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party — under fire for lackluster fundraising, election losses and inexperience on the job — resigned just minutes before fed-up GOP leaders could remove him. Jack Kimball — who became chairman just seven months ago as part of the much-heralded “tea party revolution” in New Hampshire — stepped down, telling supporters “I am not going to become an obstacle for this party.” His forced resignation is widely viewed as another sign of the tea party’s declining fortunes and a move by Republican leaders who are trying to take back control of
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Pawlenty vs. Bachmann: A good political feud

Call it the Minnesota feud — Iowa style. The simmering rivalry between Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann spilled out onto the campaign trail Monday as the two Minnesotans campaigned in the leadoff caucus state three weeks before a test vote by Iowa Republicans that could hinder or help their presidential bid. “She has a record for saying things that are off the mark and this is another example of that,” Pawlenty told 125 people in a Davenport restaurant as he responded to Bachmann’s criticism a day earlier that he had espoused the same policies as President Barack
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For 2012, Obama thinks big; GOP wants small

Republicans hope voters’ fears about jobs and the economy will help them reclaim a handful of Mountain West and Southern states that were crucial to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential win. Obama’s campaign appears just as determined to hold those states next year and force Republicans to spend precious resources defending places they’d like to consider safe. Every four years, political operatives fixate on the dozen or so states that always decide close presidential elections. This time, Obama hopes to play on as big an Electoral College map as possible, and his team insists it will compete for the first time
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Mass exodus: Senior Gingrich campaign aides quit

The entire top echelon of New Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. Rick Tyler, the former U.S. House speaker’s spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his campaign headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign. Scott Rials, a longtime aide
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Bikers to Palin: ‘Go home bitch”

Sarah Palin tried to bring her carnival sideshow to the annual Rolling Thunder Ride to the Wall Sunday but the bikers quickly put her in her place — “riding bitch” on the back of another woman’s Harley-Davidson. Palin tried to turn an uninvited visit to the gathering of biker veterans and supporters into a photo op to kick off another of her bus tours but event organizers told her that she was welcome to ride on a bike in the event but did not let her speak or become part of the official program. Many of the hundreds of thousands
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Palin’s presidential plans: Will she or won’t she?

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has authorized a feature-length film about her rise, added staff and recently said she has “that fire in the belly” for a presidential bid — all steps that fuel speculation she’s inching toward a White House run. Her supporters are putting together a campaign-in-waiting in Iowa, the lead-off nominating caucus, in the hopes the Republicans’ 2008 vice presidential nominee decides to join the race. There are even reports she bought a home in Arizona, not far from her daughter’s, which aides have suggested could be a campaign headquarters if she goes forward. Clearly Palin will
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Newt: 2012 election most important since 1860

Republican Newt Gingrich told a Georgia audience on Friday evening that the 2012 presidential election is the most consequential since the 1860 race that elected Abraham Lincoln to the White House and was soon followed by the Civil War. Addressing the Georgia Republican Party’s convention, Gingrich said the nation is at a crossroads and that the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama would lead to four more years of “radical left-wing values” that would drive the nation to ruin. Gingrich also blasted Obama as “the most successful food stamp president in modern American history.” The former House speaker gave his
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Tea party goes after Olympia Snowe

Maine’s Olympia Snowe has long thrived as one of the Senate’s leading GOP moderates, but she has recently sided with tea partyers on high-profile votes involving Libya, the budget and the environment as she braces for a primary challenge from the right. Such votes could help Snowe fend off tea party foes who mock her as a “RINO” — Republican In Name Only — and hope to sink her bid for a fourth term next year. Snowe insisted she’s been true to her moderate roots. “I am who I am,” Snowe said. “I haven’t changed.” Another test for Snowe could
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