Politics

Obama wins Vermont, Ohio too close to call

Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama won an easy victory in Vermont Tuesday, giving him 12 straight primary wins but early returns in Ohio appear to give Hillary Clinton a new lease on her political life.

John McCain won handily in Vermont and Ohio and appeared well on his way to officially capturing the GOP nomination.

Polls closed in East Texas at 8 p.m. EST and Obama held a 100,000 edge with 1 percent of the vote in. West Texas polls close at 9 p.m. EST.

Road blocks on Obama’s nomination expressway?

A week ago, a surging Barack Obama looked towards today’s primary races in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont as deal closers — the elections that would send Hillary Clinton packing and seal his drive towards the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Today, with lingering questions about his ties to a corrupt Chicago deal maker and conflicting reports about what his trade adviser may or may not have told the Canadian government, Obama could hit a roadblock on his road to inevitability.

As in past elections, Obama’s chances for another round of primary wins depends heavily on turnout. Early voting in Texas shows signs of a record count and long lines at polling places are expected in the other states but polls in Ohio and the Lone Star state show a race that is deadlocked.

Tracking polls suggest Obama’s race may be stuttering under the glare of increased scrutiny but — as New Hampshire and other states have shown in this unpredictable primary season — polls don’t always predict the final outcome.

All hat, no cattle and little scrutiny

My part of the country — deep South Texas — doesn’t usually get as much political attention as it has gotten during the last two weeks. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both addressed large crowds here, Ted Kennedy rallied Obama supporters on the campus of the college where I work, and Bill Clinton has been to town twice.

But the stakes down here are high; by the time you read this, the Texas Democratic Party primary (March 4) could be over, and so could Clinton’s campaign.

Reclaiming the American dream

Most Americans have simple dreams. A job that can support a family. Health care we can count on and afford. A retirement that is dignified and secure. Education and opportunity for our kids.

But today, the price of the American dream is going up.

All across the country, Americans are working harder for less. We’ve never paid more for health care or for college. It’s harder to save, and it’s harder to retire. There are things we need to do right now to give our economy a boost, but a short-term stimulus is not enough. We have to put the American dream on a firmer foundation.

Hyphens, history and hypocrites

Each week, I receive at least one letter or e-mail from a white person asking me to explain why blacks hyphenate their identity, referring to themselves as African-Americans. And each week, I receive a least one correspondence admonishing blacks for bringing up the past. “I didn’t own slaves, and I’m sick and tired of you people always whining about old history,” one man wrote the other day. “We need to be one nation and one people.”

New questions on Obama’s honesty

Barack Obama’s senior economic policy advisor threw a monkey wrench into the Democratic frontrunner’s smooth-running campaign machine recently by telling Canadian government officials the candidate’s tough talk on NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric.

The campaign turned up the spin machine Sunday in an effort to blunt a memo about the meeting, saying the Canadian official who wrote the memo misquoted Obama policy advisor Austan Goolsbee.

Suggestions of campaign doublespeak come as Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton head into crucial big state primaries in Texas and Ohio.

The corrupt skeleton in Barack Obama’s closet

As Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama heads into two crucial big-state primaries that could seal his hold on the nomination, serious questions remain unanswered about his relationship with a Syrian-born Chicago businessman and political fixer targeted by the federal government for corruption, extortion and money laundering.

Even as he claims to represent change and campaigns as an alternative to “business as usual” politics, Obama cannot escape the fact that he is a product of old-style, corrupt Chicago politics.

For Clinton, the ‘Bill’ may be overdue

From the beginning, political pros worried that Bill Clinton would be the real problem for Hillary Clinton’s quest to become America’s first woman President. It wasn’t just just the womanizing that bothered campaign strategists but they also expressed concerns about his enormous ego and desire to hog the spotlight.

Democratic candidates deadlocked in Ohio, Texas

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked in Texas and Ohio heading into potentially decisive presidential showdowns, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle poll released on Saturday.

Clinton is fighting to save her White House candidacy in the two primaries on Tuesday. Obama, an Illinois senator, has beaten her in 11 consecutive contests to take control of the race for the Democratic nomination in November’s presidential election.

Bush aide resigns after plagiarism revealed

An aide to US President George W. Bush resigned Friday over charges he had resorted to plagiarism in his writings.

Timothy Goeglein, who served as a liaison between Bush and religious organizations, “accepted responsibility for the columns published under his name in his local newspaper, and has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the President,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.