Politics

Stuffing the ballot box?

Will they be checking for out-of-state IDs at the caucuses?

The major presidential campaigns are flooding the state with hundreds of field staffers, and there’s at least some concern that those operatives could show up for the Jan. 3 precinct caucuses and distort the outcome of the opening test of the presidential nominating season.

When in doubt, tax the rich

Democratic presidential hopefuls called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations Thursday and agreed in an unusually cordial debate that any thought of balancing the federal budget would have to wait.

“We’re not going to be able to dig ourselves out” of Bush-era deficits in the next year or two, said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of six Democratic rivals sharing a stage for the final time before Iowa’s leadoff Jan. 3 caucuses.

Hillary cans advisor for Obama slur

A top campaign adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned, a day after suggesting Democrats should be wary of nominating Barack Obama because his teenage drug use could make it hard for him to win the presidency.

Clinton herself apologized to Obama as they waited to fly to Iowa for a debate.

Obama’s campaign sent out a fundraising letter contending that “this kind of attack is becoming a pattern as Clinton’s support declines.”

A neanderthal named Huckabee

If you happen to be walking behind presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee, you might see a small trail of blood and hear a scraping sound. That’s because his knuckles are dragging.

Republicans out of touch with Latinos

An opportunity arose at Univision’s Republican Presidential Forum on Dec. 9 for one of the Republican candidates to break out from the pack.

The Spanish-language television network’s anchor Maria Elena Salinas asked the final question of the night. On reflection, it should have been the leadoff question.

Will Hillary need a Plan B?

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s backup plan if she falters in Iowa can be summed up in two words: New Hampshire.

Clinton’s Democratic team is preparing television ads here criticizing Barack Obama’s health care plan and working to build what campaigns call a firewall. If the Obama presidential campaign ignites in Iowa, she wants to be ready to cool him off in a state where her organization is strong and her support has proven durable.

Politics for rednecks

From behind an anchor desk ringed with empty Budweiser cans and Jack Daniel’s bottles, the pundits of “Red State Update” dissect election politics from the good ol’ boy point of view.

The Web-based sketches star “Jackie Broyles” and “Dunlap” deriding Democrats’ inability to talk to NASCAR fans or inflating and then deflating home state hero Fred Thompson. (He’s not lazy, the real-life former Tennesseans insist — “he’s just real old.”)

Lot’s of talk, no real answers

Republican presidential candidates failed to provide convincing or clear answers on issues of key importance to Latinos during a Univision-sponsored debate at the University of Miami Dec. 9.

Immigration was its central issue, with instant interpretation provided for the network’s Spanish-speaking audience.

Bill says Hillary ‘was always the one’

Campaigning for his wife, former President Clinton says that when they were starting out he was so struck by her intellect and ability he once suggested she should just dump him and jump into her own political career.

That didn’t happen, of course, and on Monday he gave an Iowa crowd his version of why it didn’t.