Politics

Hillary & Obama play the race card

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have become embroiled in racially tinged disputes as large numbers of black voters prepare to get their first say in the Democratic presidential campaign.

The candidates and their surrogates are heating up their rhetoric, and it could prove to be combustible beyond South Carolina's Jan. 26 primary.

Republicans can still control their destiny

The opportunity for Republicans to hold onto the presidency in 2008 is far better than what conventional punditry would have us believe. But for Republicans to capture this opportunity, they are going to have to stop the destructiveness that has been fomenting inside the party and the mudslinging against their own.

As I wrote in a recent column, year-end highlights from the Pew Research Center show the Republican Party in a state that can be seen as either a glass half empty or half full.

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That's right. Blue's readers are now our bloggers. We want to widen the debate on politics in this country and feel that opening up our site to bloggers from all political persuasions and beliefs is a way to do so.

Minority voters take center stage

With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.

Historical realities suggest that blacks and Hispanics won’t play much of a role in determining the Republican Party presidential nominee. But this year’s Democratic primary and caucus schedule was designed specifically to give increased influence to minorities, particularly Latinos.

Economy, war top campaign issues

The faltering economy has caught the Iraq war as people's top worry, a national poll suggests, with the rapid turnabout already showing up on the presidential campaign trail and in maneuvering between President Bush and Congress.

Twenty percent named the economy as the foremost problem in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Friday, virtually tying the 21 percent who cited the war. In October, the last time the survey posed the open-ended question about the country's top issue, the war came out on top by a 2-1 majority.

Fred & Mike get down and dirty

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee went from Mr. Nice to Mr. Nasty when rival Fred Thompson started calling him what he considered a bad name — a liberal.

The Southerners are fighting on warmer, more familiar turf in South Carolina, which holds a Republican primary four days after Michigan votes on Tuesday. Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, wants to build on his victory in the Iowa caucuses, while Thompson, once a Tennessee senator, needs a victory to keep his campaign afloat.

Is Rudy Giuliani broke?

About a dozen senior campaign staffers for Rudy Giuliani are forgoing their January paychecks, a sign of possible money trouble for the Republican presidential candidate and last year’s national front-runner.

“We didn’t ask anybody to do it,” Giuliani told reporters Friday after a town hall meeting at a charter school in Coral Springs, Fla.

When in doubt, turn to tax breaks

Republican presidential rivals backed a blend of tax and spending cuts Thursday night to head off an election-year recession they generally agreed is avoidable. “We should reduce taxes on middle-income Americans immediately,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in a debate in the run-up to presidential primaries in Michigan and South Carolina, two states where unemployment exceeds the national average.

Are Republicans ready to rumble?

White House contenders fanned out Thursday as the gripping US presidential race headed into a series of make-or-break contests and rival Republicans limbered up for a debate “brawl.”

The Democratic field, thrown wide open by Hillary Clinton’s surprise win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, thinned out with the withdrawal of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Clinton’s vanquished opponent on Tuesday, Barack Obama, won the backing of 2004 Democratic standard-bearer John Kerry, as Obama wowed supporters in sunny South Carolina with his call that “our time for change has come.”

Will the real Hillary please stand up?

Ah, Hillary. We still don’t know who you are.

After 16 years of high Clinton drama, after dozens of books examining the former first lady from every angle and ideological viewpoint, after hundreds of speeches and campaign rallies, the percentage of Americans who feel they really understand the woman who could be the first female president of the United States remains astonishingly small.