McCain captures New Hampshire

Arizona Sen. John McCain, written off for dead last year in the GOP Presidential sweepstakes, pulled off an solid win in the New Hampshire primary, easily defeating former front runner Mitt Romney and Iowa winner Mike Huckabee.

The networks called the race for McCain within minutes of the polls closing. With more than 65 percent of the vote counted, McCain had 37 percent, Romney 31 percent and Huckabee was a distant third at 12 percent.

Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul battled for fourth place and non-factor Fred Dalton Thompson scored just over one percent.

Is it normal to be broke?

Sen. Barack Obama is running for the White House, but it was not so long ago that he was so broke his debit card was declined.

At an unscheduled campaign stop at Vessels & Jewels store in New London, Obama bought a necklace for each of his two young daughters and a key chain, spending $37 on his debit card.

Waiting for his receipt, the man who is hoping to be elected as America’s first black president turned to an aide and said, “Have I told you the story of the 2000 convention?”

Can Obama, McCain capture New Hampshire?

New Hampshire goes to the polls Tuesday for the second key clash of White House hopefuls, with surging Democrat Barack Obama likely to deal a second defeat to former first lady Hillary Clinton.

Just five days after his Iowa triumph spun momentum into his White House quest, Obama enjoyed a solid lead in New Hampshire and for the first time shattered Clinton’s advantage among Democratic voters nationally, polls showed.

In a rare emotional display, Clinton choked back tears on the campaign trail Monday as the strain of her damaged White House bid showed through.

The false promise of change

With all this talk about change from the presidential aspirants, one should remember that in politics, as in few other endeavors, the more things change the more they stay the same. Reinforcing the truth of this cliche, of course, is the fact that the c-word has been the universal theme of candidates for public office almost since the invention of elections.

Race is still an issue with Obama

In light of Barack Obama’s victory in the Iowa caucuses, I am revisiting a column I wrote on Oct. 29, 2006, about Obama’s presidential candidacy. I argued that his overnight rise to national prominence has everything to do with race, that many whites will vote for him because he does not make them feel uncomfortable.

I have not changed my mind.

Taking the time to actually vote

In an era when we are too lazy to get out of our cars to get a $3 cup of coffee at Starbucks, why should we have to get out of our jammies to vote for president? California elections officials, always catering to apathetic voters, agree and have decided that going to the polls is so last century. Now they’re pushing us to vote by mail so we won’t be inconvenienced by participating in our democracy.

John McCain’s last stand

Time has thinned the nimbus of white hair and leavened his irreverence; the maverick mischief-maker of 2000 is no more.

Yet, as Sen. John McCain tries one last time for the White House and the resurrection of a campaign that was consigned to history’s dustbin six months ago, the Arizona Republican’s moment may have finally arrived.

As the hours dwindled to Tuesday’s leadoff New Hampshire primary, polls show McCain is in a good position to win the contest and catapult to the top of the GOP presidential pack.

Ron Paul raises $20 million

Republican lawmaker Ron Paul has become a surprise fundraising star in the US presidential race, with a showing in the closing months of 2007 equaling that of political heavyweights Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Asked on CNN television to comment on reports that his campaign raised 20 million dollars in the final three months of 2007, the libertarian-leaning Paul credited his dedicated following of average Americans fed up with big-government and traditional politics.

Hillary tries to jump start losing effort

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s once-vaunted campaign continues to unravel as new polls show her falling farther and farther behind Barack Obama in New Hampshire and campaign contributors take a “wait and see” attitude.

Meanwhile, chaos escalates in the Republican camp where an Iowa win gives Mike Huckabee no help in New Hampshire and a resurgent John McCain becomes the new frontrunner.

A new USA Today poll shows Obama with a 13-point lead going into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and McCain with a four-point edge over former front runner Mitt Romney.

Playing a distinctive role

The Iowa caucuses are now firmly established as the first tangible hurdle in the American presidential marathon, where public sentiments measured by polls and parsed by pundits actually are translated into votes for nominees.

The large number of candidates seeking the presidency in 2008 has resulted in even greater focus on Iowa. Primaries have now been bunched closely together early in the year, promising vital momentum from an early win. Iowa victors Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama will receive nonstop coverage in the few days until the New Hampshire primary.