Politics

Passion drives Ron Paul supporters

Passengers on a plane leaving New York could see three words in 4-foot block letters painted on an East Village rooftop terrace as they ascended: GOOGLE RON PAUL. The entreaty to search the Internet for news of the Republican congressman from rural Texas is one of the more visible signs of enthusiasm from a do-it-yourself base of Web fans. Their support doesn’t show up in public opinion polls, but it’s unmatched among presidential candidates in its passion.

Hillary will dump crooked fundraiser’s cash

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will give to charity the $23,000 in donations she has received from a fundraiser who is wanted in California for failing to appear for sentencing on a 1991 grand theft charge.

The decision came Wednesday as other Democrats began distancing themselves from Norman Hsu, whose legal encounters and links to other Democratic donors have drawn public scrutiny in the past two days.

Europeans like Hillary for President

More than four in 10 French and Germans would like to see Democratic candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton elected US president in 2008, a survey by a Canadian pollster showed on Wednesday.

The Angus Reid institute also found Clinton to be the preferred candidate of British, Italian and Canadian respondents to its poll, which asked them to choose between eight of the US politicians running for the nomination.

Clinton, Dodd win union endorsements

Democrat Chris Dodd has earned the backing of the International Association of Fire Fighters, a major coup for the presidential hopeful, while leading contender Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton secured the endorsement Tuesday of the United Transportation Union.

The Dodd endorsement is the more surprising of the two, with the Connecticut senator lagging behind better-known rivals Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards in the latest polls.

A circular firing squad

Before anyone gets excited about Democratic presidential prospects next year, a perusal of modern day political history should amply remind one of the fallacy of overconfidence about a party that is utterly without a compass most of the time, even when Republicans are carrying the burden of a war and an unpopular lame duck president.

Once again it seems appropriate to quote humorist Will Rogers’ still valid assessment: “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

For Democrats, winning is the thing

It was just another refueling stop on the long, long drive to the convention in Denver.

When six Democratic presidential contenders took their turn addressing an Iowa labor group here this month, every one of them walked away recharged by audience applause.

But there was attentive silence, too, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York got to the bottom line in her closing remarks.

“I think we have to win this election,” she said, the inflection of her voice stressing the words.

She rattled off things her party’s faithful see in the balance — not only the war in Iraq, but health care, energy policy and economic issues.

Edwards, Clinton spar over lobbying

John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton tussled over accepting campaign contributions from powerful health care groups Monday at a forum on cancer that attracted four Democratic hopefuls.

Each candidate spoke separately at the Iowa event, with Edwards and Clinton focused on the ongoing debate among the party’s top-tier rivals over accepting campaign donations from lobbyists.

Another staffer bails on Thompson

Republican Fred Thompson sidestepped questions Monday about the departure of yet another high-level aide to his presidential campaign-in-waiting.

Linda Rozett, a longtime U.S. Chamber of Commerce official, is gone from the former Tennessee senator’s committee to “test the waters” of a presidential bid after spending the last several weeks as communications director.

“I don’t know what the story is,” said Thompson, who was asked about the departure while campaigning at the Minnesota state fair. “I don’t know what to say about it except that she’s a wonderful lady.”

Obama: ‘I’ll work with some Republicans’

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama often says he will be a candidate that will bring both parties together and Saturday he named a few of the Republicans he would reach out to if elected.

“There are some very capable Republicans who I have a great deal of respect for,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The opportunities are there to create a more effective relationship between parties.”

Among the Republicans he would seek help from are Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana, John Warner of Virginia and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Obama said.

Thompson likes his position

All-but-declared GOP candidate Fred Thompson said Saturday he is in a sound position to make a run for the nomination even though others announced their candidacies months ago.

“We have done within a few months what other people have spent much longer periods of time doing,” Thompson told reporters before delivering a keynote speech to the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference, which has drawn party activists from 12 states.