John McCain's presidential campaign has been likened to a pirate ship: A feisty captain, rhetorical saber in hand, leading a fiercely loyal crew against his Republican primary opponents.
The five experienced hands who navigated McCain's candidacy back from the brink of death are now charting the course toward the general election. All volunteers, his top advisers spent the weekend in Arizona plotting the transition.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton smothered Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain with kindness on Friday, then declared her rivals wrong on the issues and vowed to beat both in her quest for the presidency.
She said Obama, her Democratic foe, has run an "extraordinary campaign," and called McCain, the likely Republican nominee, "a man of great heroism."
But she said McCain represents "more of the same" in Iraq, and she cast Obama as an obstacle to universal health care. She also unveiled a tough new ad against Obama, accusing him of dodging debates.
Gathering strength, Sen. Barack Obama collected a key labor endorsement and coaxed away one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's delegates on Friday, at the same time he criticized his rival for supporting legislation harmful to workers.
"Her supporting NAFTA didn't give jobs to the American people," Obama said of the free trade agreement implemented while Bill Clinton was in the White House. "Her supporting a bankruptcy bill made it harder for people to get out of debt that didn't help them with the bills that were stacking up on their desks."
John McCain is wasting no time running a general election campaign as he settles into his newfound role as the Republican Party's presidential nominee-in-waiting.
"Both of them lack experience," the Arizona senator said Thursday about Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, now focusing entirely on his Democratic rivals and emphasizing his qualifications to be commander in chief.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton desperately wants meaningless wins in Florida and Michigan to turn into votes she can count on. It won't be easy with the Democratic National Committee rules standing in her way.
The DNC is refusing to back down from the tough sanctions it imposed on the two states, which held early contests in violation of party rules. They have been stripped of all their delegates to the national convention in August where either Clinton or rival Barack Obama will be nominated for president.
Much is being said in the media, town-hall meetings and rallies about Latinos choosing between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama as the next president of our country. Some pundits, Latinos included, predict the longtime "rift" between Latinos and blacks will come into play.
I disagree with those who buy into this so-called racial division. We should challenge that old view every time we hear or read about it.
More fuel for the immigration debate: The Pew Research Center says immigration will drive the U.S. population sharply upward between now and 2050 -- and will push whites into a minority.
The Hispanic population will triple in size to become 29 percent of an American population of 438 million people. Eighty percent of the increase will be due to immigrants and their U.S.-born children.
What will shifting demographics mean for America's future politics and culture? Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis, the moderators of RedBlueAmerica.com, weigh in.
Her nomination was supposed to be such a foregone conclusion that she didn't even mount substantial get-out-the-vote operations in key states, including Ohio and Texas. What happened to Hillary Rodham Clinton's cloak of inevitability?
Mathematically, the former first lady and current senator from New York could still win the Democratic presidential nomination and possibly the general election in November. But she's blown a 20-point lead. Winning is an uphill fight for her now.
In a fresh sign of trouble for Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the former first lady's congressional black supporters intends to vote for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and a second, more prominent lawmaker is openly discussing a possible switch.
Rep. David Scott's defection and Rep. John Lewis' remarks highlight one of the challenges confronting Clinton in a campaign that pits a black man against a woman for a nomination that historically has been the exclusive property of white men.
"You've got to represent the wishes of your constituency," Scott said in an interview Wednesday in the Capitol. "My proper position would be to vote the wishes of my constituents." The third-term lawmaker represents a district that gave more than 80 percent of its vote to Obama in the Feb. 5 Georgia primary.
Lewis, whose Atlanta-area district voted 3-to-1 for Obama, said he is not ready to abandon his backing for the former first lady. But several associates said the nationally known civil rights figure has become increasingly torn about his early endorsement of Clinton. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing private conversations.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's crushing losses in Maryland and Virginia highlight an erosion in what had been solid advantages among women, whites and older and working-class voters.
While this week's results can be explained by those states' relatively large numbers of blacks and well-educated residents — who tend to be Barack Obama supporters — her presidential campaign could be doomed if the trends continue.
Clinton is holding onto some of her supporters who are largely defined by race and often by level of education, such as low-income white workers and older white women, exit polls of voters show. She's been losing other blocs, again stamped by personal characteristics, such as blacks, men and young people both black and white, and better-educated whites.