Politics

Obama sets money record: $32.5 million

Sen. Barack Obama outraised Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by $10 million in second-quarter contributions that can be spent on the Democratic presidential primary contest, aided by the contributions of 154,000 individual donors.

Obama’s campaign on Sunday reported raising at least $31 million for the primary contest and an extra $1.5 million for the general election from April through June, a record for a Democratic candidate.

Brownback details ‘hatred’ of Clintons

Sam Brownback says he harbored a “hatred” of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton until he experienced a religious awakening in the mid-1990s.

Brownback, a Republican presidential hopeful, details in a new book how the change in outlook led him to make a stunning apology to Hillary Clinton a few years later during a Senate prayer breakfast.

“I was considering what I should say when I confronted all the anger that I held for the Clintons,” the Kansas senator writes in the book, “From Power to Purpose: A Remarkable Journey of Faith and Compassion.”

The Paris Hilton of politics

Ann Coulter is the Paris Hilton of politics, the blonde bimbo liberals love to hate but also one that TV loves to promote because putting her on the air drives up ratings and public debate.

Outrageous? Damn right she is. That’s her stock in trade, her modus operandi, her act. Like Hilton, she’s a self-promoting media machine that feeds on a public appetite for excess.

There have been many debates over whether or not Coulter actually believes the hate she spews. The same questions circle around other right-wing demagogues: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Savage, et. al.

Her fans claim Coulter is the right-wing’s sex symbol, a leggy blonde who favors short skirts and low-cut blouses but others wonder if her bile is fueled by anorexia. Her hard features remind us more of the skank we too often woke up next to after a hard night of drinking. A closer examination reveals she has been rode hard and put up wet a few times too many.

Fred Thompson: What, me lobby?

Fred Thompson, a likely Republican presidential candidate, on Tuesday defended his work as a Washington lobbyist, telling The Associated Press that lobbying is an important part of life because “government’s got their hands in everything.”

The actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee added, “Nobody yet has pointed out any of my clients that didn’t deserve representation.”

Thompson, who likes to cast himself as a political outsider, earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government for more than 20 years. He lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry’s collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.

Edwards turns attacks into campaign cash

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Wednesday encouraged his supporters to donate to his campaign in response to “hateful” comments from conservative author Ann Coulter.

Edwards made his first comments to The Associated Press in response to Coulter’s suggestion that she wished he would be “killed in a terrorist assassination plot.” His campaign cited her remarks in two e-mails and a telephone text message to supporters for donations, with the fundraising deadline on Saturday.

Thompson gets ex-wife, ex-girlfriend vote

Things must be going well for prospective presidential candidate Fred Thompson because even his ex-wife and former girlfriends are endorsing him.

One-by-one they’ve said the Tennessee Republican is their man — at least for president, according to London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

The former senator and Hollywood actor is to hold the first fund-raising event for his potential campaign on Tuesday in Nashville, ahead of stops in early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire this week.

Political anger, invective on the rise

Politics has long been a dirty business but many say the growth of the Internet and increase of web sites that deal with politics have turned political debate into a trash-talking free-for-all.

News web sites, including Capitol Hill Blue, have struggled to find a balance between encouraging open discussion of political issues and controlling the increase in invective that threatens to take over political debate.

Political discussion boards have become hotbeds of insults, threats, anger and hate.

The blogger-in-chief

If Republican Fred Thompson enters the presidential race next month as expected, the actor and former senator will be aiming to add another title to a crowded resume — blogger-in-chief.

Thompson has been contributing frequently to conservative Web sites as he gears up for a 2008 presidential bid, posting thoughts on topics ranging from the French election to the Middle East and the immigration debate.

While the Internet and blogs are a basic cornerstone of any modern campaign communications strategy, Thompson has been notably enthusiastic about expressing his thoughts online.

McCain: What, me worry?

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday dismissed polls that show him slipping into single digits, arguing that his campaign is going through the typical ups and downs and will be fine this fall.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Arizona senator also defended his support for a bipartisan immigration bill, a stance that has undercut his bid in early voting South Carolina.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee acknowledged that his backing for the Iraq war has hurt his candidacy elsewhere in the country.

Obama: Close Gitmo now!

Barack Obama told a Texas crowd on Sunday that he wants the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee facility closed — a step the Bush administration is considering.

The Democratic presidential hopeful pledged to work side-by-side with the rest of the world on issues like nuclear proliferation, poverty, economic development in Latin America and the violence in Darfur.

“While we’re at it,” he said, “we’re going to close Guantanamo. And we’re going to restore habeas corpus. … We’re going to lead by example — by not just word but by deed. That’s our vision for the future.”