Politics

A candidate by any other middle name

What’s in a name? Not much it seems for a U.S. presidential hopeful whose first name is Hillary.

On her U.S. Senate Web site, she is New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. But on her 2008 presidential campaign site, she is Hillary Clinton.

Does she have a preference? “No,” campaign spokesman Phil Singer said on Friday.

It’s not just an Internet thing. The candidate used Rodham on her official campaign forms, but the name is missing from her campaign bumper stickers, and she is often introduced as just Hillary Clinton.

Romney aide may have posed as cop

An ever-present aide to Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney took a leave of absence Friday after he became the subject of investigations in two states for allegedly impersonating a law enforcement officer. His attorney denied the charges.

Jay Garrity, who serves as director of operations and is constantly at the side of the former Massachusetts governor, is accused of leaving a lengthy message with the answering service of a plumbing company on Mother’s Day, identifying himself as “Trooper Garrity” of the Massachusetts State Police and complaining about erratic driving by a company driver.

Hillary courts the libs

Trying to win over her party’s liberal activists, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused President Bush of disregarding the Constitution and promised to bring a new progressive vision to the White House.

Bush’s government has “a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok,” she said in one of the more partisan speeches of her campaign. “It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.”

Edwards used non-profit for self-promotion

When John Edwards pursued his crusade against poverty in 2005, he created a nonprofit center that allowed him to maintain a high profile — and avoid the legal scrutiny aimed at presidential candidates.

Not that Edwards was running for the White House at that point. Fresh from his loss as Democratic nominee John Kerry’s running mate in 2004, he would not declare himself a candidate for president until late in 2006.

Rudy admits mistake joining Iraq group

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Wednesday defended his decision to quit the Iraq Study Group before it finished its work, saying he realized it was “a mistake” to have joined the panel just as he was about to launch his presidential campaign.

Following a campaign speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Giuliani was peppered with questions about his short-lived service on the non-partisan panel, which Congress created to make recommendations about the future of the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

Bill Richardson gets down and dirty

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who began his race for the Democratic presidential nomination by asking competitors to sign a pledge to run only positive campaigns, is now poking sharp words at the leading Democratic candidates on Iraq as he tries to climb out of fourth place in the polls.

Richardson told a conference sponsored by liberal groups this week that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Joe Biden of Delaware and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina had all either voted for or supported bills or resolutions with timetables and “loopholes” that would allow a president to “leave an undetermined number of troops in Iraq indefinitely.”

Rudy’s South Carolina chairman indicted

Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s South Carolina state chairman stepped down Tuesday after a federal grand jury indicted him on cocaine charges.

Thomas Ravenel, South Carolina State Treasurer, is a former real estate developer and a rising star in southern politics.

The indictment came as a second blow to Giuliani’s troubled campaign for President this week, hard on the heels of revelations that the former New York mayor who became a symbol of the city’s struggles in the 9/11 terrorist had quit the Iraq Study Group panel to hit the lecture circuit and earn millions.

Bloomberg quits Repubican Party

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now a politician looking for a party.

He may also be looking at a run for the President as an independent in 2008.

Bloomberg quit the Republican Party Tuesday, saying “the politics of partisanship…have paralyzed decision-making.”

The break is not a surprise. Bloomberg is a frequent critic of President George W. Bush’s policies. He also was a lifelong Democrat before switching to the GOP in 2001 for his first run for Mayor.

Obama admits a ‘dumb mistake’

In a rare moment of political candor, Democratic Presidential contender Barack Obama Monday admitted his campaign screwed up big time by sending out a memo criticizing opponent Hillary Clinton’s financial ties to India.

“It was a dumb mistake on our campaign’s part and I made it clear to my staff in no uncertain terms that it was a mistake,” Obama told the Associated Press in a brief interview in which he referred to the memo as “unnecessarily caustic.”

Obama, Thompson lead in South Carolina

South Carolina appears poised to shake up the 2008 presidential race, with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Fred Thompson the frontrunners in a new state survey by Mason-Dixon.

With strong support from the African American community, Illinois Senator Obama has assumed a strong lead over New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. On the Republican side, Thompson zoomed to the top spot, slightly ahead of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, even though he hasn’t yet announced his bid for the GOP nomination.