Ron Paul’s funds tops other long shots

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman running a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, raised $2.4 million from April through June and ended the quarter with a similar amount in the bank, according to financial reports filed Sunday.

Dodd rips Edwards, Clinton over debates

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd on Saturday criticized rivals John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who were overheard discussing among themselves their hope of limiting the number of Democrats in presidential debates.

The private exchange was picked up by several broadcasters on an open microphone after an NAACP forum in Detroit on Thursday. All the Democratic contenders took part in the program, including Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich.

Gilmore drops long-shot Presidential bid

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore ended his long-shot campaign for presidency on Saturday.

The 57-year-old Republican said in a written statement that his late start, near the end of April, and the front-loaded primary schedule “have made it impractical to continue.”

McCain takes blame for lame campaign

Republican John McCain said Friday he was to blame for the weakened state of his presidential campaign that has undergone two major staff shake-ups in a week and is nearly broke.

“We’ve made mistakes,” the Arizona senator said during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio. “The responsibility is mine. I’m the candidate.”

Four days after accepting the resignations of his two top campaign aides, McCain said he didn’t do what was necessary to run a productive campaign and spent just as much as he brought in when he should have been saving up to pay for costly television advertisements for the heat of race.

Troubled McCain campaign retrenches

John McCain jettisoned his two top aides Tuesday as the one-time Republican front-runner struggled to right a presidential bid in deep financial and political trouble.

Campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver offered McCain their resignations, which the Arizona senator accepted with “regret and deep gratitude for their dedication, hard work and friendship.”

Cindy Sheehan threatens run against Pelosi

Cindy Sheehan, the slain soldier’s mother whose attacks on President Bush made her a darling of the anti-war movement, has a new target: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Sheehan, who announced in late May that she was departing the peace movement, said she decided to run against Pelosi unless the congresswoman moves to oust Bush in the next two weeks.

“I think all politicians should be held accountable,” Sheehan told The Associated Press on Sunday. “Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership. We hired them to bring an end to the war.”

Edwards: Count votes, not money

Presidential hopeful John Edwards said Saturday he’s raising enough money to compete in the early states and invoked Howard Dean’s 2004 fundraising totals as a cautionary tale.

“Money will not decide who the nominee’s going to be,” Edwards said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Everyone will remember Governor Dean who outraised everyone else by more than 2-to-1 and wasn’t able to win the nomination.”

Hypocrisy, thy name is Fred Thompson

The non-candidate that Republicans claim is their great conservative hope lobbied in 1991 for abortion rights — an action that contradicts his claim to Ronald Reagan’s right-wing legacy.

Fred Dalton Thompson, the on-again, off-again actor and sometimes Senator, represented the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, a pro-abortion group, and lobbied the administration of President George H.W. Bush to ease regulations that prevented clinics that received federal money from offering abortion counseling.

In true Reagan style, Thompson says he “has no recollection” of the lobbying activity.

Playing the blame game on pardons

The White House on Thursday accused former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, of hypocrisy for criticizing President George W. Bush’s decision to spare ex-aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby from prison.

The administration is on the defensive after Bush commuted Libby’s 2-1/2-year sentence in a CIA leak case. It took aim at Clinton for granting 140 pardons, including one for fugitive financier Marc Rich, in the last hours of his presidency.

Politics gets weird; the weird turn pro

It’s a strange world:

When doctors conspire to kill innocent people; when the president who insists on tough sentences for criminals lets a convicted felon who is a friend out of doing jail time; when a government that failed to protect its citizens from a killer hurricane’s wrath still hasn’t helped them rebuild two years later.

It’s a puzzling world:

When a once-popular presidential candidate, John McCain, is written off after raising “only” $24 million in six months; when a presidential candidate blasts the president for leniency toward a friend-scofflaw while her own husband, standing beside her, did the same thing; when the government pays farmers not to farm while importing tainted food.