Politics

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.”

Mrs. Edwards supports gay marriage

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, kicked off San Francisco’s annual gay pride parade Sunday by splitting with her husband over support for legalized gay marriage.

“I don’t know why someone else’s marriage has anything to do with me,” Mrs. Edwards said at a news conference before the parade started. “I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”

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.”