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.

Waving the political red, white & blue

Presidential politics spiced up Independence Day celebrations across Iowa on Wednesday, as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney competed for attention in the same parade and four other 2008 candidates blanketed the state.

Crowds jammed front lawns, porches and sidewalks in Clear Lake for a chance to see Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and her husband, the former president, as well as Republican Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Lots of flash, little substance

Fred Thompson’s easygoing, no-nonsense style is clearly his strength and undoubtedly has helped him soar in presidential polls. It may only get him so far. Sooner or later, the all-but-declared candidate will have to answer the question: What else do you offer?

“Smooth is good, but sometimes nitty gritty is essential,” says Tucker Eskew, a Republican strategist unaligned in the race. “He’ll be tested (but) he has a little time.”

Rudy tops in GOP fundraising

Rudy Giuliani emerged as the winner in the Republican presidential money contest this quarter, raising more and spending less than both of his leading rivals. Mitt Romney tapped his personal wealth for a $6.5 million loan and John McCain’s campaign was seriously considering public financing to revive his all-but-broke presidential bid.

As the campaigns head into a new round of fundraising and spending, Giuliani has about $15 million in the bank for the primary contests, Romney has $12 million and McCain has just $2 million.

Thompson leads GOP field for Pres

To give you an idea of just how fractured the Republican Party is in the 2008 race for President, an undeclared candidate is the frontrunner.

That’s right. Fred Thompson, sometimes Senator and sometimes actor, leads the GOP Presidential field, topping former New York City Major Rudy Giuliani.

Mitt Romney edges out John McCain for third and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the also-rans with all the rest not even registering enough to be called has beens.

Dems outpace Republicans in fundraising

In past election years, Republican candidate could always depend on the deep pockets of loyalists to give them a financial edge.

No more.

Leading Democratic Presidential contenders are outraising Republican hopefuls and the shortfall in campaign cash is affecting other GOP campaigns as well.

Public dissatisfaction over the failed war in Iraq and other dismal policies of the faltering GOP is blamed for most of the dropoff in contributions but others point to the Internet as a Democratic cash cow.

The Blackberry hack caper

Call it the great Blackberry hack caper or just another case of political dirty tricks.

Whatever you call it, the campaign season must be in full swing because the tricksters are hard at work and so are those who file lawsuits.

A former employee of the political consulting firm that works the Presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton claims Hillary’s chief campaign strategists approved hacking into his Blackberry and monitoring his email.

The other side, of course, claims it did nothing wrong.