Politics

A double standard for politicians

How would have voters of the day reacted to the disclosure that Franklin Roosevelt's marriage had been in name only for many years and that he had intimate relationships with at least two women including Lucy Mercer with whom he carried on a decades long love affair?

What would have been the public's view of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had it known that Gen. George C. Marshall, his boss as Army chief of staff, had summoned him to Washington during World War II to order him to break off any relationship with Kay Summersby, Eisenhower's British chauffer and nearly constant companion overseas. Whether rumors of an affair were true or not, Marshall reasoned that even a hint of infidelity would severely damage home front morale among women left behind.

Obama calls for universal health care

Seeking to add heft to his presidential bid, Democrat Barack Obama is offering a sweeping plan that would require every American to have health coverage and calls on government, businesses and consumers to share the costs of the program.

Obama said putting in place universal health coverage has been debated for decades, but the time has finally come to act. He said his plan could save the average consumer $2,500 a year and bring health care to all.

"The time has come for universal, affordable health care in America," Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery at the unveiling of his plan Tuesday in Iowa City.

So what do you want in ’08?

Barack Obama (AP)Voters are torn between competing cravings: Change or experience in 2008? They are demanding something new, but there is comfort in the tried and true.

The public's low opinion of Washington and growing concern about the direction of the country point to 2008 being a "change" election, one like the campaigns of 1976 and 1992 when people looked for a marked departure from the status quo.

But the war in Iraq and the rise of global terrorism make for an anxious electorate and could turn this into a "war" election, one like the campaigns of 1944 and 2004 when voters found comfort in the most experienced candidates.

Change versus experience? The White House will likely go to the man or woman who speaks best to both.

Republicans fight each other over immigration

Rudy GiulianiThe immigration fight in Congress has spilled over onto the presidential campaign trail. John McCain is trying to sell the skeptical GOP base on contentious Senate legislation while Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and other Republican rivals oppose it.

"This immigration reform is an issue of national security," McCain, an Arizona senator, said Wednesday, stressing more secure borders and what he called an urgent need for the United States to know the identities and whereabouts of millions of illegal immigrants.

Thompson is already running

Fred Thompson (AP)There was a time when Fred Thompson suggested that he couldn't see himself running for office again. "For me, the George Washington example of serving eight years and riding out of town on a horse and never returning has great appeal," the Tennessee Republican said in 2002, the twilight of his eight-year Senate career. Now, five years later, he is a well-known TV actor who finds himself on the verge of a real-life presidential bid, seemingly recruited by activists hungry for someone to fill what they see as a conservative void among the top-tier GOP hopefuls.

Can a political rock star maintain momentum?

Sen. Barack Obama (AP)The huddle of folks under the basketball hoop can't get enough snapshots with the man, so it's dark by the time Sen. Barack Obama finally says goodbye and emerges from the Simpson College gym in Indianola, Iowa.

Obama slips into a group photo with local campaign volunteers, and in a camera flash he's alone again on a pathway leading to his waiting motorcade.

He gets close to the driveway and then he's stopped by one last reporter with one last question.

Rudy’s record: Rewriting history in real time?

Rudy Giuliani (AP)Rudy Giuliani, the current frontrunner for the GOP Presidential nomination may be overhyping his management credentials and role during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, claims a former New York City emergency management director.

The revelations suggest "America's mayor" may be more like President George W. Bush than his handlers want to admit — more hype than substance, more bluster than competence and more image than reality.

For Giuliani, the revelations could not come at a worse time as his campaign struggles with with wishy-washy position on abortion and his inconsistent debate performances.

Rudy, Edwards bag big bucks

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani reported a whopping $16.1 million in earned income over the past 16 months, most of it in speaking fees, according to financial documents filed Wednesday.

Rewriting history in real time

Memories are always selective in politics. Candidates concentrate on what makes them look best and forget those embarrassing little moments that put them in a bad light.

Call it rewriting history in real time. Call it selective omission. Call it outright lying. They all do it.