Politics

Lies, damn lies and death tolls

Barack Obama, caught up in the fervor of a campaign speech Tuesday, drastically overstated the Kansas tornadoes death toll, saying 10,000 had died. The death toll was 12.

Presidential race tightens up

  Sen. Hillary Clinton (AP)

The races for both parties’ presidential nominations are showing signs of tightening. Yet a closer look at the numbers also reveals intriguing crosscurrents that raise questions about how solid the presumed Democratic advantage may be in November 2008.

Surveys show that people would clearly prefer that the Democratic Party win the White House next year, which political operatives and analysts attribute to the deep unpopularity of President Bush and the war in Iraq and a broad desire for change.

When top Republican and Democratic candidates are paired, however, the GOP hopefuls generally do quite well or at least hold their own.

Next year’s Election Day is eons away in political time, and many things could happen to alter today’s dynamics. For now, the surveys raise questions about whether the apparent Democratic edge would really hold up should GOP candidates with moderate credentials like Rudy Giuliani or John McCain face Democrats such as Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama.

When people are asked which party they want to capture the White House, "They tell you about the general climate or mood, and that’s not good for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster not working for a presidential candidate.

Keith Olbermann: The left wing’s Bill O’Reilly?

 
   Keith Olbermann (AP Photo)

In an angry commentary on April 25, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann accused Rudolph Giuliani of using the language of Osama bin Laden with "the same chilling nonchalance of the madman" to argue that Republicans would keep Americans safer than Democrats from terror.

Eight days later, Olbermann hosted MSNBC’s coverage of the first debate among Republican candidates for president.

Thompson tries to sound Reganesque

050507thompson.jpgEvoking the legacy of Ronald Reagan, potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson told fellow Republicans that smaller government and lower taxes are the way to a prosperous future.

Republican candidates still back Bush’s war

Fred Thompson goes online

050407thompson.jpgFred Thompson plays a district attorney on TV and, in real life, a commentator on the Internet — two roles that give him plenty of visibility for a presidential bid.

In recent weeks, the former Tennessee senator, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination, has used conservative Web sites to opine about tax cuts, the Virginia Tech shootings, even the NFL draft.

Obama: ‘This is MySpace’

050407obama.jpgIs MySpace always mine or can it belong to someone else? At the cost of losing 160,000 friends, Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has taken over control of the MySpace page listed under his name on the popular social networking site.

War, abortion dominate GOP debate

050307romney.jpgAlone among 10 Republican presidential contenders, Rudy Giuliani said in campaign debate Thursday night “it would be OK” if the Supreme Court upholds a 1973 abortion rights ruling. “It would be OK to repeal it. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist viewed it as precedent,” said the former New York city mayor, who has a record of supporting abortion rights.

His nine rivals agreed that it would be a great day if the court overturns the landmark ruling.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney acknowledged he had changed his mind on the subject when he began to delve into the issue of cloning. He said his position had once effectively been “pro-choice.”

But Giuliani hedged when asked about his present position.

“I think the Court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it,” he said.

Obama gets Secret Service detail

The Secret Service said Thursday that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama was being placed under its protection, the earliest ever for a presidential candidate.