December 28th, 2007
06:37 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, Dec. 28, 2007


Compiled by Jonathan Helman & Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau

Washington Post: Clinton, Obama Seize On Killing Of Benazir Bhutto
The differing reactions of Clinton and Obama to the assassination crystallized the debate between the two just a week before Iowans will decide the first contest in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Washington Times: Slaying May Boost Giuliani, Mccain
Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. John McCain stand to gain the most politically from the assassination of Benazir Bhutto just days before the crucial Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, political observers said yesterday.

Washington Post: Criticism Aside, 'Fairtax' Boosts Huckabee Campaign
To former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, supporting a national retail sales tax is more than a policy proposal. It has provided much-needed muscle for his campaign, filling rallies and events with fervent supporters hoping to replace the entire income and payroll tax system.

Washington Post: Changes in Platitudes
As the Post's Anne Kornblut has chronicled, Hillary Clinton has had a knack for the slogan at least since her it-takes-a-village days. But these days it sounds as if a mad, computerized sloganator has taken over her campaign headquarters.

Washington Post: Electing a Life on the Run
So far, the 2008 presidential campaigns have employed more than 3,000 paid workers and countless volunteers, who will next year be joined by thousands of others working on congressional campaigns - a legion of operatives living on four hours' sleep, Triple Whoppers and a hefty supply of Red Bull.

NY Times: Iowa Saturated by Political Ads
One week before Iowa kicks off the presidential nomination contest, the campaigns are spending three times as much money flooding the airwaves and the Internet as candidates did in 2004, hoping to sway the huge number of undecided voters after months of on-the-ground appeals.

NY Times: Under Attack, Drug Maker Turned to Giuliani for Help
In 2002, the drug maker, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn., hired Mr. Giuliani and his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, to help stem the controversy about OxyContin. Among Mr. Giuliani’s missions was the job of convincing public officials that they could trust Purdue because they could trust him.

Washington Times: Pacs Love, Loathe Hillary In Iowa
The majority of funds spent by political action committees to directly sway the outcome of the presidential election in recent weeks have been used to oppose or support Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Washington Times: Thompson Eyes 'Strong Showing' In Iowa
Fred Thompson is flooding this state with his best asset — himself — hoping voters are tired of the other Republican presidential candidates and willing to take a second look at his own candidacy before next week's caucuses.

Washington Times: Hillary Dangles Prospect Of First Female President
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's stump speech has several applause lines, but only one provokes an emotional and gender-specific response — when she reminds voters her election would make history.

LA Times: Obama Catches Clinton In N.H.; Iowa Remains A 3-Way Contest
Barack Obama has wiped out Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-commanding lead in New Hampshire and the two remain virtually tied with John Edwards in Iowa, as more and more voters get off the fence and decide whom to support, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

LA Times: Giuliani Appeals To Cuban Exiles
When then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani renamed a New York corner for four Cuban Americans killed when their planes were shot down by Fidel Castro's armed forces in 1996, he won over South Florida's most powerful voting bloc.

NY Sun: Chances Of Gore Endorsement Are Said To Be Fading
An endorsement by Vice President Gore in the hard-fought Democratic presidential race could give a huge boost to Senator Obama or allow Senator Clinton to deliver the coup de grace to her rivals, but several campaign operatives and former aides to Mr. Gore now see the chances of such a nod fading.

USA Today: Poll: Voters Still Not Set On Candidates
Dig beneath the surface of the raucous Republican presidential race and you will find even deeper turmoil: Four in 10 GOP voters have switched candidates in the past month alone, and nearly two-thirds say they may change their minds again.

LA Times: Huckabee Speaks Without Speechifying
If Mike Huckabee's campaign has a secret weapon, it could well be the candidate's gifts as a communicator. Using Southern charm and storytelling, Huckabee's stump speech is more entertainment than oratory. Sharp jabs are cloaked by a smile and a joke, and offered in a cadence reminiscent of a warm-talking preacher - which he has been - and a radio host - which he also has been.

LA Times: CAUSE CÉLÈBRE: What Price Will Oprah Pay?
With less than a week until Iowa's first vote is cast in the 2008 presidential election, the politicians aren't the only ones feeling the heat: Celebrities, who have become important players in the political fundraising process, are under increasing pressure to campaign for their favorite candidates in the early caucus and primary states.

Boston Globe: Thompson Doesn't See A Woman As President Yet
Fred Thompson doesn't have a problem with a female heading a government. But he's not ready for it in this country, at least not yet.

Filed under: Political Hot Topics
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Terrorist fight with ideology first; physical violence is just the means of expressing opinion, so, and to fight terrorism The United States of America needs to put forth a greater ideology than that of the terrorists and not a greater force of arms. With prohibition and the battle against drugs The United States of America must work to replace that sense of pleasure derived from the substance, so improve the standard of living to eliminate the want for escape and the need for stress release.

    This ideology will come from combining all known religious tellings into one archeologically provided world history. Logic and humanitarian ideals; just as punishment for heresy was defeated by the first amendment right for free speach. Those of the past have interpreted their consciences and at the same time learned from observed mistakes.


    The United States federal government requires greater direction. The Constitution is that greater direction but the page is greatly ignored. The Congress is the replacement for the emperor. The Senate with the federal power of the States needs to advise congress to bring the party method into the constitution with an amendment, while at the same time the Senate needs to advise The President to uphold the current limitation of the constitution and prevent the party method until such an amendment has been State ratified.

    December 28, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. Julie Thompson

    Again, no mention of Fred Thompson. ???

    What gives?

    Fred knows the truth and he's reporting to us that Pakistan is now on very shaky ground. His concern for us and our current situation is very important news to the American people, but you ignore him?

    You better realize that no other running candidate can keep us from future harm among those foreign haters, Fred met with them in person for god's sake and YOU didn't even mention this to the American people!!

    You need to be boycotted–outst your ignorance from our television screens, your beyond help!

    Fred is powerful, and you Mr. high and mighty network are the one's who are lax and lazy Clinton backers, so immorally wrong. Good God, no wonder middle easterners think we're infidels, they must have been watching your reporting!

    December 28, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Candidates market themselves to us using the same marketing principles that are used to sell insurance and cheese. They appeal mainly to the irrational side of our natures:
    Giuliani will make us safe.
    Hillary is inevitable.
    Huckabee is a soldier of Christ
    McCain is strong
    Obama will lead us to a new future
    Thompson is like Reagan
    Paul will lead us to a new utopia

    But none of them are telling us what they would do about Children's issues, Abortion, Consumer Issues, Corporate misbehavior, Crime, The Distribution of Income, Drug Use (legal and illegal), the Economy, Education, Employment, Energy, the Environment, Elections, Family Values, Foreign Policy, Homelessness, Immigration, Decaying Infrastructure, the Justice system, Law and Lawyers, Marketing and Advertising abuses, Medical Care (cost of, quality of, availability of), Native American issues, the Population Problem (they won't even say the words), Privacy, Civic Dutie, Poverty, Science and Technology, the Religion Problem, Secularism, Separation of Church and State, Taxation (who, how, how much), Veterans' benefit, Election integrity, Wages (yours and mine), the War on Terror, War in General, and Women's issues.

    Alas, poor Democracy. I knew her well. I loved her as I love the very breath of life. Now she is on life support. Only we can save her.

    December 28, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  4. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    The first amendment grants the right for peaceful assembly; this is however obversely objectionable for those who are currently counted as members of the federal democratic government as the oath of office swears them to that government posting first; only the public can peacefully assembly to petition the government as the government is already assembled. Representatives are prevented from convening outside of congress as such is forbidden by the constitution, so unless members are found under the status of an official committee, and, as no democratic or republican committee exists: no peaceful assembly is constitutionally allowed between such officially sworn in members of congress; therefore conventions are not allowed, as no questioning is allowed outside of the house of representation. For a religious context the allotted districts will most likely relegate the members of congress to different local churches, and, as there is a limitation for the rights and recognition of any proscribed nobles, religions are thus separated from government; so just as those members of congress are released from the popes orders as if he was a noble, so too are the party members released from a party leaders orders when sitting in a house of representation.

    December 28, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Roger

    WHERE IS DR. RON PAUL PICTURE? POLITICALTICKER sounds as it is already pushing for XYZ candidates.. The People ask to please give every candidate the same amount of coverage. At least until the first elections, after the People vote then the media could then follow the leaders, otherwise it gives the impression of being BIAS and we are sure this is not what the POLITICALTICKER wants the public to think of.

    Dr. Ron Paul is the only one telling it like it is. for a very very long time 20 plus years ago.
    Check this URL:

    This is my opinion as to why this is happening...

    Young Americans from all parts of this beautiful country are awakening; he is the only one delivering the message that is reaching all three views, Republican, Democrats and Independents.
    Do you know why? Well I do not claim to know all the variables that play into this but I bet the following has a big role and that is young Americans see what is going on with their grandparents, where Medicare is a mess, social security is gone or running out and medication is to the roof.

    Then they see their parents struggling to pay the bills and getting by week by week.
    Parents and grandparents sharing and commenting among themselves the good old days, talking about the days when this or that used to cost XYZ and when he or she used to work for this or that company and now all is gone.
    Then this generation born from 1964 to late 1980 is starting to really feel the pinch.

    Yes the pinch of what is to come, it has been building year after year, for decades our government has been making decisions and policies that at that time sounded good, or that it may fix this or that, decisions that had a good burst of economic growth but that in the long run will need to be revised.

    It is here now, this generation sees, hears and is starting to feel bad economic policies made decades ago:
    -1913 (16th Amendment to the constitution) then congress authorized the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank (Private institution) to control our money.
    -1933 – Big year, full of bad policies among the more important are President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102. (Unlawful to own or hold gold) and a joint resolution to abrogated the gold clause on all existing government and private contracts was signed.
    -1934 – “Gold Reserve Act” became law. This law took away title to all “Gold Certificates” and vested sole title to the U.S. Treasury.

    In sum this and other measurements where executed by our government to end the “Fixed Dollar” and with it the “PAPER ERA BEGAN”.
    It is 2007 and our government still feels the need to continue feeding this machine, so what does it do? It continues to issue certificates to be purchased by BIG private investors and countries. So with every approval of funding this huge government is making us “We the People” especially this and future generation debtors. Yes, Money out of thin air.

    People do not get distracted by your everyday personal or trivial issues, this subject one of many does matter a LOT to you, your loved ones, and ALL of us. We need to be aware of who is going to start to put an end to this otherwise we will end up like many other great countries from the past (Example: Rome, England, Spain, Greece).
    Back then they were called Empires and they ended up bankrupt due to bad policies and many, many of their people suffered.
    Do not take my word for it… just as I did read the information available in books, archives etc.

    December 28, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Ah, the fair tax. We would be paying 40% sales tax to the feds and 8.125% to the state (in Texas), so a hundred bucks worth of groceries would cost $148.13. Since most homes earn less than $50,000 annually and pay about 3% of all federal income taxes collected, they would be paying a lot more than they do now in dollars and percentage-wise. The top 16% of wage earners pay about 70% of all federal taxes, and they would pay a lot less. They spend a much lower percentage of their income on items that would be taxed.

    Perhaps a fairer fair tax would be to have each person pay a flat percentage of his or her net worth?

    Those of you who imagine that the flat tax will result in you paying less in taxes and still receiving the same level of governmental service need to sober up. The flat tax would essentially cripple government in this country, and that is what it is designed to do.

    December 28, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Jimmy Frank Carter

    Am troubled by one thing in this election,Experience is something which Sen.Clinton sites to show is most qualified candidate.What i know Shes been senator for 8 years.and first lady for 8 years the thing is Laura Bush may say too she has lots of experience just because she is first lady?And most people say Sen.Clinton has experience than all candidates in all parties,i dont know why people are naive like this.How can someone say she has experience than Sen.Biden,Governor richardson,Sen.Dodd,or even Kucinich.Funny thing now the poll shows Sen.Clinton has experience than Sen.McCain,i cant laugh enough..Then she has experience than Sen.thompson,Gov.Romney.I cant disagree with the view of these people no more.
    In one of her speech accompanied by Pres.Clinton.Sen Clinton was quoted to say the number of things they did in white house,they created jobs,secured the country,raised minimum wage...Was she a secretary?or vice president?what was her position?perhaps she was co-president.Interesting thing Sen.Clinton didnt say a lot of scandals during Bills presidency.she couldnt say the weakness of Clinton adminstration in security.she didnt say about the failure of Bills adminstation to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden,she didnt say of the failure of adminstation to protect embassy in overseas bombing of dar es salaam and Nairobi embassy.killing of our marine in Yemen,failure of clinton adminstation to handle the civil war in Rwanda and Burundi,Congo...failure of clinton adminstation in Somalia,killings of more than dozen of our troops there.she didnt say when the heat of scandals of bill clinton was up he unlawfully authorize bomb of sudan and Afghanistan and killing innocent reelection of 1996 Bill authorized bombing of Iraq.there are lot of failure policy of Bill Clinton which she has to address and if she wants to be fair then she has to admit that she is part of all of these,Nafta is fruit of Bills adminstration,We cant blame Bush for jobs to be shifted overseas,definitely Clinton was inventor of all these failure policy especially when his own party didnt agree with him.We cant forget all scandels in white house with lots of infidelity shame on Clinton

    December 28, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. mary cleveland, ohio

    I was just watching The Situation Room and Mike Dodd expounding about his experience saying he has worked for 26 years on foreign policy and he should be elected President because of that.

    All those "fools" in D.C., including Hillary Clinton need to be ELIMINATED from the election BECAUSE they only know how to screw things up.

    Imagine, the stupidity of Dodd and McCain and all them spouting off about their experience, experience of giving Mussaraff $10billion(roughly) just to have him help get the only person with the guts to put a democracy in there murdered.



    December 28, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Jimmy Frank Carter

    The more i listen to sen.Clinton the more am convinced she has less experience on National security and Foreign policy.When she insists for international investigation on Bhutto's assassination and a kind of tribunal I dont buy this idea.I strongly agree with Sen.Biden that we shouldnt wish for true democracy in Middle East or Far East(Pakistan).If election conducted fair and right in this Islam countries I bet Extremist Moslems will win by more than 90%.Countries like Iran,Syria,Lebanon,Pakistan...These countries are dangerous for peace and security of the World especially if extremists take over.Pakistan has nuclear,technology could be spreaded to Al Qaeda,Iran or any fundamentalist islam Country.
    For the moment it is not the time to pressurize Musharaf (who is our ally in war on terror) to restore democracy but it is high time to stongly support him to stabilize the country,with theaid of his army to restore peace,security and to unite Pakistan if possibly to impose martial law.Until the time we are certain the country is stable then we can tell him about implementation of democracy.As they say better the devil you know...It is better to use Musharaf for the security of this country and entire World.
    I think in this election where we face lots of challenges ahead like Al Qaeda,war in iraq,unstable Pakistan,middle east affair.. the people who have experience in Foreign policy and National security like Sen.McCain,Sen.Biden are most qualified

    December 28, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    The majority of the people of the United States of America seem to hold a skewed view of the nature of their government, but this is also true of most Canadians. This questions the nature of competency for the voting public legislature.

    The people are in true control, but to assert control a majority must be present.

    The President is only the chief executive in charge of the federal bureaucracies and who is also first charged with upholding and defending the constitution. The President also holds a final editorial power of veto with the power of signature.

    The Senate is just the general advisor as it can put forth simple policies to help aide the Presidential powers or the orders of congress. Finally they are the special jury for any federal government elected member.

    The congress is the voice of the people as the district representatives take the needs of the people and grant those topics to higher discussion. With this, the congress can offer changes to the constitution; through them the people are their own government.

    The States are in final control of the ratification of amendments to the constitution as such amendments will affect every State in the republic. As each State is self governing, and so makes its own laws, each State will be affected differently when any one amendment is ratified. The State legislature will represent the people’s voices in these matters; public referendums are possible as when decided by the State or such rights could be amended to the constitution.

    No one person is in charge, no one central body is in charge, and there is a series of checks and balances in place which the people must understand to better accompany the governments specifications. In the finality the constitution is ratified by those legislative members in each State; and signed into power by the sitting governors, as the State government method equally matches the federal system, the people must realize the entire government system is the control of the people as defined by the people themselves, while, and aside from the supreme court, the federal government when taken alone revolves around the constitution.

    Therefore the role of The President is an executive role while Congress is full of ideals; both those of the people and the representatives themselves. The Senate is full of wisdom. The Electoral College is not so much an election as it is a board of hiring.

    The people can inform their opinion or concerns on any individual act or bill by contacting the Senate directly.

    Bill creation, so, agenda is not an appropriate presidential duty, and so The President should abstain from such. When running for president pandering to the people will not really help anything but the continued erosion of the government system itself. Sell yourself to become President; but the cost should not overrun a term’s salary.

    December 29, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |