February 7th, 2008
06:05 AM ET
7 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, February 7, 2008

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Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

WSJ: Democrats' Nightmare: Back to Smoke-Filled Rooms
Here's a nightmare for the Democrats: The party's bigwigs, rather than its voters, may end up choosing the presidential nominee. If neither Illinois Sen. Barack Obama nor New York Sen. Hillary Clinton manages to pull decisively ahead in the next few weeks, the nomination could depend on the convention votes of 796 party leaders, or superdelegates, who are free to ignore the preferences of Democratic voters.

Washington Post: Gamble Paid Off for Huckabee on Tuesday
After a dispiriting loss nearly three weeks ago in South Carolina, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made the risky decision to sidestep the pivotal Florida primary and turn his attention to a handful of Super Tuesday contests. The maneuver worked.

Washington Post: Va. Is Next Battleground In Democrats' Long Fight
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, digging in for a delegate-by-delegate fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, returned to Washington yesterday with plans to make Tuesday's Virginia primary a major battleground.

WSJ: McCain's Breaks With GOP Leave Scars But Could Increase His Electability
John McCain's biggest breaks with his party, from campaign finance to illegal immigration, also contribute to making him Republicans' most electable candidate: He's more appealing to the independent voters who are crucial for victory, and to the nation's fastest-growing demographic group, Latinos.

Washington Post: Kennedy Helps Clinton and Obama Break the Ice
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) returned to the Senate yesterday after Tuesday's mega-battle of 22 state contests left their nomination fight practically deadlocked. Clinton and Obama talked briefly and let out a pair of loud laughs during a close vote on a $157 billion economic stimulus plan pushed by Democrats, trying to set a different tone - at least in public - for a race that their closest advisers now say could last into the summer.

NY Times: Losses Aside, Romney Puts Convention on Calendar
Mitt Romney is committed to staying in the Republican presidential race despite his losses on Tuesday, and has an eye on the long-shot possibility of a brokered convention fight, his advisers said Wednesday.

NY Times: Obama Is Making Inroads, but Fervor Fell Short at End
But one of the most intriguing finding in the surveys of voters leaving the polls across the nation on Tuesday was when they arrived at their final decision. Throughout a week when Mr. Obama was campaigning with members of the Kennedy family, when there was a sense that he was creating a movement that cut across racial and generational lines, there was a steady movement of Democrats toward Mr. Obama, the survey suggested. But those who reported making their decision on the last day bucked the trend, tending to vote for Mrs. Clinton, of New York.

USA Today: McCain hasn't reached end of rocky road
Now, the hard part. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain was basking in the moment Wednesday after scoring one of the most amazing political comebacks in modern American history. Seven months after his campaign crashed — and eight years after his first presidential bid was crushed — he has emerged from a muddled Republican field with a lead in delegates and a claim to being the party's likely nominee.

NY Times: Huckabee Claims Identity as Candidate of the South
Mike Huckabee fashioned a new campaign identity after his victories in five Southern primaries on Tuesday, proclaiming himself the candidate of the Republicans’ true base, the South.

NY Times: Razor-Thin Margins in Missouri Reflect Nationwide Split
In all but one presidential general election in the past century, Missourians have chosen the candidate who won the presidency. But the state’s value as a compass of the nation’s political mood extends beyond general elections because its population’s makeup (rich and poor, urban and rural, agricultural and industrial) tends to look like a microcosm of the country.

NY Times: Huckabee Leads in Keeping His Cost Per Delegate Low
If political victory was measured in the wise use of scant financial resources, Mike Huckabee would be the front-runner in the presidential race.

USA Today: Count on confusion when counting Democratic delegates
Who's ahead? By how much? Who knows? Voters trying to keep tabs on the Democratic race can be forgiven if they felt more confused than informed by the contradictory calculations following Tuesday's vote in 22 states. The mathematical formulas used to award delegates to the Democratic National Convention could give a certified public accountant a migraine.

Washington Post: From the Right, Both Acceptance and Distrust of McCain
Ronald Reagan has found a regular place in Sen. John McCain's stump speech, part of the Republican presidential candidate's effort to assert his conservative credentials and assure listeners that he has been a longtime "foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution."

NY Times: Obama and Clinton Brace for Drawn-Out Campaign
With no breakout winner in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama on Wednesday began fortifying for a drawn-out nomination fight, with Mrs. Clinton disclosing that she had lent her campaign $5 million while Mr. Obama raised $3 million online in a single day and rejected calls for more debates.


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