February 25th, 2008
07:03 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, February 25, 2008

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Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

NY Times: Nader to Run, Citing Events of 2004 Race
When Ralph Nader ran as a third-party candidate in 2000 and drew 96,837 votes in Florida, he was widely derided by Democrats, who saw him as a spoiler who siphoned crucial votes from Al Gore and tipped the election to George W. Bush. When he ran again in 2004, Democrats in many states tried to keep him off the ballot. On Sunday, Mr. Nader officially announced that he would seek the presidency as a third-party candidate one more time — driven in part by his frustration over the efforts to thwart his last run.

Washington Times: Democrats Pack Punch In Their Jabs
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton further upped her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama's soaring rhetoric by accusing him yesterday of posing as a secular messiah who will bring about paradise on Earth. The rhetoric got more biting from the other side too, with the Illinois senator accusing the former first lady of presenting herself as if she were "co-president" from 1993 to 2001 while being disingenuous about taking credit for only some of the Clinton administration's achievements.

WSJ: Hillary Clinton Says She Regrets Her Husband's Charged Comments
Sen. Hillary Clinton expressed regret over the weekend for racially tinged comments her husband made in South Carolina that some pundits have said played a part in her campaign's recent troubles. "If anyone was offended by anything that was said, whether it was meant or not, or misinterpreted or not, then obviously, I regret that," Mrs. Clinton said in a question-and-answer session at the annual "State of the Black Union" symposium in New Orleans.

NY Times: At Governors’ Meeting, a Vice Presidential Buzz
Energy policy, health care and highways were the top issues on the agenda of the National Governors Association here Sunday, but many governors were consumed with presidential politics, buzzing about the possibility that the next vice president would come from their ranks.

Washington Post: Clinton Tests Out Populist Approach
Blasting "companies shamelessly turning their backs on Americans" by shipping jobs overseas and railing that "it is wrong that somebody who makes $50 million on Wall Street pays a lower tax rate than somebody who makes $50,000 a year," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton increasingly sounds like one of her old Democratic rivals, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

Washington Post: On Signing Statements, McCain Says 'Never,' Obama and Clinton 'Sometimes'
Republican presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) made an arresting claim on the campaign trail last week: If elected president, he would issue no signing statements reserving the right to disregard parts of laws passed by Congress.

Washington Post: For Katrina Evacuees, A Chance to Be Heard
For the nearly quarter-million people who were evacuated to Texas after the hurricane and its floodwaters left New Orleans devastated in 2005, powerlessness has been a constant theme, exacerbated by their reliance on goodwill and the government for help in starting over again. Angry at the Bush administration for failing them both before and after Katrina, many view the March 4 Democratic presidential primary as a chance to exert some control over their futures.

WSJ: Group's Ads Lauding Clinton Stir Discord Over Rules
A fight over political spending by outside groups flared up over the weekend when backers of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama sought to shut down a round of television advertisements launched by supporters of rival Sen. Hillary Clinton.

LA Times: Clinton Searches For The Best Message Against Obama
With her White House prospects in jeopardy, Hillary Rodham Clinton has shifted from one tactic to another in trying to overtake rival Barack Obama. She tried TV ads saying he ducked debates. She accused him of plagiarism. She disparaged his huge crowds. She called his attacks on her shameful and dishonest. On Sunday, Clinton turned to ridicule.

NY Times: In Memories of a Painful Past, Hushed Worry About Obama
There is a hushed worry on the minds of many supporters of Senator Barack Obama, echoing in conversations from state to state, rally to rally: Will he be safe?

NY Times: Conservative Distrust of McCain Lingers Over ’05 Deal on Judges
Back in 2005, Senator John McCain of Arizona and fellow members of the so-called Gang of 14 were hailed as heroes in some quarters when they fashioned an unusual pact that averted a Senate vote on banning filibusters against judicial nominees. Now Mr. McCain’s central role in that effort, which cleared the way for confirmation of some conservative jurists, is cited as one reason for lingering distrust of him among many conservatives.

NY Times: For Hispanics in South Texas, the Choice Is Tough
As recently as two weeks ago, Rudy Davila III, a pharmacist, was part of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political firewall, the bloc of Hispanic voters from San Antonio to the border with Mexico whom she counted on to keep her presidential campaign from collapse. But the firewall is showing signs of cracking.

NY Times: Taking Blows From All Sides and Weighing When to Punch Back
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is getting the customary greeting that the political tribe accords to apparent front-runners: He has taken rhetorical mortar shots from all sides.

AP: Obama: Clinton Denying NAFTA Support
Barack Obama accused Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday of trying to walk away from a long record of support for NAFTA, the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that he said has cost 50,000 jobs in Ohio, site of next week's critical primary.

Washington Post: Lessons Learned, Kerry Hits Trail for Obama
Four years ago, Sen. John Kerry’s bid to topple President Bush fell short, damaged by a series of Texas broadsides that became known as the Swift boat attacks. His demise spawned a term that came to signify a political low blow. Now Kerry has returned to the campaign trail, this time as a spirited foot soldier for Sen. Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who aims to succeed where Kerry did not.

Washington Post: Democrats Equally Adept at Shifting Positions
Charges of flip-flopping have become routine as the Democratic nominating contest heads to a crucial series of primaries and caucuses on March 4 in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. While Obama and Clinton have largely succeeded in escaping the flip-flopper label that was pinned on Republican candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, they have provided each other with plenty of ammunition for accusations of inconsistency and pandering to the voters.

WSJ: Democratic Rivals Hear Ohio's Ills, Set Out Plans for Mortgages, Jobs
With a little more than a week before Ohio holds its primary contests, the two Democratic candidates are debating what has hurt the economically distressed state more: free-trade pacts or the housing crisis.

WSJ: McCain Is Accused of Financing Breach
Just as the latest financial reports show Sen. John McCain's campaign has regained its footing, the Democratic Party is accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of violating the campaign-finance system he championed.

Washington Times: Loss Of 28 In House Makes GOP Task Tougher
An exodus of House Republicans, fundraising shortfalls and apathy among Republican voters portend an ominous outcome for the party in the November congressional elections — a scenario that might linger for years.


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