February 26th, 2008
05:53 AM ET
7 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

NY Times: Obama’s Support Grows Broader, New Poll Finds
In the past two months, Senator Barack Obama has built a commanding coalition among Democratic voters, with especially strong support among men, and is now viewed by most Democrats as the candidate best able to beat Senator John McCain in the general election, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

NY Times: McCain Says Prospects May Hinge on Iraq
Senator John McCain said Monday that he needed to convince the American people that the troop escalation in Iraq was working and that American casualties there would continue to decline. If he did not, he said, “I lose” the election.

Washington Times: Military Fears 'Unknown Quantity'
Members of Washington's military and defense establishment are expressing trepidation about Sen. Barack Obama, as the Illinois senator comes closer to winning the Democratic presidential nomination and leads in national polls to become commander in chief.

Columbus Dispatch: NAFTA At Center Of Ohio Campaign
Barack Obama continued yesterday to hammer Hillary Clinton in Ohio over the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying Clinton is trying to distance herself from the trade deal despite what he called essentially presenting herself as "co-president" with her husband in the 1990s.

USA Today: Nader's Candidacy Rankles Democrats
Ralph Nader is back, and the consumer advocate says he's no spoiler.
"The two parties have spoiled our country," said Nader, who has launched another White House bid. "They're the real spoilers." Some Democrats beg to differ, saying Nader won just enough votes in 2000 to deny Al Gore the presidency though they don't think he will affect this election, given his poor showing in 2004.

Washington Post: Clinton Compares Obama to Bush
Warning of the foreign policy challenges facing the next president, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday that it is not a time to pick someone who would need "a foreign policy instruction manual" and likened Sen. Barack Obama, her rival for the Democratic nomination, to President Bush.

AP: Dems' Ohio Debate Comes At Key Moment
Maybe not since Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan met on a stage in this blue-collar city have two candidates debated with so much at stake.
And if recent campaigning is any indication, Tuesday night's debate between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will not lack drama.

Washington Post: Liberal Advocacy Groups Take Aim at McCain
A coalition of liberal advocacy groups pledged yesterday to mount a $20 million campaign aimed at Sen. John McCain and other Republicans, the latest sign that both parties have shifted their focus to the general election even before their nomination contests are settled.

WSJ: Clinton Strategy Quandary: Underdog or Aggressor?
Lately Sen. Hillary Clinton has appeared on the campaign trail as alternately a compassionate underdog who lavishes praise on her rival and an aggressive opponent on the attack. For what could be the most important debate in her political career tonight in Cleveland, her campaign may need to choose which approach will best convince voters to look past Sen. Barack Obama's momentum at the polls.

Washington Post: Democratic Governors See McCain As Formidable
Democratic governors from states likely to help decide the 2008 presidential election see Republican Sen. John McCain as a potentially formidable opponent whose life story and reputation for political independence make him a threat in November, despite conditions that they say now favor their nominee.

LA Times: Senate Careers Branch Differently For Clinton, Obama
The Senate long has been considered a poor springboard to the White House. But it provided a crucial step in the political rise of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, giving them a priceless chance to burnish their records and shore up weaknesses before launching their presidential campaigns. The contrast between the candidates' approaches to the Senate mirrors the choice now facing Democratic primary voters - between Clinton's emphasis on competence and kitchen-table issues, and Obama's focus on broad themes and overarching issues.

NY Times: Pieces of Texas Turn Primary Into a Puzzle
With recent polls showing that Mr. Obama has cut deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s lead in Texas, or even erased it, the state has become a political battleground to a degree not witnessed in a generation. And the rapidly mounting fight has reminded national political strategists yet again of Texas’ strange largeness — or large strangeness — a state that Congress decided in 1845, the year it joined the Union, might well be later divided into four more states should it consent.

Washington Post: Obama Photo Swaddled in Mystery of Its Intent
A silly photo of Barack Obama, dressed in some sort of traditional African garb, mysteriously made its way to the Drudge Report Web site yesterday. The photograph, which showed Obama wearing a turban and swaddled in white fabric, was taken in 2006, when the Illinois senator was on a tour of Africa. But what did it mean?

NY Times: Clinton Campaign Starts 5-Point Attack on Obama
After struggling for months to dent Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy, the campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now unleashing what one Clinton aide called a “kitchen sink” fusillade against Mr. Obama, pursuing five lines of attack since Saturday in hopes of stopping his political momentum.

USA Today: Dem Hopefuls Won Tax Breaks For Contributors
Both Democratic presidential candidates, who promise to curb the influence of corporate lobbyists in Washington, helped enact narrowly tailored tax breaks sought by major campaign contributors.

Washington Post: Finding Political Strength in the Power of Words
The 2008 presidential campaign has witnessed the rise of a whole arsenal of new political weapons, including Internet fundraising and sophisticated microtargeting of voters. For Sen. Barack Obama, however, the most powerful weapon has been one of the oldest.


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