March 3rd, 2008
06:18 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, March 3, 2008

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Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

Columbus Dispatch: State Of Confusion
A projected record turnout Tuesday and voters' option to use paper ballots rather than touch-screens could delay results deep into the night and deepen mistrust of Ohio elections around the country.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Delegate Math Tough For Clinton
As much as Hillary Clinton wants to win Ohio on Tuesday, a two-percentage point win won’t do her much good. Under the complex mathematical formula the Ohio Democratic Party will use to divvy up the 141 delegates at stake in the Ohio primary, a candidate has to win big –really big – to win the lion’s share of the delegates.

USA Today: McCain Fending Off 'Mischaracterizations'
John McCain looks to formally nail down the Republican presidential nomination this week, though he is already operating in one fall campaign mode: fending off opposition attacks. The Arizona senator's campaign is busy fielding questions over his decision to pull out of the public financing system, his support of the Iraq war, lobbyists working in his campaign, an endorsement from a controversial evangelical, and even his place of birth.

Washington Post: Democratic Candidates Trade Gibes Across Ohio
Sen. Barack Obama sharply questioned Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's claims of extensive foreign policy experience Sunday, pushing back against her argument that only she is prepared to handle national security as president as the two raced toward a pair of potentially decisive primary contests.

NY Times: In Ohio, Tense Race Hinges on Grass-Roots Organizers
For all the endless rallies and the 1,400 television advertisements a day the candidates have run in the last weeks, it is the street-by-street ground war that will determine the outcome of the Democratic primary on Tuesday in Ohio. Phone calls must be made, doors knocked on, and every declared supporter dragged to a polling place, even if it means helping an elderly voter get dressed and providing escort to a waiting car.

Washington Post: Obama Tends Toward Mainstream on Foreign Policy
When Sen. Barack Obama ruled out using nuclear weapons against terrorist targets during an interview last summer, several of his most experienced foreign policy advisers reacted with alarm.

Dallas Morning News: For Some Mixed-Race Couples, Barack Obama Is A Symbol Of Acceptance
Voters of many ethnicities find meaning in the Obama candidacy, just as many women root for Hillary Rodham Clinton to break the gender barrier.
But for mixed-race families, he represents a lifting of ancient taboos.

NY Times: In Texas, Clinton’s Veterans Testing Obama’s Beginners
In dozens of interviews across Texas over the last two weeks with campaign workers, volunteers and voters, a similar picture has consistently emerged from place to place: a well-prepared Clinton campaign has relied on longtime friendships and deep connections to the state’s party operation here, especially in the highly organized, heavily Hispanic cities of South Texas. At the same time, the Obama campaign nearly always feels smaller — sometimes even makeshift, despite its considerable money advantage — but it also seems remarkably self-generating, drawing hundreds of the first-time campaign volunteers that have fueled his success elsewhere.

Washington Times: Huckabee Poised To Lead Revival Of Conservative Evangelical Wing
Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign may be nearing its end, but those around him say he won't disappear and is poised to claim political leadership of conservative evangelicals. Mr. Huckabee's inner circle says he's the perfect bridge to re-establish the Christian right, which has suffered over the last decade, as a political force that speaks for millions of voters.

NY Times: Clinton Campaigns as if Momentum Is Hers
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton does not look like a candidate who might drop out of the presidential race as early as Wednesday. In a weekend dash of campaigning in Texas and Ohio before those states vote on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton was in happy-warrior mode — and seemed to have found a stride.

Washington Post: Clinton, Obama Recast Their Message on Iraq
Five years into a deeply unpopular war in Iraq, one of the surest applause lines for a Democratic candidate has been a promise to bring home the troops. But as Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign in Texas and Ohio ahead of Tuesday's critical primaries, they are encountering an electorate that has largely moved on.

NY Times: On Signature Issues, McCain Has Shown Some Inconsistencies in the Senate
Senator John McCain likes to present himself as the candidate of the “Straight Talk Express” who does not pander to voters or change his positions with the political breeze. But the fine print of his record in the Senate indicates that he has been a lot less consistent on some of his signature issues than he has presented himself to be so far in his presidential campaign.

NY Times: Strong Words in Ohio as Obama and Clinton Press On
Like rival warships pulling into the same small harbor, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton held rallies hours apart and exchanged oratorical barrages in Ohio Sunday. Mr. Obama, of Illinois, struck at Mrs. Clinton’s claim to expertise in the arena of national security, saying she had one moment of transformative decision — Iraq — and she fumbled it. Mrs. Clinton’s take on Mr. Obama hours earlier was not much more forgiving. She again suggested that his speeches were empty and that the first-term senator was too green to occupy the Oval Office in a time of crisis.

WSJ: NAFTA Bashing Ends at Texas Line
After weeks of hammering the North American Free Trade Agreement on campaign stops in Ohio, the Democratic presidential candidates are singing a different tune in Texas. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have had to adjust their messages as they have shuffled between hard-hit Ohio and robust Texas, where Nafta is largely seen as an economic boost to the state's border communities.

Washington Post: For Black Superdelegates, Pressure to Back Obama
While Obama's candidacy has often united blacks and whites at the ballot box, it has driven a wedge through the black political establishment, exposing a rift between a new generation, whose members see their political horizons as limitless, and their predecessors, who have struggled to establish a following outside of heavily African American areas.

WSJ: McCain's Economy Platform: Big Tax Cuts, With Caveats
Imagining how John McCain, the Navy war hero, would play the role of commander in chief has been easy. Imagining how John McCain, the policy maverick, would lead as chief executive of the U.S. economy has been tougher. The all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee cast himself as a defender of the Bush tax cuts he voted against, but added caveats to a "no new taxes" vow he made on a Sunday television talk show two weeks ago.

LA Times: Clinton And Obama Swing The Spotlight To Ohio
With less than two days to go before Tuesday's crucial primary elections, Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama barnstormed across Ohio on Sunday, with Clinton seeking to shore up support in a state where she holds a slim lead in the polls and Obama deriding his Senate colleague for her "experience" in foreign policy.

Washington Times: Obama Banks On Unions' Support
Barack Obama hopes the unions still have enough juice left to help him grab come-from-behind victories over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tomorrow in Ohio and Texas, where the SEIU is spending $1.4 million on his behalf.

Houston Chronicle: Obama, Clinton Courting Texas' Undecided Voters
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will be winging back to Texas for a series of eleventh-hour appearances today, each fighting to close the deal with a dwindling number of undecided voters.


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