May 5th, 2008
05:58 AM ET
7 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, May 5, 2008

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Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Republicans Use Obama As The Bad Guy In Negative Ads
Is Sen. Barack Obama the new Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Hillary Clinton or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich? For Republican candidates and political ad makers, the White House hopeful might very well be. A review of political television advertising nationwide shows that Obama has played a starring role or has been mentioned in at least 9 GOP-inspired ads designed to undercut a Democratic candidate in recent months.

NY Times: Seeing Grit and Ruthlessness in Clinton’s Love of the Fight
The kind of language and pugilistic imagery Sen. Hillary Clinton uses on the campaign trail evokes the baggage that makes Clinton such a provocative political figure. For as much as a willingness to “do what it takes” and “die hard” are marketable commodities in politics, they can also yield to less flattering qualities, plenty of which have been ascribed to her over the years. Just as supporters praise her “toughness” and “tenacity,” critics also describe her as “divisive,” “a dirty fighter” or “willing to do anything to win.”

Indianapolis Star: Primary Party Switches Could Aid Incumbents
Voting Republican in Indiana used to be so easy. Grab a ballot, skip the presidential nominees - those races were usually over by now, at least for the past 40 years - and focus on local and state primary races. But this year, Hoosiers have that rare chance to help determine a presidential nominee. Of course, to do so means you have to vote like a Democrat.

Washington Times: Democrats Lose Footing For Gains In November
"Saturday Night Live" veteran Al Franken should have had an easier run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota against an embattled Republican incumbent but is being dogged by $70,000 in unpaid taxes and is slipping in the polls — just one of the topsy-turvy races clouding Democrats' expectations of big gains in November.

Washington Post: Dueling Appeals On Taxes From Obama, Clinton
Two days before critical primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) scolded both Sen. Barack Obama (D) and "elite opinion" Sunday for opposing her proposals to fix the ailing economy, while the senator from Illinois accused her of political pandering.

Washington Post: Mark Warner Kicks Off His Bid for Senate
Democrat Mark R. Warner officially kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign Sunday night, pledging to invest in new energy sources, expand access to health care and rebuild the state's sagging infrastructure.

NY Times: In Poll, Obama Survives Furor, but Fall Is the Test
A majority of American voters say that the furor over the relationship between Senator Barack Obama and his former pastor has not affected their opinion of Mr. Obama, but a substantial number say that it could influence voters this fall should he be the Democratic presidential nominee, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

LA Times: Democratic And Republican Healthcare Plans Offer Clear Choices
If John McCain becomes president, Americans would be steered toward buying individual health insurance policies, and job-related coverage eventually could decline. If Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton wins, more people would get their insurance from the government - with many workers offered the equivalent of Medicare and employers facing new coverage mandates.

WSJ: Obama Says Teamsters Need Less Oversight
Sen. Barack Obama won the endorsement of the Teamsters earlier this year after privately telling the union he supported ending the strict federal oversight imposed to root out corruption, according to officials from the union and the Obama campaign. It's an unusual stance for a presidential candidate. Policy makers have largely treated monitoring of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as a legal matter left to the Justice Department since an independent review board was set up in 1992 to eliminate mob influence in the union.

Washington Post: In Small Towns, Bill Clinton Finds A Campaign Niche
After a series of awkward moments and costly missteps while campaigning for his wife, Bill Clinton has finally discovered a role that suits him. He's become the campaign's self-proclaimed "ambassador to small-town America," traveling to places where the mere arrival of his motorcade signals a significant moment in local history, where his charm and affability carry substantial weight among voters.

WSJ: Obama Is Getting Back To Getting Close to Voters
Sen. Barack Obama has returned to a page in his playbook that served him well during early state nominating contests, ditching arena-style events for thousands in favor of more intimate interaction with potential voters. The strategy shift comes as the Democratic presidential candidates head into the last leg of a grueling race for the nomination with Tuesday contests in Indiana and North Carolina.

Washington Post: On Economy, Unlikely Allies Forge Winning Strategy
One is a free-market Republican from Wall Street with roots in the rural Midwest and a passion for bird-watching. The other is a rumpled, union-hall Democrat from Bayonne, N.J., who once famously described himself as "a left-handed, gay Jew." About the only thing Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank have in common is a Harvard degree. Yet the two have forged a remarkably productive relationship in the waning days of the Bush administration, steering complicated bills to overhaul two federal agencies through the Democratic House and shaping Washington's response to the nation's credit crisis.

LA Times: California Superdelegates' Wavering Bodes Ill For Hillary Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton, stung last week by the defection of a prominent superdelegate, could lose the backing of more of these Democratic Party leaders and elected officials if she fails to make significant gains in the remaining month of presidential nominating contests, several California superdelegates said this weekend.

Washington Times: 'Tough' Obama Wins Seen
Sen. Barack Obama will win the Indiana and North Carolina primaries tomorrow, a top supporter and former Hillary Rodham Clinton backer declared yesterday, prompting the former first lady's campaign to crow that if he doesn't, she deserves to be the nominee.

Washington Post: Obama's Chilly Spring
The man who tried to soar above politics has been brought back to earth by the same media organizations that helped fuel his spectacular rise. After more than a year of mostly glowing coverage, Barack Obama is having to defend his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his temerity in not sporting a flag pin, even his arugula-loving, bad-bowling, let-me-eat-my-waffle persona that fostered what Newsweek has branded "the Bubba Gap."


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