June 19th, 2008
06:51 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, June 18, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Politicians flock to Russert funeral
Tom Brokaw lifted a bottle of Rolling Rock beer in tribute to fallen colleague Tim Russert, part of a day of tributes that brought the nation's top journalists and politicians and even Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain together.

WSJ: McCain Appears to Trail In Trio of Battleground States; Polls Show Obama Has Lead in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania
New polling shows Barack Obama leading in key states, even though he hasn't gotten a significant bump in national polling since securing the Democratic nomination.

New York Sun: Obama Eyes a Running Mate Who Confers With McCain
When the advisers tapped by Senator Obama to find a vice president met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, one name that leaked out was that of a former NATO commander, General James Jones.

San Francisco Gate: McCain's support among GOP women shows cracks
The challenges facing Sen. Barack Obama as he tries to woo supporters of former rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could pale in comparison with Sen. John McCain's troubles with female voters – if the voices of a growing number of prominent Republican women are any indication.

CNNMoney.com: Obama: NAFTA not so bad after all
The Democratic nominee, in an interview with Fortune, says he wants free trade "to work for all people."

CNNMoney.com: McCain: U.S. needs 'energy security'
Republican candidate outlines energy plan that includes offshore drilling, increasing nuclear energy.

CNNMoney.com: Shooting the moon on renewables
While McCain wants to drill more oil to fight $4 gas, Obama calls for an 'Apollo project' aimed at alternative energy. Should the government get involved?

WSJ: Lifting Ban Wouldn't Be Immediate Fix for Oil
As politicians debate whether to open federal offshore waters to oil and natural-gas drilling, there is agreement on at least one point: It isn't a short-term fix. If the bans were lifted tomorrow, it would be at least seven years - and likely as long as a decade - before the first oil began to flow off the coasts of Florida, California and the eastern seaboard.

AP: McCain calls for building 45 new nuclear reactors
Sen. John McCain is calling for construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and pledging $2 billion a year in federal funds to make clean coal a reality. He says the measures will reduce American dependence on foreign oil

Washington Post: Libertarian Candidate Barr Blasts McCain; Says His Candidacy Will Benefit From GOP Defectors
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, offered a scathing critique of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today and predicted he would garner substantial conservative Republican support in a handful of battleground states critical to McCain in his campaign against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

Politico: Specter of 2000 could haunt Obama
Until 2000, it hadn’t happened in more than 100 years, but plugged-in observers from both parties see a distinct possibility of Barack Obama winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College — and with it the presidency — to John McCain.

NY Times: Obama’s Campaign Tightens Control of Image and Access
At a rally for Senator Barack Obama in Detroit on Monday, two Muslim women said they were prohibited from sitting behind the candidate because they were wearing head scarves and campaign volunteers did not want them to appear with him in news photographs or live television coverage.

New York Post: SUBPOENA BLITZ PUTS HEAT ON AL; IRS SEEKS INFO FROM TOP DONORS
The probe into the Rev. Al Sharpton's finances intensified this week, with the IRS sending out a flurry of subpoenas to his most generous corporate donors, The Post has learned.

Washington Post: McCain Goes 'Global' While Sierra Club Hits Back
John McCain has started airing an ad that outlines some of his environmental proposals. Meanwhile, a leading environmental group has begun slamming him over those same ideas.

NY Times: Will $4 Gasoline Trump a 27-Year-Old Ban?
One was an oilman from Texas, the other a high-paid energy executive. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, for seven years George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have been unable to persuade Congress and the public that domestic oil drilling is an answer to America’s energy needs.

Washington Times: Obama picks Clinton ex-officials as advisers
Sen. Barack Obama, under relentless Republican attack over inexperience on defense issues and reluctance to visit Iraq, moved to polish his national security credentials Wednesday by convening an advisory panel filled with former Clinton administration officials and Iraq war critics.

Washington Post: At Fundraiser, Bush Goes After Democrats
President Bush tonight used his final appearance at the annual GOP fundraiser for House and Senate candidates to serve up some of the reddest meat he has dished out in recent days, trashing congressional Democrats even as he is trying to eke out a few legislative victories before Congress shuts down for the summer.

AP: Obama says bin Laden must not be a martyr
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday he would bring Osama bin Laden to justice in a way that wouldn't allow the terrorist mastermind to become a martyr, but he may be killed if the U.S. government finds him.

CNN: Party leaders reach deal on war funding bill
House Democratic and Republican leaders have reached a deal on a war funding bill that will fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into early 2009, several congressional sources said Tuesday.

USA Today: Lieberman's Democratic ties frayed
Eight years after being nominated for vice president at an exuberant Democratic convention, Joe Lieberman describes himself as so estranged from the party over the Iraq war and national security policy that he is committed to siding with Senate Democrats only "for now" as he campaigns for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Politico: Clyburn herds a diverse flock
“I fish in many ponds,” Jim Clyburn likes to say. So many, in fact, that the South Carolina congressman seems less an angler than some great, enduring river through which the diverse elements of his House Democratic Caucus all swim.

Washington Post: Obama Meets With Labor Leaders
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) met here last night with dozens of union leaders in an effort to mobilize their support for the general election as lingering rifts from a hard-fought primary campaign as well as broader tensions among major unions threaten to undermine organized labor's efforts on his behalf.

NY Times: Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back
Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power. Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.

USA Today: English language legislation gathers steam across the USA
English as an official language has gained momentum as proponents keep going to the ballot box with measures that discourage bilingual ballots, notices and documents. Thirty states now have laws specifying that official government communications be in English, says U.S. English, a group that promotes the laws. This year such bills are under consideration in 19 legislatures.

AP: McCain: Tanker report unfortunate for taxpayers
A report by congressional investigators questioning a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract is a setback for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, an instrumental figure in the Pentagon's long attempt to complete a deal on the aircraft.

Washington Post: Paulson To Urge New Fed Powers; Bank Would Help Police Wall Street
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. plans to call today for the Federal Reserve to be given new, explicit powers to intervene in the workings of Wall Street firms to protect the financial system, adapting his vision of how the financial world should be regulated to reflect the lessons of the collapse of Bear Stearns.

AP: Sebelius double the trouble for GOP
The governor plans another Ohio speech about the presidential election on Saturday. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, that is. Sebelius, an Ohio native frequently mentioned as a possible running mate for Democrat Barack Obama, is in the must-win state for the third time in four months. Is she really that homesick?

NPR: Bill, Jim, Caroline? Readers Pick Obama VP
If anyone thinks that the end of the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination will lead to a bit of a respite, a cooling down of passions, think again. Last week's "Political Junkie," listing the pros and cons of an assortment of potential running mates for Barack Obama, was our most widely viewed column since we resumed in January 2004.

Washington Post: Wall Street Lobbies to Protect Speculative Oil Trades
Wall Street banks and other large financial institutions have begun putting intense pressure on Congress to hold off on legislation that would curtail their highly profitable trading in oil contracts - an activity increasingly blamed by lawmakers for driving up prices to record levels.

LA Times: Maybe it's not the best place
It was a foregone conclusion that Barack Obama would receive an official blessing from Al Gore. The question was when and where. The ringing endorsement Gore bestowed this week came later than might have been expected, but the real surprise was the setting: Detroit, the leading city in the one state where words from perhaps the world's best-known advocate for transforming oil-based economies might be greeted with chagrin.

Washington Post: Foreign Policy's Best Hope
Judging by the rhetoric coming out of the Obama and McCain campaigns this week, the United States is fated to endure another four years of bitter foreign policy partisanship, whoever wins this election.

Washington Post: Calif. Court Considers Medical Rights
On the heels of its ruling on same-sex marriage, California's highest court will decide another potentially landmark civil rights case: whether doctors can refuse to treat certain patients for religious reasons.

NY Times: Democrats Vow to Block Airport-Slot Sale
Democrats said on Wednesday that congestion at New York-area airports was a result of Republican mismanagement and that the Bush administration’s plans to auction scarce landing slots at Kennedy and Newark Airports would be a blow to the public and the airlines. They promised to block the plan.

AP: Both sides in marriage fight aim for mainstream
When gay and lesbian couples started getting married in California this week, one set of voices was quiet among the choruses of "Here Come the Brides" — those of the conservative activists who put a same-sex marriage ban on the November ballot.

AP: Housing rescue bill could be slowed by Republicans
Conservative Republicans in the Senate were seeking to slow the completion of an election-year housing rescue designed to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure and boost lawmakers' standing with voters.

CNNMoney.com: Bush: Lift ban on offshore drilling
President says increasing domestic oil supply will offset high gas prices. 'Our nation must produce more oil, and we must start now," he says.

CNN: Congress passes farm bill over Bush veto
Congress passed a $300 billion farm bill over President Bush's veto for a second time Wednesday, a step made necessary by a clerical error when the original bill passed.

Washington Post: Newer Radios Are Sought To Protect Lawmakers
Legislators expressed frustration yesterday that the U.S. Capitol Police are still using an outdated radio system that suffers frequent breakdowns, even though Congress is considered a major terrorist target.


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