July 14th, 2008
06:20 AM ET
6 years ago

POLTICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, July 14, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Obama embraces Iraq’s timetable call
Sen. Barack Obama, in an op-ed piece in Monday’s New York Times, embraced Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s recent call for a timetable for American troops to leave Iraq as “an enormous opportunity.” The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s column — titled “My Plan for Iraq” — repeated his pledge that “on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.”

NY Times Op-Ed: Barack Obama: My Plan for Iraq
THE call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.

CNN: Ventura to announce if he's running for Senate on Larry King
Will he or won’t he? Former Minnesota Governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is expected to announce Monday night on CNN’s Larry King Live whether he’ll run for his state’s U.S. Senate seat. Ventura’s deadline to file to run for the senate is Tuesday.

CNNMoney.com: U.S. plan to save Fannie and Freddie
Paulson and Bernanke proposal would give mortgage finance giants bigger line of credit with Treasury and open NY Federal Reserve lending window.

Washington Times: Candidates' tax plans agree on one thing: More debt
The differences between the tax policies being promoted by Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are stark, but neither candidate's proposal tackles the nation's worsening fiscal problems, analysts say.

Politico: Obama slams Muslim portrayal
Barack Obama's campaign is condemning as “tasteless and offensive” a New Yorker magazine cover that depicts Obama in a turban, fist-bumping his gun-slinging wife. An American flag burns in their fireplace. The New Yorker says it's satire. It certainly will be candy for cable news.

Seattle Times: McCain, Obama to speak to NAACP
Barack Obama and John McCain vie for African-American votes this week with appearances at the NAACP convention in Cincinnati, a stop with potential opportunities and pitfalls for both candidates. Obama is to speak tonight. On the surface, the venerable civil-rights organization's 99th convention should be a love fest between the African-American attendees and the first African American with a real chance of being elected president.

CNN Exclusive: Obama on foreign policy
Sen. Barack Obama discussed his vision for the world in a wide-ranging foreign policy discussion with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. The Democratic presidential hopeful answered some tough questions about how he would deal with the world's crises, what he would do if Osama bin Laden is caught and his plan for Iraq.

LA Times: McCain takes a Social Security risk
It was a spectacular flop: a president making dozens of fruitless trips around the country to build support for a plan his own party's leadership refused to accept. But President Bush's failed push to privatize Social Security has not deterred John McCain from putting forward the same idea - and from risking a similar political disaster.

McCain versus the eight-year electoral jinx
PRESIDENT BUSH has left presumptive GOP nominee John McCain with a lot of problems, but the biggest may be the weak 50.7 percent of the vote that Bush received when running for reelection. That's a problematic number because American political parties almost always lose support when trying to secure a third term in the White House. The last time that a party improved its vote percentage after two terms was in 1928, when Republican Herbert Hoover soundly beat Democrat Al Smith, the first Catholic to be nominated to the presidency.

USA Today: Scope wide at NAACP meetings
The NAACP will greet Barack Obama at its convention Monday night as someone whose presidential candidacy culminates its hopes and dreams for a century, the leader of the civil rights organization says. So why is John McCain campaigning at the NAACP convention Wednesday?

USA Today: Hopes on race relations are high, poll shows
Barack Obama's groundbreaking candidacy has raised high expectations among blacks and whites that his election would make race relations in the United States better. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of nearly 2,000 Americans also finds about a third of both groups say the defeat of the first black to win a major party's presidential nomination would worsen race relations.

AP: NAACP head: Obama win won't solve racial injustice
Racial disparity will remain an issue in America, regardless of whether Barack Obama is elected as the nation's first black president, the chairman of the NAACP told the organization's national convention Sunday night.

NY Times: Troops in Afghanistan Need Help, Obama Says
Senator Barack Obama is proposing that the United States deploy about 10,000 more troops to battle resurgent forces in Afghanistan, a plan intended to shift the American military focus from the Iraq war to the marked rise in violence from the Taliban.

AP: Iran denounces McCain's remarks about cigarettes
Iran's Foreign Ministry has condemned remarks by Republican presidential candidate John McCain that exporting cigarettes could be a way of killing Iranians. The state-owned English language IRAN daily has quoted ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini denouncing the remarks as "inappropriate" and describing McCain's attitude as "regretful."

Houston Chronicle: McCain finds inspiration in another GOP maverick
At his Hidden Valley ranch near Sedona, Ariz., Sen. John McCain takes his guests for long hikes across the creek and up the hill, pointing out species of birds, plants and wildlife, and occasionally serving as medic to extract cactus thorns from his friends.

CNN: Candidates target crucial voting blocs
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are starting the week reaching out to two crucial voting blocs - Hispanic and African-American voters. Both candidates are speaking before the National Council of La Raza, one of the country's largest Hispanic organizations.

AP: McCain: I've earned Hispanics' trust
John McCain says he has earned the trust of Hispanic voters by championing an immigration reform bill that nearly killed his presidential bid. The Republican presidential candidate also says, in remarks prepared for delivery Monday in San Diego, that Democrat Barack Obama failed to take a similar stand on the politically explosive issue of illegal immigration.

WSJ: Not All Democrats Want To Ride Obama's Coattails
Barack Obama could have long coattails this fall. That doesn't mean that every Democrat is going to want to grab on to them. The Illinois senator is likely to spur voter turnout among African-Americans and college students in some districts where Democrats hope to pick up House seats now held by Republicans or to fend off Republican challenges. But other Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns could see Sen. Obama's politics and his weakness among working-class whites as a liability.

LA Times: Obama mines a Republican stronghold
In Newport Beach, unlikely friends help the Democrat rival McCain in Orange County fundraising.

Washington Post: Obama to Donors: 'I'm Skinny but I'm Tough'
John McCain may have visited Iraq more often than has Barack Obama, but the Illinois senator is pretty confident that he already knows more than his opponent about the situation there. "I will recall the visit he made last year in which he was surrounded by helicopters and SWAT teams and he came back and reported how safe everything was in Baghdad.

New York Sun: Obama Tells Teachers Union He Opposes Vouchers
Senator Obama is saying decisively that he does not support private school vouchers, while sticking with his support for incentive pay for teachers based on their students' performance.

CNN: Dodd on Fannie, Freddie: They are 'sound'
Things got heated Sunday morning on CNN’s Late Edition over the question of whether taxpayers have to bail out the government-sponsored mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

CNN: Schumer: Don't blame me for IndyMac failure
Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday the Bush administration is trying to "blame the fire on the person who calls 911" by suggesting he had a role in one of the costliest U.S. bank failures.

NY Times: Government as the Big Lender
The desperate worry over the health of huge financial institutions with country cousin names — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — reflects a reality that has reshaped major spheres of American life: the government has in recent months taken on an increasingly dominant role in assuring that Americans can buy a home or attend college.

Washington Post Op-ED: Lugar and Paulson: Bridging the Gap on Climate Change
Despite the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, there remain sharp political disagreements both here in the United States and around the world about how policymakers should respond. Nowhere is this gap more profound than between developed and developing countries.

LA Times: Arms fraud inquiry takes a political turn
A top-priority federal investigation of military procurement fraud in Afghanistan has been forced to shift direction because of a congressional panel's allegation that a senior U.S. diplomat sought to cover up the scheme.

WSJ Op-Ed: Spector and Lieberman: Foreign Courts Take Aim at Our Free Speech
Our Constitution is one of our greatest assets in the fight against terrorism. A free-flowing marketplace of ideas, protected by the First Amendment, enables the ideals of democracy to defeat the totalitarian vision of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

NY Times: Lieberman Finds Middle a Tricky Path
Joseph I. Lieberman, lapsed Democrat of Connecticut, strolled into the weekly lunch of the Senate Democrats last Tuesday, unaccompanied by a food taster. He greeted his colleagues, including some who felt he should not have been there.

NY Times: Democrats Look to Lobbyist to Finance Convention
In terms of lobbyists, few are more connected — both west of the Mississippi and in the corridors of power in Washington — than Steve Farber, a Denver lawyer whose political contacts have thrust him into a central fund-raising role for the Democratic National Convention.

CNN: No McCain-Huckabee ticket?
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Saturday he's not formally being vetted for the No. 2 spot on John McCain's presidential ticket.

CNN: Obama not worried he's too preachy
Barack Obama says he hasn’t spoken to Rev. Jesse Jackson since the pastor was caught by an open mic saying that Obama is “talking down to black people,” and using a vulgar expression to vent his feelings about the candidate.

Washington Post: In Obama's Circle, Chicago Remains The Tie That Binds
For once, Barack Obama left his iPod and stack of news clips at his seat and worked the front cabin of his campaign's chartered plane, laughing and reminiscing with the people who know him best.

NY Times: Schwarzenegger Weighs Post Under Obama
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who has endorsed Senator John McCain and called his fellow Republican a role model, suggested in an interview broadcast Sunday that he would be willing to serve as an energy and environment czar under Senator Barack Obama should he win the presidency.

NY Times: Obama Borrows Page From Clinton
Senator Barack Obama on Sunday proposed offering tax breaks to small businesses as an incentive to provide health care to their employees, borrowing an idea from a former rival in the Democratic presidential race.

CNN: 'No site in mind' for Obama's Germany speech
Flying to California Saturday night, Barack Obama told reporters he “didn’t have a particular site in mind” for an upcoming speech in Germany and he doesn’t “want the negative to be a distraction.”

Washington Post: A Leader Left Behind?
Jesse Jackson's voice sparked hope long before Barack Obama's rise to political stardom. Now it's his bitter words that resound, stirring a new debate.

AP: McCain quips about presidential bids by Arizonans
John McCain says he intends to reverse a trend that other politicians from Arizona have faced in running for president. The four Arizonans who have made presidential bids — Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964, Rep. Morris K. Udall in 1976, former Gov. Bruce Babbitt in 1988 and McCain in 2000 — either lost in the general election or never won their party nominations.

NY Times: Pakistan Marble Helps Taliban Stay in Business
ZIARAT, Pakistan — The mountain of white marble shines with such brilliance in the sun it looks like snow. For four years, the quarry beneath it lay dormant, its riches captive to tribal squabbles and government ineptitude in this corner of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Washington Times: Gunfight at the ACLU corral
Gun rights are so popular in Nevada that they are backed by even the state chapter of a liberal group that conservatives usually love to hate. And Republicans are in clover. Nevada's pistol-packing Gov. Jim Gibbons, a Republican, welcomed the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada to his posse in the gun debate after the group broke with the national ACLU to champion the Second Amendment guarantee for an individual right to keep and bear arms.

CNN: McKinney running for president as Green candidate
The liberal environmentalist Green Party nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as its presidential candidate Saturday. McKinney, 53, held off three rivals to win the party's nomination during its convention in Chicago, Illinois. She picked journalist and activist Rosa Clemente as her running mate.


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