July 21st, 2008
06:05 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, July 21, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau
NY Times: Comment Stings Maliki as Obama Arrives in Baghdad
On the eve of Senator Barack Obama’s visit to Iraq, its prime minister tried to step back Sunday from comments in an interview in which he appeared to support Mr. Obama’s plan for troop withdrawal.

New York Sun: Obama, Maliki May Soon Talk of a Timeline
When Senator Obama arrives in Baghdad this week, he will have a chance to hear directly from Prime Minister al-Maliki whether the Iraqi leader supports the 16-month withdrawal timeline that Mr. Obama has embraced on the campaign trail.

CNN Radio: McCain, Obama make good sports
“Sen. Barack Obama talked football with U-S troops in Afghanistan, while Sen. John McCain took in a baseball game with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Sen. McCain’s one-time rival for the Republican presidential nomination did most of the talking. Click below to hear CNN's Bob Costantini with today's CNN Radio Political Ticker headlines."

CNN: Barack Obama arrives in Iraq
Presumptive U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama arrived in Iraq on Monday for talks with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders over a 5-year-old war he has pledged to end, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Washington Times: Obama ups ante on Afghans, Pakistanis
Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday prodded Afghanistan and Pakistan to do more to combat al Qaeda and Taliban forces using those nations as bases of operations, as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee used a campaign-season trip to Afghanistan to bolster his leadership credentials.

WSJ: Rice limits embassies' aid for candidates
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has instructed U.S. overseas missions to provide only minimal support to foreign visits by the two main presidential candidates, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, forbidding diplomats to hold events or arrange meetings for them.

CNN: Sunday Roundup: Foreign affairs on the agenda
A roundup of quotes from the Sunday political talk shows, as compiled by the CNN Wire.

WSJ: A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank
For the Pritzker family of Chicago, the 2001 collapse of subprime-mortgage lender Superior Bank was an embarrassing failure in a corner of their giant business empire. Billionaire Penny Pritzker helped run Hinsdale, Ill.-based Superior, overseeing her family's 50% ownership stake.

NY Times: Clinton Lends Her Campaign More Money as Its Debt Proves Stubborn
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lent her campaign an additional $1 million at the end of June, underscoring the difficulty she is having staying ahead of creditors and retiring a mountain of campaign debt, filings with the Federal Election Commission show.

Washington Post: For 'Surge' Troops, Pride Mingles With Doubt
This time last year, Capt. Wes Wilhite's men were getting ready to move into an abandoned house in western Baghdad wedged between cells of Sunni insurgents to the south and strongholds of Shiite militias to the north.

WSJ: Pakistan's Economic Woes Pose New Threat
Economic turmoil is roiling Pakistan, spawning another daunting test for the country's wobbly leadership. A key ally of the U.S. in its global fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban, Pakistan is trying to contain an insurgency by Muslim militants that is spreading from border areas with neighboring Afghanistan. The government also is struggling to hold together a shaky coalition of warring political parties.

Time: Obama's War Zone Guides
When Barack Obama was preparing to make his first trip to Iraq as part of a congressional delegation in January, 2006, he sought the advice of one of his Senate colleagues about how to make the most of his day and a half there, most of which would be within the 10-mile-wide, U.S.-controlled Green Zone.

Politico: News in terror hot spots appears to aid Obama
Barack Obama’s long-awaited and much-hyped trip overseas, in large part intended to overcome a perception that he’s not up to the job of commander-in-chief, seems to have come at the perfect time as recent events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran have played into his message.

CNN: Why all of the Obama buzz?
Sen. Barack Obama’s overseas trip has created more buzz than Sen. John McCain’s foreign travels because the storyline is more interesting, according to Michael Crowley, senior editor of The New Republic.

CNN: Giuliani: Obama trip highlights inexperience
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Sunday Barack Obama’s overseas visit is only serving to highlight the candidate’s inexperience in world affairs.

CNN: Lieberman: Obama choosing to lose Iraq war
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is choosing to lose the Iraq war by planning to withdraw American combat troops, a high-profile supporter of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

NY Times: After 2000, McCain Learned to Work Levers of Power
Senator John McCain was all but a sworn enemy of Senator Trent Lott, the former Republican leader. Mr. Lott had quashed Mr. McCain’s most cherished legislative goals. And, worse, Mr. McCain believed that in the 2000 Republican primaries, Mr. Lott had spread rumors about his colleague’s mental stability on behalf of his rival for the nomination, George W. Bush.

NY Times: McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum
It has taken a man of God, perhaps, to do what nobody else has been able to do since the general election season began: Get Barack Obama and John McCain together on the same stage before their party conventions later this summer.

AP: Dobson shifts positions, may endorse McCain
Conservative Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona senator despite serious misgivings."I never thought I would hear myself saying this," Dobson said in a radio broadcast to air Monday. "... While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might."

AP: Gore: Clinton campaign changed perception of women
Al Gore said Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for the White House helped change society's perception of women. But the former vice president, who has endorsed Barack Obama, demurred when asked whether the New York senator was treated unfairly during the campaign because of her gender.

NPR: Nuclear Power A Thorny Issue For Candidates
Nuclear power doesn't usually make for an applause line in a stump speech, but it has come up on the campaign trail. Both Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain see it as a way to combat climate change, though they've sometimes chosen their words with care.

CNN: Paulson braces public for months of tough times
Treasury sectretary says problems in the banking system are a "manageable situation" – but that it will take time to work through them.

WSJ: Banker Leaves Goldman Sachs To Aid Paulson
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s most senior financial-institutions banker, Ken Wilson, is temporarily leaving the firm to advise Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on how to resolve the country's banking crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

NY Times: Rising Value of a Vote in a Struggling Economy
Senator Barack Obama is commanding headlines this week from Baghdad to Berlin. But the central front in his war for the White House with Senator John McCain remains communities back home like Warren, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

NY Times Op-Ed: Stephen R. Heifetz: The Risk of Too Much Oversight
IN a city known for paralyzing bureaucratic turf fights, one of the most debilitating and potentially disastrous has received scant attention: it’s the Congressional mess that produces tangled homeland security laws. This tangle obstructs our ability to prioritize risks at the Department of Homeland Security, where I work alongside more than 200,000 colleagues, almost all of us civil servants (not political appointees) who will remain in place after the election.

Bloomberg: Bernanke, Paulson Pressed to Seek Big-Government Bank Bailout
Ben S. Bernanke and Henry Paulson are under pressure to embrace the big-government policies of America in the 1930s, or Sweden in the 1990s, to contain the conflagration engulfing the U.S. housing and financial markets.

CNN: McCain: From Double A to Yankee Stadium
Standing at home plate in the House that Ruth Built, John McCain put running for president in perspective: “It is like being in Double A and then all of a sudden you’re in Yankee Stadium.”

LA Times: In satirical payback, Obama camp denies New Yorker writer plane seat
There's probably no connection whatsoever. But the New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, whose long, long article on Barack Obama's early political days in Chicago's ward politics was the reason for the magazine's controversial cover by Barry Blitt depicting Obama as a Muslim, has been barred from traveling with Obama on his foreign field trip this week.

LA Times: Obama spoofers walk a fine punch line
The candidate is a tricky target for comedy, but performers in his adopted hometown are happy to poke fun.

CNN: Rice mum on presidential pick
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she knows who she’s voting for in the presidential election, but she’s keeping quiet about her pick. “Have you decided who to vote for?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked in an interview that aired Sunday on “Late Edition.” “Wolf, uh, yes,” Rice said.

Washington Post: Barack Who?
P resident Bush was asked twice last week about Sen. Barack Oba ma. In response, Bush never used the Democratic presidential candidate's name. As it turns out, Bush has uttered Obama's name only a handful of times since the senator from Illinois began running for the White House last year, according to a review of his public statements and appearances by Washington Post researcher Madonna Lebling.

Washington Post: Cybersecurity Will Take A Big Bite of the Budget
President Bush's single largest request for funds and "most important initiative" in the fiscal 2009 intelligence budget is for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a little publicized but massive program whose details "remain vague and thus open to question," according to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

WSJ: GOP Goes on Offensive For DeLay's Old Seat
While Democrats across the country count up the congressional districts they hope to take from Republicans nationwide in November, the suburbs south of Houston are another story. Republicans may have a good shot at picking up a Democratic - and highly symbolic - House seat there that belonged to Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay before he stepped down under a cloud in 2006.

LA Times: Gay marriage opponents got a surprise boost from San Diego mayor's change of heart
The Republican's support of his gay daughter energized conservatives to push Proposition 8 onto the ballot.

LA Times: State officials let off the hook for some campaign law violations
Fair Political Practices Commission issues warning letters instead of publicly announced fines for breaches deemed minor or inadvertent. Watchdogs fear the policy will lead to less transparency.

Washington Post Op-Ed: Sen. Lieberman: A Lesson From D.C. Schools
Michelle Rhee should be commended for her determination to implement courageous and innovative educational reforms in the District, and Congress should take note as it considers reshaping the No Child Left Behind Act.

Washington Post: Young Drivers Getting A Lesson in Economics
Gas prices are too high for a day trip to Dewey Beach. They are too high for a quick visit to see a friend in College Park. They consume enough of 18-year-old Ashleigh Krudys's paycheck that she second-guesses her social plans. This is not how she imagined life with a driver's license.

Washington Post: Liberal Bloggers Brace for Victory
"Yep, the way it's looking, we might actually win this thing . . ." That's Markos Moulitsas talking, a.k.a. "Kos" to everyone here at Netroots Nation, the four-day liberal blogapalooza that ended Sunday at the Austin Convention Center.


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