Bipartisanship in Washington is virtually non-existent these days – except for President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll – conducted after the president's speech this week – shows his plan wins approval from 63 percent of Democrats, a whopping 72 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Independents. Gee, with a consensus like that you could actually run the country.
The president is getting thumbs-up from people more inclined to extend their middle fingers when it comes to things Democratic. Karl Rove says that the president's speech "deserves to be cheered" and insists victory is attainable.
Newt Gingrich is out praising President Obama for showing political courage on Afghanistan... in going against the anti-war left in his own party.
This is not to say that there aren't critics of the president's Afghanistan strategy in both parties, but on the whole, he's getting support – at least for now. If it doesn't go as planned, all bets are off. But at least for a few minutes we have the leadership of the country agreeing on something.
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In the midst of perhaps the most contentious national debate since the Vietnam War, President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.
Can you spell tone-deaf?
Dr. Regina Benjamin has been paid 10-thousand dollars since last year to serve on a scientific advisory board for the company that brings us the Whopper and the B-K Triple Stacker.
According to the Washington Times, Burger King says the doctor was on the company's nutritional advisory panel... which is meant to "promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices."
The Department of Health and Human Services says Benjamin was advocating for food that was lower in salt and recommending that nutritional information appear on packaging. They add that she will resign from Burger King once she's confirmed by the Senate as surgeon general and will "continue to promote healthy eating and exercise." You want fries with that?
But, many aren't buying it and see a conflict of interest. After all, Burger King is still a fast food joint. And, in a nation where one-third of adults are obese, fast food restaurants aren't helping any.
Since her nomination, Dr. Benjamin has won support from both sides of the aisle, particularly for running a health clinic for the poor after Hurricane Katrina – but there's also been criticism. As we reported in the Cafferty File last month, some believe that the president's selection of an overweight candidate for the nation's top doctor sent the wrong message. Now we find out she works for Burger King.
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Jack Cafferty wasn't here Friday for the Cafferty File because of some tragic news.
His wife of 35 years, Carol, passed away unexpectedly this morning. Carol was everything to Jack. The dedication of his book reads, “for Carol, my wife, my life.”
Jack wrote about how she was the inspiration for him to get sober and straighten up his life: “In all the years that we’ve been married, she has always brought to the table her unshakable grounding in something a lot more real than being on television or being recognized in the corner drugstore. She has been my rock, having done a magnificent job of keeping me from getting full of helium and drifting off the surface of the earth… She was all the incentive I needed to make painful but transforming changes – to get sober and stop smoking. I knew that I’d lose her if I didn’t. She’s an amazing woman who simply wasn’t worth losing.”
One story Jack loves to tell is how he and Carol met – when he was a local news anchor in Kansas City. They started to meet regularly for a quick meal between his shows and became good friends. Whenever Jack had to leave, his exit line was “We’d better wrap this up. Got to get back to the station.” One night Carol finally asked, “What kind of a gas station do you work at? You’re always wearing a tie.”
Jack explained it was a television station. He loved the fact that she had no clue and couldn’t care less that he had been on air there every night for four years. He later described that as one of his life’s “twenty-four-carat moments” that made his heart soar. He said to himself then that he might marry her because “it can’t get any more honest and pure than that.”
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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Coming to a theater before he leaves office: "W”, Oliver Stone's upcoming movie about President Bush.
A draft of the script describes our president as, quote "a foul-mouthed, reformed drunk who is obsessed with baseball."
"The Hollywood Reporter" sent a draft of the screenplay to four biographers of the president to see how accurate they thought it was. Reactions were mixed; they say specific scenes are largely based in fact, but the screenplay shows inaccurate and over-the-top caricatures of President Bush and his inner circle.
One biographer says it "really misses the mark" of how the White House is run, leaving the impression that it's similar to a fraternity house, with everyone using nicknames and casually chatting about going to war. Another biographer was skeptical about Stone's claim that he wants to make a "fair, true portrait" of the president... saying that's "like Donald Trump saying he is going to be modest." Also, several of the experts say the script inaccurately depicts the president as being manipulated by White House staff when it comes to policy decisions.
Someone is lying. The New York Times dropped a bombshell on John McCain this morning with a front page story that could cost him the White House.
It's great reading… an improper relationship with a lobbyist, a woman named Vicki Iseman. His inner circle convinced they were having an affair. All happening while he was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and she was representing clients who had business before McCain's committee. The two of them together at fundraisers, in his office, aboard private corporate jets. It got so bad his closest friends and advisers finally stepped in to save McCain from himself. This is all according to the New York Times.
Problem with the story is it's a little "skinny." Most of it is based on unnamed sources, which detracts from its credibility. On the other hand, the Times byline contains the names of four reporters who were not likely to go to their editors and say, "Look what we've got," if they didn't have it.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here.
These days politics is all about voting blocs – you know African-Americans, Latinos, women. But there’s one group that might not be getting as much attention as it deserves: white men.
These guys often go unnoticed, even though they could play a big role in deciding both the Democratic nominee and the next president.
Working-class white men make up almost one-quarter of all voters. That’s more than blacks and Hispanics combined. The group is usually defined as those without a college degree, including union members and those with service and technical jobs. They typically make less than $50,000 a year. And, they make up huge chunks of the electorate in key states like Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania.
FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:
Hillary Clinton has her eyes on the monster March 4 contests in Ohio and Texas, but today’s Wisconsin primary could prove to be a crucial race for her.
A win could reinvigorate her campaign and perhaps grab back some of the momentum that seems to be all Barack Obama’s at this point. A loss could raise some serious questions about whether she has anything left.
Hillary Clinton probably doesn't like the message coming from some of her supporters, who are now questioning her reliance on superdelegates in order to beat Barack Obama.
New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, who is one of Clinton's top African-American allies, insists it's the people, and not the superdelegates, who will select the Democratic nominee for president. Rangel adds, "The people's will is what's going to prevail at the convention and not people who decide what the people's will is."
Then there's New York Senator Chuck Schumer, another big Clinton supporter, who doesn't seem pleased with Clinton's willingness to fight it out with Obama on the floor of the convention in August. New York's senior senator is calling on both Clinton and Obama to agree on a winner after the last caucus in June. He says, "I don't think either candidate wants, or can even get away with, forcing their will down the throat of the other."
The Iowa caucuses tonight could be a make-or-break event for some of the presidential hopefuls.
Even before Iowans make their choices, there are reports that Republican Fred Thompson may drop out of the race within days if he places a distant third, or worse. Sources suggest if he drops out, he will then endorse John McCain, which could shake up the race in New Hampshire. And Thompson probably won't be the only one to hang it up.
A piece in "The Politico" today asks if there really are three tickets out of Iowa. Although candidates like to talk about how winning "gold, silver, or bronze" is enough, a third-place finish in Iowa has almost always meant the end of the road for presidential wanna-bees.