June 30th, 2008
06:09 AM ET
14 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, June 30, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Congressional Democrats hire Bush impersonator
House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

CNN: Preston on Politics: Barr says he's no Nader
Bob Barr was once a loyal soldier in the Republican Party — a lawmaker GOP leaders could count on to return home each weekend and echo their talking points at local political events, town hall meetings and civic lunches. … So why did Barr abandon the Republican Party in 2006? "It probably wasn't any one thing," he said during our conversation last week outside the White House.

NY Times: Veterans Long to Reclaim the Name ‘Swift Boat’
Years ago, when William Miller talked about being in the Vietnam War — if he talked about being in the Vietnam War — he would tell people he served on a Swift boat. At least now they have heard of it. But not in the way he would like.

CNN: Clark: Getting 'shot down in plane' doesn't make McCain qualified
Retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, on Sunday questioned whether Sen. John McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander-in-chief.

CNN: McCain: Obama's word cannot be trusted
Hours after sparring with Barack Obama over immigration, John McCain told crowd at fundraiser Saturday night that "Sen. Obama's word cannot be trusted."

Washington Post: Hearts, Not Minds; Polls Tell Them What Voters Think, But Moderators Say the Focus Group Reveals How Emotion Trumps Analysis
What if the 2008 presidential election were decided by voters acting not on their political judgments or analyses of the candidates, but on their emotions? In the view of some experts, this is a trick question - of course the election will be decided emotionally. Elections always are.

Politico: Western states may swing
One-third of Colorado registered voters are not affiliated with a political party. In New Mexico, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 200,000, yet the state routinely votes for the GOP presidential candidate. Montana voters don’t even register with a party.

Bloomberg: Boeing, Lockheed May Lose as Obama, McCain Reject Big Weapons
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned its clients last month that Barack Obama would be "a negative for defense stocks" if he became president, because he will cut weapons programs that generate the companies' biggest profits.

Washington Post: In Flag City USA, False Obama Rumors Are Flying
On his corner of College Street, Jim Peterman stares at the four American flags planted in his front lawn and rubs his forehead. Peterman, 74, is a retired worker at Cooper Tire, a father of two, an Air Force veteran and a self-described patriot. He took one trip to Washington in 1989 - best vacation of his life - and bought a statue of the Washington Monument that he still displays in a glass case in his living room.

CNN: McConnell: Senate GOP 'won’t be in the majority' next year
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) gave a bleak outlook on the prospects for a Republican-led Senate in 2009. During an interview with CNN’s Late Edition, McConnell told guest host Candy Crowley that the numbers were not in the GOP’s favor.

Washington Post: GOP Sharpens Attacks on Obama
Sen. John McCain's allies have seized on a new and aggressive line of attack against Sen. Barack Obama, casting the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee as an opportunistic and self-obsessed politician who will do and say anything to get elected.

WSJ: Obama Seeks to Add Black Voters
On a hot afternoon in this southern U.S. town, Tom Wolf, a field organizer for Barack Obama, delivered the fruits of hundreds of hours of staff effort - 130 voter-registration applications - to the Wake County Board of Elections office. They had been filled out by a handful of Republican-leaners, a few dozen young adults and scores of older African-Americans who stopped voting years ago.

AP: Sen. Kerry facing first Democratic foe in decades
Sen. John Kerry is facing his first primary opponent since he first took office 23 years ago, and his challenger has one issue in mind: The senator's 2003 vote authorizing President Bush to launch military action against Iraq.

NY Times: Traveling Overseas to Win Votes at Home
Colombia hardly constitutes a general election battleground. Neither does France nor Jordan. But Senators John McCain and Barack Obama are heading to those countries and others because votes can be won there.

USA Today: McCain to discuss 'shared values' in Colombia, Mexico
For the second time in two weeks, John McCain is taking his presidential campaign across the border.

USA Today: In Colombia, war against rebels easing after decades
The wounds of war are still fresh here in the Quinta Ramos Peace House, a shelter for former guerrillas in the Colombian capital. Men who spent their entire lives fighting now worry about finding work. Hardened rebels struggle to become mothers to children taken away at birth.

CNN: Evangelical movement touts 'Jesus for president'
They're spiritual misfits. Rabble-rousers. They packed the shell of the old Baptist church on Negley Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to hear author, Christian activist and fellow misfit Shane Claiborne stump on the campaign for a third party candidate, Jesus.

CNN: McAuliffe: Bill Clinton and Obama to talk within 48 hours
Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe assured CNN’s Candy Crowley that former President Bill Clinton and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will be discussing Clinton’s role in the campaign within the next two days.

USA Today: Michelle Obama: 'I don't want to be a distraction'
Michelle Obama has two potentially conflicting goals as she campaigns for her husband, Democrat Barack Obama: She wants to stay true to who she is and to keep the focus on issues, not her.

NY Times: Obama Camp Thinks Democrats Can Rise in South
As they look to the fall election, Democrats face a strategic decision that has bedeviled their party for 40 years: How hard should they fight in the South?

CNN: McCain gets praise, no endorsement, from Grahams
John McCain spent 45 minutes meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Graham’s North Carolina home Sunday morning.

CNN: Jindal: 'McCain has to talk more proactively' on economy
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-Louisiana, told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that he thinks John McCain has to be more proactive in his dialogue on domestic issues if he wants to win the White House.

CNN: McCain's Straight Talk Express grows wings
The Straight Talk Express — perhaps the most visible symbol of Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign — is taking to the skies. The Republican Party's presumptive nominee will unveil his new campaign airplane on Monday: a Boeing 737-400.

Washington Post: Why Do Journalists Mourn Russert So? Meet the New Press
Scratch the surface of all those glittering tributes for Tim Russert and you might find an undercoating of journalistic insecurity. The NBC analyst was hailed as a symbol of old-fashioned, carefully balanced, substance-driven reporting, an approach that, while not exactly extinct, often seems drowned out by today's loudmouth television culture.

NY Times: Meet the New ‘Press,’ Without the Pinned-Down, Wriggling Interviewees
There was no distant replay on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Tom Brokaw, the temporary host, did not try to duplicate Tim Russert’s trademark custom of digging up old videotape to catch politicians flip-flopping and contradicting themselves.

WSJ: John Bolton: The Tragic End of Bush's North Korea Policy
Maskirovka – the Soviet dark art of denial, deception and disguise – is alive and well in Pyongyang, years after the Soviet Union disappeared. Unfortunately, the Bush administration appears not to have gotten the word.

Washington Times: Search for digital contraband hit; 'Suspicionless' intrusions rile Democrats
Terrorist suspects, child pornographers and a corporate spy smuggling defense secrets have been apprehended upon entering the U.S. when data on their laptop computers were searched by Customs and Border Protection officers, but some Senate Democrats want to restrict routine "suspicionless" digital intrusions.

Washington Times: Foreign outreach called deficient; Panel urges more training
A congressionally mandated commission has issued a scathing criticism of the State Department's public diplomacy capabilities, saying that there is no U.S. official anywhere in the world whose full-time responsibility is to engage with ordinary people.

WSJ: Michael Bloomberg and Thomas M. Menino: Some Gun Rules We Can All Agree On
Finally. After decades of ideological debates over the meaning of every word and comma contained in the U.S. Constitution's one-sentence Second Amendment, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that should largely settle the matter.

NY Times: Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan
Late last year, top Bush administration officials decided to take a step they had long resisted. They drafted a secret plan to make it easer for the Pentagon’s Special Operations forces to launch missions into the snow-capped mountains of Pakistan to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda.

New York Sun: Terror Case Judge: Iran Must Identify U.S. Assets
In an apparently unprecedented move, a federal judge in Chicago is ordering the government of Iran to comply with the requests of terrorism victims that the Islamic nation identify of all of its real estate holdings, financial assets, and other property in America.

Washington Post: Pentagon Fights EPA On Pollution Cleanup
The Defense Department, the nation's biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose "imminent and substantial" dangers to public health and the environment.

Washington Post: Compassionate Conservatism 2.0
"Compassionate conservatism" is back. President Bush focused attention on that signature phrase last week at a national conference for federal faith-based programs - among his first, and still most controversial, policy initiatives. As he noted in his speech on Thursday, Bush began talking as long ago as 1999 about loosening restrictions on the participation of religiously affiliated groups in government programs.

NY Times: Hoarding Nations Drive Food Costs Ever Higher
At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months, to ensure that their own people have enough to eat, at affordable prices.


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