July 2nd, 2008
05:51 AM ET
15 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, July 2, 2008



Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNNMoney.com: Americans say they'll vote with their wallets
The battered economy is the top issue for voters, and that isn't expected to change by November.

CNN: Obama focuses on faith; McCain slams earmarks in crime speech
Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday that Washington needs to draw on faith-based groups to solve the challenges the country is facing, "from saving our planet to ending poverty."

Washington Times: Candidates urged to cut non-career ambassadors
A group of former diplomats whose ranks include all living ex-secretaries of state has urged Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain to commit to reducing significantly the number of political ambassadorial appointments if either of them becomes president.

WSJ: Backers Fault Obama On His Web Site
The unprecedented online network that has driven Barack Obama's fund-raising and organizing success may be a double-edged presence in the campaign, as his support for a domestic-spying bill has spawned a challenge from his Internet-savvy liberal base - on his own campaign Web site.

Washington Times: McCain told to 'calm down' over service
Sen. Jim Webb on Tuesday became the third high-ranking Obama supporter to question Sen. John McCain's military service, but Sen. Barack Obama's campaign said it was not part of an orchestrated effort conceived or approved by the Democratic presidential candidate.


AP: Texas rep. coy about Obama VP spot
U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards was coy Tuesday about whether he has talked with the Barack Obama campaign about a No. 2 spot on the ticket a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi singled him out as the best House member for the job.

LA Times: The campaign comment that will not die
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark's dismissive remark about McCain's military experience has taken on a life of its own.

Politico: McCain game plan worries insiders
Four months have passed since John McCain effectively captured the party nomination, and the insiders are getting restless. Top GOP officials, frustrated by what they view as inconsistent messaging, sluggish fundraising and an organization that is too slow to take shape, are growing increasingly uneasy about the direction of the McCain presidential campaign.

National Journal: Watchdog Seeks Coleman Probe
A government watchdog group in Washington today called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., violated Senate gift rules in renting an apartment on Capitol Hill from Republican strategist and telemarketer Jeff Larson.

Politico: Obama not running as movement
Barack Obama is a different kind of Democrat. He is one who actually intends to win. I don’t know if he will or not, but I do know that he has made a key decision: He has decided to run as a candidate for president and not as the leader of a movement.

San Francisco Gate: Obama opposes proposed ban on gay marriage
Gay rights moved to the forefront of the presidential campaign Tuesday after Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's announcement that he opposes a November ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in California.

Politico: Cindy’s fortune: An asset and a liability
In 2004, Republicans demanded fuller disclosure about the considerable fortune of Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Now, the GOP is reaping what it sowed.

Washington Post: Obama Got Discount on Home Loan; Campaign Defends Lower Rate as Lender Competition for Business
Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To finance the purchase, he secured a $1.32 million loan from Northern Trust in Illinois.

WSJ: Lobbyists Push for Sway Over Fuel-Economy Rules
Interest groups are bombarding federal regulators to tailor new vehicle fuel-economy rules to their liking, as the pressures posed by soaring oil prices and the ailing automobile industry complicate energy policy.

CNN: Obama works to mobilize 'Christian left'
Democrats have usually conceded the evangelical vote during presidential elections, but Sen. Barack Obama is trying to change that by mobilizing what some call the "Christian left."

NY Times: Obama Voters Protest His Switch on Telecom Immunity
Senator Barack Obama’s decision to support legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants has led to an intense backlash among some of his most ardent supporters.

WSJ: How Bush Ratings Complicate McCain's Presidential Fight
President Bush's record unpopularity is playing an unprecedented role in the 2008 campaign, complicating John McCain's task among key constituencies. Mr. Bush received a 66% disapproval rating in The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll for June, tying his own record for the highest ever for any president in the Journal/NBC poll.

NY Times: Improve Human Rights, McCain Tells Colombian President
Senator John McCain pressed President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia to do more to improve human rights in a meeting on Tuesday evening here. Earlier in the day, he criticized his Democratic competitor, Senator Barack Obama, for opposing a trade agreement between the United States and Colombia.

WSJ: Nuclear Pact With Russia Faces Resistance
The Bush administration's landmark nuclear-cooperation pact with Russia is being threatened by delays in the U.S. Congress, the latest in a series of missteps in the White House's counterproliferation strategy.

NY Times: China Blocks U.S. Legislators’ Meeting
Two United States representatives who were in Beijing to lobby for the release of more than 700 political prisoners had hoped to have dinner on Sunday with a group of Chinese human rights lawyers. But security agents had a different idea: they detained some of the lawyers and warned the others to stay away.

Washington Times: Countrywide's PAC closing amid inquiries
The political arm of embattled Countrywide Financial Corp., which has donated more than a half-million dollars to candidates and political groups since 2005, is shutting down amid a corporate buyout and ongoing inquiries into whether lawmakers got sweetheart deals from the California-based subprime lender.

Washington Post: U.S. Embassy Cites Progress in Iraq
Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress, according to a report by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

CNNMoney.com: Bush: Housing bill possible
The president says he has confidence that Congress will pass a $300 billion foreclosure-rescue bill if they put politics aside.

New York Daily News: I'm still the best, though John McCain is No. 2, says Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani set out Tuesday to defend John McCain's readiness to be President, but ended up saying the presumptive GOP nominee is second-best – to himself.

NY Times: China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo
The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

NY Times: In Weighing Death Penalty, a Flaw in Fact
When the Supreme Court ruled last week that the death penalty for raping a child was unconstitutional, the majority noted that a child rapist could face the ultimate penalty in only six states — not in any of the 30 other states that have the death penalty, and not under the jurisdiction of the federal government either.

LA Times: U.S. spies on Iraqi army, sources say
Caught off guard by recent Iraqi military operations, the United States is using spy satellites that ordinarily are trained on adversaries to monitor the movements of the American-backed Iraqi army, current and former U.S. officials say.

Washington Times: Deal lets U.S. drones strike bin Laden
The United States has a standing agreement with Pakistan that CIA-operated Predator drones may strike Osama bin Laden's hide-out without prior permission from Islamabad, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

Washington Post: Air Force Finds Lax Nuclear Security
Most overseas storage sites for U.S. nuclear weapons, particularly in Europe, need substantial improvements in physical security measures and the personnel who guard the weapons, according to a newly available Air Force report.

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