July 9th, 2008
06:37 AM ET
13 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, July 8, 2008


Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Preston on Politics
In this latest installment of “Preston on Politics,” Nicolle Wallace, a senior advisor to Sen. John McCain, talks about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s political strategy, as well as what distinguishes him from President Bush.

CNN: Yellin Analysis: McCain looking to fix mojo problems
It's being billed as the new and improved Sen. John McCain - a sure-footed candidate working to reconnect with voters and recapture the magic that made him a political maverick. But will it work?

LA Times: Obama shows signs of being trail-weary
The Democrat makes the most of the occasional break with his family but can't seem to escape the spotlight.

NY Times: McCain Adviser Rejects Talk of Becoming Chief Strategist
Mike Murphy, Senator John McCain’s longtime adviser and friend who had been rumored to be joining the McCain campaign as a chief strategist, said Tuesday that he would not be doing so.

WSJ: Clinton, Bush Advisers Steeped in Crisis Join Forces
Two hard-charging political operatives are teaming up to create a bipartisan consulting organization to advise corporations in crisis - as they work to burnish their own reputations as well. Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn, chairman and CEO of public-relations firm Burson-Marsteller, is hiring former Bush adviser Karen Hughes as a vice chairman, the principals say.


WSJ: In McCain's Vietnam Ad, There's No 'Love' Lost
In his latest campaign ad, expected Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain highlights his time spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam - so it initially seems offbeat that the title of the ad is "Love."

NY Times: Obama Says His Critics Haven’t Been Listening
Senator Barack Obama on Tuesday forcefully addressed concerns that he had moved too quickly to the political center, acknowledging complaints from “my friends on the left” about his statements on Iraq, his approaches to evangelicals and his remarks on other issues that have alarmed some of his supporters.

CNN: Edwards would 'seriously consider' VP offer
John Edwards said Tuesday that if he were asked to accept the vice presidential slot or a cabinet position in a potential Barack Obama administration, he would “seriously consider” whatever the Illinois senator asked him to do.

Washington Times: GOP chief sees support for Obama
The leader of Virginia's Republican Party predicted Tuesday that Sen. Barack Obama will do better among Virginia voters than previous Democratic presidential candidates have but said it's highly improbable he will beat Republican Sen. John McCain in the state.

WSJ: Obama Proposes Changes to Bankruptcy Law
Barack Obama unveiled a proposal to protect consumers in bankruptcy, signaling the Democratic Party's further swing to the left on economic policy as financial conditions continue to deteriorate.

NY Times: McCain Health Plan and That High-Risk Pool
If Senator John McCain’s radical plan for remaking American health care is to work, he will have to find a way to cover people like Chaim Benamor, 52, a self-employed renovator in this Baltimore suburb. Mr. Benamor never found it necessary to buy insurance before having a mild heart attack last year and now, 13 years shy of Medicare, has little hope of doing so.

National Journal: Free Trade-Off
John McCain came under Democratic fire again this week for traveling abroad to talk about trade. After taking a trip to Canada just two weeks ago to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement, McCain on Thursday returned home to Phoenix from a three-day trip to Colombia and Mexico where he reaffirmed his commitment to free trade

LA Times: McCain can't resist the Iran joke
By this late in the campaign, one might think that John McCain would have learned to steer clear of jokes about Iran. The Arizona senator got endless grief last year for turning the Beach Boys tune "Barbara Ann" into "Bomb Iran," singing the altered chorus in response to a question from a man in South Carolina who had asked when the U.S. was going to send an "airmail message" to Iran.

NY Times: Obama Donors Aren’t Rushing to Aid Clinton
A prominent donor to Senator Barack Obama recently sent an e-mail plea to other supporters, asking them — for the sake of Democratic unity — to write checks to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to help retire her $23 million in campaign debt. Some of the replies are unprintable, given the coarse language, the donor said.

Washington Post: Close Kerry-McCain Kinship Has Dissolved Since 2004
Those who know them say they once shared a genuine affection for each other, born in large part from their shared experiences serving in the Vietnam War and their work together in the early 1990s on a Senate committee investigating the fate of prisoners of war and of those missing in action during the conflict.

LA Times: Villaraigosa tries to get the Obama crowd buzzing
Not long ago, Antonio Villaraigosa was on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's team. But the Los Angeles mayor is a nimble politician. When her rival Sen. Barack Obama prevailed, Clinton had barely conceded before Villaraigosa went on CNN to talk about Obama.

USA Today: McCain touts immigration reform to Hispanic voters
John McCain reaffirmed his commitment to "comprehensive immigration reform" Tuesday, telling a Hispanic group that sealing the border is not enough.

USA Today: McCain, Obama to continue duel over economy
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are battling to convince Americans that they are most qualified to lead the country out of its profound economic slump, the issue that has shot past the Iraq war as first among concerns weighing on U.S. voters.

WSJ: Costs for Conventions Threaten to Spoil the Parties
As Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul prepare to host this summer's national political conventions, there are mounting signs security costs and fund-raising headaches are causing cities to think twice about hosting such events.

USA Today: Convention cities sued by protesters
The cities hosting the Democratic and Republican conventions also will inevitably host thousands of protesters — and those visitors have already taken Denver and St. Paul to court.

WSJ: Democrats Discuss Second Stimulus
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said he had spoken to the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives about a second economic-stimulus package, in another attempt to bring the country out of what increasingly seems to be a severe economic downturn.

AP: GOP: Don't blame manufacturers for toxic trailers
Republicans are blaming the federal government for not having standards for safe levels of formaldehyde in trailers used by Hurricane Katrina victims. Democrats say that's not the whole story, but haven't offered their view of the problems.

CNN: Senate GOP pressured to stop Medicare 'meltdown'
Republicans were facing pressure Tuesday to vote for a rollback of across-the-board cuts in Medicare payments to health providers after a major doctors' group said the cuts could lead to a "meltdown" of the government's health care system for the elderly.

CNNMoney.com: Pelosi calls on Bush to release reserve oil
House leader says releasing of a 'small portion' of the 700 million barrels of oil in the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve won't risk national security.

NY Times: Lawmakers Re-energized on Energy
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said anxiety over fuel oil costs is at crisis proportions in her state. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, said oil drilling advocates weighed in from the sidelines as she marched in a Fourth of July parade.

CNN: War Powers Act needs fixing, bipartisan panel says
The United States needs a new law requiring that the president consult with Congress before going to war, a blue-ribbon panel led by two former secretaries of state said Tuesday.

CNN: Atheist soldier sues Army for 'unconstitutional' discrimination
Army Spc. Jeremy Hall was raised Baptist. Like many Christians, he said grace before dinner and read the Bible before bed. Four years ago when he was deployed to Iraq, he packed his Bible so he would feel closer to God.

AP: Judge to White House: Guantanamo is top priority
A federal judge overseeing Guantanamo Bay lawsuits ordered the Justice Department to put other cases aside and make it clear throughout the Bush administration that, after nearly seven years of detention, the detainees must have their day in court.

Washington Post: Report Finds Gaps in Federal E-Mail Records
Federal officials inconsistently preserve government e-mail, creating gaps in the public record and making it difficult for the public to understand the activities of the government, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office yesterday.

AP: General says Iraqi security forces still need help
U.S. aid for Iraq's army and police units will be needed for the foreseeable future, although the security forces are becoming increasingly independent, a senior general will tell Congress on Wednesday.

Washington Post: Congress May Not Pass U.S.-India Nuclear Pact
India's civil nuclear agreement with the United States may have cleared a key hurdle in New Delhi this week, but it appears unlikely to win final approval in the U.S. Congress this year, raising the possibility that India could begin nuclear trade with other countries even without the Bush administration's signature deal, according to administration officials and congressional aides.

Washington Post: Capitol Police Find Hurdles on Path to Reform
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. Capitol Police have tried to become a premier anti-terrorism force, rapidly expanding as the agency's budget tripled. But a series of recent mistakes has highlighted the difficulties of changing a force once made up of glorified security guards.

Washington Times: D.C. needs to account for 36,000 handguns
D.C. interim Attorney General Peter J. Nickles said Tuesday that the city needs to "get a handle on" the whereabouts of thousands of handguns that were registered in the District before its 32-year ban took effect.

AP: Probe finds dead doctors used in Medicare scams
Sellers of wheelchairs, drugs and other medical supplies collected as much as $93 million in fraudulent Medicare claims based on prescriptions from doctors who actually were dead, some for 10 years or more, a congressional investigation has found.

Washington Post: Assailing With Energy
Using the now-famous footage of Sen. John McCain hugging President Bush, Sen. Barack Obama launched new ads in four battleground states, arguing that the Arizona Republican represents more of the same on energy policy.

Washington Post: Jesse Helms Recalled as Waging the 'Good Fight'
Jesse Helms, whose 30-year Senate career helped redefine conservatism, was remembered Tuesday as a gracious friend and formidable foe during a funeral service that packed a Baptist church and drew such dignitaries as Vice President Cheney and Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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