Politics Barack Obama

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    What made last night's Democratic debate on MSNBC so significant was not, as advertised ahead of time, that Barack Obama and John Edwards attacked Hillary Clinton. It was that Clinton herself unintentionally affirmed their attacks with her own words.

  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama has signaled that he's finally ready to step up his challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. From his point of view, it's not a minute too soon. Thus far, Obama has been largely passive--an electric and charismatic presence on the stump, to be sure, but a candidate surprisingly loath to take the fight to a rival with formidable advantages.

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    The numbers are in and it was a rich third quarter for candidates--Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $27 million in the third quarter, beating Barack Obama, whose campaign raised about $20 million over the same time period.

  • Newt Gingrich

    The decision by Newt Gingrich to bypass the 2008 presidential race means the fields in both parties are set--at least for now. I wasn't surprised by Gingrich's decision; since talking with him at a press breakfast a couple of weeks ago, I didn't expect his exploratory effort to result in a "Go", though I did expect it to last longer than just a few days.

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    The single signature moment of last night's debate was what first appeared to be Hillary Clinton's declaration of independence from her ex-president husband. "He's not the one standing here"--her line after Tim Russert pressed on differences between her position and Bill Clinton's on torture--was a dramatic and effective moment of self-assertion.

  • Democratic presidential candidates pounced on rival Hillary Clinton for her positions on Iraq and Iran in a debate on Thursday as they sought to undercut her status as the campaign front-runner.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a call for universal health care on Monday, plunging back into a political battle she memorably waged and lost as first lady more than a decade ago.

  • I noted earlier that the questions rivals had raised about Hillary Clinton's health plan indicated she may have hit the political sweet spot. Republican Mitt Romney slammed her for a "big government" plan whose signal feature matched one he backed as Massachusetts governor.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    John Edwards is attacking Hillary Clinton on health care. He argues that her approach isn't sufficiently confrontational, that she'd be too friendly to the insurance industry and thus couldn't deliver on the priority Democratic primary voters care about most: universal health coverage. .

  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's new health plan is a sign of how the debate has shifted since 1993. It's universal -- the individual mandate she's called for would see to that--but less ambitious in design than the version that crashed and burned during her husband's presidency...

  • Here are some more highlights from our NBC/WSJ poll, which tells a lot about the state of the race for the White House. Though rivals question Hillary Clinton's "electability," she outpaces all of them in the public's assessment of qualifications for the presidency. 46% of Americans express confidence in her “skills and ability necessary to be president”...

  • Public discontent with the Iraq war has slightly eased, increasing President Bush’s political maneuvering room at a critical point in debates over war costs and troop levels. Those shifts in public opinion remain modest. Yet only one in four Americans say troops should leave now regardless of conditions on the ground...

  • The decision by Hillary Clinton's campaign to return $850,000 in donations tied to scandal-plagued donor Norman Hsu represents an attempt to stop a damaging story line--and raise the stakes on rivals seeking to capitalize. The refunds, among the largest in political history, set a precedent that will create pressure in future situations involved tainted donors.

  • In recent days the excitement of Fred Thompson's campaign team has been mixed with this nagging fear: that expectations for Thompson's performance upon entering the GOP presidential race might prove too high to meet. Today's kickoff event showed why.

  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama trails Hillary Clinton in polls nationally as well as in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But he continues to draw impressive crowds--which is sometimes, though not always, a leading indicator of political momentum.

  • Fred Thompson

    You'll get a nice look at political stagecraft this week with Fred Thompson's carefully calibrated entry on Thursday into the Republican presidential race. There's a Wednesday night GOP debate in New Hampshire that Thompson chose not to participate, lest it muddy his opening message. But instead of leaving the stage altogether, here's how he will attract attention that day...

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    Summer isn't over yet, but the languid pace that has prevailed in Washington since Congress left town in August has now definitively vanished. On every front, the White House and Congress, Republicans and Democrats, are girding for political action that will unfold rapidly with its ultimate consequences uncertain.

  • After watching for weeks as the mortgage meltdown roiled the markets and squeezed homeowners, President Bush inserted himself directly into the matter today. It remain unclear how much his intervention will help investors, lenders or homeowners. But there's no mystery about why he did it.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    After initially dismissed questions surrounding donor Norman Hsu, Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential race has moved to limit the fallout. The campaign has said it will give away Hsu's donations, and Hsu himself has said he will no longer give money to candidates now that reports have surfaced that he's a fugitive from California authorities in a 1990s grand theft case.

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    The 2008 presidential race will produce a sharp debate over tax policy–-on individuals, estates, investments and corporations. But voters will have to wait for the general election to hear it. That’s because there’s substantial agreement on the biggest policy questions within each party’s field of primary candidates. And for now, those broad areas of consensus have left primary rivals to bicker at the margins.