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  • Democrats

    There are a couple ways to tell that we’ve hit the critical competitive phase of the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination fight. One is the way that all major campaigns are now spending a large chunk of the millions they’ve raised on television ads in Iowa. The state’s Jan. 3 caucuses have traditionally turned on contest may once have turned overwhelmingly on organizational prowess.

  • Dems Debate: Did Hillary Open Door For Opponents? Wednesday, 31 Oct 2007 | 9:30 AM ET
    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.

  • FEC Campaign Questions, Oil Market Crisis And More Friday, 26 Oct 2007 | 9:28 AM ET

    The FEC is questioning 2008 contenders about contributions that “appear to exceed” legal limits. Hundreds of donors wrote checks for more than the $2,300 per election cap. Some failed to attribute parts of donations from joint bank accounts to their spouses.

  • GOP/Dems "Rangel" Over "Who's Best On Taxes" In 2008 Thursday, 25 Oct 2007 | 4:24 PM ET
    Charles Rangel

    Charlie Rangel’s tax reform bill isn't likely to become law anytime soon. Yet its already an active part of the presidential campaign, as Republicans try to reclaim control of the tax issue in advance of the 2008 elections.

  • GOP "Happy Hour" Is Democrats' Opportunity? Wednesday, 24 Oct 2007 | 2:39 PM ET
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    In their interview this morning with my colleague Dylan Ratigan, President Bush's economic advisers emphasized all that was going right with the American economy: low inflation, a strong job market, continued growth and booming exports, whether those exports are driven by a weaker dollar or not.

  • Democrat Rangel Tries A Tax Reform "Squeeze" Play Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 | 4:25 PM ET

    House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel has adopted an unorthodox strategy for his attempt to achieve tax reform. Forget polarization--Rangel is trying to hug the Bush administration as tightly as possible.

  • House Fails to Override SCHIP Healthcare Veto Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 | 1:31 PM ET

    The U.S. House Thursday failed to overturn President Bush's veto of a plan to expand a popular children's health care program and pay for it by raising tobacco taxes.

  • George Bush: Lame Duck Or Political Eagle? Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007 | 2:12 PM ET
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    Presidential power ebbs and flows and George W. Bush is holding very weak cards just now. But as he likes to point out, sometimes with more than flattering zeal, he is still the president and everyone also just kibitzes. `

  • Rove, Schumer, Levin, Blakeman: My Conspiracy Theory? Tuesday, 16 Oct 2007 | 1:43 PM ET
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    Those of us who cover politics in Washington are constantly trying to figure out what we DON'T know. Seeing a huddle of strange bedfellows instantly sets off our alarms that something remarkable could be happening.

  • Surprise! Americans Set to Open Wallets This Holiday Monday, 15 Oct 2007 | 8:48 AM ET

    It’s going to be a joyful—and profitable—holiday season for retailers, according to the  latest  CNBC Wealth in America survey. Americans plan to spend an average $839 during the holiday season, up 17.6% from last year. 

  • Surprise! Americans Plan To Spend More This Holiday Monday, 15 Oct 2007 | 6:03 AM ET

    Forget the credit crunch, housing recession and fears of slower economic growth. Americans plan to open their wallets during the holidays this year, though maybe not on those cheap Chinese toys.  Spending is expected to jump 17% from last year, to an average of $839.

  • A Willful Distortion Wednesday, 10 Oct 2007 | 1:39 PM ET
    Mitt Romney

    Mitt Romney is a big (and very rich) boy, and has earned some of the shots that have come his way in the 2008 presidential race. Most prominent among them have been barbs at the evident calculations he has made in flip-flopping on key issues to appeal to the conservative Republican base.

  • No Clear GOP Heir Tuesday, 9 Oct 2007 | 2:50 PM ET
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    In recent history, Democrats have been the party of disorder and confusion in the ranks. To their House of Commons, Republicans have been the House of Lords. That has typically meant an orderly line of succession, with one establishment candidate after the other stepping up to claim their chance at the presidential prize: Ronald Reagan in 1980, his vice president George Bush in 1988, Bob Dole in 1996, the younger George Bush in 2000.

  • Anti-Trade Feeling: What It Means For Politicians Thursday, 4 Oct 2007 | 4:56 PM ET

    So, what does this rising anti-trade sentiment mean for Republican politicians--and Democratic ones, for that matter? It's tricky because, rhetoric aside, most economists and elected officials in both parties in fact DO believe free trade offers the best path to economic growth in a global economy.

  • John McCain: On The Presidential Comeback Trail? Thursday, 4 Oct 2007 | 8:29 AM ET
    Presidential Candidate, John McCain

    The Arizona senator was counted out earlier this year after public discontent with Iraq and immigration reform knocked him off his front-runner's perch. When I'd see him in Washington, McCain himself would acknowledge the damage. But don't count him out yet.

  • Political Ads: Lots Of Spending But Who Benefits? Wednesday, 3 Oct 2007 | 9:16 AM ET
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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.

  • Clinton/Obama At Dems Debate: Missed Opportunities Thursday, 27 Sep 2007 | 10:36 AM ET
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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.

  • In a Democratic Debate, Rivals Assail Clinton Thursday, 27 Sep 2007 | 1:07 AM ET

    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.

  • Bush Takes Temperate Course At UN Tuesday, 25 Sep 2007 | 5:01 PM ET
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    President Bush's speech at the UN today was notable for a couple of reasons--not merely the fact that he ostentatiously rolled his R's in referring to Peru and Morocco. He declined to rise to the provocative rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He didn't want to make the Iranian leader the focus of his speech.