Here's why 40 is the key number for the GOP to regain control of the Senate in this fall's midterm elections, says ex-Treasury official Stephen Myrow.» Read More
This is the time of the presidential race when the convergence of politicians and press is nearly complete. The Radisson, in downtown Manchester, is the closest thing there is to ground zero of the New Hampshire campaign. All the networks of NBC are broadcasting from this spot and thus all the candidates are coming here.
This week, New Hampshire becomes the gateway to a new political world--engaging multiple constituencies, playing out over a vast terrain, shifting the psychology of competition. But as the 2008 campaign moves toward contests in Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, then half the country on Feb. 5, the simplicity and careful planning of Iowa and New Hampshire phase give way to a complex, high-velocity game of survivor.
Barack Obama took a big step on Thursday toward becoming the first black U.S. president as his campaign for change caught fire in Iowa and swept him past Hillary Clinton in the opening Democratic nominating contest.
Here are three things to watch for when Iowans vote tonight: 1) Mobilization: if Democratic turnout is huge, that's a sign that Barack Obama has succeeded in pulling out enough independent voters to win. It would also show the energy and enthusiasm that Democrats hope will give them an edge in the general election.
Regardless of what happens today in Iowa, the 2008 presidential contest will come down to Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, according to a CNBC Trillion Dollar Snap Survey of some of the nation's top money managers, investment strategists and professional economists.
Snapshots from the closing hours of the Iowa caucus: Song choices: At John Edwards rallies, Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising." At Barack Obama's, Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." At Hillary Clinton's, Dolly Parton's "9 to 5." At Mike Huckabee's rally in Des Moines last night, it was "Sweet Home Alabama" --except the candidate himself was on stage strumming guitar with a local band.
We have a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll that's shaking up the Republican presidential race, since Rudy Giuliani has lost his national lead. But it's also shaking up Ron Paul's legions of Internet supporters--because he fared so poorly at just 4 percent of the vote. Because his numbers were so low I didn't mention Paul in my Wall Street Journal story on the poll.
Congress approved a one-year delay in imposing the alternative minimum tax on over 20 million additional taxpayers. President Bush will sign the measure.
With an approval rating stuck in the 30s, President Bush no longer holds many political cards. But he still has one ace in the form of his veto pen. That's a substantial weapon--as President Bill Clinton showed against the Republican Congress in 1996 and Bush is showing against the Democratic Congress now.
Whatever happens in the Iowa caucuses, this year's contests have made plain that Republicans face a general election problem whoever the two parties' nominees are: an enthusiasm gap. Democratic campaigns expect that 125,000 or more Iowans will turn out for their caucuses on Jan 3. Republican campaign expect half that.
Confronting the Senate and White House, House Democrats for a second time passed tax relief for 21 million people, going after companies and hedge fund managers that shelter money offshore. The vote Wednesday was a near party-line 226-193.
I can't help noticing the dramatic difference between the political and government parts of my beat these days--complete gridlock in Washington and turbulent action on the 2008 campaign trail. In the capital, Democrats and Republicans are fighting over literally everything--the budget, energy legislation, a fix for the out of control Alternative Minimum Tax.
The Treasury has weighed in on the side of the US Senate in a standoff with the House of Representatives over how to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from spreading to millions of new taxpayers this year.
What does gridlock in Washington mean, to business and to everyone else? It means avoiding the sacred cows of both parties even if that waters down whatever action government takes. It means least-common-denominator solutions--or half-solutions--to whatever problem is on the table at the time.
This is not something you'll hear me say often--I feel some political optimism blossoming in my soul. Yes, I'm a bit on the mature side for political naiveté, but after talking to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, and the first native born Coloradoan to be elected Governor in decades, I'm feeling a little tingle. Just in my extremities mind you, but it's there.
While political reporters like me are largely focused on the 2008 presidential race, our dysfunctional governmental apparatus in Washington continues laboring, however haltingly, in search of some tangible accomplishments. And some of them would have significant impact on Wall Street and the business community more broadly.
A fresh round of polls has underscored the sense of flux in the 2008 presidential race--in both parties. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of Iowa Democrats shows a three-way race for the Jan 3 caucuses--but with Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, in the lead.
It's getting hot out there on the presidential 2008 trail as voting time draws closer. Here are a few things to remember as you watch the rhetorical and advertising bullets fly: 1. There's NOTHING wrong with drawing contrasts with an opponent--aka "going negative"--if there's a solid basis for it.
Journalists in Washington spend most of their time focusing on warfare between Democrats and Republicans. There's a good reason for that: in the dysfunctional capital city of 2007, warfare is what they do best.
I'm writing this (Friday) from the NBC studio in Burbank and the strikers are out in full force, thrilled that they have a big star visiting--presidential candidate John Edwards. This place is a zoo. It's like the crush of the cameras outside the Oscars but without the red carpet and the organization. (He could have passed for a movie star, a number of writers crushed around me were commenting on his good looks.)