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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.
The longer the Republican presidential race goes on, the crazier it gets. John McCain suddenly has a mild breeze at his back--because Mike Huckabee has undercut Mitt Romney in Iowa, because of his lingering support at the scene of his 2000 New Hampshire triumph, because Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman has endorsed him, and because the Boston Globe has provided its seal of approval as well.
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.
This afternoon's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines may seem like just another in a long series, but it really isn't. It's the first debate with Mike Huckabee as the Iowa front-runner.
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.
Today we saw a fine display of presidential leadership on an economic problem--the kind we would have expected from President Bill Clinton, not President George W. Bush. Yes, the administration is avoiding the "b" word, as in "bailout." And yes, in theory the new mortgage terms for homeowners facing upward resets represent a "voluntary" agreement by their creditors.
While many of you were reading the morning blogs, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was up on Capitol Hill, trying to sell his “teaser freezer” plan to House Republicans. He didn’t give a lot more details than we already know, but the common leakage out there is that it will be a five year freeze on subprime mortgages only for those who can currently pay their mortgages but can’t when the rate resets.
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.
You know it's going to be a good debate when...the leading candidates start to accuse one another of lying BEFORE the debate. That's precisely what's happened in advance of tonight's Republican debate on CNN, featuring questions submitted via YouTube.
GOP debate results: Winner #1: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He displayed his trademark humor but also some grit, facing down Mitt Romney in defending his record on immigration. Huckabee is head and shoulders above the rest of the Republican field in communications skills, as he manages to convey a combination of conservative principles.
Republican presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney scornfully debated immigration Wednesday in a provocative, no-holds-barred debate.
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.
Those of who follow political campaigns often can't discern turning points until the campaigns are over. The 2008 contest may be no different. But just now there's a sense of ferment in both parties' presidential contests--and it's happening awfully close to the Jan 3 kickoff of the nomination process in Iowa.
Democrats enter the 2008 presidential race with powerful political advantages. But they face a tough and unpredictable battle because of the vulnerabilities of front-runner Hillary Clinton. A new Wall Street Journal-NBC poll shows that Americans have turned sharply away from President Bush and toward domestic issues favoring his partisan adversaries
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.