In an interview earlier this week about religion and politics, John McCain hinted that Muslims should reconsider their religion before running for president:
"I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it," he said."But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation wasfounded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someonewho I know who has a solid grounding in my faith."
In other words, John McCain does not want someone that is different than him to become president. Maybe a question worth asking is whether someone who believes that fear will triumph over tolerance is really qualified to be president?
If the Iowa Caucuses were to happen today, Hillary Clinton would likely be knocked off by newcomer Barack Obama. Then again, it depends what kind of poll you look at. Among all Democratic voters in Iowa, Clinton narrowly defeats Obama. But if you only count likely caucus voters, which have always been more reliable numbers, then Obama wins.
Among all Iowa Democratic voters, Clinton draws 31 percent, followed byObama (25 percent) and Edwards (21 percent). But among likelycaucus-goers, Obama enjoys a slim lead, polling 28 percent to bestClinton (24 percent) and Edwards (22 percent). Bill Richardson is theonly other Democratic candidate to score in the double digits (10percent).
Also, it should be noted that Joe Biden has 5%. None of the other candidates are above 1%. Nine percent are still undecided.
When there is this big of a difference when you weigh registered voters versus likely voters, whoever is winning among likely voters tends to have the most passionate supporters that will turn out in that person's favor.
(Note: Usually I post polls in the morning Blue Radar. But for now on, when it comes to Iowa, I will make those their own posts because of how important Iowa is, as we approach 100 days until the vote.)
A few days ago, under the radar, the controversial military contracting firm Blackwater was awarded a defense deal worth $92 million. It ensures that Blackwater will be doing work for the US government through September 30, 2011.
Presidential Airways, Inc., anaviation Worldwide Services company (d/b/a Blackwater Aviation),Moyock, N.C., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinitequantity (IDIQ) type contract for $92,000,000.00. The contractor is toprovide all fixed-wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material,maintenance and supervision necessary to perform passenger, cargo andcombi Short Take-Off and Landing air transportation services betweenlocations in the Area of Responsibility of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan,Pakistan and Uzbekistan. This contract was competitively procured andtwo timely offers were received. The performance period is from 1October 2007 to 30 September 2011. The United States TransportationCommand Acquisition Directorate, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is thecontracting activity
If we are trying to crack down on inappropriate wartime behavior by contracting firms, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates pledged last week to do, then this is exactly the opposite message we ought to send. Why is the Pentagon essentially awarding a company for causing a diplomatic nightmare with a fragile government?
I post each morning, here are some of the political stories thatmight not be worthy of their own posts, but are nonetheless newsworthy:
JUDICIARY There are a number of important cases on the Supreme Court docket for the upcoming session, which starts Monday. One of the cases involves whether detainees at Guantanamo Bay can go to court and challenge their indefinite imprisonment. Here is a list of all the Supreme Court cases.
CONGRESS In a speech to the National Press Club, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that in order to offset Bush's veto threat on the children's health bill, Democratic House leaders will bring up the bill again and again, putting vulnerable '08 Republican candidates at risk. "He told a Washington Press Club gathering that House Democrats wouldbring up the children???‚¬?„?s health bill repeatedly, a move that will putRepublicans in a tough spot with voters," writes the Wall Street Journal.
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL On Tuesday, Barack Obama will embark on a four-day campaign swing through Iowa, his most important Iowa tour so far this campaign cycle. "The tour signals the intensification of Obama's bid for the Democraticpresidential nomination and a commitment to spend more time in keyearly states such as Iowa and New Hampshire and fewer days in the Senate, where he will miss virtually all votes next week," wrote the Washington Post on Sunday morning.
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL The California ballot initiative, which would have divided up the state's electoral votes among both candidates, appears to have failed. It is several hundred thousand signatures short.
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL According to Congressional Quarterly, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will finish in almost an exact tie in fundraising for the third quarter of 2007. Obama raised between $18 million and $19 million, while Clinton raised between $17 million and $20 million. The two campaigns will release the precise numbers within the next week.
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL In response to four Republicans missing a debate on minority issues, Bill Clinton reminded black voters how the GOP has regressed in tolerance since the civil rights era. "First of all, that says more about the evolution of the Republican Party," Clinton said. "That captured the switching of the party."
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL The Mitt Romney campaign is lowering expectations in New Hampshire. "By no means do we expect to win both Iowa and New Hampshire -- no Republican in the modern era ever has," wrote Alex Cage in an internal campaign memo.
2008 ELECTION/PRESIDENTIAL As reported on Saturday on The Blue State, Newt Gingrich will not run for president. He decided that way because campaign finance rules prevent him from keeping his political action committee intact during his presidential run.
If we left something out, it's because we either wrote about ityesterday or are scheduled to do so in an individual post later today. Otherwise, feel free to add any stories in the commentbox.
The deadline to renew funding for the federal government for the 2008 fiscal year has passed. When Congress returns on Monday, it will be October, which is when the next fiscal year begins. Today President Bush signed a document that gives Congress a 48-day extension to pass a budget.
Of course, Congress already supports a budget, but Bush won't sign it because it exceeds his request by $23 billion -- the cost of funding the war for less than two months. Last year though, the President allowed the Republican Congress to exceed his budget request by $53 million.
"Earlier this year, congressional leaders promised to show that theycould be responsible with the people's money. Unfortunately they seemto have chosen the path of higher spending," the president said in hisweekly radio address.
Who is choosing the path to higher spending? Is it a President that never chose to veto a single spending bill until the Democrats took Congress this January?
This morning I reported in the Blue Radar that Newt Gingrich said he would run if he is able to raise $30 million. But now, just hours later, it turns out he isn't running because election law would forbid him from continuing his political action committee:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain ashead of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman saidSaturday.
"Newt is not running," spokesman Rick Tyler said. "It is legallyimpermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions(for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president."
That just eliminated a person that the Democrats would have beat with any of their candidates (minus Gravel and Kucinich). I was hoping for him.
Just hours before the third quarter deadline, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards decided to accept public funds to help finance his campaign. The problem, as an Obama spokesman explains, is that if Edwards wins the nomination, he would be unable to spend any general election money until after the Democratic Convention in August:
Norris, who ran John Kerry's successful 2004 caucus campaign, saidEdwards' decision could "handcuff" his campaign and the party if hebecomes the nominee. The effective end of the primary season probablywill be in February, Norris said, but the national convention isn'tuntil August. In the months between, Norris said, Edwards would not beable to spend any money beyond the primary-season caps. Meanwhile, theRepublican nominee could continue to raise money and spend it hammeringaway at the Democrats, he said.
Kos echoed the concern that Edwards could not spend any money until the Convention:
So he's won, but he's spent his primary money, and he won't get hisfirst general election check until after the Democratic convention.August 25.
So Edwards won't have any money in March, April, May, June, July, and most of August. That's six months of darkness.
What is he thinking? Now Obama and Clinton will deem Mr. Edwards unelectable because of his lack of general election funds.