Hillary Straps One On For The “Boys”

Hillary Clinton has stepped up her game and gone on the offensive in the Las Vegas Democratic debates… Taking one for the team, she is now trying to potray herself as the dominant one on the playing field by attacking bothe Barak Obama and John Edwards… Pulling from her arsenal of past mistakes, she sees to it Obama stumbles on the Drivers Licenses for Illegals issue and spanks John Edwards for Flip Flopping.

The Lower Ranks of the Democratic candidates also came out swinging in an attempt to show the public their strong sides, not that it will mean much in the long run as they don’t have a shot in hell at winning the primaries…

She is now trying to downplay the gender card and make up for her past mistakes, well folks this could be it. She out smarted the “boys” now that she is thinking clearly instead of emotionally…

LAS VEGAS  —  Hillary Rodham Clinton showed she knows how to use the roughhouse tactics of the political boys club.Two weeks after a rocky presidential debate performance where she appeared at times both defensive and evasive, the New York senator came into Thursday’s Democratic forum ready to rumble.For the first time, she directly challenged the records of her top rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards. She even chided Edwards, her fiercest critic in this debate and others, for “throwing mud” Republican-style.

Spectators inside the debate hall appeared to echo that criticism, repeatedly booing Edwards and occasionally Obama when they criticized Clinton.

And after days of torturous contortions on whether she supported granting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, Clinton was able to stand by and watch as Obama was tripped up on the issue this time.

“To the degree she might have been stumbling in the last debate, she regained her footing tonight,” Democratic strategist Garry South said. “It was a very impressive performance by Hillary Clinton. She showed she could battle back criticism very well.”

It was a night during which many of Clinton’s rivals also turned in strong performances. Joe Biden demonstrated his expertise in foreign policy during an exchange over the growing crisis in Pakistan. Chris Dodd displayed his fluency on education issues, parrying a question on merit pay for teachers by saying he supported such pay for teachers in poor rural and urban districts.

But with exactly seven weeks until Iowa holds its leadoff caucuses, the dynamic between Clinton and her top two rivals loomed large. Polls show Clinton, Obama and Edwards locked in a tight three-way race in the state, and a Clinton win would be seen as her glide path to the nomination. Anything less and the nomination is up for grabs.

After months of avoiding any direct confrontation with her rivals, Clinton adopted a more aggressive tone. She took on Obama on his health care plan, arguing it would leave 15 million Americans uninsured. Obama has said he would first focus on bringing down costs.

She also noted that Edwards hadn’t supported universal health care when he ran for president in 2004. “I’m glad he is now,” she said.

Edwards responded by angrily denying he had “flip flopped” on important issues, as he’s repeatedly accused Clinton of doing.

“Anybody who’s not willing to change based on what they learn is ignorant, and everybody ought to be willing to do that,” he said. “I’m saying there’s a difference between that and saying the exact same two contrary things at exactly the same time.”

If anything, the former first lady showed she knows how to learn from her mistakes.

After her rough outing in the last debate, Clinton lamented the “all-boys club of presidential politics” while her campaign advisers accused her male rivals of “piling on.”

This time, Clinton smoothly deflected questions about whether she had played the gender card.

“It is clear, I think, from women’s experiences that from time to time there may be some impediments,” she said. “And it has been my goal over the course of my lifetime to be part of this great movement of progress that includes all of us, but has particularly been significant to me as a woman.”

To be sure, it wasn’t a perfect debate for Clinton.

Obama again cornered her on how she would keep Social Security solvent, a question she has sidestepped repeatedly. And she was forced to defend her Senate vote to take a more aggressive stand against Iran amid questions from a returning Iraq soldier and his mother who said they feared a showdown with Iran was coming next.

“Her weakest issue right now is Iran. It puts her at an enormous disadvantage in these debates,” Democratic strategist Bill Carrick said.

But Clinton was able to take advantage of other moments to showcase her toughness on foreign policy.

In an exchange over the situation in Pakistan where Gen. Pervez Musharraf has declared a state of emergency, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he believed that human rights were more important than U.S. national security.

Clinton flatly disagreed. “The first obligation of the president of the United States is to protect and defend the United States of America,” she said.

The strangest moment in the debate — and the most fortuitous for Clinton — came over a discussion of granting licenses to illegal immigrants, a question that has haunted Clinton since the last debate.

Until this week, she said she generally supported governors’ efforts to find ways to promote public safety in their states in the absence of federal immigration reform. But Wednesday, she completely reversed herself, announcing she opposed giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

When CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed the candidates on whether they supported granting licenses, Obama gave a long and convoluted answer. When Clinton was asked, she simply said “no.”

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Clinton Planting More Than Corn In Iowa

The Clinton camp has been caught planting questions during a Town Hall forum in Iowa. The reprecussions are yet to be seen however the up coming caucus could show a caustic backlash as this area holds sacred the true meaning of open forums.

The biggest problem with this is that her canned speech is designed to force a perspective on Global Warming that may not necessarily be true. See says that young people in Iowa are very concerned with Global Warming and she knows this as so many are asking her about it.

The next area of concern is the political flip flop, isn’t this what the Bush Administration was accused by Democrats and they made a huge issue about it, the only difference, is that the Bush Administration allowed a specific reporter into a press conference, where as Hillary is using college students to influence other college students…

Lastly, it shows that Hillary is afraid of the open market questions, because she got caught off guard during the Democratic debate, so now she needs prepared answers so she does not stumble on the questions in the future. I wonder how many other questions have been plants, and how many more will come.

The Clinton camp has said this is then end, however had they not been caught, obviously this would have been the status quo for them.

Can you smell the fertilizer?

SIOUX CITY, Iowa —  Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign admitted Friday that it planted a global warming question in Newton, Iowa, Tuesday during a town hall meeting to discuss clean energy.

Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elliethee admitted that the campaign had planted the question and said it would not happen again.

“On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton’s energy plan at a forum,” Elliethee said.

“However, Senator Clinton did not know which questioners she was calling on during the event. This is not standard policy and will not be repeated again.”

In a state where the caucus is held sacred and the impromptu and candid style of the town hall meeting is held dear, Clinton’s planted question may come as a great offense to Iowans.

According to a report on the Grinnell University Web site, the Clinton campaign arranged for some of the questions for the candidate to be asked by college students:

“On Tuesday Nov. 6, the Clinton campaign stopped at a biodiesel plant in Newton as part of a weeklong series of events to introduce her new energy plan. The event was clearly intended to be as much about the press as the Iowa voters in attendance, as a large press core helped fill the small venue…. /**/

“After her speech, Clinton accepted questions. But according to Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff ’10, some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance. ‘They were canned,’ she said. Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. ‘One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask],’ she said.

“Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming. Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan.

“But the source of the question was no coincidence — at this event ‘they wanted a question from a college student,’ Gallo-Chasanoff said.”

The tape of the event shows that the question and answer went as follows:

Question: “As a young person, I’m worried about the long-term effects of global warming How does your plan combat climate change?

Clinton: “Well, you should be worried. You know, I find as I travel around Iowa that it’s usually young people that ask me about global warming.”

The campaign’s admission that it planted the question may be another blow to the New York senator’s image as a trustworthy politician.

Clinton’s critics have accused her of being a double-talker who refuses to answer tough questions specifically. Now her campaign has acknowledged planting at least one question.

Already her rivals have begun to criticize Friday’s revelation.

“In light of a weak debate performance, not to mention a persistent inability to answer the tough questions, it appears the Clinton campaign has adopted a new strategy of planting questions,” John Edwards’ Communications Director Chris Kofinis said.

“It’s what the Clinton campaign calls the politics of planting.”

Hillary’s Switftboat Sinking Fast

Bill is trying to do damage control for Hillary and seems to be making it worse. He is trying to use the John Kerry cry of Hillary being swiftboated, then when called on that by Democrat contenders, he tries to apply unseasoned logic that the whole democratic party is vulnerable to a Republican swiftboat action. What a way to try and recoop from mis-speaking.

Now, in both cases, Bill has it wrong. The swiftboat campaigns was a group of former soldiers that served with Kerry who disputed his account of his actions and service record. Their contention is that he lied. The Democratic debate had non of those traits to it, it was the trailers attacking the leader of their own party. Non on the contender claimed Hillary made up her record on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, they claimed that she was not answering the question.

As for this setting up other Democrats for swiftwatering, since the basis of Bill first argument is incorrect, then it only follows that his “clarification” is baseless as usual.

This is nothing more than political posturing and hoping to get a sympathy vote pulled from Hillary’s rivals… Cry me a river Bill…

So far the Gender Card has been Used, the Swiftboat Foul has been called, I guess next it will be the Vast Republican Conspiracy….

The Setup:

Clinton Charges Through Iowa, Bill Clinton Likens Attacks on Hillary to ‘Swift Boat’ Ads

With less than two months until the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton is charging through the early-voting state in an attempt to widen a lead that was recently imperiled when her Democratic opponents stepped up their game of hardball against her following last week’s candidate debate.

The frontrunner’s worries that opponents Barack Obama and John Edwards could outflank her in the heartland have set her to hiring 100 new staff in Iowa and possibly doubling that army by election night on Jan. 3.

It also has led to a back and forth about fair play that has even dragged husband Bill Clinton into the fray.

The former president has denounced attacks on his wife, likening criticism of her positions on issues to the attack ads by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that helped sink John Kerry’s White House hopes in 2004.

“We saw what happened the last seven years when we made decisions in elections based on trivial matters. When we listened to people make snide comments about whether Vice President Gore was too stiff. And when they made dishonest claims about the things that he said that he’d done in his life. When that scandalous Swift Boat ad was run against Senator Kerry,” Bill Clinton told some 3,000 members of the American Postal Worker’s Union at a convention in Las Vegas on Monday night.

“I had the feeling that at the end of that last debate we were about to get into cutesy land again,” he continued. “I think it’s fine to discuss immigration. We should. … But not in 30 seconds, yes, no, raise your hand. This is a complicated issue.”

Hillary Clinton has let her husband do the talking in her defense, instead taking the high road and telling Iowa voters she’s running a “positive campaign.” Her strategy of turning the other cheek plays to Iowa’s long-running antagonism toward negative campaigning.

Clinton is leading in Iowa by a narrower margin than she has been polling nationally, but even her national numbers have slipped in the last week. A Rasmussen poll taken of 750 likely voters between Nov. 1 and 4 showed Clinton with 41 percent support, down from the 49 percent she earned in a similar Rasmussen poll taken two weeks earlier. Her closest opponent, Obama, has 22 percent, the same number he held in the earlier poll.

In Iowa, an American Research Group poll taken between Oct. 26 and 29 of 600 likely voters put Clinton 10 points ahead of Obama, with 32 percent support. A University of Iowa poll taken a week earlier only gave her a two-point lead.

Trying to widen the gap in Iowa, Clinton has visited 33 Iowa cities this week to speak about her plan to increase biofuels production, achieve energy independence and create so-called “green” jobs.

But her pledge to stay positive has done little to silence her opponents, who scoffed Tuesday at her husband’s raising the specter of the Swift Boats ads.

Democratic candidate and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd called the Clintons’ response to the debate “outrageous.”

“To have the former president come out and suggest this is a form of swiftboating … is way over the top in my view,” Dodd said.

Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who in recent days has led the charge against Clinton, continued the barrage, releasing a statement challenging Clinton to answer five “simple questions” on Iraq and claiming she has provided no plan for ending the war.

Asked in New Market, N.H., if he was piling on the Democratic frontrunner with the rest of the all-male field, Edwards said, “No.”

“I think everyone who is running for president should be held to the same standard, and I have enough respect for all voters, including women voters in America, who know they have to evaluate every single one of us on the merits,” he said.

Obama, the Illinois senator, chuckled in an interview with The Associated Press when he said he “was pretty stunned” by Bill Clinton’s statement. He added that all the candidates need to have a thicker skin.

“I mean, I think it’s assumed that we are running for the presidency of the United States of America and that we’ve got to answer tough questions,” he said, adding that Hillary Clinton’s contradictions attract criticism.

“How you would then draw an analogy to distorting somebody’s military record is a reach,” Obama said of Bill Clinton’s comparison.

A Clinton spokesman on Tuesday urged the New York senator’s Democratic opponents to tone down the anti-Clinton rhetoric and join forces with her against attacks from the Republican Party.

“While Senator Obama copies John Edwards by spending his days attacking other Democrats, Senator Clinton is talking about how she’ll address the nation’s energy crisis,” said spokesman Jay Carson. “Senator Obama is well aware that the former president was saying that the Republicans will do anything to play politics with a serious issue. So instead of launching another attack against the Clintons, Senator Obama should join with them in working to prevent all Democrats from being attacked by the GOP.”

Obama’s spokesman Bill Burton didn’t let that notion rest.

“The only person playing politics today is Senator Clinton. It’s absurd to compare a simple yes or no question about immigration that Senator Clinton still won’t answer seven days after the debate to the despicable Republican attacks against John Kerry. … Senator Obama believes that to truly stand up to the Republican attack machine, we have to be honest and straightforward about where we stand on the major issues facing America,” Burton said.

Clinton is headed to New Hampshire next but plans to return to Iowa Saturday. The packed schedule in Iowa appears to be wearing on her, as she frequently makes reference to her raspy voice.

“My voice is getting a little worn down. I’ve been talking for about 10 months. Especially the last four days,” she said Tuesday in Amana.

FOX News’ Serafin Gomez, Major Garrett and Aaron Bruns and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The recovery:

Bill Clinton: Debates might leave ’08 Dems open to swift-boating

Watch former President Clinton’s comments in Las Vegas on Monday.

CHICAGO (AP) — Former President Clinton said Wednesday that all the Democratic presidential candidates could be open to a “swift boat kind of ad” if they try to give quick responses to complicated issues like driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

A day after being criticized for defending his wife, the former president tried to explain his comments linking criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the swift boat campaign against John Kerry’s military record in the 2004 campaign. Bill Clinton made the comparison Monday during a speech in Las Vegas.

Sen. Chris Dodd said it was “way over the top.” Sen. Barack Obama said he was stunned to hear the former president make such a comparison.

At the end of a Democratic presidential debate last week, Hillary Clinton hedged when asked whether she supported a plan by her home state governor to issue licenses to illegal immigrants.

Dodd, Obama and others have accused her of trying to have it both ways on the issue.

Bill Clinton said Wednesday he didn’t think it was a good idea to tackle such a complicated issue by asking the candidates to answer with hand-raising. He said candidates should have enough time to give full answers.

“I thought it made all the Democrats vulnerable to a swift-boat-kind of ad in the general election,” Clinton told reporters after a rally at a South Side ballroom with several hundred of his wife’s supporters. The event was closed to the media.

“When you have complicated issues, you don’t want to turn them into two-dimensional cartoons,” he said.

American’s Want Change, Not Necessarily Democrats

This is a great Article. The only concern is that several people I have talked to think that the article means that the majority of the country is going to vote Democrat and that this article is saying that Republicans are going to vote Democrat in the 2008 Presidential Elections.

The article points out several important issues in the upcoming elections and does seem to prod the reader into thinking Republicans are bad…. However it is not that people necessarily support Democratic change in the election. I myself, support change from the current path the Bush Administration is taking. I would like to see the Bush Administration return to the path it was taking initially during his first term. He brought the country together, forced the Democrats to become bi-partisan for those four years, achieved economic improvements for us middle class folks. When he switched and caved into Democratic pressure, he faltered.

Read each of the stats and think about what they really mean. Yes change,  

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 4, 2007; Page A01

One year out from the 2008 election, Americans are deeply pessimistic and eager for a change in direction from the agenda and priorities of President Bush, according to a new Washington PostABC News poll.

Concern about the economy, the war in Iraq and growing dissatisfaction with the political environment in Washington all contribute to the lowest public assessment of the direction of the country in more than a decade. Just 24 percent think the nation is on the right track, and three-quarters said they want the next president to chart a course that is different than that pursued by Bush.

Overwhelmingly, Democrats want a new direction, but so do three-quarters of independents and even half of Republicans. Sixty percent of all Americans said they feel strongly that such a change is needed after two terms of the Bush presidency.

Dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq remains a primary drag on public opinion, and Americans are increasingly downcast about the state of the economy. More than six in 10 called the war not worth fighting, and nearly two-thirds gave the national economy negative marks. The outlook going forward is also bleak: About seven in 10 see a recession as likely over the next year.

The overall landscape tilts in the direction of the Democrats, but there is evidence in the new poll — matched in conversations with political strategists in both parties and follow-up interviews with survey participants — that the coming battle for the White House is shaping up to be another hard-fought, highly negative and closely decided contest.

At this point, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), the Democratic front-runner, holds the edge in hypothetical match-ups with four of the top contenders for the Republican nomination. But against the two best-known GOP candidates, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), her margins are far from comfortable. Not one of the leading candidates in either party has a favorable rating above 51 percent in the new poll.

And while Clinton finds herself atop all candidates in terms of strong favorability — in the poll, 28 percent said they feel strongly favorable toward her — she also outpaces any other candidate on strong unfavorables. More than a third, 35 percent, have strongly negative views of her, more than 10 points higher than any other contender.

Overall, the public’s sour mood is evident not only in the desire for a change in direction but also in assessments of those who control the reins of power in Washington. For the fourth consecutive month, Bush’s approval rating remains at a career low. Thirty-three percent said they approve of the job he is doing, and 64 percent disapprove. Majorities have disapproved of Bush’s job performance for more than 2 1/2 years.

In follow-up interviews, people were quick to find fault with what they see in Washington and to express their desire for something different. “I think Bush has been extremely polarizing to the country,” said Amber Welsh, a full-time mother of three young children who lives in Davis, Calif. “While I think it started before Bush, I think Bush has pushed it even further. I think the next president needs to be one who brings us together as a country.”

Democrats can take little comfort in Bush’s numbers, however. A year after voters turned Republicans out of power in the House and the Senate, approval of the Democratic-controlled Congress’s performance is lower than the president’s rating, registering just 28 percent. That is the lowest since November 1995, when Republicans controlled Congress and the capital was paralyzed in a budgetary fight that shut down the government.

Congressional Democrats now fare just slightly better. Only 36 percent of those surveyed approve of the way they are handling their jobs, down sharply from April when, 100 days into the new Congress, 54 percent said they approved.

Whatever their dissatisfaction with the Democrats, however, a majority of Americans, 54 percent, said they want the party to emerge from the 2008 election in control of Congress; 40 percent would prefer the GOP to retake power. One reason is that 32 percent approve of congressional Republicans, and in a series of other measures it becomes clear that the eventual Republican nominee for president may be burdened by a tarnished party label in the general election.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans said they now have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, lower than at any point since December 1998, when Republicans were in the midst of impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton.

Among the GOP rank and file, Republican favorability has fallen 15 percentage points since March 2006 (from 93 percent to 78 percent). It has dropped 19 points among independents, whose support for Democratic candidates in last year’s midterm elections contributed significantly to GOP losses in the House and the Senate.

Only 23 percent of those surveyed said they want to keep going “in the direction Bush has been taking us,” and the appetite for change is as high as it was in the summer of 1992, in the lead-up to Bill Clinton’s defeat of President George H.W. Bush. It is significantly higher than it was in the summer of 2000 or the fall of 1988.

“We’re in a terrible mess,” said Jay Davis, who works on computers for an insurance company and lives in Portland, Maine. “The war is an incredible mistake, and it becomes more and more obvious. The economy is just being propped up with toothpicks.”

Jo Wright, a retired Episcopal priest from Vinita, Okla., said, “It just seems that after these eight years most people think there’s got to be a change, and I’m with them.”

Greg Coy, a 911 dispatcher who lives in Shippensburg, Pa., is less pessimistic about the overall state of the country than Davis or Wright, but he is unhappy with both the president and Congress. He voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, but he said: “If he came up again [for reelection], I wouldn’t vote for him. The last year I think he’s dropped something, and I’m not sure what it is.”

Coy also offered a broader indictment of a political system he sees as gridlocked by partisanship. “Here’s the problem with this country,” he said. “Just because it’s a Republican idea, Democrats don’t like it, and because it’s a Democratic idea, Republicans don’t like it. The Congress should go with what works for this country. We have gotten away from that.”

Justin Munro, a contractor from Reading, Pa., offered a less widely held view of Bush’s policies and the direction of the country. “I’m pretty confident that time will prove that maybe going into Iraq was the right thing to do,” he said. He also believes that Bush has not gotten enough credit on the economy: “I think we’ll look back on that, too, and see that the tax cuts were the right thing to do.”

At this stage, three issues dominate the electoral landscape, with the war in Iraq at the top of the list. Nearly half of all adults, 45 percent, cited Iraq as the most or second-most important issue in their choice for president. About three in 10 cited the economy and jobs (29 percent) or health care (27 percent). All other issues are in the single digits.

Iraq is tops across party lines, but Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to highlight health care as one of the two most important issues for 2008 (34 percent to 16 percent). Health-care concerns peak among African Americans: Twenty percent called it the election’s most important issue, and 38 percent said it is one of the top two.

While 12 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of independents cited immigration as one of the top two issues, it was highlighted by 3 percent of Democrats. Terrorism is also a more prominent concern among Republicans; 17 percent put it in their top two, while 3 percent of Democrats did the same.

The Democratic Party holds double-digit leads over the GOP as the party most trusted to handle the three most frequently cited issues for 2008: Iraq, health care and the economy. The Democratic advantages on immigration and taxes are narrower, and the parties are at rough parity on terrorism, once a major Republican strong point.

There are other signs suggesting that the political landscape has become less favorable to Republicans than it was at the beginning of Bush’s presidency. By 50 percent to 44 percent, Americans said they favor smaller government with fewer services over bigger government with more services — long a key Republican argument. But support for smaller government is significantly lower than it was before both the 2000 and 2002 elections.

In the new poll, support for allowing same-sex civil unions is up significantly from 2004. A majority of respondents, 55 percent, now support giving homosexual couples some of the legal rights of married heterosexuals.

There is a more even divide on another hot-button issue: Fifty-one percent would support a program giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements; 44 percent would oppose that.

Strategists in both parties agree on the overall shape of the political landscape a year from the 2008 election, but they differ as to how voters will ultimately register their desire for change.

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said an electorate that took out its anger on Republicans a year ago remains mad, with the hostility still focused on the president’s party.

Republican pollster Neil Newhouse said, “It is a political environment pretty heavily tilted toward the Democrats.” One hope, he added, is that an early end to the GOP nominating battle will allow the winner time “to put the current administration in the rearview mirror, placing the focus on the nominee’s candidacy and agenda.”

Still, strategists on both sides foresee another close election. “The biggest dynamic is that people want change from the policies of the Bush administration,” said Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist. But he added that “it’s not a clear path” to victory for the Democrats, noting that no Democratic nominee has won 50 percent of the general-election vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Stuart Stevens, a media adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, said no Republican candidate will argue next year that the country is in great shape, but he discounted the effectiveness of running against Bush in the fall of 2008. “A year from now, it’s not going to be a referendum on President Bush, it’s going to be a choice between two candidates,” he said.

Much will happen in the coming months that could reshape the political climate. But at this point, in a matchup of current front-runners, Clinton and Giuliani are tightly paired: 50 percent of respondents would support Clinton, 46 percent Giuliani. Against McCain, Clinton has a clearer edge, 52 percent to 43 percent. She has even larger advantages over former senator Fred D. Thompson of Tennessee (16 points) and Romney (18 points), both of whom remain undefined in the eyes of many voters.

In each of these potential contests, Clinton has a big edge among women. In a head-to-head with Giuliani, 56 percent of women would back Clinton, and 40 percent would vote for Giuliani. By contrast, men would tilt toward Giuliani 51 percent to 44 percent.

Independents, who fueled the Democratic takeover of Congress last November, are evenly divided, 47 percent for Clinton, 46 percent for Giuliani. The split is one indicator that, despite current Democratic advantages and an electorate strongly oriented toward change, the 2008 election is likely to be closely and hotly contested.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 among a random sample of 1,131 adults, and includes additional interviews with randomly selected African Americans for a total of 203 black respondents. The results from the full poll have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

Dem On Dem Attacks – With Friends Like This Who Needs Republicans

Hillary’s camp crying over Democrat on Democrat attacks. During the latest Democratic Debate, Hillary avoided answering questions, with coaching from Bill she does a wonderful job at dodgeball, flip flopped on issues during the debate and made herself look like a complete asshat. Her opponents, dug in deep and would not back off. Now that the debate is over, she is answering those questions, the ones she could not answer while under fire. Hmmm… Imaging if there was a real crisis she had to respond to with limited time to make a decision. No Imagine if she were President of the United States and we were under attack from Terrorists, maybe terrorists flying planes into buildings. Now Imagine her response. Is this what you want to lead our country? I hope your answer is no.

Hillary, take a bit of advise, take a position on the various issues you are confronted with, support those positions and act upon them. The people will have more respect for you than if you whine about how the “boys” picked on you…

Hillary Clinton’s campaign made a new fundraising pitch on Thursday, looking to somehow capitalize on the flak she’s taking from her Democratic opponents over her performance at a debate Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

In a letter circulated by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle, the campaign announced that the presidential race has “entered a new phase.”

“On that stage in Philadelphia, we saw six against one. Candidates who had pledged the politics of hope practiced the politics of pile on instead. Her opponents tried a whole host of attacks on Hillary,” the letter said. It then asked readers for a campaign contribution.

The missive came as Clinton’s opponents continued to take shots at the frontrunner over her seeming double talk at the debate. Most of the criticism has come in response to Clinton’s confusing answer regarding her position on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, a stance she has since tried to clarify. That issue is not necessarily a divisive topic for Democrats, but rather the response is indicative of what opponents say is Clinton’s fatal flaw.

The campaign for John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who was especially critical Tuesday night, released a statement Thursday saying Clinton is engaging in the “politics of parsing.”

“All the distractions in the world won’t undo the fact that on Tuesday night millions of Americans saw John Edwards speak honesty and directly while Senator Clinton once again took multiple positions on multiple issues,” the statement said. “We understand that the Clinton campaign isn’t happy about that, but instead of smoke and mirrors, how about some truth-telling?”

Clinton has tried to clear the air of confusion, saying late Wednesday that she supports Spitzer’s plan.

Spitzer’s plan, which he has retooled in the face of heavy criticism, would grant identification on a three-tier basis, decreasing with the level of proper documentation. Undocumented, illegal immigrants would receive a license only to be used for driving, and be inscribed “not for federal purposes,” meaning it couldn’t be used to board flights or cross borders.

“Senator Clinton broadly supports measures like the ones being advocated by Governor Spitzer, but there are details that still need to be worked out,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Wednesday.

“Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administrations failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” he added.

During the debate Tuesday night, Clinton offered support for Spitzer, saying he was trying to “fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform,” and noted millions of illegal immigrants are in New York at any one time. They should be able to have identification if they’re in an auto accident, for instance, she said.

When all seven of the candidates were asked whether they agree that illegal aliens should have driver’s licenses, only Sen. Christopher Dodd said he disagreed. He then pressed Clinton on the issue and argued against the plan, saying: “A license is a privilege, and that ought not to be extended, in my view.”

Clinton responded: “Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do.”

Dodd then quickly interrupted Clinton before she could finish, seizing on the apparent discrepancy. Moderator Tim Russert then tried to elicit an answer on whether she supported the plan or not, but she avoided offering specific support for the plan.

Then Edwards and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, both attorneys like Clinton, took turns dicing her statement.

“Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago,” Edwards said.

“I was confused on Senator Clinton’s answer. I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it,” Obama said.

Clinton’s apparent indecision also made fodder for Republicans on the campaign trail.

Speaking to reporters in Nashua, N.H., former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani took a page out of President Bush’s campaign playbook, playing on a phrase used against Democratic candidate John Kerry in 2004.

Hillary Clinton was for it, she was against it, and she wasn’t sure if she was for it or against it, in the space of one answer,” Giuliani said. “She is known for taking one position with one audience and another position with another audience. … What they didn’t know is she can actually take two different positions in front of the same audience.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney likened her support for driver’s licenses to tolerance of illegals in the workforce and those who benefit from city services.

“What that does is it communicates to people coming to the country illegally that with a wink and a nod it is alright. This sanctuary state of mind seems to permeate many liberals that they are going to have sanctuary cities, we are going to have sanctuary driver’s licenses, sanctuary tuition discounts for children of illegal aliens, and that sanctuary state of mind has contributed to millions of people coming here illegally, and it has to stop,” Romney said.

Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson said Clinton’s response was “another example of (her) dodging hard issues.” He later suggested that Clinton’s lack of clarity in her debate answers raises questions about her ability to handle diplomacy and foreign policy.

“When our worst enemy sits down at the negotiating table and looks across the table … how much can they get away with, how much of what they’re hearing is really true? Are they going to mean what is said on the other side of the table? The question is, ‘Who do we want on the other side of that table facing them?”‘ he told a crowd of GOP donors in Las Vegas.

And the Republican National Committee issued its own talking points memo, pointing to statements it said show that “Hillary’s stance on illegal immigration reforms remains vague and undefined.”

Meanwhile, the controversy over Spitzer’s plan is not going away any time soon. On Thursday, 32 Republican New York Assembly members filed a lawsuit against Spitzer, seeking to quash the license plan.

The suit states the plan violates the section of New York law that says the Department of Motor Vehicles must require a Social Security number before issuing a driver’s license. Among the concerns about the plan is that it will giving illegal immigrants the right to get ID that they could use to vote, to support terror activities or buy weapons.

“The basis of the suit is the governor’s proposal is unlawful,” said Josh Fitzpatrick, spokesman for New York Assembly Republican Leader James Tedisco, who is leading the effort against Spitzer.

Fitzpatrick said the assembly members resorted to court action after a move to amend the governor’s plan failed in special session. He said Clinton’s response to Spitzer’s plan during the debate Tuesday “raised awareness” about the issue but did not by itself prompt the lawsuit.

“It’s a battle that’s been raging for about six weeks now,” he said.

Nonetheless, Tedisco bashed Clinton in a statement Wednesday, calling her a flip-flopper and comparing her to 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, whose positions were mocked by opponents as malleable.

Amid the renewed national attention, Spitzer stood by his plan Thursday.

“I have a very serious obligation. That’s to improve the security of the state, and that’s what we’re doing,” the governor said.

FOX News’ Judson Berger contributed to this report.

Obama “No Show” Contradicts Himself in Criticism of Clinton Vote

Obama is now critisizing Hillary on her vote to dub the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. He claims this gives Bush a blank check to attack Iran. Now had Obama been present in the Senate that day he could have cast a vote against, however all he can say is that had he been there he would of. Where was Obama on such a critical vote, by critical I am refering to his use of this as cannon fodder against Hillary. Had this been such an important vote to him he would not have been too busy campaigning, he would have been doing his job that he is paid to do.

Now I have no love for Hillary, however I am developing an even nastier taste for Obama’s politics… He has no right to say anything about Hillary’s voting practice unless he participates in the same votes.

Is this really the man that should be our next President, where will he be when important decision need to be made?

Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday criticized a recent vote by Democratic presidential rival Sen. Hillary Clinton as helping to give President Bush a “blank check” to take military action against Iran.

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¨Sen. Barack Obama says Sen. Hillary Clinton has shown “flawed” judgment.

“We know in the past that the president has used some of the flimsiest excuses to try to move his agenda regardless of what Congress says,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Last month, Clinton voted to support a resolution declaring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite part of the Iranian military, a foreign terrorist group. (The nonbinding amendment to the Defense Authorization Act passed by a 76-22 vote.)

Obama said he would have voted against the measure but didn’t because he was campaigning in New Hampshire at the time. He said it was impossible to know when votes will be scheduled in the Senate. “This is a problem” related to running for president, he said.

Obama said Clinton also had shown “flawed” judgment during the vote to authorize the Iraq war five years ago.

“We know that there was embodied in this legislation, or this resolution sent to the Senate, language that would say our Iraqi troop structures should in part be determined by our desire to deal with Iran,” Obama said. “Now if you know that in the past the president has taken a blank check and cashed it, we don’t want to repeat that mistake.”

Clinton on Thursday defended her vote on the resolution during an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio, saying “what I voted on was a nonbinding resolution. It’s not an amendment. It’s not a law.”

While Clinton was campaigning Sunday in New Hampton, Iowa, an audience member at a town hall-style meeting pressed her on why she voted for the Iran measure and asked why she hadn’t learned from past “mistakes.” Calling “the premise of the question” wrong, the senator from New York argued the resolution calls for the terrorist label so that sanctions can be imposed.

The sanctions, Clinton said, will in turn “send a clear message to the leadership” and lead to stronger diplomatic efforts.

Earlier this month, Clinton also co-sponsored legislation with Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, that would prohibit military operations against Iran without congressional approval.

Obama’s comments came on the fifth anniversary of the 77-23 Senate vote that authorized the president to use force against Iraq. Obama, then an Illinois state senator, spoke out against the resolution authorizing force at the time.

Clinton’s 2002 vote shows a clear difference in judgment between the two of them, Obama said. Video Watch as Obama questions Clinton’s judgment »

“I don’t think it disqualified her, but I think it speaks to her judgment and it speaks to my judgment,” Obama said. “It speaks to how we will make decisions going forward.

“I think her judgment was flawed on this issue.”

Obama said he also will step up efforts to clarify his differences with Clinton, whom many political observers view as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

“There’s no doubt we are moving into a different phase of the campaign,” Obama said. “The first part of a campaign is to offer some biography and give people a sense of where I’ve been and what I am about.

“In this next phase, we want to make sure that voters understand that on big issues, like the decision to go into the war in Iraq, I had real differences with the other candidates, and that reflects on my judgment.”

Another leading Democratic candidate, John Edwards, also voted in 2002 to authorize force in Iraq while he was then a senator from North Carolina. He later called his vote a mistake.

In a veiled swipe at Clinton, Obama also suggested he could better unite the country and offer “something new, as opposed to looking backward and simply duplicating some of the politics that we’ve become so accustomed to, that frankly the American people are sick of.”

Obama would not say whether he would consider Clinton as his running mate should he become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

“I think Sen. Clinton is a very capable person,” he said. “Right now, my goal is to make sure I am the nominee, and she is still the senator from New York.”

It’s Good To Be The King – Democratic Closet Candidates

Hillary, Obama and Edwards have some interesting views on Gay Marraige and teaching 6 year old children about it. This question was related to if the candidates would feel comfortable with their children being read “King & King” in second grade.

A fairy tale about two princes falling in love sparked a backlash — and a lawsuit — against a teacher and a school last year when it was read to a second-grade class in Massachusetts.

But the three frontrunners in the Democratic presidential race suggested Wednesday night at their debate in New Hampshire that they’d support reading the controversial book to children as part of a school curriculum.

Moderator Tim Russert asked John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton whether they’d be comfortable having the story — called “King & King” — read to their children in school

Edwards thinks it is ok to teach to 6 year olds so that they can grow up and NOT understand why he is against it.  He also does not want to influence his children on the subject. Hello John, isn’t that what parents are suppose to do. Influence their children. This is a shining example of why morales and values have disappeared from most of the kids today. Don’t forget, John is not Gay, nor was the other John, his running mate… what was his name , oh yeah Kerry. And on top of it, he did not even know what he had actually responded to… Note the Blue highlight.

Edwards gave the first and most definitive answer — a resounding and instant “yes, absolutely” — although he added that it “might be a little tough” for second-graders.

 

“I want my children to understand everything about the difficulties that gay and lesbian couples are faced with every day, the discrimination that they’re faced with every single day of their lives,” Edwards said. “I suspect my two younger children, Emma Claire, who’s 9, and Jack, who’s 7, will reach the same conclusion that my daughter Cate, who’s 25, has reached — which is, she doesn’t understand why her dad is not in favor of same-sex marriage.”

The 2004 vice presidential candidate and former North Carolina senator said he doesn’t want to influence his kids’ opinions about the issue.

“I don’t want to make that decision on behalf of my children,” he said. “I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information, even in — did you say second grade? Second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade to be exposed to all those possibilities, because I don’t want to impose my view. Nobody made me God.”

Obama thinks it is a ok to teach to 6 year olds, they are old enough to understand it. What are you talking about feeding the American people fear and conflict and division? Obama are you saying that by not teaching second graders about gay marraige we are teaching them fear? What did you smoke before this.

Obama agreed with Edwards and revealed that his wife has already spoken to his 6- and 9-year-old daughters about same-sex marriage.

Obama told Russert that his sentiments are similar to those of Edwards, and, when asked whether he’d sat down to talk about same-sex marriage with his young daughters, he replied that his wife had.

“The fact is, my 9-year-old and my 6-year-old I think are already aware that there are same-sex couples,” the Illinois senator told the debate. “One of the things I want to communicate to my children is not to be afraid of people who are different. …. One of the things I think the next president has to do is stop fanning people’s fears. If we spend all our time feeding the American people fear and conflict and division, then they become fearful and conflicted and divided.”

Hillary thinks it should be the parents responsibility, but does not actually say it should not be taught in school. Remember she is not a lesbian…

Clinton said she believes it’s up to parents to decide how to handle such topics, but added that it’s important to teach kids about the “many differences that are in the world.”

Clinton said she respects the viewpoints of Obama and Edwards, but she sidestepped the question of whether she’d be comfortable having a storybook like “King & King” read to her own child at that age.

“With respect to your individual children, that is such a matter of parental discretion,” Clinton said. “Obviously, it is better to try to … help your children understand the many differences that are in the world. … And that goes far beyond sexual orientation. So I think that this issue of gays and lesbians and their rights will remain an important one in our country.”

Now remember these guys and Hillary oppose gay marraige…

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Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, and, as Russert pointed out Wednesday, most of the Democratic candidates have said they oppose it. But though they don’t back the legislation, they apparently think it’s OK to teach elementary-school students about gay marriage.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is vying for the Republican nomination for president, weighed in afterward with a statement accusing the Democratic candidates of being “out of touch” with America.

“Not one candidate was uncomfortable with young children learning about same-sex marriage in the second grade,” Romney said in the statement. “This is a subject that should be left to parents, not public school teachers. We need to strengthen our families by passing a federal marriage amendment and also insisting on marriage before having children. Change in Washington requires Democrats with the courage to stand up to their ultra liberal base and do what’s right for our children.”

Some Lexington, Mass., parents were livid that a Joseph Estabrook Elementary School teacher read “King & King” to their second-grade children in class.

The Dutch tale, which has been translated into English, is about a prince whose mother pressures him to find a princess but who ends up falling in love with and marrying the brother of one of the prospective brides instead.

Last year, a judge dismissed a federal lawsuit brought by two sets of parents of students in the class who objected to the introduction of homosexual themes to their 7-year-olds without alerting them first, on the grounds that it was a violation of the state’s sex-education parental notification clause.

State law requires teaching about gay marraige? Something is wrong when a law requires that gay marraige be taught in public school, when you cannot event teach about G”d in public school and there are those that want ban the  Pledge of Allegiance because it has the word G”d in it. Wake up America!

School officials stood by their decision to teach about different kinds of marriage and said that Massachusetts law requires them to do so.