2008 Election: November 2007 Archives
Everybody knows by now that Rudy Giuliani was getting it on with then mistress and now 3rd wife Judith Nathan, while he was still married to 2nd wife Donna Hanover. Giuliani made frequent trips Nathan's Southhampton condo to "do it." That's the old news.
The new news is that he billed the travel and security expenses to New York City taxpayers, and allegedly tried to hide it by charging the accounts of obscure city agencies. "There is really no good reason to do this except to have nobody know about it," a former New York City budget director told Politico.
None of this is good news for Giuliani's presidential campaign. "Using public money to carry on an affair, and do it in a way that is designed to conceal that fact from the public, people would think that reflects on his character," David Rohde, a political science professor at Duke University, told the AP. "And most especially social conservatives, who are dicey about him in the first place."
Giuliani biled obscure agencies for trips [Politico]
Security billing case for Rudy Giuliani for Rudy Giuliani's Hampton trysts with Judith Nathan raises questions [AP]
So with all the hoopla about the Iowa Caucus and the preceeding Heartland Presidential Forum, we had some questions. Like, what the heck is a caucus and who gives a hoot about Iowa anyway? So we decided to do some sleuthing, and (after fighting over who got to be Nancy Drew) we solved the mystery.
A caucus is a meeting where members of a political party make policy decisions and select candidates. Registered voters in Iowa select their Democratic and Republican presidential candidates by caucus instead of in a primary election.
The term "Iowa Caucus" really refers to the Iowa Caucuses, as there is a separate caucus held for each of Iowa's 1,784 precints. Democrats and Republicans caucus separately.
At Republican caucuses, participants show their candidate preferences by voting by paper ballot, a show of hands or dividing themselves by into groups according to candidate prefernece.
The Democratic process involves more drama. (As usual.) Democrats divide themselves into groups based on candidate preference. A candidate must get 15% of caucus goers' support in order to be "viable." Those candidate groups that are not "viable" can get others to join their group to make it viable, join the group of another candidate, join an uncommitted group or join no group and not be counted.
At the end ot the caucuses, each party tallies up voter preferences at the state level. The Democratic and Republican candidates with the most support are reported to the media as the "winner" of the Iowa Caucus for their party.
People make such a big deal out of the Iowa caucus because, as the first primary contest in the nation, it is the first opportunity to prove a candidate's strength. Also, now that the New Hampshire primary is just 5 days after the Iowa Caucus, a candidate might ride the momentum she/he gets from a win in Iowa to a win in New Hampshire (the other big deal in the presidential primary). If a candidate wins both Iowa and New Hamphire, his/her rivals are expected to have a tough time catching up.
So that's the gist of the Iowa Caucus (just enough to get by at a cocktail party).
www.iowacaucus.org [State of Iowa]
www.iowagop.net [Republican Party of Iowa]
www.iowademocrats.org [Iowa Democratic Party]
The Washington Postran a story today about the life and times of Michelle Obama. Interesting tidbit: Michelle and Barack saw Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing on their first date. Read the story here.
Photo of Michelle Obama by Scout Tufankjian for Polaris Images.
In honor of tonights's Dancing with the Stars finale (8pm EST on ABC), let's watch Barack Obama do the uh-oh on Ellen.
In partnership with TV One, Polichicks Online will cover news related to the Heartland Presidential Forum this week, ending with live blogging commentary during the forum on Saturday, December 1st. You can read more about Polichicks Online's election coverage for TV One here. (We are in the bottom righthand corner of the site under Megan Cosby.) TV One is a national cable network that reaches 40 million homes.
When your boss asks your opinion of Hillary Clinton's health care answer at the Heartland Presidential Forum, "Oh snap! I missed it!" is not the answer you want to give. Unless you want to look
uninformed, unprepared and unpromotable like a total dumb ass. So let's make sure that you know all there is to know about the forum:
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Center for Community Change will present the "Heartland Presidential Forum: Real Issues, Real People" in Des Moines on December 1st at 1:30 pm. 5,000 Iowans who seriously don't play will put presidential candidates from both parties on the spot with tough questions about issues facing ordinary Americans (that's us, folks). The event is likely to be the last forum in Iowa before the much talked about Iowa Caucuses meet on January 3rd.
Cathy L. Hughes, who also doesn't play and is the founder of TV One and Radio One, will moderate the forum. A Heartland native, Hughes is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. "I am pleased to come home to the Heartland and work with local and national community groups to put on this truly remarkable forum that will allow candidates to speak candidly with everyday people," she said in a statement.
Whatever you do, don't miss the CNN/You Tube Republican presidential debate in Florida. Word is that many of the questions are hoo-larious. Others are deep. And some are sad. :(
If you want to ask the candidates a question, you have until midnight tonight (Sunday) to submit one. And don't ask them questions like, "How wide is your stance?" It's not polite.
"You Choose '08" for more info on the election and candidates [You Tube]
Cocktails for the Obama campaign!
Iowa isn't exactly on the east side, but Barack Obama is movin' on up in favor among Democrats there. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 30% of likely Democratic caucus goers in Iowa support Obama for president over rivals Hillary Clinton (26%), John Edwards (22%) and Bill Richardson (11%).
A four point lead ain't exactly a landslide, but it's still a good reason for some celebratory drinktime (or at least a few minutes of internet shoptime). Click here to get the party started!
Here's the latest ad from Hillary Clinton. It's a near tear jerker and features a grateful father who tells us that Hillary helped his son get a bone marrow transplant. We got all choked up when dad delivered these lines: "Now her opponents say that Hillary can't be trusted? I trusted this woman to save my son's life. And she did."
Take that, John Edwards.
Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire received phone calls from a mysterious source that questioned Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. Such calls are known as "push polls" - "surveys" that are intended to spread negative information about a candidate, rather than collect information about a voter's opinion of a candidate.
Voters who received calls were asked questions that could give a negative impression of Romney based on his faith, such as, "Some people say the Mormon church is a cult, would that make you more or less likely to vote for Mitt Romney?" Conversely, the calls included questions that could lead to a positive impression of rival John McCain, such as, "If you knew [John McCain] was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, would that make you more or less likely to vote for him?"
New Hampshire is investigating the source of the calls, as New Hampshire law requires all campaign advertising to identify the candidate being supported. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have denied that their campaigns had anything to do with the calls. Whoever did it, this is so not cool.
Romney: Anti-Mormon phone calls 'un-American' [CNN]
Mitt Romney, Push Polls And McCain-Feingold [CBS News]
N.H. to probe negative calls tarbeting Romeny campaign [The Boston Globe]
Barack Obama is now running this ad in Iowa. A similar version has aired in New Hampshire for the past few weeks.
Those who are quick to call Hillary Clinton a "bitch" have to admit this: the "bitch" is bad.
Clinton led tonight's debate and reaffirmed her control over the Democratic primary race. Barack Obama and John Edwards gave less than stellar performances and were booed by the audience at times. The other candidates may as well have been pieces of furniture, as the moderator and questioners were clearly focused on the top 3 candidates.
So here's the rundown:
1. Debate opening format reinforced frontrunners' status. The opening format of the debate reinforced perceptions that Clinton is the frontrunner, Obama and Edwards are second and thrid respectively, and the other candidates are just accessories. The first question went to Clinton, then the moderator invited Obama to pipe in and a debate ensued between the #1 and #2 candidates. Next Edwards was invited to join the debate. The first 15 minutes or so of the debate were very heated and focused only on the top 3 candidates. They catfought about social security, healthcare and giving drivers licenses to undocumented workers. The other candidates either weren't permitted to speak or spoke very little during this time.
2. Barack Obama attacked Clinton for "triangulating" and then "triangulated" himself. Obama called out Clinton for waffling in the last debate on whether or not undocumented workers should have drivers licenses, noting that she didn't take a clear stand on the matter until 2 weeks following the debate. After all the candidates catfought over the matter, each candidate was asked for a yes or no answer to whether or not they support giving drivers licenses to undocumented workers. Obama babbled through his less than crystal clear answer. In contrast, Clinton gave a firm, one-word response: "No."
Obama did give a funny one-liner though, when making the point that whether or not undocumented workers can have drivers licenses is not a core issue to improving immigration policy. "Undocumented workers don't come here to drive," he said. (Okay, maybe you had to be there, but it was really funny when he said it).
3. Edwards's agressive attacks on Cinton may have backfired. In response to a question about whether he will support the Democratic candidate no matter who
she it is, Edwards asked, "Is that a planted question?" (referring to allegations that Clinton once planted a student to ask her a question at an event). The joke got little laughter, if any. Edwards also got booed by the audience, when he commented on Clinton's answer to a question on gender.
4. Clinton's gender question answer was bad ass. Clinton's answer to the gender card question was one that reaffirmed her position as frontrunner, shared experiences that every woman can relate to, and psyched women up to have our first woman president. Watch part of her answer below.
For those who missed it, here's video of Barack Obama giving a fiery and assertive speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa last week. Go 'head, Barry!
The National Right to Life Committee announced that it will endorse Fred Thompson for president. The endorsement is somewhat surprising, as Thompson has said in the past that he does not agree with all of the NRLC's views.
The NRLC's endorsement is a nice score for Thompson. The Republican presidential candidates are competing for support from conservative organizations, such as evangelical and anti-abortion rights groups, in an effort to one up each other as the "real" conservative republican.
Actress Robin Weigert in publicity photo from robinweigert.com.
Emmy-nominated actress Robin Weigert, who is best known for her role as Calamity Jane on HBO's Deadwood, talked to Capitol File about election 2008. So who does Robin think should be the next president? "I've gone back and forth a lot on this," she said. "I think Obama is an incredibly inspiring speaker and person. At the same time, I'd be excited to see Hillary Clinton as president. I think she'd be incredibly good at the job. Ultimately, I want someone who can galvanize the country."
Robin is from Washington, D.C., where she attended school at Sidwell Friends.
CNN reports that former New York City Police Chief, Bernard Kerik, has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Details of the charges against him are not expected to be available until the indictment is unsealed on Friday.
Prosecutors had been investigating Kerik for bribery and tax evasion. He admitted to misdemeanor charges of financial impropriety one year ago.
President Bush nominated Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. Kerik withdrew his name from consideration after allegations that he hired a nanny with questionable immigration status surfaced.
Kerik is a longtime friend and protege of Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Frenemy Giuliani has called his previous support of Kerik "a mistake."
Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) supports Barack Obama for president. He told Reuters:
"I cannot believe that it possible a woman can become Premier of US and A - in Kazakhstan, we say that to give a woman power, is like to give a monkey a gun - very dangerous. We do not give monkeys guns any more in Kazakhstan ever since the Astana Zoo massacre of 2003 when Torkin the orang-utan shoot 17 schoolchildrens. I personal would like the basketball player, Barak Obamas, to be Premier."
Borat 4 Barack [PerezHilton.com]
Borat -- With Colbert Out? -- Backs 'Obamas' for President [Editor & Publisher]
A new Rasmussen poll released Novermber 7th shows that Hillary Clinton's lead in the New Hampshire Primary has fallen, but she still retains a double digit lead over all of her rivals. Here are the poll results:
Hillary Clinton 34%
Barack Obama 24%
John Edwards 15%
Bill Richardson 8%
Chris Dodd 3%
Joe Biden 3%
Dennis Kucinich 2%
Mike Gravel 1%
Clinton had a 16 point lead (38% to 22%) over nearest rival Obama in the last Rasmussen poll realeased on October 27th. Prior to that, Clinton put up a 23 point advantage over Obama (40% to 17%) in a Rasmussen poll realeased on September 18th.
Sex and the City castmates Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Catrell. AP Photo.
Single women are a fast-growing demographic. For the first time in our nation's history, the number of single women is equal to the number of married women. And every presidential candidate is sweating our vote.
Or, at least, they should be. Dubbed the "Sex and the City" vote, we make up 26% of the potential voting pool, and pundits say that we have the power to determine the outcome of the next presidential election.
So to any presidential candidate who thinks that they don't need to address our issues or court our vote, we say go 'head with your bad self. See what happens on November 4th.
Sex and the Single Woman's Vote [ABC News]
Fred: [in Urkel voice] "Did I do that?"
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson is a total loser. Don't get mad at us, Fredheads. He said so himself.
Carl Cameron of Fox News was trying to hurry his staff's preparation for an interview with Thompson. To prod his staff along, Cameron said, "The next President of the United States has a schedule to keep." Thompson responded, "And so do I."
So after all that time on Law and Order, Thompson couldn't just act like he thinks he's going to win?
When all this went down, Thompson's aides:
b) wanted to crawl under the nearest desk and die
c) wanted to punch him in his effing face for being so stupid (stupid!) and blowing his miniscule chance to win, after they have worked long hours campaigning on his behalf for a salary smaller than a six grader's allowance
d) all of the above
Thompson doesn't think he'll be president [AOL News]
Even Fred Thompson doubts he'll be president [Telegraph (UK publication)]
Barack Obama participated in a Saturday Night Live skit this past Saturday to poke fun of rival Hillary Clinton. Barack and the other Democratic candidates have accused Hillary of being two-faced, and Barack drove this point home during his SNL appearance.
In the skit, a tall, thin man approaches "Hillary" (Amy Poehler) at her Halloween party, wearing a Barack Obama mask. Hillary wants to see who came to the party as Barack, so he takes the mask off. And it's... [drumroll please!]... Barack himself!
Hillary: So you came as yourself?
Barack: Well you know, Hillary, I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself. I'm not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.
The audience laughed, but you know Hillary wasn't amused. She's going to stomp Barack's a**. Not necessarily in the primary, but if she catches his skinny tail alone in the dark halls of Congress.
Obama's shots go on, a surprise for Clinton on SNL [Baltimore Sun]
Live from New York, it's Sen Barack Obama [Chicago Sun-Times]
Anchor has nothing to fear from SNL gig [Chicago Sun-Times]
We've gotten a whole lot of requests from polichicks to post the video of the first lady wannabes' panel discussion at the 2007 Women's Conference.. Five fabulously smart and beautiful wives of presidential candidates participated. Okay, only four seemed smart, but we're not saying who we think was lacking.
Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, Jeri Thompson, Elizabeth Edwards and Cindy McCain talked about life on the campaign trail, balancing their campaign and family obligations, raising kids, supporting their husbands, and who supports them while they support their men. California First Lady Maria Shriver moderated.
"Ahaaaaa.... Smell that smell. That's the smell of freedom," said Drew Carey, as he walked into Farmacy while filming a video on marijuana use and the war on drugs. Farmacy is a store in California where you can buy marijuana legally, as long as you have a doctor's note. (Hmmm. Good to know... uh, in case we ever get hurt or something.)
Anyway, Carey wants to legalize marijuana for medical use. Okay, Carey really wants to legalize weed for any use, but his first battle is to push the federal government to legalize medical marijuana.
“I think it’s clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana," Carey said in the video. "People who need it should be able to get it – safely and easily."
Carey interviewed several people in the video who use marijuana for medical purposes, including Bill Lehey, who is a self-described gun-toting, right-wing Republican. "If you want my gun, you better take it off my dead body," Lehey said. He also said that he supports legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, because he needs it to treat backpain. He said that sometimes his back hurts so much that it wakes him up at night. "Two puffs" of weed, and he's sleeping like a baby.
This video is part of The Drew Carey Project, a Reason.tv video series in which Carey plans to address the political issues of the day, such as traffic congestion and immigration. You can watch it below.