Topics
Administration
Congress
Democrats
Elections
Ethics
Governor -- Alabama
Governor -- Alaska
Governor -- Arizona
Governor -- California
Governor -- Colorado
Governor -- Connecticut
Governor -- Delaware
Governor -- Florida
Governor -- Georgia
Governor -- Hawaii
Governor -- Illinois
Governor -- Indiana
Governor -- Iowa
Governor -- Kentucky
Governor -- Louisiana
Governor -- Maryland
Governor -- Massachusetts
Governor -- Michigan
Governor -- Minnesota
Governor -- Missouri
Governor -- Montana
Governor -- Nevada
Governor -- New Hampshire
Governor -- New Jersey
Governor -- New Mexico
Governor -- New York
Governor -- North Carolina
Governor -- North Dakota
Governor -- Ohio
Governor -- Oregon
Governor -- Pennsylvania
Governor -- Rhode Island
Governor -- South Carolina
Governor -- Texas
Governor -- Utah
Governor -- Vermont
Governor -- Virginia
Governor -- Washington
Governor -- Wyoming
Governors
Health Care
House
House -- Alabama -- 02
House -- Alabama -- 03
House -- Alabama -- 05
House -- Alaska
House -- Arizona -- 01
House -- Arizona -- 03
House -- Arizona -- 05
House -- Arizona -- 08
House -- Arkansas -- 01
House -- Arkansas -- 02
House -- California -- 04
House -- California -- 12
House -- California -- 26
House -- California -- 32
House -- California -- 50
House -- Colorado -- 02
House -- Colorado -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 05
House -- Florida -- 06
House -- Florida -- 08
House -- Florida -- 13
House -- Florida -- 15
House -- Florida -- 16
House -- Florida -- 18
House -- Florida -- 19
House -- Florida -- 21
House -- Florida -- 24
House -- Florida -- 25
House -- Georgia -- 05
House -- Georgia -- 10
House -- Georgia -- 12
House -- Idaho -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 03
House -- Illinois -- 05
House -- Illinois -- 06
House -- Illinois -- 10
House -- Illinois -- 11
House -- Illinois -- 14
House -- Illinois -- 18
House -- Indiana -- 03
House -- Indiana -- 07
House -- Indiana -- 09
House -- Iowa -- 03
House -- Iowa -- 04
House -- Kansas -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 03
House -- Louisiana -- 01
House -- Louisiana -- 02
House -- Louisiana -- 04
House -- Louisiana -- 06
House -- Maine -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 04
House -- Massachusetts -- 05
House -- Michigan -- 01
House -- Michigan -- 07
House -- Michigan -- 09
House -- Michigan -- 13
House -- Minnesota -- 01
House -- Minnesota -- 03
House -- Minnesota -- 06
House -- Mississippi -- 01
House -- Mississippi -- 03
House -- Missouri -- 09
House -- Nevada -- 02
House -- Nevada -- 03
House -- New Hampshire -- 01
House -- New Hampshire -- 02
House -- New Jersey -- 03
House -- New Jersey -- 05
House -- New Jersey -- 07
House -- New Mexico -- 01
House -- New Mexico -- 02
House -- New York -- 13
House -- New York -- 15
House -- New York -- 20
House -- New York -- 21
House -- New York -- 23
House -- New York -- 24
House -- New York -- 25
House -- New York -- 26
House -- New York -- 29
House -- North Carolina -- 03
House -- North Carolina -- 08
House -- North Carolina -- 10
House -- North Dakota
House -- Ohio -- 01
House -- Ohio -- 02
House -- Ohio -- 05
House -- Ohio -- 07
House -- Ohio -- 10
House -- Ohio -- 15
House -- Ohio -- 16
House -- Oklahoma -- 05
House -- Oregon -- 05
House -- Pennsylvania -- 03
House -- Pennsylvania -- 04
House -- Pennsylvania -- 06
House -- Pennsylvania -- 10
House -- Pennsylvania -- 11
House -- Pennsylvania -- 12
House -- Pennsylvania -- 15
House -- South Carolina -- 01
House -- South Carolina -- 02
House -- South Carolina -- 05
House -- South Dakota
House -- Tennessee -- 07
House -- Tennessee -- 08
House -- Tennessee -- 09
House -- Texas -- 07
House -- Texas -- 10
House -- Texas -- 14
House -- Texas -- 22
House -- Utah -- 03
House -- Virginia -- 01
House -- Virginia -- 05
House -- Virginia -- 09
House -- Virginia -- 11
House -- Washington -- 08
House -- West Virginia -- 02
House -- Wisconsin -- 08
House -- Wyoming
Inauguration 2009
International
Issues
Judiciary
Local Elections
Media
Miscellaneous
Morning Thoughts
Politics Weekly
Polls
Rankings
Republicans
Senate
Senate -- Alaska
Senate -- Arizona
Senate -- Arkansas
Senate -- California
Senate -- Colorado
Senate -- Connecticut
Senate -- Delaware
Senate -- Florida
Senate -- Georgia
Senate -- Idaho
Senate -- Illinois
Senate -- Indiana
Senate -- Iowa
Senate -- Kansas
Senate -- Kentucky
Senate -- Louisiana
Senate -- Maine
Senate -- Massachusetts
Senate -- Minnesota
Senate -- Mississippi
Senate -- Missouri
Senate -- Montana
Senate -- Nebraska
Senate -- Nevada
Senate -- New Hampshire
Senate -- New Jersey
Senate -- New Mexico
Senate -- New York
Senate -- North Carolina
Senate -- North Dakota
Senate -- Ohio
Senate -- Oklahoma
Senate -- Oregon
Senate -- Pennsylvania
Senate -- South Carolina
Senate -- South Dakota
Senate -- Tennessee
Senate -- Texas
Senate -- Utah
Senate -- Virginia
Senate -- Wisconsin
Senate -- Wyoming
Sports
Supreme Court
WH 08
WH 08 -- Democrats
WH 08 -- Republicans
WH 12
WH 12 -- Republicans
White House

 

« Chambliss Leads Big | Blog Home Page | Is AK A First-Tier Race? »

Strategy Memo: Sweet Relevance

Good Friday morning. Yesterday, Alaska crossed the $4 per gallon of gas mark. Today, it's Chicago and Hartford. Watch those economic conditions poll numbers sink progressively lower. Here's what Washington watches this morning:

-- After a week in which Congress passed the farm bill and the House narrowly approved a war funding measure, both chambers are in pro forma session today. President Bush has already arrived in Riyadh for meetings with King Abdullah, during which he will talk about those very gas prices we mentioned earlier. It's not often that the increasingly sidelined president gets to make news, but he sure did yesterday.

-- That news came on the floor of the Israeli Knesset, when President Bush attacked those who "seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals," calling that approach the "false comfort of appeasement." Barack Obama's campaign took that as an insult and slammed the president for politicizing the 60th birthday celebrations of the Jewish state, and for bringing Nazis into the picture, as AP's Liz Sidoti writes. Obama has said he would meet with leaders of some countries, most notably Iran, that the current administration has not. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters the line wasn't a shot at Obama, but it certainly looked that way. Reports this morning suggest Obama will offer a strong response today.

-- Obama wasn't alone in his outrage. Virtually every key Democrat in Congress issued a statement defending their party's likely nominee (Tracked down in the hall, Delaware Senator Joe Biden called the comments "bull" something, while a release from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the comments beneath the dignity of the presidency). In Rapid City, South Dakota, even Hillary Clinton got involved: "President Bush's comparison of any Democrat to Nazi appeasers is both offensive and outrageous on the face of it, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy," she said, defending Obama per Ben Smith. John McCain, on the other hand, would not disassociate himself with the comments and said Obama "needs to explain" why he would meet with Iran, the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller writes from the bus.

-- Meanwhile, McCain's comments weren't the only shot the Arizona senator took at his colleague from Illinois yesterday. On a conference call with conservative bloggers, McCain previewed what is likely to be the harshest argument to come out of the candidate's own mouth during the campaign: "Senator Obama does not have the knowledge, the experience, the background to make the kind of judgments that are necessary to preserve this nation's security," he said, per TPM's Greg Sargent. The old tactic of making an opponent's biggest strength, in this case youthful energy, into a weakness, in this case inexperience, is McCain's best chance at winning in November.

-- But the candidate spent most of yesterday in a positive mood, telling a Columbus audience that the war in Iraq can be won by the end of his first term and previewing the intervening four years' developments on taxes, national security and the sort of post-partisanship that McCain asserts he represents, the AP's Glen Johnson writes. But forget those other issues, all reporters wanted to talk about was this new timeline for ending the war: Was this the same thing McCain blasted Mitt Romney for in advance of Super Tuesday? Was this McCain's version of a "Mission Accomplished" banner, as some Democrats suggested? Neither, McCain insisted. Most polls show voters don't approve of the war but trust McCain to handle it better, though it's clearly an issue around which he needs to tiptoe lightly. The first hurdle: Ending speculation over his "100 years" comments. Does this accomplish that goal? In the DNC's minds, it does not.

-- Meanwhile, we wrote yesterday about the loss of several McCain aides due to their lobbying efforts on behalf of the military junta in Myanmar. Also yesterday, the campaign had to ask GOP strategist Craig Shirley to step down due to his involvement in a 527 organization, and manager Rick Davis heard questions about his ties to a pro-Moscow political party in Ukraine. To stem the bleeding, McCain's team is re-vetting the entire staff, Marc Ambinder reports. Each staff member is filling out a lengthy questionnaire in coordination with a new policy on conflicts of interest, and anyone not in compliance will be shown the door.

-- Finally, from the West Coast, in a four-to-three decision the California Supreme Court struck down two state laws that define and limit marriages to those between a man and a woman, the New York Times writes. If no stay is granted within thirty days, same-sex partners will be allowed to marry, the second state, after Massachusetts, in which such unions will be recognized. Anti-gay marriage initiatives were on the ballot in a number of swing states in 2004, though some argue their presence did not actually hurt John Kerry that year, but this time around, marriage is not likely to be a hot issue. Neither Obama nor McCain are on the extremes of their party -- Obama won't support marriage, and McCain voted against a national ban because of federalism concerns. In this instance, it appears an issue that gets fringe groups worked up will not be in play come November.

-- Criminals Of The Day: On the do-not-call list? This campaign doesn't care, and now they've admitted wrongdoing in Oregon. Which campaign so brazenly runs afoul of, nay, openly scoffs at, the Beaver State's laws regarding robo-calling those on the federal register? Well, actually it's both Hillary Clinton's and Barack Obama's campaign that are making the illegal calls, as the Oregonian reports today. Both campaigns have stopped and are scrubbing their lists in accordance with Oregon law, but if the state's attorney general had decided to bring charges, the campaigns might have been on the hook for a whopping $5,000 per call.

-- Today On The Trail: Obama will join former Senator Tom Daschle for a town hall meeting in Watertown, South Dakota, to talk about rural issues. Former Senator George McGovern will join the two for a rally in Sioux Falls later this afternoon. Clinton will stump in Springfield, Oregon before heading to Salem and a town hall meeting in Portland. McCain addresses the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Louisville, Kentucky, and ends the evening in Newark, New Jersey, ahead of weekend plans.