Democratic “Debate”

Well, the CNN Democratic debate last night was nothing special, mostly repetition of all the things we have heard ten times over in the past few months.  The only new issue was Clinton’s recent charge of plagiarism.

Hillary decided to go sentimental in her closing remarks, mentioning that she was honored to be there with Barack Obama.

Her sentimentality did help her just before the New Hampshire primary.  Still, in the midst of accusing her opponent of plagiarism, it’s odd that Hillary’s remarks bear a striking resemblance to those of her husband.

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The Democratic Battle Continues

Barack Obama continued his winning streak by winning the ‘Democrats Abroad’ primary by more than a 2 to 1 margin. So he should receive the majority of the 7 pledged delegates (14 half delegates) at stake as well as the four super-delegates. The primary results came in from 164 countries around the globe where American expatriates cast votes between February 5th and February 12th. That increases Obama’s winning streak to 11 straight victories since Super Tuesday.

Obama also gained the endorsement of the ‘Change to Win’ labor federation on Thursday. The group has an estimated 6 million members, including 175,000 in Ohio, 60,000 in Texas, and 25,000 in Rhode Island. Those numbers are a boost to the Obama campaign in the upcoming March 4th contests.

Hillary Clinton is relying on the states of Texas and Ohio to put an end to Obama’s winning streak. In fact, the Washington Post reports:

Wealthy supporters of Hillary Clinton have formed a new independent 527 group to begin buying television ads to help the New York Senator. Under campaign finance rules, 527s can accept unlimited donations from supporters. The newly formed American Leadership Project plans to spend $10 million to purchase ad time in Texas and Ohio.

The two Democratic candidates will square off tonight in CNN debate scheduled for 8pm EST.

Obama, Huckabee Win Iowa Caucus

The Iowa Caucus results are in:

huck.jpgobama.jpg

Republican: (percentage of head-count received)

  • Mike Huckabee 34%
  • Mitt Romney 25%
  • Fred Thompson 13%
  • John McCain 13%
  • Ron Paul 10%
  • Rudy Giuliani 3%

Democratic: (percentage of delegates received)

  • Barack Obama 37.6%
  • John Edwards 29.8%
  • Hillary Clinton 29.5%
  • Bill Richardson 2.1%
  • Joe Biden 0.9%

Obviously the big winners are Obama and Huckabee. The results are a devastating blow to the Romney campaign, which spent nearly 17 times as much money as Huckabee did in Iowa. But can Huckabee last over the long haul?

Some may wonder about Rudy Giuliani’s showing (less than 1/3 of Ron Paul’s), as he is supposed to be the national Republican front-runner. The Giuliani campaign is essentially ignoring the smaller early states of Iowa and New Hampshire and relying on the larger, delegate-rich states like Florida, New York, and California to seal his nomination. Time will tell if that strategy pays off.

The close third-place showing for Hillary Clinton is upsetting for her campaign, though she is sure to continue to fight for the long haul. Edwards really needed a win in Iowa to build some momentum, but I have a feeling we might be seeing his name on the ticket if Obama gets the nomination. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have both pulled out of the race due to their poor showing in Iowa.

The results for second-tier democratic candidates are a bit deceiving, though. In any one of Iowa’s 1781 caucus precinct locations, if a particular candidate did not register at least 15% support among caucus-goers, their supporters were given the option to make a second choice. So Richardson’s 2% shows that he was able to reach the 15% threshold in multiple caucus locations in order to win two percent of the total delegates available.

Mid-week Roundup 12/5

Here are some headlines rounded up from this week:

Is “Save Darfur” a PR Scam?

Drug giant Pfizer will boost outsourcing to Asia; also their Celebrex expert testifies in court without a license.

Private Contractors look to profit from domestic spying.

Hillary is quite tied up with Big Oil and defense contractors.

Guiliani’s ties to a terror shiek

Virginia primaries will demand oath of loyalty from Republican voters.

Bush Justice Department is okay with kidnapping.

100 Students walk out on former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Guantanamo heading to the Supreme Court.

The human costs of the Iraq Occupation.

Join the military, go to college… The Pentagon’s education recruitment pitch is a scam?

Iraq Vet is punished for seeking help.

US War Vets to speak publicly about war crimes this March.

Bush and Maliki agree to long-term US troop presence in Iraq.

Also, John Pilger has a new book called ‘Freedom Next Time,’ and here is a speech he gave in Chicago concerning media journalism…if you have 45 minutes to spare.