Sunday, March 4, 2007

McCain Joins Obama on Election Funding

John McCain said yesterday that like Barack Obama, he would utilise the public funding option for his campaign if he is chosen as the nominee for President, and agreement is reached with the Democrat nominee to do the same.

Earlier in February, Obama posed a question to the Federal Election Commission, asking if he could rasie funds in the meantime, but if agreement is reached between Democrat and GOP nominees to use the public funds, then monies raised until that point be given back to donors.

The FEC agreed this week to the proposal. Both Obama and McCain have long supported public financing of elections.

McCain has a strong record on supporting campaign finance reforms, a position which has not been popular amongst some of his GOP colleagues.

McCain's manager said yesterday that "Should John McCain win the Republican nomination, we will agree to accept public financing in the general election, if the Democratic nominee agrees to do the same."

A spokesperson for Obama said that he hoped that each of the Republican candidates would promise to do the same.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

McCain tells Letterman - Im Running

John McCain, appearing tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman, has declared that he will be a candidate for President of the United States.

Having told Letterman on his last appearance that he would declare on his show, he came back to do just that. Asked about the possibility of running against Rudy Giuliani, McCain said that he will be a formidable opponent, and that he is an American hero.

McCain said that he will be making a formal announcement about his run for the Presidency in April.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

McCain Attacks Rumsfeld

Campaigning in South Carolina yesterday, John McCain said that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as "one of the worst Secretaries of Defense..."

McCain said that America is paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

John McCain is a supporter of the troop surge proposed by President Bush, but has long called for more troops to be sent to Iraq. He has said that Rumsfeld didn't put enough troops on the ground to enable a victory in Iraq.

Mike DeWine Supports McCain

Former Senator Mike DeWine has announced that he will be supporting John McCain in his bid for the Republican nomination.

DeWine will head McCain's exploratory committee in Ohio.

"As a close friend and former colleague of John's, I can attest to his dedication and devotion to conservative values and the protection of our homeland," said DeWine. "Senator McCain is an American hero who will lead our nation with strength."

Monday, February 19, 2007

McCain Rejects Roe V Wade

John McCain has continued his appeal to the social conservatives in the GOP by saying that the Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion, should be overturned.

McCain said yesterday in South Carolina that he does not support Roe v Wade and if he is elected President he will appoint judges who "...strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench.”

Last night McCain spoke at a rally which promoted abstinence. Over 1000 people were there to hear him speak.

Frank Keating Endorses McCain

Former Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating announced yesterday that he is endorsing John McCain for the Republican nomination for President.

Keating was himself considering a bid for the nomination, but pulled out in January saying that now was not the right time for him.

McCain also secured the support yesterday of Senator Phil Gramm of Texas.

Both Keating and Gramm were campaigning with McCain in Spartanburg, South Carolina, one of the strongest states for McCain.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Giuliani Leads McCain - USA Today Poll

Rudy Giuliani has extended his lead over John McCain as preferred Republican nominee in the latest USA Today Poll.

Giuliani, who declared last night that he was definitely running for President, leads McCain, 40% to 24%. In January, the same poll had Giuliani leading by only 4 points, 31%-27%.

The poll was conducted between 9-11 February and has a margin of error of 3%.

However, the poll does show that John McCain has a favorable rating by 57% those surveyed, up from 48% in January.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

McCain Working on Social Conservatives

John McCain has been working hard in recent weeks to repair the strained relations he has with social conservatives in the GOP.

This from AP today. (2/14/07)

WASHINGTON - To forgive is divine. To forget may be asking too much of religious conservatives when it comes to Sen. John McCain.

The Republican presidential hopeful is working hard to repair relations with conservative Christian activists, whose support could be critical to winning the GOP nomination. But they remain skeptical that he sincerely shares their values.

While McCain has managed to pry open some of the doors that slammed shut in his rift with the right during his bid for the presidency in 2000, conservatives' list of grievances against the Arizona senator is substantial:

-They are dubious about his opposition to a federal amendment to ban gay marriage. McCain opposes same-sex marriage, but says it should be regulated by the states.

-They still resent passages in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which Christian broadcasters say limit what they can tell voters before elections.

-And they question the sincerity of his overtures. McCain condemned evangelist leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance" during his 2000 run.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

McCain and South Carolina

An article published this morning talks about John McCain and the work needed to be done to secure the support in key state South Carolina. Also makes an interesting reference to the dirty tricks employed during his campaign here for the nomination in 2000.

But it does say that McCain has done a lot of work in stitching up the support of local Republicans and he does lead in the polls as preferred GOP nominee.

BY JIM MORRILL McClatchy Newspapers
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Vietnam veteran John McCain waded into an ambush the first time he campaigned in South Carolina.

Fresh off an upset win in the 2000 New Hampshire primary, the Arizona Republican came under withering fire.

George W. Bush's S.C. allies questioned not only McCain's conservatism, but his patriotism. E-mails and fliers accused him of fathering illegitimate children, and his wife of being a drug addict. The night he lost the primary, Cindy McCain broke down in loud sobs.

Now, seven years later, he's counting on many of those former adversaries as he mounts another presidential bid. No Republican has lost the S.C. primary and gone on to win the nomination.

A January poll showed McCain leading the field with support from 29 percent of likely primary voters. He's won endorsements from 40 of 73 Republican legislators and dozens of other officials, including Sen. Lindsey Graham. He's recruited most of Bush's top fundraisers.

"There's no doubt in my mind that John McCain will continue the Bush legacy," says Bob McAlister, a Columbia consultant who worked for Bush. "He's the conservative who can win."
Some have their doubts.

"He's emotional; I think he would act on impulse," says Katrina Shealy, treasurer of the Lexington County GOP. "I don't want to say 'button-pusher,' but that's the way I feel."
For others, there's almost an inevitability about McCain, 70. In their eyes, he's paid his dues. Neil Thigpen, a political scientist at Francis Marion University in Florence, calls it a "right of inheritance."

"That's why a lot of them have moved toward McCain," he says. "It's his turn."

McCain's challengers in the February 2008 primary include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who campaigns in Columbia Wednesday. Many rivals tout themselves as the conservative alternative to the maverick McCain. His backers don't buy that.

"When I start lining up his conservative positions, they line up with South Carolina conservative positions," says House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Bush supporter in 2000.

Red Sox's Schilling Backs McCain

Pitcher Curt Schilling who helped take the Boston Red Sox to the World Series win in 2004 has publicly backed John McCain for the Republican nomination.

Schilling supported the election of President Bush in 2004, might have been expected to support fellow Massachusetts resident, Mitt Romney.

But Schilling said that McCain was the man he was going to back.

John McCain Seeks Donors

A Washington Post article published this morning talks about how John McCain has been working hard to mend bridges with those he has maligned in the past - big campaign donors.

John McCain has long supported campaign finance reform - in fact it was one of the key issues he ran on when seeking the 2000 Republican nomination. In 2002, McCain helped push through the Congress, The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which amongst other things, sought to curb unlimited donations to political parties.

The fact that McCain is heading to major donors now means he recognises that it is going to take an enormous amount of money to be competitive in both the primary, and if needed the Presidential race.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

McCain Votes Against Casey

John McCain was one of 14 Senators yesterday to vote against the appointment of General Casey to become the Army's chief of Staff.

McCain has been critical of the role of Casey during the Iraq war, and last week told him that while he doesn't question Casey's honour, he does "...question some of the decisions you've made in the past two and half years."

Casey's appointment was approved by the Senate today, although 10 Republicans including McCain and 4 Democrats voted against it. One of the Democrats was another Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton.

McCain Tied for Lead in New Hampshire

A new poll in New Hampshire has John McCain tied with Rudy Giuliani as the preferred Republican nominee for President. They are both on 27%.

The poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire late last week, and surveyed 311 likely Republican voters.

Mitt Romney was supported by 13% of respondents, with Newt Gingrich on 9%.

A poll of this size has a margin of error of over 5%.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

John McCain's Campaign Finances

Congressional Quarterly have conducted an analysis of the finances of John McCain's exploratory committee which he launched last November.

The analysis shows that the committee has receipts of $1.7 million, with expenditure at just over $1.2 million, leaving $472,000 in the campaign account at the start of the year.

The figures come from the campaign finance report McCain lodged with the Federal Electoral Commission last week.

Some notable contributors to McCain's campaign were Former Secretary of States Henry Kissinger, Roger J. Enrico of Dreamworks and Theodore Roosevelt IV - Great Grandson of the President.

Check out the report here.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

McCain on This Week

Well, it sounded too good to be true, and it was. John McCain appeared this morning on ABC This Week to discuss the Iraq war, but was interviewed separately and prior to his Senate colleague, Chuck Hagel.

A debate would have been nice!

Watch the video here.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

McCain on "This Week" with Hagel Tomorrow

John McCain will appear tomorrow on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

And also appearing will be Chuck Hagel. Yes, this is going to be quite an event.

McCain has been a strong supporter of the escalation plans for Iraq. Hagel on the other hand is a staunch opponent of the war, and recently co-sponsored the non binding resolution to oppose the President's new plan for Iraq.

This may well be the first debate between the two Vietnam Veterans who may both be seeking the Republican nomination for President.

And if Hagel's performance in recent weeks on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on other TV shows is anything to go by, he will certainly be fired up.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lieberman May Back McCain

Joe Lieberman has said that he is open to supporting a Republican for President, opening the door to him backing his ally and friend, John McCain.

Lieberman has said that while he sides with Democrats on most domestic issues, he finds himself agreeing more with Republicans on foreign policy matters. This leaves room for an endorsement of McCain, who Lieberman has been spending a lot of time with recently.

Although he didn't win the Democratic Primary last year for the Senate in Connecticut, Lieberman was still able to secure a victory against Democrat Ned Lamont in November.

Lieberman said that he is " to supporting a Democrat, Republican or even an Independent, if there's a strong one. Stay tuned."

His Senate colleague from the nutmegger state and Presidential hopeful, Chris Dodd has said that he believes that Lieberman will eventually be in his corner.

Could Lieberman endorse a Republican and a Democrat in the Primaries, then endorse another for the Presidential election? All very confusing, but quite possible.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

McCain at 26% - Poll

A new poll released by CNN today has John McCain at 26%, trailing Rudy Giuliani who is on 32%.

This poll continues the trend of McCain and Giuliani as front runners. Closest to them are Newt Gingrich on 9% and Mitt Romney on 7%.

The poll was conducted between January 19 and 21 and has a margin of error of 5%.

Attacks on McCain

It seems likely that the age issue is going to rear its head in the near future. And John McCain will be at the rough end of it.

Last week, McCain was accused by some bloggers of being asleep while the President delivered the State of the Union address. See video below. However, as is more likely, McCain was reading a distributed copy of the speech.

Then, we see there is some criticism over his performance on Meet the Press last weekend.

Given that McCain is one of the two frontrunners, it stands to reason that in a crowded field, there will be an effort to cut them down. Looks like they are heading for the easy attack, rather than addressing any real issues that might exist.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

POST/ABC Poll - McCain 27%

John McCain is the preferred Republican candidate by 27% of respondents to a Washington Post and ABC poll conducted last week.

The poll determined that Rudy Giuliani was in the lead with 34%. The only two others with significant totals at this stage were Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, both on 9%.

This poll comes after the new plan for Iraq, announced last week by President Bush, and heavily backed by McCain. In fact John Edwards has called the new plan "The McCain Doctrine", a term that is being picked up by the media.

The fact that the Iraq war is damaging President Bush's standing will also be having some effect on the poll rating for McCain.

However, there is still a way to go yet.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 to launch ads against McCain

The political action group is today set to launch attack ads on John McCain for his support of the escalation to the war in Iraq.

According to the organization, the ads are set to run in key early voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire as well as on national cable.

The McCain camp have critisized the advertisments, saying that " is an out of the mainstream organization that has a long history of airing inflammatory material".

The ads are said to cost about $275,000 to run.

Meanwhile John McCain appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday to defend the Bush plan for Iraq. Democrats such as John Edwards have been calling the new plan for Iraq, "The McCain Doctrine".

McCain said that he believes that the new strategy in Iraq can succeed. He stated that although he "...i can't guarantee it will succeed...I can guarantee catastrophe if we fail or continue the present strategy."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

McCain defends Bush troop surge

John McCain has supported the new Bush plan for an escalation of troops to Iraq.

McCain has long been calling for more troops, saying that the reason for the delay in securing the peace was because the U.S did not have a large enough presence there.

However, late last year McCain suggested that the U.S would need to send 30,000 or more troops in order to have any effect, so it is unclear if he thinks 21,500 is enough.

Linking himself so closely with the war is a dangerous strategy for McCain, but one that he acknowledges. If this plan sinks, there is a good chance that the nomination of McCain might sink too.

The problem is of course, that the other leading contender for the GOP nomination, Rudy Giuliani, is also a supporter of the escalation plans.

In other news, there has also been speculation this week that a McCain for President ticket might include former Democrat and VP candidate, Joe Lieberman. McCain and Lieberman appeared together last week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

McCain's race for the Nomination

John McCain, Senator from Arizona, until this point has been considered the most likely GOP nominee for President of the United States. Time Magazine has McCain as an odds on favorite, with the closest opponent, Rudy Giuliani at 5-1.

As a candidate for the Republican Nomination in 2000, McCain is no stranger to the contest. And he already has over $1.5million is his campaign account, and growing, after he launched his Exploratory Committee last November.

McCain has learned lessons from 2000, after he secured a victory in New Hampshire early, but then couldn't maintain the momentum, and was considered to have gone off message. He made various attacks on the religious right of the GOP at that time, but since then has been working hard to win their favour.

Like Mitt Romney, McCain has determined that to win the nomination, he needs to court the conservative base of the GOP. However, the media view McCain as a maverick in the GOP and he hasn't gone out of his way to change this perception, emphasising his desire to try to secure moderate Republicans too.

Yet McCain's detractors consider that he is terribly inconsistent, and his positions cross a wide spectrum of views. The religious right accuse him of being soft on same sex marriage, given that he voted in the Senate for States to have the right to decide on this issue. The conservative base also point out his fairly moderate and less hard line view on illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico. McCain's efforts on Campaign Finance reform also put him at odds with many in the party.

And John McCain, who would be 72 at the time of Inauguration in 2009, would be the oldest ever first term President.

John McCain has tied himself inextricably to the the Iraq War. As a Hawk, McCain is one of the strongest supporters of the war on terror. Since the Mid-Terms, McCain has been talking very loudly about the need to send more US troops to Iraq to try to secure a victory.

If the 2008 election is all about Iraq, and the failed US position, there will be question marks about the strategy of nominating such a strong supporter of the war.

McCain is likely to be the favorite candidate for some time, but there is no doubt that Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are close on his heels. As is usually the case, being a front runner can often be a burden, with other candidates attacking in order to get their much needed coverage.

McCain's varying positions in the last few years, and his possible attempts to try to be all things for all people might yet bring him unstuck in his quest to be President.