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January 31st, 2008
06:04 PM ET

Judith Giuliani & collapse of Rudy’s campaign?

Judith and Rudy Giuliani, after conceding the Florida Republican primary at his election headquarters in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

Judith and Rudy Giuliani, after conceding the Florida Republican primary at his election headquarters in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When Rudy Giuliani decides to look around for reasons why his presidential campaign went nowhere, he might not have to look any farther than the pillow next to his.

Here's the lead line in a New York Daily News article today called "How Judi killed off Rudy Giuliani": "She brought enough political baggage to fill a Louis Vuitton trunk." Ouch.

The piece goes on to say that Judith was a major reason for the collapse of the campaign. One expert suggests that Rudy wanted to head up the "family values' party," yet she didn't fit that label. Even worse was his estrangement from his kids.

Some of the low notes of Judith's role included the use of taxpayer-funded NYPD detectives as chauffeurs while she was still the mayor's girlfriend, revelations of a secret past marriage, and her interrupting Giuliani's speech to the National Rifle Association with a cutesy cell phone call to say "hi."

There was also that Barbara Walters interview where Giuliani said if elected, he'd let his wife sit in on cabinet meetings. He later retracted the comment about Judi's potential role. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that she was a graduate of a 2-year nursing program with no college degree.

With the exception of the last few weeks in Florida, she wasn't even on the campaign trail that much. That went against what the campaign had earlier suggested, when it claimed she would be a big asset and "one of our key surrogates."

Here’s my question to you: What role did Judith Giuliani play in the collapse of her husband's presidential campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 31st, 2008
05:02 PM ET

Army’s rising suicide rate?

 U.S Army Soldiers.

U.S Army Soldiers.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some very troubling statistics when it comes to our troops. The number of suicides in the Army jumped by as much as 20% in 2007, with officials saying that as many as 121 soldiers committed suicide.
In fact, about 25% of the suicides happened in Iraq. And, it's expected that the number of suicides by active duty troops may reach an all-time high for last year.

This report also shows a significant increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries. There were 2,100 last year, more than six times as many as the 350 attempts in 2002, the year before the war in Iraq began.

The Army says the "main indicators" for suicides are failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and job stress. They found the number of days troops are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan contributes to that stress.

It's probably no coincidence then that the Pentagon last year extended tours of duty from 12 months to 15 months, and that some troops have been sent back into the war zone several times.

Troop surveys in Iraq have shown that 20% of Army soldiers have signs of post-traumatic stress, including flashbacks. About 35% of soldiers are getting some kind of mental health treatment a year after returning home.

Another tragic side effect of this war.

Here’s my question to you: What should the Army do about a sharp rise in the suicide rate of soldiers?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Army
January 31st, 2008
02:19 PM ET

The Obama-Clinton debate?

ALT TEXT
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The stakes in tonight's debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are huge. They'll meet face-to-face and have the stage to themselves. Think Ali-Frazier. It's the last debate before Super Tuesday. The race is close, and the pressure will definitely be on.

Make one big mistake and you could stay home and bake cookies. Plus they don't like each other much. Remember how heated last week's debate in South Carolina got? Well, tonight could make that seem like a garden party. I'm actually hoping for a knife fight.

During the South Carolina debate, Barack Obama said he sometimes wondered who he was running against, Hillary or her husband. The former president has taken a high-profile role in his wife's campaign.

The New York Times reports today on a uranium mining deal that Former President Bill Clinton may have played a role in, and later apparently benefited from to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Clinton went to a meeting in Kazakhstan in 2005 with a Canadian mining financier. Days later, this guy struck a huge deal with the former Soviet republic. He then later made a $31 million donation to Clinton's charitable foundation.

Probably just coincidence, right? There was also a meeting that took place in 2007 at Clinton's Chappaqua, New York, home between the former president, the mining financier and the head of Kazakhstan's state-owned uranium agency. When the Times asked President Clinton about that meeting, he at first said it never happened. But when pressed by the Times, he finally admitted it did.

Wonder if Barack Obama will bring any of this up tonight?

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear at tonight's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 30th, 2008
05:55 PM ET

Ethics violations & our government?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: AP) 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In case you're not convinced our government is broken, consider this: A new study shows that almost 60% of government employees at all levels - federal, state and local - say they've seen violations of ethical standards, policies or laws at their workplaces in the last year. This includes everything from conflicts of interest, abusive behavior, altering documents and financial records to lying to employees, vendors or the public.

And apparently it's worse at the state and local levels. The nonprofit research group "Ethics Resource Center" found 63% of those at the local level witnessed at least one kind of misconduct. At the state level, it was 57%, and 52% at the federal level.

And it's going to get worse. The head of this group says it looks like we're headed toward more ethical misconduct in government in the future, not less.

They found that 30% of the incidents go unreported. One reason for that is some employees who reported misconduct said they experienced retaliation. Researchers also say there aren't enough systems in place to stop these problems once they're exposed.

The center says the answer to this problem is what it calls a "strong ethical culture." A lovely idea to be sure. But when you watch example after example of government dishonesty and abuse go uninvestigated and unpunished, what's the message? That it doesn't matter because no one will do anything about it anyway.

Here’s my question to you: Does it surprise you that almost 60% of government employees at all levels say they've seen ethics violations at work?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Ethics
January 30th, 2008
05:17 PM ET

How can Romney catch McCain?

 Mitt and Ann Romney in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mitt and Ann Romney in St. Petersburg, Florida.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's too soon to compare him to Secretariat, but as John McCain moves toward the backstretch in the presidential horserace, he's beginning to open up a lead that will make him tough to catch.

Giuliani's gone, a casualty of one of the biggest miscalculations in American politics. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are still around but are irrelevant. Only Mitt Romney has a shot, and it's a bit of a longshot. Nevertheless, Romney is vowing to carry his campaign into the 21 states where Republicans will vote on Super Tuesday next week.

In his concession speech last night, Romney called on conservatives to support him - as he promised to cut federal spending, end illegal immigration, and teach children "that before they have babies, they should get married."

With the Republican field now smaller, Romney's campaign thinks they'll be able to better highlight the differences between his business background and McCain's Washington insider status.

But Romney's got his work cut out for him. Heading into Super Tuesday, McCain now has momentum, and he has the most delegates. And it's possible Huckabee could hurt Romney by staying in and drawing some conservative voters, especially in the South, away from him.

This all means the next week will probably get even nastier between McCain and Romney than it's already been. Look for it to start tonight at the Republican debate in California.

Here’s my question to you: What does Mitt Romney have to do to catch John McCain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
January 30th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

Why won't we vote to really change things?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: AP) 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The two apparent front-runners are now Hillary Clinton and John McCain. If nothing changes, this is the choice we will have for president of the United States.

Hillary is part of the monopoly on the White House between the Clintons and the Bushes that goes back 28 years. Her husband is a two-term president, she's a former first lady and current member of the Senate. She's a poster girl for the Washington establishment.

McCain has been a part of Washington for 26 years. A two-term congressman, he's been a senator since 1986. He's been running for president for the last eight years. Another Washington insider.

Ask anyone what they think of our government and most people will be happy to tell you. They are angry. I get thousands of letters a week from people angry about health care, immigration, the war, the economy, you name it. The consensus is our government is broken and our country is in trouble.

The problems they complain about exist solely because of the actions of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The political establishment, if you will, that is in bed with the lobbyists and the corporations and, quite frankly, couldn't care less about you.

Except now, at election time, when they need you. They travel the country spewing the same tired rhetoric we have heard for years. And like lemmings, we appear to be on the brink of continuing to send one of them to the White House. Somebody said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well?

Here’s my question to you: When it comes right down to it, why won't we vote to really change things?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: General Election
January 29th, 2008
08:07 PM ET

Top Democrats turn their backs on Clinton?

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Sen. Barack Obama shakes hands with Sen. John Kerry at the College of Charleston in South Carolina January 2008. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Senator Edward Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday got a lot of people talking about what effect the backing of one of the Senate's most senior Democrats would have on Obama's campaign. Will the young senator from Illinois inherit the Kennedy mystique that was the late president's?

It's also worth noting that Kennedy is far from the only member of the Democratic establishment who has decided to support Obama over Hillary Clinton.

The list is pretty impressive, powerful names like Senators John Kerry, Patrick Leahy and Kent Conrad, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and California Congressman George Miller.

It's interesting that they would turn their backs on Hillary, the wife of one of the party's most popular figures, and a key player in the party herself. But, a piece in "The Politico" today describes how Washington's liberal establishment has joined together around the view that Former President Bill Clinton is tarnishing his legacy and hurting his wife's presidential prospects in the process.

They point out how Clinton spent so much time as the dominant personality in the Democratic Party that it makes it easy to forget that lots of Democrats never liked him all that much. And, it seems like a lot of this anti-Clinton sentiment has resurfaced in Washington, where some see Clinton's campaigning to be inappropriate and even offensive.

Here’s my question to you: Why are so many powerful Democratic leaders turning their backs on Hillary Clinton and endorsing Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
January 29th, 2008
05:45 PM ET

GOP front-runners call each other “liberals”?

 Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain .

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain .
 Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The race between the two Republican front-runners, Mitt Romney and John McCain, is getting ugly.

The stakes in today's primary are huge. The winner in Florida might well be the Republican nominee. Reflecting the pressure, and like two kids in a schoolyard, they are now calling each other "liberals." That's not a word you hear among Republicans very often.

Romney went after McCain for some of his "liberal answers" to the country's problems, including campaign finance reform, his view on illegal immigration and his support of an energy bill that Romney said would raise costs for consumers.

McCain shot right back, accusing Romney of "wholesale deception of voters" and flip-flopping on the issues. McCain says Romney was a liberal governor of Massachusetts who raised taxes, worked with Ted Kennedy on a massive government mandated health care plan and did a poor job managing his state's economy.

The angry tone between the two also spread onto the airwaves, where McCain launched a new negative radio ad mocking Romney's economic record as governor and questioning his electability. The Romney campaign said of the ad "This is the McCain way"… sinking to a lower level when a race is close.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the two front-runners for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney and John McCain, are calling each other "liberals”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
January 29th, 2008
04:43 PM ET

The power of John Edwards?

 Senator John Edwards campaigns throughout South Carolina.

Senator John Edwards campaigns throughout South Carolina.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

He hasn't won anything yet, and his showing in some cases has been dismal. But John Edwards is showing no signs of getting out the race. Maybe he doesn't have anything else to do. His campaign says that Edwards will stay in it until the Democratic Party convention, and they're hopeful that we can still win it.

One top campaign official says quote: "There are numerous scenarios that lead to us being nominated." Right, like if Obama and Clinton drop out. But this same official points out that it's "essentially impossible" for one person to get a majority of delegates with three candidates in the race. That's because the Democrats allot all their delegates proportionally - no winner-take-all – and so far, Clinton and Obama have pretty much been splitting the lion's share of the delegates.

Even if he doesn't win, and he won't, Edwards could still play a role if the nomination ends up being decided by a brokered convention. In such a scenario, Edwards could use his delegates - potentially hundreds of them - to promote his platform or to act as a power broker. As one political analyst says: "It's obvious what he has in mind - if you can't be the king, then be the king or queen-maker".

And by staying in the game, Edwards can also influence the race in different states. For example, he could divide the white vote with Hillary Clinton like he did in South Carolina, which could help Barack Obama. Or, Edwards could attract some of the voters seeking "change", which could hurt Obama.

Here’s my question to you: If the Democrats wind up with a brokered convention, what role would John Edwards play?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: John Edwards
January 28th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Kennedy support for Obama?

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Sen. Barack Obama stands with Sen. Edward Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, during a rally for Obama at American University on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was a big snub coming from one of the nation's most well-known Democratic families to another. And, you better believe Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama hit Hillary and Bill Clinton pretty hard.

The Clintons had apparently tried to keep Kennedy neutral in the race, but it seems that it was what Kennedy saw as former President Clinton's racially divisive comments that tipped the scales.

So Kennedy has gone "all in" for Obama, calling him a "man with extraordinary gifts of leadership and character." Ted Kennedy plans to campaign aggressively for Obama, both out west and in the northeast ahead of Super Tuesday. Kennedy will help Obama shore up support among unions and Hispanics. Getting the backing of one of the party's most senior members will also serve to blunt the criticism that Obama doesn't have enough experience.

And it's not just Ted Kennedy. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, is supporting Obama, too, saying he "offers that same sense of hope and inspiration" that her father did. Ted Kennedy's son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, is also supporting Obama.

The symbolism here is breathtaking. Caroline Kennedy said, "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found a man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans." Senator Kennedy also compared Obama to JFK, saying like his brother, Obama is a candidate who sees the world is changing and represents a new generation of leadership.

Here’s my question to you: What will support from the late President John F. Kennedy’s brother and daughter mean to Barack Obama’s campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama
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