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February 29th, 2008
05:47 PM ET

Pick a campaign theme song?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Music plays an important role on the campaign trail. The right song can rally the crowd and get them pumped up before the candidate gets onstage.

But, several of the presidential candidates have had problems when it comes to picking their music. Hillary Clinton held an online contest to choose her song and came up with the "You and I" by Celine Dion. Fine, except Dion is Canadian. That song had to be scrapped.

John McCain at one point was using John Mellencamp's hits like "Our Country" and "Pink Houses". But the liberal rocker apparently wasn't comfortable with the conservative McCain using his tunes and told him to stop. McCain also ran into problems using the theme song from "Rocky," and also opted against using "Take a Chance on Me" by the Swedish group Abba because of licensing and other concerns.

Mike Huckabee tried playing "More than a Feeling" by the group Boston. They balked, saying Huckabee didn't have permission and was, "the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for."

As for Barack Obama, he reportedly flicks through his i-Pod at campaign events and picks his favorite Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin tune. But on the night of the New Hampshire primary, they played Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." Whoops. He lost that night to Clinton.

Here’s my question to you: What theme song would you suggest for any of the remaining presidential candidates?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
February 29th, 2008
05:06 PM ET

How can McCain compete with Dems’ fundrai$ing?

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Senator John McCain departs his campaign plane with Sen. Joe Lieberman and wife Cindy before a campaign appearance in February. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out February was a big money month for the Democratic presidential contenders.

Hillary Clinton raised $35 million this month, more than double her January total of $14 million, despite 11 straight losses and her drop in the national polls. Clinton attributes the jump in donations to her passionate supporters who wanted to help when they saw the campaign struggling. One aide says the breakthrough moment actually came when Clinton announced she had loaned her campaign $5 million of her own money.

When it comes to Barack Obama, some estimate that he's raised more than $50 million in February. The campaign won't confirm that number, but insists it's had a strong month and raised "considerably more than Clinton's total." Obama raised $36 million in January,and it's estimated that on many days in February, his campaign took in more than $2 million.

There is no denying that the Democratic base is energized and raising buckets of money. A lot of these millions are coming from hundreds of thousands of small donors who can keep on giving. This could all prove to be a king-sized headache for the Republicans. John McCain raised about $12 million this month, which is about the same as what he raised in January.

Do the math. If the Democrats can raise $85 million a month and the Republicans raise less than a fourth of that, it's going to be a short campaign.

Here’s my question to you: The Democrats raised an estimated $85 million in February. How can John McCain compete when he only raised $12 million?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
February 29th, 2008
02:42 PM ET

Dems down to the wire in Texas, Ohio?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's down to the wire in Texas and Ohio, where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could potentially face each other for the last time.

Both candidates are spending lots of time and money in the two delegate-rich states which will vote on Tuesday, along with Vermont and Rhode Island.

At this point, the momentum seems to be all in Obama's favor. He has won the last 11 contests in a row and continues to improve his standing in the polls in these two key states as well as nationally.

In Texas, CNN's poll of polls shows Obama now up by 4, leading Clinton 48% to 44%.

In Ohio, our poll of polls shows Obama has narrowed what was once a much larger gap. He now trails Clinton by 7 points, at 47% to 40%. One poll even shows him only behind by 2 in Ohio – a statistical tie.

The stakes are huge. Hillary Clinton must win big next Tuesday, not only to keep her campaign alive and move on to Pennsylvania, but also to stop another troubling sign for her. She's beginning to lose her advantage among the superdelegates. In the last few days, at least 9 superdelegates have declared their support for Barack Obama. One survey even shows that Clinton's lead among superdelegates was more than halved in the month of February.

Here’s my question to you: With four days to go before the Texas and Ohio primaries, what will decide the outcome of the Democratic race in these two states?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democratic Race • Texas Primary
February 28th, 2008
06:20 PM ET

Does it matter that McCain was born outside the U.S.?

 Sen. John McCain, talks to media in Houston, Texas.

Sen. John McCain, talks to media in Houston, Texas.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's something you may not know about John McCain: He was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. His father was stationed there in the Navy.

The New York Times reports the circumstances surrounding McCain's birth raise questions about his ability to become president since our founding fathers specifically said only a "natural-born citizen" can hold the highest office in the land. The idea was to prevent foreigners from becoming president.

There's no precedent for McCain. No U.S. president has ever been born outside the 50 states. But, McCain's campaign says they're confident he meets the requirement, that they researched the question during his last run in 2000 and this time around as well. And they have asked former solicitor general Theodore Olson to prepare a legal opinion.

McCain supporter Senator Lindsey Graham says it would be incomprehensible if the son of a military officer born on a military installation couldn't run for president. He says it would mean telling every military family their child couldn't become president if born overseas.

There's been lots of internet buzz about the topic in recent months. Some insist McCain is ineligible. According to lawyers who have studied this stuff, there's confusion not just over the provision itself, but also over who would have the legal authority to challenge a candidate on such a point.

Here’s my question to you: John McCain was born outside the U.S. Should that affect his ability to be president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
February 28th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

$$$ worries for retirement?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What's happening to the American dream? Among other things, a lot of Americans are worried they won't have enough money for their retirement years.

A new Gallup poll shows 47% of those surveyed are concerned about outliving their money after they retire. That number jumps to 53% when it comes to those between the ages of 30 and 64.

It's no secret that a lot of Americans are feeling a financial squeeze in today's uncertain economy. For many, this means they've decided to delay their retirement. This poll found 45% say they fear they'll have to retire at a later age than they originally planned; this is a big concern especially among younger people.

Rising costs of everything from food to energy, health care and tuition have a lot of people worried they won't be able to pay their bills. 44% worry they won't be able to afford college tuition for a child or another family member. 26% have doubts about paying off college debts, and 33% are concerned that they won't be able to pay medical or health care costs in the next year. When it comes to people's biggest asset, their home, 43% are afraid it will lose value in the next year.

It didn't used to be this way. And yet President Bush insisted today we're not headed for a recession.

Here’s my question to you: How concerned are you that you’ll have enough money when you retire?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
February 28th, 2008
05:59 PM ET

Full disclosure from Clinton?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a lot of information voters still don't have about Hillary Clinton, including the White House records from when she was first lady along with her tax returns.

When asked at this week's debate about the White House records, Clinton said she would "absolutely" release the documents to show the public what she did and who she met with over the course of those 8 years. She said she's quote "urged the process be as quick as possible."

Well, the Bush administration now says it's actually the Clintons who have been holding up the release of those records. They say former President Bill Clinton's representative hasn't made any move yet to release over 11-thousand pages of records. The Clinton campaign says it may take two more weeks for that representative to decide what to release and then to request the release of the documents from the White House. How convenient – that would be after next Tuesday when Texas and Ohio hold their primaries.

As for the tax returns, Hillary Clinton also said at the debate she would release them once she becomes the nominee "or even earlier."

But her campaign seems to be backing away from that statement now, suggesting Clinton won't release the financial information until tax time in April. When Clinton loaned her own campaign $5 million, Barack Obama suggested she should follow his lead and release her tax returns so the public could see where the money came from.

Here’s my question to you: How important is it for Hillary Clinton to release her tax returns and White House records now?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Tax Returns
February 27th, 2008
06:51 PM ET

News media unfair to Clinton?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It seems like Hillary Clinton is not only running against Barack Obama these days, she's also running against the news media.

Early on in last night's debate, Clinton referenced a "Saturday Night Live" skit that showed reporters fawning over Obama and showering him with softball questions. She said, "Maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow." Clinton also whined about getting asked the first question more often in the last several debates.

The Clinton campaign has been complaining recently – more so since she has fallen behind – that the news media is tougher on her than Obama. It's a tactic as old as politics: things aren't going well, blame the media.

In today's column in The New York Times, Maureen Dowd questions Clinton's line of attack against the media.

She writes: "Beating on the press is the lamest thing you can do. It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender."

She has a point. If Barack Obama had lost the last 11 races in a row since Super Tuesday, we wouldn't even remember his name.

Here’s my question to you: Have the news media been unfair to Hillary Clinton?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • News Media
February 27th, 2008
05:56 PM ET

Changing your mind on Clinton or Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Let's take inventory of where things stand in the Democratic race for the White House: The campaign is 13 months old, there have been 20 debates and 40 primaries and caucuses. But Texas and Ohio – along with Vermont and Rhode Island – could seal the deal next week in terms of making it impractical for Hillary Clinton to go on.

On the other hand, if Clinton pulls a rabbit out of the hat, and manages to win those states with 65% of votes, all bets are off and she's back in it. With Pennsylvania and the superdelegates still out there, she might still be able to pull it off.

When it comes down to it, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are very similar on many of the issues. They have minor differences on health care plans and their ideas on how to restart the economy.

Their major difference is on the war in Iraq. Obama opposed the war from the beginning while Clinton voted to authorize it. And during last night's debate, Obama landed one of the best punches of night when, referring to Hillary's vote to authorize the war, he said: "Once we had driven the bus into the ditch, there were only so many ways we could get out. The question is: Who's making the decision initially to drive the bus into the ditch?"

Here’s my question to you: What would it take to change your mind about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Hillary Clinton
February 27th, 2008
05:01 PM ET

How would $4/gallon gas affect you?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

$4 a gallon, and maybe more, is the dire prediction for gasoline prices by this spring.

Gas prices have lagged behind oil prices for months, but it looks like they could soon be catching up. The price of crude oil spiked above $102 a barrel today for the first time ever and diesel prices continue to hit record highs on a daily basis.

One Harvard economist tells the New York Times, "The effect of high oil prices today could be the difference between having a recession and not having a recession." It's clear that higher gas and oil prices are just the latest bad news for our economy which is being buffeted by the housing collapse, the credit crisis, rising inflation and a weakening dollar.

If people are forced to spend more on energy costs, it follows they will have less money to spend on other things. Economists say that in December, Americans were spending more than 6% of their disposable income on energy. That's the highest level since 1985.

Regular unleaded gasoline costs an average of $3.15 a gallon today; that's up from about $2.35 a year ago. It also represents a jump of 20 cents gallon in just the last two weeks. And prices are expected to accelerate from here.

Here’s my question to you: How would gas prices of $4 a gallon or higher affect your life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Rising Gas Prices
February 26th, 2008
05:58 PM ET

Best debate strategy for Clinton?

ALT TEXT
Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton debate in the Lyndon B. Johnson Auditorium at the University of Texas on February 21, 2008 in Austin, Texas. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton has her work cut out for her when it comes to tonight's debate in Cleveland, Ohio. If she has any hope of closing the gap on front-runner Barack Obama next Tuesday in Texas and Ohio, Clinton has got to deliver a big night tonight…a really big night.

The question is, "Which Hillary Clinton will show up?" In the last few days, we've just about seen it all.

At Thursday's debate in Austin, Texas, Clinton showed a softer side – saying she was "honored" to be there with Barack Obama. A couple of days later she morphed into a scolding mother talking down to a child, waving her finger and saying "Shame on you, Barack Obama."

She called him out demanding he "meet her in Ohio for a debate on his tactics and behavior in the campaign." She wasn't finished. Resembling someone with multiple personality disorder, last Sunday Clinton mocked Obama and derided his calls for unity. She made fun of him as though his eleven straight victories in the primaries meant nothing.

Meanwhile, some new national polls show Obama – who trailed Clinton for months – now surging ahead. In one poll Obama has a 16 point nationwide lead over Clinton, suggesting that he continues to build a broader coalition among Democratic voters from all walks of life.

Here’s my question to you: What does Hillary Clinton have to do at tonight's debate to slow Barack Obama's momentum?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
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