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February 7th, 2008
05:51 PM ET

Could Democratic race get ugly?

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Democrats’ 2004 convention in Boston, Massachusetts. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

This thing between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could get really ugly.

Here's the scenario: the race between them remains tight. They go to the convention in August where the nomination could depend on the votes of the 796 super delegates, who can ignore the wishes of the voters.

Experts worry it could send an awful message to the voters, of an old-school, corrupt system of smoke-filled rooms where the party bosses, instead of the voters, make the decision. Which is precisely what would happen.

But it won't happen if Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean has anything to say about it. Dean is hopeful the Democrats will have a nominee – either Clinton or Obama – in the middle of March or April. But if they don't, he says they're going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of "arrangement." I wonder what that would be.

Dean says he doesn't think the party can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then go on to win the general election against the Republicans in the next 8 weeks.

Not to mention the fact that the Republicans nearly have their nominee, John McCain, sealed up.

A brokered convention hasn't happened in U.S. presidential politics in decades. They tend not to be pretty.

Here’s my question to you: What should the Democrats plan to do if neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can win enough delegates to capture the nomination?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
February 7th, 2008
05:10 PM ET

McCain chooses not to make tough vote?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

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

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential front-runner, was missing in action yesterday when it came time to vote on the economic stimulus package.

McCain's problem was that the bill contained provisions that would make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks.

It was, granted, a tough decision for McCain. Whichever way he voted, he would have risked alienating people. If he voted "no" to the rebates, he would have denied benefits to Social Security recipients and disabled veterans... you know, people he's counting on to vote for him. Plus there are probably members of each of those groups in Arizona who could have used the money.

If he had voted "yes" he would have no doubt angered President Bush, Republican leaders and conservatives – some of whom aren't too happy with McCain to begin with.

It was one of those moments that says a lot about someone's character. What did McCain do? Nothing. He ducked. Instead of representing the people in Arizona who elected him, he simply chose not to vote at all. John McCain, pilot of the Straight Talk Express, wimped out.

And it's not the first time. Not by a long shot. In the last year, John McCain has missed more than half of all the votes cast in the U.S. Senate.

This makes it look like John McCain wants to be president, but can't bring himself to do the job of senator that he was elected to do by the people of Arizona. Just another politician choosing to do what's best for him instead of what's best for the people he was elected to represent. When it came right down to it, McCain didn't have the stomach for the tough decision it would have required to come down on either side of the issue.

Here’s my question to you: What message did John McCain send by choosing not to vote on a Senate economic stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • John McCain
February 7th, 2008
02:20 PM ET

Does GOP have an edge over Democrats?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You have to hand it to the Republicans… they're efficient.

With Mitt Romney out of the race, the Republicans have their man. John McCain will be the Republican candidate for president. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul remain in the race in name only, and I would be very surprised if they're around a week from now.

So while the Republican field is pretty much set, the Democrats don't have a clue.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are virtually tied with a long fight ahead. And even with Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania still out there, along with some smaller states, it's entirely possible the Democrats won't decide their nominee until their August convention.

One of the reasons the two parties find themselves in such different positions is this: in many states, Republicans use the winner-take-all system for delegates. The whole thing goes much faster that way. The Democrats, on the other hand, divide their delegates proportionally making it much harder for one candidate to get enough delegates to win.

This enables the Republicans to set about unifying the party, and plotting their strategy and message for November.

While they're doing that, Clinton and Obama fight on – spending millions of dollars trying to take each other out – money that could be used to fight John McCain in the fall instead of each other now.

Here’s my question to you: Now that the Republicans have a clear front-runner in John McCain, do they have an advantage over the Democrats in the general election?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: General Election