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June 26th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

Obama supports death penalty for child rapists

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There was a moment yesterday during his news conference when Barack Obama could have made a huge mistake. But in the end his political instincts proved much keener than those of Michael Dukakis a few years ago.

When asked about the Supreme Court decision on the death penalty for child rapists, Obama came down on the side of the conservative minority. He criticized the high court's 5-4 decision to outlaw the death penalty for people who rape children.

Obama insisted that the death penalty should be applied quote "in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes”, which he says includes the rape of a small child. He believes states should have the right to consider capital punishment in such cases.

The moment when he was asked about it brought back memories of something similar that tripped up Dukakis during his run for president in 1988, and perhaps doomed his candidacy. Dukakis was asked at a debate if the death penalty would be appropriate if his wife was raped and murdered. He answered no, without any emotion or passion. Dukakis was ridiculed, Republicans used it against him and George Bush went on to win in landslide.

Obama has 2 daughters, who are 7 and 9, and he has long supported the death penalty while criticizing the way it's used at times. As a state lawmaker in Illinois, he helped to change the death penalty system in an effort to protect against innocent people being put to death.

Here’s my question to you: Barack Obama condemned the Supreme Court decision outlawing the death penalty for people who rape children. How will this affect his campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Supreme Court
June 26th, 2008
02:20 PM ET

Hillary Clinton's role at the convention?

ALT TEXT
Sen. Clinton will introduce some of her top donors to Sen. Obama on Thursday night in Washington, and on Friday the two of them will appear together at a rally in Unity, N.H. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After a rough and tumble primary season, the Democrats are now hard at work trying to heal the wounds.

The New York Times reports that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are working their way through a stack of complicated issues with the help of one of Washington's top lawyers - sort of like a couple in a troubled marriage going through counseling.

On the table are topics like how to repay Clinton's campaign debt and what her role should be at the Democratic convention. Aides say no one has raised the issues yet of a potential V.P. slot for Hillary, or what to do about Bill Clinton.

When it comes to Clinton's debt – which is estimated at more than $22 million, including $10 million of her own money – Obama has asked his big-dollar fund-raisers to help her out. However, he says he's not going to e-mail his small-dollar donors to pitch in since "their budgets are tighter." Some Clinton backers are disappointed that Obama hasn't made the symbolic move of writing Clinton a check for $2,300, the maximum allowed. Others think Obama hasn't made much of an effort to hire Clinton staffers.

As for the convention, the two sides are negotiating which night Clinton should make a prime-time speech and if her name should be symbolically put into nomination. The talks have been described as complicated, but not hostile.

Meanwhile, Clinton and Obama will have a joint meeting with some of her top donors tonight in Washington and tomorrow the two will appear together at a rally in Unity, New Hampshire.

Here’s my question to you: What should Hillary Clinton's role be at the Democratic convention?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

June 26th, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Become president without campaigning on weekends?

 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:

Turns out John McCain doesn't work weekends...sort of.

The Politico reports that McCain has held only one public campaign event on a weekend since wrapping up the Republican nomination in February, more than 4 months ago.

McCain aides say he uses time on the weekends to return to Arizona so he can rest, work on policy and meet with aides. McCain has also hosted reporters and donors over the weekends, appeared on Saturday Night Live and visited troops in Iraq and at Walter Reed. His advisers say McCain will campaign on weekends for a lot of the summer, including a speech in Washington and a fundraiser in Kentucky both on Saturday.

Nevertheless it's a topic that raises some eyebrows, particularly because of McCain's age. Political experts suggest that the decision to not campaign on weekends was not the best use of the extra time McCain had when the Democrats were still going after one another. Ed Rollins – who ran Ronald Reagan's re-election campaign – says it's easier to draw big crowds on weekends when people aren't working. Rollins says McCain could have used the time to go to less populated areas and "rejuvenate" the Republican base.

His defenders point out that it's such a bad environment for Republicans right now that McCain could have exhausted himself and not had much to show for it.

Barack Obama has made 7 weekend appearances this month alone.

Here’s my question to you: Can a candidate be elected president without campaigning on weekends?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election