January 14th, 2008
06:55 PM ET

“Racial fires burning brightly”?


Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama at University of Nevada (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For one brief moment after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, it looked like we might have actually outgrown our petty racial bickering in this country.

It didn't matter that Obama had run a dignified, intelligent campaign without so much as the mention of race. The people who have an interest in keeping the country divided along racial lines couldn't wait to get started. Do you realize how many morons would go through the rest of their lives ignored and irrelevant if we could ever get over the racial garbage?

Now the racial fires are burning brightly once again.

The last two days, we've seen the Obama and Clinton camps embroiled in accusations that are steeped in race. Hillary Clinton is defending her recent remarks on civil rights. She's suggesting that Obama's campaign distorted what she said in an effort to inject race into the contest.

For his part, Obama has dismissed Clinton's suggestion, saying "the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous." Obama is also describing her earlier comments about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as "unfortunate" and "ill-advised."

The Clintons find themselves in unusual territory here, when you consider that Bill Clinton was once dubbed "America's first black president."

Meanwhile, all this comes as large numbers of black voters are getting ready to go to the polls in South Carolina.

Ultimately, it looks like the big loser here could be the Democratic Party. If the winner of the primary, whoever it is, wants to beat the Republican's candidate, he or she will need the full support of a unified party - not one torn apart by racial politics.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the Democrats conduct a primary campaign without it degenerating into racial politics?

To see the Cafferty File Video click here 

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
January 14th, 2008
05:53 PM ET

Closing Gitmo & restoring America’s image?

[cnn-photo-caption image= "http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.mullen.ap.jpg" caption=" Department of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen ."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he wants to close the Guantanamo Bay prison as soon as possible.

During a visit there, Admiral Mike Mullen said he’d like to see Gitmo shut down because he thinks that negative publicity around the world about U.S. treatment of terror suspects there has been "pretty damaging" to our image.

Mullen adds that closing Gitmo is not his decision to make, and he understands there are many complex legal questions that first need to be answered, things like where to move the prisoners.

Officials say the prison population has shrunk over the past year, to 277. At one point, there were more that 600 suspects being held at Gitmo. Critics charge that some detainees have been mistreated and that their detentions haven't been consistent with the rule of law.

Both President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have spoken in favor of closing the prison, but Mullen says he's not aware of any moves to actually do it.

Mullen's visit to Gitmo came just two days after the sixth anniversary of the prison's opening.

Here’s my question to you: How far would closing the Guantanamo Bay prison go toward restoring America’s image around the world?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

Filed under: Global Image
January 14th, 2008
05:05 PM ET

John McCain’s mojo?

[cnn-photo-caption image= "http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.mccain.ap.jpg" caption=" John and Cindy McCain."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Although the Republican presidential race could still be anyone's to win, it looks like John McCain is picking up some serious steam.

It's quite remarkable when you think back to last summer when a lot of people, including me, were convinced it was all over for McCain.

An average of three national polls conducted after the New Hampshire primary now show McCain on top with 32%. He's followed by Mike Huckabee at 20%. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are tied at 14% each, and Fred Thompson has 7%.

McCain is also viewed more favorably than any of his major competitors. A new CBS/New York Times poll shows 57%of Republican primary voters, including more than half of conservatives, like McCain. That's up dramatically from 37% just last month.

Voters give different reasons for jumping on the McCain bandwagon: some think he's more honest than other candidates, while others describe him as more "moderate" and willing to work with the Democrats.

Of course, it's important to remember that nothing's set in stone when it comes to this Republican race. If McCain wins Michigan and South Carolina, that could cement his front-runner status. On the other hand, if he loses either race, all bets are off. But for the moment, the political gods are smiling on the 71-year-old John McCain.

Here’s my question to you: Why has John McCain's popularity among Republicans suddenly skyrocketed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: GOP • John McCain • Republican Party