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February 20th, 2008
02:05 PM ET

Advice for Clinton’s campaign?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton got a good old fashioned beating in Wisconsin yesterday at the hands of Barack Obama.

Pick a way to lose… she lost. Popular vote, delegates, you name it. Obama is taking away Clinton's base. In Wisconsin, almost 9 out of 10 Democratic voters are white. Obama won more than 60% of the votes of white men, and split the support of white women with Clinton. He beat her by double-digits among voters whose families make less than $50,000 dollars. He beat her among voters who don't have college degrees.

It gets worse. Obama did well not only in cities like Madison – winning large numbers of upper-income liberals – he also got a lot of support in parts of the state with lower-income voters and union households.

And if you're Hillary Clinton, the worst part is this: Obama's support among working class, blue-collar voters in Wisconsin could be an indication there is more trouble ahead for Clinton in the large industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Oh, and as for independent and Republican voters in Wisconsin, Obama won both by margins of about 2-to-1.

One Democratic pollster told the Washington Post, quote: "There's no question that Senator Clinton is on the defensive. Senator Obama has proven that he can win the kinds of voters that he needs to win" in states like Texas and Ohio.

At this point, Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the Democratic candidate for president are hovering somewhere between slim and none.

Here’s my question to you: If you were advising Hillary Clinton’s campaign, what would you tell them?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democratic Race • Hillary Clinton
February 19th, 2008
05:40 PM ET

Style vs. substance?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Ask a feminist why Hillary Clinton is struggling to get the Democratic presidential nomination and you might be told she is bumping up against the ultimate glass ceiling.

Her career and resume are beyond impressive. And yet in the last several weeks, she's begun to lose the nomination to a man whose charisma and style belie his comparative lack of experience.

When it comes to voting for president, Americans tend to pick people they like. It's just the way we are. Give us a choice between a Jaguar convertible and a Toyota Prius, and most of us will go for the glamour and glitz every time.

Add in the fact that Hillary Clinton is a woman and it gets even tougher. The conventional wisdom is for a woman to be taken seriously, she has to come across as tough and competent. Clinton is certainly both of those. But on some level, those very qualities that might make her a great president are probably working against her.

It's nothing new: Jack Kennedy was "Jack Who" until the debates against the far more seasoned political professional Richard Nixon. But once the public caught a glimpse of Kennedy's charisma, Nixon didn't have a chance.

Here’s my question to you: Which is more important in a presidential campaign: style or substance?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
February 19th, 2008
04:02 PM ET

Which party can better address economic problems?

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Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. Antioch, California, has experienced a spike in home foreclosures with a reported 271 homes repossessed between January and August of this year. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In 1992, Bill Clinton rode into the White House on the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." 16 years later, it's looking more and more like the economy will be uppermost in voters' minds in this presidential race.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both been responding to the economic anxiety and fear of recession – especially in states like Ohio and Wisconsin – by campaigning with populist messages.

Clinton stresses economic policies that focus on programs to help families burdened by high oil prices and health care costs, home foreclosures and student loans. She's also going after institutions like hedge funds, oil and drug companies, and trade agreements that she says mean more exported jobs.

Obama is striking a similar tone, describing how the wealthy "made out like bandits" during the Bush administration. He's calling for an end to tax breaks for companies who move jobs overseas and instead giving tax relief to the middle class.

When it comes to the Republicans, John McCain made headlines earlier this week with his pledge of "no new taxes" if he becomes president. McCain says if the economy continues in its current slump, he could see an argument for lowering interest rates and taxes and decreasing corporate tax rates.

McCain says he's open to the idea of helping homeowners who face foreclosure as long as they're "legitimate borrowers". The Arizona senator also believes "the first thing we need to do is stop the out-of-control spending", and promises to eliminate the 10,000 earmarks that Congress adds to spending bills.

Here’s my question to you: Which party is better able to address America's economic problems?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Republican Party
February 19th, 2008
02:45 PM ET

Is Wisconsin make-or-break for Clinton?


(PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton has her eyes on the monster, March 4th contests in Ohio and Texas, but today's Wisconsin primary could prove to be a crucial race for her.

A win could reinvigorate her campaign and perhaps grab back some of the momentum that seems to be all Barack Obama's at this point. A loss could raise some serious questions about whether she has anything left.

Wisconsin is made up of lots and lots of voters who you'd think would support Clinton. It has been described as "practically tailor-made to resuscitate Clinton's campaign."

For example, 9 in 10 of Wisconsin's Democratic voters in 2004 were white. Clinton has so far been holding an 11% point advantage over Obama among whites. Also, working class people make up a larger proportion of Wisconsin's population than the rest of the country's Democrats. And, the state's voters tend to be a bit older than the national Democratic average.

One Democratic pollster even says Wisconsin is a place where Clinton should do better than everyone expects her to do.

But there are some wild cards out there. Turnout could be larger than in 2004, throwing off some of these estimates. Plus Wisconsin is an open primary, meaning Republicans and independents are free to vote in the Democratic primary. With McCain all but a cinch for the GOP nomination, that could happen. And from what we've seen so far, that would tend to favor Obama.

Here’s my question to you: Is the Wisconsin primary a make-or-break race for Hillary Clinton?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Primaries
February 18th, 2008
05:51 PM ET

Picking a past president to lead?

 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:

As the candidates continue to battle it out on the campaign trail today – President's Day – they all have their eyes on the grand prize: becoming the 44th president of the United States.

With 70% of Americans saying this country is headed in the wrong direction, it's clear the country is hungry for a leader who will change course from the past eight years and get us back on track. Of course, while looking forward, sometimes people also look back – remembering the past as better, more prosperous or easier times.

A new Gallup poll asks people if they could bring back any U.S. president, living or dead, to be the next leader of this country who it would be. 23% of those surveyed said John F. Kennedy. 22% said Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton was next at 13%, followed by Abraham Lincoln at 10% and Franklin Roosevelt at 8%. The current president, George W. Bush, 1%. Less than a rave review.

The possibilities this time around are exciting if for no other reason than the possibility of electing the first woman or the first African-American president ever. But what if we could turn back the clock?

Here’s my question to you: If you could choose any former U.S president to lead this country now, who would it be and why?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
February 18th, 2008
03:52 PM ET

President Bush’s role in McCain’s campaign?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is facing a tricky decision when it comes to how much he should, or shouldn't, use President Bush in his campaign.

The New York Times reports that McCain's advisers will ask the White House to send the president out for major fund-raising, but they don't want him to appear too often by McCain's side. This has a lot to do with President Bush's terrible approval ratings which are hovering around 30.

The position is a difficult one for McCain. He needs to figure out how much he wants President Bush out there to try to get more support from conservatives while at the same time not alienating independents and moderate Democrats.

This probably means the president will make solo appearances before evangelicals, campaign where there are important House and Senate races, and attend big Republican fund-raising dinners.

However, in response to the Times story, McCain said he'd be honored to have the president's support and "to be anywhere with him under any circumstances."

Nevertheless, all this is not lost on the Democrats. They're already linking McCain to President Bush, calling it a "Bush-McCain" ticket that would be like giving President Bush a 3rd term.

One adviser suggests it would be a bad idea to keep Mr. Bush too far away from McCain since he's still popular with the base, saying that would be similar to what Al Gore did in 2000. Some Democrats say part of the reason Gore lost that election was because he distanced himself from President Bill Clinton, who remained popular among Democrats even though he was knee-deep in scandal.

Here’s my question to you: How much should John McCain use President Bush on the campaign trail?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

February 18th, 2008
01:54 PM ET

Clinton allies question reliance on superdelegates?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton probably doesn't like the message coming from some of her supporters, who are now questioning her reliance on superdelegates in order to beat Barack Obama.

New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, who is one of Clinton's top African-American allies, insists it's the people, and not the superdelegates, who will select the Democratic nominee for president. Rangel adds, "The people's will is what's going to prevail at the convention and not people who decide what the people's will is."

Then there's New York Senator Chuck Schumer, another big Clinton supporter, who doesn't seem pleased with Clinton's willingness to fight it out with Obama on the floor of the convention in August. New York's senior senator is calling on both Clinton and Obama to agree on a winner after the last caucus in June. He says, "I don't think either candidate wants, or can even get away with, forcing their will down the throat of the other."

Meanwhile, Clinton shows no signs of letting up. She's been calling on superdelegates to make their own decisions about whether to support her or Obama. She says they should "exercise independent judgment" and should not just anoint the candidate who is leading after the primaries. Sure, why give the nomination to the candidate who has the most support from the people?

Obama has won the last eight Democratic contests in a row and leads Clinton among pledged and total delegates. However, he still trails her among superdelegates.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if some of Hillary Clinton’s allies are now questioning her reliance on superdelegates to win?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Super Delegates
February 15th, 2008
06:05 PM ET

Bloomberg: U.S. resembling third world country?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/15/art.bloomberg1.gi.jpg caption=" New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States has a "balance sheet that's starting to look more and more like a third-world country."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is lashing out at Washington over the federal government's plan to give rebate checks to more than 130 million people.

Bloomberg says: "I suppose it won't hurt the economy but it's in many senses like giving a drink to an alcoholic." A spokesman later said the mayor meant Washington can't stop itself from spending, and he wasn't saying Americans who get the checks are part of the problem.

Bloomberg is also critical of the current crop of presidential candidates, accusing them of looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems. The mayor added that while they seem to be talking more about the economy now, they're looking for quick fixes in order to win votes instead of taking a good, hard look at the roots of the problem.

He did have some kind words for Barack Obama, praising his plan to create a "National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank" to rebuild things such as highways and bridges.

It's funny how our mayor here in New York keeps popping up. His supporters think the country's economic problems create a unique opportunity for Bloomberg, with his business background, to run as a third-party candidate for president.

Bloomberg continues to insist he's "not a candidate" and says he's speaking out on national issues as part of an "experiment" to see if he can influence the dialogue of the race.

Here’s my question to you: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the U.S. resembles a third world country when it comes to our economy. Is he right?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
February 15th, 2008
05:04 PM ET

Black leaders rethinking Clinton support?

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Senator Barack Obama, Congressman John Lewis, Senator Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge COMMEMORATING the 1965 'Bloody Sunday' Voting Rights march March 4, 2007 in Selma, Alabama. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There is more bad news for Hillary Clinton. Some African-American leaders are rethinking their support for her.

Congressman David Scott of Georgia says he's defecting from the Clinton camp and will instead support Barack Obama. Scott says he has to represent the wishes of his constituency. His district voted more than 80% in favor of Obama on Super Tuesday.

Also, the New York Times reports that civil rights veteran Congressman John Lewis, also of Georgia, is switching his superdelegate vote to Obama.

They quote Lewis as saying "In recent days, there is a sense of movement and a sense of spirit. Something is happening in America, and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap." Lewis' spokeswoman says the story is inaccurate, that the congressman has left the option of changing his superdelegate support on the table, but hasn't decided yet.

Barack Obama was asked about this today. He says, "I think increasingly the superdelegates that I talked to are uncomfortable with the notion that they will override decisions made by voters."

What this shows is there's a growing sense among some of the party's black leaders that they shouldn't stand in the way of Obama's historic run for the nomination... and that they shouldn't go against their constituents' wishes.

One black supporter of Clinton, Missouri, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, describes some of this. He says Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, an Obama supporter, recently asked him "If it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate... do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?"

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if some African-American leaders are rethinking their support for Hillary Clinton?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
February 15th, 2008
02:10 PM ET

Who would win McCain-Obama generational battle?

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John McCain and Barack Obama shake hands at the debate prior to the New Hampshire primary in January. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If John McCain and Barack Obama end up facing each other in November, it would be a historic election representing a true generational battle.

The match-up would pit the 71-year-old McCain, who if elected would become the oldest president ever, against the 46-year-old Obama, who would be one of the youngest.

We're starting to get a glimpse of what this race would be all about. By seizing on the mantle of change, Obama has drawn record numbers of young voters to the polls who see him a something of a rock star.

And, after their respective victories in the Potomac Primaries on Tuesday, both men seemed to set their sights on each other. McCain called hope a "powerful thing", saying he's seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways.

He then went on to contrast his POW experience with Obama's speeches, adding: "To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude." Those would be classified as "fightin' words." McCain says, "I'm fired up and ready to go."

The age difference isn't lost on Obama either. He points out McCain's "half-century of service" to the country. In his speech the other night, Obama tied McCain to President Bush's "failed policies of the past" adding, "George Bush won't be on the ballot this November, but his war and his tax cuts for the wealthy will."

What a race it would be.

Here’s my question to you: In a hypothetical match-up between John McCain and Barack Obama, who wins the generational battle?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain
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