Politics news from around the nation
By Times staff and wire reports
Published January 1, 2008
DES MOINES, IOWA
ANTIWAR GROUP TRUMPS BACKERS OF RON PAUL
Ron Paul supporters flooded the corner near Mike Huckabee's campaign headquarters Monday afternoon because a horde of reporters and TV cameras were waiting for Huckabee to arrive. But the boisterous Paul gang was overshadowed by antiwar protesters - one carrying a sign reading "Who would Jesus bomb?" - who beat them to the prime spot. Three made it inside Huckabee's office, demanding to talk with him. The commotion delayed Huckabee's arrival as staffers talked with the protesters. Finally all three were taken away by police. The antiwar group has done the same at the headquarters of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. It calls itself SODaPOP - Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project.
Iowa governor's take on Florida
In Des Moines on Sunday, Iowa Democratic Gov. Chet Culver tackled this Florida question: Why did he encourage Democratic candidates to boycott Florida's primary and give Republicans a leg up for the state's 27 electoral votes? A gracious Culver first raved about how much he enjoys Sanibel, then noted that Florida Democrats had voted for the schedule they're busting. "Michigan and Florida, they all signed off on Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina (going first). ... The idea that after four years you can just blow that up and then start jumping around is really disingenuous to the process," he said. "I understand, I really do, the good arguments that they're making in Michigan and Florida, and my hope is that we can all get back to the table in '09 and make it work."
Obama and Clinton top $100-million
Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton each surpassed the $100-million fundraising mark for their presidential campaigns by year's end, the first time two candidates have eclipsed that milestone before a single primary vote was cast, according to individuals familiar with their finance operations. Both will still fall short of President Bush's record for money raised in a nonelection year - $131-million in 2003 when he ran virtually unopposed for the GOP nomination - but the successes of Clinton and Obama differ in that they came during one of the most crowded and competitive presidential races in history.
Focus returns to Bloomberg
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's participation in a meeting next week in Oklahoma of independent and centrist politicians is renewing speculation about whether he will mount a third-party bid for president. "It is a message to the two parties: Please rise to the occasion. If you don't, there is always a possibility out there of an independent," said former Democratic Sen. David Boren of Oklahoma, an organizer of the event. Some see it as a message that Bloomberg is considering joining the fray.
Hancock, N.H: Republican presidential contender John McCain plans to spend most of the next week in New Hampshire in a bid to slingshot his campaign forward, after many wrote his political obituary following a rough summer.
Information from Times staff writers Alex Leary and Adam Smith, the Washington Post and the Associated Press was used in this report.
[Last modified December 31, 2007, 23:01:34]
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