Sunday, May 13, 2007

The week that was: Decision 2008

Welcome to our newest feature here at TBWA: The Week That Was: Decision 2008. AKA, The Weekly Presidential Rewind.

This week has been, for lack of a better word, a quiet one on the 2008 Presidential Race circuit, so let’s get to it.

The Democrats

Biden heard crickets chirping… saw tumbleweeds tumbling along… in other words; he was quiet.

Clinton had a very good week. Not only did she pick up a handful of endorsements this past week as Maryland Gov. O'Malley endorsed her candidacy along with New York Governor Spitzer, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and NY Controller Tom DiNapoli backed her candidacy, she also enjoyed news on Monday that she has increased her lead over the rest of the field. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Monday, her support rose to 38% from 30%, while Obama dropped by two percentage points to 24%. Edwards has 12% (along with Gore?), Richardson has 5%, Biden & Dod 2%, Kucinich 1% and Gravel had nothing. (This is definitely good news for the Clinton camp.. but the question remains; can they maintain this pace and the lead? Only time will tell…)

Dodd is walking a fine line between regulation and donation.

Edwards is offering more public policy proposals than any of the other candidates, and while they are winning applause from Democratic audiences, the question remains if they will still be cheering them when they see the price tag attached with each proposal - more than $125 billion a year. He also discussed his time at hedge fund and defended it by saying it was a learning experience (Uh-huh… is it just me, or does it seem as though Edwards is panicking a little? He’s trying to get every iota of information about his plans and proposals out to the public ASAP. The problem with that is that with such a long time to go until the primaries, people might forget them. And if he continually repeats them, people will start to tune his messages out. I think it might be time for his campaign to re-do itself before it’s too late)

Gravel… his campaign seems to be as dead as a kipper on a cracker…

Gore has not, and probably WILL NOT, announced his candidacy, but that hasn’t stopped his supporters from holding on to their cash and NOT giving it to the current slate of candidates. (This is troubling. Gore has said he’s not going to run, yet people are still holding out hope that he does. My thought; the only thing that could possibly get Gore to run would be if a republican candidate so heinous in Democrat eyes but Reagan-esque in republican eyes would jump into the ring… say Jeb Bush – ugh… now I’m gonna have nightmares about another Bush presidency…)

Obama had the direct opposite of Clinton and had a very bad week. Besides dropping 2 points from his previous 24%, Ms. Clinton’s lead over him jumped from four points to 14 points (ouch) He also gave his staff a public spanking scolding for not booking a personal appearance with the New Hampshire firefighters union, even though every other Democratic candidate WILL. (Oops…). He also drastically overstated the Kansas tornadoes death toll, saying 10,000 had died when the actual number was 12. Monday he chastised U.S. automakers and said the time has run out for making excuses about building more fuel-efficient cars. (Since it was announced last week that he was being given Secret Service protection, his campaign has looked stalled and in desperate need of a kick start. But, since it’s still incredibly early in the process, they should be able to do just that in plenty of time)

Richardson had a somewhat quiet week but it’s that one thing that has everyone talking. Richardson had his first two ads air in Iowa this past week. In the new ads, the governor is in a mock job interview complete with a nervous expression on his face. In the first ad, the man interviewing Richardson doesn't ask too many questions, instead ticking off the list of his qualifications. “Fourteen years in Congress, U.N. ambassador, secretary of energy, governor of New Mexico, negotiated with dictators in Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Zaire, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Kenya, got a cease-fire in Darfur, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times." (Richardson is still a dark-horse candidate for me. Despite only earning 5% in the above mentioned poll, his campaign is still trying to get the word out about who he is… this ad should help. Keep an eye on him AND his campaign…)

The republicans

Is Bloomberg even running? He’s says no, some friends say yes, but his website has been re-designed and re-launched, so stay tuned.

Giuliani, during a campaign stop in Houston, explained his views on abortion, saying that while he is morally against them, he still believes that a woman should have the right to choose to end her pregnancy… (Wow… a well thought-out opinion using his own brain… are you sure he’s a republican?) Unfortunately, he also got condemned this week by Pope Benedict for supporting abortion rights, who also said that people who support abortion should be excommunicated from the church… (but sleeping with young boys is apparently still OK by them…)

McCain, in the middle of what can best be described as a fundraising binge, he said that it’s unlikely that a pro-choice Republican could win the party's presidential nomination, an in-direct, yet direct, swing at Rudy. He also hired a new Political Director for his campaign with Rob Jesmer, a former chief-of-staff to Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, coming in to replace Mike Dennehy.

Romney is having a busy week. While currently watching a debate about his religion unfold and answering questions about his wife donating money to Planned Parenthood, he publicly admonished polygamy as being “awful” while simultaneously, according to the New York Sun, surging in some polls. (Ok, the religion question is silly. Unless he claims that God told him to become President as Bush did, it shouldn’t matter. Nor should the fact that his wife gave money to Planned Parenthood) He’s also been touting his proposal to expand the size and funding of the U.S. military… hopefully keeping attention away from a “60 Minutes” interview this Sunday that reveals his Grandfather was, oddly enough, a polygamist (That’s gonna go over REALLY well with the republican base. While it may hurt his campaign, I disagree with some that it will bury his campaign. At this point, with the dearth of gop candidates out there, I think they may be a little more open-minded… at least until “Saint Thompson” enters the race… then Romney’s screwed…)

F. Thompson has been busy in the blogosphere and… well, that’s it really. Oh, and by the way, he STILL has not announced his candidacy yet…

T. Thompson was trying to cover his ass this week and did little else. During the republican debate, he said that he supports employers’ right to fire people for being gay… apparently forgetting that firing people over their sexual orientation is actually a crime in quite a few states. This week he maintains that what he really meant to say was (coincidentally) the exact opposite of what he clearly said that night. Oh, and he blames the “incorrect” answer on the fact that his hearing aid suddenly broke during that question… so even though he didn’t hear the question at all, he specifically answered the question, just not in the way meant to answer it. (Tommy Thompson ladies and gentlemen… the republicans version of Admiral Stockdale Mike Gravel…)

And finally....

Never one to back away from the tough question, the AP is asking each candidates a series of questions. This week’s was What car or cars do you drive?

Sen. Biden drives a 1967 Corvette, Sen. Dodd drives a Ford Escape hybrid, something he shares with Sen. Edwards, Rep. Kucinich drives a Ford Focus, Sen. Obama a Chrysler 300C, Gov. Richardson a Jeep Wrangler and Sen. Clinton a Ford Hybrid – though she usually rides in a Secret Service vehicle.

The republicans also answered the question, with Sen.Brownback driving a Ford Taurus while in Washington and a Honda Civic hybrid in Kansas, Gov.Huckabee a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, Rep. Hunter a “Suburban with 274,000 miles on it”, Sen. McCain a Cadillac CTS, Gov. Romney a 2005 Ford Mustang convertible, Rep. Tancredo a Toyota Prius hybrid along with a Cadillac, a Mercedes & a Buick while Giuliani arrogantly answered: “I don't drive, I navigate.”

Yes sirree… it was a sloooooooow news week on the presidential campaign trail…

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