Hillary Clinton

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Farewell!. (CTsT)

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Chelsea Clinton may follow in her parents’ footsteps after all. After years of shooting down rumors that she may run for office, the 32-year-old Clinton left the door open to having another Clinton on the electoral ballots.

“Before my mom’s campaign I would have said no,” Clinton said in an interview published in the latest issue of Vogue magazine. “And now I don’t know. . .”

“If there were to be a point where it was something I felt called to do and I didn’t think there was someone who was sufficiently committed to building a healthier, more just, more equitable, more productive world?” Clinton continued. “Then that would be a question I’d have to ask and answer.”

Clinton, who married investment banker Mark Mezvinsky in 2010, said that after the media circus surrounding her wedding, she realized that her celebrity was either “something I could continue to ignore or it was something I could try to use to highlight causes that I really cared about,” she told Vogue.

“Historically I deliberately tried to lead a private life in the public eye,” she said. “And now I am trying to lead a purposefully public life.”

The only daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said people have been pestering her about running for office her entire life.

“It was something I had thought a lot about because people have been asking me that my whole life,” Clinton said. “Even during my father’s 1984 gubernatorial campaign, it was, ‘Do you want to grow up and be governor one day?’ No. I am four.”

At her age, Bill Clinton already held public office, serving as Arkansas attorney general from age 31. But it was not until age 54 that her mom first stepped into elected office as a U.S. senator.

“I believe that there are many ways for each of us to play our part,” Clinton told Vogue. “For a very long time that’s what my mom did. And then she went into elected public life. Her life is a testament to the principle that there are many ways to serve.”


By Amy Bingham , August 14, 2012


The presidential candidates may have star qualities — and they also have stars in their families, according to a genealogical study linking Hillary Clinton to Angelina Jolie and Barack Obama to Brad Pitt.


The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston on Wednesday released a study in which it traced the family trees of all three presidential candidates to find they all had famous relatives, both dead and alive.

It found Illinois Senator Barack Obama, whose mother is from Kansas, can claim at least six U.S. presidents as distant cousins, including George W. Bush and his father, Gerald R. Ford, Lyndon B. Johnson, Harry S. Truman, and James Madison.

But other cousins include British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill — and Brad Pitt who is a ninth cousin linked back Edwin Hickman who died in Virginia in 1769.

“Obama’s maternal ancestry includes the mid-Atlantic States and the South,” said Christopher Child, a genealogist with NEHGC that dates back to 1845 and describes itself as the United States oldest and largest non-profit genealogical organization.

Meanwhile his Democratic rival, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, shares a common ancestor with Pitt’s partner, actress Angelina Jolie. Clinton and Jolie are ninth cousins twice removed linked by Jean Cusson of St. Sulpice, Quebec, who died in 1718.

Child said Clinton is also a cousin of a number of famous people with French Canadian ancestry, including Madonna (ninth cousins linked by Pierre Gagne of Quebec who died in 1656) Celine Dion, and Alanis Morissette, as well as author Jack Kerouac. Another cousin is Camilla Parker-Bowles, wife of Prince Charles.

“It is common to find people of French Canadian descent to be related to large numbers of other French Canadians, including these notables,” said Child in a statement.

Republican nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, is a sixth cousin of Laura Bush but it was hard track other ancestors.

“McCain’s ancestry is almost entirely southern,” said Child, adding this made notable connections harder to trace because of challenges to genealogists in that region.

Child said having famous cousins makes for interesting conversation but it “should not influence voters.”

“But at a time when the race focuses on pointing out differences, the candidates may enjoy learning about famous cousins and their varied family histories,” he said.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Wed Mar 26, 2008

The scope of Hillary Clinton’s latest resurrection can be appreciated only in light of the elaborate preparations that had been made for her expeditious burial. That she is very much alive can be attributed to her true grit but also to the revelation that Barack Obama is not a miraculously perfect candidate after all.


Assuming that Clinton would at best eke out a victory in Ohio on Tuesday to end her long losing streak, prominent Democrats were organizing a major private intervention. A posse of party leaders would plead with her to end her campaign and recognize Obama as the Democratic standard-bearer. To buttress this argument, several elite unelected superdelegates (including previous Clinton supporters) were ready to come out for Obama. Those plans went on hold Tuesday night.

Clinton’s transformation of the political climate with her decisive victory in Ohio and unexpected narrow win in Texas coincided with Obama facing adversity for the first time in his magical candidacy, and he did not handle it well. The result is not only the prospect of seven weeks of fierce campaigning by the two candidates, stretching out to the next primary showdown April 22 in Pennsylvania, but also perhaps what Democratic leaders feared but never really thought possible until now: a contested national convention in Denver the last week of August.

By chance, this critical week for Obama began Monday with jury selection in the Chicago corruption trial of his former friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko. For the first time, the story of this political fixer’s connections with the Democratic Party’s golden boy spread beyond the Chicago media. In a contentious news conference, Obama was uncommunicative. He ended the session by walking out and announcing that eight questions were enough.

Less obvious than his Rezko performance but more disturbing to insiders was Obama’s handling of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

With NAFTA having become an expletive in economically depressed northern Ohio, the two Democratic candidates competed with each other in pandering — denouncing the trade agreement that was a jewel in President Bill Clinton’s crown. The trouble began when Canadian television reported that Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee had visited Canada’s consulate in Chicago to reassure officials there.

Old Democratic hands cringed when both Clinton and Obama in their Cleveland debate last month blithely advocated the (dangerous) renegotiation of NAFTA. They were really disturbed by what happened next. Obama denied the Goolsbee mission, then had to back down after a Canadian diplomat’s memo confirmed the visit. A longtime Democratic political operative, not aligned with either Obama or Clinton, told me that this was a serious misstep in what he had considered a flawless performance by a political neophyte.

This week, Obama lent credence to longtime claims by the Clinton camp that the young challenger would melt under Republican heat. Now he must face weeks of struggle against a revitalized Clinton, and there’s no sign when it will end.

A month ago, before the Obama boom really began, his number-crunchers plotted a probable outcome wherein Clinton would win both Ohio and Texas on March 4 and still fall short of a delegate majority at the convention. To avoid carnage in Denver, Democrats have been telling me for weeks that a majority of delegates would somehow align themselves behind whichever candidate has the momentum.

But who has the momentum? Clinton will claim it, particularly if she wins in Pennsylvania, which would give her every major state except Illinois. But Obama will point to his advantage in the number of states and delegates won. A showdown in Denver may be unavoidable.

Such a showdown would reveal the consequences of eight years of Democratic procedural decisions that made no sense save for the premise that Hillary Clinton, as she expected, would be handed the nomination on Super Tuesday. That the convention will be held unusually late raises the prospect of not knowing the identity of the Democratic nominee until shortly before Labor Day. The decision to deprive Michigan and Florida of delegates because their primaries were scheduled too early cannot stand in a contested convention. That Hillary Clinton’s candidacy still lives forces Democrats to cope with their mistakes.

* By Robert D. Novak (March 6, 2008)

“Gender,” Gloria Steinem wrote in the New York Times, “is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House.”
Later that day, Hillary Clinton’s victory in New Hampshire made her the first woman to win a presidential primary.


Is Clinton hampered by her gender as she fights for the Democratic nomination? I think the reality is neither as dire as Steinem suggests nor as benign as those of us who would like to see a woman elected president would wish.

Clinton herself has recently sounded like Steinem by way of Tammy Wynette: 1992’s invocation of “Stand by Your Man” has morphed into “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman.”

As the candidate said last week, “It’s hard being a woman out there. It is obviously challenging with some of [the] things that are said, that are not even personal to me so much as they are about women.”

The burden of two X chromosomes, Clinton suggested, has made hers a tougher climb: “Now every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even playing field, but, you know, I play on whatever field is out there.”

This complaint is a little hard to take from someone who entered the race as the Official Candidate of the Democratic Establishment. Clinton might not have been born on third base, to paraphrase the late Texas governor Ann Richards on George W. Bush, but she began the campaign with the equivalent of a triple.


The candidate of inevitability and the victim of the uneven playing field aren’t compatible concepts.

If anything, the playing field has been demographically tilted in Clinton’s favor. Women account for nearly six in 10 Democratic primary voters. In October, when it seemed almost a given that Clinton would win the nomination, Clinton strategist Mark Penn bragged about her edge with women and predicted that 24 percent of Republican women could defect in the general election. I don’t recall any complaints about field conditions then.

Clinton’s loss, if it comes to that, will have more to do with squandered and mismanaged resources; a shapeless, shifting message; a loose-lipped spouse; and arrogant strategists who dismissed the threat from Barack Obama and assumed the past would predict the future.

Yet I’m not arguing that gender has been irrelevant in this campaign. How could it be with the first serious female candidate for the White House?

The gender gap in Clinton’s support is persistent — and striking. In every Post-ABC News poll since December, Clinton’s support among women has significantly exceeded her backing among men, with differences ranging from the mid- to high teens. In the latest poll, Clinton trailed Obama among men 35 to 57 percent, even as she clung to a narrow lead, 50 to 45 percent, among women.

Still, as Democratic pollster Geoff Garin notes, women have tended to stick with Clinton even as men have been swept away by Obama, suggesting that the difference may lie more in women’s affinity for Clinton and interest in a female candidate. “It does not appear to be the case that Democratic men are particularly hostile to her,” Garin said.

Clinton can legitimately complain about a double standard when it comes to sexism on the campaign trail. The exquisite sensitivity to perceived racial slights — Joe Biden on the “clean” and “articulate” Obama — has been missing on gender. “How do we beat the bitch?” one voter — an elegantly dressed older woman, no less — asked John McCain in South Carolina. He laughed, and there were no repercussions. Contrast that with McCain’s immediate repudiation of a conservative talk show host who used Obama’s middle name in introducing McCain.

But the most problematic part of the gender equation in this campaign has been more subtle — and perhaps more ominous for a future female candidate not named Clinton. Watching Obama, I’ve been wondering whether the country, particularly the male half, can comfortably fit a woman into its mental picture of a president. Obama’s success stems in large part from his ability to use rhetoric to inspire and persuade. The country has scant experience of a woman in that role.

“The image of charismatic leadership at the top has been and continues to be a man,” said Ruth Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. “Barack Obama’s appeal and charisma is uniquely his own, but it also fits with an age-old history of men who electrify followers. . . . We don’t have an image, we don’t have a historical memory of a woman who has achieved that feat.”

That may not be coming anytime soon. Gender isn’t the most restricting force in American life. It remains a force to be reckoned with.

* By Ruth Marcus (March 5, 2008)

Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton exchanged sharps words over trade as they campaigned before Ohio’s crucial primary.

Sen. Hillary Clinton says Barack Obama’s camp is spreading false information about her positions.

1 of 2 The economy and jobs are top issues for Ohio voters, and the rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have blamed trade agreements for the loss of manufacturing jobs.

Since 2000, the state’s seen nearly a 25 percent decline in manufacturing employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Ohio, along with Texas, votes on March 4. The two states have a total of 334 delegates at stake.


Clinton’s supporters have said she must win both states if she is to close the gap with Obama and stop the momentum he has built up with 11 straight wins.

She trails Obama by 69 delegates, according to CNN calculations.

Recent polls, however, show Clinton leading in Ohio.

Over the weekend, Clinton accused Obama of misrepresenting her record on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Taking a mocking swipe at the Illinois senator’s campaign style, Clinton said people want actions and not words. Watch Clinton mock Obama »


“I could stand up here and say ‘Let’s just get everybody together, let’s get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect,’ ” she said Sunday while campaigning in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island and Vermont also hold contests next Tuesday, but only have 36 delegates up for grabs.

Clinton struck a populist tone, saying she has made it clear that she is ambivalent about NAFTA, blasting companies for “turning their backs on Americans” while shipping jobs overseas.

Meanwhile, Obama railed on Clinton for supporting NAFTA when her husband was president. Watch the latest on the back-and-forth »

“Sen. Clinton has been going to great lengths on the campaign trail to distance herself from NAFTA,” Obama said Sunday in Lorain, Ohio. “In her own book, Sen. Clinton called NAFTA one of ‘Bill’s successes’ and ‘legislative victories.’ “

“One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio. And yet, 10 years after NAFTA passed, Sen. Clinton said it was good for America. Well, I don’t think NAFTA has been good for America — and I never have,” he said.

The weekend feud kicked off when Clinton blasted recent mailings from the Obama camp, telling a crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio, an Obama mailing spread lies about her positions NAFTA.

The mailer says Clinton was a “champion” for NAFTA while first lady, but now opposes it. NAFTA was negotiated by the first President Bush and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Citing a 2006 issue of New York Newsday, the mailer says Clinton thought NAFTA was a “boon” to the economy. The term “boon” was actually the paper’s characterization of Clinton’s stance, and not a quote from her.

“Bad trade deals like NAFTA hit Ohio harder than other states. Only Barack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA,” the mailer says.

A visibly angry Clinton lashed out Saturday at Obama over the campaign literature that she said he knows is “blatantly false.”

“Shame on you, Barack Obama,” she said, adding that she is fighting to change NAFTA. Watch Clinton demand a ‘real campaign’ »

Obama “is continuing to send false and discredited mailings with information that is not true to the voters of Ohio,” she said.

With Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland nodding in agreement behind her, Clinton accused Obama of emulating the tactics of Karl Rove, President Bush’s former political director who is reviled by Democrats.

Obama described Clinton’s anger as “tactical” and defended his campaign.

“We have been subject to constant attack from the Clinton campaign, except for when we were down 20 points. And that was true in Iowa. It was true in South Carolina. It was true in Wisconsin, and it is true now,” Obama said.

The spat over the literature is nothing new; the two campaigns sparred over similar mailings before Super Tuesday. Obama defended the mailings, calling them accurate and accusing Clinton of deliberately changing her position on NAFTA for political expediency. He told a crowd in a Lorain, Ohio, factory, “The fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president.”

Clinton challenged Obama to “meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”

The two are set to debate Tuesday night in Ohio.

Bill Clinton has said that if his wife wins in Ohio and Texas, she will win her party’s nomination, but, he told voters, “if you don’t deliver for her, then I don’t think she can be. It’s all on you.”

According to an average of three recent polls, Clinton leads Obama in Ohio 49 percent to 39 percent. An additional 12 percent of the state’s likely Democratic primary voters said they were undecided.

The Ohio Democratic poll of polls consists of three surveys: American Research Group (February 23-24), the Ohio Poll (February 21-24), and Quinnipiac (February 18-23).

Recent polls show a close race in Texas.

The Democratic contenders split the Super Tuesday contests on February 5, but since then, Obama has taken every contest.

* Source: CNN

For all the expectations of high-stakes combat at Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Austin, Texas, the most riveting engagement of the night came at the very end—when Hillary Clinton turned to her opponent and shook his hand. “I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored,” she said. “Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine.


You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that’s what this election should be about.” The Democratic crowd leapt to its feet and cheered.

The moment was Clinton’s most heartfelt since she got teary at a voter’s question in New Hampshire, but it had a valedictory, almost elegiac feel to it. Going into the debate, the burden had been on Clinton to change a dynamic that has turned against her, as Barack Obama has racked up 11 victories in a row in the two weeks since Super Tuesday, grabbing the lead in pledged delegates, and momentum. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released shortly before the debate showed Clinton in a statistical dead heat against Obama in Texas, and hanging onto only a slender lead in Ohio. Her own husband had conceded a day earlier that both states are crucial to her survival. “You probably like it that it has come down to Texas,” Bill Clinton said while campaigning for her in Beaumont, Tex. “If she wins Texas and Ohio, I think she will be the nominee. If you don’t deliver for her then I don’t think she can be. It’s all on you.”

Clinton has shone in most of the debates thus far, while Obama has been weaker in this forum. But the sedate affair on Thursday night is not likely to have much of an impact on the race. There were some slight differences between the two of them here and there on policy. They rehashed the main difference in their health care plans. Though both would make health care more affordable, Clinton would insist upon a requirement that every American have coverage; Obama would not, though he contends that lowering the cost would make nearly everyone decide to do it. Clinton said she would not sit down with Raul Castro until he had shown clear signs of political reform in Cuba; Obama said he would insist upon preparations, not preconditions. That distinction is hardly likely to sway many people in either Texas or Ohio.

Indeed, there were many moments where the rivals seemed more eager to prove how similar they were on policy. Asked how she would differ from Obama on the economy, an issue which has become the top priority for voters, Clinton began: “I would agree with a lot that Senator Obama just said, because it is the Democratic agenda.” And what about that border fence, for which they both voted? “Well, this is an area where Senator Clinton and I almost entirely agree,” Obama said, as he echoed Clinton’s argument for more sensitivity to the opinions of local communities.

Where Clinton tried to score points, she largely missed. When their argument over whether Obama had plagiarized lines from his campaign co-chairman, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the Illinois Senator got the better of the exchange. “You know, this is where we start getting into silly season, in politics, and I think people start getting discouraged about it,” Obama said. Clinton rejoined with an attack line that fell flat, and even drew some boos: “You know, lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.” And the canned line seemed even lamer after the debate, when bloggers unearthed the similarity between a line she used in that powerful conclusion of the debate—”You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country”—and Bill Clinton’s 1992 declaration that: “The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits the people of this state and this country have been taking for a long time.”

Obama probably came out better on a more fundamental question: Which of the two is more ready to be commander-in-chief? Clinton—who has a tendency to get lost in her own resume—wandered into a discourse on her visits to foreign countries, her outspokenness on women’s rights in China and her tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Obama focused on how he would do the job ahead: “My number one job as president will be to keep the American people safe. I will do whatever is required to accomplish that. I will not hesitate to act against those that would do America harm. Now, that involves maintaining the strongest military on earth, which means that we are training our troops properly and equipping them properly, and putting them on proper rotations.”

But Obama’s best moment came when he went right to heart of the main argument that Clinton has been making against him. “I do think there is a fundamental difference between us in terms of how change comes about. Senator Clinton of late has said: Let’s get real. The implication is that the people who’ve been voting for me or involved in my campaign are somehow delusional,” Obama said to laughter from the audience. “And that, the 20 million people who’ve been paying attention to 19 debates and the editorial boards all across the country at newspapers who have given me endorsements, including every major newspaper here in the state of Texas. You know, the thinking is that somehow, they’re being duped, and eventually they’re going to see the reality of things. Well, I think they perceive reality of what’s going on in Washington very clearly.” More and more people are perceiving the reality of what’s happening on the campaign trail as well, and despite her best efforts in Austin Thursday night, Hillary Clinton still appears unable to alter it.

* By Karen Tumulty (TIME; Friday, Feb. 22, 2008)

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Was it a pivotal moment that could change the campaign, or the swan song of a candidate who may be nearing the end of her U.S. presidential bid?

Hillary Clinton’s concluding statement in a televised debate on Thursday drew a standing ovation from the audience and plaudits from analysts.

But some said her words — which touched on her personal trials while complimenting her rival, Barack Obama — came too late in a contest that has largely turned in his direction.

Obama, a senator from Illinois, has surged into front-runner status in the dash to become the Democratic nominee after 10 straight wins in the state-by-state nomination process.

Clinton, a senator from New York, has pinned her hopes on decisive wins in Texas and Ohio, which hold their contests on March 4, and aimed to slow his momentum at the debate.

The two engaged in a mostly civil discussion that covered their positions on Cuba, health care, and the war in Iraq.

When asked at the end to name a crisis that had tested their leadership, Obama talked broadly of his life story.

But Clinton responded with an apparent reference to the sexual scandal that led to the impeachment of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and a national discussion about the state of their marriage.

“Well, I think everybody here knows I’ve lived through some crises and some challenging moments in my life,” she said to applause from the crowd at the University of Texas.

“But people often ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ You know, ‘How do you keep going?’ And I just have to shake my head in wonderment, because with all of the challenges that I’ve had, they are nothing compared to what I see happening in the lives of Americans every single day.”

She went on to describe in emotional terms the disabled soldiers she had recently met and then said she was “honored” to be sharing the stage with Obama, the first black candidate to have a real chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

“It was a good moment for her, she conveyed a message about America and she connected with the audience, and perhaps the viewers,” said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

“For her supporters, moments like those reveal why much of the criticism of her candidacy and personality are simply not true.”


Clinton’s advisers portrayed her closing comments as a turning point.

“It was the moment she retook the reins of this race and showed women and men why she is the best choice,” Howard Wolfson, her communications director, said in a statement.

But the timing was poor. After losing a string of contests to Obama over the last several weeks, she is running neck-and-neck with him in Texas, according to some polls, a state in which she previously had a commanding lead.

“It is a good moment for her that comes very late in the game — probably too late,” Zelizer said. “She doesn’t have momentum, she doesn’t have enough money, and most importantly she doesn’t have the numbers on her side.”

Clinton seemed to acknowledge her critical position.

“Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends,” she said, looking at Obama sitting next to her. “I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that’s what this election should be about.”

For undecided voter Haley Pollock, 24, that was an admission that the former first lady could fail.

“I think that she’s starting to realize that it’s a lot more feasible that she’s going to lose than it was before,” Pollock told Reuters at a rally after the debate.

Clinton senior adviser Mark Penn denied the comments meant she knew the race was over.

“Not at all. She’s said consistently she’s in this to win,” he said.

The Obama campaign, stung by Clinton’s accusations of plagiarism after Obama used a friend’s lines in a speech, suggested that her closing words were stolen from John Edwards, who dropped out of the race last month.

“Clinton’s ‘best moment’ someone else’s line?” spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail to reporters.

It followed with a quote attributed to Edwards at a debate on Dec. 13: “All of us are going to be just fine no matter what happens in this election. But what’s at stake is whether America is going to be fine.”

By Jeff Mason (Feb 22, 2008)

(Additional reporting by Claudia Parsons; Editing by Eric Beech)
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters “Tales from the Trail: 2008” online here)

BERKELEY, California, 6 Feb (IPS) – Jaded toward their government back home and cynical of the current U.S. administration and the Republicans they historically supported, a new generation of Iranian-Americans appears to be looking to Barack Obama to bring about change, especially with regards to U.S. foreign policy toward Iran.


Many observers believe the refusal by the other leading Democrat for the presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton, to rule out force against Iran in campaign statements, paired with her strong support of Israel, has substantially weakened her support in the community.

What troubles Iranian-American voters is the uncertainty about Senator Clinton’s position on employing military force against Iran. At least with the leading Republican presidential contender, the option is clear: John McCain believes that Iran is resolute on the destruction of Israel and favours sanctions and military action against Tehran.

‘Every option must remain on the table. Military action isn’t our preference. It remains, as it always must, the last option,’ said McCain during a speech to the group Christians United for Israel last July. Unfortunately, his rendition of the Beach Boys song entitled ‘Barbara Ann’, i.e. ‘bomb, bomb, bomb, (pause), bomb, bomb Iran’ earlier this year clearly depicted his frame of mine.

Other Republican contenders, such as Mitt Romney, hold a similar stance: ‘There is one place of course where I’d welcome [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad with open arms: and that’s in a court where he would stand trial for incitement to genocide, under the terms of the Genocide Convention,’ Romney said.

The 2000 census estimates the number of Iranians in the United States at 330,000, more than half of them living in California. This figure reflects a major wave of immigration in the years immediately following the 1979 revolution. Iranian-American political and community groups believe the estimate is vastly understated and that the population in fact may be as high as one million.

‘We are witnessing a rather stark shift in the Iranian-American community,’ Trita Parsi, director of National Iranian American Council, a nationwide non-partisan institute based in Washington, told IPS. ‘The Republican Party has lost much support in the community, and it doesn’t help that McCain is the likely Republican candidate, mindful of his singing about bombing Iran. This breaks a pattern in which the community has tended to support the Republican Party for fiscal reasons.’

‘Obama’s momentum seems to be even stronger in the community than in the country in general. Many people I’ve spoken to tend to believe that the difference between Clinton and Bush isn’t great enough,’ Parsi said. ‘Her vote in favour of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment [which threatens to ‘combat, contain and (stop)’ Iran] has particularly hurt her in the community, and reinforced the perception of her proximity to the Bush foreign policy.’

Traditionally, Iranian-Americans who left Iran during or just after the revolution, and have fostered hopes of government change since then, vote Republican. However, almost 30 years later, Iranian-Americans seem to be shifting towards a candidate who will take a less hawkish position on U.S. policy toward Iran.

While they have little sympathy for, and indeed are deeply suspicious of the hardliner government of President Ahmadinejad, polls show that they are nonetheless strongly opposed to any kind of military action against Iran. Most say the last thing they favour is a U.S. invasion or bombing of Iran, and to see the country follow a fate similar to Afghanistan or Iraq, and endure the destruction that ensued its neighbors and bear millions of homeless and refugees.


Dr. Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Programme at Stanford University, co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, and an influential figure among Iranian-Americans in San Francisco’s Bay Area, where Obama just won an endorsement from an Iranian American Democrats, finds the difference in popularity of Clinton and Obama to be minimal.

‘They both said that they are willing to negotiate. Obama has been more forceful and categorical and here, based on the empirical evidence that we have, the diaspora overwhelmingly wants principal dialogue, and both of these people seem to confirm that desire.’

He believes Clinton’s harsher rhetoric stems from the fact that she represents New York, a state with a relatively large Jewish population that is inclined toward Israel and prefers a tougher stance on Iran.

Although it was during her husband’s presidency that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright apologised to Iranians for the U.S. involvement in the 1953 coup, which overthrew one of Iran’s most popular and democratic governments, Senator Clinton’s harsh rhetoric against Iran scares many Iranian-Americans who have family and deep cultural roots back home.

Last February, Clinton spoke at a Manhattan dinner held by the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in the U.S., the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, calling Iran a danger to the U.S. and one of Israel’s greatest threats. She mimicked President Bush when telling a crowd of Israel supporters that ‘U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: we cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In dealing with this threat … no option can be taken off the table.’

Even if Senator Clinton has no serious intention of striking Iran, her rhetoric during the last year has made her unpopular among the new generation of Iranian-Americans.

Additionally, unlike Obama, she voted in favour of the Iran Counter Proliferation Act, calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a ‘terrorist organisation’. She has defended her position, stating, ‘This resolution in no way authorises or sanctions military action against Iran and instead seeks to end the Bush administration’s diplomatic inaction in the region.’

The editor of one of the most popular websites among the Iranian-American community, Jahanshah Javid, said that, ‘among those who have blogged on Iranian.com in recent weeks, (they) have mostly supported democratic candidates, especially because of their positions on foreign policy which appears to be less militaristic.’

However, he was also feeling the winds of change are blowing toward Obama, ‘because he has clearly stated that he favours negotiations with Iran.’

Author: Omid Memarian is a peace fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He has won several awards, including Human Rights Watch’s highest honour in 2005, the Human Rights Defender Award.

I am Independent politically. But, now, I consider the best political option, for USA and the world, will be to have a president democrat.
In politics do not exist pure, perfect or free errors candidates.


The actual world to govern had a lot people complicated and variable in extreme.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are two excellent candidates. According the history and politics characteristics of USA; in my opinion, Hillary Clinton, with her errors included, she can be a real option to improve the national and international politics of USA.

Nevertheless, I do not rule out to Obama. Also, he is a good option to be president of USA.

In reality all it depends on what they do (both candidates) in next days. The fight is very hard. But, at the end, I will support to the best: Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

See You Later.
CARLOS Tiger without Time

Here’s a quick rundown of the many advantages the Democrats enjoy at this stage of the 2008 campaign. Voter turnout in most states is running well ahead of that for the GOP.


Democratic fund-raising continues to break all records—even those set previously by Republicans. The Democrats’ issues cupboard is fuller than it has been in a decade and a half. And voters have narrowed the field to two wildly popular candidates, either of whom would make history if nominated, much less elected.

Given the embarrassment of riches, it was only a matter of time before Democratic voters looked at the choice between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and asked the question, Why not both?

That idea had been on some voters’ minds even before the dream was made flesh two weeks ago in Los Angeles, where, at the end of the Kodak Theatre debate, Obama and Clinton smiled, embraced each other for more than the usual nanosecond and then seemed to whisper something knowing in each other’s ear.

After weeks of hand-to-hand combat and rumors of tiffs that may or may not have been real, the Hug rightly or wrongly got even more people thinking about the power of two.

Even if their act was dutiful, evanescent and faked for the cameras, party regulars seemed to eat it up. It was all there: the visionary and the technician, the candidate who could inspire the masses and the candidate who could get under the sink and fix the plumbing.

For Clinton, pairing with Obama would repair some of the damage with African Americans brought on by her campaign and, at least in theory, push her husband to the sidelines. Obama, in turn, would get a mechanic to match his magic, someone who could turn his poetry into governing prose.

A new TIME poll reveals that 62% of Democrats want Clinton to put Obama on the ticket; 51% want Obama to return the favor if he is the nominee. The party’s right brain and left brain, dancing together at last, right?

Unlikely Partners—for Now
Well, not exactly. It’s far too early to know if Obama and Clinton could work together, though there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. While the Clinton camp saw an opportunity in the general longing of the audience—Clinton fund raiser Terry McAuliffe said on the morning of Super Tuesday that Obama has generated so much excitement, he would have to be considered for the party’s vice-presidential nomination—the Obama people saw a trap.

If Obama and his aides lent any credence now to the dangled notion of a partnership, they know that some of his voters might peel off, thinking a vote for Clinton was, in effect, a twofer. And that could drive down Obama’s turnout. “We’re not running for Vice President,” said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.
No, and as long as Obama has a real shot at the top spot, there’s no need to entertain the Veep talk. As a top Obama aide said, “That’s not where this campaign’s head is at.” Instead, the Obama camp had been expecting the Veep proffer for weeks, just as it had expected the Clinton campaign to play the race card after New Hampshire.

Obama headquarters was fully aware that the Clintons had badly overplayed their hand in the days leading up to South Carolina—so badly that Bill or Hillary would have to make some peace offering to Obama’s supporters, if not to Obama himself, to heal the breach. But forgiveness, while long a staple of the Clinton narrative, isn’t something the Obama team is ready to embrace.

An Obama adviser put it this way: “One could argue that the Senator should not even agree to discuss an offer of the vice presidency until Senator Clinton agrees to bar her husband from the West Wing for the duration of the first term. And then once she agrees to that, he should turn it down.”

More to the point, is the job of Vice President to a Clinton worth having? Al Gore learned that being No. 2 to Bill was really more like being No. 3 after you factored in Hillary, who had an office in the West Wing and a larger suite of rooms down the hall from the Veep in the Old Executive Office Building. Gore watched his priorities often take a backseat to hers in the first term—and his future run aground as they fought successfully to avoid impeachment and conviction.

While she joked with David Letterman on his show that there is no doubt “who wears the pantsuits” in her house, there is little doubt that the Clintons intend to work as a team if Hillary is elected. “I’ll be there, talking her through everything,” Bill said in Napa Valley, Calif., last month, “like she did with me.” One unaligned party wise man said, “Obama may look at the Clintons, at both of them—at that whole thing they have—and say, ‘Jeez, that’s just way too [messed] up to be a part of. That’s just no place I want to be.'”

If Obama becomes the nominee, the arguments against teaming with the Clintons might be even stronger.Obama’s defining issue in the race is not health care or the economy or even the war, where he is most distinct from his rival. It’s about being new and different and not from the past; in short, about not being a Clinton.

For months he has attacked Clinton for taking money from lobbyists, for flimflamming voters on her war votes and for playing race and gender cards when she fell behind. To reverse all that and join forces with the Clintons would be seen as a huge betrayal of his most galvanizing argument—as well as his character—by many of his followers. The numbers back this up.

In Time’s poll, 58% of Clinton backers favor bringing Obama onto the ticket; nearly the same percentage (56%) of Obama supporters favor choosing someone else.
The Shadow of History

It would be wrong to suggest that the pro-Obama sentiment is universal inside the Clinton camp. It isn’t difficult to find those allied with Clinton who believe that Obama would make an underwhelming vice-presidential nominee. Clinton, they say, will want an attack dog both on the trail and as Vice President—a role Obama is ill suited for and uncomfortable assuming. Plus, the states he could deliver she could win on her own.

But what really worries Clinton loyalists is that Obama lacks their, well, loyalty. Running her campaign are a host of aides who have worked for the Clintons before, been fired or been kicked aside and yet keep coming back, decade after decade, to help. That’s how the Clintons define loyalty. That pattern may explain why there are those in Clintonland who think Obama has wronged her over the course of the campaign simply because he took her on.

Against all the mutual animus and anger, however, stands a lot of history. And history suggests a deal later is possible, if not likely, whatever the insiders may think now. More often than not, winners in both parties reach out to losers—or at least contemplate an overture—when the time comes to put a broken party back together. John Kennedy tapped Lyndon Johnson in 1960, though the two men were like oil and water. Ronald Reagan named George H.W. Bush in 1980, though they never became very close.

Walter Mondale gave a man he resented, Gary Hart, a good look in 1984, before choosing Geraldine Ferraro. And John Kerry recruited his former rival John Edwards in 2004, though the hard feelings on both sides never went away. Whoever wins these primaries may have no choice but to offer it to the also-ran.

So perhaps it is wisest now to think of the Democratic primary campaign not as one race but two: the one for the delegates and the other for reconciliation. We will probably know who wins the delegate race before school is out. But it might be late summer before the parleys and the peacemaking that lead to a partnership get under way. A lot can happen in six months. The party’s fortunes could dim; the hard feelings could soften. And by August, who knows? There is no telling what a Democratic nominee will need in a running mate—and vice versa.

* By Michael Duffy Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2008

An MSNBC reporter apologizes and is suspended after saying Chelsea was being ‘pimped out.’
WASHINGTON — Angered by an MSNBC correspondent’s demeaning comment about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s daughter, aides to her presidential campaign said Friday that she might pull out of a debate planned by the cable network this month in Cleveland.Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director, cast as “beneath contempt” an on-air comment Thursday by MSNBC’s David Shuster, who said Chelsea Clinton is “sort of being pimped out” as she intensifies her campaigning for her mother.

NBC News announced Friday afternoon that Shuster had been suspended indefinitely over the remark, which a release called “irresponsible and inappropriate.”

Shuster apologized Friday morning on MSNBC for the term he applied to Chelsea. He issued a second apology on the MSNBC show “Tucker,” where he had uttered his comment while acting as guest host.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff has been critical of what it considers a hostile attitude toward her in MSNBC’s coverage, and the Shuster incident brought matters to a head.

Clinton is seeking more debates with Sen. Barack Obama as their race for the Democratic nomination has tightened, and as part of that strategy she agreed to take part in an MSNBC forum Feb. 26.

“We’ve done a number of debates on that network,” Wolfson said. “And at this point I can’t envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network, given the comments that were made and have been made.”

NBC News, in its statement, said it was working to keep the debate alive.

“Our conversations with the Clinton campaign about their participation continue today, and we are hopeful that the event will take place as planned,” the statement said.

Last month, another MSNBC talk show host, Chris Matthews, apologized after suggesting Clinton owed her political success to her husband’s philandering. “The reason she may be a front-runner [in the presidential race] is her husband messed around,” Matthews said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Wolfson on Friday referenced that controversy, saying, “At some point you really have to question whether or not there’s a pattern here at this particular network, where you have comments being made and apologies given,” he said. “Is this something that folks are encouraged to do or not do? I don’t know, but the [Shuster] comment was beneath contempt, and I think any fair-minded person would see it that way.”

On the “Tucker” show, Shuster said: “I apologize to the Clinton family, the Clinton campaign and all of you who were justifiably offended. As I said this morning on MSNBC, all Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton. And I am particularly sorry that my language diminished the regard and respect she has earned from all of us and the respect her parents have earned in how they raised her.”

NBC News, in its statement, said it “takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.”

Turning down a debate with the nomination in doubt would be a big step for Clinton, who feels such forums work in her favor, providing a chance to demonstrate her grasp of policy and to spotlight her experience. She has accepted offers to take part in four debates over the next month; Obama has agreed to take part in two, including the one in Cleveland.

By Peter Nicholas and Matea Gold, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers (February 9, 2008)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a near dead heat two days before the biggest presidential voting so far while John McCain tried to nail down the Republican nomination for the White House.

With 24 states holding nominating contests on Tuesday, the candidates spent their Sundays appearing on the morning television talk shows and campaigning across the country as polls showed the two races going in opposite directions.
The Democratic race, which Clinton once led handily, had narrowed to a nearly a draw in recent national polls.

Obama held a slight lead in California and was virtually tied with Clinton in New Jersey and Missouri — three states voting on “Super Tuesday” — in a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

While the two people seeking to be the Democratic choice were vying to win the most delegates needed for nomination, they also were making the argument of being the most electable candidate to face McCain in the November election.

“I have been through these Republican attacks over and over and over again and I believe that I’ve demonstrated that, much to the dismay of the Republicans, I not only can survive, but thrive,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Clinton, the New York senator who was a major target of conservatives while first lady during President Bill Clinton’s terms in office, said her record was well known and she had already weathered heated attacks while Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, was still an unknown quantity.


“I think I can get some votes that Senator Clinton cannot get,” Obama, who would be the first black president, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “That broadens the political map. I think it bodes well for the election.”

“I’m always pleased to have so much attention from the nominees — or the two contenders for the Democratic nomination,” McCain said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Even with half the Democratic national convention delegates at stake and more than 40 percent of the Republican, no candidate could clinch the nomination on Tuesday but a big vote across the board could go a long way toward that goal.

McCain, an Arizona senator, held a 2-to-1 margin in a new national Washington Post-ABC poll. In the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll, McCain held double-digit leads in New York, New Jersey and Missouri but narrowly trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in California, the biggest prize on “Super Tuesday.”

In an effort to embarrass Romney in the state he once served as governor, McCain was in Massachusetts on Sunday to watch the local football team, the New England Patriots, play in the Super Bowl.

But even as his lead in the polls widened and a big win on Tuesday could sew up the nomination for him, McCain still faced questions from one section of the party over whether he was conservative enough.

Romney hit that theme and pointed to a large turnout in Maine on Saturday that gave him a victory there as evidence conservatives were giving McCain another look.

But McCain pointed to a number of prominent Republican conservatives who were supporting him.

“I’m very happy with where we are,” he said. “I know that Tuesday is going to be hotly contested … And I’m pleased at the gathering support from all parts of the party that we’re gaining.”

One of the problems facing Romney on Super Tuesday is that he is competing for conservative votes along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee said Romney should recognize him as the true conservative and get out of the race.

By David Wiessler
Sun Feb 3, 2008

Democrats preparing to vote in Tuesday’s California primary can mark their ballots with confidence, knowing that either candidate would make a strong nominee and, if elected, a groundbreaking leader and capable president. But just because the ballot features two strong candidates does not mean that it is difficult to choose between them. We urge voters to make the most of this historic moment by choosing the Democrat most focused on steering the nation toward constructive change: We strongly endorse Barack Obama.

The U.S. senator from Illinois distinguishes himself as an inspiring leader who cuts through typical internecine campaign bickering and appeals to Americans long weary of divisive and destructive politics. He electrifies young voters, not because he is young but because he embodies the desire to move to the next chapter of the American story. He brings with him deep knowledge of foreign relations and of this nation’s particular struggles with identity and opportunity. His flair for expression, both in print and on the stump, too easily leads observers to forget that Obama is a man not just of style but of substance. He’s a thoughtful student of the Constitution and an experienced lawmaker in his home state and, for the last three years, in the Senate.

On policy, Obama and his rival Democratic candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, are a hairsbreadth apart. Both vow to pull troops from Iraq. Both are committed to healthcare reform. Both offer candid critiques of the failed George W. Bush presidency, its blustering adventurism, its alienating stance toward other countries and its cavalier disregard for sacred American values such as individual liberty and due process of law.

With two candidates so closely aligned on the issues, we look to their abilities and potential as leaders, and their record of action in service of their stated ideals. Clinton is an accomplished public servant whose election would provide familiarity and, most important, competence in the White House, when for seven years it has been lacking. But experience has value only if it is accompanied by courage and leads to judgment.

Nowhere was that judgment more needed than in 2003, when Congress was called upon to accept or reject the disastrous Iraq invasion. Clinton faced a test and failed, joining the stampede as Congress voted to authorize war. At last week’s debate and in previous such sessions, Clinton blamed Bush for abusing the authority she helped to give him, and she has made much of the fact that Obama was not yet in the Senate and didn’t face the same test. But Obama was in public life, saw the danger of the invasion and the consequences of occupation, and he said so. He was right.

Obama demonstrates as well that he is open-eyed about the terrorist threat posed to the nation, and would not shrink from military action where it is warranted. He does not oppose all wars, he has famously stated, but rather “dumb wars.” He also has the edge in economic policy, less because of particular planks in his platform than because of his understanding that some liberal orthodoxies developed during the last 40 years have been overtaken by history. He offers leadership on education, technology policy and environmental protection unfettered by the positions of previous administrations.

By contrast, Clinton’s return to the White House that she occupied for eight years as first lady would resurrect some of the triumph and argument of that era. Yes, Bill Clinton’s presidency was a period of growth and opportunity, and Democrats are justly nostalgic for it. But it also was a time of withering political fire, as the former president’s recent comments on the campaign trail reminded the nation. Hillary Clinton’s election also would drag into a third decade the post-Reagan political duel between two families, the Bushes and the Clintons. Obama is correct: It is time to turn the page.

An Obama presidency would present, as a distinctly American face, a man of African descent, born in the nation’s youngest state, with a childhood spent partly in Asia, among Muslims. No public relations campaign could do more than Obama’s mere presence in the White House to defuse anti-American passion around the world, nor could any political experience surpass Obama’s life story in preparing a president to understand the American character. His candidacy offers Democrats the best hope of leading America into the future, and gives Californians the opportunity to cast their most exciting and consequential ballot in a generation.

In the language of metaphor, Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility. Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long — a sense of aspiration.

* February 3, 2008

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain are the national front-runners for their party’s presidential nominations, according to a FOX News poll released Friday, and Clinton is seen as the candidate most prepared to begin leading the country on “day one.”


That’s the good news for Clinton. The bad news for the former first lady is she is also seen as the candidate most likely to “do anything — including something unethical — to win,” and most likely to embarrass the country.

This is the first FOX News national poll conducted since Democrats John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich, and Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson dropped out of the race.

In the narrowed field, McCain now leads among Republicans with 48 percent, far outdistancing Mitt Romney at 20 percent and Mike Huckabee at 19 percent. Ron Paul receives 5 percent. The number of undecided voters has dropped from 13 percent in December to 5 percent today.

Click here for full poll results. (pdf)

On the Democratic side, Clinton is still the top choice, although by a much closer margin today. The new poll shows 47 percent of Democrats back Clinton and 37 percent Barack Obama. Last month Clinton had a 29-point advantage — 49 percent to Obama’s 20 percent, with Edwards capturing 10 percent.

Clinton and Obama both essentially tie McCain in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. Among registered voters nationwide, the poll finds that 44 percent back Clinton and 45 percent McCain. Similarly, 44 percent prefer Obama, while 43 percent choose McCain. These results fall within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Clinton (+14 points) and Obama (+18 points) each have a double-digit advantage over Republican Mitt Romney when tested in two-way matchups.

The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from January 30 to January 31. The poll has a 3-point error margin.

When asked to consider the two front-runners on each side, voters say Clinton (34 percent) is the most prepared to begin leading the country on “day one” of taking office, with McCain (31 percent) right on her heels, Obama third (17 percent) and Romney fourth (8 percent).

By a large margin, Clinton also comes out on top as most likely to “do anything — including something unethical — to win” the election. Some 44 percent think so, compared to 11 percent who think Romney would do anything to win, 9 percent McCain and 8 percent Obama. Nearly a third of voters were unsure (28 percent).

“These results suggest that Clinton still faces the challenge of shedding the image of a politician who puts electoral victory ahead of everything else. Ironically, this negative perception is partly due to her broader image as a competent, take-charge leader who can get things done on ‘day one.’ Her ultimate success may depend how skillfully she can “un-couple” these two aspects of her image,” says Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.

Even so, equal numbers say they would most want to watch Clinton (25 percent) and Obama (25 percent) on television for the next four years, putting both of them ahead of their Republican rivals; 19 percent say they would most want to watch McCain and 12 percent Romney.

Nearly one of four (36 percent) think Obama is the “most positive” presidential hopeful, followed by Clinton at 22 percent, McCain at 18 percent and Romney at 11 percent.

Which candidate would embarrass the country? More than a third (37 percent) says Clinton is most likely to do something embarrassing; Romney comes in a distant second with 14 percent, McCain at 12 percent and Obama at 11 percent. Twenty-six percent are unsure.

Overall, by a 15-point margin, more voters think Clinton is the Democrat making unfair attacks rather than Obama; among Democrats, the two contenders are seen as about equal on this measure, as 37 percent think Clinton is making unfair attacks and 34 percent think Obama is.

Just over one in four voters think Romney and McCain are playing dirty politics, and 28 percent of Republicans agree.

The Bill Factor

Voters think the recent bickering between Obama and former President Bill Clinton mainly helps Obama (32 percent) and the Republicans (30 percent), while hardly any think it benefits Hillary Clinton (12 percent). Furthermore, a 58 percent majority thinks Hillary Clinton should be responsible for what her husband says and does on the campaign trail.

Overall, opinion is split on whether the Clinton campaign tried to use race as an issue against Obama in the South Carolina Democratic primary: 42 percent say yes but 43 percent disagree. Among Democrats, fewer think so (31 percent); a majority (56 percent) says the Clintons did not use race as an issue.

In a presidential race that includes candidates who could be the first black and the first woman president, voters were asked if it is more difficult for African Americans or for women to get ahead in today’s world. Some 29 percent say it is more difficult for women to get ahead, and nearly as many, 27 percent, say it is tougher for African Americans. Another 25 percent say “both” and 15 percent say “neither.”

Women (+9 points) are more likely to say it is more difficult for women to get ahead, and blacks (+13 points) are more likely to say it is more difficult for African Americans.

The Economy

The economy (30 percent) tops the list of concerns voters will be thinking about when choosing a presidential candidate this year, with Iraq (23 percent) coming in a close second. Democrats pick Iraq (36 percent) and the economy (32 percent) as the most important issues, while Republicans put the economy (26 percent) and terrorism (20 percent) at the top, and Iraq (11 percent) and immigration (11 percent) tied as the third issue.

Overall, a 56 percent majority says their current personal financial situation is either excellent (11 percent) or good (45 percent) and, looking ahead, nearly half (47 percent) think their financial situation will be better next year.

If a tax rebate is part of an economic stimulus package, just over half of Americans say they would spend the money (51 percent), while about a third (36 percent) say they would save it. The results are virtually identical among income groups.

By Dana Blanton
(Friday , February 01, 2008)

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