Tuesday, April 29, 2008

McCain Addresses Healthcare

Senator John McCain clarified his plan to help reform the national healthcare system today. His plan centers on offering tax credits to individuals and their families as incentive to purchase their own plans instead of relying on employers for coverage. He wants to encourage competition by allowing individuals to look at other states' insurance policies. He will also create a system of “last resort” insurers that would cover people with pre-existing medical conditions that have been rejected by other plans or who can not afford coverage.
McCain said in a speech that he has been working “tirelessly” to address the problem of healthcare but he refuses to create another entitlement program that will likely get out of control, nor with he make more federal mandates to states that cannot be properly funded. McCain has also pledged to work with governors and state officials as he continues to devise all the details of the plans. He said he has been inspired by the creativity of some states and how they have addressed the healthcare situation for their residents. He said he will be looking to the best state models and that his plan will be a collaboration of them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clinton wins Pennsylvania Primary

Yesterday Senator Hilary Clinton won the Pennsylvania Primary by a double digit margin. As last reported the results were:
Clinton 55%
Obama 45%

Updated delegate count estimate:
Clinton 1584
Obama 1714
* 2,025 need to secure nomination

Yesterday’s results do not bring the Democrats any closer to a conclusion towards their nomination process. Clinton has won the last three big state primaries, and is able to argue that Obama will have a hard time winning these states, particularly states that make up the Rust Belt come the general election. She has been able to capture blue collar voters better then Obama, an important demographic for the Democrats. However, Obama still leads in pledged delegates, popular votes, and number of contests won. Clinton will have to persuade superdelegates to cast their vote for her because she is the better candidate for the general election, even if the Democratic voters do not agree.
The focus now turns to Indiana and North Carolina, whose primaries take place on May 6th. The tone of the campaigns has been increasingly nasty. It will be interesting to see how this progresses as they move to the next round.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tomorrow Penn Primary

After six long weeks of campaigning, the Pennsylvania primary will take place tomorrow and the Democratic presidential nominee may be decided. In their last desperate attempts to get every last vote the candidates’ campaigns have turned very negative. Clinton continues to run with the “bitter” attack and accusing Obama of participating in old style politics and disguising it in his message of hope. Obama’s campaign has aired its’ most negative ads to date, calling Clinton a “compromised Washington insider”.
Both campaigns have also sent out scores of volunteers, campaigners and surrogates in massive grassroots efforts across the whole state hoping to reach every voter and make the case for their candidate.
The polls currently see Clinton leading Obama by almost double-digits. Clinton will need a commanding lead tomorrow to show that she is still a viable candidate. She is down in the pledge delegate count, over all votes cast and number of contests won.
We will keep you posted tomorrow on any developments from Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

McCain on the Economy

Today John McCain will be laying out a new economic plan that proposes new tax cuts and utilizes the federal government to help revive the lagging economy. His plan’s central principle is tax cuts, including corporate tax cuts and making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He will also seek a temporary moratorium on the gasoline taxes during the busy travel summer month, as well as double the tax exemption for dependents. In addition, McCain reiterated his plead to slash wasteful government spending, along with proposing a freeze on discretionary spending. Finally, McCain will also call on wealthier senior citizens to pay higher premiums to qualify for prescription drug coverage.

Friday, April 11, 2008

08 Candidates at Iraq Hearings

All three White House candidates took part in hearings on Iraq this week when General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker were in DC to report on the war’s progress. The candidates used the opportunity to show the voters their commander and chief side. Their questioning stayed in step with their main Iraq arguments—McCain said progress is being made; Clinton there has been no progress; Obama called the war a colossal strategic mistake. McCain’s seniority on the committee allowed him to question the General first and ask Americans to reject proposal for a “reckless and irresponsible withdrawal of our forces at the moment when they are succeeding.” He promised doing so would result in failure. Clinton and Obama both pushed for an end date.
Today President Bush took the recommendation of Gen. Petraeus’ to keep current troop levels but promised that the war is not endless.

Monday, April 7, 2008

McCain Embarks on his General Election Campaign

As the Democratic Presidential nominees continue to duke it out, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain is using this time to introduce himself to the American people and set into place his general election campaign. In the last weeks McCain has been on what his camp has pegged as a “biographical tour” around the country. He has made stops at his alma maters and places that have significant meaning to him, using each stop to highlighting his military career and dedication to serving the American people. This time has paid off as his positive ratings continue to climb.

One area that the prolonged Democratic Presidential nomination process has hurt McCain is fundraising. He is substantially behind the Democrats in the money race. Many insiders are saying that the lack of media coverage and the fact that McCain seems not part of the race has hurt his ability to fundraise. Republican donors are not yet inspired to write the big checks because they don’t have a Democratic opponent who they want to beat.

Even though he lags in funding McCain runs neck and neck in most of the general match up polling. The last polling shows him running less then a point behind Obama and over two points ahead of Clinton.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Congress Takes Up Economy, Iraq and Immigration

Today Congress is back in session after a long Easter break. Three items are coming up that will be tricky votes for the three Senators running for the White House: the mortgage crisis, Iraq and immigration. A Senate vote is expected today on Democratic sponsored legislation that aims at easing the mortgage crunch. The legislation would grant bankruptcy judges more authority to modify mortgages, provide $200 million for mortgage counseling, permit state housing agencies to use revenue bonds for the purchase of homes in foreclosure and allow homebuilders to write off more losses from their taxes. The bill already fell to a Republican filibuster before the recess but the Democrats are going to give it another try.
The Democratic leadership has contended that the economy will dominate the debate in coming weeks, but next week Gen. Davis Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are scheduled to testify to two committees which the three White House candidates serve on. This will definitely distract from the economic debate. As well Republicans are pushing for a vote on key immigration policy.
As the three most crucial issues come up it is apparent that Capitol Hill is where the presidential campaign will be waging its current battle. All three of these issues propose very tricky options for the candidates that will surely play out until November.