All the election news you need
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, not to be confused with the TV psychic John Edward, has decided to quit the race for president. Despite having just really, really great hair, Edwards could not convince enough Democrats to take his candidacy seriously.
In other news, Illinois Senator Barack Obama called Senator Clinton “divisive” because she sides with the Republicans too much.
“It is time for new leadership that understands the way to win a debate with John McCain or any Republican who is nominated is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq or who agreed with him in voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like, who actually differed with him by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed,” Obama said.
“We need to offer the American people a clear contrast on national security, and when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party, that is exactly what I will do,” he said.
Because that’s not divisive, that’s bipartisan.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is trying to retool a campaign on the fly:
The Romney campaign, humbled by recent defeats, now hopes to rebrand his insider strategy as an outsider one. As the candidate soldiers on to the 21 states that will vote on February 5, the campaign holds out hope that the old coalition can be reborn anew. “We feel as though the conservatives are beginning to rally around Mitt,” said Ann Romney, after her husband delivered an upbeat concession speech Tuesday night, in a downtown St. Petersburg theater.
A few minutes earlier, and a couple dozen feet away, Jay Sekulow, a senior advisor to the campaign, put it this way. “Conservatives have a choice now, and it’s a clear choice,” he said. “You have got a conservative and you have got John McCain, who does not take conservative positions on a lot of issues.”
Downstairs, in the theater’s press filing room, Al Cardenas, a Washington lobbyist who chaired Romney’s Florida campaign, continued in the same frame of reference. “We think that the conservative movement activists are now beginning to panic about losing their grip on the Republican Party,” Cardenas said. “They better start working hard, and they have told us they are going to have to start working hard.”
The new Romney strategy has two clear components. First, the campaign is determined to marginalize Huckabee, who continues to poll well in many southern states, bleeding off votes from the vital socially conservative leg of the Romney’s stool. “Huckabee has proven he can’t win in the south,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s spokesman. “People are going to realize that this is a two person race right now,” said Sekulow.
Second, Romney will spend much of the next week trying to drum up old conservative distrust of McCain, who leaves Florida with considerable momentum and already-high poll numbers in many of the states that vote on February 5. Though McCain has been hammered by some conservative voices, such as the radio host Rush Limbaugh, he has so far escaped the full ideological revolt that greeted him in 2000, when he lost the nomination to George W. Bush.
The Associated Press has a breakdown of next week’s delegate contests on the Republican side:
A Vietnam veteran and four-term senator, McCain has history on his side: The GOP typically nominates the next guy in line. A loser in 2000, the Arizona senator fits that bill. He also attracts voters from across the ideological spectrum. His age, 71, and his independent streak could be hurdles.
Romney’s personal wealth gives him an advantage; the former Massachusetts governor has dumped $40 million into his campaign. He’s also a fresh face pushing an outsider’s message of fixing Washington. But he’s fighting criticism that he changes position on issues. He would be the country’s first Mormon president.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin State Senator Ted Kanavas did endorse Romney for President:
“It is an honor to join Governor Romney and his campaign for our nation’s highest office. Governor Romney has the perfect balance of private sector success, experience in government,conservative values and a demonstrated ability to lead our country,” said Senator Kanavas. “I look forward to helping his campaign here in Wisconsin and supporting Governor Romney’s vision for a strong economy, lower taxes and reduced spending after he is elected our next President. Governor Romney’s proven record of sound judgment and conservative leadership is what we need to change Washington,” Senator Kanavas concluded.
In response to Senator Kanavas’ support, Governor Romney said, “Senator Kanavas has been a leader in driving a strong economic agenda in the Wisconsin legislature and I am proud he has joined our campaign to strengthen our economy, create high paying jobs and ensure a bright future for our families.”