FROM Peter Fenn
The Democrats in Philadelphia: Looking for Brotherly Love Bernie Sanders will address the convention tonight, along with Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren. But even before tonight's opening session, the Democratic Convention has seen its first casualty. National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took the fall for some 20,000 leaked emails showing some staff members favored Hillary Clinton and wanted to sabotage Bernie Sanders.
The New York Primary: A Bare-Knuckle Brawl "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." That's what New Yorkers like to say about the Big Apple. And Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton seem determined to test the proposition in next week's presidential primary. He questions her judgment. She says he can't explain his own economic plan. Last night, they traded barbs on criminal justice, US policy on Israel and the power of Wall Street banks. Can Brooklyn-born Bernie pull off an upset, against Hillary – twice elected to the Senate from her adopted home state? We hear from experts on presidential politics, and reporters in the thick of the race.
Clinton and Sanders Square Off before New Hampshire With just two Democrats still contesting the presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders went one-on-one last night in New Hampshire. Sanders continued to charge that Clinton’s too close to Wall Street. Clinton virtually exploded, "I think it's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out... in recent weeks, and let's talk about the issues." Sanders is gathering support from millennial voters who share idealistic hopes for the future. He was reminded of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and George McGovern in 1972 — a Republican who got too far to the Right and a Democrat who got too far to the Left. Both were swamped in the general election.
Are the Democrats Suffering an Identity Crisis? Hillary Clinton may not be facing much of a primary challenge, but that doesn't mean that Democrats aren't divided among themselves. Left-wing Progressives are beginning to sound like Tea-Party Conservatives. They don't want compromise with Republicans -- or other Democrats. It starts at the top with the President and Senator Elizabeth Warren disagreeing on free trade, and it's playing out in primary races around the country. One reporter calls it an ancient " blood feud " that's finally come out in the open. Is it all about ideology versus pragmatism or the best way to raise money?
Newly Empowered Republicans Are Sending Mixed Messages Republicans are now in charge on Capitol Hill, but they're divided over how to thwart President Obama — at the same time trying to prove they can govern. Yesterday, House Republicans passed a bill holding the homeland security budget hostage to repeal of President Obama’s executive orders allowing "Dreamers" and other undocumented immigrants to live and work in this country. But 26 moderates voted "no." One said, "We have an obligation to act like adults." Today, at the GOP Congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania, they’re behind closed doors planning strategy with Senators. Meanwhile, the list of potential presidential nominees is growing fast. Will majorities on Capitol Hill help their chances or hurt them in 2016?
Obama, Romney and Presidential Messaging With five months to go until the presidential election, tens of millions of dollars are already being spent on campaign advertising. The Obama campaign got into trouble with some of the President's own supporters this week with a TV commercial featuring laid-off workers at a company sold by Bain Capital when Mitt Romney was in charge. When prominent Democrats attacked the Obama attack ad, the Romney campaign struck back . Are you listening? What are the risks of turning you off instead of turning you on?
Masters of Persuasion Are Aiming for You It's not even summer and the presidential election is five months away, but campaign advertising has hit TV and the Internet earlier than ever as each candidate tries to define the other before he can define himself. The "electronic dogs of war" have already been loosed by the Obama and Romney campaigns, along with assorted Political Action Committees. The Obama campaign got into trouble with some of the President's own supporters this week with a TV commercial featuring laid-off workers at a company sold by Bain Capital when Mitt Romney was in charge. When prominent Democrats attacked the Obama attack ad, the Romney campaign struck back . What works with an electorate that's barely paying any attention at all? Is it time to go negative? How can voters tell the truth from the outright lies?
The High Cost of Going Negative in the GOP Campaign Mitt Romney out spent Newt Gingirch by five to one in Florida, with an unprecedented avalanche of personal attack ads. Romney says Gingrich can't "whine" [his word] after going negative in South Carolina, and he promises that the campaign will have a happy ending for Republicans. Romney's big win in Florida earned him Secret Service protection, but Gingrich, Santorum and Paul are not conceding anything yet. We look at a nasty campaign and a divided Republican party.
The High Cost of Going Negative in the GOP Campaign Newt Gingrich didn't make the traditional courtesy call to Mitt Romney after last night's defeat in Florida, and the message is clear: Romney's massive onslaught of TV attack ads has left the Republican Party more divided than ever, with Gingrich still leading in the national polls. As the battle heats up, Rick Santorum has hope of being the last candidate standing, and Ron Paul shows no signs of quitting. They're all on their way to Nevada, a state staggered by unemployment and home foreclosures, where Republicans will caucus on Saturday. Can they all go on until the August convention? Are they damaging the Republican cause or honing the ultimate challenge to President Obama ?
Old Strategy and New Technology in the Obama Campaign In her acceptance speech at this year's Republican convention, Sarah Palin got a big laugh with this description of Barack Obama 's experience as a "community organizer" in Chicago. Rudy Giuliani and other Republicans did too. Now it appears that the joke is on the Republicans. For almost two years, Obama had been organizing the communities that produced record turnouts on election day. But he also married that time-honored strategy to 21st century technology in a campaign described as looking like Facebook . We hear how a million volunteers with computers and cell-phones advanced the art of campaigning, by combining the old with the new.
Analysis of Second Presidential Debate At last night's presidential debate in Nashville Tennessee, the growing economic crisis provided an opportunity for John McCain and Barack Obama to rise to an historic occasion. It also set the stage for the kind of mistake that voters would never forget. Less than a month before the election, with one more debate to go, we hear how this one looked to observers in some of the crucial battleground states and talk with supporters from both sides. Did the candidates offer solutions to new problems caused by new economic realities? Did they reflect the increasing negativity of both their campaigns?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.