Burns Strider Joins Hillary Clinton Campaign

Burns Strider, scion of a legendary Missisisppi family and a leading national strategist on evangelical voters, will join the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton. Strider is currently the lead staffer for the Democrats' Faith Working Group which is headed by incoming Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina which is one of the early primary states.

Strider was formerly a senior aide to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and is well known for his connections in Democratic circles especially in his native South. He worked on 2006 elections in Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. He is the son of the late, legendary Grenada County, Mississippi Sheriff Jessie "Big Daddy" Strider and his brother Alton Strider is currently Sheriff.

http://bluesunbelt.com/showDiary.do?diar yId=57

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The Rapture In New Hampshire

The Concord Monitor reports on the first visit by Sen.Barack Obama to New Hampshire. Obama drew wildly enthuisastic crowds at standing room only events. One longtime observer said such religious fervor had not been seen for a candidate in New Hampshire since Bobby Kennedy.

http://bluesunbelt.com/showDiary.do?diar yId=53

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First Debate Of 2008 Presidential Election Set For April In South Carolina

The first debate of the 2008 presidential season will take place only a few months from now on April 27, 2007 in Columbia, South Carolina. It will be sponsored by the South Carolina Democratic Party and may be televised nationwide by television networks. The GOP has also set their first debate for May 15 in South Carolina.

http://bluesunbelt.com/showDiary.do?diar yId=46

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Washington Insiders See Clinton And McCain As 2008 Nominees

By a wide margin Washington insiders think Hillary Clinton will be the 2008 Democratic nominee and John McCain will become the GOP nominee.

National Journal's latest survey of Democratic and Republican Insiders -- members of Congress, party activists, fundraisers, consultants, lobbyists, and interest-group leaders for whom presidential politics is an "all-engrossing topic" -- finds that Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican John McCain continue to be viewed as the candidates most likely to clinch the major parties' 2008 presidential nominations.

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AP-Ipsos Doesn't Ask Bush's Question On Iraq

In the summer of 2005, as part of an ongoing series about public opinion on Iraq, I accused the AP-Ipsos poll of asking Bush's question on Iraq. My argument was that most polling firms were phrasing the issue of withdrawal from Iraq in exactly the same terms the Bush administration framed the debate. According to both many polling firms and the Bush administration alike, our only two options in Iraq were to either pull out all troops immediately or to keep our current troop levels in Iraq indefinitely. This was exactly the sort of narrow vision the Bush administration wanted to present to the American people, and ignore options such as a timetable, and / or gradual drawback of troops over a six-month, one-year, or two-year period. I believed thee faulty polling questions were at least partially responsible for the baffling timidity on the part of Democratic leaders when it came to making Iraq a major legislative and campaign issue. When polling firms asked about a wider array of options in Iraq, support for gradual withdrawal and / or a timetable was always revealed to be in a clear majority.

And so, once again, in the wake of the Iraq Study Group's astounding ability to take any actual position on Iraq policy, a new poll by AP-Ipsos that asks about a wider variety of options on Iraq shows that the vast majority of Americans do in fact support gradual withdrawal and / or a timetable: The survey found strong support for a two-year timetable if that's what it took to get U.S. troops out. Seventy-one percent said they would favor a two-year timeline from now until sometime in 2008, but when people are asked instead about a six-month timeline for withdrawal that number drops to 60 percent. While I am still stunned by the author of the story, who makes it seem as though 60% of Americans favoring troop withdrawal in six months is somehow not news, not important, or to be discounted simply because 72% favor withdrawal in two years, when Bush's framing of the debate is removed the results are once again clear. 60% of the country favors a timetable for withdrawal in only six months. In the Senate, that would be a filibuster-proof majority. Ronald Reagan failed to reach 60% against Walter Mondale. These results show that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to begin the withdrawal, and want definite dates for withdrawal. This is an idea that the Democratic caucus in congress finally got on board with a few months ago, and which they ran their campaign upon. Above any other specific reason, it is why they won the 2006 elections.

The numbers are clear on what American wants. Once Democrats take power on January 4th, they need to make it clear to Bush and the American people that this is the policy they favor. Make Bush reject timetables and withdrawal as often as possible. Make Republican Presidential candidates do the same. Democrats can win the 2008 elections largely in 2007 if they regularly and visibly push for this extremely popular and just policy while Republicans are forced to reject it. Couple it with investigations of war profiteering, and good night. We were not timid about this issue during the election season, and we reaped the political benefits. If we continue that approach in 2007, we will get much of the same result.


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