Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2008 primary, Democratic Response, and more

Could John Edwards be the candidate that benefits most from an early primary in California? Edwards has a lot of support from within the labor community. Should California decide to move their primary to Super Tuesday, I believe it would be an advantage for the former senator.

Senator Evan Bayh is one of four senators to ask the IRS to expand their audits of businesses.

Here is how some of our local area congressmen reacted to last night's annual State of the Union address.
But Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, called the president’s Iraq policy a failure and said the health insurance was a “diversion” that would not make medical care more affordable.

“He failed to do what I think everyone was hoping he would do, which is explain why this new strategy has a better chance for success than the others over the last four years,” Yarmuth said in an interview.

Yarmuth said Bush’s energy proposals were good, but he questioned how much the administration and congressional Republicans would push them.

“It was an excellent speech,” the congressman said. “If another president was giving it, I might have had more confidence in what was in it.”

Rep. Ben Chandler, D-6th District, didn’t hear much he liked.

“I hope the President will reach across party lines in the next two years to back up his rhetoric with sound policy,” Chandler said in a statement. “It certainly would be a refreshing change if his actions matched his words.”

On Iraq, “the president has promised a safer America, but his policies are creating a world more dangerous and an America less safe,” Chandler said.[...]

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said Bush’s energy proposal was “a positive step toward achieving energy independence, but we can do more.”

Bayh called on Bush to support what the senator called a more aggressive plan he is sponsoring, along with Lugar and others in both parties, to cut dependence on foreign oil.
Newly elected Virginia Senator Jim Webb delivered the Democratic response to the president's address.
Webb accused the president of taking the country into Iraq "recklessly" and forcing it to endure "a mismanaged war for nearly four years."

"Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary; that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism; and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable," Webb said.

Webb held up a picture of his father as a young Air Force captain. As a small boy, he said, he took the picture to bed with him to remind him of his father's sacrifice. Now, Webb's son is serving in Iraq as a Marine infantryman.

"We need a new direction," said Webb, a decorated Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. "Not one step back from the war against international terrorism, not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos, but an immediate shift toward strong, regionally based diplomacy."

Democrats owe their newfound control of the Senate to Webb's slim and improbable victory over former Virginia senator George Allen. Webb -- who served as secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan -- also embodies his party's central message: a determination to oppose the Iraq war while supporting the troops who are there.

Webb has become a folk hero among liberals and Democratic bloggers for brusquely telling Bush at a White House event that questions from the president about Webb's son are "between me and my boy."

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