The E-War: The Last Twelve Hours

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A sampling of the campaign spam from the campaigns and national committees in the past twelve hours after the jump; it’ll give you an idea of how campaign are framing stories to the media (Clinton says Obama is a hypocrite!), what narratives they’re pushing (McCain: Inevitable), and who has the biggest press staff (I’m guessing Romney).

A couple of notes: I can’t promise it’s comprehensive — there’s only one email from the Obama people and I can’t believe that’s all they’ve put out — and I’ve edited when it made sense (took out some of the event info if it’s already happened, etc). Let me know if there’s interest in continuing these updates.

And, hey, did you know Romney won Maine!?

UPDATE: Also, I’ve actually emailed the Huck people repeatedly to try and get on their campaign spam list… maybe they should hook up with the hoodia folks if they’re having trouble with the whole “mass email” thing.


From the Clinton campaign:

Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 14:48:29 -0500

Subject: In Wilmington, DE, Sen. Obama Misrepresents His Health Care Plan

http://facts.hillaryhub.com/archive/?id=5715

Sen. Obama Speech In Wilmington, DE Misrepresents His Health Care Plan
2/3/2008 2:11:01 PM

At an event today in Wilmington, DE, Sen. Obama once again falsely claimed that his health care plan would cover every American. He said: “I’ve said we are going to have a health care plan that is at least as good as the health care I have as a member of Congress, for every single American.” [Sen. Obama rally in Wilmington, DE, 2/3/08]

That’s false. Sen. Obama’s health care plan leaves out 15 million Americans . Sen. Clinton has a health care plan that covers everyone.

To: Interested Parties
From: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist
Date: Sunday, February 03, 2008
Re: New Information

Just yesterday I noted that people had very limited information on Sen. Barack Obama as we go into millions of people voting on the two candidates.

And then in the last two days we see three stories that illustrate the point very clearly about what Sen. Obama says about his views and record and what journalists find when they dig into the facts:

1) The New York Times on its front page explains how Sen. Barack Obama told voters he stood up to the nuclear power industry and how he passed a bill to require reports of any radioactive leaks after hearing from his constituents. But The Times discovers, after a lengthy examination, that the bill was watered down after meeting with Exelon, the company whose plants created the issue and whose key executives are big contributors and bundlers to his campaign. Answering written questions for the NY Times, the campaign, in the words of the paper, never “directly” explains why Sen. Obama would tell voters he passed a bill that in fact was not passed and did not become law.

2) The Chicago Tribune features a similar story on a different topic. While Sen. Obama on the stump tells people about the plight of Maytag workers who lost their jobs, (“Obama’s fundraising collides with his rhetoric”) the Tribune documents that the union covering those workers believes they got no help from the Senator, who was again taking significant contributions and bundling from one of the company’s directors and biggest investors.

3) And yesterday there was an AP story where Senator Obama told the voters of Idaho: ”And then there are people who say, ‘Well, he doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment,’ even though I come from a state — we’ve got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns.” But he didn’t disclose to those voters, as the AP said that “he does support gun control and has a record of voting for it in the Illinois Senate. He backed limiting handgun purchases to one a month, but he made no attempts to ban them.” When he originally ran for the state legislature 12 years ago, he filled out a questionnaire saying he ”supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns .” He gave the voters of Idaho no indication whatsoever of either his record in the State Senate or his prior views on the questionnaire.

Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 06:36:56 -0500

Subject: New Krugman Must-Read

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/04/opinion/04krugman.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

February 4, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Clinton, Obama, Insurance

From: “Clinton Campaign, Press Office”
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 07:25:27 -0500

Subject: CLINTON SUPPORTERS CAMPAIGN ACROSS STATE LEADING UP TO ‘VOICES ACROSS AMERICA’ TOWN HALL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2008

nypress@hillaryclinton.com ***ADVISORY***

CLINTON SUPPORTERS CAMPAIGN ACROSS STATE LEADING UP TO ‘VOICES ACROSS AMERICA’ TOWN HALL

Leading up to Hillary’s “Voices Across America” Town Hall meeting on the evening of February 4th, the campaign’s grassroots supporters will be engaging in a statewide GOTV effort today, holding a series of community events, phonebanking, and visibility. Volunteers will be working throughout New York City and New York State, distributing literature, organizing and helping elect Hillary. The day will kick off with the announcement of the Latina Political Action Committee’s endorsement, and continue with gatherings of supporters across New York.

From John McCain’s campaign:

Sun, Feb 3, 2008 at 9:37 PM

MEDIA ADVISORY

Governor Schwarzenegger and Former Secretary of State Jones to Campaign for John McCain

For Immediate Release

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Former Secretary of State Bill Jones will campaign for John McCain in Gardena, California on Monday, February 4th.

Mon, Feb 4, 2008 at 8:38 AM

STEVE GOLDSMITH ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN
Former Domestic Policy Advisor to Mayor Giuliani Joins McCain Team

For Immediate Release

Contact: Press Office

Monday, February 4, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced that Steve Goldsmith, former Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s president campaign, has endorsed John McCain for president.

“The next President of the United States will face significant domestic challenges requiring straight talking leadership and bold vision,” said Mr. Goldsmith. “John McCain is exactly the leader we need to elevate the general interests of citizens over special interests. His career of service will instill confidence and hope in citizens ready to play a part whether in defending our country or strengthening their communities through volunteerism or faith based initiatives. I look forward to working with him in these important causes.”

John McCain thanked Mr. Goldsmith for his support, stating, “Steve is well-respected in both the academic and government reform worlds. He brings a wealth of domestic policy insight to our campaign, and I am pleased to have him as part of our team.”

Mr. Goldsmith is a graduate of Wabash College. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Currently, he is the Daniel Paul Professor of Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Civic Innovation.

Mon, Feb 4, 2008 at 10:00 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY

John McCain to Hold a Press Conference in New York

For Immediate Release

Contact: Press Office

Monday, February 4, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced that John McCain will hold a press conference in New York, New York on Monday, February 4th.

Obama:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Obama Supporters Campaign Across the Country Today

CHICAGO, IL – With just two days left until critical February 5th contests across the country, Obama campaign surrogates continued reaching out to voters to talk about Obama’s movement for change and why he’s the best candidate for the future.

On Sunday afternoon, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy will come together to fire up Los Angeles voters at a GOTV rally on UCLA’s campus. The free public event at Pauley Pavilion will help engage new voters and bringthem into the presidential process.

In Alabama, actor Forest Whitaker will join with former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus to Get Out The Vote at a rally in Birmingham. Governor Mabus will be visiting churches earlier in the day and will host a Birmingham Pre-Super Bowl Meet and Greet, while Whitaker will continue his day meeting with Montgomery residents at the campaign’s local headquarters.

General Scott Gration will host an event at the Warner Robin VFW in Georgia, before firing up supporters at the office in Macon. He will be joined in the state by Representatives Gwen Moore (WI) and GK Butterfield, as well as Dennis Archer, the former Mayor of Detroit. And in Memphis actress Kerry Washington will visit churches throughout the city before heading to Little Rock, Arkansas to kick off a canvass and an Obama Super Bowl Party.

In the Midwest, Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie will reach out to voters in Bismarck, North Dakota before hosting a Super Bowl party in Dickinson. Representative David Loebsack (IA) will spend another day visiting with volunteers and supporters at campaign offices across Minnesota, and Senator Dick Durbin will host a Lincoln, Nebraska house party and a town hall in Omaha.

And Romney

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2008 9:17 AM

Subject: Romney wins Maine – (mult.)

Good morning, folks-

A collection of news reports about Governor Romney’s win in the Maine GOP caucus contest.

Breaking News: Romney wins Maine caucus, McCain 2nd, Paul 3rd
LOS ANGELES TIMES’ TOP OF THE TICKET
Andrew Malcolm

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/02/breaking-news-r.html

Former Gov. Mitt Romney convincingly won the Maine Republican caucus tonight with about 52% of the vote.

The current GOP front-runner, Arizona Sen. John McCain, is running a distant second with 22% and Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-minded longshot, is in a very close third with 19% of the vote. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is trailing badly with only 5%.

With nearly two-thirds of the votes counted, Maine Republican Party Vice Chairman Scott Kauffman said, “It is very sure that former Gov. Romney wins the contest.”

Romney Wins Maine
FOX EMBEDS
by Shushannah Walshe

http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/02/02/romney-wins-maine-caucuses/

Mitt Romney has won the Maine caucuses this evening. The traveling press found out today from Romney himself upon landing in Minneapolis. According to the Associated Press, Romney won 52 percent of the vote with 68 percent of towns reporting. John McCain came in second with 21 percent, Ron Paul had 19 percent and Mike Huckabee had 6 percent.

“It is in my view also an indication that conservative change is something that the American people wanna see. I think you’re gonna see a growing movement across this country to get behind my candidacy and to propel this candidacy forward,” Romney said. “I think it’s a harbinger of what you’re gonna see on Tuesday. It’s coming kinda late in the process but not really too late. You know that there’ve been seven contests prior to Maine. I won three. Sen. McCain won three. With this, that gives me the edge, four to three, I don’t weigh them all the same of course.”

Romney Declares Victory In Maine
CBS’ FROM THE ROAD
Posted by Scott Conroy
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/02/02/politics/fromtheroad/entry3782751.shtml?CMP=OTC-RSSFeed&source=RSS&attr=FromTheRoad_3782751

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — Mitt Romney was far enough ahead in Maine’s caucus tonight to declare himself the winner there.

“I think it’s a harbinger of what you’re going to see on Tuesday,” Romney said to reporters. “It’s coming kind of late in the process but not really too late.”

With 47 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had a solid lead at 53 percent with John McCain trailing with 21 percent of the vote and Ron Paul at 19 percent.

“You know that there’ve been seven contests prior to Maine. I won three. Senator McCain won three,” Romney said. “With this, that gives me the edge, four to three. I don’t weigh them all the same, of course. I’m really pleased nonetheless to have this victory and particularly in a setting where there’s been such a spirited debate among the different campaigns.”

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2008 12:48 PM

Subject: Romney’s conservative base – (CNN)
Good morning, folks-

As the debate crystallizes into a two-man race between Governor Romney and Senator McCain, it’s clear that conservative support for the governor’s message of bringing his vision, experience and ability to change Washington—as someone who hasn’t spent an entire political career there—can rally grassroots Republicans.

The Key Quote:

Mitt Romney predicted Sunday his party’s conservative base will rally behind him on Super Tuesday in order to prevent John McCain from winning the Republican nomination.

“What I have to do is continue to see what’s been happening the last few days, specifically that is conservatives across the country are saying, ‘whoa, we have to get behind Mitt Romney,’” he said on CNN’s Late Edition.

A link and excerpt:

Romney predicts conservatives will stop McCain
CNN
Producer Alexander Mooney

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/03/romney-predicts-conservatives-will-stop-mccain/

(CNN) — Mitt Romney predicted Sunday his party’s conservative base will rally behind him on Super Tuesday in order to prevent John McCain from winning the Republican nomination.

“What I have to do is continue to see what’s been happening the last few days, specifically that is conservatives across the country are saying, ‘whoa, we have to get behind Mitt Romney,’” he said on CNN’s Late Edition.

“You’ve got people like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham and the list goes on and on and on — Hugh Hewitt, Lars Larson — conservative voices, both from radio and from publications, are saying, ‘you know what, we’ve got to get behind Mitt Romney,’” he continued. “We really can’t afford John McCain as the nominee of our party.”

Following McCain’s victory in Florida Tuesday, some prominent conservatives have expressed dismay with the prospect of the Arizona senator capturing the Republican nomination. On Wednesday, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said McCain’s rise was the product of a ‘fractured’ conservative base and an “uninspiring” GOP presidential field.

“He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment — and that distinction is key,” Limbaugh said. “The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media.”

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2008 1:13 PM

Subject: Romney and the future of the Republican Party – (CNN/ABC News)
Good afternoon, folks-

Governor Romney took to the airwaves today and made the case for his vision for leading the Republican Party towards the future
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY ON THE FUTURE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Governor Romney On The Future Of The Republican Party (ABC’s “This Week,” 2/3/08):

Governor Romney: “Well, I think the answer is that you make sure as you go across the country that you build the support among the base of our party, to remind them that this is a battle in some respects for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Frankly, if we want a party that is indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton on an issue like illegal immigration, that we’re going to have John McCain as a nominee, that’s the wrong way to go.

“Instead, I believe that you’re going to want somebody who can show a contrast on issues like campaign finance reform, like illegal immigration, like global warming. Senator McCain wants to add about a 50 cent per gallon charge to gasoline for everybody in America. I think those are the wrong directions. I think the mainstream members of my party are going to choose somebody who stands for the same kind of principles that built the house that Ronald Reagan built. I think the voices of conservatism across the country – radio talk show hosts, magazine columnists and so forth who are conservative mainstream Republicans – are coming out for me in record numbers.

“I think that’s what you saw in Maine yesterday. The kind of support that came from the caucus attendees I think had to shock the McCain folks, because they had both Senators. Both Senator Collins and Senator Olympia Snowe were fighting very hard for John McCain. And they were shocked that Republicans came out in record numbers in the caucuses and said, ‘No way, we’re not taking a left turn in the Republican Party. We’re staying in the house that Reagan built.’”

To watch Governor Romney, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwDZiC9Xp5U

Governor Romney On Getting The Job Done In Washington (CNN’s “Late Edition,” 2/3/08):

Governor Romney: “Well, a couple things. First of all, it’s interesting to see how Washington politicians think about action. For them, it’s reaching across aisles and committee meetings and bills. Action where I come from means getting the job done, actually making things better for Americans. That means getting health care for citizens. It means balancing the budget. It means cutting out wasteful spending. It means creating jobs. That’s what I spent my life doing.

“I don’t disagree with Senator McCain on every issue. Of course not, particularly on Iraq for instance, we’re on the same page on that. But there are a number of places where he took a very sharp left turn. McCain-Feingold was one. It hurt the First Amendment, and it hurt our party. Then McCain-Kennedy, which gave amnesty to all illegal aliens in this country other than criminals, that’s certainly not conservative. The new McCain-Lieberman, which put this 50 cent per gallon charge on gasoline, that’s not conservative. Voting against the Bush tax cuts, that’s not conservative. Senator McCain is a fine man and I understand why right now he’s going to dress himself in conservative garb, but his track record and the bills he fights for are a long way from conservative.”

To watch Governor Romney, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8-87ozY2_g

Governor Romney: The Right Experience To Strengthen Our Economy (CNN’s “Late Edition,” 2/3/08):

Governor Romney: “Number two, does anyone really think that at a time when our economy is struggling, that the right course for America is to choose somebody who’s never had a job in the real economy? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Senator McCain for that matter, have spoken about all the things they do, but they’ve lived their lives in Washington. And if people really think that a lifelong Washington politician can guide our country to build our economy to make sure it remains the most powerful economy in the world without having ever worked in the economy, then they’ve got a different perspective on how the world works than I do. I think right now it’s more important to know how America works than to know how Washington works. I think we have enough of the politicians, and it’s time to have somebody from outside Washington, like Ronald Reagan was outside Washington, go there and shake it up and get it back on the right track.”

To watch Governor Romney, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGWK2mvJ-wU

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2008 1:22 PM

Subject: McCain’s indifference on social issues (Research Briefing)
Good afternoon-

There’s a reason Senator McCain has had a long and difficult history with grassroots conservatives in the Republican Party. He has been uninterested in strong advocacy for social issues that are an important part of the party’s platform.

http://www.mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Research_Briefing_2.3

MCCAIN: “IT’S NOT SOCIAL ISSUES I CARE ABOUT”
Doesn’t Care About Social Issues, Doesn’t Know Economics

“Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest.”
– National Review (Editorial, “Romney For President,” National Review, 12/11/07)

Today, The Washington Post Revealed Sen. McCain Is Not Interested In Social Issues:

Sen. McCain: “It’s Not Social Issues I Care About.” “McCain seems distinctly uninterested when asked questions concerning abortion and gay rights. While campaigning in South Carolina, he told reporters riding with him on his bus that he was comfortable pledging to appoint judges who would strictly interpret the Constitution in part because it would reassure conservatives who might otherwise distrust him. ‘It’s not social issues I care about,’ he explained.” (Juliet Eilperin and Michael D. Shear, “Contenders Highlight GOP’s Ideological Struggle,” The Washington Post, 2/3/08)

Others Have Noted That McCain Doesn’t Care About Social Issues:

A Former McCain Aide Previously Said “His Heart Isn’t In This Stuff.” “‘Yes, he’s a social conservative, but his heart isn’t in this stuff,’ one former aide told me, referring to McCain’s instinctual unwillingness to impose on others his personal views about issues such as religion, sexuality, and abortion.” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

• Former McCain Aide: “But He Has To Pretend [That It Is], And He’s Not A Good Enough Actor To Pull It Off. He Just Can’t Fake It Well Enough.” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

Sen. McCain Tries To “Placate” Conservatives. “Will McCain’s understandable effort to bend a little here and bow a little there to placate the most conservative elements of his party, who play a disproportionate role in the nominating process get him all twisted up before he ever gets to face the general electorate that polls suggest admires him so?” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

Couple Sen. McCain’s Lack Of Interest In Social Issues With His Lack Of Understanding Economics:

Sen. McCain: “The Issue Of Economics Is Not Something I’ve Understood As Well As I Should.” “Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he ‘may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,’ McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. ‘The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,’ McCain said. ‘I’ve got Greenspan’s book.’” (Sasha Issenberg, “McCain: It’s About The Economy,” The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com , Posted 12/18/07)

• Sen. McCain: “I Still Need To Be Educated.” “On a broader range of economic issues, though, Mr. McCain readily departs from Reaganomics. His philosophy is best described as a work in progress. He is refreshingly blunt when he tells me: ‘I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.’” (Stephen Moore, “Reform, Reform, Reform,” OpinionJournal.com, 11/26/05)

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2008 2:29 PM

Subject: Conservatives rally to Romney – (National Review)

Good afternoon-

As conservatives and grassroots Republicans rally to support Governor Romney in the upcoming caucuses and primary contests, activists are making the case for Governro Romney as the best standard bearer for the party and its future:

The Key Quote from Mark Levin’s column in National Review:

“The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president.”

The full column with a link:

Rally for Romney
Conservatives need to act now, before it is too late.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDEzMDYzZjBkMDNhYjk0ZjdhZmJlZWNkMWQ1NjI4MGI=

By Mark R. Levin
I have spent nearly four decades in the conservative movement — from precinct worker to the Reagan White House. I campaigned for Reagan in 1976 and 1980. I served in several top positions during the Reagan administration, including chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese. I have been an active conservative when conservatism was not in high favor.

Date: Monday, February 4, 2008 10:29 AM

Subject: Half of the proposed McCain-Kerry ’04 ticket campaigns in MA!

Good morning-

Senator McCain has been there for Democrats when they needed his votes against the Bush tax cuts and he was a reliable agitator against Republicans when the Democrats sought to prevent up-or-down votes against conservative judges nominated to the federal bench.

Not surprising, in view of the fact that Senator McCain once considered serving as Senator John Kerry’s running mate in 2004.

http://www.mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Kerry_McCain

WELCOME TO MASSACHUSETTS!
Half Of The Proposed Kerry-McCain ’04 Ticket Campaigns In Boston

ABC’s Charles Gibson: “But, let me, let me, let me imagine it. If he asked you, if he came across the aisle and asked you, would you even entertain the idea? Or will you rule it out for good and all and ever right now?”

Sen. John McCain: “John Kerry is a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for years. Obviously, I would entertain it.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 3/10/04; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkcVXIhssCI)

Kerry-McCain 2004? Sen. John Kerry Says Sen. McCain Wanted It:

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Says That Sen. John McCain Approached him About Being His 2004 Running Mate. FOX NEWS’ BRIT HUME: “The struggling presidential campaign of John McCain is now involved in a controversy with John Kerry over who approached whom about a possible McCain spot on the Democratic ticket in 2004. The Politico newspaper reports Kerry maintains that McCain’s people made overtures to him about a vice presidential nod. But McCain says no, it was Kerry’s idea, and that he rejected it each time it was raised. This of course, follows a similar story that came out last week in which Senate Democrats where saying McCain was in serious negotiations with them about switching parties following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential primaries. McCain says that also is a mischaracterization, and that he was never serious about leaving the Republican Party.” (Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume,” 4/4/07; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX37Jrw_dMM)

Sen. Kerry: “[McCain's] People Similarly Approached Me To Engage In A Discussion About His Potentially Being On The Ticket As Vice President.” JONATHAN SINGER: “And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what your discussions were with him [McCain] in 2004, how far it went, who approached whom… if there was any ‘there’ there.” SEN. JOHN KERRY: “I don’t know all the details of it. I know that Tom, from a conversation with him, was in conversation with a number of Republicans back then. It doesn’t surprise me completely because his people similarly approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as Vice President. So his people were active — let’s put it that way.” SINGER: “Okay. And just to confirm, you said it, but this is something they approached you rather than…” KERRY: “Absolutely correct. John Weaver of his shop approached…” (My DD Website, http://www.mydd.com/images/admin/McCain.mp3, Accessed 4/3/07)

Sen. McCain Publicly Said He’d Entertain The Idea Of Running With Kerry:

In 2004, When First Questioned If He’d Run With Kerry, McCain Said He “Would Entertain It.” ABC’s CHARLES GIBSON: “But, let me, let me, let me imagine it. If he asked you, if he came across the aisle and asked you, would you even entertain the idea? Or will you rule it out for good and all and ever right now?” SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: “John Kerry is a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for years. Obviously, I would entertain it.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 3/10/04; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkcVXIhssCI)

Sen. McCain Also Considered Leaving The Republican Party In 2001:

The Hill: Sen. McCain Considered Leaving The GOP In 2001. “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Sen. McCain’s Top Political Strategist John Weaver Recently Acknowledged That McCain Spoke To Democrats About Leaving The Party. “McCain consistently shot down the rumors, though Weaver acknowledged this week that the senator did talk to Democrats about leaving the GOP.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

One McCain Loyalist Said His Chances Of Leaving The Party Were “50-50.” “In one article, Marshall Wittman, a McCain loyalist and strategist six years ago, put the odds of McCain leaving the Republican Party at ’50-50.’” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Sen. McCain Reached Out To Democrats:

In 2001, McCain Aide John Weaver Approached Prominent Democrats About McCain Switching Parties. “Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Weaver Met With Lobbyist Tom Downey To Float The Idea Of A McCain Switch. “At the end of their March 31, 2001 lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Bethesda, Md., Downey said Weaver asked why Democrats hadn’t asked McCain to switch parties.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Weaver: “Well, If The Right People Asked Him.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Calls Were Immediately Placed To Powerful Democrats. “Within seconds’ of arriving home from his lunch with Weaver, Downey said he was on the phone to the most powerful Democrats in town. One of thefirst calls he made was to then-Senate Minority Leader Daschle.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) Confirmed He Spoke To Downey. “I did take the call from Tom [Downey],’ Daschle said in an interview. ‘It was Weaver’s comment’ to Downey that started the McCain talks, he added.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Downey And Weaver Spoke Weekly. “Downey said he talked to Weaver at least once a week during McCain’s discussions with Democrats, asking him questions like, ‘What is the state of play?’ and ‘Where are we?’” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Downey: “I Actually Thought During The Initial Stages Of This That [McCain Leaving The Republican Party] Was Almost A Certain Deal.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Downey: “Weaver Was Very Active In This.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Downey: “None Of This Happens Without Weaver.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Influential Democrats Talked To McCain About Defecting:

Leading Democrats Talked With Sen. McCain For Months About Leaving The Party. “In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Sens. McCain And Daschle Met. “Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain ‘had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority … [A lot of issues] were on the table.’” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Sens. John Edwards, Teddy Kennedy And Harry Reid All Attempted To Recruit Sen. McCain. “Other senators who played major roles in the intense recruiting effort, according to Democrats, were then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as well as Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.).” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Edwards Thought He Might Be Able To Convince McCain To Defect. ‘”John [Edwards] at that time was working with McCain on a couple things and there was a sense that because of his relationship that he might be a good person to talk to him,’ Daschle said. ‘He was clearly one of those that we thought could be helpful.”’ (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

Daschle Thought Sen. McCain Was The Democrats’ “Best Opportunity.” “Daschle, however, said the talks went much further, claiming that there were times that he and Democratic leaders thought McCain ‘might be our best opportunity.’” (Bob Cusack, “Democrats Say McCain Nearly Abandoned GOP,” The Hill, 3/29/07)

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