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Ted Kennedy: His First Election

Ted Kennedy: His First Election

An interesting sidebar to Ted Kennedy’s inspiring political history harks back to his first run for the Senate in 1962. It was, as some labeled it, a “battle of the clans”: Opposing Kennedy in the Massachusetts Democratic Primary was Edward McCormack, nephew of House Speaker John McCormack; Kennedy’s Republican opponent was Yankee scion George Cabot Lodge; and on the left was Independent peace candidate Harvard Prof. H. Stuart Hughes, chair of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and grandson…

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Presidents Promises

Presidents Promises

Richard Holbrooke, US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001, and a likely member of the Obama administration, wrote in Foreign Affairs (October 2008) that “It is a well-established historical fact that what candidates say about foreign policy is not always an exact guide to what they will do if elected.” Franklin Roosevelt promised in 1940 to not send “your boys…into any foreign wars.” Lyndon Johnson stated in 1964 that he would not send ground troops to Vietnam….

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Ted Kennedy: His First Election

Ted Kennedy: His First Election

An interesting sidebar to Ted Kennedy’s inspiring political history harks back to his first run for the Senate in 1962. It was, as some labeled it, a “battle of the clans”: Opposing Kennedy in the Massachusetts Democratic Primary was Edward McCormack, nephew of House Speaker John McCormack; Kennedy’s Republican opponent was Yankee scion George Cabot Lodge; and on the left was Independent peace candidate Harvard Prof. H. Stuart Hughes, chair of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and grandson…

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Solving the Oil Crisis

Solving the Oil Crisis

High oil prices and a hotly contested election have turned the energy debate into political football. Calls for a gasoline tax holiday this summer would produce miniscule savings to drivers. Cries to force OPEC to pump more oil have been futile as the cartel enjoys enormous profits and wants more. Drilling in Alaska and offshore Florida and California risks serious environmental damage. Demands to tax the multi-billion dollar profits of the oil companies lack political clout and would be opposed…

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The Unity Ticket: Obama and Hillary

The Unity Ticket: Obama and Hillary

Traveling serenely down Pennsylvania Avenue on his way to the White House, Barack Obama had an accident that he should have anticipated. If anybody knew of Jeremiah Wright’s opinions and meanness and self-centeredness, it was Obama, whose twenty year association with the pastor included close family relationships as well as significant political cooperation. However, Obama tried to repudiate Wright when he excluded him from the presidential campaign but Jeremiah refused to be excluded. He had messages, many hateful messages, to…

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Winning Elections While Rebuilding America

Winning Elections While Rebuilding America

The Democrats must renew their bond with the working class. Listen to Peter Canellos: “During the five decades that the New Deal coalition governed national politics, from the 1930s to the 1980s, the relationship between the Democratic Party and working-class voters was an economic bond. Generations of Americans took it as an act of faith that Republicans represented the moneyed elites while Democrats stood up for the little guy. Since 1980, that relationship has eroded and now it’s in tatters….

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John McCain, War Hero

John McCain, War Hero

Up to this point in the race for president of the United States, the uncrowned but virtually certain nominee of the Republican Party, Senator John McCain, is doing remarkably well in the public opinion polls. McCain is holding his own against both Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. According to all the polls, if the election were held today, he would have an even chance of victory. This is surprising because of the political difficulties of the Republican Party;…

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Generalities Without Content

Generalities Without Content

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama offer the voters the same agenda: their positions on issues are quite similar and match the Democratic Congressional stands. As long as their centrist positions differ from the right wing conservative positions of the discredited Bush administration, they can rally enough Democrats and Independents for victory in November. This situation gives a significant edge to Obama, whose personality, charisma and oratorical skills completely overshadow Clinton. Hillary compensates by producing details of the issues, acting as…

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Oh, What a Lucky Man is Johnny McCain

Oh, What a Lucky Man is Johnny McCain

When this presidential campaign began many months ago, the conventional wisdom was that any Democratic candidate could defeat any Republican candidate. The basis for that generalization was that President Bush’s failures in Iraq, Katrina and the economy had weakened the GOP hold on the presidency. The president’s approval rating was about 30% on a good day. The party and the candidates were far behind the Democrats in fundraising. The grassroots were discouraged, the independents were looking for change, and the…

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Flip a Coin For President

Flip a Coin For President

Barack Obama was on a “roll” as they stay in the clubhouse of the Boston Red Sox. He had won 11 straight primaries, all but one in smaller states as the Hillary Clinton campaign reserved its money and energies for the biggest states. And indeed Hillary won California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan and Florida. The Obama campaign looked like the New England Patriots as they approached the Super Bowl with a record of 18 straight victories. Defeat was…

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