Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the Republican incumbent who was convicted of corruption two weeks ago, fell behind Democratic opponent and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich in the latest vote tally in their neck-and-neck race.
After counting 60,000 absentee, provisional and early ballots on Wednesday, Begich grabbed an 814-vote lead over Stevens, the U.S. Senate’s longest-serving Republican. Stevens had held a 3,257-vote lead after a count of regular ballots cast on Election Day.
There are nearly 40,000 uncounted ballots, with a large portion classified as provisional “questioned” ballots, said Gail Fenumiai, director of Alaska’s Division of Elections.
The intriguing part would be the consequences of Stevens somehow manages to win reelection:
But the more dramatic impact is on Sarah Palin’s presidential hopes. The presumed scenario was that Stevens would be elected, then expelled from the Senate as a convicted felon – perhaps pardoned by George Bush – triggering a special election that would send Palin to Washington as Senator for Alaska. It now seems evident that is not going to happen. Since no newly elected incumbent is likely to surrender a cherished Senate seat to Sarah Palin, that will leave her to serve out her term as Governor of Alaska.
Keep your eyes up to the northwest a little longer (you know, that place just outside the windows of Russia) to see what happens next.
Under state law, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich will name Obama’s replacement for the remaining two years of his term. Blagojevich has said he expects to make a decision by year’s end, and has ruled out appointing himself. Obama, elected in 2004, is the only black senator.
Blagojevich’s appointee would serve until the next national election in 2010.
That makes it tighter for Democrats; especially if you count Joe Lieberman in the Democratic cacus.
Leave it to Lindsay Lohan to be the first celebrity to offer support and excitement for her candidate while at the same time insulting him. In a recent interview with Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos this week, the troubled starlet stated her excitement for our country’s “first colored” president.
In listening to the interview, she actually said, “it’s our first colored president”. Are you kidding me? How can someone claim to be involved in the race for President and be so far out of touch with the world today? This is not the 1970s and you are not Archie Bunker.
It’s been a very historic day in American politics. President-elect Barack Obama made his first trip to the White House today and met President Bush in his new home.
The outgoing president and first lady Laura Bush greeted Obama and his wife Michelle with smiles and handshakes as they stepped from their limousine to begin a tour of what will be their new home after Obama is sworn in on Jan. 20.
The two men were headed to the Oval Office where they were expected to discuss the global financial crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other challenges the Republican president will bequeath to his Democratic successor.
It was their first face-to-face encounter — a visit steeped in symbolism — following Obama’s resounding victory over Republican John McCain in Tuesday’s election, which will make him America’s first black chief executive.
Can you imagine what it was like for Obama today? That must be an incredible feeling of responsibility and success to walk into the White House as the future commander-in-chief. Like the outcome of the election or not, you have to marvel at the way our government turns over power with a handshake and a smile. This country is truly amazing.
Wearing black-and-white striped prison uniforms and with chains around their wrists, waists and ankles, Cowart and Schlesselman spoke only to say “not guilty” during a brief hearing before a federal magistrate in Memphis.
The charges in the seven-count indictment carry a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison and fines of $540,000.
Court records say Cowart and Schlesselman, whom authorities say are white supremacist skinheads, told investigators they planned to conduct a national crime spree that would include a string of armed robberies and the murders of 88 black people.
The number has significance for white supremacists. “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet and 88 is skinhead code for “Heil Hitler,” authorities say.
Shocking that they would plead “not guilty.” Even more disturbing, we will have to continue hearing about these two idiots for years to come. Hopefully we can all agree, there is no room for hate in this country anymore and individuals like these two morons should be dealt with in the harshest manner possible. The world is different and better now than it was 40, 60, 150 years ago and that is a good thing.
Now that the election is over, many fingers are being pointed in the Republican party as to why John McCain did not win the presidency. The stories have started to surface about possible strife within the McCain/Palin campaign.
We’ve all heard the stories about Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe, but how that wardrobe was purchased sheds additional light on the incident and Palin herself. As reported in the NY Times:
On Wednesday, two top McCain campaign advisers said that the clothing purchases for Ms. Palin and her family were a particular source of outrage for them. As they portrayed it, Ms. Palin had been advised by Nicolle Wallace, a senior McCain aide, that she should buy three new suits for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September and three additional suits for the fall campaign. The budget for the clothes was anticipated to be from $20,000 to $25,000, the officials said.
Instead, in a public relations debacle undermining Ms. Palin’s image as an everywoman “hockey mom,” bills came in to the Republican National Committee for about $150,000, including charges of $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The bills included clothing for Ms. Palin’s family and purchases of shoes, luggage and jewelry, the advisers said.
Sorry, but this sounds like an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies. “Todd, get out of that cement-pond and load-up the truck. We got us a blank check and we gona shop in the big city! Gona get me some luggage and clothes for the young’uns.”
Fox News reported Wednesday that Palin’s lack of knowledge on some topics also strained relations. Carl Cameron reported that campaign sources told him Palin had resisted coaching before her faltering Katie Couric interviews; did not understand that Africa was a continent rather than a country; and could not name the three nations that are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement — the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Africa as a country? Ouch. If you missed the Palin/Katie Couric interview (because they didn’t have electricity in your cave), here is a taste.
It hurts just watching that again. I still can’t make any sense out of those incoherent ramblings. Clearly, she could have benefited from some serious preparation from staffers who knew what they were talking about. After all, this does appear to be her first rodeo. Perhaps the staffers were distracted:
The disclosures are made in “How He Did It, 2008″, in Newsweek’s Special Election Project, a behind-the-scenes account of the presidential election produced the day after the polls closed.
The magazine also claims that at the GOP convention in St. Paul, when aides Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her, Ms Palin walked into the room wearing only a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat to Todd, adding: “I’ll be just a minute.”
This story just gets better and better. What is really freighting is she appears to be the best candidate the Republicans have to offer in 2012. Clearly, this is the time for some serious change.
CHICAGO (AP) — Barack Obama said Thursday that fellow Chicagoan and former Clinton administration aide Rahm Emanuel will serve as White House chief of staff. “No one I know is better at getting things done,” Obama said of the hard-charging congressman.
The No. 4 Democrat in the House, Emanuel quoted Obama’s campaign slogan in saying he was leaving a job he loves for one reason: “I want to do everything I can to help deliver the change America needs.”
The selection of a chief of staff is a key first step in building his administration. So, why choose Emanuel?
In selecting Rep. Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, President-elect Barack Obama turned to someone who has made a quick fortune as an investment banker, earned a six-figure fee to sit on the board of a troubled government-sponsored mortgage company, and became a top recipient of Wall Street campaign cash in Congress, public records show.
“This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington,” House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement.
What’s the best way to play good cop? Get a really hard-core bad cop. That’s precisely what Barack Obama did Thursday in his first move as president-elect, selecting notoriously pugnacious Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel to serve as his chief of staff. “No one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel,” Obama said in announcing his pick.
That’s one way of putting it. Emanuel, 48, has developed a reputation as a fierce taskmaster since his days as a Clinton White House operative, so much so that even his mother reportedly calls him “Rahmbo.” He once sent a rotting fish to a pollster who rubbed him the wrong way, and he seems to delight in wagging his partially lopped-off middle finger at rivals (the result of a teenage meat-slicing mishap). “He’s got this big old pair of brass balls, and you can just hear ‘em clanking when he walks down the halls of Congress,” Paul Begalatold Rolling Stone back in 2005, after serving with Emanuel on Clinton’s staff.
Rahmbo. I like the sound of that! With all the financial troubles facing the country, Emanuel would appear to be an ideal choice for chief of staff.
The euphoria of the election is over and now it’s time to get down to the serious work of fixing the broken parts of our country. While there are numerous issues to address; the economy, the wars, education, fumigating the White House to get rid of that ‘W’ smell, the expectations for change have been set by the campaign. Americans, especially those who are Obamaniacs, now expect the change promised during the campaign and they expect it now.
Take Peggy Joseph here as an example:
It sounds like Peggy believes Barack Obama will pay for her gas, forgive her mortgage, and who knows what else. While this type of thinking is clearly off base, it is shared by many of the Obama faithful and will have to be addressed by the Obama administration. In his acceptance speech, Obama acknowledge the challenges before him and tried to set realistic expectations:
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
He is not even in office and already planting the seeds for his re-election campaign. I believe it will take a lot of time for the changes outlined by the Obama plan and there will be stumbles along the way. On the positive side for Obama, he has a Democratically-controlled Congress and what could be interpreted as a “mandate from the people” to make changes. The tools are in place for change, now he just has to figure out how to use them as quickly as possible.
The main question remains: will his loyal and fanatical base be willing to wait for the promise of change?