Check back tomorrow for the very first ever Average Joe Radio podcast.
Check back tomorrow for the very first ever Average Joe Radio podcast.
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "Gerald Ford's life spanned nine decades, and took him from the football fields of his boyhood in Michigan to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. At every stage of his journey, he displayed a decency, patriotism, and courage that Americans will always admire. As we say goodbye to the year 2006, we bid farewell to one of the finest public servants America has ever known. We give thanks for the gift of his remarkable life, for the caring man who touched so many lives, and the wise President who helped heal our Nation."
|Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.|
Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.
We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule - and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress.
Saddam Hussein will be executed within 30 days. Barring a dramatic last-minute legal maneuver, Saddam will be hanged now that Iraq's High Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence.
Hillary Clinton misspoke when she suggested it was time for a “mother” to run for president.
In an apparent effort to score points with women — and moms — Clinton said, “We’ve never had a mother who ever ran for or held that position,” referring to the presidency during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Hillary needs to go back to her history books. Victoria Woodhull, a leader of the woman’s suffrage movement, ran for president in 1872 after being nominated by the Equal Rights Party.
She had two children.
As for his political future after leaving the governor’s post, Jeb recently told a group of reporters in Miami: “I have no future.”I wonder if that's his final answer.
Hillary Disavows Her Iraq War VoteSounds like the entire Democrat party was against it, before they were for it, before they were against it, or some nonsense like that.
Sen. Hillary Clinton has for the first time said she would not have voted to authorize the 2002 attack on Iraq if she had known then what she knows now.
Previously the likely presidential candidate in 2008 has said that if the Senate had all the information it has today — about Iraq’s weapons program and the current difficulties in pacifying the nation, for example — there would never have been a vote on the Senate floor.
During a Dec. 18 appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Clinton repeated that refrain. But this time she added: “And I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.” ...
Two of her other potential presidential rivals, Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards, also voted to authorize the invasion, but then publicly declared they had made a mistake and called for troops withdrawals.
As recently as September, when Clinton was asked on ABC’s “Nightline” about supporters who wanted her to say she was sorry for voting for the war, Hillary stated: “I don’t think that’s responsible.” ...
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "At this special time of year, we give thanks for Christ's message of love and hope. Christmas reminds us that we have a duty to others, and we see that sense of duty fulfilled in the men and women who wear our Nation's uniform. America is blessed to have fine citizens who volunteer to defend us in distant lands. For many of them, this Christmas will be spent far from home, and on Christmas our Nation honors their sacrifice, and thanks them for all they do to defend our freedom."
Rice: America Ready to Elect Black President
America is ready to elect a black president, says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The nation's highest-ranking black government official, Rice has said repeatedly she will not run for president... .
Rice declined to say whether she would like to see her predecessor, Colin Powell, become a candidate. Powell is a fellow black Republican.
"I'm not going to give Colin any advice and he's not going to give me any advice on this one," Rice said. ...
'Crafty' Hillary: A Mom in the White House?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton got into the holiday spirit Wednesday, describing her family's Christmas traditions, as well as the political mood, hinting it might be time for a mom to occupy the Oval Office.
"We've never had a mother who ever ran for or held that position," the former first lady told the all-female cast of ABC's "The View."
Clinton appeared on the show to promote the rerelease of "It Takes a Village," the book she penned a decade ago on the importance of community involvement in raising children.
The New York lawmaker, who tops every national poll of potential Democratic White House contenders, is expected to announce her plans early next year. While she revealed little about her intentions, she acknowledged that the concept of electing a woman president is "such a leap of faith."
Kucinich to enter White House race Tuesday
Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, said Monday he is planning another bid because his party isn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.
In a statement, Kucinich said he plans to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday at Cleveland's City Hall, where he served as mayor of his hometown in the 1970s. ...
Gingrich Might Run, But He's Waiting
Newt Gingrich suggested on Sunday he might not run for president in 2008 if a rival has all but locked up the Republican nomination by next fall.
The former House speaker from Georgia said it would not be too late for him to enter the race after next Labor Day, if he believed no candidate had a clear advantage. He praised Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as the contenders to watch. ...
"Of course I'm thinking about it," Gingrich said. "I hope between now and September, to help create with every candidate in both parties, a wave of new ideas, a wave of new solutions." ...
On the Democratic side, Sen. Edward Kennedy reaffirmed on Sunday that he would support fellow Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, if Kerry were to run again in 2008. ...
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, another likely Democratic presidential hopeful, said Sunday he was undeterred by the early strength shown by Clinton and Obama.
"This is only 2006," Dodd said on a conference call from Iraq, where he was visiting government leaders and troops from his state. ...
The Refreshing Honesty Of Evan BayhThank God for small favors!
Evan Bayh is a well-regarded, two-term Senator from Indiana but he is not exactly a household name. So when he announced two weeks ago that he was thinking about running for the Democratic presidential nomination, even he knew it was a long shot.
He acknowledged it was a David-versus-Goliath kind of thing, but he remembered that David did pretty well.
True enough, but yesterday Bayh realized why the smart money is usually on the giants — because they are giants — and he quit the race as quickly as he had entered.
"Whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I'm just not the right David, I concluded the odds were longer than I felt I could possibly pursue," he said.
In other words, he took a look, realized he had no chance and decided not to waste his time or the country's.
Hillary: 'Not Going to Believe' Bush Again
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she would not support a short-term increase in American troop presence in Iraq unless it was part of a more comprehensive plan to stabilize the country.
Clinton also offered the broadest indication yet that she was close to a decision on whether to enter the 2008 Democratic presidential field. ..."I am not in favor of sending more troops to continue what our men and women have been told to do with the government of Iraq pulling the rug out from under them when they actually go after some of the bad guys."
Clinton, who voted in 2002 to authorize military intervention in Iraq, said she was wary of increased military presence in the war-torn country.
"I'm not going to believe this president again," Clinton said. ...
Dick Morris: I’m Leaving if Hillary Wins
Political strategist Dick Morris is so disgusted by the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency that he’s announced he’ll leave the country if she wins the Democratic nomination.
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s "Hannity & Colmes,” Morris – a former aide to President Bill Clinton – said that Bill and Hillary both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder: "When they don’t get enough attention, they’re disordered.” ...
Morris dismissed Sen. Barack Obama’s chances of winning the presidency, saying he is the "best thing that’s ever happened to Hillary Clinton. Because he can’t win. You think about the guy for five minutes and you’re not gonna vote for him.”
However, Morris went on: "Obama’s in fact a better first than [Clinton] is. First black is better than first woman, in politics.” ...
Washington Insiders: It’s McCain vs. Hillary
Rudolph Giuliani may presently be the people’s choice for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, but influential Washington insiders believe that when the general election rolls around, it will pit Hillary Clinton against John McCain, not Rudy.
The National Journal asked 220 Democratic and Republican insiders — members of Congress, party activists, consultants, fund-raisers, lobbyists, and interest-group leaders — to list and rank the top five contenders for their party’s 2008 nomination.
The results differed significantly from a similar National Journal survey in May. Back then, McCain led among Republicans, and Sen. George Allen of Virginia was second. After Allen’s election defeat in November, he has fallen out of the picture, and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has taken the No. 2 spot.
Among Democrats, Hillary led in May and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was second. He too has fallen after announcing he won’t be a candidate, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has now taken the second spot.
John Edwards placed third among Democrats in the new survey, while Al Gore was fourth and Evan Bayh fifth.
On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani was third after McCain and Romney, followed by Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.
“For the first time since National Journal’s initial 2008 presidential survey was conducted in April 2005, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia broke into the top five rankings,” the Journal disclosed.
“Allen’s defeat and departing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s recent decision not to run have created a huge opening for Gingrich.”
The survey also found that 33 percent of Democratic insiders believe Hillary Clinton’s gender would help her in the general election, while 28 percent think it would hurt, and 39 percent say it would have no impact.
Democratic insiders also believe that Barack Obama’s race would hurt him in the general election: 48 percent say it would hurt; 26 percent believe it would help; and the rest think it would have no impact.
A majority of Republican insiders — 52 percent — believe Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion would hurt him in the general election, and only 2 percent believe it would help; 46 percent say it would have no impact.
Hillary, Rudy Lead in New Poll
Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani are the clear leaders for their party’s nomination for president in 2008, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reveals.
In the poll conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, respondents were shown a list of potential Democratic candidates and asked whom they would vote for if the primary were held today.
Hillary garnered 37 percent of the vote, more than twice the vote of the second-place finisher, Sen. Barack Obama at 18 percent.
The complete breakdown:Hillary Clinton: 37 percentTom Vilsack did not receive a vote, while 3 percent of respondents chose another candidate; 3 percent chose none; and 5 percent said they were not sure.
Barack Obama: 18 percent
John Edwards: 14 percent
John Kerry: 11 percent
Joe Biden: 4 percent
Evan Bayh: 3 percent
Bill Richardson: 2 percent
On the GOP side, Giuliani beat out John McCain by 5 percentage points. The breakdown:Rudy Giuliani: 34 percentTwo percent chose another candidate; 3 percent chose none; and 8 percent were unsure.
John McCain: 29 percent
Newt Gingrich: 10 percent
Mitt Romney: 8 percent
Sam Brownback: 2 percent
Mike Huckabee: 2 percent
George Pataki: 1 percent
Tommy Thompson: 1 percent
Another recent poll, this one by ABC News and The Washington Post, also showed Giuliani leading all GOP contenders with 34 percent of the vote, ahead of No. 2 McCain at 26 percent.
Death penalty opponents criticized the execution of a convicted murderer who took more than 30 minutes to die and needed a rare second dose of lethal chemicals. The inmate appeared to grimace before dying.
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "Christmas is fast approaching, and I know many of you are busy trying to finish up your holiday shopping. This week, we received good news about the economy that should brighten the season and keep us optimistic about the year ahead."
|Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency|
Monday, Dec. 11, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he is "not ruling in or out" running for president or vice president in 2008.
"I don't know what the future holds for me," Bush told NewsMax as he leaves office this month after eight years as governor.
"To be honest with you, the only job in public life that I've been interested in over the last 15 years has been to be governor. It's been my dream come true. I guess it's hard for people to appreciate, but I've never viewed it as a stepping stone to anything else."
Bush said he would feel comfortable with Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain as president.
"I like Romney, but I'd also be comforted at night knowing that Rudy Giuliani was leading our nation in a time of war, and John McCain — all three of them," Bush said.
"Being president, your ideology is important, but your character matters a lot, too.
"One of the descriptors of being president that I think is one of the most important, frankly, is, can a father tell a daughter or a son about the president, ‘If you work hard and you play by the rules and you strive for greatness, you can be just like him,' warts and all? Because we're all imperfect under God's watchful eye, and in politics the imperfections are what everybody focuses on. I think they're all three admirable men." ...
...Because of term limits, Bush could not run for governor again. He enjoys a 65 percent approval rating in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. ...
...Bush said one of his disappointments is the death of Terri Schiavo.
"Put aside the politics, which everybody has their own views of . . . the woman [who] was starved to death," Bush said. "That's not something I'm very comfortable with.
"We did our best, we did what we could within the law to save her life. But it was for naught in the end. And we never could change the law that allowed such an occurrence to take place. Seems to me that she should have had a living will, and if it's an oral understanding, that we should err on the side of life. And in our state, that's not the case by the statutes that we have, which is a disappointment."
For Bush, the Schiavo case raised issues about values. Bush sees the war on terror and restoring values as the country's greatest challenges.
"How do we sustain a long-term fight against the jihadists, especially in a free society that's used to immediate gratification?" he said.
"And how do we recognize the importance of wholesome family life, virtues that are timeless, that really have been the linchpin of our country?
"Our strength really hasn't resided in how great our government is, it's the ability to govern ourselves. In the last couple of generations, we have placed huge demands on government. We need to have a conversation about that."
In the meantime, "I don't know what's going to happen to me next," Bush said. "I wouldn't rule it [running for president] out or in. It's not even on my radar." Nor is running for vice president.
Bloomberg: Maybe He Is 'Born to Run'
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who repeatedly denies he's running for president, clearly enjoys the song and dance of speculation.
The Republican billionaire dressed up as Bruce Springsteen and entertained guests at a holiday party with a rendition of "Born to Run."
Dressed in a white T-shirt, jeans with a red bandanna over a mullet wig, Bloomberg and his backup band of deputy mayors and senior staffers performed the song at Thursday night's party, with lyrics that fantasize about him launching an independent candidacy and winning the White House.
"I say 'Next stop: Washington!' Cause folks like us, baby we were born to run. We'll win, you'll see, and beat the GOP and Democrats," they sang, according to those present.
The group, who called themselves Mike Bloomsteen and the Bullpen Band, jammed on inflatable toy saxophones and guitars during the musical portions of the hit song. The party was for City Hall staff and was not open to the media.
|Hillary Can Win, But Must Not|
Now that Hillary has dropped the coy pretense of indecision that she used to justify her re-election to a Senate seat she no longer wants and has told friends that she plans to run for president, two questions present themselves: Can she win? and, What kind of a president would she be?
She is uniquely able to expand the electorate to bring in millions of women, mostly single, who will vote overwhelmingly for a female Democrat.
The feminization of poverty, long decried by the left, will finally lead unmarried women to show up at the polling place and vote their short-term economic interest and vindicate their gender bias.
In 2000, only 19 million single women voted. By 2004, their turnout rose to 27 million. With Hillary in the race, the single-female vote will probably go up to its proper ratio of the adult population -- 33 million votes.
Can white men outvote single women? Despite the intensity with which white men tend to oppose Hillary, they can't vote twice.
The enthusiasm that will grip many Americans -- women in particular -- at the cultural implications of a woman president will probably sweep through the primaries and cause many to overlook Hillary's flaws and dismiss her defects.
The idea of a woman candidate will prove so attractive that millions of voters will overcome their objections to the specific person who is running.
Her mastery of the establishment of the Democratic Party, her vast lead among ex-officio delegates -- many of whom have received campaign contributions from her coffers -- and the celebrity draw of her ex-president husband will prove hard for a mere mortal to overcome.
But should she win?
Those who know both Hillary and Bill well and are willing to speak frankly in public realize the fundamental differences between the two and grasp how his abilities are the counterpoints to her defects.
He is intensely creative, constantly turning issues over in his mind seeking new solutions. She rarely has a new idea but specializes in advocacy -- the rote recitation of talking points.
He has an instinctual feel for people and an uncanny ability to read a room and know what everyone in it is thinking. She is obtuse in her understanding of people and ham-handed in her approach.
He cares deeply about being loved. She seeks popularity as a means to the goal of getting elected but otherwise marches to the beat of her inner, liberal drummer.
He distrusts ideology, and his innate perfectionism finds all belief systems flawed. She swallows the ideological line of the guru du jour hook, line, and sinker. During the health-care years, it was Ira Magaziner that pushed her buttons.
When she decided to back the Iraq war, it was the generals who paraded before her committee. She is vulnerable to a cultish adoration of the guys with all the answers.
He lets the give and take of politics wash off his back. A critic is a potential convert whom he hopes to charm over to his side. She has a rigidly dichotomized view of friends and enemies, demanding total loyalty and public silence from the former and maintaining a ruthless determination to destroy the latter.
She is a Democratic Nixon to those whom she perceives as her enemies.
He is a moderate by instinct, seeking incremental change. She devotedly and deeply believes in a European-style socialism in which government takes much more of our national income and offers a far wider array of services and benefits.
He'll raise taxes when he has to. She'll increase them just to redistribute income.
He's most like Eisenhower, Kennedy and Bush Sr. -- feeling his way, acting with caution, and skeptical of all advice. She is more like LBJ, Nixon or Bush Jr. -- determined to charge ahead and do what she thinks needs to be done, torpedoes be damned.
And finally, he knows who he is and, except for his private shortcomings, is not ashamed to let it show. She constantly seeks to reinvent herself and rigidly maintains an almost totally inaccurate image in public of what she is really like in private. He has little discipline. Hers is iron. His caution is innate. Hers is a learned response to what happens when people see who she really is.He made a very good domestic-policy president. She would be a disaster at home and abroad.
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In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "The Iraq Study Group understands the urgency of getting it right in Iraq. The group also understands that while the work ahead will not be easy, success in Iraq is important, and success in Iraq is possible. ... The future of a vital region of the world and the security of the American people depend on victory in Iraq. I'm confident that we can move beyond our political differences and come together to achieve that victory."
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006 11:18 a.m. ESTCan she do it? Can Hillary Clinton make it to the White House? She can certainly win the Democratic nomination, I believe. With the Democratic Primaries being limited to only Democrats voting, and with the obvious backing of her husband -- the Democrats Golden Boy -- who else could possibly stand a chance.
Sen. Hillary Clinton: I’m Going for It
Sen. Hillary Clinton has come closer than ever to officially throwing her hat into the presidential ring, revealing her White House plans in conversations with several political insiders.
"She said to me, ‘I’m really going to go for this. I’m going to make this effort,’” a New York lawmaker told the New York Post.
"She never said she was running for the presidency of the United States or if she was going to announce – or anything like that. It wasn’t a question that needed to be asked. It was an obvious conversation.”
Another Empire State lawmaker who spoke with Hillary during a blitz of Clinton phone calls on Monday said she "revealed she felt pressure to formally jump into the 2008 White House race sooner rather than later because other candidates are becoming increasingly active,” the Post reported.
Rep. Joe Crowley, a Democrat from Queens, spoke with Clinton on Monday and was convinced she’s going to be in the race.
"She just let me know that what I’d been hearing is true and that she wanted my support and help in any way that I possibly could,” Crowley said.
Clinton also spoke with the Rev. Al Sharpton, Westchester County Democrat Nita Lowey and supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, a major donor, the Post reported.
Said Catsimatidis: "She wants to get together before the holidays.”
I'm taking my wife to Merrillville, Indiana, today to see her favorite singer (Clay Aiken) perform a Christmas concert, so I'm posting this link before the President's Weekly Radio Address is available. If you click the link above and don't find it, check back later.
Have a great weekend!