Russert is Dead

Meet the Press host Tim Russert has died of a heart attack, according to the NBC News. The Buffalo News has more details.

Tom Brokaw announced the news on air: “This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice. He’ll be missed as he was loved — greatly.”

Russert was easily the most influential political journalist of the last generation. It will be hard to follow the presidential election without him.

Powell May Vote for Obama

“Colin Powell, the former Republican secretary of state, says he is not ruling out a vote for Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president,” according to the Globe and Mail.

“While Mr. Powell served in the administrations of two Republican presidents, he suggested yesterday his support for presumed Republican nominee John McCain is not a forgone conclusion.”

Quote of the Day

“There wasn’t a long line of people who wanted this job this election cycle and for good reason. It is probably the toughest election cycle since 1974.”

— Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, on his challenge as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Huckabee Signs Deal with Fox News

Mike Huckabee “has signed a one-year deal as a political commentator for Fox News, where he will sound off on a variety of programs,” the Washington Postreports.

“The deal keeps Huckabee in the spotlight as he contemplates a second run in 2012, a tactic perfected by Pat Buchanan, who hosted CNN’s Crossfire between presidential campaigns.”

Democratic Party’s Image Improves

“The overall image of the Democratic Party has improved over the past year,” according to a new Pew Research survey, “although the Democratic-led Congress remains widely unpopular. A majority of Americans (57%) say they have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, up six points since July 2007 and 10 points since July 2006.”

“In contrast, views of the Republican Party remain at historic lows. Currently, 53% of Americans express unfavorable views of the Republican Party while only 39% say they have a favorable opinion of the party.”

Obama Deploys Volunteers

“Moving to harness the grass-roots energy that helped win the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign will deploy 3,600 volunteers in 17 states this weekend, each committed to six consecutive weeks of full-time political work,” according to the Washington Post.

“In return for a promise to give the campaign at least six weeks of their lives, they were promised training in community organizing techniques.”

Senators Implicated in Countrywide Scandal

Condé Nast Portfolio exposes two U.S. Senators, two former Cabinet members, and a former ambassador to the United Nations, who got favorable mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial.

Among them: Sen. Christopher Dodd, Sen. Kent Conrad, former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke. 

Jim Johnson, the man leading Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential search team, was forced to step aside earlier this week after news that he also received favorable treatment from Countrywide.

Obama Trusted More on the Economy

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds more Americans believe Sen. Barack Obama is better suited to handle the economy than Sen. John McCain, 50% to 44%.

“The news could be particularly troublesome for McCain given voters nationwide have consistently ranked the economy as the most important issue currently facing the country.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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