McCain set to run for Senate again
Republican presidential candidate John McCain confirmed yesterday that he plans to seek reelection to the US Senate from Arizona in 2010.
McCain said that if he wins, he is committed to serving the full six-year term. Asked about running for president again, he replied, laughing, "I do not envision a scenario that would entail that."
Asked about the lessons of the election, McCain said Republicans have to return to fiscal discipline and said Americans are very worried about the economy.
At the press conference in Phoenix, his first since the election, McCain also continued to talk up his running mate, Sarah Palin, whom he called "a breath of fresh air that swept the country." "I think Governor Palin's future is very bright," McCain said. "I think she did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her."
In new post, Kerry plans to focus on global warming
On the eve of going to a major conference on global climate change, Senator John F. Kerry said yesterday that he will make the issue a priority as the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
And that, he said, is a sea change from the Bush administration. "It's a moment we've been waiting for, many of us, for some period of time - for eight years, to be blunt," Kerry said. "And we intend to pick up the baton and really run with it here."
Kerry acknowledged that some leaders are skittish about aggressive action on climate change as most of the world heads into recession.
But, the Massachusetts Democrat said, "you can't back off what the science tells us must be done as a matter of global survival. And so you have to turn this challenge into the economic resurgence - into the economic rebound."
President-elect Barack Obama is not attending the gathering, which starts Monday in Poland, but he has said he expects detailed briefings from Kerry and other members of Congress who do attend.
Palin, Giuliani try to boost Chambliss in Ga. runoff
Republicans are sending in the big guns to defend a crucial US Senate seat in Georgia.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani stumped yesterday on behalf of Saxby Chambliss, who faces a runoff Tuesday against Democratic challenger Jim Martin.
Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential nominee, is to campaign by Chambliss's side on Monday. For all the controversy that swirled around the Alaska governor, she is highly popular with conservatives and drew rock star-like crowds on the trail.
President-elect Barack Obama has dispatched dozens of staffers, and former president Bill Clinton campaigned for Martin last week.
Republicans are trying to stop Democrats from reaching a potentially filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate, warning about the evils of one-party rule. Democrats will control at least 58 votes in the new Senate with two seats still undecided.
Besides Georgia, there is an increasingly vitriolic recount going on in Minnesota. Before it started, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman led Democrat Al Franken by 215 votes. Through Monday with one-fifth of the ballots still to be counted, the margin was 172, but there are already 2,801 ballot challenges filed by the two campaigns, which will be reviewed by a state canvassing board on Dec. 16.
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Obama sets $50,000 cap on inaugural fund-raising
President-elect Barack Obama, continuing his campaign push to limit special-interest influence on the presidency, unveiled yesterday what his aides say are unprecedented limits on inauguration fund-raising, imposing a cap of $50,000 on all donations.
Obama's inaugural committee noted that, by law, there is no restriction on the size of contributions, but that past presidents-elect have accepted checks of up to $250,000 apiece.
The committee also announced that, unlike inaugural committees past, it will not accept donations from corporations, political action committees, or registered federal lobbyists.
Gallup poll sees Obama getting a honeymoon
President-elect Barack Obama kept an even keel throughout the ups and downs of the long campaign, one of the secrets of his success.
And so far, Americans are following the "no-drama Obama" model, with two-thirds expressing confidence in his ability to be a "good president" in every Gallup daily tracking poll since the election.
One out yesterday puts that number at 65 percent, but it has barely fluctuated between 63 and 67 percent - through all the leaks and speculation about Cabinet picks and all the reports about the tanking economy.
Gallup notes that Obama's good will is well above the 53 percent of the popular vote that he won on Nov. 4. "Obama has apparently been given a honeymoon of sorts after his election," Gallup pollsters say.