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ABC Poll: Clinton Holds N.H. Lead With More Reliable Support

A new ABC News poll shows Hillary Clinton leading in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is holding off Barack Obama in New Hampshire with a single-digit but seemingly solid lead, scoring more committed and enthusiastic support, higher trust to handle pressing issues and broad margins on leadership, experience and electability.

The chart and numbers are here. (pdf).

Among likely voters in the Democratic primary, Clinton has 35 percent support, Obama 29 percent, John Edwards 17 percent and Bill Richardson 10 percent, with others in the low single digits.

As to why Hillary's support is considered "solid" and "more reliable":

Among those who've definitely decided on their candidate, she leads Obama by a wide 43-28 percent; and among the most enthusiastic likely voters she leads him by 45-24 percent.

Hillary also leads on six of the seven issues polled and has the largest advantage on health care.

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Hillary Comes Out Against Crack-Powder Retroactivity

Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton in Iowa yesterday said she has problems with making the reduction in crack-powder cocaine penalties, minimal as they are, retroactive.

“In principle I have problems with retroactivity," she said. "It’s something a lot of communities will be concerned about as well."

Five other Dems at the forum favor retroactivity:

Her five rivals present on stage — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich — all said they favor making the shorter sentences retroactive.

Hillary needs to rethink this. As Law Prof Doug Berman says at Sentencing Law and Policy, her position is a huge disappointment. But I'm not convinced Obama's position will result in any future change of the excessive mandatory minimum sentences (as opposed to the minimal guideline reduction) for crack offenses. [More...]

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Hillary Won't Cross Writers' Picket Lines for CBS Debate

Breaking from Huffington Post....

Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, announced today that she will forgo CBS News' upcoming presidential debate unless the network can reach a resolution with its striking employees.

"The workers at CBS News have been without a contract for close to two and a half years," the Senator said. "It is my hope that both sides will reach an agreement that results in a secure contract for the workers at CBS News but let me be clear: I will honor the picket line if the workers at CBS News decide to strike."

I hope the other candidates follow her lead on this.

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Hillary Now Opposes Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

I'm disappointed to see that Hillary Clinton has now come out against drivers licenses for the undocumented.

Her advisers think this will take the issue "off the table." I think it opens her up to new attacks in tomorrow night's debate for being inconsistent.

She said at the last debate she wasn't particularly familiar with the proposals. I assume she is now. That's what makes her statement so disappointing. I thought that with more information on the issue, she would have seen the wisdom of the plan.

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Newweek Poll : Hillary Maintains Lead Post-Debate

Newsweek today:

In a new NEWSWEEK poll, Hillary Clinton took the heat at this week's Democratic debate and emerged undamaged.

....The New York senator gets 44 percent of the overall Democratic vote, compared to 24 percent for Obama (down a point since NEWSWEEK's August poll) and 12 percent for Edwards (down two points). She is the first choice of 45 percent of self-identified Democrats (compared with 39 percent of Democratic "leaners"). She also trounces Obama among Democratic female voters (48 to 19 percent) and enjoys a marginal lead among male Democratic voters (38 to 32 percent). Obama runs better among younger Democratic voters and minorities.

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Hillary Clinton Opposes Mukasey Confirmation

Hillary Clinton released this statement today, opposing the nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General.

We need an Attorney General who has the strength to challenge this Administration when it is wrong, who is committed to reestablishing the independence of the Department of Justice and to restoring respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I am deeply troubled by Judge Mukasey’s continued unwillingness to clearly state his views on torture and unchecked Executive power.

The Attorney General is the chief defender of the rule of law in our country. After Alberto Gonzales's troubled tenure, we cannot send a signal that the next Attorney General in any way condones torture or believes that the President is unconstrained by law. When we leave any doubt about our nation’s policy on torture, we send a terrible message to the rest of the world.

More....

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Happy Birthday, Hillary

Happy Birthday to Hillary Clinton who turns 60 today.

She celebrated last night at a party in New York. Elvis Costello and the Wallflowers provided the music, Billy Crystal was M.C. The event raised $1.5 million.

The latest AP poll numbers make a good birthday present for her. Among Democrats:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, 43 percent
  • Barack Obama, 22 percent
  • John Edwards, 14 percent
  • Bill Richardson, 6 percent

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Hillary's Visit to Denver

Hillary Clinton came to Denver yesterday. She held a rally at the Auraria campus of Metro State. Big Head Todd and the Monsters played until she arrived. More than 1,000 attended.

The reviews are in and she did very well. She's taking a firmer stand on issues and was well received by the crowd.

Her promises:

She would withdraw the troops from Iraq, create millions of jobs in renewable energy by taking $50 billion in tax subsidies away from Big Oil, create universal pre-kindergarten, forgive more student loans and open up the congressional health care plan to all Americans.

On Bush:

Clinton also took aim at President Bush. She called Hurricane Katrina "a natural disaster turned into a national disgrace. If you had turned the sound off, you wouldn't have believed you were looking at pictures of America."

Increasingly in the campaign, there is only one Hillary for folks to see. (More...)

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Fundraising With the Stars

On 5280.com today I wrote about Hillary's fund-raising success this quarter in Colorado.

Over at HuffPo, there's an article "Hollywood Still Hearts Obama" about how Obama is raking it in with Hollywood stars. Since I already had the link to the FEC stats, I went and checked.

Obama raised $3,724,772.18 in California this past quarter. Hillary raised $4,869,227.82.

How about Beverly Hills zip code 90210? Obama raised 69,102.81. Hillary raised 154,515.00.

The HuffPo article doesn't give totals, just lists some stars' donations but it gives the wrong impression. A better, not to mention more alliterative title would have been "Hollywood Hearts Hillary."

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Obama's Latest Criticism of Hillary Over Kyl- Lieberman Amendment

Barack Obama has an oped today criticizing Hillary Clinton for her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment which designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization.

Obama today also penned an op-ed in The Manchester Union-Leader warning that Congress -- including, notably, rival Hillary Clinton -- has given Bush the pretense to invade Iran by approving a recent Senate amendment. "When you give this president a blank check, you can't be surprised when he cashes it," Obama writes. "I strongly differ with Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only Democratic presidential candidate to support this reckless amendment."

But Obama didn't vote against the Amendment, which was a non-binding resolution. He didn't show for the vote. His supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, voted for the Amendment also. (Roll call vote here.)

If Obama so strongly opposed the Amendment, why didn't he show up, argue against it and cast a "no" vote, instead of staying on the campaign trail?

More....

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Hillary Does Not Support Torture

Update: TPM has the transcript.

*****

Kevin Drum is angry over Hillary's comments on torture. I'm not. Hillary was very clear she opposed torture last year.

From her comments then:

The rule of law cannot be compromised. We must stand for the rule of law before the world, especially when we are under stress and under threat. We must show that we uphold our most profound values.

The bill before us allows the admission into evidence of statements derived through cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation. That sets a dangerous precedent that will endanger our own men and women in uniform overseas. Will our enemies be less likely to surrender? Will informants be less likely to come forward? Will our soldiers be more likely to face torture if captured? Will the information we obtain be less reliable? These are the questions we should be asking. And based on what we know about warfare from listening to those who have fought for our country, the answers do not support this bill. As Lieutenant John F. Kimmons, the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence said, "No good intelligence is going to come from abusive interrogation practices."

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Hillary Unveils Retirement Plan

Hillary Clinton unveiled her retirement plan, American Retirement Accounts, today.

As with her biggest policy plan for universal health insurance, Mrs. Clinton cast her savings proposal in terms of choice: If Americans like their 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, they can keep those, while those who lack any savings plan will have a chance to start one with government help and save $5,000 a year on a tax-deferred basis.

“Saving in the accounts will be easy — it should not require a Ph.D. to save for retirement,” Mrs. Clinton said.

The Wall St. Journal has more specifics.

As to why it's needed:

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Hillary, Rolph and Taylor

Taylor Marsh recounts the latest dust-up over Hillary being called a "harpie" after an exchange with Randall Rolph. She's also got the video.

I missed the whole story but Taylor moves on to a discussion of people who criticize bloggers for favorably writing about Hillary, accusing them of somehow being part of her presidential campaign. I've gotten quite of few of those comments myself.

Since Taylor responds so well, I'll just quote her:

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Joseph Wilson on Hillary and Iran

(Guest Post by Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson)

On Iran, Hillary has been right in her strong criticism of Bush

I was pleased to see that last Monday Hillary joined Senator Jim Webb in co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the use of funds for military action in Iran without specific authorization from Congress. Last week, Hillary voted to support a non-binding resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. As a former diplomat, I have had considerable experience in the use of such resolutions to bring pressure – diplomatic pressure – to bear on a regime to rein in rogue elements. And make no mistake about it, the Guards are not only in operational control of Iran's policy toward Iraq and Afghanistan, where Iranian supplied munitions are costing American lives; they are agents of reaction and repression inside Iran. While it is a fact that the Bush administration's duplicity should give all Americans pause, we cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that we have real enemies in the world, and that we must be prepared to exercise the appropriate levers of power in support of our interests.

Both Hillary and Jim Webb correctly worry that the administration is considering a preemptive military strike against Iran. That is why Hillary continues to confront the Bush-Cheney White House and to challenge the legitimacy of any attack against Iran without prior Congressional approval.

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Poll: Hillary's Lead Widens Over Obama and Others

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll finds Hillary Clinton increasing her lead over Barack Obama and the other Democratic candidates:

For the first time, Clinton (N.Y.) is drawing support from a majority of Democrats -- and has opened up a lead of 33 percentage points over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). Her popularity, the poll suggests, is being driven by her strength on key issues and a growing perception among voters that she would best represent change.

....Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 53 percent support Clinton, compared with 20 percent for Obama and 13 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.).

As to her electability factor,

A clear majority of those surveyed, 57 percent, said Clinton is the Democratic candidate with the best chance on Nov. 4, 2008.

Interesting note: Edwards is seen as more electable than Obama:

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