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Sen. John McCain (R, AZ)
Why Courage Matters
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Dreams From My Father
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Promises to Keep
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New Energy for Alaska
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The Meaning of IS
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Green Party Debate
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The Good Fight
Alan Keyes (NAIP)
Our Character, Our Future

Sen. Hillary Clinton
It Takes A Village
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Character Makes A Difference
Amb. Alan Keyes
Our Character, Our Future
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Freedom Under Siege
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Joint appearances by McCain & Obama: Aug.16 -Jul.12 -Jun.28 -Fox -CNN -MtP -Ads

Democratic primaries: IA NH MI NV FL Feb.5 Feb.9-10 Feb.12 Feb.19-24 Mar.4 Apr.22 May 13 May 20 Done!

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Meet your new Senators: Nov. 18th, 2008

The freshman class of the U.S. Senate

Click for details of each Senate race.

Meet Your New Cabinet: Nov. 11th, 2008

Pres.Elect Obama appoints Chief of Staff: Rep. Rahm Emanuel

Pres.-Elect Obama has selected Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel will assist in selecting the president's Cabinet.

Click for details of Bush Cabinet.

OnTheIssues Senate election prediction: Oct. 31st, 2008

We predict a net gain of 6 Senate seats for the Democrats

We have a scary prediction for Halloween: Democrats will control the US House, the US Senate, and the US Presidency. We at OnTheIssues believe that hurts the "balance of powers", one of the core principles of the Constitution. But we believe this outcome will come about because the Republican Party did not learn the lesson of their 2006 election loss: the GOP continued pushing the same economic policy, and the same Iraq war policy, as before 2006, with the same predictable results in 2008. We believe that will be seen as an historical mistake; we only hope that the Republican Party will learn the lesson this time around, so that they can undo the gross imbalance of power in 2010.

Click for details of each Senate race.

OnTheIssues Election Prediction: Oct. 29th, 2008

We predict Obama over McCain, 351 to 187

Before you read this, you should know that OnTheIssues has predicted wrong in every presidential election since we were founded in 1999. With that in mind, we predict a small landslide for Barack Obama next Tuesday. Our detailed state-by-state prediction appears below (click for larger image).

We predict that Obama will gain "blue states" over Kerry's 2004 results in the following categories:

  1. BIDEN STATES: Joe Biden is most popular in OH and PA, and will gain those for Obama. He MAY gain FL for Obama, but McCain will focus there in the final week and take it, we predict.
  2. BLACK STATES: Heavy African-American turnout in VA, NC, GA, and AR will turn those formerly red states blue.
  3. MOUNTAIN STATES: Demographic changes in will turn MT, CO, and NM blue -- but these changes are "permanent", because they represent changes in the entire electorate, compared to category #2's changes, which only apply to Obama.
  4. ELECTION SURPRISES: We predict that one electoral vote from Nebraska will go to Obama (they split their electoral votes by district; we predict the Omaha district will go for Obama while the rest of the state goes for McCain). We also predict that NH will go for McCain. NH is too libertarian to vote for Obama and too idiosyncratic to predict accurately. New Hampshirites have loved McCain since 1999.

Click for John McCain's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

OnTheIssues House election prediction: Oct. 21st, 2008

We predict a net gain of 15 to 27 House seats for the Democrats

2008 appears destined to be as bad a year for the Republican Party in the US House as 1994 was for the Democratic Party. In 1994, Newt Gingrich oversaw a massive turnover of House seats based on the Contract With America. In 2008, the paired woes of the economy and the Iraq War will oust dozens of Republican House members, we predict. In 1994, the Republicans enjoyed a net gain of 54 House seats, capturing the majority by a 26-seat margin. In 2008, the Democrats may enjoy nearly as large a victory, expanding upon their existing 235-199 majority, a 36-seat margin.

The lists below indicate the vulnerable House seats for each party. (All challengers are detailed on our main House page). In summary, Republican incumbents have 58 vulnerable seats, while the Democrats have only 25 vulnerable seats. We categorize them as follows:

  • Retirements: (incumbents: 29 GOP; 8 Dems)
    Predicted outcome: 17-22 GOP; 15-20 Dems (net loss to GOP: 7 to 22 seats).
    GOP House members are more likely to retire than their Democratic colleagues because they know they will return to a minority position (i.e., less power than when they were in the majority). In some cases, incumbents choose to retire rther than face a serious electoral challenge -- Republican members in mixed districts are more likely to retire for that reason too. We predict a higher-than-average party turnover on retirements because of the general public dissatisfaction with Congress. (Congress suffers from an approval rating even lower than Pres. Bush's record low!)
  • Forced Retirements: (incumbents: 3 GOP; 1 Dem)
    Predicted outcome: 3 GOP; 1 Dem (net loss to GOP: 0 seats).
    Four incumbents lost their seats in contested primaries to fellow party members. We predict no party turnover here because all four are "safe seats" for the party in question -- the representative will change, but not the party. The one Democrat who lost his primary resigned (see "crybaby" category) and hence is in the Special Election category.
  • Special Elections: (incumbents: 9 GOP; 6 Dems)
    Predicted outcome: 7-8 GOP; 7-8 Dems (net loss to GOP: 1 to 2 seats).
    15 members resigned or passed away during the 110th Congress. Some resigned to run for higher office; some resigned to capitalize as a "revolving door" lobbyist or corporate position; and some resigned as "crybabies" when they lost to a primary challenger. We denounce the lobbyists and crybabies by labelling them as such -- these are Members of Congress who did not fulfill their duty to serve their constituents. In fact, they cost their constituents a lot of money, because their resignations forced special elections, which the taxpayers must pay for. Since all of these replacement Members are already elected (some as late as June 2008), they face as low a likelihood of turnover as normal incumbents.
  • Hotly Contested Elections: (incumbents: 16 GOP; 10 Dems)
    Predicted outcome: 5-10 GOP; 16-21 Dems (net loss to GOP: 6 to 11 seats).
    We review Congressional contests from the perspective of which organizations push for the election of challengers. Serious organizational support -- either in terms of volunteers or in terms of donations -- gives challengers a chance to oust incumbents. The supporting organizations include each party's Congressional committee; then range from the NRA and Club For Growth (on the right), to MoveOn.org and EMILY's list (on the left). We predict a higher-than-average party turnover in all contested races, because of voter dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. That dissatisfaction especially applies to Republican incumbents, because of voter dissatisfaction of Pres. Bush and his perceived responsibility for the negative direction of the country.
  • Overall prediction: (incumbents: 57 GOP; 25 Dems)
    Surprises not counted above: 0 GOP; 1-2 Dems (net loss to GOP: 1 to 2 seats).
    Predicted outcome: 32-43 GOP; 39-50 Dems (net loss to GOP: 15 to 27 seats). We list below all the House races where we think it's possible for the challenger to win -- but we expect a couple of surprises too, most likely an unexpected Democratic victory in 1 or 2 districts. Stay tuned next week for our Senate and Presidential predictions!

Click for details of each House race.

Gen. Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama: Oct. 19, 2008

See full coverage of Colin Powell's issue stances

Colin Powell, the latest big figure to back Mr Obama, might have had a few kind words for his old friend and party colleague - but he's still voting for the Democrat. It is a decision which will come as a particular blow to John McCain. Mr Powell is, after all, a Republican, a lion of the party and a former general with impeccable national security credentials.

Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War in 1991 and was then Secretary of State during George W Bush's first term in office. He is a big player in Washington and a contemporary of Mr McCain. His view that America needs the generational change which Mr Obama is in a position to offer will undermine his old friend's credibility.

The endorsement was offered during a thoughtful TV interview rather than on stage at an Obama rally. It is particularly damaging for the Republicans that Mr Powell suggested Sarah Palin's inclusion on the ticket and the negative tone of the campaign were major factors in his decision. The implication is clear - that his own party could have won his support, but failed to do so.

Mr Powell's views probably carry quite a bit of weight with the type of military veterans who are natural McCain voters and who distrust Obama - in part at least - because of his lack of international experience.

Source: Library of Congress
Click for complete records of Gen. Colin Powell's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

Third & final presidential debate: Oct. 15th, 2008

McCain vs. Obama at Hofstra University

Last of three debates, in Hempstead, New York.
   Barack Obama: No litmus test; nominate to Court based on their fairness.
   John McCain: I've never imposed a litmus test on Supreme Court nominees.
   Barack Obama: Opposed born-alive treatment law because it was already law.
   John McCain: Obama voted no on partial-birth ban & born-alive treatment.
Budget & Economy
   Barack Obama: Fundamentals were weak BEFORE crisis; focus on middle class.
   John McCain: Americans are innocent victims of Wall Street greed.
   John McCain: $300B to buy up home mortgages; put a floor under it.
Civil Rights
   John McCain: Equal pay for equal work case was a trial lawyer's dream.
   Barack Obama: We both cut taxes; but McCain offers $200B to corporations.
Energy & Oil
   Barack Obama: Let's build a fuel-efficient car in America, not abroad.
   John McCain: Energy independence will create millions of jobs.
Free Trade
   Barack Obama: We export only 4,000 cars to Korea; that's not free trade!.
   John McCain: Free trade with Colombia is something that's a no-brainer.
Health Care
   John McCain: Mandated heath insurance is Big Government at its best.
   Barack Obama: Zero fines & no mandate for small business.
   John McCain: Get healthcare records online to reduce costs.
   Barack Obama: Solution to financial crisis is more job creation.
Principles & Values
   Barack Obama: Bill Ayers is not & will not be involved with my campaign.
   John McCain: I am not President Bush; so don't run against him!.
   John McCain: Obama broke his word on public campaign financing.
War & Peace
   John McCain: Biden's plan to partition Iraq was a cockamamie idea.

Click for Excerpts from the third debate.

Excerpts from Change We Can Believe In: Posted Oct. 13, 2008

See full coverage of Barack Obama's campaign book

Budget & Economy
   Clinton left behind a surplus; Bush squandered it.
Civil Rights
   Legalized discrimination meant blacks could not amass wealth.
   Reformed death penalty by listening & compromising.
   We need more cops; but we also need more families.
   $10 billion to guarantee early childhood education for all.
   Pay for college education for those who commit to teaching.
Energy & Oil
   Harness homegrown, alternative fuels like ethanol.
   $150B over 10 years to establish a green energy sector.
Families & Children
   I know what it means to have an absent father.
   Reward fathers who pay child support with larger EITC.
Foreign Policy
   In Berlin: proud citizen of US; fellow citizen of the world.
   In Cold War, we won hearts & minds; now do same to world.
Free Trade
   Impossible to turn back globalization; we'd be worse off.
   Global trade is unsustainable if it favors only the few.
Government Reform
   Use technology to shine a light on spending.
Health Care
   Universal health care by of first term.
Homeland Security
   Wrote law to secure & destroy world's deadliest weapons.
   Seek the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.
Principles & Values
   We are choosing hope over fear.
   We've never really worked through complexities of race.
Tax Reform
   Middle class tax cut helps offset rising cost of gas & food.
   Broadband in heart of inner cities and rural towns.
   National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: $60B in 10 years.
Welfare & Poverty
   Welfare policies contributed to erosion of black families.

Source: Library of Congress
Click for complete records of Change We Can Believe In and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

Second presidential debate: Oct. 7th, 2008

McCain vs. Obama in Nashville

Second of three debates, at Belmont University, in a "Town Forum" format.
Budget & Economy
   Barack Obama: I sought re-regulation; McCain boasts he's a deregulator.
   John McCain: We've laid a $10 trillion debt on our young people.
   John McCain: Buy up bad mortgages so people can stay in homes.
   John McCain: I suspended my campaign to help resolve financial crisis.
Energy & Oil
   Barack Obama: $15B to free us from foreign oil in 10 years.
   Barack Obama: Nuclear power ok, as one component of energy mix.
   John McCain: All of the above: nuclear, wind, tide, solar, gas, coal.
   John McCain: Nuclear power is the best way to fix climate change.
Government Reform
   John McCain: We need a reformer because system in Washington is broken.
   John McCain: I fought earmarks even in defense spending.
Health Care
   Barack Obama: No exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
Homeland Security
   Barack Obama: Serving America doesn't mean going out shopping.
Social Security
   John McCain: Future retirees cannot get what current ones get.
   John McCain: It's not that tough to fix Social Security, if bipartisan.
Tax Reform
   Barack Obama: My plan cuts taxes for most small businesses & 95% of people.
   John McCain: Keep tax rates the same; let's not raise anybody's taxes.

Click for Excerpts from the second debate.

Vice presidential debate: Oct. 2th, 2008

Palin vs. Biden at WUSTL

First and only V.P. debate, between Gov. Sarah Palin (R, AK) and Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE)
Civil Rights
   Joe Biden: No on gay marriage; yes on equal treatment.
   Sarah Palin: Non-support of anything but traditional marriage.
Energy & Oil
   Joe Biden: I have supported clean coal for 25 years.
   Joe Biden: Cause of global warming is clearly Man-made.
   Sarah Palin: I do support capping carbon emissions.
   Sarah Palin: Exxon & Conoco are not my biggest fan.
   Sarah Palin: Nonsensical to leave domestic supply untapped.
   Sarah Palin: Cyclical temperature changes affect climate change.
Families & Children
   Joe Biden: I've been a single parent; I know the difficulties.
Foreign Policy
   Joe Biden: Time to sit down and talk, talk, talk to enemies.
   Sarah Palin: Some dictators hate America & what we stand for.
Government Reform
   Joe Biden: Led fight against Bork based on ideology.
   Sarah Palin: Agrees with Cheney that VP as executive is flexible.
Health Care
   Joe Biden: McCain health plan is ultimate Bridge to Nowhere.
   Sarah Palin: $5,000 tax credit for families to buy their own coverage.
Homeland Security
   Joe Biden: We spend same in 3 weeks in Iraq as 7 years in Afghanistan.
   Sarah Palin: Economic sanctions on North Korea for nukes.
Principles & Values
   Joe Biden: As VP, I'll be point person in Congress.
   Joe Biden: Cheney has been most dangerous VP in history.
   Sarah Palin: By working with all parties, never had to compromise.
War & Peace
   Joe Biden: We will end Iraq War; McCain has no end in sight.
   Joe Biden: My push for Bosnian intervention saved 1000s of lives.
   Sarah Palin: No white flag of surrender on Iraq.
   Sarah Palin: Divest from Sudan; enforce no-fly zone in Darfur.

Click for Excerpts from the first debate.

First presidential debate: Sept. 26th, 2008

McCain vs. Obama at Ole Miss

First of three debates, at the University of Mississippi, took place three days after Sen. McCain suspended his campaign due to the financial crisis.
Budget & Economy
   Barack Obama: The lax regulation that Bush favored got us in this disaster.
   John McCain: Have no doubt about the magnitude of financial crisis.
   Barack Obama: We need Wall Street responsibility BEFORE financial crises.
   John McCain: Warned about corporate greed & excess; supports bailout.
Government Reform
   Barack Obama: Eliminating earmarks isn't enough; but I'll ceck every line.
   John McCain: Get earmarks under control to deal with the financial crisis.
Health Care
   Barack Obama: Health tax credit is bad idea; it will cost taxpayers more.
   John McCain: $5,000 refundable tax credit for every family.
   Barack Obama: End incentives that move jobs overseas.
   John McCain: Cut business taxes so companies will keep jobs in US.
Tax Reform
   Barack Obama: Yes, earmarks are abused, but small compared to tax cuts.
   John McCain: Worst thing in bad economic climate is to raise taxes.

Click for Excerpts from the first debate.

Senate candidate bill sponsorships: Posted Sept. 19th, 2008

Key bills by members of Congress

Signature issues by Senate candidates, as indicated by bill sponsorships.
AK Stevens on VOIP: 08-S2919
AL Sessions on energy security: 08-S3240
Sessions on border prosecution: 08-S2709
AR Pryor on lead toy ban: 08-S2663
CO Schaffer on conserving grassland: 01-H1689
Udall on veteran mental health: 08-H6268
DE See Biden's V.P. list
GA Chambliss on Reserve pay: 07-S2836
IA Harkin on veterans suicide: 08-S2899
ID LaRocco on forest emergency: 93-HR229
IL Durbin on Juneteenth: 08-SR584
Durbin on Darfur Peace: 08-SR455
KS Roberts on Reserve feeding: 08-S3337
Slattery on water contaminants: 93-H3392
Slattery on TV advisories: 93-SR122
Slattery on super collider: 93-H1009
KY McConnell on offshore drilling: 08-S3202
McConnell on Burma trade ban: 07-SJR16
LA Landrieu on Charter Schools: 07-SR556
Landrieu on Youth Conference: S2771
MA Kerry on ANC terrorism: 08-S2979
ME Collins on Seeds of Peace: 08-SR536
Collins on H-1B visas: 08-S2839
Allen on veterans' PTSD: 08-H5448
Allen on automatic IRAs: 08-S1288
MI Levin on Great Lakes compact: 08-SJR45
MN Coleman on army chiropractors: 08-SCR75
MS Wicker on fetus protection: 08-S3111
Wicker on traditional marriage: 08-SJR43
Cochran on Diabetes: 08-S2742
MT Baucus on mental health: 08-S3101
NC Dole on English-only: 08-S2719
NH Sununu on Internet tax ban: 07-S2128
NJ Zimmer on Megan's Law: 95-H2137
Zimmer on luxurious prisons: 95-HR663
Lautenberg on beach pollution: 08-S2844
NM Pearce on solar energy: 08-H5805
Pearce on child slavery: 08-H5652
Udall on rare canids: 07-H1464
OR Smith on condemning Iran: 08-SR449
RI Reed on childhood cancer: 07-S911
SC Graham on veterans education: 08-S2938
SD Johnson on Argentine meat ban: 08-S3238
TN Alexander on bald eagles: 08-SR583
TX Cornyn on troop voting: 08-S3073
Cornyn on estriol access: 08-SCR88
Cornyn on Syria sanctions: 08-S2917
WY Barrasso on CO2 sequestration: 08-S2614
Enzi on insurance pooling: 08-S2818

Click for bill sponsorships by Senate candidates.

Sarah Palin's record: Sep. 12, 2008

See full coverage of Palin's issue stances

Interested in reading where Sarah Palin stands on the issues? The mainstream media does a great job telling all about Palin's high school nickname and details about her lipstick. In contrast, OnTheIssues.org has excerpted a complete record of Gov. Palin's issue stances from the following sources:

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for complete records of Sarah_Palin's issue stances or John McCain's issue stances.

Joe Biden's Senate record: Sept. 5, 2008

See full coverage of Sen. Joe Biden

Vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden has been in the U.S. Senate for 35 years. To understand Sen. Biden's priorities, one should look at his bill sponsorships. These bills are the issues that Biden cares most about, and on which he spends most of his legislative time and energy.

Source: Library of Congress
Click for complete records of Joe Biden's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

McCain chooses Gov. Sarah Palin (R, AK) for vice president: Aug. 29, 2008

See full coverage of Palin's issue stances and her 2006 campaign booklet

I am honored to announce that I have chosen Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as my choice for the Republican nominee for Vice President. As a father with three daughters, I can't express how proud I am to choose the first female Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.

Sarah Palin is a trailblazer and a reformer. As the first female governor of Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and has been a tireless advocate for reform - passing a landmark bill on ethics reform. She has taken on the old politics in Alaska and reformed the state's energy industry. She rejects wasteful pork barrel spending. She's fearless - exactly the type of leader I want at my side and the type of leadership we will bring to Washington.

My friends, together Sarah Palin and I make the strongest presidential ticket and I know that she joins me in asking for your support as we head into our Convention week in Minnesota. We're shaking things up in this campaign - and Governor Palin and I are ready to bring real reform to Washington.

Source: McCain campaign press release
Click for complete records of Sarah_Palin's issue stances or John McCain's issue stances.

Speeches at Democratic Convention: Aug. 26-28, 2008

See full coverage of Democratic Convention

Speeches at Denver convention:
Civil Rights
   Barack Obama: Keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work.
   Barack Obama: Invest in early childhood education and higher education.
Energy & Oil
   Barack Obama: Drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution.
Families & Children
   Barack Obama: Help families with paid sick days and better family leave.
Foreign Policy
   Joe Biden: The US is less secure and more isolated in recent history.
   Joe Biden: Even Bush recognizes we should talk to Iran.
Government Reform
   Barack Obama: Eliminate government programs that no longer work.
Health Care
   Barack Obama: Ban insurance companies from discriminating against the sick.
Principles & Values
   Barack Obama: The Ownership Society really means "you're on your own".
   Barack Obama: Measure progress by observing how ordinary people are doing.
   Barack Obama: The destiny of all Americans is inextricably linked.
   Hillary Clinton: Confidence and optimism enable us to meet our challenges.
   Hillary Clinton: McCain and Bush are awfully hard to tell apart these days.
   Hillary Clinton: Have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.
   Joe Biden: Failure is at times inevitable but giving up is unforgivable.
   Joe Biden: Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you.
   Joe Biden: We should embrace change just like the previous generations.
Tax Reform
   Barack Obama: Tax cut for 95% of all working families, not corporations.
War & Peace
   Barack Obama: You don't defeat a terrorist network by occupying Iraq.
   Barack Obama: I will only send our troops into harm's way when necessary.
   Joe Biden: Al-Qaeda & the Taliban have regrouped due to Bush's neglect.

Source: Speeches in Denver Colorado at 2008 Convention
Click for complete records of Joe Biden's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

Obama chooses Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE) for vice president: Aug. 23, 2008

See full coverage of Biden's issue stances and his book Promises To Keep

Barack Obama announced his vice presidential pick by text message (automated phone calls) at 3 AM -- harkening back to the "3 AM phone call" ads run by Obama and Hillary Clinton back in the February primaries. Clinton's ad implied Obama was not ready for the inevitable 3 AM phone call on some international emergency. Obama's new reply implies, "We are ready for anything, and we work at full-tilt, even at 3 AM."

Joe Biden ran for president in 1988, and also in 2008, dropping out on January 4th, after the Iowa caucuses. He has been in the Senate since 1972. He chairs the Foreign Policy Committee and serves on the Judiciary Committee.

As usual, OnTheIssues.org recommends that voters ignore the mainstream media's coverage of Biden. After a week of the mainstream media breathlessly speculating about Obama's vice presidential pick, the mainstream media this week will breathlessly speculate about how Biden affects Obama's and McCain's campaign. We remind voters that breathless speculation does not vote -- only you do.

Our coverage of Joe Biden includes a full Senate voting record; a set of excerpts from his biography; and excerpts from all his major debate appearances. If you want to get to know Joe Biden, read our book excerpts and our issue coverage -- then you'll know more relevant information than anything you'd learn from the breathless pundits. Following is our book review of Biden's book:

    Biden focuses on what he considers his key achievements (which will likely be news to most voters!). Biden considers his lead accomplishment in his Senate career to be passage of the Violence Against Women Act in the 1990s. His other signal accomplishments include: successfully pushing Pres. Bill Clinton to bomb Serbia to free Kosovo; successfully urging Pres. Bush to return to Washington on 9/11; and successfully opposing the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.

    Biden spends substantial ink in this book on the Iraq War, which he now describes as a "neocon fantasy." While Biden sounds legitimately against the war in Iraq now, his current analysis has some level of self-justification to it -- because he voted for the war in 2002. He justifies that vote now as a means for avoiding the war in Iraq, and blames the neoconservatives and Bush for going to war and for turning the war to negative results.

    More than Biden informing the voters about his issue stances, this book informs voters about Biden's personal history. That personal history is likely even less known to voters than his issue stances -- and certainly makes Sen. Biden seem a more intriguing character to this analyst. Many people know Biden's history with plagiarism, from his 1988 presidential race -- he explains that as media over-hyping here. And those people more familiar with Senate history know that Biden's wife and daughter were killed in a car crash days after his election to the Senate in 1972. Clearly those two events were formative in Biden's current presidential race. But this book explores several other less-known formative events: from overcoming childhood stuttering; to his 1988 brain surgery.

    Biden's book explores his lesser-known issue stances in some detail too, including their connection to his personal history. If every candidate wrote a book like this, the voters would be well-served.

Source: OnTheIssues.org book review, Oct. 2007
Click for complete records of Joe Biden's issue stances & voting record, and excerpts from his book Promises To Keep.

Joint appearance by McCain & Obama:Aug. 16th, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency

Back-to-back speeches by John McCain and Barack Obama at the Saddleback Civil Forum, hosted by Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
   Barack Obama: FactCheck: Abortions HAVE gone down under Pres. Bush.
Government Reform
   Barack Obama: FactCheck: Worked with McCain on ethics, but bill fell apart.
Health Care
   John McCain: FactCheck: McCain's $5,000 health tax credit would be taxed.
Tax Reform
   John McCain: FactCheck: $7,000-per-child tax EXEMPTION, not tax CREDIT.

Click for Speech excerpts from 99th NAACP conference.

John Edwards admits extramarital affair: Aug. 8, 2008

Now considered disqualified for V.P. or Cabinet spot

The former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards admitted Friday to an extramarital affair while his wife was battling cancer. He denied having fathered the woman's daughter. Edwards told ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. He said he had not taken a paternity test but knew he was not the father because of the timing of the affair and the birth. A former Edwards campaign staff member said he was the father, not Edwards. Hunter's daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, was born Feb. 27, 2008, and no father's name is given on the birth certificate filed in California.

The National Enquirer first reported on the affair in October 2007, and Edwards denied it. "The story is false," he told reporters. "It's completely untrue, ridiculous." He professed his love for his wife, Elizabeth, who had an incurable form of cancer, saying, "I've been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years and as anybody who's been around us knows, she's an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known. So the story's just false." Last month, the Enquirer carried another article stating that its reporters had accosted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel where he had met with Hunter after her child's birth. Edwards called the account "tabloid trash," but he generally avoided reporters' inquiries, as did his former top aides. In the interview, scheduled to air on ABC News' "Nightline," Edwards said the tabloid had been correct when it reported on his meeting with Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hotel last month. Most mainstream news organizations refrained from reporting the story

David Bonior, Edwards's campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said Friday he was disappointed and angry after hearing about Edwards' confession. "Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he's let them down," said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. "They've been betrayed by his action." Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards's future aspirations in public service, Bonior replied: "You can't lie in politics and expect to have people's confidence."

In 2006, Edwards' political action committee paid $100,000 in a four-month span to a newly formed firm run by Hunter, who directed the production of just four Web videos, one a mere 2½ minutes long. The payments from Edwards's One America Committee to Midline Groove Productions started July 5, 2006, five days after Hunter incorporated the firm in Delaware. At the time Hunter was compiling the videos in 2006, Edwards was preparing a run for president.

Source: Associated Press in International Herald Tribune
Click for complete records of John Edwards's issue stances.

OnTheIssues third party coverage: Aug. 1st, 2008

More third-party coverage than all of the mainstream media

    Today we finalize our selection of third-party candidates for our presidential and senatorial coverage. To add additional candidates to his list, please advise us of the candidate's website, and get the candidate to answer our 20-question VoteMatch quiz.
Source: OnTheIssues.org Senate race page
Click for all Senate races.

OnTheIssues Senate voting records posted: July 25th, 2008

Adding to our collection of House voting records

Source: United States Library of Congress, Congressional Record
Click for all previous House voting records.

OnTheIssues Senate voting records posted: July 18th, 2008

Adding to our collection of Senate voting records

Source: United States Library of Congress, Congressional Record
Click for all previous Senate voting records.

Joint appearance by McCain & Obama: July 12th, 2008

99th NAACP conference

Back-to-back speeches by John McCain and Barack Obama at the 99th annual convention of the NAACP.
Budget & Economy
   John McCain: Can't pass trillions of dollars of debt to our children.
   Barack Obama: We still need corporate ethics & vigilant government.
   Barack Obama: Job training for ex-offenders, to avoid return to crime.
   Barack Obama: Fight for social & economic justice begins in the classroom.
   John McCain: Vouchers and school choice for all.
Families & Children
   Barack Obama: Parents provide guidance by turning off TV & video games.
Health Care
   Barack Obama: Give more help to those denied a life of dignity & respect.
   John McCain: Large tax credit for families to buy their health care.
   John McCain: Raising taxes eliminates jobs.
Principles & Values
   Barack Obama: We have to demand more from ourselves.
Tax Reform
   Barack Obama: Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
   John McCain: Double the personal tax exemption for every dependent.
War & Peace
   Barack Obama: $10 billion a month spent in Iraq should be spent in the US.
Welfare & Poverty
   Barack Obama: Still denying decent wages, good benefits, & fair treatment.

Click for Speech excerpts from 99th NAACP conference.

OnTheIssues bill sponsorships posted: July 11th, 2008

Adding to our collection of Congressional bill sponsorships

Source: United States Library of Congress, Congressional Record
Click for all previous Congressional bill sponsorships.

Barack Obama books excerpted by OnTheIssues: July 4, 2008

Obama's book collection is part of the OnTheIssues Archive

Source: OnTheIssues Archive page
Click for complete records of Barack Obama's issue stances.

John McCain books excerpted by OnTheIssues: July 4, 2008

McCain's book collection is part of the OnTheIssues Archive

Source: OnTheIssues Archive page
Click for complete records of John McCain's issue stances.

Hillary Clinton books excerpted by OnTheIssues: July 2, 2008

Hillary's book collection is part of the OnTheIssues Archive

Source: OnTheIssues Archive page
Click for complete records of Hillary Clinton's issue stances.

Joint appearance by McCain & Obama: June 28th, 2008

25th NALEO conference

Back-to-back speeches by John McCain and Barack Obama at the 25th annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials.
Budget & Economy
   Barack Obama: Latinos & blacks are hardest hit by housing & gas crises.
Civil Rights
   Barack Obama: Has stood together with Latino leaders for last 20 years.
   John McCain: Government should be on businesses' side, not in their way.
   John McCain: Shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition.
Energy & Oil
   John McCain: Address both the supply and demand sides of imported oil.
   John McCain: Lexington Project: invest to achieve energy security.
Free Trade
   John McCain: When have Americans ever been afraid of foreign competition?.
   Barack Obama: America has nothing to fear from today's immigrants.
   Barack Obama: We need comprehensive reform, like McCain used to support.
   Barack Obama: Recognize the humanity of immigrants: Todos somos Americanos.
   John McCain: Restart comprehensive reform only after securing borders.
Principles & Values
   Barack Obama: ¡Sí se puede! Yes, we can!.
Tax Reform
   John McCain: Terrible mistake to raise taxes during an economic downturn.

Click for Speech excerpts from 25th NALEO conference.

SenateMatch quizzes posted: June 20th, 2008

Match your issue stances in 33 Senate races

Our coverage of 35 Senate races in 33 states begins officially today. Click here to match your issue stances against the Senate candidates, or click below to see how each one answers the VoteMatch quiz individually.

AK:Stevens v.Begich v.Cuddy v.Sikma
AL:Sessions v.Figures
AR:Pryor v.Kennedy
CO:Schaffer v.Udall
DE:Biden v.O`Donnell
GA:Chambliss v.Cardwell v.Jones v.Buckley
IA:Harkin v.Reed
ID:Risch v.LaRocco
IL:Durbin v.Sauerberg v.Stafford
KS:Roberts v.Jones v.Slattery
KY:McConnell v.Lunsford
LA:Landrieu v.Kennedy
MA:Kerry v.O`Reilly v.Beatty
ME:Collins v.Allen
MI:Levin v.Hoogendyk
MN:Coleman v.Franken v.Ventura v.Cavlan v.Pallmeyer
MS4:Wicker v.Musgrove
MS6:Cochran v.Fleming

MT:Baucus v.Kelleher
NC:Dole v.Hagan
NE:Johanns v.Kleeb v.Raimondo
NH:Sununu v.Shaheen
NJ:Lautenberg v.Zimmer
NM:Wilson v.Pearce v.Udall
OR:Smith v.Merkley v.Frohnmayer
OK:Inhofe v.Rice
SC:Graham v.Cone
SD:Johnson v.Dykstra
TN:Alexander v.Padgett v.Tuke v.Lugo
TX:Cornyn v.Noriega v.Jameson
VA:Gilmore v.Warner v.Marshall
WV:Rockefeller v.Wolfe
WY4:Barrasso v.Carter
WY6:Enzi v.Rothfuss
Source: OnTheIssues.org VoteMatch quizzes
Click for all 33 SenateMatch quizzes.

Hillary Clinton withdraws: June 7, 2008

Let the Veepstakes begin: Dem. V.P. VoteMatch quiz and GOP V.P. VoteMatch quiz

18 million of you from all walks of life – women and men, young and old, Latino and Asian, African-American and Caucasian, rich, poor and middle class, gay and straight – you have stood strong with me. And I will continue to stand strong with you, every time, every place, and every way that I can. The dreams we share are worth fighting for.

I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction: that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I’ve had every opportunity and blessing in my own life – and I want the same for all Americans. Until that day comes, you will always find me on the front lines of democracy – fighting for the future.

The way to continue our fight now – to accomplish the goals for which we stand – is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him, and throw my full support behind him. And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.

Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it. And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time. That has always been the history of progress in America.

Source: Speech to supporters in Washington DC, on campaign website, www.hillaryclinton.com
Click for complete records of Hillary Clinton's or Barack Obama's issue stances.

Oregon & Kentucky Primary results: May 20th, 2008

Hillary wins landslide in Kentucky, but Obama forms V.P. search committee

StateObama delegatesClinton delegates
Kentucky (May 20)1437
Oregon (May 20)3121
Total delegates as of May 201,9181,776
Source: Numerous sources including L.A. Times blog for Obama speculation

John Edwards endorses Barack Obama: May 14th, 2008

Breaks silence since withdrawal from presidential race in January

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Edwards ended his second bid for the White House in January after failing to win any of the early state nominating contests.

Following are five facts about the former North Carolina senator, who fashioned himself as a champion of workers and the poor and a critic of Republican policies he said favoured the rich and corporate America.

Source: Reuters (U.K.)
Click for complete record of John Edwards's issue stances or Barack Obama's issue stances.

West Virginia Primary results: May 13th, 2008

Hillary wins West Virginia, but we're still calling Obama the nominee-in-waiting!

StateObama delegatesClinton delegates
West Virginia (May 13)820
Delegates elected prior to May 131,5921,425
Superdelegates as of May 13284273
Total delegates as of May 131,8841,718
Source: Numerous sources, and we know it's not all perfect!

Bob Barr announces for Libertarian nomination: May 12th, 2008

Former Congressman quit Republican Party in 2006

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr launched a Libertarian Party presidential bid Monday, saying voters are hungry for an alternative to the status quo who would dramatically cut the federal government.

His candidacy throws a wild card into the White House race that many believe could peel away votes from Republican Sen. John McCain given the candidates' similar positions on fiscal policy. Barr, who has hired Ross Perot's former campaign manager, acknowledged that some Republicans have tried to discourage him from running. But he said he's getting in the race to win, not to play spoiler or to make a point.

Barr first must win the Libertarian nomination at the party's national convention that begins May 22. Party officials consider him a front-runner thanks to the national profile he developed as a Georgia congressman from 1995 to 2003. Barr, 59, quit the Republican Party two years ago, saying he had grown disillusioned with its failure to shrink government and its willingness to scale back civil liberties in fighting terrorism. He has been particularly critical of President Bush over the war in Iraq and says the administration is ignoring constitutional protections on due process and privacy.

While in Congress, he was a persistent critic of President Clinton and was among the first to press for impeaching the former president. He helped manage House Republicans' impeachment case before the Senate. He lost his seat to fellow Republican Rep. John Linder in 2002 after a redistricting. He then opened a lobbying and public affairs firm with offices in Atlanta and outside Washington.

The 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik, took less than 1 percent of the vote, placing fourth behind President Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader.

Source: Ben Evans, Associated Press
Click for complete record of Bob Barr's issue stances.

Democratic vice presidential speculation: May 9th, 2008

Links to Obama's potential running-mates

Following is a Huffington Post columnist's opinion on Obama's V.P. choices. OnTheIssues.org predicts Bill Bradley as the best choice demographically and to complement Obama's strengths and weaknesses. But please look over their issue positions and decide for yourself!

With the Democratic nomination now in its endgame, it's time to speculate on that question that makes politicos weak at the knees: who will be tapped to be vice president? We've identified 10 possible VP choices for Obama, as well as the general criteria that might guide his decision.
  • Location, location, location
  • Strong anti-war record
  • Post-partisan record
  • Complementing record

Source: Will Thomas, The Huffington Post
Click for complete records of Barack Obama's issue stances.

Pennsylvania Primary results: April 22nd, 2008

Hillary wins Pennsylvania, but we're declaring Obama the nominee-in-waiting

StateObama delegatesClinton delegates
North Carolina (May 6)6550
Indiana (May 6)3538
Pennsylvania (Apr.22)7385
Mississippi (Mar.11)2013
Wyoming caucus(Mar.8)75
Delegates elected March 8-May 6200191
Delegates prior to March 814691443
Total Delegates16691634
Source: Numerous sources, and we know it's not all perfect!

Mike Gravel announces for Libertarian nomination: March 26th, 2008

Former Senator quits Democratic Party

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel has abandoned his bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate and now hopes to be the nominee of the Libertarian Party. Gravel said he is joining the Libertarian ranks because it “is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can’t be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America.

“My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy,” he said in a statement. In an e-mail to supporters, Gravel, 77, wrote, “I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views.”

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party but is running as a Republican presidential candidate. Paul was the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1988. 15 candidates are on the slate for the Libertarian Party nomination, which will be determined at the May 22-26 national convention in Denver, Colo.

A Libertarian Party spokesperson said Gravel isn’t “a perfect libertarian” but he supports essentials of the party — opposing a military draft, empowering the American voter and standing against “the war of American imperialism.”

Source: FoxNews.com
Click for complete record of Mike Gravel's issue stances.

Bill Richardson endorses Barack Obama: March 21, 2008

Snubs Bill & Hillary Clinton

Declaring that Sen. Barack Obama is an "extraordinary American," Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico endorsed Obama for the Democratic nominee for president. Richardson sought this year's Democratic nomination for president himself.

Richardson praised Obama for his speech this week on race in America, saying "he appealed to the best in us." "As a Hispanic-American, I was particularly touched by his words," Richardson said, putting his arm around Obama and declaring in Spanish that he is "a man who understands us." Richardson is the nation's only Hispanic governor. Hispanics have tended to support Sen. Hillary Clinton in her quest for the Democratic nomination.

Obama and Clinton both lobbied Richardson for his endorsement after he dropped out of the race January 10. Richardson called Clinton Thursday to tell her of his decision, Clinton's campaign said. The campaign shrugged off Richardson's endorsement of her rival. Richardson was secretary of energy and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton. He said he remains friends with the Clintons, and watched the Super Bowl with Bill Clinton this year.

Richardson's endorsement may be more important for its influence on superdelegates, the nearly 800 Democratic party officials whose backing will be essential for either candidate to win the party's nomination. As a governor, Richardson is a superdelegate.

Richardson is the second former Democratic presidential contender to endorse Obama, after Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Two other former candidates, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, have remained neutral. None of the dropouts has endorsed Clinton.

Source: CNN.com
Click for complete records of Bill Richardson's or Barack Obama's issue stances.

Republican vice presidential speculation: March 13, 2008

Links to McCain's potential running-mates

Following is a Boston Globe columnist's opinion on McCain's V.P. choices. OnTheIssues.org predicts Mark Sanford as the best choice demographically and to complement McCain's strengths and weaknesses. CNN favors Haley Barbour and the Conventional Wisdom seems to favor Charlie Crist. The most "maverick" choice would be Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic nominee for Vice President who is now an Independent actively supporting McCain. But please look over their issue positions and decide for yourself!

HERE'S MY RANKING of the 20 candidates - from weakest to strongest. (with scores, where 100 is the best)

McCain's VP search committee has yet to set its own criteria for screening candidates, so don't order your McCain-Pawlenty bumper sticker yet. Meanwhile, Pawlenty might find comfort and hope in what McCain said about him during the 2006 campaign: "This is the kind of leadership that I'd like to pass the torch to."

Todd Domke is a Boston area Republican political analyst, public relations strategist, and author.

Source: Todd Domke Op-Ed, Boston Globe
Click for complete records of John McCain's issue stances.

Pres. Bush endorses John McCain: March 5, 2008

McCain becomes presumptive nominee

President Bush endorsed Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain on Wednesday, two bitter rivals from the 2000 presidential race joining together now in hopes of preventing Democrats from winning the White House this fall. Bush's embrace of the Arizona senator as the party's next standard-bearer comes a day after McCain clinched the GOP nomination by getting the requisite 1,191 convention delegates. Republicans won't officially nominate McCain until early September at the GOP's national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

With his low poll ratings and an unpopular war on his shoulders, Bush could hurt McCain with some groups, while helping with others. "They're not going to be voting for me," the president said. "I've had my time in the Oval Office." "It's not about me," Bush said. "I've done my bit."

McCain's Washington visit amounted to a victory lap of sorts after a bruising 16-month Republican presidential primary. He was visiting not only the White House he hopes to occupy but also the Republican National Committee headquarters that he essentially assumes control of now that he's the expected GOP nominee. He was essentially laying claim to the entire force of the Republican Party apparatus as he plots his general election strategy and sets in motion his campaign — and that of the party — to keep a Republican at the White House helm.

For McCain, the general election campaign starts now even though Democrats still haven't chosen a candidate. Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continue a protracted battle for their party's nod, leaving McCain an opportunity to unify his party. To that end, Bush's support sends a strong signal to GOP critics of McCain to fall in line. The GOP's conservative base has resisted rallying around McCain, long viewing him skeptically for working across the aisle with Democrats on issues that the right flank detest. Bush is the head of the Republican Party and he remains a well-liked figure with GOP rank-and-file. Thus, he could be an asset in raising money and rallying the GOP base for McCain. However, his job performance rating is at a low point and he is unpopular with the general public.

Source: Associated Press on MSNBC
Click for complete records of George W. Bush's or John McCain's issue stances.

Mike Huckabee withdraws: March 5, 2008

Endorses John McCain

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is calling it a day -- he's dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Huckabee made the announcement to his supporters in Texas after John McCain clinched the needed number of delegates.

Huckabee says he telephoned McCain and offered not only his congratulations, but his commitment to both him and the Republican Party.

Huckabee praised McCain, saying he has run "an honorable campaign because he is an honorable man."

Source: Associated Press
Click for complete records of Mike Huckabee's issue stances.

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