Election 2008

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  Political Radar: Mccain Flub? Republican Says He'D Fire Sec Chair As PresidentSeptember 18, 1998 22:32 At a joint rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Thursday, Republican John McCain slammed the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for being "asleep," saying that if he were president, he would fire Chris Cox, the chairman of the SEC since 2005 and a former Republican congressman.

McCain said the SEC has allowed trading practices, such as short selling, to stay in place, that turned the "markets into a casino."

"The regulators were asleep, my friends," McCain said. "The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president, and in my view, has betrayed the public trust. If I were president today, I would fire him."

But while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair, a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission cannot be removed by the president.

From time to time, presidents have attempted to remove commissioners who have proven "uncooperative." However, the courts have generally upheld the independence of commissioners. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fired a member of the Federal Trade Commission, and the Supreme Court ruled the president acted unconstitutionally.
  Palin Staff Won'T Testify In Trooper Probe, Ag SaysSeptember 17, 1998 23:07 Aides to Gov. Sarah Palin won't comply with subpoenas issued by state lawmakers investigating the firing of Alaska's former public safety commissioner because Palin "has declined to participate" in the probe, her attorney general says.

"As state employees, our clients have taken an oath to uphold the Alaska Constitution, and for that reason, they respect the Legislature's desire to carry out an investigation in support of its lawmaking powers," Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, told the investigation's manager in a letter released Wednesday.

"However, our clients are also loyal employees subject to the supervision of the governor."

The chairman of the bipartisan panel that commissioned the probe said Colberg is breaking an agreement his office made a week ago.
  Obama Zings Mccain'S 'Old Boy Network' | The Trail | Washingtonpost.ComSeptember 17, 1998 23:06 The rest of the Democratic establishment has been panicking in recent days over the upward trajectory of the McCain-Palin ticket -- but Sen. Barack Obama appears to be barely letting his blood pressure rise.

He held two events today, one in Elko, Nev., another here. He chided Sen. John McCain some at both. "Yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he's president, he'll take on the, quote, old boys' network in Washington," Obama said in Elko.

"I am not making this up. This is someone who's been in Congress for 26 years - who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign - and now he's the one who will take on the old boy network?" Obama continued. "The old boy network? In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

The line drew an enthusiastic response from the more than 1,500 guests the campaign estimated were in attendance. But it was still just a cool zinger -- in keeping with the mellow tone pervading the campaign even in what some of his allies consider a time for worry. Adding to the low-key vibe was a new ad, running two minutes in length, released on Wednesday morning featuring Obama speaking directly into the camera about the financial crisis.

By nighttime, Obama got a little more revved up. At a rally inside a baseball stadium here, Obama opened with a rousing "Si se puede" and joked about playing the slot machines while he was in town. But he quickly brought the crowd back down to a more serious level. He told people they could sit down -- rather than standing in their seats -- and said it had been a "difficult day, in a difficult week, in a difficult year," as he launched into what is becoming a standard part of his stump speech, about the financial meltdown.

"I didn't just read a poll and say, 'Oh, hey, this is a change election,'" he said.

  Palin Takes Questions At Michigan Town-Hall MeetingSeptember 17, 1998 23:00 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took questions with her running mate Wednesday night, offering at one point to play "stump the candidate" with a mostly friendly Michigan crowd.

Asked for "specific skills" she could cite to rebut critics who question her grasp of international affairs, she replied, "I am prepared."

"I have that confidence. I have that readiness," Palin said. "And if you want specifics with specific policies or countries, you can go ahead and ask me. You can play 'stump the candidate' if you want to. But we are ready to serve."

GOP presidential nominee John McCain stepped in, pointing out that as governor of a state that is oil and gas plentiful, Palin was familiar with energy. She knows it to be "one of our great national security challenges," he said.

He also cited her nearly two years as commander of Alaska's National Guard. "I believe she is absolutely, totally qualified to address every challenge as the next vice president of the United States," McCain said.

The Alaska governor has largely avoided national news outlets since McCain named her his running mate August 29. Mostly unknown outside her home state, she has sat for interviews with ABC, People magazine and Fox News and had not taken questions at a campaign appearance before Wednesday.
  Obama'S August Haul: $66 Million. Mccain'S: $47 Million. Both Are RecordsSeptember 14, 1998 22:09 Barack Obama reported a record $66 million fundraising haul last month, money that becomes increasingly vital after John McCain pulled even or edged slightly ahead in the polls with a significant boost from his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.

The Illinois senator's August fundraising total, announced on Sunday, outstripped McCain's take for the month by nearly $20 million. McCain had rolled up $47 million, his own personal best. Obama's campaign said he reached the new record with the help of a half-million first-time givers.

Obama appears to be refocusing his campaign on the issue distinctions between him and McCain after having spent much of the previous week trying to figure out a campaign strategy to blunt the Republican ticket's surge in the polls fueled by Palin's surprise choice as No. 2 on the ticket.

Combined with his renewed focus on McCain, a four-term Arizona senator who is trying to horn in on Obama's message of change, the Democrat has been scoring points with counterattacks on distortions and factual inaccuracies promoted by the Republican camp, especially in television ads.

Even former Bush political adviser Karl Rove joined those questioning McCain's tactics. He said his fellow Republican had joined Obama in shading the truth in campaign advertising.

"McCain has gone, in some of his ads, similarly gone one step too far in sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent truth test," Rove told Fox television on Sunday.