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Hostage Situation at Clinton Campaign Office

News broke today on a hostage situation in one of Senator Clinton’s presidential campaign offices in Rochester, New Hampshire. At 1 P.M, eye witnesses say a man in his 40’s with salt and pepper hair walked into the Hillary for ’08 Office, said he had a bomb and demanded to speak with Senator Hillary Clinton. Several buildings including Obama’s and Edwards’ campaign offices were evacuated as well as St. Elizabeth Seaton School.

Original reports stated there were four or five hostages at the beginning of the situation.

The man let a mother and her infant go before slamming the door closed, witnesses said.

“A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, ‘You need to call 911,'” witness Lettie Tzizik told WMUR-TV.

“‘A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape.'”

Video on two female hostages walking out of the office were released and a report of another hostage release has surfaced, however there is still conflicting reports on the safety of all hostages. There may or may not be one or more hostages still within the campaign office.

Senator Clinton was due to speak at the National Virgina Democratic Committee today but canceled her appearance. Senator Clinton was in no immediate danger and spent most of her day in Washington D.C.

Statement from Senator Clinton’s Office

There is an ongoing situation in our Rochester, NH office. We are in close contact with state and local authorities and are acting at their direction. We will release additional details as appropriate.

Current reports place the name of the suspect has Leland Eisenberg who has had a history with stalking.

From the Campaigns

Dennis Kucinich

“We’re all in solidarity with Hillary at this moment when we think about what she’s going through and what her staff is going through at this moment,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is also running for president.

Kucinich said it was a sad commentary on the state of the nation when people feel that “the only way they can express themselves is through violence.”

Joe Biden

Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) added, “We pray that this all works out and we wish Hillary the best of luck.”

Video

CNN

WMUR

Daily Rasmussen: Huckabee on Top

New national numbers and Iowa numbers from Rasmussen today.

Republicans

Rudy Giuliani: 24%
Mitt Romney: 15%
John McCain: 14%
Mike Huckabee: 12%
Fred Thompson: 11%
Ron Paul: 5%

The more interesting race this election cycle is the Republican race for the nomination. In 2006, John McCain was the frontrunner. Rudy Giulaini took over in the beginning of the year. Fred Thompson rocketed up to frontrunner status and now Mike Huckabee is slowly climbing. Mitt Romney has been roughly in the same position nationally all year. Anyone could be the nominee.

Democrats
Hillary Clinton: 40%
Barack Obama: 18%
John Edwards: 13%
Bill Richardson: 4%
Joe Biden: 4%

The Democratic race looks pretty much the same way it has all year long. I wonder what would of happen if Mark Warner ran for President?

Iowa Republican Caucus

Mike Huckabee: 28%
Mitt Romney: 25%
Rudy Giuliani: 12%
Fred Thompson: 11%
Ron Paul: 5%
John McCain: 4%
Tom Tancredo: 4%
Duncan Hunter: 1%

Among those who have participated in the caucuses before, Huckabee attracts 30% support while Romney is at 23%. Among those who have not taken part in the caucuses before, it’s Romney 29% Huckabee 26%.

Overall, Romney is the second choice for 21% of likely caucus participants. Huckabee is the second choice for 16%, Giuliani for 15% and Thompson for 14%.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Huckabee supporters say they are certain to vote for him. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Giuliani’s supporters say the same along with 48% of Romney voters and 46% of those for Thompson.

What happens if Huckabee wins Iowa?

Obviously, a Huckabee victory in Iowa would be a serious blow for the Romney campaign. Even a very narrow victory for Romney might be seen as a failure to meet expectations.

At the same time, a Huckabee victory in Iowa might help Giuliani by preventing Romney from getting a head of steam before February 5.

For Thompson and McCain, a Huckabee victory in Iowa would certainly qualify as a very sharp dual-edged sword. On the one hand, it would damage the campaigns of Giuliani and Romney enough to give Thompson and McCain another chance to make their case. But, Huckabee’s ascent might also prevent them from being heard.

For Huckabee himself, while a victory in Iowa would be satisfying, it’s not clear how well he would perform under increased expectations and scrutiny. It’s also not clear what sort of financial resources he could obtain or how strong an organization he could build on the fly.

The bottom line is that a Huckabee victory or near-victory would add even more confusion to an already confusing race for the GOP nomination.

It’s gonna be one helluva race.

Iowa Poll: Huckabee Surging

New numbers out of Strategic Vision.

Republicans

Mitt Romney: 26%
Mike Huckabee: 24%
Rudy Giuliani: 14%
Fred Thompson: 10%
John McCain: 7%
Ron Paul: 5%
Tom Tancredo: 3%
Duncan Hunter: 1%
Undecided: 10%

Interesting internal for Republicans: 51% of Republicans supporting withdrawal from Iraq within six months. Good news for Ron Paul perhaps?

Democrats

Hillary Clinton: 29%
Barack Obama: 29%
John Edwards: 23%
Bill Richardson: 6%
Joseph Biden: 4%
Chris Dodd: 1%
Dennis Kucinich: 1%
Undecided: 7%

Still a three-way race.

Biden Even with Republicans

Two new (kind of old) polls from Rasmussen show Joe Biden in a dead heat with both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

Joe Biden: 40%
Rudy Giuliani: 42%

Joe Biden: 39%
Mitt Romney: 39%

Obviously the undecideds are high. Nevertheless, it shows the dire situation Republicans are in when a second tier Democrat is well within range against top tier Republicans. To put this in perspective, however, the latest numbers out of Rasmussen show Hillary Clinton trailing Rudy Giuliani by four points, a ten-point (volatile) swing from their previous poll.

Top Menu Placed on Hold

Due to complications, the Top Menu will have to wait, possibly until after the Iowa caucus.

I’m not entirely happy witht the turn out or the format, so we will just have to make do with the main page for now. But, chances are, it will be up and running next year.

Top Menu’s Comming Soon

Soon, Reliable Politics will feature top menu click able links, which will give you more information on the 2008 election.

Until then, it is just a placeholder and a little unattractive. I may do a redesign to better suit the theme of the blog.

Giuliani vs. McCain

It was only a matter of time. With Bernard Kerik’s indictment and Giuliani’s unwavering support for the former New York Police Commissioner, someone had to come out swinging. McCain was the first out of the gate criticizing Giuliani’s judgment and Kerik’s performance during his time in Iraq training the Iraqi Police Force.

“I don’t know Mr. Kerik. I do know that I went to Baghdad shortly after the initial victory and met in Baghdad with (Ambassador Paul) Bremer and (Lt. Gen. Ricardo) Sanchez. And Kerik was there. Kerik was supposed to be there to help train the police force. He stayed two months and one day left, just up and left,” McCain told reporters traveling on his campaign bus, according to the Associated Press. “That’s why I never would’ve supported him to be the head of homeland security because of his irresponsible act when he was over in Baghdad to try and help train the police. One of the reasons why we had so much trouble with the initial training of the police was because he came, didn’t do anything and then went out to the airport and left.”

The Giuliani campaign responded in kind:

“Americans need someone in the White House who knows how to balance their own checkbook before they try to balance the federal government’s,” Levinson added. “They don’t need John McCain; they need Rudy Giuliani — who has actually balanced a budget and made a payroll.”

The Giuliani campaign also released a series of 12 quotes from McCain praising Rudy Giuliani. The quotes ranged from calling for Giuliani’s appointment as Secretary of Homeland Security and calling Giuliani an “American hero.” The campaign once again responded to McCain.

“Is this what desperation looks like? Bernie Kerik’s issues have been known since 2004 and John McCain still had glowing things to say about Rudy Giuliani and his leadership. What, exactly, changed today? Best as I can tell, it’s just John McCain’s pure desperation in the face of a failing and flailing campaign trumping his so-called straight talk. It is truly a shame that John McCain has chosen to stoop this low.”

Mitt Romney has yet to respond in full, but said the following:

“We can’t have ethical standards that are a punch line for Jay Leno. When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses.”

Fred Thompson did not have much to say:

“I heard about it a while ago; it’s been in the news, obviously for a long time, but I don’t know anything about the facts of that case, and I really can’t comment on it.”

It looks like McCain tried to seize at the opportunity, but the Giuliani campaign was more than ready for a fight.

Daily Rasmussen: Paul Moving, Clinton Still Strong

New numbers from Rasmussen for the primary and general election.

Republicans

Rudy Giuliani: 23%
Fred Thompson: 16%
John McCain: 13%
Mitt Romney: 11%
Mike Huckabee: 9%
Ron Paul: 6%

With the news that Ron Paul raised $4.2 million in one day, it looks like he is getting a little bounce in the polls. Not too shabby for a little guy named Ron Paul. The question is, can he deliver? I think not. How about a third party run? Maybe.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton: 44%
Barack Obama: 19%
John Edwards: 15%

I have to say, the Republican race for the nomination is far more interesting that the Democratic race. There are four men who could possibly be the nominee, one who could shake things up and another who is a pest to the other candidates.

General Election

Hillary Clinton: 48%
Rudy Giuliani: 42%

Hillary Clinton: 48%
Fred Thompson: 42%

This is an improvement from the last survey which had her in a dead heat with both Republican candidates.

Former Brownback SC Chair Endorses McCain

After his boss dropped out of the presidential race, David Barron, Brownback’s former South Carolina Chair, is now endorsing John McCain for President citing McCain’s track record as a consistent conservative.

“Sam is backing Sen. McCain and so will I. There is no viable alternative for conservatives now. Hope I’ll see y’all on the trail. Sure would be good to fight the good fight with you.”

Other members of Brownback’s former campaign are backing other candidates.

A former member of Brownback’s steering committee, Kevin Bryant, will back Mitt Romney.

Superdelegates for Clinton

Superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention are lining up behind the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton: 159
Barack Obama: 59
John Edwards: 29
Bill Richardson: 25
Chris Dodd: 11
Joe Biden: 8
Dennis Kucinich: 2

There are still 291 undecided unpledged delegates which can go to any candidate the delegate chooses to support.

Superdelegates are not distributed through a primary election, however they do vote at the convention and are part of the 2162 votes needed to win the nomination. Still, superdelegates can and will likely change their candidate of preference.