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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.