Weekly political rail, now with Video of the Week and more news briefs, plus your usual favorites.
Wondering what the presidential polls looked like at this point four years ago?
Here are the numbers from a CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll taken in late May 2004:
John Kerry: 50 percent
George Bush: 44 percent
Ralph Nader: 5 percent
And here are the Gallup results from polls taken in early June 2004:
John Kerry: 47 percent
George Bush: 46 percent
Ralph Nader: 4 percent
Video of the Week: Parrot backing Obama for president
Notebook News: Chelsea for president?
Bill Clinton recently told People Magazine that politics might be around the corner for his daughter Chelsea. While the 28-year-old heretofore hasn’t expressed much of an interest in politics, she has become quite the campaigner, the former president said. The defining moment came when Hillary Clinton lost Iowa in January. "She realized her mother lost Iowa 100 percent because of younger voters. She was upset, bawled, went to her employer and said, 'Look, you got to let me go or give me an indefinite leave of absence. I'm not letting my mother go down like this,' " Bill Clinton told the magazine.
Notebook News: Hanging chads are back
An HBO movie about the 2000 presidential election will debut this weekend. “Recount” -- starring Kevin Spacey (as Al Gore), Laura Dern, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Denis Leary and more – brings to life the controversy surrounding the Bush-Gore election, and politicos who have seen the movie say the film captures the intensity of the actual event. Show time is 9 p.m. EDT Sunday.
Political Battle of the Week: McCain vs. Pastor
First the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, now the Rev. John Hagee. While there hasn’t been as much uproar over Hagee as there was over Wright, Hagee – who was backing John McCain for president – is now in the spotlight because of incendiary statements. He is accused of saying, among other things, that God’s will was fulfilled in Adolf Hitler’s treatment of Jews and that the Catholic Church is “the great whore.” McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement this past week, although according to published reports, McCain earlier this year sought out the endorsement.
Quote of Note
"I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history."
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, in a statement endorsing Barack Obama for president.
According to Betfair.com, here are the top contenders for the Democratic vice presidential spot (with Barack Obama as the presidential nominee), with the odds:
Hillary Clinton: 4.4
Jim Webb: 5
Kathleen Sebelius: 6.8
Bill Richardson: 7.2
John Edwards: 7.8
Ted Strickland: 9.5
Political Pun-dits: Traveling President Bush
"The White House has announced that next month President Bush will be making a trip through Europe. … President Bush says he's really excited to go to Europe because he's never seen a kangaroo." -- Conan O'Brien
"President Bush was just in Saudi Arabia meeting with King Abdullah. He gets a little confused. He kept saying, 'So where's Paula Abdullah?' I don't think he understands." -- Jay Leno
"Ladies and gentlemen, President Bush is back from his trip to the Mideast. And he did accomplish one thing -- he found the crystal skull." -- David Letterman
This Week in Political History
May 25, 1925 - Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
May 26, 1830 - The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
May 27, 1997 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he is in office.
May 28, 1863 - Civil War: The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first African-American regiment, leaves Boston to fight for the Union.
May 29, 1790 - Rhode Island becomes the last of the original colonies to ratify the Constitution and is admitted as the 13th state.
May 30, 1868 - Decoration Day (the predecessor of Memorial Day) is observed in the United States for the first time.
May 31, 1971 - In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30.
GateHouse News Service