Archive for the ‘leadership’ Category

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele Castigates Republican Party “Country Club” Mentality

November 19, 2008

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele castigated Republican Party leadership Tuesday for having a “country club” mentality and being out of touch, and said if he is chosen to represent the party, he will help transform it into an inspiring choice for young and minority voters.

 
 Michael S. Steele

“Let’s just be very frank about it. What the party’s got to do is get its head out of the clouds and out of the sand and recognize that the dynamics politically and otherwise around them have changed,” said Mr. Steele, during an interview with reporters and editors at The Washington Times.

“The coalitions are very different from what they were 25 years ago,” he said.

By Jon Ward
The washington Times

Mr. Steele, 50, who in 2002 became the first black lieutenant governor of Maryland, talked at length about how the Republican Party can recover from an election in which Democratic President-elect Barack Obama won traditionally conservative states, such as Virginia and Indiana, largely because he drew huge numbers of first-time voters to the polls.

Mr. Steele blasted the Republican Party’s lackluster effort in recruiting those same new voters, especially minorities.

“The problem is that within the operations of the RNC, they don’t give a damn. It’s all about outreach and outreach means lets throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them ‘See, look at us,'” he said.

“And then we go back to same ole’, same ole’. Theres nothing that is driven down to the state party level, where state chairmen across the country, to the extent they dont appreciate it, are helped to appreciate the importance of African-Americans and women and others coming and being a part of this party, and to the extent that they do appreciate it, are given support and back up to generate their own programs to create this relationship.”

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/18/steele-
criticizes-country-club-gop/

Dunwoody becomes first female four-star general

November 14, 2008

Call it breaking the brass ceiling. Ann E. Dunwoody, after 33 years in the Army, ascended Friday to a peak never before reached by a woman in the U.S. military: four-star general. At an emotional promotion ceremony, Dunwoody looked back on her years in uniform and said it was a credit to the Army — and a great surprise to her — that she would make history in a male-dominated military.

“Thirty-three years after I took the oath as a second lieutenant, I have to tell you this is not exactly how I envisioned my life unfolding,” she told a standing-room-only auditorium crowd. “Even as a young kid, all I ever wanted to do was teach physical education and raise a family.

“It was clear to me that my Army experience was just going to be a two-year detour en route to my fitness profession,” she added. “So when asked, `Ann, did you ever think you were going to be a general officer, to say nothing about a four-star?’ I say, `Not in my wildest dreams.’

“There is no one more surprised than I — except, of course, my husband. You know what they say, `Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.’ ”

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody listens to a question during a news conference ...
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody listens to a question during a news conference following her promotion ceremony to a four-star General, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, at the Pentagon.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In an Associated Press interview after the ceremony, Gen. George Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, said that if there is one thing that distinguishes Dunwoody it is her lifetime commitment to excelling in uniform.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081114/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/female_
general;_ylt=AoFAG1Kj9tcEEjGKsMv7lDms0NUE

Democrats say McCain can help mediate standoffs

November 6, 2008

Before resting from the grueling presidential race, John McCain began discussing with senior aides what role he will play in the Senate now that he has promised to work with the man who defeated him for president.

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

Democrats, who padded their majorities in the House and Senate, have a suggestion: McCain can mediate solutions to partisan standoffs on key legislation as he did to help avert a constitutional meltdown over judicial confirmations in 2005.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain gestures during ... 
Republican presidential candidate John McCain gestures during his speech concession speach to Democrat Barack Obama during his election night rally on November 4, 2008 in McCain’s home town of Phoenix, Arizona. McCain, 72, now faces an uncertain future as the shell-shocked Republicans attempt to regroup with an eye on mid-term elections in 2010 and the next White House race in four years’ time.(AFP/File/Robyn Beck)

“There’s a need for the old John McCain, a leader who worked in a bipartisan way,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.

GOP leaders, never fond McCain’s independent streak or blunt style, nonetheless are reaching out to keep him in the fold and keep Republican ranks as robust as possible during the next Congress, two knowledgeable GOP officials said on condition they not be named because the conversations were private.

One obvious focus will be the war in Iraq. After two years spent more on the campaign than in the Senate, McCain will return as the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee. That will put the four-term Arizona senator in a position to influence Democrat Barack Obama’s plan to set a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops from combat in Iraq.

“That would be good,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said in a telephone interview. “I would love to see McCain work with President Obama in dealing with Iraq in a way that Republicans and Democrats could agree on.”

During the campaign, McCain staunchly opposed setting such a time frame, even as the Iraqi government began working with the Bush administration to do so.

But in conceding the presidency to Obama Tuesday night at a Phoenix hotel, McCain pledged “to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.”

He allowed that defeat was disappointing but said that starting Wednesday “we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.”

Aides said they believed McCain would work well with Obama as president because much of his best work in the Senate had been done with Democrats, including a landmark campaign finance law he crafted with Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and an unsuccessful effort with Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_el_pr/mccain;_
ylt=Ar4bINtgYAiC6ERXEWDxqSCs0NUE

Tease? Team Obama Gives Debate “Talking Points” To Media; What Will McCain Do?

October 15, 2008

Final preparations are made at the presidential debate site ... 
Final preparations are made at the presidential debate site at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. John McCain, needing a dramatic turnaround to his waning White House hopes, vowed to unmask his rival Barack Obama as a radical sympathizer at their third and final debate in New York Wednesday.(AFP/Getty Images/Win Mcnamee)

Politico

The Obama campaign is trying to raise the stakes for McCain by stressing that the debate may be his last chance to turn the race around, and to raise the expectation that he’ll attack.

“This is John McCain’s last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn’t disqualify him from being President,” say the talking points.

And they’re continuing to drive the “erratic” message.

“John McCain has been erratic and unsteady since this crisis began — staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks,” says the document, which is essentially a more deadpan version of Bill Burton’s pre-debate memo.

Full talking points after the jump.

Talking Points

· This is John McCain’s last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn’t disqualify him from being President.

· Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to “whip Obama’s you-know-what” at the debate, and he’s indicated that he’ll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to distract voters.

· So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack

Barack Obama….
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081015/pl_politico/23794_1
Related:
Obama Says He Really Does Believe In “Income and Wealth Redistribution”
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Just one troubling quandry for John McCain….

 

Mike Allen
Politico

John McCain is at odds with many of his top advisers over launching a renewed attack on Barack Obama‘s ties to his long-time pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to campaign sources.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and several top campaign officials see a sharp attack on Wright as the best — and perhaps last — chance to rattle Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill. ) and force voters to rethink their support of him. But McCain continues to overrule them, fearing a Wright attack would smack of desperation and racism, the officials said.

With McCain unlikely to budge, GOP officials are hoping groups outside of the campaign will finance an ad attack on Obama-Wright ties. It is unclear if any conservative group has the cash to bankroll a serious effort, however.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ...
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., makes a campaign stop at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“Wright is off the table,” said one top campaign official. “It’s all McCain. He won’t go there. His advisers would have gone there.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081015/pl_politico/14587;_ylt=AkPRWw2LJ5790c.O3kohb_Os0NUE

Related:
Barack Obama’s Famous Friends, Associates: Hate Speech, Crimes, Fraud Incorporated
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — GOP Sen. John McCain must clearly differentiate his plan to fix the ailing economy from that of his rival Sen. Barack Obama at Wednesday night’s presidential debate if he is to shake up the race, political analysts said.

“I think what he has to to do is talk about the issues. … He’s got to talk about his economic plan,” CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger said. “Yes, he’s got to convince voters that he’s got the judgment to be president, but he’s also got to convince voters to like him.”

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic policy during their second presidential debate.

Above: Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic
policy during their second presidential debate.

The third and final debate, taking place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, at 9 p.m. ET, may be the last time the Republican presidential candidate may be able turn the race to his favor before Election Day, now less than three weeks away.

The 90-minute face-off, which will air on CNN and CNN.com, will undoubtedly focus on the economic crisis plaguing the country.

CNN political editor Mark Preston said the debate will likely be McCain’s “last chance to reach tens of millions of people with his vision for America.”

“He needs a game-changer,” Preston said.

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/15/presidential.debate/index.html?section=cnn_latest
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By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer

TOLEDO, Ohio – Republican John McCain is looking to turnaround his fortunes in the final presidential debate with Democrat Barack Obama, a forum focused on pocketbook issues and domestic policy Wednesday night.

Both candidates released proposals this week designed to boost the economy as financial institutions wobble and voters feel the pinch of a faltering economy. The debate is at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., with the candidates seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS.

With the economic crisis fueling public unease, Obama has built leads nationally and in key states as the turmoil has returned the nation’s focus to the policies of the unpopular President Bush. The burden now is on McCain to try to reverse his slide.

To that end, the Arizona senator took a new approach this week, positioning himself as a fighter for the American middle class and easing off his most direct attacks on Obama, an Illinois senator. McCain also took pains to separate himself from Bush.

“We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. … As president I intend to act, quickly and decisively,” McCain said Tuesday in battleground Pennsylvania.

He announced a $52.5 billion economic plan Tuesday that calls for halving the tax rate on capital gains and reducing the tax on withdrawals from retirement accounts, among other measures. A day earlier, Obama unveiled a $60 billion proposal that includes an extension of unemployment benefits, a 90-day freeze on home foreclosures, penalty-free withdrawals from retirement funds and a $3,000 tax credit for each new job.

Both candidates call for doing away with the tax on unemployment benefits.
McCain has suggested that he is likely to bring up Obama’s links to William Ayers, a radical during the Vietnam War era. Ayers was a member of the violent Weather Underground group but later became a university professor in Chicago and an expert on education. He and Obama both worked with some of the same charity foundations in Chicago, and Ayers hosted a reception for Obama when he first ran for the Illinois state Senate.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081015/ap_on_el_pr/presi
dential_debate;_ylt=Ani.AQbuYEOmHVlQlchoDwes0NUE

Obama, McCain seek leader’s image in final debate

October 14, 2008

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama and John McCain will both pursue the image of a strong leader in troublesome economic times as they meet Wednesday night for their third and final presidential debate.

US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ... 
US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) greets US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at the end of their second presidential debate with at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee October 7, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Their face-off comes as Obama widens his lead in typically Democratic states and campaigns with an air of optimism about his prospects, while McCain seeks a way to gain ground and finds himself defending traditionally Republican states with less than three weeks left in the race.

“We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. … As president I intend to act, quickly and decisively,” McCain said Tuesday in battleground Pennsylvania. There, he unveiled new economic proposals and previewed a possible debate strategy: argue that he would be different from Bush and better than Obama.

One day earlier in swing state Ohio, Obama outlined his own economic plan and showed off his own pitch. He suggested that McCain was more of the same and that putting a Democrat in charge was the only way to fix the economy’s woes: “It will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years.”
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081014/ap_on_el_pr/
debate_stakes;_ylt=Aht3q0GBCdpkGo5K7pgZfr2s0NUE

Playing Frisbee on a Precipice: Seriousness of American Politicans in Doubt During Economic Crisis

October 10, 2008

By Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

There are 3½ weeks to go. Life, and political campaigns, can turn on a dime. But I think it just turned on a lot of dimes.

There was an October surprise, and it has all but certainly decided the race. On the left, a smug triumphalism is setting in. On the right, anger rises: the finger pointing is about to begin. In parts and pockets of the middle, we have Americans who aren’t thinking about politics because they’re busy trying to imagine what a modern depression would look like and wondering, for the first time ever, if it is possible that they may wind up living in their cars.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122359863551021415.html

Tibet and the Ghosts of Tiananmen

March 18, 2008

By Bill Powell
Beijing
TIME Magazine

It is still nearly five months before the Olympic torch is to be lit in Beijing, officially starting the 29th summer Olympics. But, diplomats in the Chinese capital believe that a high level game of chicken has already begun, one that has now turned deadly – first, in Lhasa, the capital of what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region, and now elsewhere, according to Tibetan exiles and human rights groups.

A demonstrator rallies against China's deadly crackdown ...
A demonstrator rallies against China’s deadly crackdown on pro-independence protesters in Tibet. The United States said Monday it would increase radio broadcasts to Tibet as China clamped down on media coverage of the bloody protests in the Himalayan territory.(AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

Yesterday, in China’s Sichuan province, at least eight bodies were brought to a Buddhist monastery in Aba prefecture, allegedly shot dead by Chinese riot control police, according to an eyewitness account quoted by Radio Free Asia. The escalating confrontation in and around Tibet is a nightmare for China’s top leadership, but one, some diplomats believe, that could not have taken anyone in the central government completely by surprise. It pits the leadership in Beijing against its domestic opponents – who include not only Tibetan dissidents, but also separatist groups in the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang, as well as human rights and political activists throughout the country.

Each side understood that the months leading up to the Games would be “extremely sensitive,” as one diplomat put it. The government knew “from day one,” another diplomat told TIME, that “a successful bid for the games would bring an unprecedented – and in some cases very harsh – spotlight” on China and how it is governed. On the other side, everyone from human rights activists to independence seeking dissidents in Tibet and Xinjiang – “splittists” in the Chinese vernacular – knew they would have an opportunity to push their agendas while the world was watching. “Thought the specific trigger for this in Tibet is still unclear, that it intensified so quickly is probably not just an accident,” the senior diplomat says.

According to this view, it was never hard to imagine a scenario in which some group – and maybe several – would push things, try “to probe and see whether they could test limits.” The critical issue, now front and center, diplomats say, is just how far angry Tibetan activists will push – and how harshly the Chinese government will push back.

How extensive…

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/tibetandtheghost
softiananmen;_ylt=AvtWVC
y0vqipwpCCEjboCsWs0NUE

Culture: Romney Takes Swipe at Clintons

January 2, 2008

WASHINGTON – Republican Mitt Romney said Wednesday that if elected president he and his wife will not embarrass the nation by their conduct in the White House as happened in “the Clinton years.”

In an interview on CNN, Romney was asked about comments he made at recent house parties in Iowa that he and his wife, Ann, would not em
barrass the nation in the White House. He is campaigning for Thursday’s Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, while Hillary Rodham Clinton is campaigning on the Democratic side.

“We’ll try and represent ourselves and our nation well also to our kids because I think, I think kids watch the White House and there have been failures in the past in the White House — if you go back to the Clinton years and recognize that — that I think had an enormous impact on the culture of our country,” Romney said. “And we’ll do our very best, our whole family will to — well, if we can’t be perfect, we’ll do our best to uphold and to be a good example for the kinds of values I think people expect from our leaders.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080102/ap_on_el_pr/romney_clintons;_ylt=
Aq7ReqmFgUTx.cl8RecrP6as0NUE

Persuasive Huckabee changed a state, his way

December 22, 2007

By Adam Nossiter and David Bar
The New York Times
December 22, 2007

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In more than a decade of presiding over this state, Mike Huckabee produced a legacy like few other Republican governors in the South, surprising even liberal Democrats with his willingness to upend some of Arkansas’s more parochial traditions.

A review of his record as governor shows that, beginning in 1996, he drove through a series of changes that transformed education and health insurance in Arkansas, achievements that were never tried by most of his predecessors, including Bill Clinton.

But he is also remembered in the state for a style of governing that tended to freeze out anyone of any party who disagreed with his plans. He did not, for example, seek Mr. Clinton’s conciliatory middle, or try to court skeptical state lawmakers. Though he was considered as persuasive a speechmaker as he had been a pastor, Mr. Huckabee largely kept his own counsel — in politics, ethics and a singular clemency policy that continues to haunt him.

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22365097/

Petraeus Helping Pick New Generals

November 17, 2007

By  Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 17, 2007; Page A01

The Army has summoned the top U.S. commander in Iraq back to Washington to preside over a board that will pick some of the next generation of Army leaders, an unusual decision that officials say represents a vote of confidence in Gen. David H. Petraeus‘s conduct of the war, as well as the Army counterinsurgency doctrine he helped rewrite.

The Army has long been criticized for rewarding conventional military thinking and experience in traditional combat operations, and current and former defense officials have pointed to Petraeus’s involvement in the promotion board process this month as a sign of the Army’s commitment to encouraging innovation and rewarding skills beyond the battlefield.

Some junior and midlevel officers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been particularly outspoken in their criticisms, saying the Army’s current leadership lacks a hands-on understanding of today’s conflicts and has not listened to feedback from younger personnel.

Gen. David Petraeus was called the

Gen. David Petraeus was called the “archetype” for new Army leaders. (Maya Alleruzzo – AP)

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111602258.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR