Friday night! Sometimes Friday's are slow but today it seemed like the bulletins came one after another.
We'll begin with Sen. Hillary Clinton and the comments she made today that ignited a firestorm of controversy. She was talking about why she is staying in the race and in answering she referenced the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.
Also, the latest on what some are calling Sen. McCain's pastor problem. Yesterday McCain said he no longer accepted controversial pastor John Hagee's endorsement and today Hagee had a couple of things to say about that.
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Center for American Progress
Editor's note: Jennifer Palmieri served in the Bill Clinton White House for eight years. She was a White House Deputy Press Secretary from 1998 to 2001. She also served in the White House as a Special Assistant to White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and Deputy Director of Scheduling and Advance.
I do not believe Sen. Hillary Clinton woke up this morning and said "today's the day I am going to roll-out the RFK assassination as a justification for staying in the race and the Argus Leader editorial board meeting is the perfect place to do it."
Her explanation of her comments is perfectly plausible to me and I think should be accepted at face value.
But two major problems related to this gaffe remain.
Big Brown – the horse who could be the first triple-crown winner in 30 years – is making headlines for more than just his legwork. The horse’s owners today announcing they’ll donate a portion of Big Brown’s winnings from the Belmont Stakes to start a college fund for the son of a NY police officer seriously injured earlier this week. The 30 year old officer – who is still in the hospital – was hit by a drunk driver with a suspended license.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is here to stay, and her family is offering up a big “thanks”.
Molly – as she’s known – has given a lot in her five years. She’s spent countless hours searching for survivors of natural disasters and looking for murder victims as a search and rescue dog. FULL POST
Fmr. Republican National Committee Sr. Advisor
Washington Times Columnist
Other than the obvious ability to lead should the president become unable, there are three things John McCain needs in a VP. Conservative. Youthful. Diverse. There is one name among those McCain is interviewing this weekend that fits the bill: Bobby Jindal.
The newly elected Louisiana governor is an exciting breath of fresh air to the sometimes stodgy ranks of the Republican Party. At age 36, Jindal is the nation's youngest governor and the first person of color to serve as Louisiana governor since Reconstruction.
A first-generation American (his parents are Indian immigrants), Jindal successfully won over Louisiana on a platform of change and ethics reform in the midst of Louisiana's notorious reputation of corruption.
There are many reasons that make this young conservative an attractive (and necessary) addition to the McCain ticket.
As we went on the air last night, we learned that Sen. John McCain was not only rejecting Rev. John Hagee's endorsement, but also Rev. Rod Parsley's. Hagee seemed to imply that Adolf Hitler was carrying out God's will during the Holocaust when he said in a sermon:
"God says in Jeremiah 16: 'Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. ... Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.' That would be the Jews. ... Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter."
Hagee also offended Catholics, calling the Catholic church "the great whore" and "the apostate church." Hagee has since said his words were taken out of context and has withdrawn his support for McCain because he is "tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues."
Parsley set off other problems, saying Islam was "an antichrist religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." McCain rejected both of their endorsements yesterday, but drew a distinction between these controversial endorsements from religious figures and Sen. Obama's denouncement of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. McCain said:
"I have said I do not believe Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Rev. Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual adviser, and I did not attend his church for 20 years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today"
What do you think? Do the situations compare? Are Hagee and Parsley's support as problematic as Wright's?
Going once, going twice... sold to 'Beat 360°"
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.
Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?
Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: President Bush stands over a Harley Davidson motorcycle and other U.S. products for export, as he speaks about his support for free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.
Have fun with it.
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David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer
Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
I read Sen. John McCain's long response – more like rebuke – of Sen. Barack Obama criticizing him for opposing the GI bill that passed the U.S. Senate by a wide margin, and something jumped out.
McCain made a slight faux pas.
"I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities," he said.
But that's not really true.
Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution says:
"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."
A lot of folks get it wrong – I've done it as well. But the truth is that McCain is running for president of the United States and commander-in-chief is one of the responsibilities of the president.
Just a small but important point to remember.
Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
Politics doesn't have to be all serious and stern, so let's have a little fun.
While on the set covering primary night on Tuesday, Clinton supporter Hillary Rosen and I had a fun debate about a comment made by Sen. Barack Obama prior to his speech in Iowa.
Obama, watching his wife, Michelle, and two daughters walk offstage, told the audience that he's got a good looking wife and kids.
Paul Begala, Jamal Simmons and I laughed.
Rosen, the new political director for The Huffington Post, frowned.
She said that women prefer to be called smart or great rather than good looking.
My reply? BS!
After years of planning and nine months of space travel,
seven minutes is all it takes to make or break a Mars landing.
That's the amount of time it takes an orbiting spacecraft to hit the Martian atmosphere, brake, and hit the ground. Mission scientists call it "seven minutes of terror."
Editor's note: Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Scott McGill works for the organization and is currently helping with aid for the victims of Myanmar. He shares his experiences here:
Asia Regional HIV/AIDS Adviser
It was a very good day for two major reasons here in Yangon. A good day, despite it being nearly three weeks since Cyclone Nargis changed life forever for so many in this corner of Myanmar and despite the deadly secondary consequences accruing for over 2 million people as a second disaster begins to reveal itself.
The first reason is that finally help has arrived. I am not referring to the intermittent air shipments arriving on the single runway at Yangon’s Mingladon Airport over the past few days, bringing the most basic commodities for those struggling to survive in rapidly deteriorating conditions in the Irrawaddy Delta region. Although, of course, the food, tarpaulin, medical supplies, construction materials, water purifiers and, equally important, clothing arriving are almost literally manna from heaven.