2010 US Presidential Election

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Maureen Graty To Seek Re-election as MP
After the decision to resign as Conservative Party leader in the aftermath of the 2007 election defeat, former prime minister Maureen Graty initially stated that she would leave frontline politics, and not seek re-election in her Hendon South constituency. John Difen, who had previously contested the seat of Greenbridge West in the 2000 general election was chosen as the Conservative candidate for the seat in the next general election. However, when allegations about potentially racially charged remarks made by Difen as a county councillor in the 1980s surfaced, the Hendon South Conservative Association chose to remove him as the party's candidate. In response to this, the former prime minister has announced that she will seek the nomination for the seat and hope to continue as an MP after the next general election.

Although Ms. Graty previous ruled out a return to the frontbench under new leader James Taylor, she announced, along with her candidature, that she would "seriously consider" taking an opposition role if it were offered to her by Taylor.
msnbc.co.uk, Tuesday 27th October

Fuller Joins Republican Race

Frankfort, Kentucky, October 27th – With a promise to reinvigorate his country former Kentucky Senator George Fuller chose today, the one hundred and fifty first anniversary of Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday to announce that he is running for President.

The former Senator said it was time for America to change direction and that the country’s future lay both in innovation and new ideas and in supporting traditional American values.

Fuller, who until 2004 served as a Senator for the Bluegrass State, launched his campaign on home turf and immediately stumbled into an argument after he was refused permission by the National Park Service to hold the announcement in front of the Memorial Building at Lincoln’s Birthplace National Park. The refusal, which wasn’t confirmed until this morning led to the announcement being moved to the State Capital rotunda where the Fuller spoke from the balcony overlooking the statue of Lincoln below.

The announcement attracted a small yet enthusiastic crowd, who cheered Fuller’s arrival at the capitol.

In a not so subtle attack on President Santos, he said, “We’ve tried a President with no experience, and it’s got us into a hell of a mess. This isn’t about twelve years of Democrat Presidency this is about twelve years of drift and lack of direction, of spin and soundbites over coherent policy, of fighting the news cycle instead of our enemies and of squandered opportunities. It’s time to rebuild this country and I think I can lead us to a better place.”

A father of four and grandfather of two, Fuller, 69, brings personal wealth, plenty of charisma and vast experience of Washington to the race. Although Walken and Sullivan have consistently led most poll since early this year, neither has forged definitive front runner status and that is thought to have encouraged the man known to almost everyone as “Hawk” to get into the race.

Fuller appeared on the balcony in the rotunda as supporters waved blue-and-white signs that simply saying "Vote Hawk in 2010." He was joined by his children and grandchildren, suggesting that he is trying to reinforce his family man image as he jumps into the fray against Walken and Sullivan as well as the likes of Nicholas Alexander and Marcus Blakemore.

There is no doubt that Fuller comes to the campaign trail with an impressive pedigree and legislative record, however, there are issues that he’ll need to resolve with some in the Republican Party if he is to win the nomination. He has spoken on numerous occasions of his support for civil unions. He was heavily involved with the controversial Tripplehorn – Mitchell bill on immigration reform and infamously voted against a bill to outlaw federal funding for stem cell research against the express wishes of then President Owen Lassiter.
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washingtonpost.com, Tuesday October 27th

Political Blog with Dave Dernazza

2010 Senate Seats Most Likely To Change

Dropping off: Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Arkansas
Coming on: Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina

10. Indiana – Junior Senator Martin Warren seemed pretty certain for a second term, but his decision not to run for what has been cryptically described as “family reasons” laves the Hoosier state race wide open. Overtures to former Governor Jack Buckland have so far fallen short. So far the only declared Democrat is State Treasurer Damon Matteo. The Republicans are circling quickly, speculation that Governor Stephen Kendrick could be interested have been quelled by his advisors, but it’s seems clear that former Congressman and 2000 Gubernatorial candidate Frank Barkey is interested.

9. Michigan – Randall Thomas seemed to have seen off the worst of his troubles but with the announcement by former Senator John Flack that he intends to seek re-election (for those not paying attention Flack stood down for health reasons in 1998) has re-ignited his challenge for next year. Thomas has already thrown himself into the fundraising race, but he now look likely to face an opponent with statewide recognition and a strong base. Game on.

8. Minnesota – The race for the North Star State is getting more interesting with recent polls suggesting Republican front runner, St Paul mayor Jack Hunter, is stretching his lead over all Democratic candidates including Congressman Jarod Daniels. The Democrats still have high hopes for Daniels but he’s got off to a slugglish start. Hunter, on the other hand is looking more formidable by the day.

7. North Carolina– Incumbent David McNamara was mentioned as a potential VP for Arnold Vinick in 2006 but since then his stock has fallen dramatically. An affair with an aide, a messy and high profile divorce and then a public spat with Governor Andrew Wu over the use of stimulus money have seen his approval rating slump. He now looks likely to face Congressman Brett Logan and the DNC are clearly prepared to invest heavily to take out the one time great hope of the GOP.

6. Florida – When Robert Ritchie announced that he was running to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Rafe Framhagen, everything suggested a fairly straight forward victory for the 2002 Presidential nominee. Since then he’s struggled to shake off stories about his health and the Democrats have managed an enormous coup by convincing popular Congressman John Tandy to run. Latest polling shows Ritchie trailing Tandy by at least three points.

5. Connecticut – The retiral of Senator Howard Niering opens a very attractive pick-up opportunity for the Democrats. Former Congressman Harry Wexler has already been suggested, but most expect Governor Chris Casey to throw his hat into the ring since he has already announced he won’t seek re-election next year.

4. New Hampshire – The GOP are delighted that former Lassiter advisor Mitch Lockley has agreed to run but they still face an uphill battle. Manchester Mayor Scott Larkin is running a strong campaign and will most likely beat off State Senator Aire Randall to win the nomination.

3. Missouri – With Laura Shallick’s announcement that she has decided to run, Ken Oliom looks to be in serious trouble. Polls give the Governor’s wife an average 14 point lead over Oliom and she’s only just started campaigning. Oliom will need to dramatically improve on the $620,000 he raised in Q3 if he is to hold off the Shallick juggernaut.

2. Vermont – Simon Brewster and former Lt.Governor Alison Benstead appear to be fighting out the real race – that of the Democratic primary. The only outside shot for the GOP is the occasional report that Congressman Matthew Skinner may be convinced to get in once his Presidential bid runs it course. If not they are dependent on local party Chairwoman Helen Addison who appears to be no match for either Brewster or Benstead.

1. Utah – John Degbie’s days as a US Senator appeared to be numbered. Latest polls give Marc Elderton, the brother of Governor John a 23 point poll lead. It’s difficult to find anyone who will even suggest there is a path to victory for Degbie.
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CNN.COM Tuesday October 27th 2009

George Fuller Full Speech

“Thank you, thank you. Thank you so much for being here. Today 151 years ago, a man was born who grew up to be of our greatest Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, and here overlooking the stuate of another, I am here to make an announcement, that I intend to follow in these great men’s footsteps.

My Name is George Fuller, and I today seek the Presidency of the United States of America.

Well for me, it has been a long journey to this place. Through starting my business back over forty years ago, to me four terms in the Senate.
Today is the start of a new journey, one that I believe will end up at Washington and me in the Oval Office.

We’ve tried a President with no experience, and it’s got us into a hell of a mess. This isn’t about twelve years of Democrat Presidency this is about twelve years of drift and lack of direction, of spin and soundbites over coherent policy, of fighting the news cycle instead of our enemies and of squandered opportunities. It’s time to rebuild this country and I think I can lead us to a better place.

For the first time since Herbert Hoover's presidency, a President's economic policy has cost us more jobs than our economy has had the energy to create. Our troops are helping to build a lasting peace in three of the worlds trouble spots, I support there mission, but they need better equipment, better support from the President, and under my Presidency they will get it.

These are historic times. And we're going to run a campaign that's worthy of the historic times in which we live. I am going to run a campaign that will move this country forward into the second decade of the 21st Century, not back into the last decade of the 20th century.

And I am going to talk straight to the American people. Because in times of historic challenges, the American people deserve to hear the truth and hear it in plain and simple language. And in this campaign, I am going to bring people together, in the great tradition of the Republican Party because now we need leaders, more than ever before, leaders who will put the interests of all our people first above scoring cheap political points scoring. It is not about upsetting a wing of each party, and it is about having the ideas and vision to serve and lead.

And when I say we're going to bring people together, I mean all people, not just Republicans, but Independents, and Democrats, too. And especially those who have never participated before. Come with me.

I am going to hold the administration accountable for its policies and the results. But let's remember, the results belong to all of us. They're the foundation on which we must build anew. And in this campaign we'll have a plan to restore the millions of jobs that have been lost and to restore our economic opportunities again.

I will work out how to deal with the record deficit created by this administration; a deficit that has killed jobs and burdened our children and grand-children with the debt.
In this campaign I am going to travel the country, listen, learn and grow. I am going to take the talents of ordinary Americans, their diverse talent and bring together the vision of the way ahead.

The America of today doesn’t have to be the America of the future. And that my friends, that is what we are going to build together. A new vision of our nation’s future, one of innovation combined with our best tradiontial values."
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townhall.com, Tuesday October 27th

Rivals Welcome Fuller’s Entry

The leading contenders for the Republican nomination for President have welcomed the entry of Hawk Fuller into the race.

Following Fuller’s press conference in Frankfort this morning former acting President Glen Walken was the first to respond. “I welcome him to the race, I know he has strong views on a number of things and isn’t afraid to share them, that can only help the debate that the party is having. I think we all know that everyone will find something to disagree with him about.”

West Virginia Governor Ray Sullivan added his own comments shortly after saying “Senator Fuller has been around for many, many years and I welcome his vast experience to this race. There is little question that a man who has served his country for nearly half a decade brings an interesting perspective to a Presidential race.” In a later interview Sullivan appeared to take a shot at Fuller saying “I retain the position I’ve held for sometimes and that is that Washington needs change and that I don’t believe someone who has spent decades in the beltway is the right man to lead that change.”

Fuller was also welcome by Governor Marcus Blakemore was said “Senator Fuller and I have been friends for years. Clearly he’s decided to leave it late but I look forward to his joining the debate.”
washingtonpost.com, Tuesday October 27, 2009

Dave Dernazza Political Blog

The Gubernatorial Line

Dropping off: South Dakota, Arizona
Coming on: Colorado, Montana

10. Colorado (NE) – Senator Jack Moseley’s son Oliver is off to a good start with an impressive grasp of policy and excellent fund raising numbers. Moseley faces businessman David Thorper in the primary after state senator Tom Folan announced he wasn’t running. Incumbent Jack Wallace faces a tough battle.

9.Virginia (8) The race is absolutely wafer thin, both Miles Hutchison and Rob Buchanan have been supported by party heavyweights in the run up to election day. It’s already been confirmed that Glen Walken, Robert Royce, Stephen Kendrick, Henry Shallick, Bob Harlan, Robert Kilner and Nicholas Alexander will all be stumping for Buchanan over the weekend. Hutchison is banking a lot on an appearance by the Bartlets as well as former Vice-President John Hoynes.

8.New York (7) District Attorney Matthew Lewis appears to be the front-runner with impressive fundraising numbers backing up some strong public appearances. He faces a tough battle against former New York Mayor Blake Marshall who has name recognition and a clear field to turn the Governor’s mansion in the Empire State red for the first time in twenty years.

7.Louisiana (10) The loathing on the right for Governor Mick Johnson appears likely to kill his chances of beating off the challenge of former Senator Cole Quigley in next years primary. There is little doubt that Democrat Rachel Maddison fancies her chances and looks certain to beat State Treasurer Jeremy Clark to the nomination.

6.Montana (NE) The emergence of a serious Democratic challenger has the Treasure state considering a change of party in the Governors mansion for the first time since 1980. Kurt Carner is the Mayor of Great Falls but has statewide recognition as the grandson of the last Democratic Governor Bruce Carner. Gerald Vance is term limited so it’s an open Republican field. Former Lt. Governor Todd Bray, Congressman Scott Lynch and State Party Chairwoman Kathryn Hilliard are all running.

5.Ohio (1) Governor Simon Halley is facing a fight to secure re-election. His reasoned response to the downturn and high unemployment figures saw him attacked from all sides but his clever tax code reworking has boosted revenue without drawing criticism from the right and his numbers may be on the turn. The DGA seem pleased to have convinced high profile congressman Jim Marino to run, his profile and fund raising ability keeps this race as a toss-up for now.

4.Nevada (9) Former Senator Randy Broughton has cleared the Democratic field and has to be considered the favourite next November, incumbent Dan Carrington is struggling to overcome his links to the local banking sector and the impact of the downturn.

3.Michigan (2) Congressman John Brennan appears to have cleared the Republican field, with Governor Hutchins approval ratings hitting 26% last month unless rumors of a primary challenge come to anything then Brennan looks a very strong bet.

2.Tennessee (3) Former Congressman Lionel Jackson had pulled ahead of George Andrews as the likely Republican candidate but the entrance into the race of Shane Denham, the popular Mayor of Memphis means that all bets are off. All polling suggest that unless the the Democrats find a better candidate than current front runner Bill Rake that the state house in the Volunteer State will be returning to the Republicans.

1.New Jersey (6) With the race in Virginia tightening the race in New Jersey appears to be shifting in favor of the GOP, former DA Dan Pritchard has recovered well from his wobble over the summer and has an average lead of five points. Incumbent John Treyman is struggling to attract much in the way of topline Democratic talent to talk up his chances, with most politicos banking on Virginia.
politico.com, Wednesday October 28th

Sullivan: Fuller Won’t Change Anything

In what appears to have been a happy accident for the Sullivan campaign the arrival in the race of former Kentucky Senator Hawk Fuller seems to have honed their narrative at just the right time.

The former Governor of West Virginia took the opportunity yesterday to attack Fuller and Glen Walken as “voices of the past” and stated that only he can drive the change that Washington requires.

“We’ve seen twelve years of the same old special interest driven, old man’s club in Washington. I intend to change that, we will aggressively attack the culture of self-interest and we will drive a new politics, one that puts the people first. The changes can’t be led by insiders, by men steeped in Washington traditions.”

Sullivan’s positioning himself is part of a wider launch of the campaign message “Sullivan – Change in 2010”, with a TV ad on air in New Hampshire, Nevada and Florida and posters and bumper stickers being distributed from today.

There seems little doubt that Sullivan intends to turn his vast organization and media spend against Walken and Fuller in the coming weeks, a source close to the campaign said “The Governor has come too far and is too close to let it slip to a last minute surge from a wildcard like Fuller.”
foxnews.com, Wednesday October 28th

Shallick: Party Coming Round To Walken

Missouri Governor Henry Shallick yesterday told right wing shock jock Nash Rockford that the Republican party are uniting behind Glen Walken. Shallick, the national co-chair of Walken’s campaign said they were massively encouraged by the range of support they are receiving.

“We’ve had donations and endorsements from across the whole party. We are seeing people who have supported other candidates coming to the realization that Glen is the only answer for the party and the country. He’s the only candidate with a plan, the only one talking policy rather than in vague generalizations. We still have a tough fight ahead of us, but the more voters see Glen Walken, the more they like him.”

Shallick was quizzed by Rockford on the entry of former Kentucky Senator George Fuller and said they were not concerned “Truth is, Glen’s been vetted from every angle, he’s well known to the public and to the party. I don’t want to cast doubt on Senator Fuller but I think it’s fair that people will ask why has he left his run so late?”
townhall.com, Wednesday October 28th

Alexander: I’m Not Really Sure Who Fuller Is

General Nicholas Alexander was furiously backpedaling last night after he told reporters that he had never heard of former Senator Hawk Fuller and didn’t have any view of him running for President.

Alexander was asked by reporters about Fuller’s entry into the race and said “I don’t really know who he is. I’m told he used to be a Senator, but can’t tell you much more about him.”

This was quickly seized upon by bloggers and the press who all suggested it was extremely odd that Alexander would not know who Fuller was with one blogger suggested that the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was completely out of touch with the political landscape. A number of people also pointed out that Fuller served on the armed services committee between 1996 and 2004 and even questioned Alexander during hearings on US involvement in the Philippines.

The Alexander campaign tried to clarify later saying “The General didn’t mean any disrespect, it was an off hand comment. Clearly General Alexander has only been involved in the political realm for a short space of time, and during that time Senator Fuller has been retired – as such he’s not had much to do with him.”
Transcribed from "The Late Night Show with John Tomkins," Wednesday, October 28th.

JT: And speaking of politics, General Alexander said to reporters today that he had never really heard of Hawk Fuller. Yeah, he actually said that. But hey, it's ok, because apparently, General Alexander doesn't really know who General Alexander is either.

[*rimshot and audience laughter*]

JT: But who am I to talk, according to the latest ratings, no one knows who I am either.
TheHill.com, Thursday October 29th

Burke: I am not running for President

Former Alabama Governor Wes Burke has confirmed that he is not running for President. Burke, who was talking at a dinner event ahead of this weekend’s Values Voters Summit in Tennessee, said “After much deliberation and discussions with my friends, family and advisors I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. This country still faces enormous challenges and I intend to redouble my efforts to help us all through this crisis.”

Burke declined to take the opportunity to endorse anyone else saying “At this point I’m going to sit and watch and see what the candidates have to say.” This defies claims made by sources close to Jeff Haffley that the former speaker would pick up Burke’s endorsement should he not run.

The news will be a welcome boost to Haffley and to former acting President Glen Walken both of whom have been wooing the base for sometime, Burke’s decision to pass removes the risk of a right wing insurgent splitting their support.
politico.com, Thursday October 29th

New National Poll Give Sullivan Solid Lead

A new poll released today by Gallup gives former West Virginia Governor Ray Sullivan a solid 4 point lead over the rest of the Republican Primary field.

This is the first national poll completed since the entry into the race of former Kentucky Senator Hawk Fuller who is polling fairly well in equal fourth place.

Poll results:

Sullivan 24%, Walken 20%, Blakemore 14%, Fuller 12%, Alexander 12%, Haffley 9%, Skinner 2%

CNN.COM Thursday October 29th 2009
"Unwell" Walken cancels appearance at Florida fundraiser
GOP Presidential candidate Glen Walken today had to cancel an appearance due for tonight in Tampa Florida for a gala fundraiser.
Spokesman Ann Stark told Reporters "The Speaker is unwell and has a cold, so he has cancelled his appointment on the advice of this Doctor and has returned home to Liberty".
His place will be talken by the Co-chairman of the Walken campaign, Missouri Governor Henry Shallick.
The announcement is bound again to raise questions on the Former Speakers health, despite losing weight, and releasing full medical records earlier in the year.
The Larue County Herald News October 29, 2009
Hodgenville Kentucky

Editors Comments and Notes

Apparently even though General Alexander says he’s not sure who Senator Fuller is, someone in Washington sure is. Scuttlebutt around town was that the announcement of his Presidential Bid last Tuesday was set to take place here in Hodgenville at the Lincoln Birthplace. Everything was in place for the announcement until the permission to use the site was withdrawn the morning of the event. Apparently the Park Management received a last minute phone call from someone in Washington ordering the permission be withdrawn. Hodgenville seems to have missed out on the opportunity to be the launching site for the Hawk’s flight because someone in Washington knew who he is.
townhall.com, Friday October 30th

Walken Team Furious At “Outrageous” Reporting

The campaign team of former acting President Glen Walken reacted furiously to news reports that their candidate was seriously unwell and would have to cancel appearances over the coming weeks.

Campaign manager Anne Stark appeared on FOX News saying that she was “appalled” at the reporting of the incident. “President Walken has a cold, he’s felt a bit unwell – as a result he decided not to attend the fundraiser and instead stayed home to recuperate. He is perfectly ok and intends to be in Virginia this weekend.”

Shortly afterwards, Walken’s close friend Matt Hunt took at shot at reporters saying “I think it’s disingenuous to be reporting this in the manner you are. Everyone gets the cold, Glen’s taking some rest and then he’ll be back on the trail this weekend.”

Stark and political director Jane Braun are said to have spoken via teleconference with senior management at at least two news stations to express their disappointment about the nature of the reporting.
CNN.COM Saturday October31st 2009
Blakemore campaign office broken into
A campaign office for Marcus Blakemore Presidential campaign in Berlin, New Hampshire has been broken into.
It was discovred early this morning, when campaign staff arrived to open up.It is understood that severalcomputers where smashed, and abusive slogons where put on the walls.
Local police where called, and the office closed whilst police invesgated the break in.
New York Times.com Saturday October 31st 20009
Bartlet book lauch on Monday
Former President Josiah Bartlet will be back in Washington DC, this coming Monday at the National Convention centres annual book Convention to foremly lauch his autiobiography "What's Next".
It has been written with Danny Concannon, the now husband of his former Press Secretary and Chief of Staff CJ Creig.
It covers his life from growing up in New Hampshire,his difficult relationship with his father, all the way to this eight years in the White house.
politico.com Saturday October 31st 2009
Just to remind you General, this is you and Senator Fuller
General Nicholas Alexander may live to regret his comment the other day, that he did not know who Senator Fuller was.
Well, today a picture was posted on line,showing Fuller, then Chairman of the Senate Armed forces committee shaking hands with GeneralAlexander prior to the 2000 hearings into the 1998-1999 Phillipine peacekeeping mission.
No-one from the Alexander campaign has commented.
Henry Reed to Stand for London Mayor
Conservative leader James Taylor has today announced that former prime minister Henry Reed will contest the 2010 London Mayoral election, due to be held in May next year, after being selected by a ballot of Conservative Party members in London. Also contesting the poll will be incumber Labour mayor Sir Gerald Fox, former mayor Ben Stanley as an independant and Josephine Blake, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Local Government.

Currently Declared Candidates:
BLAKE, JOSEPHINE, LibDem, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson
PEARSON, GUY, National Democrats, former MP for Folkestone and Hythe
FOX, Sir GERALD, Labour, Mayor of London, former Health Secretary
REED, HENRY, Conservative, former Home Secretary and Prime Minister
FACER, Lord GEORGE, Pro-Business Alliance
STANLEY, BEN, Independant Labour, former Mayor of London

Mayoral Elections:
1998 - Ben Stanley, Labour
2002 - Ben Stanley, Labour
Following repeated criticism of Richard Meyer's government in 2003/4, Ben Stanley was deselected as the candidate for 2006.
2006 - Sir Gerald Fox, Labour

I've tried to create the feel of contemporary London politics but without making it merely a pastiche. Ben Stanley and Gerald Fox are obviously based on real people (but can you guess who? :D) but the events are very different.
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Sir Gerald Fox is clearly based on Frank Dobson, and Ben Stanley Ken Livingstone.
I also think that the NPP would put up a candidate as well.
Of course the Tories did sound out John Major about standing in 2008, before Boris was selected.
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