Friday, September 4, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, September 3, 2015, 3:07 PM
Jim Burn. (courtesy photo)

Outgoing Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burn apparently would like to see Vice President Biden jump into the party's presidential primary.

“I am very excited about the possibility of Vice President Biden entering the race for President,” Burn said in a statement released by the superPAC Draft Biden, which is trying to entice the vice president into running.

“Vice President Biden has connected with America on both a personal and professional level throughout his remarkable career as a public servant," Burn is quoted as saying. " A bridge builder throughout his time in the Senate and as Vice President, Joe Biden is a strong leader Americans can connect with and trust in to speak from the heart.”

POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2015, 9:48 AM
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (Jim Lee/Sioux City Journal via AP)

Vice President Biden, weighing a run for president, runs slightly stronger than Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in hypothetical matchups against top Republican contenders, according to a new Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday.

Clinton still leads the Democratic nomination chase, but her margin has declined sharply, and “liar” was the word most frequently picked to describe her in an open-ended question asked of survey respondents.

Donald Trump leads the Republican 17-pack of candidates with 28 percent support, up from  the university’s July 30 national pol, when he was at 20 percent. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon has 12 percent, with 7 percent each for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. No other candidate topped 6 percent.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 8:21 AM
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addresses a legislative luncheon held as part of the "Road to Majority" conference in Washington June 19, 2015. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Rick Santorum is on the verge of doing the “Full Grassley” for the second time.

That’s a reference to Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (R), who makes sure to visit each of the state’s 99 counties every year. By his campaign’s calculations, Santorum will reach the milestone next Tuesday, when he gets to Lyon County, in northwestern Iowa.

In the run-up to the 2012 Republican caucuses, Santorum did the “Full Grassley” in his underdog bid for president, traveling thousands of miles in a Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup driven by an aide. The Hawkeye State hegira built momentum for the former Pennsylvania senator, and he edged out Mitt Romney in the caucuses, the traditional first voting in the presidential nominating contest.

POSTED: Thursday, August 20, 2015, 4:40 PM
Vice President Joe Biden. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Biden would be as strong as Hillary Clinton, or even stronger, in hypothetical races against Republicans Donald Trump and Jeb Bush in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University opinion survey released Thursday.

 The hints of a political opening for the vice president come as he considers whether to run for the Democratic presidential nomination amid stumbles by Clinton, the long-time frontrunner. Biden, who is consulting with advisers and family members, is expected to announce a decision next month.

Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, remains the top choice – by a wide margin – of Democrats who are asked their preferences for the party’s nomination. But her share of the primary vote was below 50 percent for the first time this year in the latest Quinnipiac Poll of the three swing states.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 1:56 PM
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question at the first official GOP debate of the 2016 campaign in Cleveland on Aug. 6, 2015. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files)

Donald Trump leads with 17 percent of the vote among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, though the reality TV businessman fared a little worse among those who had watched last week’s Fox News debate, according to a new poll from Suffolk University released Tuesday.

Among all Iowa respondents, Gov. Scott Walker of neighboring Wisconsin was running second at 12 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had 10 percent; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was drawing support of 9 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and businesswoman Carly Fiorina, who was praised for her strong performance in the undercard debate for lower-polling candidates, were tied at 7 percent.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, polled at 5 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (3 percent), while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie each had  2 percent support. Six other candidates received 1 percent or less, while 20 percent of voters were undecided.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 12:40 PM
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta. Bush will step up his criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her tenure as secretary of state on Tuesday, Aug. 11, arguing in a speech on foreign policy the Democratic frontrunner shares in the mistakes that he argues led to the rise of the Islamic State. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Republican Jeb Bush will use a foreign-policy speech in California Tuesday to make the case that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears some of the blame for the rise of the Islamic State, arguing she “stood by” as Iraq collapsed amid U.S. withdrawal.

Bush, former governor of Florida, is scheduled to speak at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

“ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat,” Bush will say, according to excerpts of prepared remarks released by his campaign.

POSTED: Monday, August 10, 2015, 10:39 AM

Former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell appointed Katie McGinty to his cabinet. Now, he hopes to help get her elected to the U.S. Senate as her campaign chairman.

“I encouraged Katie to run because she’s a problem solver who knows how to get things done,” Rendell said in a statement released by the campaign. “Middle class Pennsylvanians will have a Senator who will fight for good schools, good jobs, and affordable health care.”

McGinty, a chemist and lawyer, was secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in the Rendell administration and also was an adviser on environmental issues for former Vice President Al Gore and in the Clinton White House.

POSTED: Thursday, August 6, 2015, 11:38 AM
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at La Rumba, a Denver dance club and restaurant, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

CLEVELAND - Democrats will hold their first presidential debate Oct.13 in Nevada, the party’s national chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced on Thursday hours before the Republicans will clash on stage here.

They will conduct a total of six debates, about one for every month from then through the early stages of the nomination contest. All four of the early voting states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada – will host one.

After the opener (the party did not specify whether it would be in Las Vegas or Reno), the next debate will be Nov. 19 in Des Moines, Iowa. On deck: Dec. 19 in Manchester, N.H., and Jan. 17 in Charleston, S.C.

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Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

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Tom Fitzgerald
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