John McCain’s Florida victory speech.
** CALIFORNIA PRIMARY TEASE … Tomorrow morning, early, I will tell you why the Clintons are suddenly coming back to California.
** EXCLUSIVE: SCHWARZENEGGER BACKS MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is for Senator John McCain for president of the United States. According to very well-informed sources, Schwarzenegger will make his support for the Arizona senator and Vietnam War hero known tomorrow in a California event.
At 9:30 AM Thursday, according to an official source, Schwarzenegger will commend McCain and his candidacy for President to his California constituents and others in a Los Angeles event at a “green tech” firm. Schwarzenegger will make it clear that he is not only an admirer of John McCain but is voting for the Vietnam War hero and Arizona senator for president.
Schwarzenegger told some California reporters earlier in the month that he doubted he would support a presidential candidate. However, I seriously doubted that 10 days ago, and wrote at the time that I expected him to support McCain.
Schwarzenegger, who has championed the leading American effort, in the form of a comprehensive California law, against climate change, will join McCain in promoting new technologies to end American’s dependence on foreign oil and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. McCain, for his part, is co-author of a bill with independent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and establish a so-called cap & trade system on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
Schwarzenegger and McCain will tomorrow morning tour Solar Integrated Technologies, located south of downtown Los Angeles, a manufacturer of what are said to be leading edge solar photovoltaic panels. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity from sunlight. The panels are ultra-thin, and in the newest iteration here are hard to be seen from street level.
The firm has, according to sources, doubled in both employment and size in the past two years. Schwarzenegger and McCain, according to sources in both camps, want to promote technologies and policies which are beneficial to the environment and promote America’s independence from foreign sources of energy.
Solar Integrated Technologies is, in the emerging parlance, a “green tech” firm, a new buzzword for a type of business that develops renewable energy and/or energy efficiency technologies. This is one of the emerging areas of interest to leading edge venture capital firms. Both men are committed to cutting the emission of greenhouse gases, Schwarzenegger with his California plan, McCain with a bill he co-authored with independent Senator Joe Lieberman, with whom he has also worked across the aisle on issues of energy independence and national security.
Beyond their mutual commitment to the environment and policies they say will promote energy independence, Schwarzenegger and McCain want America to do well in Iraq and in the overall war against Islamic jihadism.
In 2003, before he announced his surprising-to-most candidacy for governor of California — which I forecast in a series of columns — Schwarzenegger visited American troops in Iraq. He told me that they were doing some of the most important work in the world, following his Fourth of July visit to the troops.
Schwarzenegger, a veteran himself of the Austrian Army prior to becoming arguably America’s most famous legal immigrant, strongly respects McCain’s record as a Vietnam War hero, as well as his doggedness in pressing for many years for a new strategy in Iraq.
He also respects McCain for his efforts to develop a comprehensive immigration policy. Both men represent border states, and as sources close to Schwarzenegger put it, know that “the borders must be secured, and realistic solutions within America” must be found.
Schwarzenegger is also friendly with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While some close Schwarzengger observers would say he has greater rapport with McCain, the former action movie superstar holds Giuliani in high regard. While he was in the race, the choice was a bit awkward.
However, it has been apparent for some time that McCain — with his victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina — as well as his relatively strong bipartisan appeal, was definitely getting the best of the contest. So I felt confident in predicting in a column 10 days ago that Schwarzenegger would back McCain.
And as I told ABC correspondent Nanette Miranda yesterday, when I again predicted a Schwarzenegger endorsement of McCain: “They’re both mavericks. They’re both entertaining characters. They’re both funny guys. Both very bright.” In other words, they both have a great deal in common, beyond political and policy considerations.
This is a formidable pairing which should help win the biggest prize next Tuesday for John McCain.
** NWN NEWS BREAK …
… in the works.
** LATE CAMPAIGNING IN CALIFORNIA BY CLINTON AND KENNEDY. Although the latest LA Times poll suggests a strong lead for Hillary Clinton, the Clintons themselves are acting quite differently. Former President Bill Clinton will be appearing shortly, once again, in the Golden State. The actual candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton, will spend Friday and Saturday in California. On this Friday, Hillary will hold a town hall on the economy at San Diego State University, then do some private fundraising (as the online money is not flowing for her as it is for Obama), and then hold rallies in San Jose and San Francisco.
On Saturday, Senator Clinton holds a rally at Cal State LA.
I’m not sure when Barack Obama will be back to California after he is in LA tomorrow, for a town hall at LA Trade Tech College — which is heavily Latino — and for the presidential debate with Hillary at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, new site of the Academy Awards.
But I can tell you that Ted Kennedy will be in California shortly. On Friday, he holds rallies for Obama in Los Angeles and Oakland. On Thursday, he will be campaigning in New Mexico, appearing at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and at Santa Fe Community College.
Senator Kennedy, incidentally, is also the Obama campaign’s new enforcer with regard to former President Bill Clinton. As you see in his speech below, at the American University rally, he will counter every charge that Bill Clinton makes against Obama. So far, the former president is playing it very straight. And the press has been kept away from him at his recent public appearances.
** CAMPAIGN FURBALL. The Republicans are now all in California, some campaigning, like Mike Huckabee and John McCain, all, including Mitt Romney, prepping for tonight’s debate at the Reagan Library.
The Democrats are spread out. John Edwards, of course, this morning (Pacific time) ended his long march to the White House this morning in New Orleans with an eloquent speech relating to poverty and shrinking opportunities for the working and middle classes in America. In many ways, one could make a case for Edwards as the best candidate for Democrats to retake the presidency. But it was not to be, and that was obvious months ago.
Today Hillary Clinton is back in home state (sort of) Arkansas, for a town hall meeting on the economy in Little Rock, her home as Bill Clinton built his political career as the Razorback State’s youngest ever attorney general and then longtime governor. Tonight, she is in Atlanta for a J-J Dinner.
Barack Obama is also very much on the road. He spoke at the University of Denver this morning in Colorado, and this afternoon has a big rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona.
Joining him today in Denver was Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving child of John F. Kennedy. In my experience with Democratic politics, she has been such a private person that merely catching sight of her has been a rare occurrence. Now she has spoken at two rallies in three days, in cities far from her home, and cut a TV ad running on cable news networks around the country. Here is part of what she had to say in the Mile High City, site of this year’s Democratic National Convention: “Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This longing is even more profound today. Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration. …
“It’s rare to find a leader who can inspire us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals, and to imagine that together we can do great things. And when that kind of leader comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible. …
“When the Democratic Party holds its convention here in Denver this summer, I hope we’ll nominate the candidate who stands for the future of our party and the future of this country. … It is time for a President who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and inspire others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs each of us to get involved.”
** PRO-HILLARY MAYORS BARNSTORM CALIFORNIA CITIES. In advance of tomorrow night’s Democratic presidential debate in LA — now a one-on-one match between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, three big city mayors backing Hillary are appearing at rallies today in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are out pushing her economic and urban programs, trying to drum up attention for her candidacy in an environment not marked by a paucity of campaign activity.
** OBAMA DOMINATES CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS. Barack Obama has dominated the contest for California newspaper endorsements, winning more than 20. The include, in alphabetical order: Black Voice News, Chico News & Review, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Long Beach Leader, Los Angeles Sentinel, Marin Pacific Sun, Modesto Bee, North Bay Bohemian, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Precinct Reporter, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Sacramento Bee, San Diego City Beat, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Bay View, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Cruz Sentinel, and Tri-County Bulletin. I haven’t seen a list of Hillary Clinton Californai newspaper endorsements, and at the moment, they aren’t coming to mind.
** GIULIANI WILL ENDORSE MCCAIN AT 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will formally withdraw from the presidential race and endorse John McCain in an event at 3 PM this afternoon at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley outside Los Angeles. Two hours later, the remaining Republican presidential candidates — McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee — will debate for the last time before Super Tuesday there at the Reagan Library.
** FULL DAY FOR SCHWARZENEGGER, LIVE WEBCAST JUST BEFORE NOON WITH PRESIDENT BUSH. An interesting day for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yesterday, he gave a well-received, humorous, and somewhat self-deprecating speech in the annual gubernatorial address to the state Capitol’s Sacramento Press Club, acknowledging his setback on health care and vowing action on the state’s chronic budget difficulties. Today is a different sort of day. He greets President Bush late this morning at LAX. The two will then tour the Robinson Helicopter Co. in Torrance, a city south of Los Angeles. At 11:55 AM, Schwarzenegger and Bush do a live webcast statement on trade and economic issues from that location. Later in the day, Schwarzenegger appears on CNN with anchor Wolf Blitzer, then accompanies former First Lady Nancy Reagan as she gives her imprimatur to tonight’s Republican presidential debate in the Air Force One Pavilion of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.
** EDWARDS TO DROP OUT OF DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE. John Edwards will withdraw from the presidential race this morning in New Orleans, reportedly at a speech on poverty scheduled for 10 AM Pacific time. Edwards began his campaign in New Orleans 13 months ago, working with survivors of Hurricane Katrina. (You saw his casual, “pre-announcement” announcement video here on NWN.) According to AP, he will not immediately endorse a candidate. Barack Obama has asked for his support.
Caroline Kennedy appears in this new TV ad for Barack Obama.
** CAROLINE KENNEDY AD. The somewhat reclusive Caroline Kennedy, who had not endorsed a presidential candidate since her uncle Teddy ran in 1980, and surfaced for a rare rally appearance only Monday after her Sunday New York Times op-ed entitled “A President Like My Father,” has already made her first TV ad for Barack Obama.
It is airing now, in the first round, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, as well as national cable TV. You will note the prominent use of footage of JFK, Caroline’s father, and an astronaut planting an American flag on the moon.
The Obama campaign has raised some $6 million on its web site since Obama crushed Hillary Clinton Saturday night in the South Carolina primary.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel.
You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil is back up, trading between $91 and $92 per barrel.
Your posts are welcome in the Forum.