Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Five senators push Obama to do more in Libya

A leading critic of the Vietnam War, Senator Kerry now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Kerry, who has remained personally engaged in Middle East politics, describes the events unfolding in the Middle East as a “new Arab awakening” and a “huge blow to extremism.”

As with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the challenge to US foreign policy is to usher these nations into a new world, he says. “So how we respond today – right now – will, in my judgment, shape our strategic position in the entire Middle East, and how Muslims around the world see us going forward, probably for decades to come,” he told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on March 16.

In the past, the US addiction to oil and its fight against terrorism overshadowed the values of democracy and human rights, Kerry said, but now, the US must encourage governments to respond to the hopes and needs of their people.

The goal of the mission in Libya is limited to saving lives, not necessarily getting rid of a tyrant, he said.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Christie beats Obama in "thermometer' poll

Governor Chris Christie is hot.

Not lie-out-on-the-beach hot, but hot enough to beat out President Barack Obama by a half a degree, according to a Quinnipiac University national thermometer poll released today.

The poll, conducted by asking respondents to rate individuals on a 0-to-100-degree "feeling thermometer'' show that first lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton are the hottest of the political types, with temperatures of 60.1 and 59.2 degrees respectively. But Christie comes in number three with a respectable 57 degrees, followed by Obama at 56.5.

The only drawback to Christie's rating is that 55 percent of the respondents did not know enough about the New Jersey governor to rate him. This was opposed to 4 percent for Michelle Obama, 2 percent for Clinton and 0 percent for the president.

The next Republican on the list is Rudy Giuliani at 52.3 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, all of whom topped 50 degrees.

"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie has ruled out running for president next year despite the urging of many Republicans, but he has clearly made a positive impression on the American people, at least the half who are familiar with him,'' Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a prepared release. "It is important to remember that this measure is not any kind of presidential trial heat, but it does reflect how voters feel about national figures, including politicians.''

The lowest three on the hot list? Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 38.2 degrees, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 34.8 and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at 32.9. Palin is a Republican, and Reid and Pelosi are Democrats.

The survey was conducted from Feb. 21 to 28. A total of 1,887 registered voters were polled by phone. The poll has a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points.