TRAIL MIX: ‘L.A. Times’ Predicts Candidates Based on Length of Last Name

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By: Emily Vaughan

Last July the L.A. Times’ Top of the Ticket made a prediction, that Giuliani, Fred and Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Bill Richardson, Sam Brownback and others would all lose the race for the presidency. Why? Because no president since Kennedy has had more than seven letters in their name. The remaining candidates, Obama (5), Clinton (7), and McCain (6), will keep the short-name trend going.

It’s not only the Obama camp who is still unhappy about Hillary Clinton’s “3 a.m.” ad in Texas prior to last week’s primary. The little girl in the first scene, now almost 18, is an Obama supporter, and told ABC’s Good Morning American Weekend Edition she thinks the ad is “fear-mongering,” says Mark Silva at the Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp. The actress, Casey Knowles, originally filmed the clip for a railroad company ad when she was eight years old. The Clinton team bought the scene from Getty Images.

Democrats are worried that their prolonged primary battle between Clinton and Obama could lead the party to lose the White House and their congressional majority, says John Harwood at The New York Times’ The Caucus. The debacle about “do-overs” in Michigan and Florida could draw in to question the party’s leadership competence, and a long campaign could divide the party, leading to losses in close states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico, Harwood says.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean agrees. Dean told ABC’s The Week “[T]he only thing that can beat us is that we’re divided.”The controversy over Florida and Michigan’s delegates could be that divisive force, with different leaders in the Democratic party supporting different measures, says Zachary A. Goldfarb at washingtonpost.com’s The Trail. The DNC refuses to pay for restaged primaries, and Michigan Senator Carl Levin said holding another vote in his state would be very difficult. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell asked on NBC’s Meet the Press, “How can the Democratic Party go to Denver and deny the people of Michigan and Florida, two crucial states, a voice.”

Ron Paul confirmed that he is not dropping out of the race on CNN’s American Morning today, says Mark Memmott at USA Today’s On Politics. While the Texas congressman knows he cannot win the nomination, he said he will continue to seek votes in primaries to win delegates and have more influence over the campaign debate.

Possible solutions to the Michigan-Florida Democratic delegate mess are being floated around. DNC Chair Howard Dean suggested mail-in voting to redo the primaries in the two states, says Sudeep Reddy at The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire. Dean said he doubted that a resolution would be reached before Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary, but that it is “very unlikely” that the delegates would be seated based on their earlier contests in January.

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