Patrick Murphy, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is the only Iraq War veteran in Congress. In his new book, Taking the Hill: From Philly to Baghdad to the United States Congress, Murphy recalls his Philadelphia childhood, working his way through college, and his deployment to Iraq, where, as a lawyer and a captain with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, he led a legal team in Baghdad's Al Rashid District that advised commanders on combat operations, prosecuted U.S. troops, and administered a compensation fund for Iraqi civilians. Murphy launched his 2006 run for Congress with just $322 in his bank account, and, though he was outspent by nearly $3 million, he went on to win, taking office at age 33.
Plenty of ink has been spilled over how much Hillary Clinton's appeal is tied to her status as the first viable, front-runner female candidate. But what her candidacy really shows is how few female politicians are groomed for a presidential run.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, left, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, right, kick off the first task force meeting of Innovation America Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Sports metaphors usually bug me, not because they're macho, but because they're lazy. But throughout this primary season, there is one I've been unable to avoid: the bench.
What women are sitting on the sidelines, prepared to jump into the game and become the first female president if Hillary Clinton doesn't make it? And, if she does, who is stretching out, ready to spell her when her playing time is done?
Early signs point to Democratic wins in Ohio's 2008 congressional races, with blue candidates out ahead in polling and in fundraising. Even party stalwarts acknowledge that tough times are ahead for Republicans in the state.
Ohio long ago cemented its place as a bellwether for the nation when it comes to presidential politics -- and early signs from the state about 2008 are decidedly blue.
Democratic presidential candidates won 11 of 12 match-ups with Republicans in a Quinnipiac poll of Ohio voters last month. (The only pairing that had a Democrat on the losing end was Barack Obama versus John McCain.)
But a string of recent developments make Ohio a leading indicator of something else: which party will control Congress after the next election -- and by what margin. There, too, things look good for Democrats.
With his hallway rant about "idiot liberals" demanding an immediate end to the war in Iraq, Dave Obey has become a quick and easy target for an increasingly frustrated anti-war movement. (For those who haven't seen the clip, the House Appropriations Committee chairman was approached by two anti-war activists on the Hill last week, and excoriated them for failing to recognize that the Democratic leadership's approach to ending the war through the spending supplemental was the best they could do.)