Obama considers a trip to Iraq
Sen. Barack Obama is considering a visit to Iraq this summer, his first since becoming a presidential candidate. Republican rival John McCain...
WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama is considering a visit to Iraq this summer, his first since becoming a presidential candidate.
Republican rival John McCain has criticized him for failing to visit Iraq since 2006. Obama also declined McCain's invitation for a joint trip, saying he didn't want "to be involved in a political stunt," according to a report Wednesday on The New York Times Web site.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton confirmed a trip is under consideration but said no final plans have been made.
Obama took his only trip to Iraq in January 2006, when he traveled as part of a congressional delegation. McCain, who campaigned Wednesday in Nevada, has been criticizing him for not returning, and the Republican Party joined the attack Wednesday by launching an online clock to count the days since Obama last visited.
weakness hurts U.S.
THORNTON, Colo. — Democrat Barack Obama said U.S. students must learn a second or even third language or the country will struggle to compete in a global economy.
"We as a society do a really bad job teaching foreign languages, and it is costing us when it comes to being competitive in a global marketplace," the Illinois senator said at a school here Wednesday.
Obama speaks a little Spanish and some rusty Indonesian from his childhood, aides said.
Obama delegate switches to Clinton
WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama picked up support from superdelegates in Colorado, Oregon and Guam on Wednesday but lost one in the Virgin Islands to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Kevin Rodriquez on Wednesday became the first Obama superdelegate to publicly switch to Clinton. At least 13 have gone the other way.
Meanwhile, two state Democratic Party chairs — Pat Waak in Colorado and Meredith Wood Smith in Oregon — announced they will vote for Obama, who also added Oregon superdelegate Wayne Kinney. Guam superdelegate Ben Pangelinan also came out for Obama.
Obama has a total of 1,981 delegates, 45 short of the 2,026 needed for nomination; Clinton has 1,780.
Lieberman, Graham break from group
Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, prominent surrogates for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, stepped down Wednesday from their positions with an independent group that released a pair of Internet advertisements attacking Sen. Barack Obama on Iraq.
Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Graham, R-S.C., were both on the policy advisory board to Vets for Freedom, which on Wednesday released its second Web ad in less than a week attacking Obama.
The senators' positions with the group, which describes itself as a grass-roots advocacy organization pushing for victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed to place them in contravention of new conflict-of-interest rules released by McCain's campaign. The rules specifically prohibit anyone "with a McCain campaign title or position" from participating in a "527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any presidential candidate."
Puerto Rico: — Pop star Ricky Martin is backing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ahead of Puerto Rico's primary Sunday.
Sudan: In a rare show of bipartisan unity, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain in signing an ad in The New York Times on Wednesday accusing the Sudanese government of genocide in the Darfur region and urging an end to the violence.
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