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Insider Report: Secret Service Calls Obama 'Renegade'

Monday, 25 June 2007 12:00 AM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):

2. Hedgecock Credits NewsMax on Haditha

3. Zogby: Bloomberg Can Win in ‘08

4. Secret Service Calls Obama ‘Renegade'

5. Kissinger: I Won't Read POW Book

6. Who Will Replace Imus?

7. We Heard: Al Franken, Ben Stein, Lou Dobbs


1. Florida Gov. Crist Touted as GOP Veep Candidate

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has been in office for only six months, but he's

being talked about as a possible vice presidential candidate on the Republican

ticket in 2008.

Crist is currently enjoying an approval rating of 73 percent, according to a

Quinnipiac University poll. That's nearly 12 points higher than the peak ratings

for his popular predecessor, Jeb Bush.

As a moderate Republican from an important swing state, Crist could have a

strong appeal to a national ticket, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

"In each of the last two presidential elections, Florida's electoral votes

proved to be the decider of the contest," the paper noted. "If Crist could

deliver the king of all battleground states, he could help any one of the top

GOP contenders win the White House."

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said

Crist "is definitely in the conversation."

Sensing his potential importance in the race, all three of the GOP front-runners

— Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney — have asked Crist to join their

campaign, said Crist, who added that he has turned down the requests.

Crist has been gaining national recognition since easily winning the governor's

race last year. He has testified before Congress and attended an international

trade mission in the Middle East.

Crist has also won applause for moving to lower property taxes in Florida.

But many of the state's conservatives want to give the new governor more time

before they make a judgment.

Crist upset some in the Republican Party by moving to give felons the right to

vote. Had that been in effect in the 2000 election, it is doubtful George Bush

would have won Florida in the closely contested race with Al Gore.

Another worrisome revelation: Crist is planning to set up a global warming

summit with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2. Hedgecock Credits NewsMax on Haditha

Rush Limbaugh's guest host Roger Hedgecock has praised NewsMax's exclusive

in-depth coverage of the Haditha incident and its aftermath.

Last December, eight Marines were hit with a variety of charges stemming from

the November 2005 incident, in which 24 Iraqis were killed, and an investigation

is ongoing. NewsMax correspondent Phil Brennan has been following the story


On June 21, Hedgecock — a talk radio host on station KOGO in San Diego — sat in

for Rush Limbaugh and told listeners:

"In Camp Pendleton . . . trials are being held against United States Marines for

a massacre, Time magazine called it.

"A massacre by the men of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, that

killed '24 innocent civilians.' Some of them executed. Many of them women and

children who were slaughtered mercilessly by vengeful Marines after one of their

own had been killed in an IED explosion just a few minutes before . . .

"That's the description in Time magazine.

"It turns out that something quite different happened.

"What happened, according to sworn testimony, and people have been passing their

polygraphs: The charges to date have been actually dropped against one of the

Marines, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz. More of that is coming. NewsMax.com is the

only place where they've been following this story. And it has been a remarkable

story . . .

"We now know . . . that the accusations against the Marines are completely


In his report filed on June 14, Brennan noted: "When it comes to the November

2005 Haditha incident, which the media has characterized as a wanton massacre of

24 innocent civilians, it seems it is the truth that has been massacred — by the

news media.

3. Zogby: Bloomberg Can Win in '08

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be more than just a spoiler if he runs

for president as an independent next year — he could actually win, according to

prominent pollster John Zogby.

"My polling shows his chances are promising," Zogby writes in an opinion piece

for the New York Daily News.

He explains: "After more than a decade of harsh wrangling, likely voters tell me

they are tired of the vicious partisanship. In a national telephone poll last

month, 80 percent said it was "very important" that the next president be a

person who can unite the country, and 82 percent said the same about the need

for a competent manager. Bloomberg wins on both counts."

In that poll, 58 percent said it was "very important" that the next president be

able to cross party lines to work with political opponents, while just 42

percent said it was "very important" that a candidate reflect the values of

their own political party.

"Put another way, the middle ground of the political electorate is expanding;

the fringes are contracting, and Bloomberg could be sitting in the sweet spot,"

said Zogby, president and CEO of the global polling firm Zogby International.

"In an exhaustingly drawn-out campaign, Bloomberg can essentially remain above

the fray for many more months while the Democrats and Republicans slug it out

for their respective nominations. If and when he finally steps in, he could be

seen as a real breath of fresh air. In a society that increasingly puts value on

what's new and exciting, we should not underestimate this factor."

Zogby concludes: "Bloomberg's combination of a track record of political

success, a political philosophy that matches what the electorate wants, and the

cash to buy a campaign organization makes it possible he may do much more than

just affect the race — he could win it."

4. Secret Service Calls Obama 'Renegade'

Secret Service agents have traditionally given "secret" code names to

presidential candidates and other dignitaries they protect. Sen. Barack Obama's

moniker: "Renegade."

The Secret Service announced on May that it was placing Obama under its

protection — the earliest ever for a presidential candidate — for undisclosed


The only other presidential candidate currently receiving Secret Service

protection is Hillary Clinton, as a former first lady. She was dubbed

"Evergreen" when her husband Bill — "Eagle" — first came under agency


President George Bush is "Tumbler," and his father is "Timberwolf," the New York

Post reports. Sen. John Kerry was named "Minuteman" after winning the Democratic

nomination in 2004, while Al Gore started out as "Sawhorse" and eventually

became "Sundance."

Former President Jimmy Carter, who taught Sunday school, is "Deacon," and Ronald

Reagan was "Rawhide."

But according to the Post, a Secret Service spokesman said all code names are

chosen by military officials and they should not be examined too closely for

deeper meaning.

5. Kissinger: I Won't Read POW Book

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says he won't read a new best-selling

book charging that he and other government officials engaged in a massive

cover-up of prisoners left behind in Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War.

"An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in

Southeast Asia," by former Rep. Bill Hendon and co-author Elizabeth Stewart,

chronicles the failure of the U.S. government to take action regarding hundreds

of prisoners even after receiving overwhelming proof that they were being held

by the North Vietnamese.

It also maintains that Kissinger and President Richard Nixon promised $4.75

billion in aid to North Vietnam in exchange for the return of all POWs.

Kissinger told the New York Daily News that he did receive a copy of the book,

but added: "I'm not going to read it." He also claimed the book's allegations

are "irresponsible" and "insupportable" and had already been reviewed in

extensive congressional hearings.

6. Who Will Replace Imus?

Joe Scarborough has completed his fifth straight week as the replacement anchor

for Don Imus on MSNBC, but the network has yet to announce if he will get the

job permanently.

The former Florida congressman first anchored the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. show on May

14, about a month after Imus was dropped by MSNBC and CBS Radio for his

derogatory remark about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. He has

been on steadily since May 28, with MSNBC calling his morning program "Morning

Joe" in promotions.

According to Broadcast Newsroom, MSNBC vice president of communications Jeremy

Gaines recently declined to say if Scarborough will be Imus' permanent

replacement. But he said there would soon be an announcement about the morning


Stay tuned.

7. We Heard . . .

THAT Senate candidate

Stein, who hosted the Comedy Central game show "Win Ben Stein's Money" for six

years, gave the former "Saturday Night Live" star $1,000, according to the

publication Roll Call.

Asked by a blogger why the conservative Stein — who was a speechwriter and

lawyer for Republicans Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford — would contribute to the

campaign of the former Air America host, Stein replied: "Al is a close friend

and one of the smartest people I have ever met," according to the Web site rawstory.com.

Franken is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from

Minnesota now occupied by Republican Norm Coleman.

Other celebrities who have contributed to Franken's campaign include Paul

Newman, Tom Hanks, Rob Reiner, political comedian Bill Maher, writer Nora Ephron,

"Seinfeld" creator Larry David and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

THAT New York City Mayor

as an independent in 2008 would stand a good chance of succeeding if all voters

were watchers of "Lou Dobbs Tonight."

Dobbs has a poll question on his show each evening. On June 18, the question

was: Do you consider yourself to be Republican, Democrat or Independent?

The results: A large majority, 71 percent, said they were independents, while 22

percent said Democrats and just 7 percent said Republicans.


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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories): 2. Hedgecock Credits NewsMax on Haditha 3. Zogby: Bloomberg Can Win in '08 4. Secret Service Calls Obama 'Renegade' 5. Kissinger: I Won't Read POW Book 6. Who Will Replace Imus? 7. We Heard: Al Franken, Ben Stein, Lou...
Monday, 25 June 2007 12:00 AM
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