Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, answers questions as Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, left rear, listens Thursday, March 1, 2007, in Salt Lake City. The senator announced Wednesday on a late night talk show that he intends to officially announce his candidacy for president next month. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lined up some key New Hampshire endorsements this week. Former state senator, candidate for governor and local businessman Bruce Keough will be chairing Romney's New Hampshire Leadership Team. Keough has prior experience with presidential politics having served as the New Hampshire vice chairman of President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
Keough will serve with co-chairmen Gordon MacDonald and Donna Sytek. MacDonald served many years under former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey and has advised a number of New Hampshire primary campaigns. Sytek is the former speaker of the New Hampshire House and former chairwoman of the state Republican Party.
Rockingham County chairmen include Judy Galluzzo, Sheriff Dan Linehan, County Attorney Jim Reams and Christopher Wolfe.
McCain busy, too
Not to be outdone, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., secured a long list of Republicans that will support him if and when he decides to seek the presidency. Former Sen. Warren Rudman and former New Hampshire Gov. Walter Peterson will assume honorary leadership roles in the Arizona senator's exploratory committee. Rudman will be a co-chairman of McCain's national exploratory committee and Peterson will be the honorary chairman of McCain's state exploratory committee.
Tom Ridge, formerly Pennsylvania governor and head of the Department of Homeland Security, will be serve as a national co-chairman to his presidential exploratory committee. In addition, John R. McKernan Jr., former Maine governor and husband of U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, will support McCain as well.
Among the 22 Republicans from Rockingham County who have announced their support: state Sen. Mike Downing of Salem, Sen. Jack Barnes of Raymond, Rep. Nancy Stiles of Hampton, Rep. Benjamin Moore of Seabrook, Exeter's Rockingham County Commissioner Maureen Barrows, Portsmouth Police Commissioners Jack Kelley and John Russo and Portsmouth School Board members John Lyons and Brendan Ristaino.
McCain also announced the launch of five new online projects to "give Americans a new way to interact with the campaign and additional opportunities to learn about and engage John McCain."
Besides posting campaign videos on the sites YouTube and Veoh, McCain has posted profiles on Facebook and Myspace. His campaign has also initiated "a discussion with Americans about wasteful spending" on Yahoo! Answers. You can view the senator's 254 friends as well as all the other Web sites by going to JohnMcCain.com.
Clinton on video
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has released two new videos on her campaign Web site as part of an ongoing series called HilCasts.
The first video details her plan to end the war in Iraq, which would require President Bush to seek new congressional authorization to remain in Iraq if the administration does not begin a phased redeployment of troops and convene an international conference within 90 days. Clinton first previewed the plan when she returned from her third trip to Iraq and has formally introduced legislation to implement this plan.
In her second video, Clinton outlines her plan to create a Strategic Energy Fund to address energy challenges. The Strategic Energy Fund would include $50 billion for green energy technologies. The $50 billion will be raised by eliminating oil company tax breaks, placing a temporary fee on oil company profits that exceed a five-year baseline and ensuring they pay royalties for drilling on public lands.
Clinton's campaign announced New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director Kathleen Strand will be joining the New Hampshire campaign team as communications director. Strand worked as the state press secretary for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has again taken Taxpayer Protection Pledge, sponsored by the Americans for Tax Reform. This pledge, which began in 1986 after the passage of President Reagan's Tax Reform Act, commits the signer to oppose increases in the federal income tax.
Tancredo has run as a pledge-signer in every election since his first congressional win in 1998.