- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crush on Obama

Obama Girl has upset Obama’s girls.

The Web video of a scantily clad actress pledging her affection for the Democratic presidential candidate has been a hit online, but not in his own home. Barack Obama says his 6-year-old daughter, Sasha, has noticed press coverage of the video.

“Sasha asked Mommy about it,” Mr. Obama said yesterday in an interview with the Associated Press. “She said, ‘Daddy already has a wife’ or something like that.”

“I Got A Crush On Obama” stars an aspiring model and actress named Amber Lee Ettinger, aka Obama Girl. Her song, which has lines like “Universal health care reform, it makes me warm,” has gotten more than 3 million hits and nearly 10,000 comments since being posted two months ago on YouTube, the online video-sharing site.

Mr. Obama said he knows the video was meant to be lighthearted, but he wasn’t smiling when asked about it in the interview in Salem, N.H.

“I guess it’s too much to ask, but you do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families,” Mr. Obama said.

Focus on Syria

“The United States is at last making significant progress against al Qaeda in Iraq — but the road to victory now requires cutting off al Qaeda’s road to Iraq through Damascus,” Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“Thanks to Gen. David Petraeusnew counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, and the strength and skill of the American soldiers fighting there, al Qaeda in Iraq is now being routed from its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces. Many of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs, meanwhile, are uniting with us against al Qaeda, alienated by the barbarism and brutality of their erstwhile allies,” Mr. Lieberman said.

“… But defeating al Qaeda in Iraq requires not only that we continue pressing the offensive against its leadership and infrastructure inside the country. We must also aggressively target its links to ‘global’ al Qaeda and close off the routes its foreign fighters are using to get into Iraq.

“Recently declassified American intelligence reveals just how much al Qaeda in Iraq is dependent for its survival on the support it receives from the broader, global al Qaeda network, and how most of that support flows into Iraq through one country — Syria. Al Qaeda in Iraq is sustained by a transnational network of facilitators and human smugglers, who replenish its supply of suicide bombers — approximately 60 to 80 Islamist extremists, recruited every month from across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and sent to meet their al Qaeda handlers in Syria, from where they are taken to Iraq to blow themselves up to kill countless others. …

“That is why we now must focus on disrupting this flow of suicide bombers — and that means focusing on Syria, through which up to 80 percent of the Iraq-bound extremists transit.”

Complaint filed

A liberal blogger has filed a federal complaint against former Sen. Fred Thompson, the actor and unannounced Republican candidate for president, accusing him of violating election laws as he ponders his entry into the race.

The blogger, Lane Hudson, submitted his complaint to the Federal Election Commission yesterday, saying Mr. Thompson has raised far more money than he needs to explore whether to run for president.

Federal law allows potential candidates to raise money to travel, conduct polls and pay for other expenses related to “testing the waters” for a political campaign. During that exploratory period, a potential candidate does not have to file financial reports with the FEC.

The law prohibits anyone who is “testing the waters” from hoarding the money for use during his or her actual campaign. Potential candidates also cannot refer to themselves as candidates, can’t run ads that publicize their intention to campaign or take steps to qualify for the ballot in a primary or caucus state.

According to a financial report filed late last month, Mr. Thompson had raised nearly $3.5 million and had spent $625,000. Mr. Thompson must raise money within federal contribution limits and must report it to the FEC once he becomes an official candidate.

“We’re following the law,” Thompson spokesman Jim Mills said in response to the complaint.

Under federal guidelines, the FEC will now give Thompson 15 days to respond to the complaint. After Mr. Thompson’s response, election commissioners will decide whether to dismiss the case or investigate further, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Hudson, an activist who gained attention for posting Internet communications between disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley and a congressional page, said Mr. Thompson “has been ignoring the letter and the spirit of the federal election law for his own political benefit.”

Romney’s stance

MittRomney last week told Michelle Malkin he doesn’t think the [birthright] citizenship policy needs to be changed,” reporter Stephen Dinan wrote in his “On the Republicans” blog at www.washingtontimes.com.

“But he said the country should instead change the immigration policy that leads to chain migration.

“Birthright citizenship is the policy that grants U.S. citizenship to nearly everyone born in the country, including those born to parents who are in the country on visitors’ visas or here illegally.

“Some Republicans are pushing for a law to change the policy, but Romney said there’s a different way to handle the situation — cut off one of the benefits that results from citizenship.

“ ’If a child or baby is born to people or a person that is here illegally, then it should not follow automatically that the family gets to come into the country because they have a U.S. citizen in the family,’ he told Malkin. ‘I think that’s a policy we can change without having to deal with the issue of “Do we need to change the Constitution?” ’ he said.”

In an earlier post, Mr. Dinan noted that the issue has popped up as Republican candidates traveled across Iowa in recent weeks.

“I had a chance to ask another candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, about his view of the issue.

“ ’I would support changing that. I think there is reason to revisit that, just because a person, through sheer chance of geography, happened to be physically here at the point of birth, doesn’t necessarily constitute citizenship,’ he said. ‘I think that’s a very reasonable thing to do, to revisit that.’ ”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes

.com.

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