- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2007

Newt’s prediction

Democrats will nominate New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2008 and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will be her running mate, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicts.

The Republican Party will have three “formidable” choices inMitt Romney,Rudolph W. Giulianiand Fred Thompson, Mr. Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday.” Mr. Gingrich is considering whether to enter the race.

Mr. Gingrich is ruling out John McCain’s chances among the Republican presidential contenders, the Associated Press reports. The Arizona senator “has taken positions so deeply at odds with his party’s base that I don’t see how he can get the nomination,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Gingrich said he had dinner recently with Mr. Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and actor who has set up a political committee that allows him to raise money for a presidential bid. An official declaration is likely in September, after Labor Day.

Mr. Gingrich said he expects Mr. Thompson will enter what is shaping up as a competitive race for the Republican nomination against Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, and Mr. Giuliani, former New York City mayor.

“I think that either Mayor Giuliani or Governor Romney or Senator Thompson would be a very formidable opponent for what I expect will be a Clinton-Obama ticket, and I think that there’s a possibility that will work,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Targeting Fox

Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network.

MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America’s Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

The groups have successfully pressured Democratic presidential candidates not to appear at any debate sponsored by Fox, and are trying to get Home Depot Inc. to stop advertising there.

At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Mr. Gilliam told the Associated Press. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials.

“It’s a lot more effective for Sam’s Diner to get calls from 10 people in his town than going to the consumer-complaint department of some pharmaceutical company,” Mr. Gilliam said.

Home Depot has not had an unusual number of calls, said spokesman Jerry Shields, and the home-improvement chain will not change its advertising strategy.

“We’re not in the business of censoring media,” Mr. Shields said. “We need to reach our customer base through all mediums available.”

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