- - Sunday, September 25, 2011

CAMPAIGN

NYC’s Bloomberg says Obama could be re-elected

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he thinks President Obama could win re-election next year in spite of the country’s high unemployment rate.

Mr. Bloomberg cites the power of incumbency as one of Mr. Obama’s advantage. He says if he were Mr. Obama, he would emphasize what he’s done to try to improve the economy and admit some things haven’t worked but that he’ll keep trying.

The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent says Mr. Obama remains a viable candidate and that the election is a real horse race regardless of the GOP nominee.

Mr. Bloomberg tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he probably won’t endorse a candidate. He didn’t make an endorsement in 2008.

WHITE HOUSE

Hezbollah leader could face military tribunal in U.S.

The Obama administration is considering a military trial in the United States for a Hezbollah commander now detained in Iraq, U.S. counterterrorism officials said, previewing a potential prosecution strategy that has failed before but may offer a solution to a difficult legal problem for the government.

While the U.S. hasn’t made a decision, officials said a tribunal at a U.S. military base may be the best way to deal with Ali Mussa Daqduq, who was captured in Iraq in 2007. He has been linked to the Iranian government and a brazen raid in which four American soldiers were abducted and killed in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala in 2007.

No military commission has been held on U.S. soil since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. President George W. Bush tried holding a few suspected terrorists at military bases inside the U.S., but each detainee ultimately was released or transferred to civilian courts.

President Obama has said that, because of changes to the military commissions that give prisoners more rights, he supports them as an option in the fight against terrorism. Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group that the U.S. has branded a terrorist organization.

RNC

Priebus says more candidates are possible

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the GOP has a great field of presidential candidates but that there’s still time for someone else to get in.

With some conservatives saying Texas Gov. Rick Perry has had a shaky debate performance, speculation about the future of the GOP race has returned to the possibility of more candidates.

There’s been talk that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could still enter the race, although Mr. Christie has said he’s not planning to run. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has left open the possibility that she might run.

Mr. Priebus says it gets “harder and harder” for other candidates to get in as the caucuses in Iowa early next year get closer, but he says there’s still time. He appeared Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

GOP

Daniels asks conservatives to cut Perry some slack

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is asking fellow Republicans not to count out Rick Perry.

Some conservatives are disappointed with the Texas governor’s performance in the latest GOP debates.

Mr. Daniels says it’s too early for what he calls “last rites” over the Perry campaign, and he notes that Mr. Perry hasn’t been in the race for very long.

Mr. Daniels says people ought to cut Mr. Perry some slack and give him a little time.

Mr. Daniels also says he’s worried that the party’s nominee will end up playing it safe in light of President Obama’s political weakness, and merely campaign as a default option to Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Mr. Daniels tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that this strategy would miss the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion about government spending.

WHITE HOUSE

U.S. praises reform on women’s voting rights

The White House says Saudi Arabia is taking an important step ahead in expanding women’s rights by allowing women to vote and run in local elections in 2015.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor says this reform recognizes the “significant contributions” that women make in the Muslim kingdom. He says the announcement by King Abdullah will give Saudi women more ways to participate “in the decisions that affect their lives and communities.”

Mr. Vietor says the U.S. is behind Saudi Arabia as it puts into place this change and other reforms.

The king says he ordered the move after consulting with his nation’s top religious clerics.

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