Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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Weekend Report, August 2-3, 2008


Obama reversal: backs away from
McCain's town hall challenge

Barack Obama has backed away from rival John McCain's challenge for a series of joint appearances, agreeing only to the standard three debates in the fall.

In May, when a McCain adviser proposed a series of pre-convention appearances at town hall meetings, Obama said, "I think that's a great idea." In summer stumping on the campaign trail, McCain has often noted that Obama had not followed through and joined him in any events.

Obama's reversal on town hall debates is part of a play-it-safe strategy he's adopted since claiming the nomination and grabbing a lead in national polls. Advisers to the Illinois senator, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss strategy, say Obama is reluctant to take chances or give McCain a high-profile stage now that Obama's the front-runner.


Obama calls McCain campaign cynical but not racist

"In no way do I think John McCain's campaign was racist. I think they are cynical," Obama said Saturday. "Their team is good at creating distractions and engaging in negative attacks."


Lieberman, Kerry together on Meet The Press

"I'm not going to go to that convention, the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama. I'm going to go there really talking about why I support John McCain and why I hope a lot of other independents and Democrats will do that and frankly, I'm going to go to a partisan convention and tell them, if I go, why it's so important that we start to act like Americans and not as partisan mud-slingers."

"Sounds like you're going to go," replied host Tom Brokaw.

"Sounds like that to me too," agreed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as all three men laughed.




'Praise The One'
new McCain ad attacks the 'Divine Obama'



McCain camp: new ad is just a bit of fun

"We were having some fun," McCain told reporters in Panama City, FL, about the ad which draws messianic comparisons between Obama and Moses. "We were having some fun with our supporters that we sent it out to and we're gonna display a sense of humor in this campaign."







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

WalMart for McCain?

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, denied a report Friday that it had pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because of worries that a bill the party supports would make it easier for workers to unionize.

The measure, called the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret ballot elections. It was co-sponsored by Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, and opposed by John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

Private equity fears if Romney is veep

Before he was elected governor of Massachusetts, Romney sat atop the private equity world where major investors routinely buy troubled companies, revamp them — often in part through layoffs — and then sell them off for huge profits. Romney founded the private equity firm Bain Capital, which he headed for 15 years, during which time he's estimated to have made about $250 million.

Last year, congressional Democrats targeted the private equity sector for insults and tax increases. With a Romney vice presidential nod, those charges will go national.

Ridge does not think McCain would have abortion litmus test

On ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge reaffirmed his pro-choice position on abortion, and said he did not think Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would make it a litmus test on whom he would choose to be his running mate.

... When asked whether he thought having a pro-choice candidate at the top of a national ticket would turn off the Republican Party base, Ridge said, "I think, at the end of the day, I think the party would be comfortable with someone Sen. McCain was comfortable with. And that is ultimately his decision."

McCain, the analog candidate

Not knowing how to use a computer could reinforce a notion that Mr. McCain subscribes to the old-way-of-thinking, said Michael Feldman, a veteran of the Clinton White House and a top aide to former Vice President Al Gore. It creates a problematic “optic” for the McCain campaign, Mr. Feldman said, especially when juxtaposed with the younger Mr. Obama, frequently photographed with BlackBerry on his belt clip...




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama: seat Florida, Michigan full delegates

Barack Obama, moving to heal one of his party's deepest wounds, called Sunday for a full seating of the disputed Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Committee had cut the states' delegations as punishment for scheduling early primaries. But Democrats recognize the importance of a motivated base in those classic battlegrounds.

The delegate count for the states was one of the most contentious issues between the Clinton and Obama campaigns as the nominating contests ground down.

Obama shifts positions on off-shore drilling

Obama has opposed exposing more coastline to drilling, saying that oil companies have not fully explored the areas open to drilling now and insisting that it would have little immediate impact on prices at the pump.

After speaking to a capacity crowd at Gibbs High School auditorium in St. Petersburg, he told the Post he would be open to expanding the current drilling boundaries if it meant winning approval for more fuel-efficient cars, developing alternative energy sources and making the country more "energy independent."

see also:

Obama attempts to explain shift on off-shore drilling

Obama opposes slavery reparations, apology

The man with a serious chance to become the nation's first black president argues that government should instead combat the legacy of slavery by improving schools, health care and the economy for all.

"I have said in the past - and I'll repeat again - that the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed," the Illinois Democrat said...

Obama supporter: veep pick coming soon

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Sunday that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will choose his vice-presidential running mate soon, but reiterated that it won't be her...

If elected, Obama would have McCain play role of 'loyal opposition'

What role would he have Sen. John McCain -- and Sen. Joe Lieberman -- play in his administration if he is elected?

The presumptive Democratic nominee first joked that he was being set up to get in trouble, but then answered, “Sen. McCain, I would have him serve in the role of loyal opposition, in the minority.”

Obama said that there is an important function to the role in his mind: “It’s important to have an opposition that is keeping you on your toes and giving you a hard time and calling you out if you're not doing what you say you’re going to do.”

Obama protesters: 'What about the black community, Obama?'

...there was a poignant moment during Obama's town hall in St Petersburg, Florida. Obama was challenged on his work for the African American community by a group of young African American protesters.

In the middle of unveiling his emergency economic stimulus plan, Senator Barack Obama was interrupted by three African American protestors in their early thirties.

Sitting strategically directly below the trademark "Change We Can Believe In" Obama signage, the protesters stood up and started yelling, unrolling a sign of their own: "What about the Black Community, Obama?" The website on their sign indicated the protesters were from International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement, which fights for the democratic rights of the African people.




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