Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)

Monday, August 25, 2008




Gallup Daily Poll:
deadlocked at 45%

The last Gallup Poll Daily tracking polling conducted before the beginning of the Democratic National Convention shows Barack Obama and John McCain tied at 45%.


The Bill Clinton speech factor

WashPost's 'The Fix': "Much depends on Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night. Will the former President go the magnanimous route, putting past problems behind him and warmly embracing Obama? Or will he leave wiggle room in the speech that keen political observers will take as a sign that his support for the Illinois senator is tepid rather than white hot?"

see also:

Obama says he won't tell Bill Clinton what to say

Clinton advisers skipping Obama speech

A number of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top advisers will not be staying in Denver long enough to hear Barack Obama accept the nomination for president, according to sources familiar with their schedules.

Clinton will deliver her speech Tuesday night. She will hold a private meeting with her top financial supporters Wednesday at noon, and will thank her delegates at an event that afternoon. Former president Bill Clinton will speak that night. Several of Hillary Clinton's supporters are then planning to leave town. Among them, Terry McAuliffe, Clinton's campaign chairman, and longtime supporters Steve Rattner and Maureen White. Another of Clinton's top New York fundraisers, Alan Patricof, did not make the trip to Denver.

see also:

Pelosi tells Clinton supporters to avoid 'victim politics'
DRUDGE developing headline:

NYT: Celebration of Kennedys an 'effort to take focus off Clintons'


Edwards shunned

As Democrats kick off their convention Monday, the onetime presidential contender is a man without a party - or a political future - trying to rebuild bridges through dozens of remorseful phone calls.



Tonight's speakers at Dem convention:

Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Caroline Kennedy, Republican Jim Leach

see also:

Tonight is damage-control for Michelle Obama

Ted Kennedy lands secretly in Denver

Party to show religious side

Dems begin convention with most advantages since Watergate

New, improved Obama must surface at DNC


No roll call vote for Hillary Clinton?

"The whole idea of a roll call vote could be in flux at this point," Stephanopoulos told ABC's Charles Gibson on World News Sunday night.

"The Clinton people here, they've said they wanted catharsis, they wanted that roll call, but they may not get it," Stephanopoulos said, describing the decision as one being discussed at the highest levels of Clinton's camp.  "They don't want to be blamed for any trouble at this convention."

Tensions boil between Obama-Clinton camps;
Bill angry about speech topic change

One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is “Securing America’s Future.” The night’s speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.

This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.

Some senior Democrats close to Obama, meanwhile, made clear in not-for-attribution comments that they were equally irked at the Clinton operation. Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the nomination contest, these Obama partisans complained, her team continues to act like she and Bill Clinton hold leverage.

see also:

Wolfson: Obama needs to praise Bill Clinton Thursday night

Tensions linger as some Clinton supporters are left frustrated

Clinton drama is the subplot of Democrats

Poll: more than half of Clinton backers still not sold on Obama

Obama camp downplays Clinton backers at convention


Protesters disrupt Convention access; 2 arrests

A large anti-war protest disrupted  access to the site of the Democratic National Convention for about 40 minutes Sunday afternoon -- a  full 24 hours before the convention even begins.

With a crowd of about 1,000 protesters massing on Auraria Boulevard, directly in front of the Pepsi  Center in Denver, Secret Service and local police locked down the security perimeter about 12:30 p.m.  MT, shutting down the only access point for media and most staff to get into or out of the site.



Springsteen, Bon Jovi to perform Thursday night
at Obama acceptance speech

Multiple sources confirmed to the Rocky Mountain News that Jon Bon Jovi will fly in to perform two acoustic songs before Sen. Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday.

After the speech, Bruce Springsteen will close out the night, presumably solo acoustic (E Street Band member Nils Lofgren told the Rocky Mountain News last week that the band wouldn't be with Springsteen in Denver).



GOP opens 'war room' at Dem convention

... national Republicans have set up an effort to grab media coverage, or at least offer some balance to the Democrats' show.

The GOP effort includes a "war room" and media center less than a mile from the convention hall and making top Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney available for press conferences and satellite interviews to television stations across the country, especially in swing states...






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

Cindy McCain off to visit Georgian wounded as Michelle Obama gives speech

The McCain camp says upstaging Michelle Obama was never the plan. But on the night many Americans meet Michelle Obama for the first time, pictures of Cindy acting like, well, a First Lady, may also be seen.

She will be traveling with the U.N.'s World Food Program, a group she's been active with before, and according to TIME she will also visit with wounded Georgian troops and President Mikheil Sakaasvili...

McCain takes a break during Dem convention

John McCain will keep a light campaign schedule for the next few days, but the Republican nominee-in-waiting has no intention of conceding Democratic National Convention week to his rival, Barack Obama.

McCain plans to use late-night comedy and local newspapers to reach out to voters in swing states, hoping to slow Obama's momentum and pound home ramped-up criticism of his Democratic rival. He also plans to make an appearance with reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee.

McCain intrudes on Obama's convention message

John McCain certainly won't let Barack Obama have his Democratic convention all to himself. If Obama has a story to tell voters over the next four days, McCain is already pitching a far less flattering version from afar.

In newly produced television ads and on the stump, McCain is casting Obama as untested, unprepared to lead the country and too aloof to connect with voters. If he has an audience in mind, it's likely to be working-class voters, disaffected Democrats and independent-minded white women.

McCain's weapons? Democrats themselves...

McCain's 'Joe Biden on Barack Obama' ad


McCain's Clinton dissed for telling truth ad: 'Passed over'


McCain's Clinton crossover ad: 'My name is Debra'





Barack Obama & Joe Biden... today's headlines with excerpts

MBNA paid Biden son at critical time for bill

Hunter Biden, son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups.

Barack Obama's presidential campaign said Biden helped forge a bipartisan compromise on the measure, which is now law and makes it harder for consumers to obtain bankruptcy protection in the courts.

MBNA's consulting payments to Hunter Biden, first reported by The New York Times, followed his departure in 2001 from the company, where he had been an executive.

... At the time Hunter Biden was receiving consulting payments from MBNA, he also was a Washington lobbyist at a firm he had co-founded.

... Resurrecting Biden's role in the bankruptcy legislation could undercut one of the Obama campaign's lines of attack: That his Republican opponent, John McCain, is insensitive to the financial woes of middle-class Americans.

... MBNA employees have poured more than $200,000 into Biden's Senate campaigns over the past two decades, making donors working for the credit card company the senator's largest source of campaign money.

Sparse, skeptical crowd meets Obama in Iowa

At the Mississippi Valley fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa, today, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, faced a rather unenthusiastic crowd including 200 undecided Republican and independent voters...

Praise of McCain could haunt Biden

Within three hours of the announcement that Joe Biden would be Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate, their Republican rival John McCain was up with a striking ad highlighting Biden’s praise for McCain.

And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Republicans have at their disposal a long trail of Biden quotes speaking fondly of — and affiliating himself with — McCain...

Zogby flash poll: Biden choice helps

Nearly half - 43% said they think it was a good decision by Obama, while 25% said it was a bad one, the Zogby online survey shows. And while 43% said Biden was the best available option for Obama, 41% disagreed. However, 43% said they think Biden will help Obama's chances to get elected, while 22% said he would hurt the ticket's chances in November.

Obama word slip - says 'We sure as hell' during town hall

Has Sen. Joe Biden already rubbed off on Sen. Obama?

Just one day after announcing his VP pick, the presumptive Democratic nominee showed a little bit of the loose lips reminiscent of the Delaware senator now on his ticket.

"If we can spend $10 to $12 billion a month in Iraq, we sure as HELL can pay $10 to $12 million -- billion dollars right here in the United States."

Obama gaffe: calls Biden 'next president'

When introducing his running mate, Obama said, "So let me introduce to you the next president - the next vice president of the US of America, Joe Biden."

And then when it was Biden's turn to speak, the Delaware senator called the presumptive Democratic nominee "Barack America" instead of Barack Obama...

Rocky roads in Denver for Obama-Biden ticket

...the factoid that may matter most in the Mile High City: 30 percent of former Clinton supporters aren't on board yet for Obama...

Ed Rendell: Obama media coverage was embarrassing

"Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing," said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel. "It was embarrassing."

... “MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," Rendell said, who called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing."

Chris Matthews, Rendell said, "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”

At that point, PBS's Judy Woodruff, who was moderating the moderators event, said: "Why don’t we let Governor Rendell sit down."...






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