Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2008



Dealmaking and drama lead up to Hillary's speech tonight

While Hillary Rodham Clinton urges her supporters to heal a fractured Democratic Party by lining up behind Barack Obama, his Republican opponent is asking voters to remember Clinton's own criticism that Obama isn't ready to take that 3 a.m. phone call.

The day Clinton was to address the Democratic National Convention in a prime-time speech, John McCain's latest TV ad played off her primary campaign spot featuring sleeping children and a phone call portending a crisis. In the new ad Clinton is shown saying: "I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

Not vetting Clinton for veep opened Pandora's Box

Clinton left it to the Obama camp to spin the angle that she was not vetted because she did not want to produce documents without a guarantee of serious consideration. If that's true, you can well imagine that, without such assurances, she was not going to produce just about the only thing left that the world doesn't know about the Clintons -- the  potentially controversial lists of donors to her husband's presidential library.

Whatever the cause, the appearance of Clinton getting dissed by Obama opened Pandora's Box for her enthusiasts.

Obama, Clinton camps working on hotel roll-call vote

Supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton are furiously circulating petitions on the floor of the Democratic National Convention tonight, hoping to stave off a plan to hold the convention's roll call at breakfast Wednesday — out of the public eye — sources inside the delegations say...



Carville: Dems wasting first night
'Right now, we're playing hide the message'

Have the Democrats wasted the first night of the convention?

Yes, says Democratic Strategist and CNN contributor James Carville.

Speaking on CNN, Carville said the party was too soft in its attacks on John McCain Monday night — the same mistake, Carville says, Democrats made at the 2004 convention.

"The way they planned it tonight was supposed to be sort of the personal — Michelle Obama will talk about Barack Obama personally, Ted Kennedy was a very personal, emotional speech," Carville said. "But I guarantee on the first night of the Republican Convention, you're going to hear talk about Barack Obama, commander-in-chief, tax cuts, et cetera, et cetera."

"You haven't heard about Iraq or John McCain or George W. Bush — I haven't heard any of this. We are a country that is in a borderline recession, we are an 80 percent wrong-track country. Health care, energy — I haven't heard anything about gas prices," Carville also says. "Maybe we are going to look better Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But right now, we're playing hide the message."



Ted Kennedy addresses opening night of convention

Ailing and aging, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy summoned fellow Democrats to rally behind Barack Obama's pioneering quest for the White House Monday night in an emotional opening to a party convention struggling for unity essential in the fall campaign.

... "The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on," Kennedy said in a strong voice, reprising the final line of a speech at the 1980 convention that brought a different convention to its feet. The senator has been undergoing treatment for a malignant brain tumor.

see also:

Three Democratic clans mix uneasily

“Someday the Clintons and Mr. Obama
may become good friends.
For now, this is a hard, human process —
making room on the stage for everyone.”

                                        -James Carville


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



Maybe they should
just have him play
his saxophone...




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:

Bill and Hillary Clinton dent hopes of Dem Party unity

Pelosi tells Clinton supporters to avoid 'victim politics'

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.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain brings out age jokes on Leno

Walking onto the set of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Monday afternoon, McCain had the funnies cued up: 

“You forgot to mention that I warned the people about the British coming,” McCain said after Leno introduced the senator as a hero. 

McCain added that he’s so old that “my Social Security number is eight.” 

Leno wished McCain a happy birthday in advance of his 72nd birthday on Friday, and this time Leno had one in the holster: 

“We were gonna have a cake, but the fire marshal said, 'That many candles?'” 

DNC hits McCain with new 'McBush' ad

...the Democratic National Committee has a new ad up called "Totally in agreement."

Those are words McCain used to describe his faithfulness to Bush's positions on issues. The ad show McCain saying that he voted with the president 95 percent of the time, even more than fellow Republicans.

GOP veep sheet: Romney under fire

If the focus of the Democrats’ attacks is any indication, Mitt Romney has to be the front-runner for John McCain’s veep slot.

As the Democratic National Convention got underway in Denver, several major Democrats took turns hitting the former Republican presidential candidate

McCain may announce GP choice before Friday

McCain had previously said he would announce his vice presidential pick on Friday and would appear with that individual at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, following the announcement.  Friday is McCain’s 72nd birthday.

But sources close to McCain’s campaign told FOX News that his decision may come sooner than that — possibly on Thursday, when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination at Invesco field in Denver, Colo.

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...




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

Doh! -- Obama opens Ayers door with new ad

Jennifer Rubin/CommentaryMagazine:

"What would possess the Obama camp to go down this road? Obama’s lame defense of the relationship–that he was eight when Ayers committed his crimes–is, of course, entirely irrelevant. His association with Ayers, as Hillary Clinton pointed out in the Philadelphia debate, ran deeper than he has tried to present it and it began and continued when both men were adults, long after Obama had become acquainted with Ayers’s past.

Soon enough everyone will learn that Ayers donated money to Obama, held a fundraiser to launch his first political race in his home, served on the board of the Woods Foundation with Obama, and headed the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (the records of which Stanley Kurtz will gain access to tomorrow), an organization which Obama supported and for which he may have approved grant money. We are off to the races on this. It’s unclear why Obama opened the door..." watch ad

Denver Archbishop scolds pro-choice Biden

...the party's hopes of winning the critical Catholic vote took a hit Sunday when Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said Mr. Biden should avoid taking Communion as a result of his pro-choice stand on abortion.

Archbishop Chaput, who was scheduled to lead a pro-life candlelight vigil Monday night in Denver in front of Planned Parenthood, called Mr. Biden's support for abortion rights "seriously wrong," said archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette De Melo.

"I certainly presume his good will and integrity," said the archbishop, "and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion if he supports a false 'right' to abortion."

4 arrested in plot to kill Obama during Thursday night acceptance speech

CBS4 has now learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass reported one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards."

Law enforcement sources tell Maass that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative."

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...






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