Weekend Report, July 19-20, 2008
GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES with excerpts
Obama aides furious at McCain
For weeks now, Barack Obama has closely guarded the details of his planned fact-finding trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, citing security concerns.
But Friday, the Democratic presidential hopeful's Republican rival, John McCain, may have let the secret out of the bag - infuriating some Obama supporters and putting Camp McCain on the defensive.
Court orders Ohio to include Libertarian Party on ballot
Ohio must include the Libertarian Party’s nominees on its ballot in November, a court has ruled, complicating Senator John McCain’s effort to win conservative votes in a hotly contested state rich in electoral votes...
Al Gore to appear on Meet The Press
Gore’s last “Meet the Press” appearance was almost exactly eight years ago, on July 16, 2000. In that visit, the Democratic presidential nominee attacked then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s record and answered more than a few uncomfortable questions from the late Tim Russert about abortion and the role then-President Bill Clinton would play in the campaign.
This Sunday, expect to see Gore in a very different role.
McCain co-chair Phil Gramm steps aside
Former Senator Phil Gramm resigned late Friday as a co-chairman of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, capping a day filled with controversy for Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.
... Mr. Gramm, a multimillionaire banker, has been under fire since last week, when he dismissed concerns about the troubled economy by referring to “a mental recession.” He also said the United States had become “a nation of whiners,” a remark providing fodder for Democrats to portray Republicans as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans.
Don't forget me, says John McCain
"We don't pretend to believe that this isn't interesting and captivating," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said of Obama's trip. "But we expect the integrity of the organizations will allow us equal time."
McCain to focus on domestic issues
The Republican presidential candidate emphasized his interest in promoting clean automotive technology at the General Motors technical center in Warren, Mich, on Friday, and he plans to focus on economic issues next week in New England and the Midwest.
"John McCain will be talking directly to home-town Americans about gas prices, job growth and the economy," campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said Friday. "Of course, we expect there'll be an implicit contrast between John McCain's record and an Obama campaign trip designed to compensate for a slim foreign policy record and built around his own political ambitions."
McCain on Conan late night show
Speaking for all late night comedians, O'Brien said, "we're tired of this take on you," and asked the Arizona senator to give them some fresh material.
... McCain, who has already had one cable movie made about his life, was then subjected by O'Brien to a series of casting suggestions for another movie about his quest for the presidency and his current search for a running mate.
Playing McCain? Tim Conway. Playing one-time Republican rival Mitt Romney? "Any local weatherman," said O'Brien.
McCain declares self the underdog in Missouri
Although Missouri has gone red in the past two presidential elections, Republican presidential candidate John McCain cast himself as the underdog here to Democrat Barack Obama as he made his second stop in the state this week...
McCain: States should set fuel efficiency marks
It's hard for me to tell states that they can't impose whatever standards they decide to impose," McCain said. "I want to see Rick (Wagoner, GM's CEO) sit down with the governor's and ask them what they need."
Wagoner said after the meeting that the company would prefer a national standard rather than state-by-state standards...
The buzz about a McCain-Romney ticket
... “Mitt and Ann Romney and Cindy and I have become good friends, and I’m appreciative every time I see Mitt on television on my behalf,” Mr. McCain told donors at the fund-raiser, according to a pool report of the event. “He does a better job for me than he did for himself, as a matter of fact.”
Foes no more, McCain & Romney warm to each other
Obama in Afghanistan
Senator Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan early Saturday morning, opening his first overseas trip as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to meet with American commanders there and later in Iraq to receive an on-the-ground assessment of military operations in the two major U.S. war zones.
Mr. Obama touched down in Kabul about 11:45 a.m., according to a pool report released by his aides. In addition to attending briefings with military leaders, he hoped to meet with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan before flying to Iraq later in the weekend.
A cast of 300 advises Obama on foreign policy
Every day around 8 a.m., foreign policy aides at Senator Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters send him two e-mails: a briefing on major world developments over the previous 24 hours and a set of questions, accompanied by suggested answers, that the candidate is likely to be asked about international relations during the day.
... Behind the e-mail messages is a tight-knit group of aides supported by a huge 300-person foreign policy campaign bureaucracy, organized like a mini State Department, to assist a candidate whose limited national security experience remains a concern to many voters.
Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
It is the first time he has backed the withdrawal timetable put forward by Obama, who is visiting Afghanistan and us set to go to Iraq as part of a tour of Europe and the Middle East.
Obama shifts stance on environmental issues
Barack Obama once condemned the Kyoto global warming treaty but m now supports government regulation of greenhouse gases...
Zogby poll: Obama strongest with Powell as VP choice
As the Presidential candidates ponder potential running mates, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows many voters would be more inclined to vote for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama if he were to select retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell as his running-mate...
Obama camp dumps Max Cleland
The former senator, Max Cleland, Democrat of Georgia, originally received an invitation to a fund-raiser on July 7 in Atlanta, but was later told not to come.
... A friend of Mr. Cleland extended the invitation, but after the Obama campaign checked the guest list against a database of lobbyists, the campaign contacted Mr. Cleland’s friend, who told him that he should not attend. Mr. Cleland lobbies for a health care firm.
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