Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Poll shows McCain gains on Obama

Republican John McCain gained ground in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll that found Democrat Barack Obama's highly publicized foreign trip has not broadened confidence in his ability to be commander of the U.S. military.

The polll showed Barack Obama ahead 47%-44% among registered voters, down from a 6-percentage point lead he had last month. McCain led 49%-45% among likely voters, reversing a 5-point Obama lead among that group.


see also:

Obama: 'The chances of us winning are very good'



Michelle Obama makes the best dressed list
at 'Vanity Fair,' not Cindy McCain

Conservatives don't seem to have made the cut for the 69th annual International Best Dressed List unveiled this morning by Vanity Fair.

But Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack, is on it. Why? "Because she's our commander in sheath," VF says. Cindy McCain, wife of GOP contender John, isn't on the list.




GOP unveils 'BarackBook' parody to
spotlight Obama's 'friends'

Barackbook_2 Facebook fans will recognize the look immediately -- the Republican National Committee has created a "BarackBook" website to highlight "some of Barack Obama's notable associations throughout stages of his career."

Those "notable associations" include Chicago real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted on fraud and money laundering charges last month.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain backs off his no-new-tax pledge

John McCain's signal that he may be open to a higher payroll tax for Social Security, despite previous vows not to raise taxes of any kind, is drawing sharp rebukes from conservatives.

McCain's shift has come in stages, catching some Republicans by surprise. Speaking with reporters on his campaign bus on July 9, he cited a need to shore up Social Security. "I cannot tell you what I would do, except to put everything on the table," he said.

He went a step farther Sunday on ABC's "This Week," in response to a question about payroll tax increases.

"There is nothing that's off the table. I have my positions, and I'll articulate them. But nothing's off the table," McCain said. "I don't want tax increases. But that doesn't mean that anything is off the table."

That comment drew a strong response this week from the Club for Growth, a Washington anti-tax group. McCain's comments, the group said in a letter to the Arizona senator, are "shocking because you have been adamant in your opposition to raising taxes under any circumstances."

Evangelicals warn against Romney veep choice

The Washington Times reports that prominent evangelicals don't trust Romney on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, given the former Massachusetts governor's track record. "McCain and Romney would be like oil and water," novelist Tim LaHaye, who supported Mike Huckabee during the GOP primaries, told the newspaper. "We aren't against Mormonism, but Romney is not a thoroughgoing evangelical and his flip-flopping on issues is understandable in a liberal state like Massachusetts, but our people won't understand that."

McCain hit by civil rights groups

John McCain's decision to support a proposed ballot initiative in Arizona that would ban affirmative action in local and state governments might prove his conservative bona fides in some quarters. But it is not winning him any friends in the civil rights community, which notes that he opposed a similar resolution in 1998 as "divisive."

"His reversal must surely be seen as pandering 'flip-flop' to the extreme right wing of his base," Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said in a statement issued today. "Quotas are already illegal under federal law, and the initiative that Senator McCain now supports is far more destructive than his false assertion implies."

McCain has spot removed from face

Senator John McCain said on Monday that his dermatologist had removed a spot from his right cheek, and that while it did not appear to be serious, she would perform a biopsy “just to make sure everything is fine.”

... In the morning, Mr. McCain had a small bandage on his upper right cheek, near his temple, but he had removed it by the afternoon, revealing a dark area about the size of a bug bite.





Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama to discuss economy with Bernanke today

Barack Obama will meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the U.S. economy and Obama's proposals to bolster it, a campaign aide said...

Va. Gov. Tim Kaine on Obama's veep shortlist

The Politico website is reporting this afternoon that Kaine ranks very, very high on the short list," for Democrat Barack Obama. Politico cited a "source who has spoken recently to senior Obama aides about Kaine," who also said Kaine is "getting a critical examination."

The Washington Post is also reporting that Kaine and Obama are having serious discussions about the post.

Politico said Kaine's biography "nicely dovetails" with Obama's.

Obama-Clinton ticket seen as unlikely

...there is mounting evidence that Mr. Obama’s interest in Mrs. Clinton for the post has faded considerably, if, in fact, she ever really was a strong contender to be on the ticket with him.

In conversations, Mr. Obama’s advisers discuss Mrs. Clinton’s role at the Democratic convention next month in a way that suggests they are not thinking of her arriving in Denver as Mr. Obama’s running mate.

DNC, Obama plan to spend $20M on mobilizing Hispanic voters

Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee are expected to unveil a $20 million investment in Hispanic voter mobilization Tuesday that targets most major battleground states. DNC Chairman Howard Dean said the sum is unprecedented for a presidential campaign and represents a show of Democratic confidence that Latino voters could prove pivotal in states including New Mexico and Michigan.

AFL-CIO seeks to defuse Obama rumors

Here's a fascinating new mailer from the AFL-CIO, which is seeking to do what might, in another context, be called koshering Obama for its members.

The mailing features Obama with beefy, mostly white workers, and testifies to how widespread certain viral rumors are, offering affirmative answers to the questions, "Is he a Christian" and "Was he born in America?"

The Federation, which includes most of the older, whiter pieces of American labor, includes some swing voters, though union workers typically vote Democratic at pretty high rates.




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