Monday, June 30, 2008

Video: Senator Obama's Speech on Patriotism

6/30 Evening News: Obama Responds to Patriotism Attacks

News Items
'I Will Never Question the Patriotism of Others'
Wearing an American flag pin on the lapel of his suit, Obama said: "I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine."
Related Articles:
CNN: Obama responds to attacks on his patriotism
NYT: McCain Rebuffs Critics as Obama Defends Patriotism
FirstRead: Obama Talks Patriotism in Missouri

Obama, Bill Clinton finally speak
The silence between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton has been broken, with the Democratic White House hopeful on Monday asking the former president to campaign for him during their first conversation since the heated primary.
Related Articles:
Obama Calls President Bill Clinton
CBS Horserace: Bill Clinton And Obama (Finally) Talk
CNN: Bill Clinton, Obama speak
The Caucus: Obama Talks With Bill Clinton
FirstRead: Obama and Bill Clinton Talk
Politico: Obama talks to Bill Clinton

New Obama Ad: "Dignity"
Barack Obama's campaign has released its second television ad of the general election campaign, "Dignity." The 30-second spot ... opens with a focus on the Illinois senator's biography – and includes the sort of centrist rhetoric on welfare that Bill Clinton employed during his presidential run.
Related Articles:
CNN: Obama notes working class roots in new ad
The Caucus: New Obama Advertisement Is Aimed at Workers
FirstRead: Let the Defining Continue

Obama rejects critique of McCain's service
About the same time, Obama told an audience in Independence, Mo., that McCain had "endured physical torment in service to our country" and "no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides."
Related Articles:
CBS: Obama Defends McCain's Military Service
CBS FtR: Obama Defends McCain's Military Service
CNN: Obama rejects Clark's statement

Obama takes swipe at MoveOn
In a speech designed to combat charges he lacks patriotism, Obama sharply condemned organizations that use "these old, threadbare arguments" to level criticisms and specifically pointed to's controversial newspaper ad last fall that attacked ... David Petraeus.

NRA gathers ammo against Obama
The National Rifle Association plans to spend $15 million to portray Obama as a threat to Second Amendment rights.

AdWatch: A lone lawmaker doesn't "pass" bills
Obama was more than one mere vote on the bills cited — he was one of the leading negotiators who helped turn the legislation into law. He was not the only key player, but many politicians claim responsibility for passing laws that many have worked on.

McCain Answers Clark's Criticisms
Responding to Gen. Wesley Clark’s comment that "I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," John McCain said that attacks from Barack Obama’s campaign about his leadership are not new.
Related Articles:
FOX: McCain ‘Proud’ of Service, Calls Wes Clark Comment ‘Unnecessary’
FOX Blog: McCain calls Clark comments a distraction
CNN: McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'
The Caucus: McCain, Supporters Slam Clark and Obama Campaign
FirstRead: McCain Camp Ties Obama to Clark
FirstRead: McCain 'Truth Squad' Lashes Out

Following Clark Comments, McCain Camp Launches "Truth Squad"
This morning, the McCain campaign held a conference call to respond to Clark's comments. The campaign said the purpose of the call was to launch the "McCain Truth Squad" – "a new group aimed at countering the recent attacks on John McCain’s military record."
Related Articles:
McCain campaign launches new 'Truth Squad'

The McCain Veepwatch, Vol. 5: Rob Portman
Source of Speculation: A flurry of reports pegged to McCain's two-day swing through the Buckeye State late last week. Portman accompanied the Arizona senator on his Straight Talk Express to a pair of town halls...

McCain R-rated town hall…
The presumptive GOP nominee rebuked the man for using a more offensive term for cow manure Monday, telling the man to be more careful with language in front of the more than 1,000 town hall attendees and national television cameras.

McCain says Obama can’t be trusted
McCain took his rhetoric up a notch today by saying that Sen. Obama’s word can’t be trusted–noting that the Democrat went back on his pledge to take public financing in the general election.

Dem Guru: McCain 'Limited' by POW Years
While Barack Obama was urging supporters not to devalue the military service of rival John McCain, an informal Obama adviser argued Monday that the former POW's isolation during the Vietnam War has hobbled the Arizona senator's capacity as a war-time leader.

McCain Truth Squad defender was Swift Boat Vet member
One of the members of John McCain’s new Truth Squad — which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on his record of military service –- was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and appeared in an attack ad for the group in 2004.

Air “Straight Talk” launches
The campaign press corps and McCain staff are boarding the specially designed, blue and gold painted Boeing 737-400 plane, but Sen. McCain is not on the first flight since he spent the night in Harrisburg, PA with a small press pool.

A look at the candidates' immigration plans
Barack Obama — He voted for a 2006 bill offering legal status to illegal immigrants subject to conditions, including English proficiency and payment of back taxes and fines.

Bush Impersonator Headlines Democratic Ad
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is seeking to link 13 Republican members of Congress with President Bush's energy policies in a new radio ad.

Veepstakes Update: About 'Personal Chemistry'
Mike Allen says Mitt Romney is at the top of the list, but that a lack of “personal chemistry” may be the downfall. Allen also reports that McCain will announce his pick shortly after Obama’s, to limit his bounce.

Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain, 47% to 42%
After more than a week of Barack Obama and John McCain being tied in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, Obama now holds a statistically significant five percentage point lead in the preferences of national registered voters, 47% to 42%

Election 2008: Alabama Presidential Election
The gap between John McCain and Barack Obama in Alabama has been cut nearly in half. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds McCain ahead 51% to 36%.

Election 2008: Florida Presidential Election
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Florida shows John McCain leading Barack Obama by seven percentage points, 48% to 41%. One week earlier, it was McCain by eight.

About One in Four Voters Are “Swing Voters”
According to the most recent USA Today/Gallup survey, 23% of likely voters can be considered "swing voters" -- including 6% who do not have a preference between Barack Obama and John McCain for president...

Everything Old is New Again
The veepstakes is usually a guilty pleasure. One moment, everyone with access to makeup and a minute on cable TV is obsessing over shortlists. The next, they're quoting FDR's first No. 2, who claimed the gig wasn't "worth a bucket of warm piss."

Memo to Dems: Don't Dismiss McCain's Military Service
Unfortunately, questioning whether McCain's military service prepared him for the presidency isn't an onslaught worth leading. It's not that Clark's analysis is wrong; it's that it's so narrowminded and obvious that it doesn't do any damage at all.

A McCain-Romney Update: "Romney as Favorite'?
Turns out I wasn't crazy enough. Over at the Politico, F.O.S. (Friend of Stumper) Mike Allen is reporting this afternoon that--surprise!--"Romney is at the top of the vice presidential prospect list for John McCain."

Clark’s Clunker
This is fast-becoming one of those Washington stories where Clark sails alone. Please, find me a single Democrat who thinks it’s good politics to call into question the military credentials of a man who spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war.

Hillaryland at War
Sheehy also focuses on Bill Clinton, reporting that the former President wanted his own office in the campaign headquarters and that a top fundraiser described him as out of control.
Related Articles:
Clinton Presidential Bid Doomed By Bill, Campaign Infighting

Cafferty: McCain’s military credentials overrated?
McCain was more than just a fighter pilot, though. After being a POW, he went on to become the commanding officer of the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy.

Paul Jenkins: The McCain/Bush Effect on Red States
By nominating McCain, GOP voters thought they got the best of both worlds: an elder statesman and a maverick. Instead, they got Bob Dole, just older and even more disliked by conservatives.

McCain Camp: Obama Aided Enemy in Vietnam
A McCain "Truth Squad" is now alleging that Obama's true vulnerability isn't that he didn't see action in Vietnam, but that he did -- on the side of America's enemies.

Right On, General Clark. Do Not Back Down.
While we should all honor McCain's service, that doesn't mean we should necessarily honor it by putting him in the White House to take up George W. Bush's third term.

What Will Happen to the "Unitary Executive" in the Next Presidential Term?
The policy of the "Unitary Executive" (which grants Bush unchecked power during national emergencies) was the "single most successfully implemented policy" of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Can We Rescue Democracy from the Right?
Yes, the U.S. government has given "democracy promotion" a bad name. But progressives should not withhold support from movements in other countries fighting nonviolently against tyranny.

Family Research Council Attacks Obama on Life Starting at Conception
The Family Research Council is distracting the debate about serious issues in this country to focus on the one issue they need to have front and center in order to turn out their base supporters: abortion.

Keep to the High Ground
Wes Clark's remarks remind us what we should have learned from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: questioning someone's military record lowers the tone of the campaign and distracts from the real issues.

Death in the Afternoon
What Charles Black and Hillary Clinton said were not "accidents" as they were in the past. It is likely that words like these will become the accepted political dialogue of the future.

Obama, McCain and Mother Vote
Obama may have the clear advantage with the mother vote on the image, talk and policy fronts, but McCain has shown lately that he isn't willing to let the mom vote go without a fight.

McCain, Obama Talk Immigration, Media Misses the Point
For example, a recent Associated Press story noted that since both Presidential candidates support a path to citizenship, immigration reform won’t be a “major point of differentiation” between them.

6/30 Morning News: Obama On Patriotism

News Items
Obama giving patriotism speech
The speech in Missouri Monday comes in the run-up to the July 4 holiday and as Obama seeks to reassure voters about his commitment to the country as well as to counter questions about his patriotism. He's recently started wearing a flag pin on his lapel.
Related Articles:
Obama to deliver 'major speech' on patriotism
FOX Blog: Obama to Discuss Patriotism Today
CBS FtR: Obama to Address Patriotism Today

Gen. Clark: McCain lacks command experience
Underscoring during a national television appearance a position he has been expressing for several weeks, Clark said performing heroic military service is not a substitute for gaining command experience.
Related Articles:
Politico: Some on left target McCain's war record
CNN: McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'

Obama camp thinks Dems can rise in South
As they look to the fall election, Democrats face a strategic decision that has bedeviled their party for 40 years: How hard should they fight in the South? And how does having Senator Barack Obama at the top of the ticket affect that calculation?

GOP Sharpens Attacks on Obama
Sen. John McCain's allies have seized on a new and aggressive line of attack against Sen. Barack Obama, casting the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee as an opportunistic and self-obsessed politician who will do and say anything to get elected.

Obama and McCain search for running mates
Never in modern memory have so many eminent people been mentioned for a job that has been compared -- unfavorably -- to a bucket of warm spit.

In Flag City USA, where false Obama rumors fly
Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor's house, at his son's auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate's background...

Obama Seeks to Add Black Voters
If Sen. Obama can achieve registration parity, the effect could be significant, since African-Americans traditionally vote Democratic about 90% of the time. Nationally, black turnout at white levels would have meant an additional 1.6 million voters in 2004...

Barack Obama Opposes Prop 8, the anti-marriage amendment
In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Sen. Barack Obama stated his opposition to the California constitutional amendment. As far as I know, this is the first official mention of such a position.

Michelle Obama has busy summer ahead
Michelle Obama described a roundtable here the other day as "our version of The View," then proceeded to play moderator and questioner on a serious, political version of the ABC chatfest.

One Democratic Group’s Members Ready to Support Obama, Despite Former Loyalty to Clintons
By rights, a group that helped elect Bill Clinton president and counts Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of its leaders should be hostile territory for Barack Obama. But members of the Democratic Leadership Council seem ready to embrace Obama...

McCain's Delicate Immigration Dance
Tancredo is not the only one unclear about McCain's immigration position after the contentious primary campaign, in which the issue regularly polled as the second most important among likely Republcian voters, next to the Iraq war.

McCain, Obama Seek to Show Commander-in-Chief Potential
As a sliding economy has Americans focused on rising gas prices, a mortgage crisis and plunging stocks, the presidential candidates are focused abroad.

McCain Aims to Score Points Globally (Requires Registration)
John McCain heads south this week -- all the way to South America, where there are no votes to win but perhaps a few points to score.

Romney tops McCain veep list
“Romney as favorite” is the hot buzz in Republican circles, and top party advisers said the case is compelling.

A New Ride for McCain as He Heads to a Crucial Swing State
Making up for a couple of visits he canceled over the past few months, John McCain will head to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this morning to tour Turbine Airfoil Design. He’ll then travel a couple of hours east to visit Worth & Company, Inc. ... where he’ll take a tour and hold a town hall.

Veterans Long to Reclaim the Name ‘Swift Boat’
When they talk about Swift boats, veterans recall friends killed, not the new synonym for a nasty campaign smear.

Political focus helps make MSNBC more competitive
MSNBC is a player in the cable news competition in a way it hasn't been before. The surge in viewership created by the presidential campaign has benefited MSNBC more than Fox News Channel or CNN, and Griffin is pushing to consolidate those gains.

Richardson to Help Clinton Ease Debt
Clinton ally James Carville may have called him "Judas" when he endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in March, but that isn't stopping Gov. Bill Richardson D-NM., from offering to raise money to help Sen. Clinton retire her significant campaign debt.

Colorado, New Mexico up for grabs
The presidential race in the Rocky Western states is in the hands of independent voters.

Congressional Democrats hire Bush impersonator
House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Barack Obama attracting 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 44%.

NJ Poll: Obama With Big Lead
New Farleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll (June 17- 23, 702 RV, MoE +/- 4%), has Obama up by a comfortable 16 points in the Garden State...

Democrats Favored to Retain House in November
The Democratic Party is in a good position to retain its majority status in Congress this November. Democrats lead the Republicans by 51% to 40% in the party preferences for Congress among all registered voters, and by 52% to 42% among likely voters.
First Thoughts: Entering the Lull
This week begins what’s essentially a two-month lull in the presidential race. Later this week is the July 4th holiday, next comes the Olympics in early August, and then we have the conventions...

Obama's Iraq problem
All combat troops would be withdrawn in sixteen months. In hindsight, it was a mistake—an understandable one, given the nature of the media and of Presidential politics today—for Obama to offer such a specific timetable.

Traveling Overseas to Win Votes at Home
Colombia hardly constitutes a general election battleground. Neither does France nor Jordan. But Senators John McCain and Barack Obama are heading to those countries and others because votes can be won there.

Hillary Clinton's vice president stock is rising
The third time was the charm. After failing her first chance to throw her support to Barack Obama and holding her nose the second time, Hillary Clinton finally aced the loyalty test.

‘It’s Over, Lady!’
Carmella Lewis, with her Hillary T-shirt and Hillary placard, came all the way from Denver to make sure there would be plenty of ambiguity, duality and ferocity in Unity. Just as Hillary was testing out the unfamiliar familiarity “Barack and me” ... Carmella began loudly booing and waving her sign.

The Obama Agenda
It’s feeling a lot like 1992 right now. It’s also feeling a lot like 1980. But which parallel is closer? Is Barack Obama going to be a Ronald Reagan of the left, a president who fundamentally changes the country’s direction? Or will he be just another Bill Clinton?

Hearts, Not Minds
What if the 2008 presidential election were decided by voters acting not on their political judgments or analyses of the candidates, but on their emotions?

The Note: Patriot Games
What -- 50 states aren't enough for these guys? The latest odd turn in the race that's seen everything has Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain seeing places that presidential candidates just don't visit very often.

Luck - A president's best jobs plan
A year from now, economists say the economy will be stronger and unemployment lower - regardless of whether John McCain or Barack Obama wins.

Starting Gate: McCain’s Struggle To Break Through
But even without Clinton as his sparring partner, Obama has continued to dominate headlines to such a degree that McCain wouldn’t be faulted for wondering if all his speeches weren’t being heard.

Winning to Change or Changing to Win: Obama and the Progressive Dilemma
Those of us who want real change must hold with one hand to the absolute necessity of an Obama victory and with the other to the possibility that pragmatic cynicism may be precisely not the road to achieve victory.

Unintentionally Humorous Right Wing Talking Points For The Summer
The folks behind the Oklahoma City Bombing and the first World Trade Center attack were caught, prosecuted and in the case of Timothy McVeigh, executed. And then there's Osama.

Scalia Saving Obama
Obama's strategists can only thank swing Justice Anthony Kennedy for enabling Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion to take the Democratic presidential candidate off the hook.

Primer Impacto: How Spanish-Language Ads Could Decide The Election
In a year of political milestones, prepare to add one more to the heap. Come this fall, Spanish-speaking Americans -- a community not always paid the greatest attention by presidential candidates -- should be just about as sick of political ads as the rest of their compatriots.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

6/29 Sunday News: Obama Takes Day Off, Hits Gym

News Items
Obama gets in works out, hair cut, hoops
The Illinois senator managed a 30-minute workout at a gym near his home on the city's South Side, then got a hair cut at the Hyde Park Hair Salon, where he's been a customer for several years. Barber Ishmael Alamin, who was working at the shop, said Obama got "a regular clipper cut."
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Obama the Gym Buff

McAuliffe: Bill Clinton and Obama to talk within 48 hours
Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe assured CNN’s Candy Crowley that former President Bill Clinton and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will be discussing Clinton’s role in the campaign within the next two days.

Obama Moves to Close the Foreign Policy Gap
Barack Obama is taking visible steps to shore up his foreign policy credentials, scheduling an extensive trip abroad as polls show his Republican presidential rival is seen as the candidate with the sharpest international acumen.

Group with Clinton connections ready to back Obama
By rights, a group that helped elect Bill Clinton president and counts Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of its leaders should be hostile territory for Barack Obama. But members of the DLC seem ready to embrace Obama rather than risk squandering an opportunity for victory...

Fla. Cars Tagged With Anti-Obama Slogans
Police on Sunday were investigating vandals' spray-painting of dozens of city vehicles here, some with disparaging messages about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Related Articles:
City Vehicles Vandalized With Political Messages

Obama Supporters Adopt ‘Hussein’ in Act of Solidarity
Barack Obama’s middle name Hussein has been used in some corners as a rallying cry to cast false aspersions against him, but in a growing movement, some of his supporters are adopting his middle name as a show of solidarity with the candidate.

Obama collects from Americans abroad
Holbrooke to hold London fundraiser as candidate tells wealthy donors that the time to donate is now.

An Attack That Came Out of the Ether
Scholar Looks for First Link in E-Mail Chain About Obama...

McCain meets with evangelist Graham family
The Republican presidential candidate, who is actively courting religious voters and trying to reassure skeptical conservatives, visited privately with the Grahams on the grounds of Little Piney Cove in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: McCain Meets With Billy and Franklin Graham
FirstRead: McCain and the Grahams Pray Together
CNN: McCain gets praise, no endorsement, from Grahams
Politico: McCain sits down with the Grahams

McCain on the defensive about pet projects
The Arizona senator has spent most of his career on the attack against wasteful federal spending ... Now McCain finds himself on the defensive as he campaigns for president in places where people consider the dollars necessary.

McCain: Obama's word cannot be trusted
"You know, this election is about trust, and trusting people's word, and unfortunately apparently on several items, Sen. Obama's word cannot be trusted," McCain said ... The comment came as McCain criticized Obama for reversing positions on public financing and other issues.

For McCain, Airliner Interior as Campaign Motif
This week Senator John McCain’s campaign will try to restore a little style when it unveils a new airplane, the flying Straight Talk Express.
Related Articles:
McCain's Straight Talk Express grows wings

A McCain win could push Supreme Court right
A win for his Republican counterpart, John McCain, could mean a fundamental shift to a consistently conservative majority ready to take on past court rulings on abortion rights, affirmative action and other issues important to the right.

Wesley Clark Dowplays McCain War Record’s Value
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a key military adviser for Barack Obama, dismissed John McCain’s war record as a qualification for readiness to be president.
Related Articles:
Clark hits McCain's military credentials

Jindal: 'McCain has to talk more proactively' on economy
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-Louisiana, told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that he thinks John McCain has to be more proactive in his dialogue on domestic issues if he wants to win the White House.

Political freelancers use Web to join the attack
In the 2008 race, the first in which campaigns are feeling the full force of the changes wrought by the Web, the most attention-grabbing attacks are increasingly coming from people outside the political world.

Lieberman: U.S. May Be Attacked In 2009
In describing the reasons he believes the Republicans' presumptive nominee for president would be better prepared than the Democrats' to lead the nation next January, Sen. Joe Lieberman said that history shows the United States would likely face a terrorist attack in 2009.

John Kerry Faces 1st Primary Opponent Since 1984
Sen. John Kerry is facing his first primary opponent since he first took office 23 years ago, and his challenger has one issue in mind: The senator’s 2003 vote authorizing President Bush to launch military action against Iraq.

Evangelical movement touts 'Jesus for president'
They're spiritual misfits. Rabble-rousers. They packed the shell of the old Baptist church on Negley Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to hear author, Christian activist and fellow misfit Shane Claiborne stump on the campaign for a third party candidate, Jesus.

Preston on Politics: Barr says he's no Nader
Bob Barr was once a loyal solider in the Republican Party — ­ a lawmaker GOP leaders could count on to return home each weekend and echo their talking points at local political events, town hall meetings and civic lunches.

GI bill boosts Webb's veep odds
Speculation about Virginia Sen. Jim Webb's prospects as a candidate for the Democratic vice presidential nomination got a boost last week with the passage of an important GI benefits bill...

Western states may swing
Rocky Mountain voters' individualism makes it hard to poltically pin them down.

Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama 46%, McCain 42%
The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking presidential trial heat, based on July 25-26 and 28 interviewing, finds Barack Obama moving slightly ahead of John McCain, 46% to 42%.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Barack Obama attracting 47% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 43%.

Election 2008: Arizona Presidential Election
In April, McCain led Obama by twenty points. Now, the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows McCain attracting 49% of the vote while Obama earns 40%. Six percent (6%) say they’ll vote for some other candidate and 5% remain undecided.

Support for Offshore Drilling Dips Slightly to 59%
The good news for Barack Obama is that support for offshore drilling of oil wells has declined just a bit over the past week. The bad news for the presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee is that only Democrats are changing their mind.

Supreme Court Update
The United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the Second Amendment last week did more than clarify an important Constitutional principle—it also improved public perceptions of the Court itself.

Candidates Think Flip-Flopping is the Only Way to Win Elections
Raise some big bucks, ridicule your opponent, pander to the locals. Nothing unusual about that for a politician. But wait—wasn't this the candidate who was going to change politics as usual?

True or False: The Power to Fix the Economy Rests With the Next President
Each candidate is unequivocally promising voters that ... he will instantly reverse the decline of housing prices, bring gasoline prices crashing back to earth and generally kick the economy back into gear. If you believe that, I've got some subprime mortgages I'd like to sell you.

The Voters of Appalachia …
In this strangest of political seasons, Appalachia, the last forgotten place in America, suddenly matters.

Record of Reversals Is Source of Ammunition for McCain, Obama Backers
This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment right to bear arms ... became the latest source of ammunition for John McCain supporters charging Barack Obama with flip-flopping, but Obama’s backers don’t have to search too far to find examples of their own.

The Early Word: Web of Attacks
Will the big political attack of the 2008 election come from the Internet?

Stephen Ducat: Understanding Obama's Recent Right Turn
Obama's resort to triangulation is an admission of a serious limitation -- that he does not believe in his own ability to reframe issues in a way that makes a progressive stance the one that is obviously the most moral.

Reminder: Obama Told Us To Judge Him, and Pressure Him
So by Obama's own admission, when he casts an anti-progressive vote on civil liberties, we shouldn't whip up wild fantasies about him supposedly doing it because he actually is progressive the issue.

A Reminder For Senator Obama: Fortune Favors The Bold
Key in on that little bit of maxim that Daschle quotes in that first sentence: "Don't make perfect the enemy of the good." See, Daschle's got that twisted. My father taught it to me differently: "The worst enemy of the best idea is a good idea."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/28 Saturday News: Obama, McCain Court Latino Voters

News Items
Obama addresses Latinos, criticizes McCain on immigration
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain courted Hispanic support on Saturday, and Obama accused his White House rival of backing away from comprehensive U.S. immigration reform under pressure from his party.
Related Articles:
Obama Vows to be Champion for Hispanics
Newsweek: Speak the Language
ABC: McCain, Obama Court Hispanic Voters
ABC: McCain's Balancing Act on Immigration
CBS FtR: Obama Addresses Latino Officials
FOX: Obama, McCain Challenge Each Other for Latino Support
FOX Blog: McCain: Immigration reform “top priority” for first 100 days
FOX Blog: Obama’s Outreach to Latinos
FirstRead: McCain Courts Latino Voters
CNN: McCain, Obama court Latino voters
Politico: Obama hits McCain on immigration flip-flop

Obama plans visits to Europe, Mideast this summer
Obama's campaign said the likely nominee will travel to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The Illinois senator also has said he intends to visit Iraq and Afghanistan this summer...
Related Articles:
ABC: Obama Abroad
FOX Blog: Obama Overseas
The Caucus: Obama Plans Trip to Mideast, Europe
CNN: Obama plans trip to Europe and the Middle East

Bill Clinton says Barack Obama must 'kiss my ass' for his support
The former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies ... believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence. A senior Democrat ... revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support.

Barack Obama quietly visits wounded war veterans
The presumed Democratic nominee ... spent about two hours inside the facility. On his way in and out, he did not speak to the small group of reporters who follow him, and the visit wasn't on his public schedule.
Related Articles:
Obama visits Walter Reed
Politico: Obama to visit Walter Reed

Is Barack 'bigger' than Bill in H'wood?
Rob Reiner talks to Politico, predicts that "With someone like Obama, the whole world will coalesce."

‘Hanoi Hilton’ jailer says he’d vote for McCain
At the same time, he denies prisoners of war were tortured. Despite detailed POW accounts and physical wounds, Duyet claims the presumed Republican presidential nominee made up beatings and solitary confinement in an attempt to win votes.

McCain, Iraqi president say progress being made
Appearing together in solidarity, Republican John McCain and Iraq's president said Saturday that the war-ravaged country is making significant but fragile progress.
Related Articles:
McCain Praises Iraqi President

Mrs. McCain, San Diego County Would Like a Word
When you're poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. When you're rich, it's hard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. It's a lesson Cindy McCain learned the hard way when NEWSWEEK
raised questions about an overdue property-tax bill...

McCain Jabs Obama, Then Gets Jabbed By Protestors
“I believe that both we could have stood here and responded to your questions of comments or views.” Then ten minutes into his speech, McCain was interrupted by the first of four protestors.
Related Articles:
McCain speech disrupted by several hecklers

McCain hunts Clinton supporters
Sen. John McCain is aiming to persuade Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters to forget about party unity and side with him instead during a campaign stop in the swing state of Ohio.

Conservatives warm to McCain on the law
John McCain is winning right-wing converts, who had doubted that he would appoint reliably conservative judges.

A Candidate Runs to a G.O.P. Chorus of ‘Don’t’
Bob Barr, a Republican turned Libertarian, hopes to follow in the third-party footsteps of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.

Polling Results
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Barack Obama attracting 47% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 44%.

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls
Earlier polling showed that voters nationally and in Florida liked McCain’s call for offshore oil drilling. However, when McCain took his road show to California, the results were quite different.
The Early Word: After Unity, What's Next?
The Democratic party had their coming-together moment in New Hampshire on Friday, but today the general election contest marches on.

Affirmative action hurt by Obama's success?
Barack Obama's political success might claim an unintended victim: affirmative action, a much-debated policy he supports.

Why Veeps Now Matter
For 130 years, only one vice president -- Martin van Buren -- was elected president in his own right without having succeeded to the office first.

Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27 Evening News: Together At Last...

News Items
Clinton and Obama share stage in Unity, N.H.
"To anyone who voted for me and is now considering not voting or voting for Senator (John) McCain, I strongly urge you to reconsider," said Clinton ... as she implored her supporters to join with Obama's "to create an unstoppable force for change we can all believe in."
Related Articles:
FirstRead: Obama, Clinton's Unity in Unity
Newsweek: Analysis: Obama, Clinton begin unity campaign
CBS: Clinton Backers Try To Look Past Concerns
CBS: A Unified Front For Obama, Clinton
CNN: Obama: Campaign proved 'the progress we have made'
CNN: Crowley: A picture-perfect day in Unity
CBS FtR: Obama and Clinton: Shoulder to Shoulder
FOX: Clinton, Obama Coax Divided Dems Toward Unity
ABC: Obama on Clinton in Unity, N.H.: 'She Rocks'
NYT: Clinton and Obama Set New Tone
TIME: The Dems' Appearance of Unity
Politico: Clinton, Obama: So happy together

Big donors aren't in Unity
I know this is supposed to be a marriage, but behind the scenes, it feels more like a divorce. There's a lot of sadness and hurt between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton camps, with both sides fighting over money and loyalty.
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Tensions Remain Among Clinton Donors

Obama Brings on Clinton Policy Director
The unity continues... Obama has incorporated former Clinton policy director Neera Tanden into the campaign. Tanden "will help coordinate the domestic policy process under Heather Higginbottom, the campaign's Policy Director," according to an Obama campaign release.

Grover Norquist has a label for Barack Obama
Norquist dropped by The Times' Washington bureau today and, as part of his negative critique of Obama's liberal stances on economic issues and other matters, he termed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee "John Kerry with a tan."

Obama Aide: Bill Didn't Cross The Line
Obviously, we had a very hard fought primary campaign. And there isn't anybody on the planet that would begrudge President Bill Clinton for vigorously supporting his wife...

Bill, Hillary Clinton Contribute Maximum Amount to Obama
One good donation deserves another. Bill and Hillary Clinton on Friday contributed $2,300 apiece online to Barack Obama’s campaign after Obama and his wife, Michelle, wrote checks for the same amount to Hillary Clinton.
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FOX Blog:
Hillary and Bill Clinton Max Out For Obama
The Caucus: Democratic Unity in $, Too

Bush Pastor Launches Pro-Obama Web Site
Sparks are flying in the 2008 culture wars. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, leader of the largest Methodist congregation in the country, launched a website yesterday titled "James Dobson Does Not Speak For Me."

Obama's Wife Vows Support For Gay Rights
Barack Obama will fight for equal rights for gays just as he fought to help working-class families overcome poverty, the Democratic presidential hopeful's wife told a gay Democratic group Thursday.

Two Clinton Voters On Why They’re Not On Board With Obama
Malka Yaacobi, a musician from Cambridge, Massachusetts, said that she voted for Clinton in the primaries, and Obama still did not sit right with her. “I will not say I’ll vote for him,” she said. “ …I don’t trust him and he doesn’t have experience.”

Will Smith says he'd make a good Obama
The prolonged Democratic primary race had all the twists and turns of a Hollywood thriller, and at least one A-list actor is ready to portray Barack Obama on the big screen.

Obama Gets Carded Before He Pumps Some Iron at the Gym
He travels with a security entourage and a press corps following his every movement. But that does not mean he can sneak past the front desk at the gym without showing ID.

Obama dodges Rezko bullet
A first look at the prosecution's never-executed plan for testimony linking the two men.

McCain talks with auto workers
Republican John McCain on Friday told autoworkers in an economically depressed area of Ohio that he supports free-trade agreements many of them feel cost jobs, but also government investment to help produce the electric cars of the future.
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McCain pushes free trade at Ohio auto plant
FirstRead: McCain Touts New Auto Tech, Rejects Bailouts

McCain on Town Halls, Elitism, Evangelicals
“I think there are some events where we are, organizations that we’re supposed to both be speaking to, and I would hope that maybe he would join me at those,” McCain said. “But it doesn’t seem that -- we haven’t gotten any more responses from his campaign, so I’m told.”
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FOX Blog: McCain calls prospect of joint town halls “very, very unlikely”

McCain: "I Will Be President of Everyone"
As John McCain's Straight Talk Express pulled into the General Motors plant this morning, a handful of protestors had gathered on the street. Some wore Barack Obama T-shirts, while some held signs.

McCain Predicts ‘Underdog’ Win in Final 48 Hours
John McCain predicted the general election race would come down to the buzzer Friday, declaring himself the underdog but quipping that he’d ride to victory in the last “48 hours.”

McCain calls Carter a 'lousy president'
The Arizona senator has long attempted to portray Barack Obama's policies as in the mold of Carter's, though the Republican has previously held back criticizing Carter so directly.

McCain Rejects Obama Criticism Over Women’s Rights
John McCain chastised Barack Obama and called for face-to-face town-hall meetings after being asked about a report that his rival claimed that if McCain is elected president, he will appoint a Supreme Court that rolls back gains in women’s rights over the past 50 years.

McCain Wraps Up Ohio Trek, Heads to D.C.
John McCain heads to Washington, D.C. tonight after a two day trek through battleground Ohio. McCain wasted no time while in the state, holding town hall meetings in person and over the phone today as well as touring a General Motors plant and attending two fund-raisers.

McCain: Hold the arugula references
Sen. McCain reiterated today to reporters that he intends to keep it clean and not cast his opponent as an elitist despite the push by some in the GOP strategists to do just that.

McCain content with outreach to social conservatives
Sen. John McCain says a scheduled meeting with evangelist preacher Franklin Graham this weekend is just that–a meeting.

Ad Watch: McCain energy ad short on specifics
Ad Watch: McCain runs new energy ad in key states and cable networks; short on details...

Watchdogs Ask: What About the Bundlers?
Chastising letters have gone out to both candidates just as they have been courting high-dollar donors.
Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama, McCain Still Tied at 44%
For the third straight day, Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows Barack Obama and John McCain tied in national registered voter preferences for the fall election, each now with 44% of the vote.

Polls: Obama up by 5
Barack Obama holds a 5-point lead over John McCain in the latest CNN "Poll of Polls" — a slight decrease for the Illinois senator from previous CNN polls of polls released earlier this week.

Election 2008: Kentucky Presidential Election
John McCain still has a comfortable lead over Barack Obama in Kentucky despite the fact that the race has become closer by nine points over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Bluegrass State finds McCain up 51% to 35%.

Election 2008: Texas Presidential Election
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Texas shows the presidential race has grown slightly closer over the past month. John McCain now leads Barack Obama 48% to 39% in the Lone Star state.
A Nice Piece of Pageantry
The advance team put "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" on the sound system. It was nice music, but a little ahead of the game: There is still signing, sealing and delivering to do. They both need to put their money where their mouths, if not their hearts, are now.

Enough with the Clinton-Obama Drama
There's nothing to say. And yet we keep talking. Behold the power of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: the endlessly addictive Odd Couple of Democratic politics.

Is the Hispanic Vote Really 'Up for Grabs'?
According to USA Today, the "battle for the Hispanic vote is on." But what the paper doesn't mention is that one of this year's White House hopefuls is already the heavy favorite to win.

Cafferty: How united are Obama and Clinton?
But how close-knit is this family really? The fact is each is forced to rely on the other as the general election ramps up. Obama needs Clinton to help convince her supporters to vote for him in November. And Clinton needs help in paying down her campaign debt...

Is Dobson's Obama Hit Backfiring?
Attacks from the Christian Right on the Democratic candidate aren't getting the grassroots support they once could expect...

Clinton legacy presents quandary for Obama
The central choice Barack Obama faces is whether he can — and wants to — win with the Clinton legacy.

Reducing Abortions
So Wallis was a bit confused when he saw those same views on abortion making news on Wednesday, first in an ABC News article and then on Good Morning America and in the blogosphere the next day. The stories reported that Wallis wanted Obama to add a plank to the Democratic Party platform urging a reduction in the number of abortions performed.

The World As It Should Be: What Michelle Really Said
Can the LGBT community take heart in the leadership Michelle brings, and in the words she says? Yes, I think, we certainly can.

Obama and Ant Traps: the Feminist Candidate
Feminists who see Obama as just another guy need to look closer. His family is what the best of modern middle America is trying to be -- and they acknowledge that they're still trying to figure it all out too.

Obama to America: Stuck in the Middle With You
Barry 44 may bowl a measly 37 compared to Bush 43, but he's dead-on with his bull's-eye comments about guns.

Presidential Campaigning on the Down-Low?
Even if one disagrees with his call on public financing, Obama did a principled thing: he made a tough choice, and then he defended it publicly. That's democracy in action.

Obama and Telecom Immunity: The Importance of Pushing
Obama's recent statement on the new surveillance bill serves as a reminder that he is a politician. Not in either a negative or positive sense. It's just a plain fact.

The Obama Problem
The harsh reality is, Barack Obama can and will tack towards the center on issues that are important to progressives during the general election.

The Audacity of Dope
I'll take the Christianity of a Jesus Follower like Barack Obama over that of a Jesus Thief like James Dobson any day of the week.

Video: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Unity, NH

Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton address united democrats from Unity, New Hampshire - where each received exactly 107 votes in the New Hampshire Primary.

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6/27 Morning News: Unity Day

News Items
Former rivals take first public step toward unity
Hillary Rodham Clinton has already loaned Barack Obama her top fundraisers. Now the former rivals are going to see if she can do the same with voters.
Related Articles:
Obama, Clinton to make first joint appearance
ABC: Clinton, Obama, and Unity
ABC: Tensions Remain Among Clinton Donors
CBS: Obama, Clinton Seek Unity In New Hampshire
CBS FtR: Clinton-Obama Unity Tour Continues
CBS Horserace: Starting Gate: Welcome To Metaphor, New Hampshire
The Caucus: All Aboard the Trip to Unity
The Caucus: The View From Unity
The Caucus: The Early Word: Meet Me in New Hampshire
Wash Post: Obama, Clinton Join Together in Show of Unity

Obamas cut check to help Clinton pay off debt
Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will help pay off Hillary Rodham Clinton's more than $20 million debt, personally writing a check in a gesture meant to win over her top financial backers.
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Obama donates to Clinton campaign
NYT: Obama Gives $2,300 for Clinton Debt

After The Press Leaves, Some Edgy Questions
But a few minutes later, a few, less happy donors asked pointed questions. According to someone in the room, one Clinton donor asked Obama directly whether he was going to add her to the ticket as his vice presidential nominee. Even Sen. Clinton looked uncomfortable, gesturing to Obama to move on, which he did.

For Obama, a pragmatist's shift toward center
Barack Obama has taken a stroll this week away from traditional liberal political positions, his path toward the political center marked by artful leaps and turns.
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Politico: Obama: Change agent goes conventional

CNNMoney: What Obama means by tax the wealthy
To start, Obama frequently cites $250,000 as the line between those who would be subject to higher taxes and those who wouldn't. Indeed, under Obama's tax plan, married couples with at least $250,000 in gross income are likely to see their taxes go up if Obama is elected president.

Obama aims to calm fears over free trade
Many observers have expressed concern about Mr Obama’s fealty to existing trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has promised to renegotiate to improve its labour and environmental protections.

Obama Health Plan Could Go In Clinton's Direction
But as the one-time rivals head to Unity, N.H., on Friday, a health adviser to the presumptive Democratic nominee is signaling that Obama's plan could eventually go in Clinton's direction.

New Ad Hits Obama on Abortion
The Family Research Council will run a new television spot in several cities beginning today.

Michelle Obama Links Gay Rights to Civil Rights
Barack Obama will fight for equal rights for gays just as he fought to help working-class families overcome poverty, the Democratic presidential hopeful’s wife told a gay Democratic group Thursday.

McCain seeks to reassure conservatives in Ohio
Participants in the private meeting say he promised to consider an anti-abortion running mate and to talk more openly about his opposition to gay marriage.

McCain’s Battery Award Offer Could Pay for Existing Technology
John McCain‘s proposal to award $300 million to the inventor of a better battery to power electric or hybrid cars may send wishful tinkerers to their garage, but that research already is well under way and about to be put to the test in an electric vehicle being built in Norway.

DNC delegate who'd vote for McCain in fight
A Democratic National Convention delegate pledged to Hillary Rodham Clinton says she hopes to fight off an attempt by Wisconsin Democrats to take away her credentials because of her past statement that she would vote for John McCain if Clinton wasn't the nominee.

McCain highlights devotion to country in new ad
John McCain’s presidential campaign released its latest ad Friday coinciding with the week long push to highlight the Arizona senator’s dedication to the United States.

McCain not ready to talk veep
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain refused to mention any names as possible running mates today during a campaign stop in Cincinnati, and he said he doesn't expect a decision until August.

McCain Gambles with Awkward Joke
Maybe it's the governor's approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president? Asked Ralston in a question McCain clearly found loaded. Said McCain, chuckling, "And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago."

Prominent Dems to lead McCain group
Two well-known New Hampshire Democrats have endorsed the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee. Jim McConaha and Valery Mitchell ... will serve as co-chairs of "New Hampshire Democrats for McCain."

Recent rulings spotlight election's supreme stakes
And with the court sharply split between two four-member blocs on the right and the left - with Justice Anthony Kennedy often the deciding vote - a single vacancy could determine the direction of a legal institution that decides cases with wide-ranging, long-term impacts on the country.

Portman sidesteps VP questions
Former Ohio congressman Rob Portman said Thursday he wasn’t interested in being John McCain’s running mate, even if the Arizona senator called him to ask.

Historic Decision Renews Old Debate
With yesterday's decision, the Supreme Court pushed the gun issue back to the forefront of the nation's agenda, opening a new chapter in what has been one of the most contentious and divisive debates in American politics for the past four decades.

Lieberman on His Private Chat with Obama, Rev. Wright
"I’m going to make a provocative statement: in many ways I think John McCain on Foreign Policy is closer to where Al Gore and I were in 2000, then Barack Obama is."

Charlie Crist's McCain Problem
Is Florida's governor backing off his pro-environment positions because he wants to be vice president?

Caroline Kennedy's new profile: Politics
With Barack Obama's bid for the White House, the torch has been passed to a new generation in more ways than one: For the first time, the best-known Kennedy on the presidential campaign trail is named Caroline.

Polling / Electoral College Updates
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Barack Obama attracting 47% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, Obama leads 49% to 45%.

Obama Beats McCain on Most Character Ratings
The same poll finds Obama swamping McCain in Americans' perceptions of who has the better grasp of the problems Americans face, while McCain leads Obama by a slight margin as a "strong and decisive leader."

Americans Prioritize the Economy Over Terrorism
Confidence in a presidential candidate's ability to handle terrorism may not be enough to satisfy American voters in 2008. A majority of Americans say they prefer a candidate whose greatest strength is fixing the economy (56%)...

Obama Leads McCain In Key Battleground States (WSJ write up of yesterday's Quinnipiac results)
Four states that are expected to be pivotal in deciding November's presidential election are trending comfortably toward Barack Obama, with independents giving him wide support over John McCain...

CNN's Electoral Map: Two states shift to Obama
"Toss-up" states Minnesota and Wisconsin were re-designated to "Lean-Obama" Friday, giving the presumptive Democratic nominee another 20 electoral votes in CNN's current estimate. The Illinois senator now has 231 electoral votes — 39 shy of winning the presidency.

Obama Lead Tight Over McCain
A new TIME poll shows Sen. Barack Obama holding a slender lead over Sen. John McCain ...

Voters Agree With Court Gun Ruling and Think McCain Does Too
On the evening the Supreme Court announced its landmark decision on the Second Amendment and gun control issues, 68% of voters said they followed news coverage of the story Somewhat or Very Closely.

Obama Smart as a Pistol with New Tough-Guy Act
And if you're wondering who's in charge, don't. Within days of winning the nomination, Obama moved party headquarters to his home town of Chicago and started pushing party heads around, telling them they can't raise money from PACs and Washington lobbyists.

Let McCain Be McCain
You know Mr. McCain's problems. He's old, he's angered everyone along the way, he never seems to mean it. His stands seem like positions. He bebops from issue to issue and never seems fully engaged in the real meat of policy, the content of it.

A new world for America’s next president
Whoever moves into the Oval Office in January 2009 will have to deal with a significantly different global economy from the one George W. Bush inherited just eight years earlier – and will need to forge a very different set of policies...

Clinton legacy presents quandary for Obama
But now that Clinton has conceded defeat and endorsed Obama, he’s the one choosing the time and place. And the central choice he faces is whether he can — and wants to — win with the Clinton legacy.

The Note: Sweet Migration
It's not about guns -- it's about ammunition. Thursday's landmark Supreme Court decision ... does place Sen. Barack Obama's careful, cautious, sometimes contradictory (and dare we say Clintonian?) approach to tricky policy positions squarely in the center of the race.

First Thoughts: Get Your Gun
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on the 2nd Amendment elevated an issue -- guns -- that hadn’t received that much attention until now.

Supreme Court gun ruling could backfire
John McCain used the high court's decision to blast away at Barack Obama -- but it could make Obama's campaign more bulletproof.

Inventing a Country-Club Muslim Marxist
The only notable difference this year is that neither the money nor the message has crystallized yet behind any "independent" effort to destroy the candidacy of Barack Obama.

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