Monday, June 30, 2008

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.

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