Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7/2 Evening News: Obama: Expanding Volunteerism

News Items
Obama talks new and expanded volunteerism
Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday showcased plans to encourage volunteerism by Americans, his latest push to woo conservative voters also sought by rival John McCain. The Republican, meanwhile, was traveling in South America...
Related Articles:
ABC: Obama: Service to Be a Cornerstone of Presidency
ABC: George W. Obama
CBS FtR: Obama Highlights National Service
FirstRead: Obama's National Call to Service

The Obama Veepwatch, Vol. 5: Kathleen Sebelius
Source of Speculation: Obama himself. Speaking to the FOX affiliate in Missouri on Monday, the Democratic nominee was effusive--to put in mildly--in his praise for Sebelius. "I love Kathleen Sebelius," he said.

Obama Fist Bump Refusal? Not So Fast...
The child rose his hand in a fist to get Obama's attention as he asked for a signature – perhaps prompting the fist bump portrayal. Obama instead signed the autographs for the children in crayon on drawings they were working on during class.
Related Articles:
FOX Blog: The Fist Bump Fuss
CNN: Fist bump not gone?
The Caucus: The Dissed Fist Bump That Wasn't

Radio Spot Highlights Obama's Religious Side
A Political Action Committee overseen by the director of religious outreach for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign is running an ad on Christian radio defending presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Vetting Obama's Canine Companion
The Obama family has used the promise of a pet as a bargaining chip in asking their daughters, Malia, 9 and Sasha, 7, for their support during the long campaign season. The American Kennel Club (AKC) took it upon themselves to offer the Obamas some guidance...

McCain denies roughing up Sandinista
John McCain denied a Republican colleague's claim that he roughed up an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a diplomatic mission in 1987, saying the allegation was "simply not true."
Related Articles:
CNN: McCain denies grabbing foreign official
FirstRead: McCain Denies Altercation
Politico: McCain denies grabbing Sandinista

McCain Campaign Shake-Up
Veteran Republican operative Steve Schmidt has been put in charge of day-today operations of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, with campaign manager Rick Davis keeping his title but focusing more on general strategy and long-term strategic planning...
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Top McCain Aides Take On New Roles
CBS FtR: Changes Atop The McCain Campaign
CNN: McCain shakes up staff amid concern about 'unforced errors'
The Caucus: McCain Campaign Shuffle
NYT: McCain Orders Shake-Up of His Campaign
Politico: Schmidt takes over McCain operations

McCain Health Credit Could Morph Into Tax Hike
But if the cost of health care continues to outpace inflation in the economy at large, McCain's health credit would morph into a tax hike for those who currently receive a tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage...

McCain Abroad
He defended his trip right from the start, noting that it was just a quick trip, but he focused on the drug trade, not free trade or other foreign policy issues.
Related Articles:
ABC: McCain in Colombia: Just Say No (Seriously)
CBS: McCain Touts Free Trade In Colombia
CBS FtR: McCain Wraps Up Colombia Visit
FOX Blog: McCain Calls for ‘Hemispheric’ Trade Deal
CNN: McCain had advance knowledge of Colombian raid

McCain’s Temper Tantrum Tawdriness
Making the rounds in political circles today ... is an account in the Biloxi Sun-Herald where Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., says he witnessed a “physical confrontation” between Sen. John McCain and a Sandinista during a diplomatic mission in 1987.

Upon Leaving Colombia, McCain Hears About Rescued Hostages
“I just finished a phone conversation with President Uribe and he told me some of the details of the rescue – dramatic rescue of 15 people who were held hostage,” McCain told reporters on his campaign plane. “He says that they’re in good condition.”
Related Articles:
FOX: Presidential Candidates Hail Hostage Rescue in Colombia

Conservative evangelicals discuss backing McCain
Mathew Staver, a conservative Christian activist, convened a meeting of about 90 conservative evangelical leaders Tuesday night in Denver. Many evangelicals have been wary of McCain's commitment to their causes and his previous criticisms of movement leaders...
Related Articles:
CBS FtR: Conservative Leaders Unite Behind McCain

Veepstakes: McCain 'Pleased' with Romney
John McCain gave his fairly standard answer on Mitt Romney as a VP contender: “Mitt Romney is a great person, and he's done a great job for us, and we're really pleased at the cooperation and help that he's given us and he won millions of Republican votes...

Bipartisanship marks McCain's Senate tenure
His record of accomplishment is mixed, yet he has made his willingness to cross the political aisle a central theme in his campaign for the White House in an era when voters are plainly tired of partisan gridlock in the nation's capital.

Democrats not too 'swift'
OK, we get it. Barack Obama doesn't want to be John Kerry. That's been Obama's theme this week on the campaign trail. Speaking about his patriotism Monday in Independence, Mo., Obama made it clear that he wouldn't let anyone "Swift Boat" him.

RNC Plans Ad Assault
The Republican National Committee is planning its first round of advertising to support Sen. John McCain’s candidacy, with an initial wave of ads set to run this weekend in four swing states, Republican officials tell ABC News.
Related Articles:
CNN: RNC prepares for ad blitz
FOX: RNC to Spend $3 Million for Ad Campaign to Contrast Obama, McCain
FirstRead: GOP to Launch TV Ad Blitz Against Obama
Politico: RNC creates new expenditure arm

Veepstakes Watch
The question of the summer remains who Sens. McCain and Obama will pick to be their running mates. But almost as important as who the presumptive nominees choose will be when they choose them.

Mukasey Pledges Vigilance on Elections
With high interest in this year's elections, the Attorney General said that “one of my highest priorities” would be to ensure that the November elections are fair and smoothly run.

Major Union Maps General Election Strategy
One of the nation's most powerful labor unions will put tens of millions of dollars into helping Barack Obama and a variety of congressional candidates and governors win in November.

Iraq Politics
The McCain campaign is trying to put Iraq front and center in this campaign -- now hitting Obama surrogate Sen. Claire McCaskill for saying the presumptive Democratic nominee would not change position on Iraq.
Polling Results
Gallup Daily: Obama 46%, McCain 44%
If the presidential election were held today, 46% of registered voters say they would vote for Barack Obama and 44% for John McCain, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking results.

Poll shows Connecticut is Obama country
John McCain has the backing of Connecticut's Democratic-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, but a new poll out Wednesday shows the state is decidedly Obama country.
Related Articles:
Rasmussen: Election 2008: Connecticut Presidential Election

Election 2008: New York Presidential Election
Nearly one out of four voters (23%) in New York would like to see Hillary Clinton go away, and a plurality of unaffiliated voters would prefer she stay in the Senate than serve as Barack Obama's running mate.

As Independents Shrink, Democrats Gain
The extraordinary 2008 election year is proving to be quite ordinary in at least one respect: the downward trend in the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as political independents.

True or False: We Need a Wartime President
Answer: False. At least according to NEWSWEEK columnist Fareed Zakaria. A must-read excerpt from his contribution to this week's "Big Ideas" edition of the magazine...

Analysis: The Obama Test
The formula for holding these seats is relatively simple: stay in touch with your constituents, stick to the well established liberal policy agenda, gain seniority, and use that seniority to convince voters they need your power in Congress. It’s worked. Until now.

Cafferty: How should McCain deal with Bush’s negatives?
This creates a real dilemma for McCain. The conservative Republican base is less than thrilled with McCain as the GOP nominee. And that's where the few remaining people who think President Bush is doing a good job reside.

McCain denies grabbing Sandinista
So here we are, balanced at the precise point where the bottom-up dynamics of Web 2.0 meets the top-down dynamics of an American presidential campaign.

Where is Bill? Wrong Question! -- Bill Clinton Doesn't Have to Answer
Don't think for one second Bill Clinton won't be doing whatever he can to elect the Obama as our next president. But it will be because he wants to, not be because he needs to rebuild his image.

Flip-Flopping, Obama, and Gun Control
I'm not crazy about the shifts Obama has made -- I only hope they're tactical and not sincere. It all comes down this: it's democracy, which means the voice of everyone, not just the folks you agree with.

Riding In A Fighter Plane And Getting Shot Down And What It Qualifies You For
How DARE left-wing pacifist Wesley Clark suggest that riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down doesn't automatically qualify someone to be president? It automatically qualifies you to be anything.

The Changing Times and the Equinox Voter
Can Obama win the white working-class voters in battleground states? Well, he didn't this spring, so that's our first clue. Another is the fact that neither Al Gore nor John Kerry won their support.

McCain's Lobbyist Loophole
McCain's policy ignores the problem with having a campaign run by corporate and foreign lobbyists: they are happy to abandon their lobbying work temporarily to get valuable chits with the potential future president.

Obama In Colorado Springs To Address "New Era Of Service"
The visit may include a speech at one of the region's five military bases and there is speculation that Obama may even meet with Evangelical Focus on the Family leader James Dobson.

Are They Experienced?
Clark's recent comments about the relevance of McCain's service has generated enough controversy that the broader point about what kind of foreign policy experience we should look for in a president has been lost.

Obama's Work Claim
Obama's latest ad repeats the claim that he "worked his way through college and Harvard Law." But the campaign provided information on just two jobs Obama had in those years.

Barack Obama's Potential: Will He Be Great, or Greatly Disappoint?
As a result of Obama's eclectic life experiences and upbringing, it is part of his nature to not only understand different people, but to make compromises to find solutions for the most complex issues.

Barack Obambi? Not Quite; Just Ask Alice Palmer
In 1995, deciding to run for an open congressional seat, state senator Alice Palmer anointed Obama as her successor. It was from that relatively lowly position that Obama launched his incredible political career.

Plugging the Patriotism Gap
Barack Obama yesterday kicked off a week of patriotic speeches. It's much more than the normal politician's July 4 oration - it's Obama's answer to a crucial test.

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