Thursday, July 31, 2008

85% of Americans Would Vote for Black Candidate

Rasmussen has been polling on this since February. The most prejudiced folks are seniors and republicans.

Without a doubt, it's a generational thing. The younger generation doesn't care about this stuff. There are always exceptions. The older people have history with racism. As far as republicans, for some reason, it seems conservative types are more prone to racism. I believe it's because republicans have a tendency to be more exclusive as opposed to inclusive. 

But the good news is the number of people who said they'd be willing to vote for a black candidate has risen from 73% in February to 85% in July. Progress 

electoral-vote: Speaking of things under the radar, one item of intense speculation all year is how many voters will refuse to vote for a candidate because he is black. Rasmussen has been polling on this question since it became clear early this year that that might become one of the options. In a poll taken July 29, 85% of the respondents said that would be willing to vote for an African-American candidate and 8% said they would not. Now, of course, some of them may be lying, but remember that all of Rasmussen's polls are automated and experience has shown in other controversial areas that people who are unwilling to admit prejudice to a human caller will do it more readily to a computer. Also, in February, only 73% answered that they were willing to vote for a black candidate. Undoubtedly many prejudiced voters personal experience with blacks is with people in low-end jobs. Seeing a U.S. senator with two Ivy League degrees who draws huge, worshipping crowds everywhere he goes, both at home and abroad, may give them a different perspective.

This directly from Rasmussen, which did the polling.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 85% of Likely Voters say they are willing, up from 78% in early June. In February, that figure was 73%.
While most voters are becoming more comfortable voting for a black president, they are not so sure about their family and friends. Sixty-four percent (64%) now say they believe their family, friends and co-workers would be willing to support a black candidate, up slightly from 61% in June.
Today, just 8% say they would not be willing to vote for an African-American President and 13% say their peers would not. In June, 11% said they would not vote for an African-American candidate, while 14% said that of their peers.
There is, however, a significant generational issue. While 75% of senior citizens say they would vote for an African-American candidate, just 49% say their peers would do the same. Sixteen percent (16%) of seniors say their peers would not vote for an African-American and 34% are not sure. A person who is 65 today would have first been eligible to vote in 1964, the year when Lyndon Johnson was first elected. A major Voting Rights Act and other civil rights legislation passed in that year. For a thirty-year old voter today, those events were in the history books during pre-school days. read the rest
Also, take a look at the electoral map. Looks good to me. So does the Zogby version

The Karl Rove Media Flock Goes Tweet



Karl Rove sets the tone and the right wing media goes tweet, tweet. Here's more media tweets and if you read the comments you'll see a lot of people have taken the bait. 

Salon: This is exactly what happens every single election cycle. The Right spews some petty, personality-based attack, and the chirping media birds then mindlessly repeat it until it's lodged into our discourse as accepted fact. That's the media strategy on which the Right is relying to win the election this year again -- dictating the songs sung by the vapid, chirping press birds -- even as they petulantly and incessantly complain that the same media stars who serve this strategy are stacked against them. Yesterday's, National Review's Rich Lowry posted what he called "musings from a shrewd friend" about a Dana Milbank column in yesterday's Washington Post that repeated every last "Obama-is-arrogant" cliché ("there are signs that the Obama campaign's arrogance has begun to anger reporters"). Lowry's "shrewd" friend:
[Obama's] showing hubris and contempt for the rest of us in how he considers America fundamentally broken and he's the solution. Messianism is usually a quality you don't want in a president. This was always the soft underbelly of his candidacy. They've gotten too caught up in their own story. What always does in a celebrity? Overexposure. The question now is whether Dana Milbank is the bird leaving the wire and every other bird in the press follows him or not. If this narrative sets in, Obama might have to move up his VP announcement to change the story.
Actually, Milbank wasn't pioneering anything. He was just doing what Beltway reporters do -- repeating what he's been hearing as standard conventional Beltway media wisdom handed down from Rovian/McCain operatives: Obama is an arrogant, presumptuous elitist. The birds who led the flock are Karl Rove, Steve Schmidt and comrades. Milbank was just one of the many birds "leaving the wire" and following along.

.....
This is what happens over and over and over. Media stars love to be used this way. The themes never change and neither does the process. Still, it's amazing how fast it travels from Karl Rove's lips and then out of the mouths of the vast bulk of "journalists" covering the presidential race for establishment media outlets. As Gloria Borger of CNN and U.S. News & World Report said: "when Rove speaks, the political class pays attention -- usually with good reason."
The fact that they all say the same thing at once ("up next: Is Obama arrogant?" -- "Obama's arrogance can hurt him" -- "Obama is striking many as arrogant and presumptuous" -- "Obama needs to be careful not to appear too arrogant") doesn't strike any of them as evidence that they're mindless, manipulated spouters of conventional wisdom. They actually think it proves the opposite -- that it's evidence that they are political sophisticates plugged into the important election themes ("Obama is arrogant and presumptuous").

Tim Kaine on Charlie Rose


More on Tim Kaine, possible Obama veep

Obama Fights the Low Road Express


A couple of photos for McCain to weep over.

With a nifty new website, the Obama campaign counters the nastiness coming out of the McCain camp.

McCain Had Ad Ready To Attack Obama

This video is short and speaks for itself

McCain Went on a World Tour

Who knew?

Military Computer Hacker McKinnon to Be Extradited to U.S.

Gary McKinnon, a British citizen, hacked into U.S. military computers to find information on alien energy technologies (that's alien as in visitors from another planet) that he thought the U.S. was withholding the information. 

The U.S. had been trying to extradite him and today  he lost his final appeal in Britain and will be extradited and could face 70 years in jail. 

His bad luck was that he hacked into about 90 military computers right about the time of 9-11. He also did it with ease, on a modem while smoking pot, and made a mockery of U.S. security. Hopefully, we've beefed up security since then.

From stuff that I've read, here's a person who could use mental help as opposed to 70 years in jail.  

There's even a FreeGary organization.

Too bad he didn't find any alien alternative energy technologies. We could use them right about now. 

But then again, if there were such a thing, it would compete with oil, so it would probably remain under wraps. 

Obama Town Hall Cedar Rapids Video


McCain Answers Negative Campaigning

At McCain's campaign event in Racine Wisconsin, a questioner asked about McCain's negative campaigning.

"There are differences and we are drawing those differences," McCain said. "What we are talking about here is substance and not style," he said. 

"I'm proud of the campaign we have run," he said. "We're proud of that commercial."
He then made the pitch, again, that he'd like Obama to join him on the town halls.

Obama terrifies an 18 year old in the audience. She stands up shaking and says that Obama terrifies her: "Don't let him get away with a thing."

McCain answers: "I admire Senator Obama but we just have stark differences."
McCain then went back to the surge worked. It's all he's got.

I have to say, McCain's supporters sure are different. The tone of his event is different. They are either very pro-McCain or more anti-Obama than pro-McCain. 

A young girl asked the infamous Viagra birth control question- why insurers cover one and not the other. She said you now have had a lot of time to think about it. He still didn't have an answer. 

Here's what he said: "It's up to the person who purchases the insurance." 

He's lost on this issue. Still.

A Native American asked about a bill that displaced Native Americans. McCain didn't answer the question somehow started talking about "country first" and I don't know enough about this issue to make a smart comment. 

A supporter asked about his mother and McCain told a story about his mother who went to France and couldn't rent a car so she bought a car. Hmmm.

If you haven't ever seen a McCain event, I highly recommend it. I wonder if the press will write about any of this -- how he still couldn't answer the Viagra question, the negative campaigning answer. They probably won't because who wants to watch. 

McCain's Oil Drilling Hoax

Unfortunately, issues like these are too detailed for many people. McCain says he can make gas prices go down and people get happy. But I post anyway. In hopes.
Note that the price of oil has come down significantly but gas prices haven't.

RCP The prospect of significant new petroleum resources that could be available so soon would be excellent news -- aside from the obvious impact of burning still more oil -- if only what the senator said was true. But what he said actually made no sense whatsoever, as a statement about the future development of domestic oil, the alleged need to increase drilling off our coasts or the resources that such drilling might produce. So let's unpack that McCain statement (which was overshadowed by the news that his dermatologist had just removed a small lesion from the 71-year-old melanoma survivor's right cheek).

It may be true that "existing rigs" could produce additional barrels of domestic oil immediately, whether on land or in the ocean, as Sen. McCain suggests. If so, he might want to ask his friends in the oil business why those rigs aren't producing more oil now, at prices above $120 a barrel. An existing rig by definition is a rig that is operating legally on property already leased for exploration -- and can produce oil unencumbered by any environmental constraints on drilling. In case the senator doesn't understand, an existing rig is where someone has already drilled a well.
Where companies would have to install new rigs, the question is whether a lease already exists or whether the government would have to grant a new lease. New drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf would mean new leases that are now illegal.

But as the Associated Press reported last month, nearly 75 percent of the existing leases on federal lands held by petroleum companies are currently producing no oil. Those companies today hold nearly 30 million acres dormant, according to the AP. Nobody in the federal government even knows whether any exploration has taken place over the past decade.

Did you catch the news of republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska now being accused of accepting lavish gifts from oil companies? Where do oil companies want to drill? Alaska!

Who's pushing drilling? Bush McCain. The Bush-Cheney administration was all about oil
The more we continue to rely on oil, the less attention will be paid to alternative and renewable fuels. 
AP on the oil hoax
NPR on oil drilling
The Institute for Energy Research on drilling

McCain Selling Arrogance

The McCain camp has accused Obama of playing the race card.

The Obama camp says no. It says McCain has run out of ideas. Besides, Obama doesn't have time for that nonsense. 

CNN: "You haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month. All they do is try to run me down," Obama said while campaigning Wednesday in Union, Missouri.

The accusation came the same day that the Obama campaign released an ad comparing McCain to President Bush, and the McCain campaign released one likening Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

"Since they don't have any new ideas, the only strategy they've got in this election is to try to scare you about me," Obama said.

But dig down deep into McCain's negative appeal and what do you find? I can get directly to the point. McCain and his crew are subtly appealing to racists or to put it nicely, the "white working class" voter. It's genius really. It's the exact tactic used by Hillary in the primaries: Appeal to the racist voters and then accuse Obama of pulling the race card.

For people who don't like to admit that they'd never vote for a black man, the line that Obama is arrogant, an uppity celeb, is much easier to swallow. They can ride with that one and they're having a heyday. It makes everyone feel good.

Note, I'm not saying that EVERYONE who dislikes Obama is racist. I'm saying the ones taking the bait -- these foolish ads that McCain has out. We learned this from Hillary's campaign. People who would rather not admit they'd never vote for a black man need something to buy and McCain is selling.

Who are the ads targeting? I'd say Appalachia, the so-called "lunch box" workers. Remember them?

The smart people, the folks who aren't racist, oppose Obama based on policy and they don't need an immature TV ad to hang on to. They can argue based on the issues.

Too bad for McCain there won't be enough racists to tip the election.
Here's a new video that shows that McCain was planning to attack Obama if he HAD visited the soldiers in Germany. He would've been attacked for precisely the reason Obama decided not to go.

Obama Up in Florida and Ohio



Election polls for the most part are silly right now. They're out for fun and to influence. I'm convinced these pollsters have agendas, too.


State polls are somewhat more telling than national polls. 

The polls will begin to reflect what's really happening after the convention but when Obama's ahead in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, three states he's not supposed to win, according to the critics, then I'm going to post it.

A Rasmussen poll put McCain up by 10 in Ohio about a week ago and a recent Strategic Vision poll had McCain up by 8 a week ago in Florida.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

McCain Defends Himself in Sparks Nevada

Photo of protesters at his "rally" in Sparks Nevada.

audio of McCain on taxes, no taxes but everybody on the table! He's very, very angry.
Obama to have 9 offices in Nevada
RGJ: In his first campaign appearance in Sparks, U.S. Sen. John McCain spent an hour Tuesday fielding questions from Nevada voters on immigration, the national debt, taxes and stem cell research, before defending his conservative credentials to a voter who said he is more excited about "voting against Barack Obama" than voting for McCain.
The crowd of more than 1,200 drew skeptics and supporters alike, from worried conservatives anxious that McCain choose a solid running mate, to undecided Democratic voters and even a disaffected supporter or two of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid.

McCain's swing through Northern Nevada was his third trip to the state since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. He attended a private fundraiser at an Incline Village home Tuesday evening before leaving for Colorado.

Identifying Nevada as one of his top swing states in the November election, McCain positioned himself as a fellow Westerner who isn't afraid to go against Washington politics.

McCain won't win Nevada if he pushes nuclear. Most Nevadans --republican, democrat or otherwise-- don't want nuclear waste dumped at nearby Yucca Mountain but McCain says a repository must be part of the nuclear energy plan:
LVRJ The Democratic National Committee criticized McCain's comments on alternative energy, saying he has "consistently voted with (President) Bush and Big Oil and against renewable energy and new energy jobs."

McCain has voted against the kind of tax incentives that would promote investments in renewable energy and create new energy jobs consistently, the committee said in a release. The party also criticized McCain's support of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository.

In response to a question about Yucca Mountain during an interview after his town hall meeting, McCain said a waste repository must be part of the nation's energy plan in part because of national security issues.

But the Arizona senator repeated that Yucca Mountain should be approved only if it can meet all environmental requirements. And the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, as is now done in France, must be part of the equation, he said.

McCain said he wants 45 new nuclear power plants built by 2030.

Art the Change For Obama

Art the Change is having a summer Obama fest in Central Park, NYC, in August.

The View Perpetuates Rumor That Obama Leaked Prayer

Update July 31: The View redeems itself, sort of. The Obama campaign, right on top of it, sent a note to The View and Whoopie announced that the charges were false, though they never should've brought it up in the first place. It was after all, a deep underground rumor that hadn't even made it to CNN. Still, the rumor persists on the anti-Obama sites. But The View hammered on McCain's new ad today (see video below). Hasselbeck, of course, defended it.  

My original post:
I had avoided writing about this prayer incident because the whole thing, from someone stealing Obama's prayer to newspapers printing it, didn't seem right.
Now, bloggers and media outlets, including The View, the women's chatfest on ABC, have perpetuated a nasty rumor that Obama leaked his own prayer.

The View, with co-hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopie Goldberg, Sherri Shepard and Joy Behar, should know better. But co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a major supporter of John McCain, likely introduced this rumor to the panel. The producer of the show also is a republican. Always take into consideration the source.

If we've learned anything from this election it's that some people will do and say anything. Look at the soldier who lied about Obama and McCain's attempt to smear Obama with his lunatic ads. The guy is off his rocker. Really.

These rumors are all political sideshows designed to divert attention from the issues because Obama wins hands down on leadership, competency, brilliance and the rest.

It's too bad The View introduced this piece of gossip that hasn't even made it to CNN yet, because many people watch The View. They need to come out with a big fat apology tomorrow. They crossed the line in my opinion.

At this point, the GOP and the McCain camp are doing whatever it takes to bring Obama down.
They've gone full negative, so always question what you read.
This rumor that Obama leaked his prayer to the newspaper has been flying around the Internet all day. But it is NOT true.
TNR: Yesterday, I posted an item about an accusation from Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv that the Obama campaign had leaked a copy of his Western Wall note to the foreign press (rather than Ma'ariv having bought it from some yeshiva kid who stole it out of the wall). After some additional reporting last night, I noted that the story sounded a bit fishy--not only has Ma'ariv not offered any tangible evidence to support this claim, but they also have only made the claim via a spokesman to various Israeli papers rather than printing the accusation in their own paper.

I just got off the phone with a Ma'ariv spokesman who says that the accusation is "completely false," and that he has no idea who these papers were quoting from Ma'ariv. "No official spokesman for Ma'ariv told this to any of the papers." I've got some calls in to these papers to find out where they got the quote. (I'll update here when I hear back.) He told me definitively that "the Obama campaign did not give us a copy of the letter or approve it for printing."

McCain's Ads Targeting "Lunchboxers"

You remember the "lunchbox" workers from the primaries, don't you? 

Apparently, John McCain's seemingly dim-witted ad campaign--led by a Bush-Cheney vet-- is making inroads with those who would rather perceive Obama as arrogant than admit they wouldn't vote for a black man. 

So while we poke fun at McCain's ads, there are people out there eating it up. 

Sounds a lot like Hillary's strategy, which worked pretty well. Unethical but savvy, so says this blogger at Newsweek


The press may have been too focused on McCain's easily-mockable blunders to get the message. But we're willing to bet that swing voters weren't.

Here's how the strategy worked. Last week, the McCain camp released two ads. The first, "Pump," implicitly linked Obama's opposition to off-shore oil drilling--a stance that two-thirds of the country opposes--to skyrocketing gas prices. The second spot, "Troops," suggested that Obama canceled his visit to a German military hospital because "the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras." Both claims were demonstrably false. I've already called McCain's "Troops" accusation "baseless." FactCheck.org says "Pump" is "absurd."

Sadly, however, a political ad doesn't have to be accurate to be effective. Just ask John Kerry.

Perhaps we haven't reached the tipping point. 2012?

Obama's retort

An Open Letter To Obama

This is from the Nation and signed by bunches of people, frustrated by Obama's straying on FISA: 

Dear Senator Obama,

We write to congratulate you on the tremendous achievements of your campaign for the presidency of the United States.

Your candidacy has inspired a wave of political enthusiasm like nothing seen in this country for decades. In your speeches, you have sketched out a vision of a better future--in which the United States sheds its warlike stance around the globe and focuses on diplomacy abroad and greater equality and freedom for its citizens at home--that has thrilled voters across the political spectrum. Hundreds of thousands of young people have entered the political process for the first time, African-American voters have rallied behind you, and many of those alienated from politics-as-usual have been re-engaged.

You stand today at the head of a movement that believes deeply in the change you have claimed as the mantle of your campaign. The millions who attend your rallies, donate to your campaign and visit your website are a powerful testament to this new movement's energy and passion.

This movement is vital for two reasons: First, it will help assure your victory against John McCain in November. The long night of greed and military adventurism under the Bush Administration, which a McCain administration would continue, cannot be brought to an end a day too soon. An enthusiastic corps of volunteers and organizers will ensure that voters turn out to close the book on the Bush era on election day. Second, having helped bring you the White House, the support of this movement will make possible the changes that have been the platform of your campaign. Only a grassroots base as broad and as energized as the one that is behind you can counteract the forces of money and established power that are a dead weight on those seeking real change in American politics.

We urge you, then, to listen to the voices of the people who can lift you to the presidency and beyond.

Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance--including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters.
We recognize that compromise is necessary in any democracy. We understand that the pressures brought to bear on those seeking the highest office are intense. But retreating from the stands that have been the signature of your campaign will weaken the movement whose vigorous backing you need in order to win and then deliver the change you have promised.

Here are key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement: read on

McCain Like Bush Trying to Fool Americans

McCain doesn't have such a bad energy policy -- except he's for the oil companies and he's for nuclear power without figuring out the waste storage aspect of it -- BUT he doesn't seem like he's capable enough to carry out any policy. 


He doesn't seem to have that kind of vision. I've heard him mention solar and wind but not with any sincerity.

McCain is linking Obama to high gas prices, which is very funny when you think about it, and thinks this is an issue he can win based on polls. It's called pandering to those who don't know any better. At least he's off the "surge worked" thing cause that grew tiresome.

CBS: If you're looking for someone to blame for high gas prices, John McCain's campaign is happy to help.

In a television ad released by the campaign last week, "Pump," an announcer criticizes Barack Obama for "saying no" to offshore drilling and "independence from foreign oil."

"Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?," she asks - after which a photo of Obama appears onscreen.

The spot has been derided by USA Today as "baloney" for laying the blame for high gas prices solely at Obama's feet, and Obama responded with an ad of his own in which an exasperated-sounding announcer suggests McCain blaming Obama for gas prices represents "the same old politics."

The McCain campaign has increasingly focused on gas prices and energy in recent days: In addition to two ads discussing the topic (here's the second one, released Wednesday), there have been conference calls to stress the short-term impact of McCain's proposals and a Monday photo op at a Bakersfield, California oil rig. There McCain sang the praises of expanded offshore drilling, which Obama opposes, and once again knocked Obama as "the Dr. No of America's energy future."

Republicans believe that the McCain campaign, which has been criticized for being overly reactive in its battle with Obama, has finally found an issue on which it can successfully go on the offensive.

Americans Still Listening to Karl Rove

I sigh. That anyone is still listening to the man who thinks he's above the law, the guy who brought us George Bush, is beyond me. 

Salon

Say what you will about Karl Rove, but even as a TV pundit the man is able to influence an election. It has been only a little over a month since Rove called presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama "arrogant" on Fox News. Now, in the wake of Obama's Berlin speech and trip throughout the Middle East and Europe, Rove's accusation is developing into a major narrative about Obama. Both the media and the McCain campaign have been suggesting recently that Obama is an overconfident, pompous and, yes, arrogant candidate. Of course, as is so often true when narratives like this develop, sometimes the "evidence" for the charge is not as convincing as it seems.
......

According to a witness, [Obama] was waxing lyrical about last week's trip to Europe, when he concluded, 'this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for' ... The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives ... 'I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions,' he said."

Pretty damning evidence, right? Sure, assuming the quote hadn't been taken completely out of context. As Time's Mark Halperin and ABC News' Jonathan Karl both reported, according to a Democratic source who was present at the meeting, Obama wasn't actually speaking about himself, but about America. Halperin quotes the source as saying that the "entire point of [Obama's] riff was that the campaign IS NOT about him. The Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: 'It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have just become a symbol.'"

Americans Want the Quick Fix

Most Americans favor offshore drilling, though they're not sure if it would lower gas prices. But half of the people thought it would! Amazing. No wonder we get the leaders we do.
CNN: But the poll also found that Americans are divided over whether or not offshore drilling will have an immediate impact on high gas prices.

In a separate poll, 51% of people surveyed said they believe that increased offshore drilling would reduce gas prices in the next year, while 49% did not.

The debate over offshore drilling has become an increasingly important political issue in the era of $4 a gallon gas.

Too bad offshore drilling won't lead to the quick fix-- lower gas prices -- now, next year, or 10 years from now. So why do Americans favor offshore drilling? 

Probably because they don't know enough and right now, the oil companies are lobbying heavily, pushing the Bush administration to push oil. Why is anyone listening to Bush? The Bush McCain motive: It's profitable.

There is no quick fix on this one, other than cutting back. Where are the democrats on this! I guess I'll keep my oil stock. 

Hillary's Solis Doyle Busy on Obama Campaign

Fired as Hillary's campaign manager, the Obama camp snapped up Patti Solis Doyle after the primaries.
WaPo has a story on her today, which gives a lot of insight on the Hillary's failed campaign.
Here's what she'll be doing:

Her job with Obama is a significant one. Reporting directly to campaign manager Plouffe, she is hiring more than 30 people to support the vice presidential nominee and his or her family. "Unless someone has run for president before, this is an experience that is completely indescribable," she says. "The idea of going from zero to 100 overnight -- it is incumbent upon me to staff that person with people who have done this before. And I have done it before." And that staff's foremost loyalty is to the nominee, not his running mate. The fierce loyalty that Solis Doyle once enforced for Hillary Clinton she will now insist upon for Barack Obama.

"The day she conceded I cried," Solis Doyle says, "but I heard her. She said we are moving on, and we cannot waste time with the what-ifs." She says restoring her reputation was not paramount in her decision, but notes, "Certainly, no one would want their final act in anything to be what happened to me."

Here's more.
The Obama campaign was stunned by the swift and loud outcry from the Clinton camp when Solis Doyle's appointment was announced last month. Loyalists read the hiring as a pointed message from Obama that he had no intention of considering Clinton as his running mate.

"There was no message -- absolutely not," Obama senior strategist David Axelrod says. He said he never asked Solis Doyle, whom he's known for 20 years, where she stood with Clinton, and he says he was not aware of issues associated with her management style.

"Honestly, we were not privy to the history of the campaign's relationships," he says.

The Obama operation hired Solis Doyle, he explains, because it needed someone who had been through the process. "She is my friend -- I make no bones about it," he says. "But we're not a [charitable organization]. We're trying to win a election here. She brought a useful skill set."

Asked whether he had given consideration to Solis Doyle's reputation as a controversial manager, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe says: "There's a culture to an organization that influences people's behavior, and our culture has been collegial and respectful. . . . I heard theirs was not as collegial. . . . In the past few weeks, she has been a complete team player."

Why McCain Can't Rally His Base

McCain can't even rally his base. Fiscal conservatives are going batty with McCain's inability to draw comparisons between himself and Obama and to speak competently on fiscal issues. 


That's because McCain, as he himself has said, is not up on economics. Now that Phil Gramm --Mr. Mental Recession --is gone, he's got Carly Fiorina, who's doing her best to help him along.
Oh, and there's this
The WSJ story starts off: 
One of the miracles of this Presidential election campaign is that John McCain still has a chance to win, notwithstanding his best attempts to kick it away. In his latest random policy improvisation, the Arizona Senator tried to give up the tax issue.

Ain't that the truth.
On ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Mr. McCain was asked to draw distinctions between his and the current Administration's economic policy. Given an easy opening, the Senator came back with his usual hodgepodge of new child-tax credits, promises to "veto every single pork barrel bill" and close wasteful government agencies, cut dependence on foreign oil and introduce a gas-tax holiday.

Then host George Stephanopoulos raised Social Security. "You're a longtime supporter of the private accounts, as President Bush called for them." Wishing to further distance himself from President Bush, when he could have drawn an equally useful contrast with Barack Obama, Mr. McCain didn't even own up to his support for private retirement accounts, simply saying, "I am a supporter of sitting down together and putting everything on the table and coming up with an answer."

Mr. Stephanopoulos pressed, "So that means payroll tax increases are on the table, as well?" Here came the words that have caused the McCain campaign well deserved grief: "There is nothing that's off the table. I have my positions, and I'll articulate them. But nothing's off the table."

So given a chance to reiterate his opposition to tax increases -- and underscore a main contrast with his opponent -- Mr. McCain punted. Democrats were quick to pounce, with the Democratic National Committee issuing a press release headlined, "McCain Tax Pledge? Not so much." It provided citations of the presumptive GOP nominee asserting that "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't." Expect the "nothing's off the table" line to show up in Democratic TV spots this fall. read more

Tim Kaine Speculation Gone Wild

I'm convinced: Obama Kaine 08

Announcement today? 
Kaine would be an asset in courting the Latino vote. Kaine speaks fluent Spanish. Obama plans to spend $20 million on ads and Spanish language voter registration targeted to Latinos:
Miami Herald: Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party on Tuesday rolled out what they called an ''unprecedented, historic'' campaign targeting Hispanics that will spend $20 million on voter registration and Spanish-language advertising.

The effort will span all 50 states but focus on swing states with large Hispanic populations, including Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Democrats said it's the earliest and most aggressive effort at wooing Hispanic voters by a presidential candidate, reflecting the increased clout of the fastest growing minority group. In comparison, they said both parties spent less than $9 million on Hispanic outreach in 2004.

''I've never seen this level of commitment, in terms of resources, in terms of staff, and this early in a campaign,'' Frank Sanchez, a Tampa business consultant who serves as national chairman of Obama's Hispanic Leadership Council, said at a news conference in Washington.

What Kaine says about Obama



Obama Bashing in Full Swing

A couple of Obama supporters


It's so amazing to me that a presidential candidate actually shows he's competent and now all the self-professed experts (lowly journalists) are smacking at Obama like he's a pinata. Anyone who claims that the media is in Obama's boat is not paying attention. That's what the republicans are pushing
Obama has had to do all the proving.
Here's a sampling of some of the finest Obama bashing of the day:
Obama is far from perfect, courtesy of New York magazine.
Obama's Woman problem, courtesy of Dick Morris. (funny, Obama is polling way ahead of McCain)
Obama the presumptuous nominee, courtesy of Dana Milbank, Wapo. 
The argument that Obama is presumptuous is insanity. 
The thing is, republicans are scared out of their wits. They have no other way to attack Obama because McCain is such a weak candidate, so they attack Obama for being presidential. Oh, the irony of it all. Bob Herbert talks about this in his column. It's a must read.
At the end of the day, unless Americans have gone completely batty, Obama is going to win and he's going to win big. 
What these pundits don't realize is that there is this widespread grassroots movement that is quietly working behind the scenes, signing up voters each and every day. There are people meeting in coffee shops and living rooms talking about issues and policy. 
Obama this morning in Missouri



Obama Works in Missouri McCain Mocks

Today, Obama is in Missouri campaigning and McCain is releasing videos mocking Obama. Hmmmmm. Which candidate do I want? The one who has no ideas so he has to mock the other candidate? Or the other one out promoting his ideas everywhere and anywhere? 

Here's some of what Obama talked about.
Obama talked about offshore drilling. "I understand how desperate folks are," he said, because of high gas prices. "If I thought by drilling offshore we could solve our problem, I'd do it." 

The oil companies have 68 million acres of leases that they are not using. They are holding land they're not using and now they want some more. 

The soonest you'd see a drop of oil off our shores is 10 years from now. The most you'd save would be a few cents then and gas could be $20 a gallon. 

The polls say that most Americans want offshore drilling but this is not real, Obama said. The oil companies are shoving this down the throats of congress, he said.

Make the oil companies drill where they already have leases. We need to look at oil speculators and let's get serious about alternative energy. Let's.

Obama did a wee bit of rightful mocking today.

Obama said the argument the McCain camp is making: "He doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills. He's risky."
The Q&A portion of the town hall

Social Security: Social security is one of the most successful programs America has ever come up with, he said. We have to stop raiding the SS trust fund, he said. They've been using SS money to cover up the deficit. Unlike McCain, Obama said he doesn't think SS shouldn't be privatized. The stock market inherently has risks. People should buy stocks but not with their SS money. To get more money into the system, one of the fairest ways is to raise the cap on the SS taxes. You stop paying SS if you make $102,000 or more.

How to stop the bleeding:
He's calling for a second round of stimulus, closing corporate loophole tax cuts. McCain's tax plan gives tax cuts to Exxon Mobil, one of the most profitable companies in the world. "I want to give tax cuts to you."


Let everyone deduct a portion of the their mortgage on their taxes.
Eliminate income taxes on seniors' social security.

These things will give a cushion but then we have to deal with the long term problem. We need to use less oil.

There are plug-in hybrids that are ready to go right now. But we haven't helped bring them to market, he said. 

We have to make healthcare more efficient and change our political system so that healthcare isn't about lobbyists.

Q How do you move the auto industry forward?
We need to invest in an Apollo program for energy, he said. We have to set goals.
Solving the energy problem could serve double duty: Cutting our reliance on foreign oil and creating 5 million new jobs on various energy programs, he said.

Q on Medicare: Here's the problem, more people are using it and healthcare is getting more expensive. Instead of making it efficient, we stop paying providers what they need. We need a comprehensive overhaul of our health system, including Medicare. We need to pay more attention to prevention, which eliminates costs in the long run. Obama says his daughter, Malia, has asthma. She got early treatment and it helped solve the attacks, he said. But some are in the emergency room every two weeks because they couldn't get early treatment.

The last questioner asked about holding business accountable for the environment. I'm going to hold them accountable by letting you know what's going on so you can hold me accountable. In other words, government will be more transparent so we'll know what's going on.
Americans voices have to be heard as much as big business.

We're going to post legislation before I sign it on the Internet so you can comment on it. We're going to continue to have town hall meetings like this one.

"We're going to shut down the revolving door." People work in government and then they go lobby.

We want every legislator to be accountable to Americans not business.
 
Here's McCain's new stab at being presidential.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Tim Kaine Says About Obama

Virginia governor Tim Kaine, now on the short shortlist of Obama veeps, said he was the first official outside of Illinois to support Obama. He's quite the fiery speaker himself. Obama campaigned for him when Kaine was running for governor.

 "He was a person who stood for excellence," Kaine said. "I'm casting my lot with Barack and we're going to take this all the way."
Here's a bonus -- Kaine can speak fluent Spanish and play harmonica (see video below). Here are some of his assets by a blogger in Virginia who called this a while ago. 
More on Kaine.
Obama/Kaine 08!
Kaine speaks at the Virginia Jefferson Jackson Dinner:

Kaine supports Obama in Spanish

Tim Kaine plays harmonica!

A 2005 story about Tim Kaine. It's all coming together now.

McCain's Greatest Hits

Michelle Obama on Working Women & Families


Michelle Obama spoke in Chicago yesterday on Obama's plan for families: 

Senator Obama’s plan to support working women and families will:

• Fight for Pay Equity: Throughout his career, Barack Obama has championed the right of women to receive equal pay for equal work. As president, Obama will continue working to close the wage gap between men and women.

• Expand Paid Sick Days to 22 Million Working Women: Today, over 22 million working women do not have paid sick days. As president, Obama will require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year.

• Expand Flexible Work Arrangements: Working parents, especially mothers, often have to juggle not only child care responsibilities, but also care responsibilities for elderly relatives. Barack Obama will address this concern by creating a program to inform businesses about the benefits of flexible work schedules for productivity and establishing positive workplaces; helping businesses create flexible work opportunities; and increasing federal incentives for telecommuting.

• Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families: Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers, including more than 71 million women, and their families the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax cut of up to $500 per worker, or $1,000 per working family.

• Ensure All Americans Have Access to Affordable Health Insurance: Obama will sign a health care reform plan into law by the end of his first term in office. His plan will provide affordable, quality health care coverage for every American.

Obama Town Hall Iowa July 31

Video below
Obama supporters make due with Obama cutout. 
Usually live streamed at cnn.com
Join Barack Obama at an Economic Security Town Hall on Thursday, July 31st.

ECONOMIC SECURITY TOWN HALL WITH BARACK OBAMA

Coe College
Moray L. Eby Fieldhouse
1220 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Thursday, July 31st
Doors Open: 9:30 a.m.
Program Begins: 11:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public -- however, seating is limited and tickets are required.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners permitted.


Pre town hall

McCain's Criticism of Obama Backfires

The McCain campaign is in really sorry shape. Is there a reason McCain wants to be president because I haven't seen one. He certainly hasn't proposed anything.
It's Obama this and Obama that. I think it's McCain who thinks Obama is the Chosen One.
John McCain has been charging that since Obama couldn't bring an entourage to the wounded soldiers hospital, he opted not to go. That is a bunch of bunk as the Washington Post has now figured out:

But there is no evidence that Obama ever planned to bring anyone to the hospital other than a single military adviser, whose status as a campaign staffer sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event. The Obama campaign has cited those concerns as the reason for canceling Obama's visit.

After being asked repeatedly for the "reports" McCain was talking about on "Larry King Live," McCain's campaign staff provided three examples, none of which made the allegation that Obama had wanted to bring media to the hospital.

Instead, all three reports -- from Fox News, The Washington Post, and MSNBC -- mentioned that the Pentagon had informed Obama of the prohibition against media and campaign visits, leaving the readers and viewers to make the leap about Obama's motive -- as the McCain campaign clearly wanted.

Obama and his top aides have all denied that the campaign ever planned to take reporters or cameras or additional campaign staff to the hospital. "Absolutely, unequivocally wrong," spokesman Tommy Vietor e-mailed just moments after McCain's "Larry King" appearance.

That is supported by reporters who traveled with Obama.

McCain and his pals are so desperate that they're resorting to this and this and this and this.
In fact, you'll note here that Obama had the grace not to blame the Pentagon but to heed the warning.
McCain needs to go back to the drawing board and get a platform, instead of negative attacks. He's just digging a deep hole. 

Obama Town Hall Missouri July 30

Update: video below

Obama supporters in Australia
Live streamed at cnn.com.
Obama has 3 town halls today (see below), including a barbeque --lines were long to get a ticket. Here is some of what Obama said at the first town hall today
Obama and McCain are effectively tied in Missouri.

At Obama's first town hall since his overseas trip, expect Obama to draw the connection between good foreign relations and economic security in the U.S. 
Join Barack Obama at a Town Hall in Springfield on Wednesday, July 30th.

ECONOMIC SECURITY TOWN HALL WITH BARACK OBAMA
Glendale High School
2727 S. Ingram Mill Road
Springfield, MO

Wednesday, July 30th
Doors Open: 8:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 10:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and tickets are required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners permitted.
Barack Obama in Rolla, MO

Join Barack Obama at a Town Hall in Rolla on Wednesday, July 30th.

TOWN HALL WITH BARACK OBAMA
The Student Recreation Center
Missouri University of Science and Technology
705 W. 10th St.
Rolla, MO

Wednesday, July 30th
Doors Open: 1:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 3:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public -- however, seating is limited and tickets are required.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners permitted.
Join Barack Obama at a barbecue in Union on Wednesday, July 30th.

BARBECUE WITH BARACK OBAMA
Union City Park
Entrance at corner of Christina Ave. and Water St.
Union, MO

Wednesday, July 30th
Doors Open: 4:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 6:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public -- however, seating is limited and tickets are required.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners permitted.

Obama in Springfield

McCain Supports Don't Ask Don't Tell

Obama says the policy -- enacted by Bill Clinton -- that gay men and women can be in the military as long as they don't state that they're gay -- needs updating. 

McCain says gay men and women need to stay in the closet, while serving their country. 

Obama Clears the High Bar


The polls might not show it, but the large gap between the Obama and McCain campaigns was illustrated this week, when Obama was presidential, meeting soldiers and foreign leaders, and McCain was being attacked by applesauce and riding in a golf cart, with senior Bush.


Obama has cleared the high bar. Of course, it's been raised again. But Obama will jump over that too, with more details of his economic plan

Meanwhile, McCain has barely cleared the bar where it was first set, but no one has called him on that. He is, after all, a military hero who has had little scrutiny about his ties and his policies. It's all been about Obama. How high can Obama jump?
Looks like he can jump pretty high.
American Prospect: Watching the week's events, I was reminded of the 1990 U.S. Open, when John McEnroe, clearly past his prime and five years removed from his last Grand Slam final, made an improbable run to the semifinals. There he met 18-year-old Pete Sampras, whose cannon serve and freakishly precise ground strokes were so overwhelming that it seemed as though he were some kind of tennis-playing cyborg sent by an advanced race of aliens to humiliate human athletes. By the end of the match, it was clear McEnroe's career would soon be over.

The imbalance is more than just the two campaigns' relative talent at staging photo-ops. The fact is that in every aspect of campaigning, Obama's team is showing more skill and results than that of his more seasoned Republican opponent.

To say this is a reversal of recent history would be an understatement. Over the last few decades, we've gotten used to Republicans running circles around Democrats. In a book that was released in 2006, I note that the 2004 Bush campaign outperformed its opponents in field organizing, the one area at which Democrats had always excelled. As a consequence, the Democrats faced "an extraordinary realization: there is now not a single area of campaigning -- not organizing, not message development, not candidate recruitment and training, not fundraising, and certainly not ruthlessness -- at which Republicans are not demonstrably better than Democrats." read more

And this is interesting: What happened to the republicans? They became campaigners and forgot about governing.
Why was this the case? The most important reason may be that Republicans have almost no interest in governing. Freed from the burden of coming up with new ways to more effectively deliver services that will produce tangible benefits to the public, they put their finest minds to work on the messy business of getting elected and keeping their opponents on the defensive. 

Obama's Unforgivable Offenses


You know, stuff like inspiring people, giving awesome speeches, meeting with foreign leaders, conducting himself in a presidential way -- the nerve of that man!
Bob Herbert says it best:

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Barack Obama is a United States senator, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his party’s candidate for president of the United States — and yet it was somehow presumptuous of him to meet with foreign leaders last week during his trip to the Middle East and Europe.

I’ll say this about Senator Obama. He sure raises people’s hackles. I’ve never seen anyone so roundly criticized for such grievous offenses as giving excellent speeches and urging people of different backgrounds to take a chance on working together. How dare he? And 200,000 people turned out to hear him in Berlin. Unforgivable.

The man has been taken to task for promoting hope, threatened with mutilation by Jesse Jackson for suggesting that a lot of black fathers could do better by their kids and had his patriotism called into question because he wants to wind down a war that most Americans would dearly love to be rid of.

John McCain can barely stop himself from sputtering at the mere mention of Senator Obama’s name. He actually ran an ad blaming Mr. Obama for high gasoline prices. Even Republicans had a good laugh at that one.

And yet Mr. Obama continues to treat Senator McCain respectfully. As far as personal character is concerned, Mr. Obama has scored very well, indeed. read the rest cause it's good.

I have a theory about the Obama hate syndrome -- I'll post on that some other time.
Herbert also says that Obama's economic offense, key to winning, is coming. If the past two days are any indication, I'd say Obama will lay out the details in the coming days:
The word is that an economic offensive may finally be coming from the Obama campaign.

Anna Burger, the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, was part of a wide-ranging group of advisers on economic issues who met with Mr. Obama in Washington on Monday. “He has very serious policies, not sound bites, for addressing the long-term and short-term issues that are having such a dramatic effect on people who are working and trying to make ends meet,” she said.

Translating those ideas into a compelling economic narrative for his campaign — something Mr. Obama has not yet done — is the key to defeating John McCain.

Republicans Get Stupid

I hate writing that because I know many smart republicans. 

But the ones who dreamt this up, BarackBook, are getting ridiculous and desperate. You'd think we were all on playing on the jungle gym. 

You wouldn't know that there is an economy to fix or a couple of wars. But that's just the thing. The republicans will tell you the economy is cyclical and this is just natural. True, the economy does run in cycles but the depth of the economic spiral is anything but natural. Some will even tell you that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.

BarackBook will only reinforce those who already hate Obama and those people don't need any reinforcement.
 
There isn't anyone on the fence or a swing voter who's going to fall for this stuff. I think some republicans will be offended at the stupidity.

Can you imagine the McCainBook? I hope the democrats don't go there and just let this one fall on its face. 

Obama Russia and the G8

This writer argues the same -- that Obama should stand up to Russia. I believe Obama would stand up to Russia. But what people don't get is it's all about language -- how do you communicate your message. 
The language of yesterday is naming countries the "axis of evil." That's not going to accomplish anything. We learn that on the school yard, or we are supposed to anyway.  
The U.S. can only lead by example. It can't go around changing every country's regime. Iraq has proven that. 

Obama Ahead in Montana


Montana only has 3 electoral votes but every one counts and this is an interesting story:

WSJ: As late as this spring, the electorate seemed headed in the same direction. A pair of statewide polls showed that Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, held a comfortable lead over Sen. Barack Obama. But after four visits by Sen. Obama, an aggressive media campaign and some well-organized ground work, the Illinois Democrat now leads by five points, according to a July 1 Rasmussen poll. The campaign says it is opening six offices in the state this month.

The reason for his surge lies in part with the migration of Democrat-leaning, college-educated transplants like Mr. Walseth and his wife, Elizabeth Darrow. As the rural Republican eastern plains lose population and political influence, thousands of blue-staters who began arriving here in the 1990s are reaching a critical mass. The effect is that Bozeman and several other larger towns in western Montana have become political battlegrounds.

"It's a much different place from the Montana I found when I first arrived," says Mr. Walseth, a boyish 50-year-old who favors T-shirts over ties and says he plans to vote for Sen. Obama.

Gene Fields, a 72-year-old retired cowboy who favors 10-gallon hats and Sen. McCain, says, "People come here and they want it to be like where they came from. I say, why don't they stay there? The bad thing is, now they've got you outnumbered, you put an issue to a vote and they'll outvote you."

Obama Talks With Bernanke and Pakistan's Prime Minister

Yesterday's economic meeting


It's 98 days before the election and I highly doubt Obama will squeeze in that week off he talked about. The man must be running on adrenaline.
Obama is also demonstrating his presidential style. He gathers information from the brightest minds, even dissenting opinions, and he puts it together to shape policy.
Politico: Continuing his string of presidential-style consultations, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke today and talking by phone with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Obama, putting a heavy focus on the economy following his trip aboard, kept the conferences a surprise until this morning.

Showing the Democrat's soaring stature, a foreign leader's visit to Washington is starting to mean a sit-down with Obama. This afternoon, Obama will meet with Yousuf Raza Gilliani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The prime minister met with President Bush yesterday.

This evening, Obama will speak at the Democratic House Caucus meeting this evening.

Obama is eager to show himself hard at work on domestic issues after an overseas voyage that reaped an international media bonanza but has had an unclear impact on polls back home.

What does McCain know about finances?

Obama and McCain Agree on 16 Month Timetable

The bottom line is they now agree:

CNN: But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the "conditions on the ground" safe enough.

Speaking from Bakersfield, California, the Arizona senator said he would not stick to a "hard and firm date" suggested by Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

"Now whether that fits into 16 months or not, or one month, or whatever, the point is it's got to be conditions-based," he added, saying that's the point Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, "is trying to get over as we go into this political season."

Had Bush McCain had some sort of overarching strategy for Iraq or set a timetable to start, perhaps the plan could be further along. I think we all realize that withdrawal will not go exactly as planned but if you don't have a vision or a goal for the end game, then you'll never get there. It's really basic management/leadership skills.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Talk Show Host Hasselbeck Takes on House Speaker Pelosi

I like Elisabeth, one of The View's co-hosts, despite her support for the republican cause no matter the candidate, and I admire her guts -- she's outnumbered on the show by democrats.

BUT she takes on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asserting that the "surge worked" and Pelosi explains the purpose of the surge. And in the context of the purpose of the surge, to make political gains, it did not work.

The sorry fact is that this is all McCain has to hang his hat on.

Obama's Economic Meeting July 28 Video

Before the meeting, Obama said the sour economy didn't happen by chance, rather it's the direct result of an irresponsible Wall Street (or as Bush would say, a drunk Wall Street) and Washington.
Here is some of what they discussed.

Here are the participants:
The economic leaders who met with Senator Obama today included:


· Jared Bernstein (Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute)

· Bill Bradley (Former Senator, D-N.J., U.S. Senate 1979-1997)

· Warren Buffet (Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway) - joined the meeting by phone

· Anna Burger (Chair, Change to Win; International Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union)

· Jon Corzine (Governor, State of New Jersey)

· William Daley (Chairman of the Midwest, JP Morgan Chase; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Commerce, 1997-2000)

· James Dimon (Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase)

· William Donaldson (27th Chairman of the SEC 2003-2005)

· Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo Inc.)

· Paul O'Neill (Special Advisor, Blackstone Group, Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Treasury, 2001-2002; Former CEO, Alcoa)

· Federico Peña (Managing Director, Vestar Capital Partners; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 1997-1998; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1993-1997; Former Mayor, City of Denver 1983-1991)

· Penny Pritzker (CEO, Classic Residence by Hyatt)

· Robert Reich (University of California, Berkeley; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Labor, 1993-1997)

· Robert Rubin (Chairman and Director of the Executive Committee, Citigroup; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Treasury, 1995-1999)

· Eric Schmidt (Chairman and CEO, Google)

· William Spriggs (Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, Howard University)

· Lawrence Summers (Harvard University; Managing Director, D.E. Shaw; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Treasury, 1999-2001)

· John Sweeney (President, AFL-CIO)

· Laura Tyson (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; Former Chairman, National Economic Council, 1995-1996; Former Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisors, 1993-1995)

· Paul Volcker (Former Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve 1979-1987)

The McCain camp's Carly Fiorina dismissed this meeting as a cheap photo op.

Iran's President Appears Ready for Diplomacy

Brian Williams interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who appeared reasonable and said he's not working on a nuclear bomb. "Nuclear bombs belong to the 20th century." He also agreed that the Bush administration has changed its stance toward Iran but Ahmadinejad said he wasn't sure if it was genuine. Interesting. The White House isn't buying it.
Here's the interview.

Tim Kaine High On Obama Vice President List

Update 7-29: CNN throws in it's two cents. 

So does Newsweek.
What Tim Kaine, the harmonica-playing, bilingual governor, has to say about Obama.

Also, all these mumblings that Obama needs a military veep, what's to stop Obama from announcing cabinet members, which include military types? Maybe he'll announce his vice president and.... Obama may not have military experience but he's strong on foreign policy (never mind what the media says), so I suspect his veep won't necessarily have military experience either. 
Politico: As Senator Barack Obama turns to the choice of his running mate, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has emerged as one of the campaign’s potential finalists, sources familiar with conversations in Richmond and in Chicago said.

Kaine, an early Obama supporter whose biography nicely dovetails with the Illinois senator’s, "ranks very, very high on the short list," said a source who has spoken recently to senior Obama aides about Kaine.

Kaine "is getting a critical examination," the source said.

The 50-year-old Virginia governor is among a handful of logical, and much-discussed, choices to join Obama on the campaign trail. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn and Delaware Senator Joe Biden are among others frequently mentioned.

Obama and his top advisers met Monday afternoon at the Washington, D.C., law office of Eric Holder, one of the leaders of his vice presidential vetting team.

More from WaPo:
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has told close associates that he has had "very serious" conversations with Sen. Barack Obama about joining the Democratic presidential ticket and has provided documents to the campaign as it combs through his background, according to several sources close to Kaine.

Obama has revealed little about which way he is leaning. And despite rising anticipation that a decision is imminent, campaign officials said an announcement is likely in mid-August, shortly before the Democratic National Convention. Obama's top aides, David Plouffe and David Axelrod, huddled yesterday in the Washington office of Eric Holder, who along with Caroline Kennedy is vetting potential running mates.

Although rumors have circulated about former military leaders and other nontraditional contenders, including Republicans, Obama's pool of prospects is heavy on longtime senators with foreign policy experience. Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are the only state leaders believed to be under serious consideration, sources close to Obama said.

Hillary's Supporters Back Obama

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida says she's disappointed about Hillary's loss but she's moved on and she says that's the case for most.

CBSNews.com: So, looking forward, what are those additional steps that the Obama campaign, and Senator Obama himself, as you outlined, should take to bring more of the Clinton supporters into the fold?

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz: I think most of the Clinton supporters are in the fold. I mean, I think what we have right now is, a vocal minority. You know, a relatively small group compared to the millions of people who supported Hillary Clinton who are now supporting Barack Obama.

So, I think there isn't anything extraordinary that Barack Obama has to do. They have to just continue to do more of what they have been doing, and focus on the issues. 

Fiorina Says Obama Out for Another Photo Op

Carly Fiorina says McCain is quietly learning the economy. Yeah, learning from people like Phil Gramm, now ousted for his large mouth, advising on the "mental recession."

McCain's campaign countered with a conference call in which top economic adviser Carly Fiorina told reporters the Republican has been "quietly talking" with economists and policymakers, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, over the past year.

"I think the American people are getting treated to yet another photo op by Barack Obama, but meanwhile John McCain has been out talking about the economy, understanding the economy, taking advice on the economy for many, many months," Fiorina said.

McCain's camp is just boiling mad that leaders across the world actually liked Obama. Darn it all. And now this. What a smart man to invite cameras. 

Today Obama convened a meeting with big names in economics -- Warren Buffett, Google CEO, even spicing it up with former Bush advisers, to hash out details of his economic strategy:
Present at the meeting were AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, the former head of Wall street investment firm Goldman Sachs. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett joined via speaker phone

Participants said the free-flowing meeting did not reach conclusions but Obama sought out diverse opinions, but there was a consensus the economy was growing worse.

"This was a very serious conversation about serious issues. We were not discussing political tactics," Summers told reporters after the two-hour session concluded.

O'Neill, a former Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush and a former CEO of Alcoa, said he had not endorsed either candidate but Obama was "inspiring lots of people to become involved." Schmidt described him as "impressively knowledgeable."

The key word is inspiring. Leaders inspire.

Still Pushing Hillary as Vice President

Here's an interesting update: McAuliffe is talking out of both sides of his mouth, or the media has it wrong. CBS says that he said Gov. Tim Kaine is Obama's best No. 2 but then he told MSNBC that Hillary's the best choice:

Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe recently weighed in on the veepstakes in a rather surprising way. McAuliffe said that Kaine, not Clinton, would be the party's best option for the second spot on the ticket. Like Obama, Kaine was a civil rights attorney before he entered politics, and as governor of Virginia could help the Democrat's chances of turning that state blue.
McAuliffe's other best choice.
Swamp: Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Sen. Hillary Clinton's former campaign for president and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has a running mate for Sen. Barack Obama:

Hillary Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton. I don't even think it's a close call,'' McAuliffe said in an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe today. "How do you not pick Hillary Clinton? We would sweep all across the country, up and down the valley... Think about it.

"It would be a bold move,'' he said. "I don't think people would expect it... It's be a bold move: Barack Obama, leadership, take this country to a new place, first African American, first woman.... History!... I'm telling you!... All across the country!""

If Hillary Clinton came out and denounced her racist supporters, I'd be more comfortable with Hillary. But she hasn't rejected them, only encouraged them. 

She could've put an end to this PUMA stuff but she didn't want to (she still needs their money) and that's why she's not likely to be vice president. 

Besides, Obama doesn't need or won't get the PUMA support. He's already got the Hillary democrats -- the PUMAs are NOT democrats. They had their eye on the prize -- the first woman president and all that that meant. These supporters are set to try to make a mockery of the nomination in August. Though, I'm not sure their numbers are large enough to matter. 

So why is Hillary's camp still bent on idea that Obama needs Hillary? I have no idea but they're out of touch with reality.

If Obama thinks she's right for him, I wouldn't complain. But Hillary and Bill seem all about preserving power --theirs.