Archive for the ‘Veepstakes’ Category

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CNN: Sen. Barack Obama is leading Sen. John McCain in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to a new survey.

Obama lost the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania by 9 percentage points. But a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows him leading McCain by 12 points, 52 to 40 percent.

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In Ohio, a state Obama lost to Sen. Hillary Clinton by 10 points in March, he’s leading McCain 48 to 42 percent.

And in Florida, where he did not campaign this primary season and lost an unsanctioned Democratic contest, he leads McCain 47 to 43 percent.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at a campaign stop in Grantham, Pa., in April. Next week, they'll be reunited publicly for the first time since she dropped her presidential bid.

New York Daily News: Hillary Clinton will join Barack Obama for a joint appearance in Washington next week to persuade her donors to begin giving to the Democrats’ nominee, the Daily News has learned.

It’s the first known plan to bring together the victor and vanquished from the Democrat primary race and put their pledges of unity for the fall campaign into action.

Jonathan Mantz, Clinton’s national finance director, sent top Clinton fundraisers an e-mail today inviting them to the event on June 26.

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CNN: Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday, urging Americans to reject what he called the Bush administration’s legacy of “incompetence, negligence and failure.”

“Americans simply cannot afford to continue the policies of the last eight years for another four,” Gore, the party’s 2000 presidential nominee, told Obama supporters at a rally in Detroit, Michigan.

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Politico:

As I first reported a couple of weeks ago, former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle is going to work for Obama.

She’ll be “chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate – whoever he (or she) will be, campaign officials said,” Nagourney reports.

Though this will stir speculation that she’s paving the way for Hillary, but it actually makes me think the opposite. Clinton fired her in February, and many of her backers view Solis Doyle as a bit of a traitor for having signaled that she’d move to Obama before the primary was over.

But she adds a prominent female, Hispanic face to Obama’s senior staff, and has a major role, if an ambiguous one: It’s not exactly inside the Obama inner circle, and a running mate may also want to bring in his or her own people.

TowleRoad:

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At 5:01pm today, history will be made as gay and lesbian couples begin marrying in California, led symbolically by the marriage of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the couple of 50 years who were first married in San Francisco City Hall in 2004 (above). I’ve rounded up some of the significant reporting here.

road.jpg Profiles of some of the key figures in the same-sex marriage struggle (both for and against) including Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Hillary and Julie Goodridge, Gavin Newsom, and Ronald George.

Weddingroad.jpg A new CBS poll shows reveals America’s shifting views on same-sex marriage: “Twenty-eight percent think same-sex couples should be permitted to form civil unions, but more than a third – 36 percent – say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. Last month, the California Supreme Court struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage, paving the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry there. Americans’ views on this issue have changed since 2004, although opinion has not changed substantially in the last two years. In November of 2004 (soon after the presidential election) just 21 percent of Americans supported the idea of same-sex couples being allowed to marry.”

road.jpg A California business specializing in interchangeable figures for wedding cakes is seeing a windfall. More on the business boom, below.

road.jpg What churches are participating? “Episcopalians, Unitarian Universalists, rabbis, a Methodist and even a Catholic priest are planning to bless some same-sex marriages when they are set to become legal in California on Monday. ‘I believe the family is a cornerstone for a strong society, and I’m all in favor of everything we can do to build up the values that make strong families,’ said the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, which has been blessing same-sex unions for 16 years. ‘I think the values matter more than the gender of the people making up the heads of those families,’ Russell said.” NPR reports on the coming clash between equal rights and religious expression.

road.jpg Some couples don’t plan on rushing to the altar: “As of yesterday, more than 700 same-sex couples had made appointments to get a marriage license in San Diego County, including 190 for Tuesday. Michael Kimmel, a Kensington psychotherapist who counsels gay couples, said the pressure to wed is prompting some couples to re-evaluate the strength of their relationships.”

road.jpg The NYT notes that couples may be wise to look to examples in Massachusetts.

road.jpg The San Francisco Chronicle visits the town where the highest percentage of residents (83%) voted for Proposition 22, the successful state ballot initiative that limited marriage to a man and a woman, and gets its take on the same-sex marriage laws: “Most residents still don’t like the idea of allowing men to marry men and women to marry women. Some residents say they don’t know any openly gay people, and others have trouble even saying the word ‘gay.’ One man called it being ‘of the homosexual persuasion.'”

road.jpg California businesses are poised to receive a windfall: “Faced with a wilted economy, water shortages and sticker shock at the gasoline pump, many California businesses are welcoming ‘the dinks’ (double income, no kids) with open arms. ‘It’s basically a godsend,’ said Daniel Doiron, the general manager of the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, which is offering honeymoon specials from $479 bargain basement (boutonnieres, 15-minute wedding, 20 guests) to the ‘Elizabeth Taylor’ at $29,999 (poolside villas, wedding cake and reception, ice sculptures, flowers, sit-down dinner for 200 and three nights in the honeymoon suite). ‘We’re just blessed to help.’ Ten couples from New York, Las Vegas and Phoenix have signed up for the options.”

The Hill: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Sunday that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal “would be far and away the best candidate” to appear on the Republican presidential ticket with Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Gingrich, who appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” heaped praise upon the former congressman, saying that he is a “spectacular” governor and predicted that Jindal would be a presidential candidate in the future.

AP: The Wisconsin Democratic Party is trying to strip a woman of her position as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. That’s after she told a newspaper she would vote for Republican Senator John McCain for president in November.

…When Clinton bowed out of the race last weekend, she urged her supporters to do all they can to elect Obama. But Bartoshevich told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Clinton was treated unfairly by the party and she has deep reservations about Obama’s experience, so she’ll vote for McCain.The report caused quite a stir at the state Democratic convention. The party members voted to ask the national party’s credentials committee to refuse to seat her at the convention.

Politico: One week into the general election, the polls show a dead heat. But many presidential scholars doubt that John McCain stands much of a chance, if any.

Historians belonging to both parties offered a litany of historical comparisons that give little hope to the Republican. Several saw Barack Obama’s prospects as the most promising for a Democrat since Roosevelt trounced Hoover in 1932.

“This should be an overwhelming Democratic victory,” said Allan Lichtman, an American University presidential historian who ran in a Maryland Democratic senatorial primary in 2006. Lichtman, whose forecasting model has correctly predicted the last six presidential popular vote winners, predicts that this year, “Republicans face what have always been insurmountable historical odds.” His system gives McCain a score on par with Jimmy Carter’s in 1980.

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AMERICAblog:
McCain in a Town Hall today “I will not impose a litmus test on any nominee.”

McCain in 2000: “Somewhat surprisingly, McCain had the support of Gary Bauer, the social conservative, who had dropped out of the race by that time. ‘I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court,’ Bauer told me. ‘Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges.'” [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

McCain 2007. McCain said, “I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.” [New York Times, 2/24/07]

MSNBC’s First Read: So you think you know who’s on Obama’s veep short list? Well, think again. According to sources on the Hill, Obama veep vetters — specifically Jim Johnson and Eric Holder — have been asking Dem members of Congress this week their input about potential running mates. The conversations are free-flowing but one name the vetters are inserting in the conversations is one that is not a household name… Ret. Gen. James Jones, the former Marine-turned-NATO Supreme Allied Commander. …

Besides Jones, the other names on the list bandied about with congressional Dems include (and not in any order): Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Strickland, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, Bill Nelson, Jack Reed, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Tom Daschle, and Sam Nunn. You’ll notice a few names NOT on this list (that’s not my exclusion — hint hint). Besides Jones, I’m told the two other names that invited extended discussion were Biden and Strickland.

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The Huffington Post recently published profiles on two of the top names on the list: Jim Webb and Kathleen Sebelius. For more on Obama’s veepstakes, check out HuffPost’s rundown list of the pros and cons of the potential vice president candidates.

Political Wire: Mike Huckabee “has signed a one-year deal as a political commentator for Fox News, where he will sound off on a variety of programs,” the Washington Post reports.

“The deal keeps Huckabee in the spotlight as he contemplates a second run in 2012, a tactic perfected by Pat Buchanan, who hosted CNN’s Crossfire between presidential campaigns.”

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MSNBC: Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after a sudden heart attack at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program when he collapsed, the network said. No details were immediately available.

Russert, the recipient of 48 honorary doctorates, took over the helm of “Meet the Press” in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program in the history of television.

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

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Details: The first thing you notice about Bobby Jindal—everyone says this—is how damn young he looks. Stick him next to John McCain, however, and his appearance skews toward the pubescent. It’s a sun-blasted, sweat-stained late-April day in New Orleans, and Jindal—102 days into his term as the governor of Louisiana, and just 36 years into a life that’s looking increasingly politically charmed—is walking beside McCain down Caffin Avenue in the city’s blighted Lower Ninth Ward. The neighborhood’s few remaining residents—easily outnumbered by the hordes of National Guardsmen and political aides and the reporters sequestered in the flat beds of two National Guard trucks—are out on their porches, with arms folded, observing this odd promenade. McCain’s giant, gleaming bus (“the Straight,” as his aides call it) looks like an alien spacecraft idling beside the scruffy Caffin Avenue median.

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