Watch Fenty endorse Obama Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Calling him “our next American president,” Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president Tuesday at an event in the nation’s capital.
“Too often we’ve seen a government that is run by special interests and lobbyists who roam the halls of Congress, while average Americans are struggling to fill up their gas tanks or save for their child’s college education or save for their own retirement,” Obama said at the endorsement event that was attended by more than 100 people. “And, I’m running to change that kind of politics.”
While he is considered a frontrunner, Obama dismissed criticism that he is not seeing progress in national political polls.
“It’s because we haven’t been running national T.V. ads,” he said. When a reporter asked Obama how he could compete on a national level against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is much more well-known and leading in national polling, Obama responded, “Well, to know me is to love me.”
Obama also said the latest National Intelligence Estimate released today by the Bush administration “confirms what I’ve said consistently, which is that we are not more safe than we were. That our decision to go into Iraq was a profound distraction from a legitimate and necessary war that we were waging against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border.”
CNN reported earlier in the day that Fenty was set to endorse Obama, while Sen. Hillary Clinton was receiving the backing of Trenton, New Jersey Mayor Doug Palmer.
– CNN’s Martina Stewart
CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on a new music video pitting Obama girl against Giuliani girl. Who wins the political pillow fight?
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s only fitting that in a summer dominated by movie sequels, the team responsible for the wildly popular “I’ve got a crush on Obama” online video is out with what they hope to be another blockbuster, “Obama girl vs. Giuliani girl.”
The follow up from the folks at barelypolitical.com was released Monday and already has been viewed over 160,000 times on YouTube. Business was so great on their Web site that it temporarily crashed just after the new video debuted.
The video features a war of wards between the ‘Obama girl’ and the ‘Giuliani girl,’ and culminates in a pillow-fight between the two rival supporters.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign would not comment on the new video, just as Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's campaign had no comment on the first Obama girl video.
But, as CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports, while the creators of the “Obama girl vs. Giuliani girl” video say they were aiming for balance, it sure seems like Obama girls gets off most of the zingers.
Ben Relles, one of the creators of the video, brushed aside suggestions his videos are trivializing the political process, telling CNN, “I don't think it's trivial any more than the ‘Daily show’ or ‘Saturday Night Live.’”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While members of the Republican National Committee will not be present at next week's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, the GOP is looking for a "virtual" seat in the arena.
In an appeal posted on its Web site, the RNC has called on its members to submit video questions via YouTube for the debate being sponsored by CNN, YouTube and the South Carolina Democratic Party. A cartoon posted on the RNC Web site depicts a young man sporting an elephant shirt trying to ask a question of the three Democratic frontrunners: New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
The caption underneath the cartoon reads: "Tired of Democrats Dodging the Questions That Really Matter? Click Here To Find Out How To Have Your Questions Answered Live During the Democrat Debate on July 23."
The debate will break new ground because all of the main questions will be posed to the candidates by voters who recorded the queries and posted them on http://www.YouTube.com. A CNN editorial team has been sorting through the questions for weeks and the public will not know what questions will be asked of the candidates until the videos air on CNN that night. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate the 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET debate which will be held in Charleston.
CNN and YouTube will host a similar debate for Republicans on Sept. 17 in Florida. Further details including the host city will be announced on Friday.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Vitter tried to keep a low profile Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. David Vitter returned from a week-long absence from Congress Tuesday, a day after he made a public apology for "a serious sin" as investigators probe an alleged prostitution ring that operated in the nation's capital.
Vitter, a conservative Republican, last week vanished from public view after his phone number turned up among those kept by a reputed "DC Madam" in records that have become part of her upcoming criminal trial.
Tuesday morning, Vitter did not visit his Senate office, where the media had camped out in anticipation of his return. He also was not seen at a residential address near the Supreme Court building.
He eventually emerged at a scheduled Senate hearing taking place near his office building. He arrived nearly 30 minutes late for the start of the panel, which heard testimony regarding commercial airline service to outlying parts of the U.S.
At first, only CNN and a local camera crew had learned of his whereabouts. But as word spread among media outlets, Senate officials had to urge order among the gaggle of newspaper writers, photographers and other television crews which began making noisy entrances to record Vitter's return.
The senator left the hearing early, and tried to ignore shouted questions and camera lights in the hallway. He then turned and stopped.
Vitter referred to comments he made Monday evening in his hometown, then said, "I look forward today to be back at work, really focused on a lot of important issues for the people of Louisiana. I'll leave it at that."
Vitter apologized privately to his fellow Republican senators at their weekly policy lunch Tuesday, senators who attended the lunch said.
One senator described his apology as "humble" and "short and to the point." The senator said Vitter was met with a great deal of "empathy" by the senators in the room.
- CNN's Paul Courson and Ted Barrett
Seven Democratic presidential candidates are slated to attend the AFL-CIO forum next August.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The AFL-CIO is set to formally kick of its presidential endorsement process with a candidate forum in Chicago next month, the nation’s largest organization of union members announced Tuesday.
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico are all slated to attend the August 7 forum and will face questions from a audience estimated to top over 5,000 union members.
AFL-CIO spokesman Steve Smith said all the presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans, were invited to fill out a questionnaire - one of the factors that ultimately determined which candidates were invited to the event.
“Thousands of union members in Chicago and millions of working families around the country will hear exactly how these candidates, after eight years of anti-worker policies, plan to return the promise of the American dream to working people," AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement.
Following the forum, the AFL-CIO’s executive council will meet to decide whether to formally endorse a candidate in the primary race. According to the organization’s rules, if the council decides to make an endorsement, two-thirds of the individual union’s comprising the AFL-CIO must agree on a particular candidate for it to be made official. If no agreement is reached, individual unions are free to make their own endorsements during the primary race.
The AFL-CIO represents nearly $10 million workers in 55 unions and says it mobilized “more than 13.6 million voters in 32 states” during the 2006 election cycle.
UPDATE: Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, the one Democratic White House hopeful not invited to the event, admitted to CNN Tuesday he missed the questionnaire deadline, but says it was not sufficiently clear that the questionnaire was one of the criteria for admittance into the forum.
“It’s our mistake, but they are using our mistake to deny me an appearance before the AFL-CIO group and I had a 100% voting record for twelve years as senator and four years in the state legislature,” Gravel said. “The AFL-CIO has no memory.”
Gravel also said he will promptly submit the questionnaire and hopes to be included.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
CNN’s John King analyzes the latest staff resignations to hit the McCain campaign.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Hours after her announcement Monday that she would be leaving John McCain's presidential campaign, Iowa Coalitions Director Marlys Popma told CNN that she is reconsidering her decision.
"This morning I had decided to leave," Popma said in an email. "Although since the announcement of my departure, which had NOTHING to do with Sen. McCain, as I have continued to believe that he should be our next President, I have had some discussions which have given me pause.
She added, "Therefore, I have told the campaign that [I] will take another day to reconsider my decision. I am spending time in prayer tonight [Monday] and will make a decision about my future with the campaign tomorrow [Tuesday].
"I am sorry for any confusion the earlier statement has caused."
Popma is one of two Iowa campaign members who announced their departure from the Republican senator's campaign Monday. Iowa communications director Tim Miller also called resigned, but said that he would not comment further on the matter. The departures came on the same day when almost all of McCain's press shop resigned from their posts.
– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Watch Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin tell CNN’s John Roberts why the Dems are planning the all-nighter.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Recognizing they almost certainly won’t have the votes to pass an amendment to bring U.S. combat troops out of Iraq; Senate Democrats will employ a bit of political theater this week to at least draw attention to their efforts to overcome a Republicans filibuster of the measure.
Ahead of a vote Wednesday to cut off the filibuster, Democrats who control the Senate will keep the chamber open overnight Tuesday into Wednesday to highlight debate the amendment.
“They’re protecting the president instead of protecting the troops,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained about the filibuster.
Workmen will set up cots near the Senate floor so senators have a place to slumber – although it’s not clear how many senators will chose to stay up for the rare session much less use the cots.
Democratic senators also will be encouraged to schedule radio, television, and blogoshpere interviews in a "war room" strategy usually scripted for major legislative battles in which the outcome is in doubt.
In this case, Democrats know they will fall short of the required 60 votes to end the filibuster.
Only three Republicans - Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Gordon Smith of Oregon – have said they will vote with the Democrats. A fourth Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, says she’s considering it. And while most Democrats support the measure, known as Reed-Levin for its authors, Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan, Democrats acknowledge going into the debate their effort will fail.
– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty will throw his support behind Obama Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty will endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president Tuesday, a source close to the mayor tells CNN.
The source said that the endorsement has been in the works for “a little while”. The mayor and senator have scheduled a 1:15 pm ET news conference to announce the endorsement.
Fenty will say that one of the main reasons he is backing Obama is the senator's promise to support full voting rights for the District of Columbia including full representation in the Senate.
“There’s one issue more important than all the rest to the voters,” the mayor is expected to say.
A spokeswoman for the mayor declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign announced Tuesday the endorsement of Doug Palmer, the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, and named him a co-chair of the campaign’s ‘Mayor Council,’ - a group of more than 100 current and former mayors who endorse the New York Democrat.
– CNN's Adam Levine
Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
* "Senate Democratic leaders are planning a rare all-night session tonight, employing theatrics and scheduling votes that they hope will chip away at Republican resolve to back President Bush's Iraq war strategy." (Washington Post)
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "is using the old media-friendly standby of bringing in a mess of cots and scheduling Senators to talk into the wee hours tonight." (Roll Call)
"Republicans dismissed the Democratic tactic as a stunt and offered to speed up the clock to prevent lawmakers from having to spend the night in their Capitol offices if they did not want to miss votes." (New York Times)
* Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), the Louisiana Republican who admitted last week to employing a D.C. escort service, indicated Monday he has no intentions of resigning his Senate post and said allegations that he visited other prostitutes in Louisiana are “not true.”
Full story on The Ticker
* A man "who was wearing a tuxedo" was "shot and killed by a Colorado state trooper Monday afternoon after he rushed Gov. Bill Ritter's first- floor office" in the state capitol "claiming to be 'the emperor' and saying he was 'here to take over the state.'" (Denver Post)
* "And the leading Republican presidential candidate is... none of the above." (AP lede)
The latest AP-Ipsos poll finds Rudy Giuliani leads the GOP field with 21 percent, but "a hefty 23 percent can't or won't say which candidate they would back."
On the Dem side, Hillary Clinton holds "a sizable lead over Barack Obama," 36 percent to 20 percent.
More poll results here.
* "The exodus of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign staff continued Monday with the exits of most of his top communications officials." (Arizona Republic)
More details on The Ticker.
* Meanwhile, Mitt Romney "was anything but fiscally conservative" in Q2, "spending money as fast as he raised it between April and June." (AP)
From $31.5K to rent Fenway to the hundreds of thousands he's pouring into his website every month, check out details of the camp's spending in Hot Topics below!
* President Bush heads to Capitol Hill this morning to participate in a 10 am ET Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug.
Borlaug "will become one of only five people in history" to receive the "Triple Crown": the Congressional Gold Medal, Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Des Moines Register)
Back at the White House, the president meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the Oval Office at 1 pm ET.
Also on the Political Radar:
* Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) addresses the Planned Parenthood Public Affairs Retreat and Roundtable at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC, at 11:45 am ET.
Obama holds an afternoon presser with DC Mayor Adrian Fenty in SW DC, and later travels to Cincinnati, OH, for a 5:30 pm ET community event.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) addresses the National Association of Counties (NACo) 72nd Annual Conference and Exhibition at the Greater Richmond (VA) Convention Center at 11:30 am ET.
At 5:30 pm ET, Clinton speaks at the Planned Parenthood event.
* John Edwards continues his "Road to One America" tour with stops in Cleveland and Youngstown, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA.
* Ann Romney takes the "Women for Mitt" bus tour through South Carolina. She'll speak in Greensville at 12:30 pm ET and West Columbia at 5:30 pm ET.
* Rudy Giuliani meets supporters at Tropical Restaurant in Hialeah, FL, at 5 pm ET.
* Bill Richardson holds "job interview" events in Wolfeboro, Conway, and Ossipee, NH.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
ROLL OUT THE COTS: Senate Democratic leaders are planning a rare all-night session tonight, employing theatrics and scheduling votes that they hope will chip away at Republican resolve to back President Bush's Iraq war strategy. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had hoped to convince Republicans to allow a simple-majority vote on a Democratic proposal to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring. But GOP leaders held firm to a 60-vote threshold for passage - a routine maneuver in today's closely divided Senate but a number Democrats have been unable to meet all year. And Republicans decried Reid's decision for a marathon session as a stunt. Washington Post: Democrats Maneuver To Force Iraq Votes
SECRETARY GENERAL WEIGHS IN ON IRAQ: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged U.S. policy-makers yesterday to exercise "great caution" in considering any rapid withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. "It is not my place to inject myself into this discussion taking place between the American people, government and Congress," said Mr. Ban, who was expected to repeat the message during meetings on Capitol Hill today. "But I'd like to tell you that a great caution should be taken for the sake of the Iraqi people," he said at a U.N. press conference. "Any abrupt withdrawal or decision may lead to a further deterioration." Washington Times: Ban presses U.S. to use 'caution' in leaving Iraq
BUSH CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MIDDLE EAST: President Bush launched a diplomatic effort yesterday to revive the long-moribund Middle East peace process, announcing aid to the Palestinian government and calling for an international conference this fall aimed at paving the way for the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. Five years after becoming the first president to fully embrace a "two-state solution," Bush acknowledged that it remains distant after violent clashes that have politically sundered the Palestinian territories. But Bush called this a "moment of choice" for the region and renewed his commitment heading into his final 18 months in office. Washington Post: Bush Renews Mideast Efforts
GOP INCUMBENTS WORRY ABOUT IRAQ EFFECT AT THE POLLS: Election day is more than a year away, but Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is already facing a barrage of attack ads, protesters at her local offices and a strong Democratic challenger. It's a far different environment than in her last race for reelection, when her popularity was soaring and she won a commanding 58% of the vote. The one-word explanation for the change: Iraq. As Congress wrestles with Democratic proposals to withdraw U.S. troops and limit the war in Iraq, the home-state pressure on Collins and other Republicans helps explain why an increasing number of GOP lawmakers now seem ready to veer from the party line. The 2008 campaign season is starting to take shape for congressional candidates, and many Republicans see warning signs that the steepest price for the administration's Iraq policy may be paid not by President Bush, who will not be on the ballot, but by the GOP lawmakers who will be. Los Angeles Times: GOP candidates fear Iraq war fallout
STRONG Q2 FOR HOUSE DEMS: Adding to the widespread fundraising success of national Democrats so far this election cycle, the party’s House incumbents ended June in a strong financial position and with cash leads over their GOP rivals, newly filed quarterly money reports showed. Almost across the board, targeted House Democrats outraised their Republican counterparts in the three-month period, and all of the vulnerable or potentially vulnerable Democratic Members ended June with more money in the bank than their GOP challengers. Several Democratic challengers also outraised GOP incumbents in the quarter. Targeted GOP Reps. John Doolittle (Calif.), Sam Graves (Mo.), Ralph Regula (Ohio), Jean Schmidt (Ohio) and Christopher Shays (Conn.) were among those who collected less money than their Democratic opponents — and in some cases their primary challengers as well. Roll Call: Democrats Get Big Cash Haul
"I AM SO VERY, VERY SORRY," SAYS VITTER: After refusing for a week to answer questions about whether he'd ever hired prostitutes, U. S. Sen. David Vitter emerged from seclusion on Monday to apologize again for "actions from my past" without owning up to what those misdeeds entailed. "I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past," Vitter said. "I am completely responsible. And I am so very, very sorry. No matter how long ago it was, I know this has hurt the relationship of trust I've enjoyed with so many of you, and that I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that. I will work every day to rebuild that trust." Even as he expressed regret, Vitter said he would not entertain "endless questions" about his alleged involvement with an escort service in Washington and an infamous brothel in New Orleans. Vitter made no specific reference to the allegations, but said only that "those New Orleans stories" are not true. New Orleans Times-Picayune: Vitter re-emerges and asks again for forgiveness
GUNMAN KILLED AT CO STATE CAPITOL: Marty Williams noticed the oddly dressed man kneeling on the Capitol's marble floor, praying. After he was out of her tour group's sight, she heard him yell: "You're gonna pay for this, you -holes!" Then gunfire. Williams grabbed her 16-year-old daughter and ran, then they sank to the floor along the wall and cried. The man, who was wearing a tuxedo, was shot and killed by a Colorado state trooper Monday afternoon after he rushed Gov. Bill Ritter's first- floor office claiming to be "the emperor" and saying he was "here to take over the state." The governor was in his office interviewing a candidate for a judgeship when he heard the shots. Police would not say whether the gunman fired a shot before being killed. Denver Post: Gunman: "You're gonna pay"
CLINTON, "NONE OF THE ABOVE" LEAD LATEST AP-IPSOS: And the leading Republican presidential candidate is... none of the above. The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight. In sharp contrast, the Democratic race remains static, with Hillary Rodham Clinton holding a sizable lead over Barack Obama. The New York senator, who is white, also outpaces her Illinois counterpart, who is black, among black and Hispanic Democrats, according to a combined sample of two months of polls. AP via Yahoo! News: AP Poll: GOP pick is 'none of the above'
CLINTON BACKERS HELP RETIRE VILSACK'S DEBT: Shortly after endorsing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack received nearly $90,000 in donations to his defunct presidential campaign from some of Clinton's major backers, campaign finance reports show. The donations, disclosed in Federal Election Commission filings over the weekend, came from Clinton fundraising bastions of New York, California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. None came from Iowa, where Vilsack served two terms as governor. Vilsack, unable to raise the tens of millions needed to wage a serious presidential campaign, withdrew from the Democratic race in February. In a finance report filed Sunday covering the first half of the year, Vilsack disclosed that he had $2,962 in cash and a leftover debt of $148,000. Los Angeles Times: He backs Clinton; her backers help him
DC MAYOR TO ENDORSE OBAMA: D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty plans to endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic nomination for president today, sources said yesterday. Fenty (D) had been noncommittal, though he has said he would endorse a Democrat. Some city officials had speculated that he might not endorse anyone until he knew whether New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) would run. Fenty has patterned key initiatives after Bloomberg's programs, including his takeover of public schools. But Fenty's support of Obama looked more probable recently when a Fenty adviser, Jim Hudson, organized a fundraiser for Obama that collected $600,000 and endorsements from three D.C. Council members. Washington Post: Fenty Plans to Endorse Obama
KEYCHAIN, T-SHIRT PURCHASERS INCLUDED IN OBAMA'S DONOR LIST: Since he got into the race, Mr. Obama has hopscotched from big-ticket to big-crowd events across the country, trying to turn the early excitement about his candidacy into campaign cash and a national political organization. Like other candidates, he has worked hard to cultivate a network of bundlers, who can solicit the checks from individual donors for the legal maximum of $2,300 that are the mainstay of any major campaign. But to capitalize on his celebrity, Mr. Obama’s campaign has also employed novel tactics — like counting sales of $5 speech tickets or $4.50 Obama key chains as individual contributions — to pump up his numbers and transform grass-roots enthusiasm into more useful forms of support. No other campaign is known to have listed paraphernalia sales as donations. New York Times: Obama’s Camp Cultivates Crop in Small Donors
WALL STREETERS HAVE ALSO "GIVEN GENEROUSLY": Democrat Barack Obama, who has decried Wall Street profits and CEO pay, has tapped a vein of donors among bankers and financiers who have given generously and helped drive his successful presidential campaign sprint for cash. Among the firms whose employees gave the most to Obama in the second quarter of the year were Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan. Their money, much of it the maximum donation allowed by law, placed Obama in competition with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for high-finance dollars in her own backyard of New York. For Obama, the money represents one side of a fundraising and support-building equation. The other is the campaign's outreach to small donors — a concerted effort to build a broad network of contributors who give less than $200. AP via Yahoo! News: Obama taps Wall Street for dollars
TRYING TO AVOID BECOMING THE NEXT HOWARD DEAN: He raises tens of millions of dollars over a few months. His supporters are passionate, almost fanatical. And his grass-roots movement threatens a more established rival. A description of Howard Dean in 2003 or Sen. Barack Obama today? Obama campaign advisers - many of them campaign veterans who watched Dean's slow rise and rapid descent at close range - reject the comparison, arguing that their candidate and organization won't repeat the mistakes of the former Vermont governor. Washington Post: Obama Faces the Test Dean Failed: Broadening Support
MORE McCAIN STAFF DEPART: The exodus of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign staff continued Monday with the exits of most of his top communications officials. Some of the names are familiar to anyone who has followed coverage of the Arizona Republican's 2008 candidacy: Brian Jones, McCain's communications director; Danny Diaz, Jones' deputy director; and Matt David, the campaign's "rapid response" spokesman. Their resignations came less than a week after the departures of Terry Nelson, McCain's campaign manager; and John Weaver, his chief political strategist. Jones, Diaz and David are considered Nelson loyalists. Several other campaign staffers also have left in the shake-up triggered by Nelson's and Weaver's leaving. Arizona Republic: Staff members continue to exit McCain's camp
TOP IA STAFFER MAY RECONSIDER RESIGNATION: Turmoil continued to plague Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign Monday, as his top social conservative advocate in the leadoff caucus state weighed quitting and key national and Iowa communication staff joined the growing list of resignations. Marlys Popma said she was considering remaining McCain's coalitions director in Iowa, responsible for outreach among key voting blocs such as evangelical Christians, after McCain himself asked her to withdraw the resignation she submitted Monday morning. "Everybody kind of knows what's been happening with the campaign, and I obviously went through some rocky moments. But I've had some really good conversations with the campaign," including with McCain, Popma said. "And those conversations have given me pause and have encouraged me to sit back and reconsider." Des Moines Register: McCain drive facing more resignations
HEY, BIG SPENDER: Mitt Romney's campaign found 9,732 ways to spend its money last quarter. From a $15 service fee for its travel agent to $31,500 to rent the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park for a celebratory barbecue, the Republican presidential contender was anything but fiscally conservative in spending money as fast as he raised it between April and June. Based on the report Romney filed with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, his spending was so prolific he had to lend his committee $6.5 million during the quarter, allowing him to cover the difference between $20.5 million he spent and the $14 million he raised. That loan also means that, for all intents and purposes, Romney has personally paid for every second of the $4.9 million in television ads his campaign has aired since he formally declared his candidacy in February. AP via Yahoo! News: Romney spends it faster than he gets it
$300 MAKEUP BILL CONSIDERED "COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTING": What kinds of things do you think of when you hear "communications consulting"? Speechwriting? Message strategy? Well, "communications consulting" is how presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded $300 in payments to a California company that describes itself as "a mobile beauty team for hair, makeup and men's grooming and spa services." Romney spokesman Kevin Madden confirmed that the payments - actually two separate $150 charges - were for makeup, though he said the former Massachusetts governor had only one session with Hidden Beauty of West Hills, Calif. The Politico: Romney spent $300 on makeup 'consulting'
BLOOMBERG'S "LEFT-OF-CENTER" POSITIONS NOT A BIG HELP IN MIDDLE U.S.: He owns a house in Bermuda and can hop a private jet there whenever he wants. He thinks gays should be able to marry. He's banned smoking in bars and Crisco in restaurant piecrusts. If he's got religion, he rarely shows it. It seems safe to say Mayor Bloomberg isn't exactly your average American. Bloomberg's left-of-center positions on some crucial issues and his jet-setting life barely cause a ripple in New York. But if he runs for President, he'll have to explain a few things to Middle America, according to an exclusive Daily News poll. New York Daily News: Middle America no fan of Bloomberg's liberal stances