(CNN)– In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Joe Johns reports on Sen. John McCain’s efforts to counter Barack Obama’s charge that his administration would represent a continuation of President Bush’s policies.
Meanwhile, the day after clinching the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama continues to go head-to-head in the general election battle with McCain over foreign affairs. State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee reports on Obama’s effort to quell some voters’ concerns over his Iran, Iraq policies.
Obama reached the magic delegate number of 2,118 Tuesday night, but Sen. Hillary Clinton has yet to concede the nomination. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley explains what the New York senator’s next move could be.
Both parties’ presumptive nominees are eyeing Clinton’s strong group of female supporters. CNN’s Carol Costello has the latest details on McCain and Obama’s effort to woo her core constituency, while Internet reporter Abbi Tatton takes you online where Clinton asks her supporters for some help.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton will officially end her campaign for the presidency by the end of the week, multiple sources told CNN.
Sen. Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she will let her supporters and party leaders decide her course.
The campaign said late Friday that Clinton would be hosting an event in Washington Saturday to "thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity."
Obama and Clinton were in Washington on Wednesday to each address the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The candidates ran into each other at the AIPAC conference and had a brief chat, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass said.
"She's an extraordinary leader of the Democratic Party and has made history alongside me over the last 16 months. I'm very proud to have competed against her," Obama told the Israel lobbying group.
Obama became his party's presumptive nominee Tuesday and will be looking to unite Democrats divided by the long and contentious primary season.
"I am very confident how unified the Democratic Party is going to be to win in November," he said in a Senate hallway Wednesday.
UPDATE: The Clinton campaign has announced it is holding an event Saturday to "to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will kick off his general election campaign in the purple state of Virginia on Thursday – and two of the state’s most prominent Democrats, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, will be along for the ride.
Another high-profile Virginia Democrat, Sen. Jim Webb, is remaining mum on whether he will appear with Obama tomorrow, even though the newly minted nominee has scheduled an event in rural southwest Virginia, his home turf. Webb has yet to endorse a candidate.
Warner, the popular former governor who is now the frontrunner for the Senate seat left vacant by retiring Sen. John Warner, will campaign with Obama tomorrow in the city of Bristol, just over the Tennessee border. Warner was elected governor of Virginia in 2001 partly because he worked to win over rural voters in the southwestern part of the state, the very place Obama will campaign tomorrow.
Obama won the state’s primary handily on February 12, but he lost overwhelmingly to Hillary Clinton in the state’s rural Ninth Congressional District by 33 points, the first hints of a pattern of vulnerability among white, working-class voters that continued to nag him throughout later primary states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Gov. Kaine will appear briefly with Obama tomorrow evening at a rally in Manassas. The event will take place at Nissan Pavilion, a 25,000-seat concert venue in Manassas that in recent weeks has hosted acts like Radiohead and Kanye West.
Kaine has been one of Obama’s most ardent backers, and was one of the first prominent Democratic leaders to endorse the Illinois senator’s presidential bid in 2007.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than a day after Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN has confirmed that some of the staffers at Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters have been told that Friday is their last day of work.
The New York senator - who visited them at her Arlington, Virginia headquarters late Wednesday afternoon after learning of the news - invited them to gather at her home Friday, according to several of those present.
The meeting was described as emotional for some. "We are talking to people who have been at this 24-7,” one staffer told CNN. “We are not surprised - and we are stunned. What can I tell you?” The staffer said Clinton herself was "gracious," but offered no further description of her demeanor.
ABC, which first reported the development, also said those on staff have been informed they will continue to receive paychecks through June 15.
(CNN) - Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell – one of Hillary Clinton’s staunchest supporters – said bluntly Wednesday that the New York senator was in no position to bargain with presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
“There’s no bargaining. You don't bargain with the presidential nominee,” Rendell told NY1. “Even if you're Hillary Clinton and you have 18 million votes, you don't bargain.”
Rendell – the governor of a major November battleground state who has often been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick – said Obama would need to be an “enormously big person” to invite Clinton to join him on the ticket.
But in a reversal from earlier statements – and remarks at odds with recent comments from many major Clinton supporters – Rendell seemed to signal that a joint ticket featuring the party’s two candidates was not ideal.
He said that if Clinton were Obama’s running mate, her husband - former President Bill Clinton - could be a wild card during the general election.
(CNN) - Prominent Hillary Clinton backer Charles Rangel thinks the New York senator could have been "far more generous" during her speech Tuesday night after it was clear Barack Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination.
Rangel, the senior member of the New York congressional delegation and an early supporter of Clinton’s presidential campaign, said in an interview Wednesday Clinton should have been more clear about what her future plans are.
"I would agree that after the math was in before her speech, that she could have been far more generous in terms of being more specific and saying that she wants a Democratic victory," Rangel said in an interview on MSNBC.
"I don't see what they're talking about in prolonging this," Rangel added. "There's nothing to prolong if you're not going to take the fight to the convention floor…I don't know why she could not have been more open in terms of doing up front what she intends to do later."
Rangel also said the entire New York congressional delegation is awaiting guidance from Clinton on what to do, and could be put "on the spot" if the New York senator does not explain herself soon.
"We could be on the spot if we don't get some answers about what does it mean when you say that you are not endorsing - or what does it mean when you say that you haven't - you're not out of the race. It just doesn't make any sense. It's inconsistent with wanting a Democratic victory and not endorsing the Democratic candidate."
Jimmy Carter is not a fan of the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket.
(CNN) - A host of prominent Democrats are pushing for an Obama-Clinton unity ticket - but Jimmy Carter isn't one of them.
The former president, who publicly endorsed Barack Obama shortly before polls closed Tuesday in the final two primary states, told a London newspaper that a joint ticket between the two former rivals would be "the worst mistake that could be made."
"That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates," Carter told the Guardian, saying that both candidates' vulnerabilities could overshadow that the ticket if the two team up together.
"If you take that 50 percent who just don't want to vote for Clinton and add it to whatever element there might be who don't think Obama is white enough or old enough or experienced enough or because he's got a middle name that sounds Arab, you could have the worst of both worlds," he said.
This is not the first time the former president has expressed doubt in the success of a unity ticket. Speaking at a Houston event late last month, Carter called the prospect "highly unlikely," and said other potential picks could better serve the Illinois senator.
"I think it would be highly unlikely for Obama to ask her to take it," he said then. "Because I don't see how it would help his ticket. I think he needs somebody like a [former Georgia Sen.] Sam Nunn, but I won't name others. But I think if he asked her, she would take it."
The game is on. And voters have two very different candidates to choose from to be our next president. John McCain and Barack Obama presumably won because they were the strongest candidates of their respective parties, but both men have issues they’ll have to overcome if they want to win.
Exit polls from the primary season show that both candidates’ problems start with the economy – the number one issue for voters this election. McCain and Obama failed to get even half the votes from people worried most about the economy.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
NEW YORK (CNN) - One of the most memorable lines of Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday night in St. Paul involved his opponent in the general election: John McCain, a man “who has served this country heroically.” Obama then pointedly added: “I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.”
It was consistent with Obama’s oft-stated praise of McCain’s military service, who was a POW during the Vietnam War. But it also included a polite dig.
McCain, for his part, pointedly noted that “the American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama.” It was his way of suggesting that the presumptive Democratic nominee is still a blank slate for a lot of Americans.
Just watching and listening to their respective speeches highlights their many differences including their backgrounds and age. Obama is 46 and McCain is 71.
(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy has joined Barack Obama's vice presidential selection team, an Obama campaign spokesman said Wednesday.
Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are also serving on the committee.
Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, formally endorsed Obama late January in a New York Times op-ed piece titled, "A President Like My Father."
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," Kennedy wrote then. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."