Barack Obama has already made history in this campaign, but what if he does it one more time by picking a Republican as his V.P.?
Salon.com reports about the buzz surrounding GOP Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska as a potential choice for Obama. Hagel admittedly is a long shot for the job, just imagine the symbolism: Obama could truly hit home the message that he's serious about changing the way Washington works by running with a Republican.
And there's no better Republican for him to run with than Chuck Hagel. Hagel is retiring at the end of his term. He has been very tough on President Bush when it comes to the war in Iraq. Last year, Hagel said President Bush was "not accountable anymore" and that, "before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment." Hagel was also recently critical of his longtime friend, John McCain... particularly some of McCain's comments about Iran – as he attacks Obama on foreign policy. Hagel said he thinks McCain "is smarter than some of the things he is saying."
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(CNN) – McCain foreign policy advisors hit Barack Obama for remarks he made Monday about putting terrorists on trial, saying in a Tuesday conference call that the Illinois senator is “the perfect manifestation of the September 10 mindset.”
A short while later, the Obama camp responded with a conference call of their own, on which Sen. John Kerry shot back, “If you want to talk about going backwards and adopting a policy that is retro, I think John McCain has articulated it about as clearly as it could be.”
In an interview with ABC News’s Jake Tapper that aired Monday night, Obama said, “Let's take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks – for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial.”
“The fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment…” he added.
McCain senior advisor Randy Scheunemann called Obama’s arguments “a policy of delusion.”
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, is launching a new television ad Tuesday. Titled “Global,” the ad touts McCain’s differences with the Bush administration over global warming.
“John McCain stood up to the President and sounded the alarm on global warming five years ago. Today, he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions,” an announcer says in the ad. The 30-second spot also says that McCain’s plan “will help grow our economy and protect our environment.”
The advertisement will air "in key battleground states and on national cable," the McCain campaign said Tuesday morning in a statement announcing the ad.
The ad is being released the same day McCain is set to give a speech on energy policy in Houston. During the address, McCain will propose lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling for oil. McCain’s proposal would then allow individual states to decide whether to allow drilling off their coasts.
UPDATE: McCain's new "Global" ad is "universally misleading," the Democratic National Committee said in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Two congressional sources say that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to attend a special meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
Obama is the only Senate member of the 42 member caucus. Throughout the primary season, CBC members’ support was fairly evenly split between Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Obama is meeting with another key Hill group this week, attending the first in a series of meetings with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Tuesday night.
(CNN) – Things got emotional during Sen. Barack Obama’s visit to a Michigan community college Tuesday.
Obama met individually with student Marilyn Pace, who is studying dental hygiene, and her financial aid counselor, Marcus McGrew, before speaking with a group of students at Wayne Community College in Taylor, Michigan.
Pace broke down in front of Obama and began crying after explaining the financial stresses she is facing while trying to get her education, help take care of her disabled father, and cope with the costs of commuting to school with the high price of gasoline.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee said Tuesday it plans to file a lawsuit next week to try to force a federal investigation over whether John McCain’s withdrawal from the public financing system violated the law – the latest move in an effort that dates back to February, when the Arizona senator effectively clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
Democrats say McCain’s decision to use the promise of federal matching funds as collateral to keep his financially struggling campaign afloat late last year prevents him from withdrawing from the system – and its strict spending requirements – now that he is on sounder financial footing.
The DNC first filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, which has lacked a working quorum all year – which means it has not officially ruled on either McCain’s request or the DNC complaint. Two months ago, a court ruled that the FEC could convene without a quorum within the 120-day window they are allowed to examine complaints. The new suit, which the party plans to file in U.S. District Court next week, is intended to force the agency to take action before that period ends June 24.
UPDATE: Republicans again dismissed the effort as political grandstanding. “Having been thrown out of court just one month ago, the DNC now announces that it will once more file the same meritless lawsuit, again wasting judicial resources for its own political agenda. Once again, the DNC has neither the law nor the facts on their side,” said Republican National Committee Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.
(CNN) - John McCain is set to deliver an energy policy speech Tuesday that looks to meet the demands of those calling for a boost in the nation’s oil supply and those seeking greater environmental protections.
McCain’s new plan includes a boost in both alternative energy use and domestic energy production, according to early excerpts of his remarks provided by his presidential campaign. On Monday, the presumptive Republican nominee said the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling should be lifted, and the decision left to individual states.
"We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production,” McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will say at a Houston speech late Tuesday afternoon, according to advance excerpts released by his campaign. “And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use."
The Arizona senator’s comments Monday on offshore drilling drew immediate criticism from presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, who said McCain had decided “to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear.”
(CNN) – Two major liberal political action committees are launching a new spot that attacks John McCain’s foreign policy judgment, one of his biggest perceived strengths.
MoveOn.org and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - who had been on opposite sides of the primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - jointly launched the 30-second spot Wednesday on national cable and in key Midwestern swing states, with a buy of more than half a million dollars.
"Hi, John McCain. This is Alex. And he's my first,” says a woman in the ad, as she holds an infant in her arms. “So far his talents include trying any new food and chasing after our dog. That, and making my heart pound every time I look at him. And so, John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can't have him."
The Republican National Committee blasted the ad Tuesday. “MoveOn.org was wrong to smear General Petraeus, just like Barack Obama was wrong to not go to Iraq to meet with him. America cannot afford a Commander in Chief who listens to partisan groups like MoveOn.org instead of our commanders,” said RNC spokesman Alex Conant. “Bringing peace and security to Iraq will require a Commander in Chief who won’t allow partisanship to cloud his judgment.”
A MoveOn staffer said the timing of the ad was influenced by McCain’s ad last week in which the senator said he hated war. “He’s out there all alone on this issue,” said the aide. The “100 years” comment has been a favored theme of anti-McCain advertising by third-party groups so far this cycle.
(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.
Perceived as a senior statesman in the Democratic party, Gore brings a certain force to Obama's campaign, political analysts have said.
Monday marked Gore's debut in the 2008 election; he had not weighed in while Obama was still battling Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Amid thousands of cheering supporters, Gore began by addressing head-on the criticism that Obama doesn't have enough experience to lead the nation.
The former vice president turned Nobel Prize winner playfully said he recalled one Republican nominee wondering out loud whether his Democratic rival for president was "naive and inexperienced."
"And yet another said the United States cannot afford to risk the future of the free world with inexperience and immaturity in the White House," said Gore. "Who were they talking about? Every single one of those quotes came from the campaign of 1960, when the the Republicans attacked John Fitzgerald Kennedy for allegedly lacking the age and experience necessary to be president."
(CNN) – A day after his Republican counterpart sat down with visiting Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, Barack Obama spoke with him by phone from Chicago Monday morning and told him that he looked forward to seeing him in Baghdad before November.
“I emphasized to him how encouraged I was by the reductions in violence in Iraq, but also insisted that it is important for us to begin the process of withdrawing US troops, making clear that we have no interest in permanent bases in Iraq,” Obama told reporters upon landing in Michigan for a two-day swing through the state.
The Illinois senator misspoke when he argued that Zebari and “President Maliki” are concerned about Iraq’s sovereignty and are not seeking a long-term occupation by the United States. Jalal al-Talabani is the president of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki is the prime minister.
“I gave [Zebari] an assurance that should we be elected, an Obama administration will make sure that we continue with the progress that's been made in Iraq, that we won't act precipitously,” said Obama.
Obama said Zebari did not express concern about a withdrawal of American troops, saying, “He did emphasize his belief that we've made real progress and I think was eager to see political accommodations between the factions follow up in the wake of this progress.”