(CNN)– Senator John McCain talked economy Monday and tried to prove he would be better for the country's jobs than Barack Obama. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN's Jessica Yellin reports on the presumptive Republican nominee's plans to help the troubled economy.
Meanwhile, Obama had some plane trouble Monday when his plane was forced to divert to St. Louis instead of the scheduled campaign trip to North Carolina. CNN's Miles O'Brien has the details.
One of McCain's economic policies entails balancing the balancing the budget within four years. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider looks into why this is a priority for the Arizona senator with the economy in a recession.
Plus: John Kerry was painted as a flip-flopper during his run for president. Now, he is working to put the same name on McCain. CNN's Dan Lothian reports on whether it's sticking.
Finally, President Bush met for the first time with the newest Russian President Medvedev at the G-8 summit. White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano reports from Japan on what happened during the meeting of the world's major industrialized democracies.
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(CNN) – It's the economy, stupid - again.
A new survey from CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation suggests Americans are nearly as pessimistic now about the state of the economy as they were in 1992 - the year Bill Clinton defeated then-President George H. W. Bush by running a campaign focused largely on America's economic woes. (More from CNNMoney.com)
According to the new poll, three-quarters of all Americans think the country is going through a recession, and a majority thinks it will last at least a year. Close to a quarter of Americans expect it to last more than two years.
The technical definition of a recession is two or more quarters of negative economic growth. This has yet to happen, though many notable economists, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, have said an actual recession is likely. Other economists say factors including skyrocketing gas and energy prices, six consecutive months of job losses, and the rise of home foreclosures have led to the worst economic conditions during a presidential election since perhaps 1980.
Americans' views toward the economy are similar to those 16 years ago, when the country experienced an official recession and voters largely blamed former President Bush at the ballot box. In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken two months before the 1992 election, just under 80 percent of Americans said the country was a in a recession.
In both the 1980 and 1992 elections, poor economic conditions led voters to overwhelmingly reject the incumbent party, a trend that appears to disadvantage the Republican presidential presumptive nominee.
“Whenever a solid majority of voters says the country is in a recession, it is bad news for the party holding the White House,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Voters are in a sour mood and, if history is any guide, they are going to take out their anger on the Republicans. These numbers are a huge danger sign for John McCain.”
Watch: Obama, McCain talk economy
(CNN)— Cindy McCain said Monday she will make a humanitarian trip to Rwanda next week.
The wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain plans to spend four days on the ground in the war-torn African nation on a trip organized by the non-partisan ONE campaign, as part of a group visiting USAID health clinics, schools, and an orphanage. Former Senator Tom Daschle will be joining the trip on behalf of Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign.
Daschle and former Senator Bill Frist are co-chairmen of the group’s ONE Vote ‘08 initiative.
Last month, Cindy McCain – who has long been involved with international relief organizations - made a similar journey to Vietnam with Operation SMILE.
(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign announced the members of its congressional liaison team Monday, a group that will serve as the primary contact between Democratic members of congress and the campaign.
The four-member team includes Phil Schiliro, Rep. Henry Waxman's long-time chief of staff and the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee's top Democratic staff person who will become a senior adviser to the campaign, and Mike Strautmanis, a political adviser in Obama’s Senate office who will join the team as senior counsel. Karen Richardson, the deputy to the policy director in Obama's Senate office, will serve as the policy director at the Democratic National Committee; and Michael Robertson, deputy to the chief counsel in Obama’s Senate office, will act as director of congressional affairs.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI (CNN) - Barack Obama's plane made an unscheduled landing in St. Louis Monday after the pilot reported technical problems. The plane landed safely.
Obama told reporters after landing it was the first time he had had to land because of mechanical problems.
"Just thought we'd spice things up a little bit today," he joked, adding: "Anytime a pilot says that something's not working the way its supposed to, then you know, you make sure you tighten your seat belt. Everything seemed under control, the pilots knew what they were doing."
Watch: Obama has plane trouble
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama will give his main speech of the Democratic National Convention at a 75,000-seat stadium rather than the 20,000-seat hall where the convention is taking place, convention organizers announced Monday.
Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for president at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High on August 28.
The move is likely to put him in front of a much larger audience than normal for a political speech, even for a presidential nominee.
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Monday he did not know how much the move would add to the cost of the convention. Anita Dunn, a senior advisor to the Obama campaign, said Obama would help with fund-raising for the event.
Dean on Sunday rejected a newspaper report that the convention was over budget and facing "upwardly spiraling costs."
He issued a statement in which he said "that is false" five times in response to five claims in a New York Times article about convention planning, and he insisted again on Monday that convention planning is on track.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A conservative Christian activist group said Monday that it is dropping plans to sue Barack Obama’s presidential campaign over the name of its new program aimed at courting evangelical and Catholic young people because the campaign has told them it will re-name the initiative.
The Obama campaign did not immediately confirm the move.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, which launched grassroots group “Generation Joshua” in 2004, sent the Obama campaign a cease-and-desist letter last month over the decision to call its own outreach effort to evangelical young people - which includes blogs, concerts, and house parties - the "Joshua Generation Project."
“Generation Joshua” provided heavy grassroots assistance in key swing states for President Bush’s re-election effort last cycle. Founder and conservative activist Michael Farris also authored a 2005 book that included the words in its title.
“We’re pleased the Obama campaign has acknowledged our trademark rights,” Farris said in a statement released Monday.
The name is drawn from the biblical account of how Joshua’s generation, which followed the one that fled Egypt with Moses, led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Obama referenced the story in a 2007 speech.
(CNN) – In one of his first moves to centralize control of McCain's political organization, Steve Schmidt has tapped Rudy Giuliani's former campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, to be McCain's new political director, a top campaign adviser tells CNN.
Until last week, McCain had no political director at headquarters - highly unusual for a general election campaign. Mccain's campaign instead relied on 11 regional campaign managers - a structure many Republicans in and outside of the McCain campaign, including Schmidt, considered unworkable.
After formally taking control of the political operation last week, Schmidt decided to put a political director in place to oversee the state and regional operations.
Duhaime went to work as an adviser to McCain at headquarters not long after Giuliani dropped his primary bid.
HOKKAIDO, Japan (CNN) – It was a birthday celebration in the skies, as President Bush turned 62 aboard Air Force One while en route to Japan where Bush is attending the summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.
First Lady Laura Bush and White House staff members gathered in the conference room on Air Force One late Saturday night eastern time, where a steward dimmed the lights as the crowd waited for the birthday celebrant to arrive, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.
On the table was a "large" coconut cake with a single burning candle and the words "Happy Birthday President Bush" on it.
The crowd called out "surprise" as President Bush walked into the room and then sang Happy Birthday, Perino said.
Bush "dutifully pretended to be surprised" and blew out the candle, Perino said. It was not known whether he made a birthday wish.
After cutting and serving the cake, the health-conscious president ate a "small" piece of birthday cake, she said.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau
CNN: McCain campaign gets new political director
In one of his first moves to centralize control of McCain's political
organization, Steve Schmidt has tapped Rudy Giuliani's former campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, to be McCain's new political director, a top campaign adviser tells CNN.
NY Times: Economy’s Move to the Fore Poses Problems for Both Candidates
Not since at least 1980, when the United States was reeling from the oil shocks, inflation and slow growth of the previous decade, has the economy been in worse shape heading into the heart of a presidential campaign.
CNN: McCain campaign calls Obama's words into question
Sen. John McCain's campaign said Sunday that Barack Obama's remarks on Iraq "have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends."
Washington Post: Conservatives Ready To Battle McCain on Convention Platform
Conservative activists are preparing to do battle with allies of Sen. John McCain in advance of September's Republican National Convention, hoping to prevent his views on global warming, immigration, stem cell research and campaign finance from becoming enshrined in the party's official declaration of principles.
NY Times: The Facebooker Who Friended Obama
Last November, Mark Penn, then the chief strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton, derisively said Barack Obama’s supporters “look like Facebook.” Chris Hughes takes that as a compliment. Mr. Hughes, 24, was one of four founders of Facebook. In early 2007, he left the company to work in Chicago on Senator Obama’s new-media campaign.
NY Times: Doctors Press Senate to Undo Medicare Cuts
Congress returns to work this week with Medicare high on the agenda and Senate Republicans under pressure after a barrage of radio and television advertisements blamed them for a 10.6 percent cut in payments to doctors who care for millions of older Americans.