(CNN) - In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Jessica Yellin reports on a new, bestselling book and the goal of its author - to defeat Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
The Obama campaign announced Wednesday that former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic Convention in Denver. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at what the choice of Warner says about the Democrats' plans to contest Virginia.
As the CNN Election Express heads towards Colorado, Tom Foreman reports on the contest shaping up in Indiana, another battleground state.
Finally, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley talks with Suzanne Malveaux about Obama, Mark Warrner, Colin Powell and Oprah Winfrey.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
(CNN) - John McCain said Wednesday that two of his strongest Senate supporters, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, would be heading to the nation of Georgia in their role as lawmakers, to report back on the conflict in that country.
“The situation in Georgia remains fluid and dangerous, and as soon as possible my colleagues Senator Lieberman and Senator Graham will be traveling… to Georgia. They’re both members of the Senate Armed Services committee,” McCain said at a news conference Wednesday. “I hope that other members of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate and they will go together and receive an assessment of the situation and what we need to do in the future, to avoid further escalation, and also to protect the independence and freedom of the people of this brave democratic ally, the country of Georgia.”
The two men are both major campaign surrogates for McCain, who has staked out a hard-line position on Russian military action in Georgia.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had spoken with both McCain and rival Barack Obama about developments in the ongoing crisis.
(CNN) - Colin Powell’s office denied a FOX report by commentator Bill Kristol Wednesday that the retired general had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Several sources told CNN the former Bush Secretary of State has not yet made a decision about a possible endorsement. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.
Powell himself brushed off queries on any potential presidential nod, but told ABC News Wednesday afternoon that he would not be going to Denver. "I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol's musings,” he said. “I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear."
In February, Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was weighing an endorsement of a Democrat or Independent candidate. “I am keeping my options open at the moment,” said Powell.
(CNN) - Cindy McCain visited a Michigan hospital after a campaign event Wednesday, complaining of pain in her hand.
"At some point during the rope line an enthusiastic supporter shook Mrs. McCain’s hand and exacerbated an existing carpal tunnel condition,” said spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. “Out of an abundance of caution, she decided to leave the event and visit the local hospital for x-rays where she was treated for a minor sprain."
UPDATE: The campaign reports that Cindy McCain will return to active campaigning on Thursday.
Cindy McCain, who has a brace on her right arm, told reporters she was "fine." Her husband said Wednesday afternoon that someone shook her hand "too vigorously."
(CNN) - Another Senate Republican is officially skipping the party's national convention next month, the latest sign vulnerable Republicans may be wary of linking themselves to the GOP brand this election cycle.
Pat Roberts, the two-term senator from Kansas who finds himself in a closer re-election bid than initially expected, won't be on hand to see Sen. John McCain accept the Republican presidential nomination in Minneapolis, his spokesman Molly Haase confirmed to CNN.
Roberts will instead be completing a 105-county tour of the state, Haase said. Polls show Roberts holds a double digit lead over Democratic challenger Jim Slattery, though the race has narrowed over the last several weeks.
Roberts joins a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans who have flatly said they will not attend the convention, including Susan Collins of Maine, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Ted Stevens of Alaska, and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.
Two other vulnerable Republicans - New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker - have yet to announce if they will attend.
Roberts' decision comes a week after Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Cole reportedly suggested some embattled Republicans should steer clear of the GOP Convention.
According to a report in The Hill, the Oklahoma congressman also urged Republican lawmakers to feel free to criticize the party -– including prospective future colleagues - citing dismal congressional approval ratings. “These ratings are worse than we had on the eve of losing the majority,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to say you are disappointed in fellow Republicans… don’t hesitate to be anti-Washington, D.C."
(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has issued a statement reacting to the shooting at the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters:
"This senseless tragedy comes as a shock to all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chairman Gwatney and his family and we pray for his full and speedy recover," he said. "While the investigation of this shooting continues, and our primary concern remains with Bill and his family, we commend the courageous and speedy action of law enforcement officials in apprehending the suspect."
(CNN) - The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party died Wednesday, hours after a shooting at the party's headquarters, police said.
Chairman Bill Gwatney died at 3:59 Wednesday afternoon after a gunman entered his Little Rock office and shot him several times in the upper body, Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said.
Authorities confirmed the news shortly after former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement expressing their condolences.
(CNN) - Four years after finding himself the target of a scathing campaign-year book from a conservative author during his own campaign, former Democratic presidential contender John Kerry is launching a Web site to discredit the writer’s latest work, which takes aim at 2008 presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
The move comes amid news “Obama Nation,” the latest book by author Jerome Corsi, has secured a berth atop New York Times best-seller list. Corsi previously co-wrote “Unfit for Command,” a book highly critical of Kerry’s military record during the Vietnam War.
Kerry’s new Web site, “Truth Fights Back” – which will be funded by the Massachusetts senator’s political action committee - resembles the “Fight the Smears” site Obama’s campaign launched earlier this year, and uses similar methods: a list of responses to existing rumors about the presumptive Democratic nominee, a form to report new attacks, and a request for supporters to add their names to an e-mail listserv that will direct activists on rapid response to future attacks on Obama and other Democratic candidates.
(CNN) - Barack Obama continues to hold a solid lead over John McCain with just over 80 days remaining until the presidential election, a new CNN poll of polls shows.
According to the average of several recent national polls, Obama registers 47 percent among registered voters nationwide with McCain at 41 percent.
That lead has basically held steady over the last two months: A CNN poll of polls on June 20 also had the race at 6 points, 46 percent to 40 percent.
The national general election poll of polls consists of four surveys: Pew (July 31-August 10), CBS (July 31-August 5), AP-IPSOS (July 31-August 4), and Gallup tracking (August 10-12). The poll of polls does not have a sampling error.
BIRMINGHAM, Michigan (CNN) - John McCain came out in support of President Bush’s decision Wednesday to dispatch U.S. aircraft with humanitarian aid to Georgia and to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice there to demonstrate America’s “unwavering support” for the country.
And despite some recent tough talk towards Russia that has drawn criticism from Barack Obama's campaign, McCain also said he did not think the Russia-Georgia conflict would “re-ignite the Cold War."
"I don't think it means we're going to reignite the Cold War, and I don't think that we're going to have kind of situation," he said at a fundraiser in Michigan, “but I do believe that we need to stand as courageously as we can on behalf of this little country.”
Bush said in a Rose Garden statement that Russia must halt all military operations in Georgia and withdraw troops from the country, while allowing international aid into the region.
McCain said he “strongly” supports Bush’s position.
During the fundraiser, McCain continued his expressions of solidarity with Georgia, at one point citing reports of possible human rights violations by the Russian military.