(CNN) - The two senators widely believed to be at the top of Barack Obama's shortlist for VP have been given prime-time speaking slots at the Democratic convention Wednesday night - the very same night the vice presidential candidate is slated to speak.
According to the Democratic National Convention Committee, both Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden will deliver speeches on national security during the marquee night - the same evening former President Bill Clinton is also scheduled to speak.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar will also speak Wednesday evening, according to the convention committee.
But Biden and Bayh's appearance especially is sure to heighten speculation one of the two senators will ultimately be named Obama's running mate. The announcement also comes the same day Biden hit the campaign trail for the Illinois senator, accepting an endorsement on his behalf from the International Association of Firefighters in Las Vegas.
(CNN) - In another effort to unify the Democratic Party, the Obama campaign made a peace offering to the supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's former rival for the hard-fought Democratic nomination.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on Thursday's announcement that Sen. Clinton's name will be placed in nomination at the upcoming convention in Denver.
In a preview of a forum with Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain which will be broadcast live on CNN, Pastor Rick Warren speaks with Suzanne Malveaux about what he plans to ask the two presumptive nominees.
Finally, Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton has additional information about problems experienced by Sen. Obama's campaign plane in July.
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(CNN) – A network pool camera captured a shirtless Barack Obama enjoying the surf in Hawaii Thursday.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is vacationing there through the end of the week.
(CNN) - One day after reports that a new book slamming presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama would debut in the top spot on the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list, his campaign called the author “a discredited, fringe bigot” and sent reporters a 41-page memo laying out alleged inaccuracies in his latest release, “Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.”
"Jerome Corsi is a discredited liar who is peddling another piece of garbage in order to continue the Bush-Cheney politics he helped perpetuate four years ago," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.
"His is one of what will likely be many lie-filled books rushed to print this election cycle that are cobbled together from debunked internet sources to make money and advance a partisan agenda. We will forcefully respond to these smears with all means at our disposal."
Corsi co-wrote a 2004 work attacking then-nominee John Kerry’s military record titled “Unfit for Command”; the Obama team called its response “Unfit for Publication.” It plans to post the contents of the document in full on its “Fight the Smears” Web site.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign said Thursday it had nothing to do with a campaign ad now the subject of a lawsuit filed by musician Jackson Browne.
Browne filed the lawsuit earlier Thursday against McCain and the Republican National Committee for using his hit song "Running on Empty" in a campaign commercial. The suit claims both McCain and the RNC did not obtain the rights to the song ahead of the television commercial's airing. The suit also alleges the commercial falsely suggests Browne endorsed McCain.
But McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Thursday the ad in question was not from the McCain campaign, but from the Ohio Republican Party. "[It] had nothing to do with the McCain campaign," he said.
(CNN) - A source close to Hillary Clinton insists the former presidential contender never pushed Barack Obama’s campaign to allow her supporters to place her name into nomination at the Democratic convention, and approached his team only when her camp grew “worried” over news that rising resentment among her most loyal supporters might lead to chaos in Denver.
The source describes negotiations between the Clinton and Obama campaigns as “collaborative and friendly” since she suspended her presidential run. But the source said recent talks had been focused on the logistics of campaigning for Obama.
“When [the primary campaign] was over, we sat back and waited to see what would happen,” says the Clinton adviser. “But the voices grew louder about what could come down at the convention, all those kinds of realities started to take place, the reality of what outside groups had in mind, the rumblings.
“More and more groups started to pop up. So we said ‘We are worried we are not going to be able to control it, that it might ruin the convention. What should we do about it?’”
(CNN) – Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney may be high up on John McCain's shortlist for VP, but Mike Huckabee suggested Thursday the Arizona senator would be wise to pick another candidate.
Huckabee, whose victory in the Iowa caucuses derailed Romney's campaign last January, suggested the former Massachusetts governor is distrusted among many social conservatives.
"I think the issue is that, you know, in many ways, Mitt Romney has had very definite swings of position, not just on one or two things, but on many of the issues," Huckabee said Thursday on Fox News.
Romney ran as a social conservative, though he acknowledged he was effectively pro-choice until 2004 - a fact that spurred charges last year of political posturing from many. Despite outspending Huckabee overwhelmingly in Iowa, social conservatives there resoundingly picked the ordained minister and former Arkansas governor.
Huckabee likely isn't making friends with the McCain campaign of late. In addition to criticizing Romney - now one of its top surrogates - the Arkansas Republican will reportedly attend a rally on the National Mall Saturday to push McCain and Obama to delve further into issues facing evangelical voters.
But Huckabee said he will support the Republican ticket, no matter who the vice presidential candidate is.
"I'm going to support our nominee," he said. "And I'm more interested in who the president is than who the vice president is, anyway."
As for his own chances of being named McCain's running mate, Huckabee said he isn't counting on it.
"I've said, for many, many months, now that I have no expectation that I'm going to get that phone call," he said. "I even have my cell phone turned off, as we speak."
ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) – For the first time since removing himself from John McCain’s campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm publicly crossed paths with the presumptive Republican nominee at an event Thursday in Aspen.
Gramm stepped down from his role as co-chairman of McCain’s campaign in July after Democrats assailed him for telling a newspaper that the country was in a “mental recession” and describing the United States as “a nation of whiners.”
Gramm and his wife had front row seats for a conversation today between McCain and Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute. The event was put on by the Aspen Institute and not the McCain campaign.
Along with Gramm, other McCain allies in attendance included top campaign adviser Charlie Black, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and Lewis Eisenberg, national finance chairman for the Republican National Committee’s Victory '08 campaign.
(CNN) - The presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that Senator Hillary Clinton’s name will be placed into nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
"Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November," said the campaigns in a joint statement. "They are both committed to winning back the White House and to to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver.
"To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama's and Senator Clinton's names will be placed in nomination."
The release said Obama’s campaign encouraged the move to promote party unity, and recognize Clinton's status as the first woman to compete in every presidential primary.
“I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” said Obama in the statement, which also quoted Clinton saying that “with every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again.”
A Democratic source with knowledge of the discussions says that the process was not a negotiation – that both sides came to a mutual decision that the move was the best path.
A Democratic Party operative familiar with convention plans says the move would bring "peace in the kingdom." The source adds that the Obama campaign "always knew it would probably have to happen."
"They have known since the day she dropped out that she wanted this 'for history,'" says the operative.
The announcement follows a string of recent reports that die-hard supporters of Hillary Clinton were planning to protest in Denver if her name were not placed into nomination, and a roll call vote held that would allow the New York senator's delegates to vote for her
If this happens, Clinton will not be the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for president at a major party convention. Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith was placed in nomination at the 1964 Republican convention, and New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was placed in nomination at the 1972 Democratic convention.
(CNN)—Virginia Governor Tim Kaine – rumored to be on Barack Obama’s shortlist – will spend the day Saturday campaigning for the presumed Democratic nominee.
Kaine told CNN last week he is not eyeing a spot on the Democratic ticket, but he did vow to help the Illinois senator win Virginia and its 13 electoral votes in November.
"I'm not running for anything,” Kaine said. “But my highest and best use is trying to be a good governor and trying to help Sen. Obama in Virginia, which as you know traditionally hasn't gotten a lot of attention in presidential years."
Obama swept the state’s February 12 primary with 63.7 percent of the vote. but the latest CNN electoral map finds Virginia is still a toss up between the Illinois senator and presumed Republican nominee John McCain. The state hasn’t voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. McCain won his party’s Virginia primary with 50 percent of the vote.
CNN's Electoral Map: Who's ahead?
While Obama is in California taking part in a forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, Kaine is expected to make six stops in Virginia Saturday, starting in Winchester. He will continue to Leesburg, Manassas, Warrenton, Richmond and Henrico, where he will focus on Obama’s energy independence, employment and tax relief plans.
The two appeared together with in June when Obama campaigned in Virginia. According to the Washington Post, Kaine is also slated to speak on Tuesday night of the Democratic Convention in Denver.