ABOARD THE CNN ELECTION EXPRESS IN ILLINOIS (CNN) - We’re heading west, making our way through what can safely be considered Obama Country.
The Democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee also has a day job, and that’s Senator from Illinois. Before that Barack Obama was a longtime state lawmaker here, and prior to that he was a community organizer in Chicago.
We’ve been driving through a number of crucial battleground states on our way from DC to Denver, site of the Democratic National Convention, but this isn’t one of them. Vice President Al Gore won Illinois by double digits in 2000, Senator John Kerry took the state by double digits four years ago, and Obama’s expected to easily win his home state this time around.
While there’s not that much electoral drama in Illinois, it’s a different story in the two states we just passed through. Indiana’s a traditional red state that Obama would like to turn blue. And Michigan’s a state that's gone for the Democrats in the past two presidential elections, but John McCain would like to turn it red.
CNN: Russia to U.S.: Choose us or Georgia
Russia pressed the United States on Wednesday to choose between "a real partnership" with Moscow or an "illusory" relationship with U.S. ally Georgia.
AP: McCain adviser got money from Georgia
John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
WSJ Op-ED: Sen. John McCain: We Are All Georgians
For anyone who thought that stark international aggression was a thing of the past, the last week must have come as a startling wake-up call. After clashes in the Georgian region of South Ossetia, Russia invaded its neighbor, launching attacks that threaten its very existence. Some Americans may wonder why events in this part of the world are any concern of ours. After all, Georgia is a small, remote and obscure place. But history is often made in remote, obscure places.
Washington Post Op-Ed: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili: Russia's War Is The West's Challenge
Russia's invasion of Georgia strikes at the heart of Western values and our 21st-century system of security. If the international community allows Russia to crush our democratic, independent state, it will be giving carte blanche to authoritarian governments everywhere. Russia intends to destroy not just a country but an idea.
WSJ: Op-Ed: Obama Economic Advisors Furman and Goolsbee The Obama Tax Plan
Even as Barack Obama proposes fiscally responsible tax reform to strengthen our economy and restore the balance that has been lost in recent years, we hear the familiar protests and distortions from the guardians of the broken status quo.
CNN Radio: Chairman of AR Democrats shot, killed and John McCain continues harsh rhetoric for Russia
The conflict between Georgia and Russia remains the issue driving the presidential race. Also, a tragedy hits the Democratic Party. Bob Costantini has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.
USA Today: Presidential race one for the books
Best-selling authors and presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain again have their names on book jackets — this time in the title only.
* Sen. John McCain takes part in an Aspen Institute Conversation in Aspen, CO.
* Sen. Barack Obama has no public events.