(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton will share a private lunch together on Thursday, September 11, CNN has confirmed.
Clinton issued the invite to Obama after learning he would be in Manhattan for a joint appearance with Sen. John McCain on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to Clinton Foundation spokesman Matt McKenna.
The luncheon is another sign that the Clinton and Obama camps are moving forward in the spirit of unity. Major steps toward healing the party came during the Democratic National Convention where Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, individually addressed convention-goers, appealing to them to support Obama come November. Sen. Clinton made the motion for Obama to be formally nominated as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Hillary Clinton is set to campaign for Obama in Florida Monday, and the former president has said he will campaign on Obama’s behalf but does not have any campaign events scheduled yet.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama’s lead in national polls has shrunk to one point, according to CNN’s latest “poll of polls.”
Sunday’s poll of polls shows Obama leading John McCain 44 to 43 percent.
Obama held a three-point lead in Saturday’s poll of polls. The senator from Illinois was leading McCain 45-42 percent.
"All of the surveys included in our national polling average were conducted at least in part during the Republican Convention," noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. "It's still too early to know exactly how much of a bounce McCain has received. That said, the daily tracking numbers indicate that the [Sarah] Palin pick has clearly energized the GOP's base. We have an extremely tight race for the White House on our hands."
CNN’s most recent poll of polls consists of three surveys: CBS (September 1-3), Gallup (September 4-6), and Diageo/Hotline (September 2-4). The poll of polls does not have a sampling error.
The Republican convention took place last week in St. Paul, Minnesota. Democrats held their convention during the last week of August in Denver, Colorado.
CNN has confirmed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will sit down for her first television interview with a national media outlet. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain’s surprise pick for the VP spot on the Republican ticket, has agreed to her first television interview with a national media outlet since being named as McCain’s running mate.
CNN confirms that Palin will sit down with Charles Gibson of ABC News later this week; the exact date has yet to be announced.
According to the McCain campaign, Palin will stay on the campaign trail through this Wednesday and then return home to Alaska where she will speak at a ceremony marking the deployment of her eldest son’s Army unit to Iraq on September 11. Palin’s interview with Gibson will be conducted near the end of the week.
Since the McCain campaign picked Palin as the Arizona senator’s running mate, the media has delved into her background and criticized Palin and the McCain camp for not making her more available to the media. Before Palin’s selection, she was a virtual unknown on the national political scene while one of McCain’s trademarks since mounting his first run for the White House eight years ago has been accessibility to the press.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: CNN Correspondent Dana Bash has confirmed additional details about the upcoming interview: According to a McCain aide, the plan is for Gibson to have time with Palin over two days - Thursday and Friday of this coming week. The interview will be part sit-down, part walk-and-talk at various locations in Alaska.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) – So far, Sen. Joe Biden has declined to question opponent Sarah Palin's record, but a gag by the press corps traveling in Biden's plane gave the senator's staff an opportunity to take aim at Palin for ducking the media and being "more of the same."
A group of reporters covering the vice presidential nominee brought a cardboard cut-out of Sen. John McCain aboard Biden's plane–an irreverent reference to the Democrat's tendency to cite John McCain as "my friend" and tell voters a variation of this story he told in West Palm Beach, Fla. last week: "If John McCain picked up the phone today and said, Joe, I need you to get in a plane and fly out to Missoula, I can't tell you why, I'd get in a plane and I'd go. And I believe he'd do it for me."
Before Biden's campaign plane taxied to the runway, headed for Montana, Biden spokesman David Wade responded to the joke with a jab at Palin. "You realize you could've made history," Wade said. "If you'd found a cardboard cut-out of Governor Palin, that's the closest she would've been to taking tough questions from the national media since she was selected...Yet another way that McCain-Palin is more of the same."
The McCain camp has fired back. “This is probably a great day for Joe Biden,” Ben Porritt, a spokesman for McCain-Palin 2008, told CNN. “He’s never been shy about wanting to campaign on the same ticket as John McCain.”
Palin was the only of the four nominees not to make an appearance on a news talk show Sunday. The Alaska governor has been making a western swing with John McCain this week, and drawing crowds in the tens of thousands.
(CNN) - Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, who underwent surgery in June for a brain tumor, will not return to Capitol Hill this week when Congress returns from its August recess.
The senator, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in the spring, plans to return to the Senate in January, said spokesman Anthony Coley.
"As Sen. Kennedy said two weeks ago in Denver, he intends to be on the floor of the United States Senate next January when we begin to write the next great chapter of American progress," Coley said. "Senator Kennedy's doctors are pleased with his progress so far and have recommended that he continue to work from home through the fall."
Congress is only returning for a short session. The Senate will spend three weeks in session before breaking for the campaign season.
Kennedy, 76, made his first appearance in the Senate in July, returning to cast a vote to help break a deadlock on an important Medicare bill. He is currently undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama - locked in a tight presidential race against Sen. John McCain, widely considered a war hero - said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he once considered joining the military himself.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Obama said, "You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii, and I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there. And I actually always thought of the military as an enobling and, you know, honorable option.
"But keep in mind - I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."
On the stump, Obama has praised McCain for his service in the Vietnam war.
The two candidates' stark differences over the Iraq war mark one of the central issues of the campaign.
The McCain camp argues that McCain's experience has prepared him to serve as commander in chief and lead the United States through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said in her speech at last week's Republican National Convention that while Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, "have been going on lately about how they're always, quote, 'fighting for you,' let us face the matter squarely: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death."
(CNN) - Promising a "very bipartisan approach" to how he'll run his administration, Sen. John McCain said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he would appoint Democrats to his Cabinet.
Speaking to CBS' "Face the Nation," the Republican presidential nominee vowed that he won't just have a single token Democrat in his Cabinet.
"It's going to be the best people in America, the smartest people in America," McCain said. "So many of these problems we face - for example, energy independence - what's partisan about that?"
He said he'll also ask some members of his Cabinet "to work for a dollar a year. They've made enough money. But I'll also ask people who have struggled out there in the trenches to help people, to volunteer in their communities, who understand these problems at that level, which obviously is lost on a lot of - a lot - a big segment of Washington."
Sen. Obama's campaign plane experienced problems again Saturday evening. (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) – For the second time this summer, Barack Obama’s plane had technical issues forcing the senator, his staff, secret service and traveling press corps onto another plane to complete the day’s trip.
In a far less dramatic incident than the first in early July, the press was notified after a press conference Saturday afternoon that the Boeing 757’s public announcement system had broken. Federal Aviation Administration rules forbid planes from flying with passengers onboard if the PA system is down because the crew can’t speak to them.
The campaign scrambled a much smaller ExpressJet Embraer 145 that had to be diverted to Terre Haute to pick up the stranded travelers heading to Chicago. The 757 with Obama’s trademark ‘O’ on its tail followed close behind, passenger-less but carrying everyone’s bags.
On July 7 – with the 757 in the shop for a paint job – the campaign’s loaner MD-80 was forced to land in St. Louis on its way from Chicago to Charlotte because an emergency slide had deployed in the tail cone on takeoff. The plane dipped as if hitting turbulence and the pilots decided to divert because of pitch problems.
It was later revealed that the pilots had told the St. Louis control tower it was an emergency, but minutes later updated their initial report saying the problems had disappeared. The plane landed without incident.