NEWARK, Delaware (CNN) – Joe Biden, University of Delaware '65, had a warm homecoming at his alma mater Friday morning, mixing nostalgia and reflection before thousands of students on the quad.
"It's an honor to be back on campus," said Biden. "A campus that literally, not figuratively, played such a significant role in shaping my life. During my years on campus here, some of the most transformative events of my generation took place."
Biden recalled late-night debates with friends about Vietnam and the death of John F. Kennedy. He thanked professors for their guidance, and extolled the university's academics that have impacted this year's election by educating not only Biden and Obama-Biden campaign manager David Plouffe, but McCain-Palin chief strategist Steve Schmidt.
"Now let that be a cautionary tale. Blue hens can go astray occasionally," joked Biden, failing to mention that of the three, he is the only actual graduate.
The Delaware senator criticized John McCain less than he typically does in his stump speeches, but towards the end of his remarks Friday, once again tied the Arizona senator to President George Bush while praising his own running mate.
"I believe that John McCain through the conduct through this campaign, unfortunately, continues to think that the way you win is to divide," said Biden "I believe Barack Obama will revitalize the middle class, the backbone of the nation. I believe John McCain is stubbornly clinging to failed policies of the past because if he acknowledges the failure, what does he talk about?"
Delawareans won't just be able to vote for Biden as part of the Democratic ticket on Tuesday - he's also running for his seventh term in the Senate. (Though campaign regulations prohibited Biden from mentioning his re-election bid at the rally.) Friday's event was the campaign's first in Delaware since the end of the primaries, and a served as a call for students to volunteer in the neighboring battleground state of Pennyslvania.
Biden was introduced by his wife Jill, a fellow Blue Hen, and the vice presidential nominee told his supporters that crowds had transformed the Republicans' 'Drill, baby, drill' chant into 'Jill, baby, Jill."
"Well, Jill baby, I love you kid," said Biden.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Justice Department will deploy more than 800 federal observers and monitors to voting sites in 23 states to make sure voters' federal rights are not violated on election day.
While many of the problems that may occur in what is expected to be a record turnout next Tuesday will come under the purview of state and local officials since they have the primary responsibility for running elections, the federal government is responsible for making sure federal laws are not violated. The primary law in question is the Voting Rights Act, which bans intimidation based on race, color, or religion. The department will also investigate and prosecute cases of voter fraud.
Unlike in years past, the Justice Department announced last month it will not use any criminal prosecutors to monitor elections to allay concerns of some voting rights advocates including them would discourage some from voting.
The observers will come from the Office of Personnel Management while the monitors will be Justice Department employees. Usually the destinations chosen are ones where claims of discrimination have occurred in the past or where there are current allegations.
(CNN)—The latest CNN poll of polls shows Sen. John McCain is still behind in battleground states with just five days before Election Day.
CNN’s first Arizona poll of polls shows McCain leading Sen. Barack Obama by 4 points, 49 percent to 45 percent.
In Colorado, Obama is leading McCain by 7 points, 51 percent to 44 percent; CNN’s last Colorado Poll of Polls –- released October 26 –- also showed Obama leading McCain by 7 points, 50 percent to 43 percent.
CNN’s new Georgia of Polls shows McCain leading Obama by 6 points 50 percent to 44 percent; The last Georgia Poll of Polls –- released October 26 –- also showed McCain leading Obama by 6 points.
In Florida, a state both candidates have been working overtime in, Obama is leading McCain by 3 points 48 percent to 45 percent; CNN’s last Florida Poll of Polls –- released October 28 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 4 points
In battleground Missouri McCain and Obama are currently tied with 47 percent each; CNN’s last Missouri Poll of Polls –- released October 27 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 1 point.
CNN’s new Nevada Poll of Polls shows Obama leading McCain by 7 points, 50 percent to 43 percent.
CNN’s first North Carolina of Polls shows Obama leading McCain by 4 points 50 percent to 46 percent.
In Ohio, a state which is critical to McCain’s shot at the White House, Obama is now leading McCain by 5 points, 49 percent to 44 percent; The last Ohio Poll of Polls –- released October 29 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 8 points.
Finally, in Virginia, Obama is leading McCain by 7 point 51 percent to 44 percent.
View specific polls included after the jump
(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain will campaign in seven cities in seven states on Monday, the day before Election Day, campaign manager Rick Davis said Friday.
The exact itinerary has not yet been nailed down, he said. McCain and the Republican party expect to outspend his rival, Democrat Barack Obama, by $10 million in the closing days of the campaign, Davis said.
CNN's Poll of Polls shows McCain trailing by seven points nationally, and CNN's Electoral Map suggests Obama is well ahead in the race for electoral votes.
(CNN) –- With just four days before Election Day, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are rushing to pick up last-minute undecided voters in the battleground states. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s bus tour through Ohio is off to a rocky start, with Joe the plumber was a no-show at a campaign rally in the town of Defiance. CNN’s Ed Henry has the story on McCain’s awkward unscripted moment.
Plus: After Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s latest swing through three battleground states, he returns to Iowa, the state that jump-started his candidacy. CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux reports on the Illinois senator’s final days on the campaign trail.
After nearly two years, the candidates’ campaigns for the presidency are coming to a close. CNN’s Frank Sesno takes a look at the most memorable interviews, speeches, and debates from the primaries to the general election.
Finally: In a podcast exclusive, CNN’s Jennifer Mikell offers up your weekly dose of trailmix—the most memorable moments making news this week on the campaign trail.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
(CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will start advertising for the first time in rival John McCain's home state just days before the November 4 election, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters Friday.
Plouffe said the campaign will broadcast its positive spot, "Something," in Arizona.
"We're running a positive ad there. It's Sen. McCain's home state. We're cognizant of that," Plouffe said.
All the same, the campaign considers Arizona worth fighting for.
"If someone else had been the Republican nominee, it would have been a core battleground like its neighbor Western states," Plouffe said, adding "Our internal data suggests this could be a very, very close race."
The latest CNN national Poll of Polls, released Friday morning, finds McCain leading by 4 percentage points in Arizona, which he has represented in Congress for 25 years. The poll of polls found the Republican leading Obama 49 percent to 45 percent, with 6 percent of the state's voters undecided.
Thursday's poll of polls showed Obama leading McCain by 5 percentage points, 49 percent to 44 percent, with 7 percent undecided.
A McCain spokesman dismissed Obama's advertising as a "waste of his resources."
"Voters in Arizona won't accept job-killing tax increases, won't accept a trillion dollars in new federal spending and won't accept Barack Obama," Tucker Bounds said.
But Plouffe said Arizona was in play, partly because the Obama campaign was "doing very well" with Hispanic voters and suburban voters.
He said the campaign was going back on the airwaves in Georgia and North Dakota with its negative advertisement, "Rearview Mirror," which ties McCain to President Bush.
LATROBE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Barack Obama may be one of America’s most famous Chicago Bears fans, but the team’s legendary former coach Mike Ditka isn’t returning the sentiment - he’s campaigning with Sarah Palin.
Ditka, who also coached the New Orleans Saints and is now an analyst on ESPN, hit the trail with Palin on Friday in western Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised.
“Thing I know about Pennsylvania, you're great people, you're hardworking people,” Ditka said, introducing Palin in Latrobe. “No-nonsense people, and that's what this is all about. I'm not here because I'm a Republican, which I am, and I'm not here because I'm a conservative, which I am. I'm here because I am an American.”
Ditka proceeded to challenge Obama’s campaign mantra.
“We talk about change,” Ditka said. “Change from what, to what, and how? How you gonna do anything? Don’t talk about what you’re going to do, prove you can do something! If we're smart, the only option we have is to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin. Put ‘em in the White House, and let ‘em redirect where we're going.”
It's not the first time Ditka and Barack Obama have found themselves on opposing teams - the mustaschioed Super Bowl winner saw his name floated in the 2004 Illinois senate race as a possible Republican opponent to Obama.
Departing somewhat from John McCain's argument that failures on Wall Street and in Washington have imperiled the American worker, Ditka argued that anyone seeking employment can find a job - as long as they’re willing to make an effort.
“This is the land of opportunity,” he said. “It's not a land of handouts. If you’re willing to work, you can find a job. If you're willing to work, you can find a job.”
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (CNN) - Mandatory stops on the GOP campaign trail this year: Pennsylvania. Florida. Saturday Night Live.
Two weeks after running mate Sarah Palin made an appearance on the late-night comedy show, a McCain campaign aide tells CNN that the Republican presidential nominee will appear on the NBC program tomorrow night.
The Arizona senator has appeared on the show several times over the years.
McCain's most memorable appearance on the long running show was in October 2002, when he hosted the program for a night: In a spoof commercial hawking an album called "McCain Sings Streisand," sang several of the Democratic loyalist's songs.
(CNN) - Democrats are making a late play for Arizona as new polls show home-state Senator John McCain with a shrinking single-digit edge over Barack Obama.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released this week suggested McCain holds a 53 percent to 46 percent advantage. Other new surveys have indicated an even tighter race.
Earlier this week, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee paid for negative robo-calls in the state, telling voters Obama’s election “invites a major international crisis he will be unprepared to handle alone.
“If Democrats win full control of government, they will want to give civil rights to terrorists and talk unconditionally to dictators and state sponsors of terror. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the experience and judgment to lead America,” said the calls.
MoveOn.org said Thursday it was launching its ‘Obamacan’ ad statewide on broadcast and cable in response. The ad features a life-long Republican who supports Obama.