(CNN)—With just over a day before polls start to close, Vice President Dick Cheney's hometown newspaper named their presidential pick — Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.
"It is a foregone conclusion that Wyoming's three electoral votes will go to Sen. John McCain. It would be easy for the Star-Tribune to simply agree with the majority of voters in this red state and endorse the Republican candidate for president," the Editorial Board of Wyoming's Casper Star-Tribune wrote Monday.
"But this isn't an ordinary election, and Sen. Barack Obama has the potential to be an extraordinary leader at a time we desperately need one."
The board goes on to commend Obama's judgement, criticizing McCain's conduct during his campaign and choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
"If the John McCain of 2000 saw today's counterpart, he wouldn't recognize himself," the Board wrote. "McCain is no longer a GOP maverick, or the war hero whose principles were unwavering. He has flip-flopped on issues ranging from tax cuts to torture in an effort to win over the conservative base of his party. He has waged a dismal campaign based on fear and divisiveness."
Cheney formally endorsed McCain Saturday, while at an event in Laramie, Wyoming.
"This year, of course, I'm not on the ballot, so I am here ... not to vote for me, but I want to join daughter Liz, who is with me today, join us in casting ... our ballots for John McCain and Sarah Palin," Cheney said.
Obama quickly seized the moment as another opportunity to tie McCain to the Bush presidency.
"I'd like to congratulate Sen. McCain on this endorsement, because he really earned it. That endorsement didn't come easy," Obama said at the Pueblo rally.
He added that Cheney "knows that with John McCain, you get a twofer: George Bush's economic policy and Dick Cheney's foreign policy. And that is a risk the American people cannot afford to take."
Echoing Obama’s latest campaign ad, the Star-Tribune’s editorial board commended him for receiving endorsements from "extremely capable leaders."
"It's good to know that he turns to the likes of Warren Buffett for financial matters and retired Gen. Colin Powell on military issues."
(CNN) – Go to work or go to vote? That’s a question voters across the country will be facing Tuesday in the midst of what is expected to be record turnout for voting to determine the next occupant of the White House.
A caller from Georgia reported on CNN’s voter hotline that an employer in Marietta was only giving employees 30 minutes off to vote when state law provided for up to two hours.
CNN contacted the Georgia Secretary of State and was sent the following information about Georgia law:
§ 21-2-404. Affording employees time off to vote
Each employee in this state shall, upon reasonable notice to his or her employer, be permitted by his or her employer to take any necessary time off from his or her employment to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote on the day on which such primary or election is held; provided, however, that such necessary time off shall not exceed two hours; and provided, further, that, if the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided for in this Code section shall not be available. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself as provided in this Code section.
“Basically, if you report to work at 9 a.m. or after or if you do not work after 5 p.m. or earlier, employers are not required to give you time off to vote,” Whitney Halterman, a Communications Specialist for the Georgia Secretary of State, said in an e-mail to CNN.
CNN contacted the employer mentioned in the hotline call and passed along the information about Georgia law. The employer distributed new information about getting time off to its employees.
If you live in Georgia and have questions about voting, click here to go to the Georgia Elections Division Web site or call 404-656-2871.
CNN will be tracking voter problems through Election Day. If you have a problem or see a problem, call the CNN Voter Hotline at 877-462-6608. See what issues are a concern in each state by clicking on the interactive Hotline map at cnn.com/hotline.
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (CNN) – For the first time in almost two months, Joe Biden came back on his campaign plane to talk to reporters, denying that he has ever made a ‘gaffe’ that has harmed the campaign.
“For all the stuff about gaffes, I don't think there have been any real gaffes,” Biden told reporters, taken aback by the rare appearance, who crowded around him in the aisle of the plane. “I mean I don't see anything in your polling data demonstrating any of that stuff you guys love to write about.”
When the talkative senator was asked if he’s relieved he has stayed relatively away from any big gaffes, he countered that he has never made any.
“You guys love saying that about me but I tell you what, just look at the numbers,” Biden argued. “I don't have any problem with what I've said, and there's nothing I've said that I would back off of.”
Republicans have been quick to jump on Biden’s off-message comments in the past two months, quickly blasting them out by e-mail to reporters and labeling them ‘gaffes.’ Former Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that Biden has been one of the GOP’s best surrogates.
The Delaware senator said he would not comment on winning or losing, blaming longtime superstition (“from the time I was a young athlete,” he said). But asked about Pennsylvania, he quickly added that he knows the state well and if he had to, would bet on winning it.
What about Ohio, Missouri and Indiana, all states where polls are tighter?
“Indiana, I don't want to bet you on either. I mean, I think we can win all three. Am I ready to bet my daughter's graduate school tuition on it? Nope. If I had to bet you on Pennsylvania, I'd bet it,” said Biden.
“Democrats have not done well in those states, but there's something in the air, guys...there’s pace on the ball.
“...Have you ever seen an election with this much intensity? I don't mean the candidates. I mean the people. I've never seen anything with this much intensity,” he said. “The issues are on our side. Presumptuous to say this, I think we've run a really good campaign, he said, adding later: “But I'm superstitious, and I'm getting the hell out of here.”
At a campaign event Thursday, October 30, in Defiance, Ohio, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain said, "So we finally learned what Senator Obama's goals are ... to spread the wealth. In a radio interview revealed this week, he said the same thing, that one of the - quote - tragedies of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about redistributive change. You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth and income, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs."
Get the facts!
Senator Ted Stevens has never been known as a big fan of the news media. So we knew getting him to talk to us on camera following seven felony guilty verdicts against him would be a bit challenging. He hadn’t done a TV interview since the verdicts. Ultimately, he did do an interview with us. But making that happen took us on an unusual journey.
On Sunday, we went to interview his Democratic opponent in the Senate race, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The mayor was at a candidate forum in the entry way of a large Baptist church that was full of candidate posters, pamphlets, and balloons. As we were getting ready to greet Begich, we saw to our surprise that Senator Stevens was also shaking hands about 30 feet away from his opponent.
I came up to the 40-year Senate veteran, introduced myself, and asked him on camera if he was angry about the guilty verdicts. He told me “not that angry. I’m angry at you guys ’cause I’m trying to visit with friends; I just see them once or twice a year.” I then mentioned because he was campaigning we wanted to see if he would talk, and he objected since we were doing this in a church. I mentioned to him that there was some lively campaigning going on in this entry way, but that didn’t seem to matter to him.
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(CNN) - Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died following a bout with cancer, Obama and his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said Monday.
She was 86.
"She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility," their statement said. "She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure."
Obama and Soetoro-Ng asked that donations be made for the search for a cure for cancer in lieu of \ flowers. A small private ceremony will be held "at a later date."
The Democratic presidential candidate left the campaign trail on October 23 and flew to Honolulu, Hawaii, to spend the day with Dunham, whose health deteriorated after she suffered a broken hip.
His wife, Michelle Obama, filled in for him at events in Columbus and Akron, Ohio, on October 24.
Obama said in an interview taped for that day's "Good Morning America" that Dunham had been "inundated" with flowers and messages from strangers who read about her in Obama's 1995 book, "Dreams From My Father."
"Maybe she is getting a sense of long-deserved recognition toward the end of her life," he said.
The candidate resumed his campaign on October 25.
Obama has spoken about his grandmother often on the stump, talking about what an integral figure she was in his youth and how she struggled against the glass ceiling in her career. He and his family traveled to Hawaii in August to visit her.
"She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life," he said in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. "She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that
tonight is her night as well."
JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (CNN) - After warning an audience Monday in Missouri that a government run by Democrats would “gut” defense spending, Palin asked the crowd: “Do they think that terrorists have all of a sudden become the good guys?”
“So what do they think?,” Palin mused, referring to Democrats. “Do they think that terrorists have all of a sudden become the good guys? And changed their minds? No, the terrorists still seek to destroy America and her allies and all that it is that we stand for: freedom, tolerance, equality. The terrorists have not changed their minds.”
Her question was new, but Palin was pushing an argument she has made frequently in the closing week of the campaign - that Democrats in Congress, led by Rep. Barney Frank, favor a cutting the defense budget by a fourth.
“This is not the time to gut the defense budget, and this is not the time to entrust the powers of the federal government to the one party rule of Obama, Pelosi and Reid,” Palin said.
Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has said he would favor a 25 percent cut in defense spending, but Obama has said he would actually increase military spending.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A woman who had been a juror in the criminal trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens told a judge Monday she made up a story about her father dying, so she could go to California for a horse race.
The judge last week initially accepted her story about a family emergency, but was later unable to reach her to learn when she would return.
He then was forced to recall an alternate juror so the panel could resume deliberations on October 27 and possibly render a verdict. Six hours later, the verdict against Stevens was unanimously guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents.
The fate of the missing juror was in doubt through the middle of last week, when U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order calling her to a hearing Monday morning.
At the hearing, she was publicly identified as Marian Hinnant, known during the trial as Juror No. 4. Hinnant's attorney, public defender A.J. Kramer, told CNN the story about her father's death was a lie.
Kramer said he told the judge that "she was okay, that her father had not died, and that she was in a state of mind where she had to go out of town on that Friday and couldn't deliberate."
(CNN) – Virginia State Police have decided not to file charges against the individual who created and circulated a flyer with incorrect information about the date for voting in this week’s presidential election.
“After a thorough investigation into the origins of a fake election flyer that began circulating in the Hampton Roads region last week, the Virginia State Police have determined no criminal activity occurred and no charges will be filed,” a press release issued Monday said.
The flyer incorrectly stated that Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters should vote November 4 and that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents should vote November 5. The flyer claims that the separate dates for voting by party were enacted by the Virginia legislature to ease the strain on the polls during high turnout that is expected Tuesday.
But that information is incorrect. Polls in Virginia are open Tuesday, November 4 for everyone, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings.
The Virginia State Police said in a statement that they had determined the flyer had not been created in order to deceive voters. “The flyer has been evaluated as an ‘office joke’ and was not intended as a means of a misinformation campaign targeting registered voters,” they said. The department noted, however, that circulating incorrect information to voters is against the law in Virginia.
The prescription for tomorrow is comfortable shoes and patience. It's going to be awesome.
Never in recent memory has there been so much interest in a presidential election. More than one-third of Americans are expected to have already voted by the time the polls open tomorrow, a 50 percent increase from 2004. But that doesn't mean there won't by a lot of people in front of you in line when you get to the polls.
Young people have signed up in unprecedented numbers. New voter registrations have broken records in almost every state. Turnout in many of the primaries was staggering. So be prepared.
Be aware also that tomorrow is a chance for all of us to strike a blow for democracy, and God knows she could use a shot in the arm. We're at our best as a nation when we're all involved.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here