(CNN) – Tanks are rolling and bombs are falling as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues with no end in sight.
In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, President Bush is responding to the current situation in Gaza, but will President-elect Obama inherit the crisis? CNN’s Elaine Quijano has the latest on how the political leaders are handling the events on the Gaza Strip.
Plus: Obama faces another kind of war when he inherits the presidency in January - one that takes place online. Cyberterrorism can halt traffic, freeze finances, and knock out water, sewers, and electricity. CNN’s Jeanne Meserve looks at what’s at stake in the Obama administration.
Plus: Republican National Committee chairman candidate Chip Saltsman sparked a firestorm of criticism with his decision to release a controversial Christmas CD featuring a parody song titled, “Barack the Magic Negro.” What does this mean for the GOP’s efforts to regroup after a tough year? CNN’s Jim Acosta takes a look at the political fallout.
Finally: Barack Obama has been hitting the gym for months, and the public has noticed - thanks to the now-famous shirtless photo taken on the beaches of Hawaii. CNN’s Ed Henry decides to follow Obama’s rigorous work-out schedule. But does he have what it takes to look like the President-elect?
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
(CNN) - When Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis decided to throw his hat in the ring to head the Republican Party, he announced his intentions on an unlikely forum: Twitter.
Not too long ago, the social networking Web site most popular among teenagers and 20-somethings was probably the last place you would expect to find a candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.
But then Barack Obama's presidential campaign appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign - from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.
The result was a Democratic Party that outpaced its rival in nearly every measure - in the process revealing how detrimental the GOP's apparent lack of tech fluency proved to be on Election Day.
The Republican Party is playing catch-up, hoping to compete with Democrats in the next two pivotal election cycles.
(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan told CNN he will spend the coming weekend deciding whether to run for another term at the helm of the GOP, and could announce his decision Monday.
Duncan said he is torn about what to do - he said he likes his job very much, but also feels it may time for him to return home to Kentucky after being at the RNC for eight years.
Duncan's deliberations come as several other Republicans are publicly eying his post, following two straight election cycles during which the GOP suffered stinging defeats.
Duncan has steadily risen through the ranks of the RNC over the last decade. In 2001 he was elected the committee's treasurer and was named general counsel in 2002. In 2007, President Bush tapped him to replace outgoing RNC chairman Ken Mehlman.
If he enters the race, Duncan will face a long list of challengers: former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager and ex-Tennessee Republican party Chairman Chip Saltsman, and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis have already declared they are seeking Duncan's job.
An RNC source close to Duncan later called to say the announcement may not come until later next week.
(CNN) – The Republican National Committee released a new ad hitting Barack Obama on economic policy, as the party began shifting some of its ad dollars to some of this year’s unexpected battlegrounds.
“Meltdown. Foreclosure. Pensions, savings wiped out,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “And now our nation considers elevating one of the least experienced people ever to run for president.
“Barack Obama: he hasn’t had executive experience. This crisis would be Obama’s first crisis. In this chair,” he says, over a shot of the president’s desk in the Oval Office.
The RNC’s independent expenditure unit confirmed that it is pulling its pro-McCain ads off the air in Maine and Wisconsin, re-directing the bulk of those resources to boosting advertising in a string of traditionally red states
(CNN) – A day after the Dow Industrials index dropped nearly 800 points in reaction to the failure of the $700 billion bailout bill in the House of Representatives, economic issues are dominating the latest round of television ads in the presidential race.
The Obama campaign launched a new ad, “Same Path,” Monday. In the spot, Obama speaks directly to the public for nearly two minutes about the nation’s troubled economy and what Obama proposes to do about it.
“I know that that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. But not by driving down the very same path,” Obama says. “On taxes, John McCain and I have very different ideas,” he also says before detailing changes to the tax code that he would push for as president in order to help small and startup businesses, middle class families, and senior citizens living on fixed incomes.
The ad will air in “key states” nationally, according to a statement issued by the Obama campaign Tuesday.
While the Obama camp’s new ad details changes to the tax code Obama would advocate for if elected, the Republican National Committee’s new ad seeks to portray Obama’s tax policies and spending proposals as a potential fatal blow to the struggling economy.
The 30-second spot, “Worse,” begins with images of Wall Street while an announcer asks, “Can it get any worse?” The ad suggests things can get worse if Obama wins the White House. “New taxes. New spending. New debt. Barack Obama’s plan: It will make the problem worse,” an announcer says in the ad. The RNC says that “Worse” will air in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Indiana.”
The convention hall fills with balloons after John McCain officially accepts the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo Credit: Mike Roselli/CNN)
(CNN) - Former Massachusetts Sen. Mitt Romney appears to take a veiled shot at Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, in prepared remarks released ahead of his address to the Republican National Convention Wednesday night - comments the Obama campaign is calling a "pathetic GOP attack."
"Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American," Romney will tell Republican delegates according to advance excerpts released by the Republican National Committee.
The comments appear to be a not-so-subtle reference to Mrs. Obama's comment in February on the campaign trail when she declared, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country." Those comments were immediately criticized by Republicans and Michelle Obama later said she misspoke.
Barack Obama's campaign fired back at Romney's expected remarks Wednesday night, calling them, “as pathetic as [Romney's] failed presidential campaign.”
“Barack Obama has said that families are ‘off-limits’, and we thought that John McCain agreed," Obama adviser Anita Dunn said in a statement. "But tonight, John McCain’s handpicked attack dog, Mitt Romney, exposed the fake outrage that the Republicans have been peddling all week as the blatant hypocrisy that it is."
"The McCain team’s disgusting attack on Barack Obama's wife shows they would rather generate false outrage to distract from their own problems than talk about the issues facing the American people," Dunn also said. "Mitt Romney’s attack on a candidate’s wife is as pathetic as his failed presidential campaign."
Romney, believed to have been on McCain's shortlist for vice president, is slated to address the Republican convention Wednesday night.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – I want to raise a question: if Hollywood is a nest of liberals and Democrats, why is it that virtually every Hollywood celebrity-turned politician has been a Republican. I give you: Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson, George Murphy, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, Arnold Schwarzenegger. How can this be?
The one exception I can think of: Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard, Ben Jones.*
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid added more than 65,000 new donors and raised more than $51 million in the month of July, the Obama campaign said in a statement released Saturday.
“The 65,000 new donors to the Obama campaign demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to fundamentally change business as usual in Washington,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in the statement.
The campaign of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, announced Friday that it raised $27 million in July. The Republican National Committee also announced Friday that it raised $26 million in the same timeframe and has received donations from more than a million donors during this election cycle.
The Obama campaign recently announced that it has surpassed the 2-million-donor mark and said Saturday that it currently has $65.8 million in cash on hand.
(CNN) - The Republican National Committee reported Friday it raised $26 million in July, a fundraising haul that nearly matches John McCain's campaign during the same timeframe, and had approximately $75 million cash on hand.
The RNC and the McCain campaign combined began the month of August with $96 million cash on hand, a total that may keep pace with Barack Obama and the relatively cash-strapped Democratic National Committee.
Earlier Friday, the McCain campaign announced it had raised $27 million in July, the presumptive Republican nominee’s largest one-month fundraising total to date. The campaign also said it had $21 million cash on hand, all of which must be spent before the party's convention in early September because of McCain's choice to accept federal campaign dollars. The Republican Party is free to spend its money through Election Day.
The RNC also announced Friday it had surpassed one million individual donors this election cycle, while the McCain campaign said 600,000 individuals had donated to the Arizona senator. Earlier this week, the Obama campaign announced it had passed the two million donor mark.
Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee have yet to announce their fundraising hauls for the month of July. For June, the Illinois senator's campaign reported raising $52 million with more than $72 million cash on hand. The DNC raised $22 million during that time period, all of which was available to spend.