SI.com has learned that for the first time in history, a major presidential candidate may sponsor a race car in NASCAR's premier series.
According to sources, Barack Obama's campaign is in talks to become the primary sponsor of BAM Racing's No. 49 Sprint Cup car for the Pocono race on August 3. Details of the agreement are expected to be worked out over the coming days.
UPDATE: Campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said no agreement has been reached.
"We get a lot of good ideas every day but there are no such agreements in place at this time," she said.
(CNN) - Is the so-called Democratic 'dream ticket' off the table?
Despite speculation that Barack Obama's presidential campaign is seriously considering Hillary Clinton for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic presidential ticket, a former senior advisor to Clinton said Thursday he doesn't think the New York senator is being formally considered for the job.
Howard Wolfson, the former Clinton campaign communications director, told Fox News Thursday he isn't aware of any official effort on behalf of the Obama campaign that suggests the Illinois senator is considering his former rival for his running mate.
"Not as far as I know," Wolfson said when asked if Clinton had been "asked to participate in the vetting process for VP."
Veepstakes! Predict the running mates
But the longtime Clinton confidante quickly added there is more information available in the public record about the former presidential candidate "than just about any public figure in America."
"She's been vetted now for a long time - she's got thirty years of taxes in the public record and financial disclosure forms. She ran for president for 18 months and every news organization in America had multiple teams of reporters look at all aspects at her career and her biography," he said. "So there's a lot of information out about her that I know Senator Obama is privy too, that may be sufficient for him to make whatever decision he wants to make."
iReport.com: Whom do you see as VP?
The comments come amid reports the Obama campaign has asked other public officials to hand over information about themselves as part of a formal vice presidential vetting process, including former presidential candidate Chris Dodd.
The five-term Connecticut senator said Thursday that he has been asked to provide "a lot of stuff."
HUDSON, Wisconsin (CNN) - A presidential campaign stop can sometimes feel like a rock concert. For the John McCain road show this week, they've sounded a little more like an easy listening station.
Barack Obama usually bounds onto stages to the jangly guitar riffs and feel-good lyrics of U2’s “City of Blinding of Lights.” For Hillary Clinton, speakers in high schools gyms from Ohio to Texas to Pennsylvania boomed with upbeat tracks from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Dolly Parton that emphasized her working class pitch.
But traveling through the Midwest this week, McCain’s advance staff has apparently been sampling a slightly more low-key soundtrack, comprised of songs you might not find browsing through the “most popular” sections of iTunes or MySpace.
For instance, on Wednesday in southern Ohio, the house music was a steady repetition of muzak, creating a quiet, almost drowsy atmosphere for the voters gathered at Portsmouth High School.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's vote for a federal surveillance law that he had previously opposed has sparked a backlash from his online advocates, who had energized his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In October, Obama had vowed to help filibuster an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that gave telecommunication companies that had cooperated with President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program immunity from lawsuits.
After 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without the mandated warrant from a federal court, on electronic communication involving terrorist suspects.
Critics said Bush's Terrorist Surveillance Program was a violation of civil liberties.
The Senate voted Wednesday on the bill updating FISA - which had a provision to shield telecommunications companies that had cooperated in the surveillance. Obama joined the 68 other senators who voted to send the bill to the president's desk.
(CNN)—The Republican National Committee is launching an interactive Web site Friday for voters to help develop the 2008 Republican Party platform by submitting comments and ideas.
“This Web site is really about you,” RNC Chairman Mike Duncan says in a video message on the site. “[It’s about] your ideas, your issues, and most important of all, your aspirations.”
Through the Web site, GOPPlatform2008.com, voters can submit suggestions and commentary covering a variety of issues including energy and gas prices, health care reform, national security, and jobs and economic growth. Voters can also view messages from others who have submitted commentary - including those from the platform committee co-chairmen, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Richard Burr.
McCarthy said they hope the site will evolve into a virtual town hall.
The Democratic National Committee is making face-to-face meetings the centerpiece of their platform initiative earlier this week: voters have been invited to attend meetings with platform committee members in every state.
"This process will empower Americans in all 50 states to make their voices heard as they help write the document that embodies our party's values and vision for the future,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who started "Operation Chaos"– an election-year bid to sabotage Democratic presidential hopes–has instructed his listeners to attend these meetings.
(CNN) - John McCain is airing a new ad - in which he calls Hispanic Americans “God’s Children” - in his latest bid to win over that key voting bloc.
The spot comes amid a major push on that front by the presumptive Republican nominee, including private meetings with community leaders, Spanish-language radio ads, the launch of regular campaign conference calls with Hispanic pastors, and speeches at high-profile gatherings like this week’s address at the League of Latin American Citizens and next Monday’s speech at National Council La Raza - two of the trifecta of major Latino conferences McCain will make an appearance at this cycle.
The new ad – which will air in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, all neighbors of McCain’s home state of Arizona which are all heavily-contested states this cycle – features comments from a summer 2007 debate in which the senator praises the service of Hispanic veterans.
“My friends, I want you the next time you're down in Washington, D.C., to go to the Vietnam War Memorial and look at the names engraved in black granite. You'll find a whole lot of Hispanic names,” McCain said in remarks included in the 30-second spot.
He praised the service of members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including “some of the few thousand that are still green card holders who are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed nation.”
(CNN) - It turns out that John McCain made an off-the-mark error when he launched at Barack Obama this week over Iran’s missile tests.
In a statement criticizing Obama’s positions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the organization claiming credit for the missile launches, McCain wrote, “This is the same organization that I voted to condemn as a terrorist organization when an amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Obama refused to vote.”
The problem with the critique? McCain also missed that vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on September 26, 2007. Records show that Obama was in New Hampshire and McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question.
The McCain campaign admits the error but points to their candidate’s tough stance against the country President Bush once grouped into the “axis of evil.”
“Its time to make the Iranians understand that this kind of violation of international treaties, this kind of threat, threatening of their neighbors, continued military activity is not without cost,” McCain said on Wednesday.
Despite Obama’s voting absence, his campaign is touting legislation he sponsored in March 2007 (S. 970) which also would have designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Obama’s legislation never had a vote in the Senate.
Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant - but less than exuberant - endorsement.
"Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed," the Republican matriarch said in March. "Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party." They were the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo op.
In a written statement, she described McCain as "a good friend for over 30 years." But that friendship was strained in the late 1970s by McCain's decision to divorce his first wife, Carol, who was particularly close to the Reagans, and within weeks marry Cindy Hensley, the young heiress to a lucrative Arizona beer distributorship.
The news that the Rev. Jesse Jackson took a crude swipe at Sen. Barack Obama this week put renewed scrutiny on the relationship between the veteran civil rights activist and Democratic presidential contender.
But Jackson's vulgar criticism of Obama came close to going unreported.
Jackson made the comments to a guest before an interview on Sunday's "Fox & Friends," whispering that Obama was "talking down to black people" and that Jackson wanted to "cut his nuts off."
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau
NY Times: Candidates Are Slow to Identify ‘Bundlers’
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have long been among the most outspoken critics of the influence of money in politics. Yet records show that in their presidential campaigns, neither has lived up to his promise to fully disclose the identities of his top money collectors who bundle millions of dollars in campaign contributions.
AP: McCain: Mortgage giants can't be allowed to fail
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Thursday the government cannot let mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac go under. The two government-sponsored companies have been operating under a cloud of uncertainty in recent weeks, and their shares have plunged to levels not seen since the early 1990s.
CNN: Obama talks about glass ceilings, child care, equal pay
With Sen. Hillary Clinton beside him, Sen. Barack Obama emphasized the challenges women in his family had overcome as he reached out to female voters at a fundraiser Thursday.
NY Times: A Hint of New Life to a McCain Birth Issue
In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”
LA Times: McCain's broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship
Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant - but less than exuberant - endorsement. "Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed," the Republican matriarch said in March. "Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party." They were the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo op.
LA Times: Jackson's Obama comments almost went unnoticed
Jackson's vulgar criticism of Obama came close to going unreported.
A Fox News technician transcribing the tape overnight heard it, and it took off from there.