[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.dalai.lama.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain is expected to meet with the Dalai Lama Friday."]
(CNN)—Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is set to meet with the Dalai Lama Friday in Colorado.
The Tibetan political and spiritual leader will be a keynote speaker at a three-day seminar at the Aspen Institute as part of a greater celebration of Tibetan Culture where he will also meet with McCain. McCain is expected to speak at the American GI Convention in Denver Friday morning, and will make the trip to Aspen to meet with the Dalai Lama later in the afternoon.
Often referred to as “His Holiness,” the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in Dharamsala, India since the Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959.
In April, McCain urged China to engage the spiritual leader in discussions on the future of Tibet.
"Our relationship with China is important,” the Arizona senator said in a statement. “But the Chinese government needs to understand that in our modern world, how a nation treats its citizens is a legitimate subject of international concern... I urge the government of the People's Republic of China to address the root causes of unrest in Tibet by opening a genuine dialogue with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, aimed at granting greater autonomy.”
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.berlin1.cnn.jpg caption="Onlookers gather for Obama's Thursday speech in Berlin, Germany."]BERLIN, Germany (CNN) – Crowds have grown and thinned throughout the day outside of the swank Adlon Hotel where Barack Obama and his entourage are preparing for the Democratic presidential candidate’s visit here.
Police have closed off part of the street in front of the hotel which sits in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate as throngs lean on metal barriers, cameras in hand, hoping to get a glimpse of the man himself.
Just a short walk up the road is the Victory Column where Obama will deliver his remarks, a speech he says will be a “substantive articulation of the relationship” he would like to see between the United States and Europe.
Although Obama and his aides have strongly denied politics plays a role in today’s event, a leisurely stroll towards the event site left a different impression.
(CNN) — Barack Obama holds a 4-point lead over John McCain in the latest CNN poll of polls.
The new average of the three most recent national surveys of registered voters shows the Illinois senator at 47 percent with McCain standing at 43 percent. About 10 percent say they are undecided.
The margin between the two presidential candidates has narrowed slightly over the past week: in a CNN poll of polls taken July 16, Obama and McCain were separated by 6 points.
The latest poll of polls includes recent surveys from Gallup, NBC/Wall Street Journal, and ABC/Washington Post.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.simmons.gi.jpg caption="Could the health guru head for Capitol Hill?"] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fitness star and effervescence extreme Richard Simmons is on Capitol Hill today, tackling the issue of childhood obesity and pushing for increased school exercise programs. But as he testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee, the 60-year-old is nodding toward that celebrity siren song: political office.
In a half-serious, half-jocular tone, Simmons described his approach to the hearing, saying, "I want to have the respect of a congressman, I want to talk like a congressman, and maybe, someday, I'll be a congressman."
During three minutes of follow-up questions, Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare for avoiding a direct position. "However I can be of use," he said, "If my country wants me, I'll be there for my country."
So has no plans to run?
"Well," he answered coyly, "I don't know. I may run for office. You never know."
Listen: Simmons speaks with CNN Radio about his political ambitions
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/24/obama.trip/art.obama.berlin.gi.jpg caption="Obama will speak in Germany Thursday."]BERLIN, Germany (CNN) – Without offering up too many hints, Senator Barack Obama told reporters that his much-anticipated public address here later today will not be "a wonkish policy speech."
Obama sought to "tamp down" expectations of crowd size and did concede he was seeking out a larger audience beyond the one that will gather in Tiergarten Park.
"No doubt that part of what I want to communicate on both sides of the Atlantic is the enormous potential of us restoring a sense of coming together," he said. "The people in the crowd aren't voters so in that sense it's not designed to get them to the polls, it's not a political rally. Hopefully it will be viewed as a substantive articulation of the relationship I'd like to see between the United States and Europe."
Obama said speech writing started about two weeks ago and demurred when asked if he had looked to the Berlin speeches given by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan for inspiration. "They were presidents, I am a citizen," he said.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/24/pew.latino.poll/art.obamamccain.gi.jpg caption="A new poll out Thursday shows strong support for Sen. Barack Obama among Latinos."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll released Thursday shows overwhelming support from Latinos for Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain.
Obama's approval rating with registered Latino voters, the nationwide Pew Hispanic Center poll found, is at 66 percent versus 23 percent favoring McCain.
Obama's "strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Clinton by a margin of nearly 2-to-1," according to Pew Hispanic Center associate director Mark Hugo Lopez.
Obama's favorability among Latinos is slightly up from a Gallup Poll summary of surveys taken in May, which showed Obama with 62 percent of Latino voters nationwide, compared with 29 percent for McCain.
"He now appears to be even more popular than Hillary Clinton among Latinos," Lopez said.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.obamawall.jpg caption="Obama visited the Western Wall early Thursday."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama has been greeted by enthusiastic - at times even wild - crowds throughout his trip abroad, but at least one man wasn't happy with the Democratic presidential candidate's visit to one of the most sacred spots in Jerusalem early Thursday morning.
During an unannounced visit to the Western Wall - during which he was escorted by the Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovich, a man only yards away from the Illinois senator repeatedly yelled "Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale! Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale!"
The comments come a day after Obama reiterated his stance Jerusalem should remain the capital city of Israel. Though he noticeably did not repeat his headline-grabbing June comment that the city should remain “undivided.”
Shortly before he arrived in Jerusalem Wednesday, a group of religious leaders there charged him with flip-flopping on the status of Israel’s capital, and called on him to re-commit to that position.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.mccain.ap.jpg caption="McCain, who made a stop at a Pennsylvania supermarket Wednesday, will host political allies at his Arizona ranch this weekend."](CNN) - Aides to John McCain tell CNN that the presumptive Republican nominee will host a group of political allies and fundraisers from around the country this weekend at his cabin outside Sedona, Arizona.
As many as 75 people are expected to attend a barbeque at McCain's home Saturday.
The attendees will also get meetings and briefings from staff, including campaign manager Rick Davis, Saturday morning at a nearby Sedona resort where most will stay.
McCain often uses his creek-side cabin to hold intimate political events in a relaxed setting. He told reporters he hosted there this spring that making ribs on his large grill is one of his only means of relaxation.
A few months ago he hosted a group that included several would-be running mates and their wives. It was at that event that McCain says he and his wife Cindy really got to know, and like, his former rival Mitt Romney and his wife Ann.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.vansplit.ap.jpg caption="Van Hollen and Schumer are guardedly optimistic."]
(CNN) - Amid repeated signs congressional Democrats are headed for a successful round of elections next November, the party's two campaign heads did their best Wednesday to lower expectations.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Schumer's counterpart at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, both said during a Capitol Hill press conference they remain guardedly optimistic about the party's chances, but noted many of the races are being contested in traditionally unfavorable territories for Democrats.
"Its important for people to understand, there's a lot of sense out there this is going to be another big wave election, but we are going into really tough territory here, so we do need beware of irrational exuberance when it comes to some of the numbers I've heard on the house races," Van Hollen said.
Schumer added this cycle's Senate races constitute the "reddest map in a very long time."
But it's difficult for both men not to be optimistic about the party's prospects: President Bush's poll numbers remain mired around 30 percent, the Republican faithful appear to be suffering form a lack of enthusiasm, and the Democratic committees hold a huge cash advantage over their GOP counterparts.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.duncan.gi.jpg caption="Mike Duncan is touring key states."](CNN)—Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan launched a three week “Victory 2008 Tour” Wednesday, aimed at catalyzing grassroots efforts for Republican candidates across the map by targeting key fall battleground states for the Presidential and Senate races.
The tour will travel to key states,’ including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina, where Duncan will meet with local GOP leaders to discuss the Republican strategy and work on increasing the party’s voter registration.
“I am excited to meet with the grassroots activists, state leaders, and enthusiastic volunteers who are devoting their time and energy to elect John McCain and Republicans nationwide this November,” Duncan said. “These are the individuals who will ensure Republican success on Election Day by carrying out our strategy and message surrounding John McCain’s positive vision for the future of our nation.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean embarked on his own cross-country tour last week to encourage voters to unite around Democratic candidates and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.