[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.obamaclinton.gi.jpg caption="Many Clinton backers feel the so-called 'dream ticket' is off the table."](CNN) - The grassroots group "VoteBoth" announced Thursday it is abandoning its efforts to land Hillary Clinton on the bottom half of the Democratic presidential ticket, a sign even the New York senator's most ardent backers now believe she has little chance of being named Barack Obama's running mate.
Reacting to reports that Barack Obama has tapped Clinton to speak at the party's convention Tuesday night - as opposed to the Wednesday-night slot traditionally reserved for the vice presidential candidate - VoteBoth founders Adam Parkhomenko and Sam Arora said in a letter to supporters it no longer makes sense to press for the one-time presidential candidate to be Obama's No. 2.
"Senator Hillary Clinton is no longer under consideration as Senator Obama’s running mate," Parkhomenko and Arora wrote. "While we all were working toward a different result, ultimately we and Barack Obama are working for the same eventual outcome - getting ready to take back the White House and bring our country the change Americans deserve and so desperately need. There is nothing more important than that."
Watch: What happened to Hillary?
Parkhomenko and Arora, both of whom once worked for Clinton, say they amassed more than 40,000 supporters in the course of their campaign.
Watch: Clinton makes case for Obama
In Thursday's letter, both also stressed the importance of supporting Obama's presidential bid, even if Clinton is not a part of his ticket.
"To those who are hesitant to support Obama right now, we urge you to keep giving him the chance to earn your vote. We are confident he will," they wrote. "Because, when it comes down to it, even the most ardent Hillary-supporter must ask himself or herself, 'Do I want John McCain sending our soldiers off to more wars, giving Big Oil free rein to gouge us at the pump, and letting ideology overrule decisions that should be made on the basis of science and health?'"
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.obama.ap.jpg
caption="Sen. Barack Obama says Sen. John McCain offers a continuation of failed policies."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama is charging that rival John McCain doesn't have any new ideas and that's why the Arizona senator's campaign is focusing its energy on anti-Obama ads.
"You haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month. All they do is try to run me down," Obama said while campaigning Wednesday in Union, Missouri.
The accusation came the same day that the Obama campaign released an ad comparing McCain to President Bush, and the McCain campaign released one likening Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
"Since they don't have any new ideas, the only strategy they've got in this election is to try to scare you about me," Obama said.
Obama said McCain and Republicans are trying to paint him as a candidate who is "too risky."
"Basically what they're saying to you is, 'We know we didn't do a good job, but he's too risky.' Well let me tell you something. When we are in such dire straits economically, when our foreign policy has gotten so messed up, what's the bigger risk: choosing change, or choosing to do the same things that got us into this mess in the first place?"
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/meast/07/30/iraq.reconstruction/art.iraq.reconstruct.afp.gi.jpg caption="Workers clear debris during reconstruction along al-Mutanabi Street in central Baghdad, Iraq, in May."](CNN) - When it comes to Iraq, Americans agree with both John McCain and Barack Obama.
According to a just-released CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, a majority agree with the Arizona senator's assertion that the troop surge policy in Iraq has been a success. But an even larger majority agree with Obama's plan to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.
The new survey shows 52 percent of Americans rate the surge as a success while 41 percent say it has been a failure. McCain has been sharply critical of Obama for not calling the policy, implemented in January 2007, an outright success. The Illinois senator has said he thinks the surge has improved conditions on the ground but would still have not supported it, instead favoring a "strategy that actually concludes our involvement in Iraq and moves Iraqis to take responsibility for the country."
More than 60 percent of Americans appear to agree with Obama on that front, while 37 percent agree with McCain and say it would not be wise for the U.S. to set a timetable for withdrawal.
There is also good news and bad news on Iraq: The number of Americans who say the U.S. is winning the war is on the rise, and is at its highest level in 2 1/2 years. Now 37 percent say the U.S. is winning the war - that number is five points higher than it was in March and nine points higher than it was at the end of last year.
But 57 percent still say neither side is winning and 6 percent say the insurgents are on top.
Meanwhile, 56 percent of Americans agree with the view that the number of troops in Afghanistan should be boosted as the number of troops in Iraq is reduced. That may be because more Americans support the war in Afghanistan, although most Americans oppose both wars - 46 percent favor the war in Afghanistan; just 33 percent support the war in Iraq.
Telegraph: US election: Senator Barack Obama faces backlash in American media
The increasingly presidential posture of the first-term Illinois senator and his campaign staff is beginning to stick in the throats of commentators, particularly given the narrowness of his lead over Senator John McCain.
Politico: Romney could lift McCain in West
As Republican presidential candidate John McCain weighs his running-mate options, political experts say Mitt Romney would energize fundraising and generate the most enthusiasm in the Rocky Mountain West.
WSJ: Revisions Haunt Debate on Recession
Hold your noses. It is time again to exhume the recession debate. The Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday offers its first reading of second-quarter gross domestic product, the U.S. economy's broadest measure. Economists think it grew at a 2.3% annualized pace, up from 1% in the first quarter.
LA Times: In Congress, no anti-corruption legislation in sight
Congress has been awash in corruption scandals, the latest being the indictment of long-serving Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, but prospects for legislation to make questionable practices like Stevens' alleged acceptance of gifts illegal in their own right appear grim.
CNN Radio: Obama and Paris and Britney, oh my!
So just what is a celebrity? Sen. John McCain’s campaign has a theory. Also, Sen. Ted Stevens tries to smile in a swarm of reporters and, in what is sure to be an awkward encounter, it seems that two former presidential candidates may be making up. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.
NY Times: A New Generation of Republicans in Alaska
For the first time in four decades, politics in Alaska is a brand-new game for both Republicans and Democrats because of the indictment of Senator Ted Stevens, the state’s longtime Republican patriarch.
* Sen. John McCain delivers the keynote speech at the National Urban League Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
* Sen. Barack Obama is in Cedar Rapids, IA, where he meets with local flood victims and then holds an afternoon economic town hall meeting.