[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?'"
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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.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has learned that Sen. Clinton will speak Tuesday night at the Democratic convention. Photo credit: Getty Images/File.
(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton has agreed to speak on the second night of next month's Democratic convention, headlining on the 88th anniversary of the day women earned the right to vote, sources say.
Two sources close to Clinton said the former presidential candidate will speak August 26 with all female U.S. senators on stage with her.
"Tuesday night is Hillary night," said one supporter.
That night is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.ad.cnn.jpg caption="A new Obama ad hits back at McCain."](CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign launched a new television ad Wednesday night declaring John McCain has taken the "low road" over the course of the presidential campaign - a direct response to the Arizona senator's television spot released earlier in the day likening Obama to celebrities Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
"He’s practicing the politics of the past," the ad's narrator says as headlines from various medial outlets stating McCain has gone negative flash across the screen.
"John McCain. Same old politics, same failed policies," the ad's narrator also says.
McCain's ad, released earlier Wednesday declares Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world," while flashing images of both Hilton and Spears.
"But is he ready to lead? With gas prices soaring, Barack Obama says no to offshore drilling and says he'll raise taxes on electricity. Higher taxes, more foreign oil - that's the real Obama," the ad's narrator says while crowds screaming, "Obama!" are shown.
The McCain ad is the latest in a string of hard-hitting television commercials from the McCain campaign. Earlier spots suggest Obama is playing politics with the Iraq war, is against funding American troops and bears some of the responsibility for high gas prices.
UPDATE: Tucker Bounds, spokesman for the McCain campaign, released the following statement in response to the Obama campaign's new "Low Road" ad: "Pointing out your opponent’s worldwide celebrity is not the ‘low road,' and neither is pointing out that he opposes oil drilling and supports higher taxes.”
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(CNN) –The McCain campaign wants to know: do you want to elect “the biggest celebrity in the world?"
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Dana Bash reports on John McCain’s new ad released Wednesday. You won’t believe who makes an appearance along with Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential contenders, but Hillary Clinton seems to have faded from conversation. Suzanne Malveaux examines Clinton’s chance of making it onto Obama’s presidential ticket.
And Obama was well received abroad; how did he fair at home? Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at a new poll that may have the answer.
Finally, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ indictment may further damage the Republican Party in what is already a tough year for the GOP. Brian Todd investigates.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.ludacris.gi.jpg caption="The Obama campaign is criticizing Ludacris' new song."](CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign sharply condemned rapper Ludacris Wednesday over his new song celebrating the Illinois senator's presidential bid while referring to Hillary Clinton by an offensive remark.
The song, called "Politics: Obama Is Here," was released earlier in the day and refers to the New York senator as an "irrelevant b***h." Ludacris, whose real name is Chris Bridges, also takes aim at John McCain in the song, saying the Arizona senator "don't belong in ANY chair unless he's paralyzed."
The song, which largely celebrates the rise of Obama on the national political scene, also criticizes the Rev. Jesse Jackson and President Bush.
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said Ludacris should be "ashamed of these lyrics."
"As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to," Burton said. "This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain, and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics."
Obama has praised Ludacris in the past and the two men sat down privately in 2006 together to discuss ways to empower youth.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/29/art.obama.nevada.jpg caption="Obama criticized McCain's campaign tactics."]ROLLA, Missouri (CNN) - In the wake of John McCain’s new ad that paints Barack Obama as a global celebrity on par with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, Obama told supporters at a rally Wednesday, “don’t let the other side scare you,” and said McCain is attacking him because Republicans know they don’t have the answers.
“He’s spending an awful lot of time talking about me. You notice that?” Obama asked a crowd of just over one thousand seated in a university gym. “I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s going to do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things."
“They know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me,” Obama continued, repeating an attack from earlier in the day. “What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”
Obama was more serious with a pool reporter at a diner stop on the way to Rolla when asked about McCain’s new ad, saying, “You need to ask John McCain what he’s for and not just what he’s against."
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responded in an e-mail to reporters entitled “Baseless.”
“This is a typically superfluous response from Barack Obama. Like most celebrities, he reacts to fair criticism with a mix of fussiness and hysteria,” wrote Bounds. “Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes on energy and opposition to offshore drilling show that he fundamentally lacks judgment and experience, and is not ready to lead.”