(CNN) - Even in the wake of Sen. John McCain’s recent efforts to liken Sen. Barack Obama to celebrity starlets Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, the group Democrats Abroad is not shying away from using some Hollywood star power to get its pro-Obama message out
The Democratic group launched a new Web ad Monday that features Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who lives in London. The nearly two-minute spot is directed at U.S. citizens living overseas and suggests that they request absentee ballots in order to participate in November’s presidential election no matter where they are in the world.
“What happens at home affects us all,” people featured in the ad say.
“Every single vote will count,” adds Paltrow.
“Vote Democrat, Vote Obama, Vote from Abroad,” flashes on the screen near the end of the ad.
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) - Mark Salter, a top adviser to John McCain, gleefully distributed tire pressure gauges to McCain’s traveling press corps on Monday morning, a sight gag meant to mock Barack Obama’s remark last week that “making sure your tires are properly inflated” could help conserve gasoline.
Before departing for Pennsylvania, Salter told the press on board McCain’s plane that campaign staffers had brought along copies of Obama’s energy plan for reporters to study during the trip. After takeoff, Salter re-emerged with his punch line, passing out the pressure gauges reading “Obama’s Energy Plan” to the journalists on the flight.
The Republican National Committee said McCain supporters in Michigan were planning to distribute the same gauges at Obama’s energy speech in Lansing today. McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis also e-mailed supporters, offering a tire pressure gauge in exchange for a donation of $25 or more.
Last month, McCain's campaign also gave reporters covering the presumptive Republican nominee as Barack Obama's traveling press pool traveled overseas with the Illinois Democrat a fake European press pass.
Earlier: McCain press passes go continental
The pass featured a shot of the Statue of Liberty in front of an American flag, and the words: "McCain Press Corps/JV Squad/Left Behind To Report in America." The back had a picture of a man sporting a beret and a neck scarf, standing in front of a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and pouring a glass of wine.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign points out that McCain backers like Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as NASCAR, have promoted good tire maintenance as a way to manage fuel consumption.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that he regrets some of his controversial primary season comments, telling an interview that he is “not a racist.”
Clinton addressed some of the frenzy over his comments about his wife Hillary Clinton’s Democratic rival, presumptive party nominee Barack Obama, following the Illinois senator’s win in January’s South Carolina primary.
The former president, who appeared to grow agitated at times during one of his first interviews since his wife ended her active campaign for the presidential nomination in June, was asked by in the ABC interview if he was at least partly to blame for the New York senator’s loss, and if he personally had any regrets.
"Yes, but not the ones you think. And it would be counterproductive for me to talk about," said Clinton, adding that "there are things that I wish I'd urged her to do. Things I wish I'd said. Things I wish I hadn't said.
"But I am not a racist," he continued. "I've never made a racist comment and I never attacked him [Obama] personally."
(CNN) - Days after a television spot from John McCain’s campaign suggested Barack Obama did not hold enough respect for members of the military, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced Monday that Michelle Obama will host a roundtable discussion with military spouses highlighting the launch of a military families advisory group.
Michelle Obama will meet with military families in Norfolk, Virginia Wednesday, an event designed to spotlight "Blue Star Families for Obama," which the campaign describes as "a national military families council" that will provide policy input and coordinate with the campaign on events featuring military families.
Michelle Obama held similar discussions with military spouses last May in Kentucky and North Carolina. Last month, the McCain campaign released an ad that suggested the Illinois senator had skipped a visit to wounded service members on his overseas trip because he could not bring members of the media with him. Obama’s campaign has denied the account.
(CNN) - Barack Obama on Monday called for tapping into strategic oil reserves as part of his plan to provide relief from high gas prices.
Watch: Obama hits McCain on energy
Speaking before a crowd in Lansing, Michigan, the senator from Illinois called the country's addiction to oil "one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced."
Obama unveiled his energy plan, which includes a windfall profits tax on big oil corporations that would be used to provide a $1,000 rebate to people struggling with high energy costs.
The Democratic presidential candidate also wants to create 5 million "green" jobs and eliminate the need for oil from the Middle East within 10 years.
"You won't hear me say this too often, but I couldn't agree more with the explanation that Sen. McCain offered a few weeks ago. He said, 'Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been 30 years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington to think long-term about the future of the country,' " Obama said.
"What Sen. McCain neglected to mention was that during those 30 years, he was in Washington for 26 of them. And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Obama said.
Listen: Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor - reportedly a possible Republican VP pick - discusses Obama's energy policy on a McCain campaign conference call.
Obama's call for tapping into strategic oil reserves is an apparent policy shift.
(CNN)–Mitt Romney, John McCain's former primary season rival, defended the presumptive Republican nominee's controversial Web ad that suggested Barack Obama viewed himself as the Messiah - and said Monday the Illinois senator's new ad was deliberately deceptive.
“Well, that's really sad. I didn't – I didn't know that Barack Obama had stooped to dishonesty,” Romney told CNN American Morning's Kiran Chetry. “John McCain's is humorous and it hits the nail on the head. Barack Obama's like an Internet date….”
Watch to find out what Romney meant, and how he's feeling about his VP chances.
(CNN) - In an apparent policy shift, Barack Obama will call for the tapping of the strategic petroleum reserves Monday, backing a position taken by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.
"What he will be calling for in his speech today is swapping out the light crude with the heavy crude, the heavy crude would replaced in the reserve at a later date so that we can get oil into the market. In the past when we’ve done this we’ve seen its demonstrated ability to help bring costs down and obviously consumers are suffering today. So he’ll be calling for that swap,” said the campaign’s energy policy director, Heather Zichal, in a conference call with reporters.
“Sen. Obama has looked at this issue, he recognizes that Americans are suffering, that we have a unique situation with rising gas prices and this is one occasion where we need to look at this strategically and he made the decision that we need to tap the strategic petroleum reserves.”
Obama last month said he did not think the country should use the strategic oil reserves "at this point."
"I have said and in fact supported a congressional resolution that said we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve but the strategic oil reserve I think has to be reserved for a genuine emergency," he said on July 7.
UPDATE: The McCain campaign said Obama's move was strictly political, not sound policy. “Tapping the strategic oil reserve is not a substitute for a real plan to increase supply through additional drilling and nuclear power. The strategic oil reserve exists for America's national security strategy - not Barack Obama’s election strategy," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
"The last release of oil from the strategic reserve came in response to Hurricane Katrina, but the only crisis that has developed since Barack Obama last rejected this idea 28 days ago is a slide in his poll numbers.”
(CNN) - The Obama campaign is out with a new television commercial this morning which outlines some of candidate’s energy proposals, including what it says is a “windfall profits tax on big oil to give families a thousand dollar rebate.”
Watch: New Obama ad "Pockets"
The ad also accuses major oil companies of donating $2 million in contributions to rival John McCain’s campaign and says that “after one president in the pocket of big oil, we can’t afford another.”
The Obama campaign says the ad will run across the country but didn’t provide specifics.
The ad comes as Obama kicks off "Energy Week," with trips planned to Ohio and Indiana to discuss gas prices and rising heating bills.
Obama travels to battleground Michigan on Monday to unveil details on his energy policy.
Obama speaks at 11am ET in the Lansing, where the campaign said he will announce his “New Energy for America” plan. He will discuss an energy rebate to help with gas prices, creating five million “green” jobs and trying to eliminate the need for Middle Eastern oil in 10 years.
McCain, who will discuss small business issues Monday in Pennsylvania, also plans an energy event in Michigan this week. On Tuesday, he will visit the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant outside Detroit, for an event promoting his call for an increase in similar plants.
CNN: Obama to unveil energy plan Monday
Barack Obama travels to battleground Michigan Monday to unveil details on his energy policy. Obama speaks at 11am ET in the Lansing, where the campaign said he will announce his “New Energy for America” plan.
AP: Poll: McCain's attack strategy paying dividends
Intensified attacks by Republican John McCain on the character of his Democratic opponent have coincided with Barack Obama losing a nine percentage point advantage in a national poll, which showed the candidates running dead even over the weekend.
CNN: Is McCain's 'Celeb' ad accurate?
John McCain's campaign got a lot of attention last week for its ad that likens Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad calls Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world," but asks, "Is he ready to lead." In addition to the flashy imagery, the ad also claims that Obama would raise taxes on electricity. But is that claim true? CNN's Josh Levs reports.
Boston Herald: DNC video crews prep for Ted K tribute
Camera crews descended on the ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Hyannis compound this weekend to film an emotional tribute scheduled to air at the Democratic National Convention in August.
NY Times: Media Outlets Are Seeking a Campaign Bounce of Their Own
This year’s presidential campaign has drawn more voter interest than any other race in generations. For mainstream news media, however, capitalizing on that interest has been hit or miss, though not for lack of trying.
CNN Radio: Obama spends birthday weekend on the defensive as both candidates get drill-happy
It's been a weekend of backpedaling, slings, and arrows for both presidential campaigns. And somebody's got a birthday (hint: his last name begins with “O”), as CNN's Bob Costantini reports in today's political ticker.
San Francisco Chronicle: Candidates' VP picks could decide the race
This could be the presidential election when it really happens: No. 2 actually helps No. 1 get to be ... No. 1.
Washington Times: GOP: Lift drilling ban or risk shutdown
The showdown on Capitol Hill over expanding offshore drilling could lead to a threatened government shutdown when Congress returns from its five-week summer break in early September.
* Sen. John McCain attends a small business roundtable in Lafayette Hill, PA.
* Sen. Barack Obama at 11am in Lansing, MI. Later, he celebrates his 47th birthday.