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(CNN) — Events half a world away made waves on the presidential campaign trail this week, as Russia and Georgia battled in South Ossetia.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Ed Henry reports on what the escalating conflict means for the presidential candidates here in the U.S. - and how the headlines may give presumptive Republican nominee John McCain the upper hand.
The Democratic National Committee has announced its themes for the party’s nominating convention: four days of events focused on unity, change and the future. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider explains how these themes will play out in Denver – and how Hillary Clinton will have a starring role.
And as Clinton’s supporters continue to press for her name to be placed in nomination at the Democratic convention, more clues are surfacing in the search for how her presidential bid ended up falling short. Internal e-mails leaked to The Atlantic magazine paint a chaotic portrait of life inside the Clinton campaign. CNN’s Mary Snow has the story.
Finally: The battleground state of Pennsylvania may be leaning towards Barack Obama, but John McCain could be well-poised to claim that electoral vote prize. CNN’s Tom Foreman reports from the Election Express in Pennsylvania.
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.elexex.cnn.jpg caption=" The CNN Election Express is heading across the country."] (CNN) – The country is at war, the economy is stalling, and the presidential contenders are fighting over everything from energy policy to the Iraq war. John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in a tight race in most national polls – but who’s got the edge in the all-important swing states?
CNN Election Center: View the latest state polls
Over the next two weeks we’ll try to find the answer, and provide Americans an opportunity to say what’s on their minds as the CNN Election Express motors from the Pennsylvania countryside to the site of the Democratic convention in Denver – making its way across the crucial battleground and tossup states that could make the difference on Election Day.
We are going to make stops in little towns and big cities, truck stops and diners. When we pull over, CNN’s Tom Foreman will be jumping off the bus to hear what’s on voters’ minds.
Tomorrow, we’ll move from Pennsylvania to Ohio, the state that effectively decided the last presidential bout. We’ll end up in Colorado – a formerly-red state that may be in play this cycle. The lives and stories of millions of Americans lie in-between.
So tune into CNN and The Ticker throughout the day and night for the latest from the road.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.ossetia0811.ap.jpg caption="The conflict between Russia and Georgia is making waves on the presidential campaign trail."] (CNN) - Barack Obama moved closer to John McCain’s tough position regarding the military conflict in Georgia on Monday, issuing a statement from Hawaii scolding Russia for the intensifying violence in the conflict.
“No matter how this conflict started, Russia has escalated it well beyond the dispute over South Ossetia and invaded another country,” Obama said in a statement distributed by his campaign. “Russia has escalated its military campaign through strategic bombing and the movement of its ground forces into the heart of Georgia. There is no possible justification for these attacks.”
The comments marked a departure from Obama’s initial statement on the conflict, released Friday, which avoided chiding Russia directly and urged restraint from both nations. He released a sterner statement the following day condemning Russian aggression.
Today, he focused his criticism squarely on the Kremlin, a posture first taken by McCain four days ago, as the conflict began.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.denvergroupad.rollcall.jpg caption="A group of Hillary Clinton supporters is warning the DNC against staging a 'coronation' of Sen. Obama at the upcoming Democratic Convention."]
(CNN) – Just days after Sen. Barack Obama reached out to former President Bill Clinton in the latest post-primary season attempt to unify the Democratic Party, a group of Hillary Clinton supporters ran another ad Monday in an influential Capitol Hill publication that warned against turning the upcoming Democratic convention into what they called a ‘coronation’ of Obama.
Warns the ad, “If Democratic processes and principles are not respected, then the party will have a much bigger problem – a genuine revolt of more than 18 million voters.”
The ad was paid for by The Denver Group, a group of Clinton supporters whose demands for the Democratic convention include a roll call vote and speeches in favor of the New York senator’s candidacy.
The half-page ad, which ran in Monday’s issue of Roll Call, asks “Will [Democratic National Committee chair] Howard Dean and the DNC turn the Democratic Party into the Boston Tea Party?” It adds that neither candidate has enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination, and that pledges to support Obama made by super delegates in June after the last primary are not binding. “Senator Clinton’s name must be placed in nomination,” it reads.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.clinton0811.ap.jpg caption="Clinton is stumping for Obama – but aides still wonder what might have been."]
(CNN) - If reporters had nabbed former presidential candidate John Edwards lying about his extramarital affair, Hillary Clinton would have captured the Democratic presidential nomination, her former communications director said.
"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," Howard Wolfson told ABCNews.com in an interview released Monday, because internal campaign polling showed "our voters and Edwards voters were the same people. They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama."
iReport.com: Share your thoughts on the Edwards scandal
Two months after Edwards first denied rumors of the affair, Barack Obama's win in the Iowa caucuses - and Clinton's third-place showing behind Edwards - fundamentally altered the shape of the race.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.obama.smiles.jpg caption="Crown Publishers will release Obama's new book in September."]
(CNN)—Campaign advertisements, campaign stops, how about campaign books?
Crown Publishers, a division of Random House, will publish Barack Obama’s third book September 9 aimed at highlighting the Illinois senator’s plans to re-vamp Washington politics
“Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise,” will include a foreword written by the presumptive Democratic nominee where he will detail his policy stances and the importance of this election. Members of Obama’s campaign staff also penned chapters detailing the Illinois senators proposals on healthcare, energy, and national security, according to the Associated Press
The book, which will be released in an audio and e-book version on September 8, will also feature a compilation of seven speeches Obama has given throughout the course of his campaign including his address in Berlin and the declaration of his candidacy for president.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.edwards.ring.ap.jpg caption="Is the sanctity of marriage lost on political office?"]
John Edwards is the latest in a long line of politicians who cheated on their wives – and without exception, they all thought they could get away with it.
Edwards' behavior is particularly offensive for a couple of reasons. His wife has incurable cancer. And when Bill Clinton got caught with Monica Lewinsky, Mr. Edwards couldn't wait, Clinton "has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, his wife and his daughter." Edwards is the consummate phony.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.text.gi.jpg caption="Obama's VP choice will be announced via text messaging."]
(CNN) - It used to be that a presidential candidate announced his running mate at a carefully staged rally in a crucial swing state designed to boost buzz for the ticket and maximize media coverage.
But in a presidential cycle where so many of the conventional rules no longer appear applicable, Barack Obama's campaign said Sunday the Democratic VP choice will be revealed via e-mail and text messages to supporters.
"Barack Obama is about to make one of the most important decisions of this campaign - choosing a running mate," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe wrote in an e-mail to supporters Sunday night. "You have helped build this movement from the bottom up, and Barack wants you to be the first to know his choice."
Plouffe's e-mail is sure to raise speculation a running mate announcement could be imminent, even as Obama vacations in Hawaii and the Olympic Games reach full swing in Beijing. Most political observers had expected Illinois senator to announce his VP choice after the Olympics, ended in the small window before the Democratic convention.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/06/clinton.campaign/art.penn.gi.jpg caption="Mark Penn was Hillary Clinton's chief strategist."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist wanted to attack Sen. Barack Obama for lacking “American roots” during the Democratic primary battle, according to a magazine article set to come out next week.
“All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared towards showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light. Save it for 2050,” Mark Penn, then Clinton’s chief campaign strategist, wrote in a memo written in March 2007, according to an article to be published in The Atlantic magazine.
“It also exposes a very strong weakness for him – his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot image America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values,” Penn wrote, according to the article written by Joshua Green.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.ridge.mccain.jpg caption="McCain and Gov. Ridge took part in a National Security roundtable in January."]
ERIE, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Tom Ridge might be a long-shot in the vice presidential sweepstakes, but John McCain certainly holds him in high esteem.
The presumptive GOP nominee, who refuses to discuss the vetting process for potential running mates, heaped praise on his friend and adviser on Monday in Ridge’s hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania.
At one point, a GE employee at a brief town hall meeting here asked McCain what his plans would be for his first 90 days in office.
“Call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking and get him to work,” McCain answered, to much applause.
Selecting Ridge, a Catholic and former two-term governor of Pennsylvania, could boost McCain’s chances in this swing state. But Ridge also supports abortion rights, a factor that would likely turn off segments of the Republican base.