August 20th, 2008
10:35 AM ET
12 years ago

Lieberman to speak at the Republican convention

Democrat-turned-Independent Lieberman will speak during the opening night of the GOP convention.

Democrat-turned-Independent Lieberman will speak during the opening night of the GOP convention.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, will speak on Sen. John McCain’s behalf at the Republican National Convention, a source in the McCain campaign tells CNN.

Lieberman, who became an Independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary in his Senate re-election bid, has been a high profile surrogate on the campaign trail for McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Lieberman, who won re-election to his Senate seat, hinted earlier this month what tone he would strike at the convention being held next month in St. Paul.

"I'm not going to go to that convention, the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama,” Lieberman said in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I'm going to go there really talking about why I support John McCain and why I hope a lot of other independents and Democrats will do that. And frankly, I'm going to go to a partisan convention and tell them, if I go, why it's so important that we start to act like Americans and not as... partisan mudslingers here in Washington."

While Lieberman is campaigning on behalf of McCain, he has not cut all ties to the Democratic Party. This year, he donated $115,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, matching what he contributed to the political arm of the Senate Democratic Caucus in 2007.

And he continues to be included in the Democratic head count that gives them the majority in the Senate by the slimmest of margins – one vote. In turn, Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — a powerful perch with wide jurisdiction over the Bush administration.

Lieberman was first elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1988 and 12 years later found himself standing alongside Vice President Al Gore, as Gore's running mate. Six years later, it looked like his political career had come crashing down. His support for the war in Iraq prompted businessman Ned Lamont to challenge him in the Democratic primary.

After losing the primary, Lieberman vowed to continue running, a decision that caused many prominent Democrats, including fellow Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, to endorse Lamont. The endorsements weren't enough to seal a victory for Lamont — Lieberman was elected to another term.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain
August 20th, 2008
09:50 AM ET
12 years ago

The subtle art of campaign humor

Burton’s Wednesday e-mail to reporters.

Burton’s Wednesday e-mail to reporters.

(CNN) - Pity the poor Obama beat reporter – sleeping with their blackberry within arm's reach and their cell phone tucked under their pillow awaiting the looming vice presidential announcement, their job description expanded to include Talmudic-style dissections of vacation itineraries, campaign logistics and grammatical slips.

Having trouble working up any sympathy? So is Barack Obama's campaign. Wednesday morning, as VP speculation reached fever pitch, national spokesman Bill Burton sent reporters an e-mail titled “Vice Presidential….”

First line of the message: “Just kidding.”

It'll probably be a lot funnier after the convention.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
August 20th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN poll of polls: Obama lead cut in half

A new CNN poll of polls shows Obama's lead is dwindling.

A new CNN poll of polls shows Obama's lead is dwindling.

(CNN) - In what could be an ominous sign for Barack Obama just days before he is formally named the Democratic presidential nominee, a new CNN poll of polls out Tuesday shows the Illinois senator's lead over John McCain has been cut in half in recent days.

According to CNN's average of several recent national surveys, Obama's lead is now a slim 3 points over the Arizona senator, 46-43 percent - half of his advantage in a CNN poll of polls one week ago, and down from a high of 8 points in mid-July.

Election Center: Check out CNN's electoral map

The latest poll results come amid increased attacks from McCain on Obama's readiness to be commander-in-chief and the re-emergence of national security worries among voters in the wake of the Georgia crisis.

“Over the last week, we’ve seen Sen. Obama’s lead in the poll of polls cut in half,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “This change was likely driven by a renewed focus on foreign policy after Russia’s invasion of Georgia, as well as by Sen. McCain’s willingness to launch more aggressive attacks against Obama on issues such as off-shore drilling."

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll out Tuesday evening was the latest national survey to indicate Obama's lead is dwindling, putting the Illinois senator ahead of McCain by only 2 points, well within the poll's margin of error. The CNN Poll of polls also includes new surveys from Quinnipiac and Gallup.

But the recent downturn in the polls for Obama may not last - the Democratic White House hopeful is headed for a week of what is likely to be overwhelmingly postive coverage as he names his running mate and officially accepts his party's presidential nomination.

"The big question now is whether Obama can successfully regain control of the campaign agenda as we head into the Democratic convention," Silverleib also said.

August 20th, 2008
09:20 AM ET
12 years ago

Speculation, anticipation as Obama's VP announcement nears

Sen. Barack Obama has a big event scheduled Saturday. Will his No. 2 man (or woman) be by his side?

Sen. Barack Obama has a big event scheduled Saturday. Will his No. 2 man (or woman) be by his side?

(CNN) - The question is starting to feel a little old: Who will Barack Obama pick as his vice president?

With the clock ticking (the Democratic VP candidate delivers a big speech next Wednesday) the announcement is at most days and at least a few hours away.

Everyday seems to be "the day" - the day the guessing game will finally end.

In a poke at all of the VP buzz, the Obama campaign on Wednesday sent an e-mail to reporters with the subject line "Vice presidential ..."

The first line of the e-mail: "Just kidding." The e-mail contained details about Obama's schedule with no mention of any of the potential vice presidential candidates.

But if the top contenders have any inside information, they're doing a good job of keeping quiet.

Sen. Joe Biden on Tuesday told reporters camped outside his Delaware home that it's not him.

"You got better things to do guys; I'm not the guy," he said.

Asked where he would be on Saturday - when Obama is reportedly scheduled to hold a campaign event in Springfield, Illinois, that may feature his new running mate - Biden replied, "Here," pointing to his driveway.

He softened up a little later that night, telling reporters, "I promise you, I don't know anything."

Along with Biden, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine are considered to be among the top tier of VP contenders.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Evan Bayh • Joe Biden • Tim Kaine
August 20th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Did a missing pronoun send an important Obama VP message?

Did Obama drop a big VP hint?.

Did Obama drop a big VP hint?.

(CNN) - When is a pronoun more than just a part of speech?

A missing word in a standard response delivered by presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama Tuesday night sent political reporters scrambling.

The Illinois senator has been careful this campaign season to refer to his future running mate as “he or she,” to avoid sending unintentional signals about which party figures may or may not be in the running.

But asked at a North Carolina town hall meeting whether he would use a future vice president the same way President Bush has, Obama referred to just one gender. "Let me tell you first what I won’t do,” he said. “I won’t hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he’s doing."

CNN Political Market: Make bets on who's going to be VP?

"…My vice president also will be a member of the executive branch," he added, "he won't be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law."

His remarks were thorough, and included a full description of his prospective VP's personal priorities and demeanor. What they did not include was the feminine pronoun.

While the top three rumored finalists for the VP slot – Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh – are all men, reports have placed some women high on Obama’s shortlist this cycle, including Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and of course, former primary rival, New York Senator Hilary Clinton.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
August 20th, 2008
06:20 AM ET
12 years ago

Biden on VP stakes: 'You guys know as well as I do'

Biden said Tuesday he has 'no idea' if he's Obama's pick.

Biden said Tuesday he has 'no idea' if he's Obama's pick.

(CNN) – Pressed on a new wave of rumors that he could be the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden said late Tuesday that he has “no idea.”

“I promise you I don’t know anything. I have no idea,” he told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.

The long-time senator sidestepped a question about whether or not he thought he was still under consideration.

“I have no idea. You guys know as well as I do,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Biden told reporters camped outside the gates of his Delaware home that he isn’t “the guy.”

“You got better things to do,  guys, I’m not the guy,” Biden said.

Asked where he would be on Saturday - when Barack Obama is reportedly scheduled to hold a campaign event in Springfield, Illinois,  that may feature his new running mate – Biden replied, “Here,” pointing to his driveway.

Biden’s VP stock has risen in recent days following a visit to the Republic of Georgia that spotlighted his national security and foreign policy credentials – a policy area where Obama’s resume is relatively thin.

The Obama camp has kept the details on both the timing and selection of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s running mate under wraps. Biden is reportedly on a shortlist for the spot, along with Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. Obama will visit Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday before returning home to Illinois, where a Saturday event in Springfield – where he first kicked off his presidential run – will mark the official start of his “roll into the convention,” which will include a tour of battleground states.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
August 20th, 2008
06:18 AM ET
12 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008



CNN: Campaign stops add to VP speculation
In the run-up to the vice presidential announcements, a campaign stop is less about what's said than where it is; geography and choreography are clues.

WSJ: McCain Takes Hands-Off Approach With Platform
Jean from Ferrisburgh, Vt., wants the Republican Party to get off "the global-warming bus." Paul from Carrollton, Texas, wants it to "reject fetal stem-cell research." And Larry from Waynesboro, Pa., wants the party to promise to "deport those who are here illegally."

NY Times: Obama’s Ads in Key States Go on Attack
Senator Barack Obama has started a sustained and hard-hitting advertising campaign against Senator John McCain in states that will be vital this fall, painting Mr. McCain in a series of commercials as disconnected from the economic struggles of the middle class.

AP: McCain, Obama to silence critical ads on Sept. 11
Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain plan to pull ads on Sept. 11 that criticize each other, a respite from the political fray to honor the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

CNN Radio: Looking for clues in the VP whirlwind
The letters "v" and "p" may go up in value on the Scrabble board, as we get deeper into the daily guessing game about Barack Obama and John McCain's choices for number two. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.


USA Today: St. Paul hopes GOP convention wows guests
The last time the Twin Cities hosted a major political party's nominating convention, delegates from the 44 states arrived at Minneapolis' Exposition Building in horse-drawn buggies and street cars, and "Flour City" was derided by some Easterners as a frontier town.

Washington Post: This Time, McCain Knows the Drill
Last month, a hurricane and an oil spill derailed Sen. John McCain's visit to an oil rig to tout his support for offshore drilling as a solution to the nation's energy woes.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
August 20th, 2008
06:10 AM ET
9 years ago

McCain visits oil rig, presses Obama on offshore drilling

(CNN) - As a dip in gas prices barely registers at the pump, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain continued his pressure on opponent Barack Obama over the politically popular policy of offshore drilling with a visit to an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We need to start drilling offshore,” McCain said Tuesday, standing on a Chevron oil platform that pumps out 10,000 gallons of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. “Sen. Obama opposes new drilling. He has said it will not ‘solve our problem’ and that ‘it’s not real.’ He’s wrong, and the American people know it. I hope he’ll seize the opportunity to come out and pay a visit like this one and I think it would probably change his mind.”

Both McCain and Obama opposed offshore drilling when the campaign began. But as prices at the pump reached $4 a gallon – and polls showed a significant majority of Americans favor the idea - both men shifted their positions.

The Arizona senator has embraced the policy. His fall rival says he remains personally opposed, but would consider legislation that includes a provision expanding the practice if the compromise was required to pass comprehensive energy legislation.


Filed under: John McCain
August 20th, 2008
06:05 AM ET
12 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008


* Sen. John McCain holds a town hall meeting at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM.

* Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Virginia, holding a discussion on the economy in Martinsville and then a town hall meeting Lynchburg.

Filed under: On the Trail
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