August 21st, 2008
06:40 AM ET
15 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, Aug 21., 2008



CNN: Speculation, anticipation as Obama's VP announcement nears
The question is starting to feel a little old: Whom 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.

WSJ: McCain Closes Gap on Obama In Poll as Conventions Loom
Sen. John McCain has all but closed the gap with Sen. Barack Obama, underscoring how international crises - and some well-placed negative ads - have boosted the prospects of the Republican presidential candidate.

WSJ: Republicans Plan to Grab Some Denver Limelight
John McCain and the Republican Party have their own plans for next week in Denver, including a parade of high-profile surrogates, a Web site touting new attack videos, and a tagline for the Democrats' convention: A Mile High and an Inch Deep.

AP: White House missing as many as 225 days of e-mail
The White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by The Associated Press.

Politico: Exclusive: No single term for McCain
John McCain stated unequivocally in an interview with Politico Wednesday that he would not pledge to serve only a single four-year term, rejecting a suggestion that some allies believe would allay questions about his age and underscore his non-partisan message of putting country first.

CNN Radio: Democrats head west for Rocky Mountain high
The exodus has begun from Washington to Denver, for a convention that will highlight some of Democrats' greatest hits from the 90s. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.

WSJ: Voters Want Everything on Energy
Voters are crying out for more solar and wind energy - but that doesn't mean they are opposed to drilling for more oil at the same time, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.

NY Times: Voters in Poll Want Priority to Be Economy, Their Top Issue
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are heading into their conventions neck and neck in the presidential race, with voters focused overwhelmingly on economic issues but convinced that the candidates are not paying enough attention to their priorities, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.


Politico: Clinton creates 'whip team' to quell anti-Obama protests
In an unusual move, Hillary Clinton's staff is creating a 40-member "whip team" at the Denver Democratic convention to ensure that her supporters don't engage in embarrassing anti-Obama demonstrations during the floor vote on her nomination, according to people familiar with the planning.

Denver Post: Razor wire nixed at temporary jail for DNC
Work crews are covering the makeshift holding pens that could house protesters who run afoul of the law at next week's Democratic National Convention with chain-link fence today.

Bloomberg: Penny Pritzker Shows Why She Convinced Buffett to Support Obama
Penny Pritzker was driving to Chicago's Midway Airport in June to meet Barack Obama when her cell phone rang.

NY Times: Advocacy Groups, in Big Ad Campaigns, Step Up Intensity of Senate Races
With an actor from “The Sopranos” portraying a union heavy, a new political commercial from a pro-business group being shown in Maine suggests that the Democratic Senate candidate in a competitive race is trying to infringe on the privacy of workers.

Washington Post: The Silver Bullet
Steve Schmidt will not budge, and Mark Salter is begging. "Why do I have to do this if you're not going?" Salter, a close John McCain confidant, is whining to the man now running the GOP presidential operation. "Get up."

AP: Obama spends $55 million in July, McCain $32M
Presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain together spent nearly $90 million in July, feeding an escalating advertising contest as they tussled for pole position in the midst of summer.

Denver Post: Sen. Salazar Obama's Western frontman
If Mitt Romney has become John McCain's ambassador to the West, the figure with more clout and credibility among the region's voters than the candidate himself, it appears that Colorado's Sen. Ken Salazar is quickly emerging to fill that role for Barack Obama.

LA Times: McCain and Obama tax plans diverge on wealth
True to party doctrine, the GOP candidate's economic proposals would ease the burden on the rich, while the Democratic candidate's would increase it.

NY Times: Obama Shifts Message to Everyday Concerns
Senator Barack Obama has sharpened his stump speech, delivering a more populist message that further highlights his differences with Senator John McCain, particularly on the economy.

CNN: Not just the media pressing for veep secrets
John McCain may have expected immigration to be the hot topic in this New Mexico community, less than 50 miles from the border.

Washington Post: Who's Who at the Parties' Parties
A few members of Congress will play important roles at the national party nominating conventions in Denver and the Twin Cities the next two weeks, serving as everything from official bosses of the convention floor to hosts of parties for key insiders.

LA Times: Ralph Nader has celebrity backers, too– like Sean Penn and Val Kilmer
As we mentioned earlier today, droves of celebrities will descend on Denver next week to join Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

Politico: Obama rips Fox News
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) personally went on the attack Wednesday on a best-selling new book that falsely describes him as a closet Muslim. Talking about "The Obama Nation," Obama said author Jerome Corsi was just making "stuff up." The only way to fix Social Security
McCain and Obama have said how they would attack problems in the retirement safety net. But as president, neither will be able to do it his way entirely.

CNN: Schneider: Should Obama choose Clinton?
What can Barack Obama do to reverse his sudden slide in the polls? Here’s an idea: surprise everyone and name Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

CNN: Clinton strategy working for McCain
John McCain's attacks on Barack Obama on national security issues seem to be working: Polls show that McCain has cut the Democrat's lead.

CNN: Gergen: Obama: In Need of a Game Changer
Say what you will about Republicans making a muddle of governing, but they sure know how to campaign. The turn of events that John McCain and his team have engineered in recent weeks is one of the most significant events of the campaign and now poses a serious threat of an upset this fall.

Washington Post: There's Nothing So Simple About a Straight Party Vote
When Virginia Democrats gather in Denver next week for the party's national convention, they will boast what they consider one of their strongest tickets in a generation.

CNN: Conservatives upset over abortion rights VP contenders
Speculation that Sen. John McCain is considering as a running mate two men who support abortion rights has sparked a backlash among social conservatives, including radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.

Christian Science Monitor: Lieberman and Giuliani signal big tent for GOP convention
Although the Democratic convention and long, long anticipated naming of Barack Obama’s running mate is all the news this week, the GOP is still churning out news of their own with the announcement that former Mayor Rudy Giuiliani and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman will have prime speaking roles in this year’s Republican convention.

WSJ: Lieberman Agonistes
It's hard to tell whom Joe Lieberman is causing more heartburn these days - Democrats or Republicans. The Independent Democratic Senator has infuriated his Democratic colleagues because he's planning to speak at the Republican convention next month for his friend John McCain.

New York Daily News: Rudy Giuliani scores GOP convention keynote; goes off-message
Just like the old days, Rudy Giuliani's mouth won him headlines Wednesday – good and bad – as the former mayor burst back onto the presidential trail with a bang.

CNN: Obama ties McCain to Bush's economic policies
Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday lambasted his Republican rival's economic plan, arguing that Sen. John McCain would continue President Bush's policies and "we can't keep on going in the same direction."

AP: McCain hopes to turn the tide in Great Lakes area
Democratic dominance in presidential elections has been the norm for decades throughout much of the country's union-strong industrial Great Lakes region. Republican John McCain hopes to upset that history.

CNN: Obama advisors paint McCain more eager for war than Bush
Top Obama foreign policy advisors Susan Rice and Richard Clarke said Wednesday that John McCain had a tendency to “shoot first and ask questions later” – accusing him of “itching for war” with Iran and Syria, and alleging that he pushed for U.S. military involvement in Iraq long before the Bush administration did.

NY Times: Rural Swath of Big State Tests Obama
Wander up a gravel road and ask George Timko about Barack Obama and John McCain and he wrinkles his nose. Neither of those guys strikes him as a prize.

LA Times: Barack Obama courts middle-class Virginians with tax strategy
The ailing economy is his focus at a town hall meeting in Martinsville, a city whose unemployment rate is double the nation's.

Washington Post: Plugged In Nationally, Tuned Out Of the District
Harold Ickes is the prototypical insider, a career political operative who knows as much about how Washington works as anyone. Just don't ask the former Clinton White House official and Democratic superdelegate what ward he lives in.

CNN: U.S. official: Draft of deal for Iraq pullout reached
U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have agreed to a preliminary draft of an agreement on the future of U.S. troops in Iraq, a senior U.S. military official said.

NY Times: New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers
A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.

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