August 24th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
15 years ago

CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan."]DENVER (CNN) – Barack Obama planned to name Joe Biden as his running mate by text message at 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning, but was forced to move up the announcement when CNN broke the story after midnight, a senior Obama official said.

At 12:42 a.m. ET, CNN reported that Obama had picked Biden to join him on the ticket. Several other news organizations confirmed the CNN report shortly afterwards.

“Had a certain network not blown our cover at a certain time the text message would have gone out in the morning, 8 a.m. Eastern,” Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor, said with a grin on Sunday. “We told people they would find out from us. When we decided it was going to get out we decided to send the text out.”

Gibbs said he believes despite the fact that the rollout plan had to be altered, a “vast majority of the people” still learned by text message when they woke up in the morning.

Some Republicans and others suggested that Obama’s 3 a.m. ET email had been intended as a deliberate swipe at Hillary Clinton, who ran a primary season ad that referenced that hour of the morning to make the case she was more qualified to handle a breaking crisis.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
August 24th, 2008
06:25 PM ET
15 years ago

CNN poll: Post-Biden poll shows dead heat

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - It’s a dead heat in the race for the White House. The first national poll conducted entirely after Barack Obama publicly named Joe Biden as his running mate suggests that battle for the presidency between the Illinois senator and Republican rival John McCain is all tied up.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Sunday night, 47 percent of those questioned are backing Obama with an equal amount supporting the Arizona senator.

“This looks like a step backward for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Even last week, just before his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate became known, most polls tended to show Obama with a single-digit advantage over McCain,” adds Holland.

So what’s the difference now?

It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, who still would prefer the Senator from New York as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
August 24th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Camping out for the Obama speech

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) –
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is preparing for supporters to sleep outside of Invesco Field the night before he formally accepts the Democratic presidential nomination before more than 75,000 people.

Obama campaign officials said they are taking steps should attendees pitch tents Wednesday night outside the home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos. One Obama official said the campaign is hoping to turn the speech into a grassroots organizing event, with training sessions taking place while people wait in line to get into the stadium and when they take their seats.

The attendees will also be encouraged to text message friends and families in the hours leading up to the speech urging them to watch it, Obama campaign officials told CNN Sunday.

"We want them to watch it,” an Obama advisor said. "We want to tell them to vote. This is a training exercise.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC
August 24th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
15 years ago

Michael Phelps overtakes Obama on Facebook

(CNN) - The McCain campaign has called him "The One" - but Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is no longer #1 on Facebook, a popular social networking Web site.

On the same day that Obama revealed his choice of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, Olympic darling Michael Phelps passed Obama in the number of "fans" or "supporters" associated with their respective pages on the site.

As of Sunday afternoon, Obama had roughly 1,383,000 "supporters" while Phelps, age 23, had more than 1,399,000 "fans."

Phelps' meteoric rise on Facebook was helped along by a congratulatory message many users saw when they logged into the site after the Baltimore swimmer captured 8 gold medals during the Beijing Games. The message contained a link to his Facebook page, where users could sign up as fans.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
August 24th, 2008
05:27 PM ET
15 years ago

Analysis: Biden's role is filling gaps and taking shots

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden’s job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic."]

DENVER (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who chose a foreign policy expert with roots in Pennsylvania and an appeal to blue-collar voters as his running mate, wasted little time explaining his decision Saturday.

In choosing Sen. Joe Biden, Obama got what he described as a "scrappy kid from Scranton" - a battle-tested politician whose job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic.

Biden wasted no time in taking jabs at McCain after being introduced by Obama at the rollout ceremony in Springfield, Illinois.

But Biden delivered the blows in classic "Joe style," saying McCain is "genuinely a friend of mine" and noting that the Arizona senator "served our country with extraordinary courage."

Then Biden unloaded on McCain, accusing him of giving "in to the right wing of his party" and then taking a dig at him for owning several homes.

Biden said he has known McCain for 35 years - enough time to know the good and bad about his "friend." The unanswered question is whether McCain's Senate colleague - turned Obama's running mate - will continue to amp up the criticism.

An Obama aide says that Biden will be charged with helping to explain to the "American people where Obama comes from, and what his vision is for the country," as well as lay out "the choice in this election." 

Watch more on Biden and the road ahead.

While Obama talks about running a 50-state campaign, Biden is likely to be a frequent visitor to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where his Irish heritage, Catholic religion and lunch pail appeal could play well with skeptical voters: Reagan Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters.


Filed under: Uncategorized
August 24th, 2008
05:25 PM ET
15 years ago

Biden sends video to supporters

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden introduces himself in a video to supporters in which he heaps praise on Obama and asks for volunteers."]

(CNN) – One day after becoming the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, Delaware Senator Joe Biden sent a video message to Barack Obama’s supporters introducing himself — and hinting at his appeal to key voting blocs the Illinois senator has long worked to win over.

“There’s never been anything like it,” Biden says into the camera, seated with an American flag over his shoulder. “This campaign has already accomplished so many amazing things. For one, it’s cut through the old-school partisanship that currently plagues Washington.”

Before briefly summarizing his work in the Senate, Biden first says that he comes from “a big Catholic family with a strong tradition of service.” Obama has had some trouble with Catholic Democrats, most flocked to Hillary Clinton during the primaries.

Biden also touches on his penchant for blunt talk that has landed him in some trouble in the past.

“I know I’m known for speaking my mind, hopefully clearly and strongly,” says Biden seriously, “but I do it on behalf of the middle class.”

He closes by asking people to sign up as volunteers for the campaign.

“My plan quite frankly is to roll up my sleeves and do what you’ve been doing. Make the phone calls, knock on the doors. Talk to new voters and new supporters face to face.”

Though the campaign has already rolled out a new Obama/Biden logo, the video finishes with an “Obama ’08” graphic.

Filed under: Joe Biden
August 24th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Full voting rights restored to Florida and Michigan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Protesters voice their concerns outside the DNC headquarters on Capitol Hill in April."]

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - In another bid to restore party unity, the Democratic National Committee voted unanimously Sunday to restore full convention voting rights to Florida and Michigan delegates.

The move, which had been sought by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton since shortly after the primary season began, was endorsed by presumptive nominee Barack Obama last month.

Florida and Michigan Democrats had been penalized by the DNC Rules Committee for holding their primaries in January, in violation of party rules. Under the initial penalty, Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates, and barred from attending the convention.

Clinton and Obama agreed not to campaign in either state and Obama’s name did not appear on the Michigan ballot. Clinton won both primaries in January, and - locked in a tight battle to win the nomination - urged for full delegations from both states to be seated. Her effort failed, and she conceded to Obama shortly after the primary season ended.

In June, the Rules and Bylaws Committee had voted to allow both states’ delegations to be seated at the convention, with each delegate awarded half a vote divided between the candidates based on a formula devised by party officials.

The number of delegates required to claim the Democratic nomination will rise as a result of Sunday’s decision.

August 24th, 2008
03:14 PM ET
15 years ago

Sources: Clinton to release delegates Wednesday

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - Hillary Clinton will meet with her primary delegates Wednesday – and will likely release them to Barack Obama at the event, CNN confirms.

Two Democratic sources say the Clinton reception will take place at 1:15 p.m. MT, before that evening’s roll call vote.

"It’s an opportunity for Senator Clinton to see her delegates - many for the first time since the primaries ended, thank them for their hard work and support, and most importantly to encourage them to support and work for Senator Obama as strongly as she has in order to elect him in November," said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines.

The timing of Clinton’s official call had been one of the final unresolved questions surrounding the Democratic convention, following the announcement earlier this month that the New York senator’s name would be placed in nomination, and the Sunday morning decision of the Credentials Committee to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at full voting strength.

Clinton had long pressed for both states to have their full voting privileges restored; a few weeks ago, at a fundraiser, she seemed to suggest that placing her name in nomination at the convention in Denver might provide a “catharsis” for some of her supporters.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC • Hillary Clinton
August 24th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Delaware gets front-row seat

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - Delaware is moving up to the front row.

Seating for the state’s delegation was moved Sunday from up in the stands of the Pepsi Center, site of the Democratic convention, to the front two rows on the floor of the arena.

Delegates from Delaware will now be seated right next to the podium where their senator, Joe Biden, will give his vice presidential nomination acceptance speech on Wednesday night.

August 24th, 2008
02:42 PM ET
15 years ago

Dems might counter-program GOP rally

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - Call it the battle of rallies.

Barack Obama campaign sources told CNN's Gloria Borger and Jessica Yellin that Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, will have their first post-convention joint rally Friday, likely in Pennsylvania.

That's the day after Obama gives his presidential nomination acceptance speech, wrapping up the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

And it's also the same day that John McCain is expected to hold a rally in Dayton, Ohio. The conventional wisdom is that the Ohio event could be the first public appearance of McCain and his yet to-be-named running mate.

Obama sources say the joint appearance by Obama and Biden could be a good way to counter-program the Republicans.

They also said that one state Biden will be visiting frequently is Florida.

Sources also tell CNN that the presidential nomination roll call will take place on Wednesday from late afternoon into early evening.

Both Obama and Hillary Clinton's names will be on the roll call of delegates.

And CNN also hears that director Steven Spielberg is making a video that will air on Wednesday night at the convention hall at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The video is about military veterans, and fits with the convention's theme of the night, which is a salute to veterans.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden • John McCain
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