September 11th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Father: Palin showed grit at early age

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Chuck Heather, Palin's father, says it hasn't settled in yet that his daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is running for vice president."]
WASILLA, Alaska (CNN) - Gov. Sarah Palin's father never imagined that his "little girl" would run for the vice presidency, but he knows his daughter's determination made her a success when others, including himself, expected her to fail.

"I look back on Sarah's perseverance, and whatever she wanted to do, she put her nose to the grindstone, especially in sports," Chuck Heath told CNN in an extensive interview in his Wasilla, Alaska, home. "If she didn't have a certain ability, she worked and worked and worked until she obtained that ability or skill."

Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, surprised the political world when he picked Palin, a first-term governor from Alaska, to be his running mate nearly two weeks ago. The interview with Palin's father will be included in "Sarah Palin Revealed," a documentary that will air on CNN at 9 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

Heath, a retired science teacher and coach who now works with the federal Wildlife Services Program, said his daughter started exhibiting her stubborn streak at an early age.

"Sarah, she was something else," he said. "I wasn't mean to her. I was stern with her, but I could seldom bend her if she made up her mind on something."

Full story

Filed under: Sarah Palin
September 11th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton predicts big Obama win


Sen. Obama met with former president Clinton in Harlem Thursday in their first extended sit-down meeting since Obama defeated Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton predicted Barack Obama will "win" this fall's election and "will win pretty handily.”

The two men chatted with reporters in a photo-op at Clinton's Harlem office before sitting down for a private lunch.

Clinton is scheduled to campaign for Obama in Florida later this month. According to aides, the former president will appear at a mix of fundraisers and campaign events on behalf of the Democratic ticket throughout the fall.

"We're putting him to work," said Obama.

Clinton said he’d "agreed to do a substantial number of things, whatever I'm asked to do.”

Obama smiled at Clinton's prediction that he would take the White House: "There you go, you can take it from the President of the United States. He knows a little something about politics."

The image of the two men meeting comes as a relief to many Democrats who have been hoping to put to rest the "Clinton-Obama rift" storyline. Both Clintons praised Obama in their convention speeches, but agreed a face-to-face meeting with the president was a necessary step in putting the contentious primary season behind both camps.

The two men were said to be dining on a mix of sandwiches, salads and pizza from the lunch chain Cosi.


September 11th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
13 years ago

New polls show tight races in battleground states

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="New polls show tight battleground races."]

(CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain each hold slim leads in a key battleground state while the two are statistically tied in a third, according to a new set of Quinnipiac polls released Thursday morning and conducted entirely after the Republican convention.

Watch: Suburban battlegrounds up for grabs

Obama holds a narrow lead in Ohio (49-44 percent), a state hard-hit by the nation's economic woes but one that hasn't voted Democratic since 1996 and one no Republican has lost and gone on to win the presidency.

McCain, on the other hand, is on top in Florida (50-43 percent), the state that handed him a decisive primary win in January which ultimately led to his party's nomination.

Election Center: Check out CNN's electoral breakdown

Both candidates are in a statistical dead heat in Pennsylvania, the state Obama lost handily to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary but one that has narrowly voted Democratic in the last four presidential elections. The poll shows Obama on top 48-45 percent there, just inside the polls 3.1 percent margin of error.

Related: Michigan could go either way

All three surveys were conducted September 5-9 and come one day after the release of a set of surveys from CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation that showed tight races in four other battleground states: New Hampshire, Michigan, Virginia, and Missouri.

Those surveys showed slim advantages for Obama in New Hampshire and Michigan while McCain was narrowly on top in Virginia and Missouri.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
September 11th, 2008
10:05 AM ET
13 years ago

Happening Now: President Bush speaks at the Pentagon

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Watch the ceremonies on Ground Zero on"](CNN) - President Bush is commemorating the attacks of September 11 in a speech at the Pentagon.

Watch the event on

UPDATE: This event has ended.

Filed under: 9/11
September 11th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Happening Now: Ceremony at Ground Zero

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Watch the ceremonies on Ground Zero on"](CNN) - Family members and students representing countries that lost individuals are reading the names of those who died at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001. Moments of silence will also be held in observance of the times the first and second planes hit the towers.

Watch the event on

UPDATE: This event has ended

Filed under: 9/11
September 11th, 2008
09:01 AM ET
13 years ago

Concerns about terrorist attack at lowest level since 9/11

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Concerns over a terrorist attack are at their lowest point since 9/11."](CNN) - Concerns about an impending terrorist strike are at the lowest point on record since the attacks on September 11, 2001, and only about one in ten Americans say that terrorism is the most important issue in deciding their vote for president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

Seven years after the attacks of September 11, just 30 percent of Americans said they thought an attack on American soil is likely sometime over the next several weeks - a number that's down 11 points since last year at that time and down 30 points since the first anniversary of 9/11. Only 14 percent of Americans say an impending terrorist attack is likely in their community.

Watch: Mayor Bloomberg remembers the victims of 9/11

And Americans do appear to be more confident Osama bin Laden will eventually be captured or killed - just about half say the U.S. will ultimately find the 9/11 mastermind, up 7 points from this time last year.

But in frustrating news for the White House, Americans appear to give little credit to President Bush for the lack of a terrorist strike over the last seven years: Only 37 percent believe the president and his policies are the chief reason there has not been a strike on U.S. soil. Overall, he has a 28 percent approval rating, tying his all time low in CNN/ORC polling.

Full story

Filed under: 9/11
September 11th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Biden: Hillary might have been better VP pick

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden campaigned in New Hampshire Wednesday."]NASHUA, New Hampshire (CNN) - Joe Biden told supporters at a town hall Wednesday afternoon that Barack Obama might have been better off choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

“Make no mistake about this, Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight,” Biden said testily when a voter told Biden he was glad the Delaware senator had been chosen and not Clinton.

Watch: Biden opens up about death of first wife

“She’s a truly close personal friend and she is qualified to be President of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me,” he continued.

"I mean that sincerely, she’s first rate.” Calling Clinton supporters - What do you think?

After dropping out of the presidential race in January, Biden refrained from endorsing either Obama or Clinton - unlike most of the other Democratic contenders who followed. He told donors at a fundraiser in Boston Wednesday morning that after his withdrawal, Obama asked for his support but Biden declined because of his relationship with Clinton.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden
September 11th, 2008
08:04 AM ET
13 years ago

TIME: McCain, Obama unite briefly for 9/11

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain, Obama will pause along with the rest of the country Thursday, to remember the victims of 9/11."]
They are a point or two apart in the polls. They seem to shadow each other from battleground state to battleground state. And now and they are hurling words at one another like longshoremen.

But on Thursday, September 11, John McCain and Barack Obama will take a break. A brief moment of silence will descend on the presidential campaign. Call it a pause. Or maybe a cease-fire.

Watch: Bush, Cheney remember 9/11

Above all, call it temporary — and there's still a chance that it won't happen at all. (In fact, if you were in a betting mood, you might want to throw some money at the won't-happen-at-all option.)

But, in any case, here's the plan:

The two candidates will gather briefly at the site of the World Trade Center to mark the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001. Neither man will speak at the site; they will instead bear witness to the tragedy that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., and left thousands of others wounded. It is enough that they would stand side-by-side to mark the anniversary. "We will put aside politics and come together," the two men said in a statement released jointly.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
September 11th, 2008
08:03 AM ET
13 years ago

Palin makes her first appearance in Fairbanks, Alaska


Palin touches down in her home town of Fairbanks, Alaska to be greeted my supporters in toy red lips. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

Filed under: Sarah Palin
September 11th, 2008
06:57 AM ET
13 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008


Bloomberg: Obama, McCain Put Politics Aside to Mark Sept. 11 Anniversary
Barack Obama and John McCain will put their presidential ambitions on hold today to make an unprecedented joint appearance at a commemoration marking the seventh anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

NYT: Squad of G.O.P. Aides Prepares Palin for Interviews
Two weeks ago, People magazine was granted an exclusive interview with Senator John McCain’s new running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, who spoke about motherhood and career, life in Alaska and the historic nature of her candidacy.

USA TODAY: Palin's town used to bill victims for rape kits
In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.

AP: Coverage guarantee can hit young the hardest
Barack Obama's campaign promise should prove irresistible to the millions of uninsured: guaranteed access to affordable health coverage, regardless of illness or condition.

NYT: Palin’s Pipeline Is Years From Being a Reality
When Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska took center stage at the Republican convention last week, she sought to burnish her executive credentials by telling how she had engineered the deal that jump-started a long-delayed gas pipeline project.

Politico: Palin team stocked with Bush veterans
With Sarah Palin facing unrelenting press scrutiny and enjoying off-the-charts excitement from voters, John McCain’s campaign is quickly moving to augment her staff and put in place an infrastructure that can address the unexpected wave of interest.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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