POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/26

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think that’s going to be a factor in selection.”

— Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, quoted by Politico, on whether he thinks a running mate should be chosen to help carry a state.

The Barr Effect

According to Ben Smith, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign manager told reporters he believed the Libertarian candidacy of former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) could make a big difference in at least two states: Alaska and Georgia.

He said Barr could get as much as eight percent of the vote in Alaska and four percent in Georgia. 

David Plouffe also elaborated on Obama’s overall strategy of expanding the battleground. 

Said Plouffe: “We have a lot of differing combinations to get to 270, and our strategic imperative is going to be … to keep as many of those scenarios as possible alive deep into October.”

Deja Vu

Dan Balz: “A campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain once offered enormous possibilities for something new. Instead, the two presumptive nominees have opened their campaigns for the White House with what looks and sounds like a repeat of the kind of politics both have promised to leave behind.”

Cannon Ousted in UT-3

Six-term Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) “became the third House member unseated in a primary election this year, losing by a wide margin to first-time candidate Jason Chaffetz” in UT-3, according to CQ Politics.

“The result was less a massive surge to Chaffetz than a failure of Cannon to generate the kind of turnout typically enjoyed by House incumbents.”

“The victory virtually assures Chaffetz of a seat in the upcoming 111th Congress, as the central Utah district is one of the nation’s premier Republican strongholds.”

The Greenest Show on Earth

Democratic National Convention organizers are discovering the perils of trying to stage an event that’s also politically and environmentally correct, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Hosting the “greenest convention ever” may sound like a good idea to campaign operatives, but actually finding organic, union-made hats and biodegradable balloons has proven very difficult.

I’m Not a Strategist, I Only Play One On TV

That “political strategist” giving commentary on cable television may not even work in politics, Politico observes.

“Among the things that the proliferation of TV cable news has wrought is slackened standards for what constitutes a political strategist. Now used as a catchall tag for a whole host of people with varied — and often peripheral — backgrounds in electoral politics, the term has all but lost its meaning.”

Voter Drive Could Put 9 States in Play

Sen. Barack Obama “could make major gains in at least nine states the Democratic ticket lost in 2004 if he can achieve a relatively modest increase in turnout among young and African-American voters,” according to a must-read  Chicago Tribune analysis of voting data.

“That potential helps explain why the Obama campaign chose to forgo federal funding and also why it is engaged in a massive voter registration drive. With its unprecedented resources, the campaign can fund an array of specific targeting operations, and Obama exploited early versions of those to great success during the primary campaign.”

Example: “If Obama could inspire just 10 percent more Democratic voters under 30 to go to the polls than did four years ago, that alone could be enough to switch Iowa and New Mexico from red to blue.”

Obama Keeps Distance From Smith

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), up for a tough re-election bid against Jeff Merkley (D), is running a new television ad aligning himself with Sen. Barack Obama.

Time reports Obama released a statement backing Merkley: “Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate. But in this race, Oregonians should know that Barack Obama supports Jeff Merkley for Senate. Merkley will help Obama bring about the fundamental change we need in Washington.”

CQ has a good backgrounder on the race. 

MTV Will Run Political Ads

“Politicians can finally get their MTV. After declining political advertising since its inception in 1981, MTV is reversing course,” Ad Age reports.

“The Viacom MTV Networks channel — once known for round-the-clock music videos and now home to a host of reality shows — says it will now take political ads, though only from political candidates and party political committees, not from third parties.”

Obama’s 14 State Battleground

In an interview with Politico, Sen. Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager said they “will focus his resources largely in 14 states George W. Bush won in 2004… hoping to score upsets in places like Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia. 

“In an unusual move, Obama’s campaign will also devote some resources to states it’s unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contests in places like Texas and Wyoming.” 

Said Steve Hildebrand: “Texas is a great example where we might not be able to win the state, but we want to pay a lot of attention to it,. It’s one of the most important redistricting opportunities in the country.”

What’s on Obama’s iPod?

Apple iPod classic 80 GB Black (6th Generation)In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine to be published later today, Sen. Barack Obama “revealed that his iPod was full of dozens of selections from, top to bottom, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Jay-Z and Yo-Yo Ma.” 

And, “joining perhaps every other Democratic politician alive, he also confessed a deep love for Bruce Springsteen.”

The Makeover Myth

Despite last week’s storyline of a “Michelle Obama Makeover,” a CQ Politics comparison of Mrs. Obama’s “public events of the last week with her speeches and appearances during the Democratic primary reveal that the so-called Michelle Makeover is more myth than reality. While she may have made small tweaks in tone and style, for the most part her words have not changed.”

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