POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/29

Kaine Domain Name Points to Potential GOP Successor

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) brings a number of attractive qualities to the ticket as vice president, but Sen. Barack Obama’s tech savvy campaign team will have to work to rescue a valuable URL if Kaine is chosen as the senator’s running mate. 
 
Right now, visitors to TimKaine.com are automatically redirected to the official website of Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. 

According to a source close to Kaine, the domain name TimKaine.com was registered very early in the 2005 gubernatorial race by an unknown individual (known only as “MC” according to public domain registration records) who is not affiliated with Kaine. 

While there were initial fears that the individual would use the Web site to tarnish Kaine’s image, they were laid to rest when the registrant chose to redirect visitors to the official lieutenant governor’s web page. Because Kaine was the sitting lieutenant governor at the time, it didn’t become an issue and the Kaine campaign utilized Kaine2005.org, which is no longer active.

But now, visitors to the official lieutenant governor’s Web site, including visitors to TimKaine.com, find Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. If Kaine ends up being chosen as Obama’s running mate and the pair wins the election, Bolling would succeed Kaine as governor of Virginia.

Most importantly, if Kaine is chosen, the Obama campaign will likely do everything they can to secure and utilize the coveted URL. It’s far too valuable to fall into the hands of Republican operatives.   

— Nathan L. Gonzales is political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

Stevens Indicted

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) — the longest-serving Republican senator — “has been indicted on seven counts of making false statements,” according to the AP.

“Stevens, 86 years old, has been dogged by a federal investigation into whether he pushed for fishing legislation that also benefited his son, an Alaska lobbyist. Authorities have also scrutinized his ties to a corrupt oil contractor who paid employees to renovate the senator’s home.”

There’s no question this helps move the Democrats along in their quest to hold 60 U.S. Senate seats. 

Other reactions:

NBC News notes that per Senate GOP caucus rules, “if a member is indicted, he or she can no longer serve as chairman or ranking member of a committee. Stevens is ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.”

Jonathan Martin reports there’s “no word yet from McCain or the campaign, but I’d be shocked if they didn’t at least subtly remind voters about the clashes between the two senators over the years.”

PPP Poll: McCain Maintains Edge in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina continues to show Sen. John McCain with a small lead over Sen. Barack Obama, 47% to 44%. 

Analysis: “Obama’s ability to win North Carolina may depend on the extent to which he is able to keep the election focused on the economy. It’s the top issue for 47% of voters in the state, and among those people he has a strong 53-38 lead. He gets beaten badly though among those who are most concerned with moral and family values or immigration. The more North Carolinians are focused on pocketbook issues instead of social issues, the more likely it is that Obama will win.”

Strategic Vision: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania, Washington

Political Wire got an advance look at two new Strategic Vision polls that will be formally released tomorrow.

  • Pennsylvania: Obama leads McCain, 49% to 40%. 
  • Washington: Obama leads McCain, 48% to 37%

The margin of error is +/- 3 points in Pennsylvania and +/- 3.5 points in Washington. Both surveys were conducted July 25-27. 

Geek Power

The Wall Street Journal runs an interesting piece on “the most unlikely fund-raising success story of this campaign season.” 

“Running to represent a mostly lower-middle-class district with just 11,000 registered voters,” Sean Tevis “has raised more than $95,000. The astounding sum hasn’t come from his neighbors, but from kindred spirits nationwide. Systems analysts, programmers and Web designers have showered him with donations in appreciation of his offbeat online fund-raising plea, which consists of a stick-figure comic stripRunning for Office: It’s Like a Flamewar With a Forum Troll, but With an Eventual Winner.”

Obama Drives the Race

Sen. Barack Obama “dominates the race by virtually any other measure. He is dictating the agenda and soaking up news coverage as McCain and his team scramble to react,” according to Politico.

“Most political pros continue to believe the race remains within the GOP’s grasp. But two months of the five-month general election campaign are gone, and the McCain campaign – in a rerun of Hillary Clinton’s frustrations – are still searching for an effective formula for countering Obama’s appealing personality and fearsome political machine.”

“If you made a movie about the general election campaign so far, John McCain would be a supporting actor.”

Stu Rothenberg: “So it is Obama, not McCain, who is the master of his own destiny. It’s up to him to make those undecided voters comfortable with who he is and what kind of president — what kind of commander in chief — he would be. If he succeeds in doing so over the next three months, he is likely to win the White House.”

Obama-Clinton Ticket Not Likely

The New York Times reports that “there is mounting evidence” that Sen. Barack Obama’s interest in Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his running mate “has faded considerably, if, in fact, she ever really was a strong contender to be on the ticket with him.”

“The feeling goes both ways. Mrs. Clinton has told associates in recent days that she thinks there is little chance Mr. Obama will pick her and that she views the public pronouncements by some of Mr. Obama’s aides that she is under review as nothing more than a courtesy.”

Are Obama and Kaine Meeting Today?

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, rumored as a top vice presidential contender for Sen. Barack Obama, is in Washington, D.C. today. Obama is also in the nation’s capital today.

Meanwhile, Mike Allen notes that Obama, Kaine and their wives all went to Harvard Law School. Another interesting tidbit: Obama’s and Kaine’s mothers were both born in El Dorado, Kansas.

Quote of the Day

“We are now in a position where the odds of us winning are very good. But it’s still going to be difficult.”

— Sen. Barack Obama, quoted by CNN.

Kaine Near Top of Obama’s Short List

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has told close associates that he has had “very serious” conversations with Sen. Barack Obama “about joining the Democratic ticket and has provided documents to the campaign as it combs through his background,” theWashington Post reports.

Politico also cites sources that say Kaine is on a list of finalists.

Sen. Evan Bayh, Sen. Joe Biden and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are also being vetted, according to “sources with knowledge of the process.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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