POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/27

McCain’s Hillary-Themed Ads Not Run

According to a group that monitors political advertising across the country, only one of the three Hillary Clinton-themed ads attacking Sen. Barack Obama has been broadcast so far — and that ad, featuring a Clinton delegate who now endorses McCain is only airing in Toledo, Ohio, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The monitoring firm says they are “basically video press releases.”

Bill Clinton Expected at Convention

There might be a good reason it seems there are more secret service agents around the Pepsi Center in Denver today: The latest rumor is that Bill Clinton will be in attendance tonight as Sen. Hillary Clinton gives her speech.

McCain Considers Thursday Announcement

“Perhaps hoping to turn a fresh page from the Democratic convention, advisers to Sen. John McCain are considering a Thursday night vice presidential announcement,” according to Marc Ambinder, “although the unofficial word from campaign headquarters is that Friday is still more likely.”

Thursday, of course, is the night Sen. Barack Obama formally accepts the Democratic presidential nomination.

If McCain is seriously considering this unprecedented interruption into Obama’s night, he’s clearly taking advice from the same person Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez used when he announced his free agency during last year’s World Series.

C-2

The New York Times has a great behind-the-scenes look at how Sen. Joe Biden was selected as Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate. To keep the secret, Biden was never referred to by name; instead the few aides who knew called him by his codename, C-2.

However, even the two aides that made all the preparations for the unveiling of Biden didn’t know Obama’s pick until just before the rest of us.

 

Quote of the Day

“Suppose you’re a voter, and you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?”

— Bill Clinton, quoted by The Hill, evidently still fighting the Democratic primary election. He quickly backpedaled, saying “This has nothing to do with what’s going on now.”

Clinton also told the Rocky Mountain News that he “still loves politics” and the election has “still got some twists and turns between now and November.”

 

Just Asking

Sen. John McCain appeared on the Tonight Show this week for the thirteenth time, according to Time. Others who have been on the show that many times: Pamela Anderson, Dr. Phil, Larry the Cable Guy, Simon Cowell, Jennifer Love Hewitt.

So, who’s the celebrity?

 

The Best Coverage of the Convention

With thousands of journalists covering the Democratic National Convention, it’s not an easy task to break news. It’s made all that much harder by an event so tightly-scripted that it’s been called a four day infomercial.

Nonetheless, kudos must go to two organizations for the best television andprint/online coverage so far.

Hagan Grabs Lead Over Dole in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina shows Kay Hagan (D) leading Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), 42% to 39%, after trailing by as much as 14 points two months ago. 

The poll is the third in the last week to show the race a dead heat. 

Key findings: “There’s not much doubt where the momentum is coming from. 69% of voters in the state have seen the television ads about Elizabeth Dole’s #93 ranking for effectiveness in the US Senate, and among those folks Hagan has an even wider 45-39 lead. Dole’s saving grace is voters who don’t watch much tv- she leads 45-34 with those who have not seen the ad.”

PPP Poll: Obama Stays Competitive in North Carolina

The latest Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. John McCain just edging out Sen. Barack Obama, 45% to 42%.

Analysis: “One of two things is going to have to happen for Obama to win the state: he’s going to have to up his share of the white vote, probably by bringing out voters under 30 in extreme record numbers, or he’s going to need black voters to turn out at a rate disproportionate to their representation in the overall population, something that would be virtually unprecedented.”

Clintons Next

If last night was about the Kennedy legacyPolitico notes the next two days of Sen. Barack Obama’s convention “will be dominated by the same two people who dominated the Democratic Party for the last generation and who have come to Denver in much different roles than they wanted. She speaks Tuesday. It’s his turn Wednesday.”

“For the Clintons, the politics of the week are simple: Accept the cheers of the many Democrats who still support them, be lavish in their praise for Obama, make sure that if he loses no one can say it was because they were covertly rooting for that result.”

David Corn: Too much Clinton at the convention?

Quinnipiac: Swing States Get Tighter

The latest Quinnipiac polls from three critical swing states are out and they show the presidential race getting tighter over the last two months.

Florida: McCain 47%, Obama 43%

Ohio: Obama 44%, McCain 43%

Pennsylvania: Obama 49%, McCain 42%

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Eight weeks ago, Sen. Barack Obama was on top in all three of these key swing states and that would make his election almost a sure thing. Times have changed and the election is now very much a tossup in these states. Sen. Obama needs this convention to give his campaign a jump start.”

Arrests Made in Plot to Harm Obama

Authorities said “that at least three people were under arrest on firearms and drug charges in connection with a possible plot to kill Sen. Barack Obama during his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night,” according to the New York Times.

“It was not clear how well along the possible plot was, or whether the people under arrest had found a way to overcome the heavy security surrounding the Democratic convention.”

Biden’s Book Flies Off The Shelf

On Life and PoliticsIf you want to get your book on the bestseller list, try getting named the vice presidential nominee of your party.

The New York Times notes Sen. Joe Biden’s memoir from last year “has become a best-selling title in the very brief time since Barack Obama, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, announced that Mr. Biden would be his running mate… The book was released by Random House last summer, shortly after Mr. Biden announced he was running for president, but initial sales were unimpressive. That was then. As of Sunday afternoon, the book was at No. 31 on the amazon.com bestseller list, and No. 11 on Barnes & Noble’s list.”

A Four Day Infomercial

Walter Shapiro perfectly describes what it’s like to be at the Democratic National Convention this week.

“A political convention has become an anachronism; the glory days of smoke-filled rooms, delegates in funny hats, and suspenseful roll-call votes are gone. Conventions are now excuses for both parties to bludgeon the television networks into running four nights of political infomercials. The elaborate and seemingly endless negotiations over whether Hillary Clinton will get a full roll-call vote on Wednesday night or whether the balloting will quickly be broken off for an Obama-by-acclamation confetti drop illustrate how ridiculously ritualized the whole quadrennial spectacle has become. So, in a sense, every reporter in Denver is on the television beat. And the journalistic danger lies in confusing the attitudes of the studio audience (the delegates) with the sentiments of Nielsen families (the voters).”

All About Kennedy

Despite an excellent speech by Michelle Obama, the first night of the Democratic National Convention reminded all the delegates that the Democratic Party is still best represented by the Kennedy family. 

The tribute video to Sen. Ted Kennedy was especially good. But the surprise speech by Kennedy — especially his references to fighting for national health care — literally brought down the house. In many ways he embodies what the delegates hope an Obama presidency will be about.

Interestingly, the only unscripted moment of the convention was when the Obama girls took the microphone to speak to their father over a satellite hook up after their mother’s speech. It was also a reminder of President Kennedy raising a young family in the White House.

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