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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dem Campaign Chatter 8-21-2008

George Wenschhof

Today, Obama remains in Virginia - He attends a town hall meeting in Chester with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. Do not look to see Obama choose Kaine as his running mate in spite of all the media speculation. Later, Obama travels to the town of Chesapeake.


Russia now says troops will be out of the republic of Georgia by the end of the day tomorrow - It has been a slow withdraw after the signing of a cease fire agreement. Russia also states it will keep forces in the buffer zone near South Osettia as allowed under previous international agreements. has more here.


Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki continue talks on security agreement - the stumbling block remains when the U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq. The current UN brokered mandate for U.S. presence expires at the end of the year. The U.S. election in November may also be delaying any rush for Iraq to agree for they may want to see the outcome of the election. Presently, Iraq wants U.S. troops out of their cities by June of next year and out of their country by 2011. has more here.


Democratic Change Commission to be established - Both the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee called for this group to be created and charged with reviewing the Democratic Party primary process, something I have been calling for. Unfortunately, the early soundbites were not statements of real change. The early talk was ensuring primaries did not occur until march, except for a few handpicked states, and reducing the number of superdelegates. has more here.

They will be charged with issuing a report no later than January 1, 2010. Unfortunately, the early talk does not go far enough. There is no need for superdelegates, the caucus system should be abolished, certain states should not receive early voting preference - Instead, the primary calendar should be 4-5 months in length balanced with equal number of states and delegates in each month, and the two step proportional method of allocating state delegates by total vote and congressional district should be ended and replaced with winner take all.


Presidential Debate dates and guidelines agreed to by Obama and McCain campaigns - The three Presidential debates and the one Vice-President debate sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates have now been scheduled. This agreement was negotiated by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The Presidential debate dates are as follows: Sept. 26 - Jim Lehrer, Oct. 7 - Tom Brokaw, Oct. 15 - Bob Schieffer. The VP debate will be held on Oct. 2 - Gwen Ifill. To read the rules and guidelines, has more here.


Obama makes the cover of Time - the story is on the upcoming Democratic Convention. Read it here. The pick of his running mate and the media attention surrounding the convention next week will help Obama's sagging poll numbers. The lingering question is can Obama close it out?


New York Times / CBS poll has it Obama - 45% and McCain 42% - this continues to reflect the closeness of the race. The margin of error is 3 points so it is still basically a tie. The economy remains the number one concern of voters (who didn't know this?) and off shore oil drilling is supported by 62% of the voters which is why the Republicans continue to focus on this issue. Read more here.

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