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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dem Campaign Chatter 8-12-2008

George Wenschhof

Today, Obama remains in Hawaii on vacation - although, officially on vacation, he continues to work on his campaign. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has more on his vacation here. Tonight, he attends a high end fundraiser expected to bring in 1 million plus.


The Russia-Georgia conflict continues - President Bush sent a verbal shot across the Bow yesterday when he gave a statement to the Press from the White House. Read more here. Basically, he said the action by Russia was unacceptable in the twenty-first century and called for Russia to sign the cease fire agreement already signed by Georgia. With most of the U.S. troops in Iraq, it is doubtful a military action would take place by the U.S. and that's a good thing.

McCain came out forcibly toward Russia, labeling them the aggressor and calling for a UN resolution. Read it here. Obama's first response was restrained, calling for a cease fire, but by yesterday, he was calling on Russia to stop their incursion into Georgia. However, he gave a very measured response. Read it here.

Keep in mind, many factors play into this event. Georgia has been receiving military aid from the U.S. for some time. South Ossetia has been independent from Georgia and it was Georgia who invaded South Ossetia to begin this conflict. All were part of the former Soviet Union. Georgia is also where the Bush administration wants to place Missiles as part of their "missile defense shield" and Russia has opposed this action by the U.S. The U.S. also needs cooperation from Russia in their efforts to have Iran discontinue their nuclear weapon development program.

9:27 AM ET update - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev calls halt to fighting. French President Nicolas Sardozy is scheduled to arrive in Russia momentarily to discuss a cease fire. Read more here.

This is a 3 AM moment so stay tuned.

-------------------- has a good read on the impact a VP pick has had on candidates for President - Seems Gore received a 5 point increase in the polls following the announcement of Senator Joe Lieberman and Kerry received a 4 point increase after naming John Edwards. Read more here.

On a side note - it is interesting that Lieberman is now a Independent and supporting Republican candidate John McCain and John Edwards's once promising political career may be over after his recent admission of a extramarital affair.


The Atlantic magazine article on the Clinton campaign for President has been released - It is entitled "The Front-Runners Fall" and was written by Joshua Green. You can read it here. As I mentioned yesterday, this is not good timing, coming right before the Democratic Convention. It does not portray Hillary Clinton in a good light.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicates she is open to a vote on off-shore oil drilling - this statement comes during an interview on CNN Larry King Live last night. Republicans have been staging a mock session on the Hill since Congress broke for vacation, saying there is an urgency to vote on off-shore oil drilling. Also, Senator Obama has indicated he would support the "Gang of 10" Senators who will be submitting a compromise bill allowing some off-shore oil-drilling. Pelosi said her support for a vote would depend on what else is in the bill. Read more here.

Off-shore oil drilling is not a savior for the country and is also at least ten years out from producing any oil for the country. However, the action by the House Republicans is having some effect and polls show the overwhelming number of Americans support this action. Locally, I hear this constantly from my Republican friends when I am picking up my morning coffee or out buying my lunch. Stay Tuned.


Indiana Senator Evan Bayh the latest to be scratched from the Obama VP List? - the New York Times has a piece today which points out Bayh's support of the Iraq war and how this does not mesh well with Obama's long standing opposition to the war. Read more here.

Seems all the usual suspects are being eliminated as possible choices. Former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn is still being pushed by the moderate Democrats but he also has made questionable statements in the past.


Obama and McCain spend heavily in swing state ads - the Wall Street Journal has a article showing the spending on ads. Interestingly, in Florida, the McCain campaign has spent zero in local TV ads compared to the Obama campaign's 6.5 million. Florida is a state both candidates will want to win. Read more here.

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