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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dem Campaign Chatter 8-16-2008

George Wenschhof

Today, Obama is back home at Chicago, Illinois after vacationing with family in Honolulu, Hawaii - Tonight, he is off to Lake Forest, California to a Forum with Reverend Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. Both Obama and McCain will be interviewed for one hour will Obama going first. Supposedly, McCain will be in a room where he will be unable to hear the answers by Obama. The early rumours are that Reverend Warren will ask personal questions pertaining to McCain's first marriage and whether he had affairs and ask Obama about his already admitted drug use as a young man.

The Forum will be televised live by CNN and MSNBC beginning at 8:00 PM ET. We will do some live blogging so check back during the Forum.


Russia President Dimitry Medvedev signs modified cease-fire agreement - today the Russian President signed the agreement after meeting with his security council. It requires Russia to return to it's pre-hostility positions. They had peacekeepers in South Osettia and Abkhazia prior to Georgian troops moved into South Osettia in a failed attempt to unify their country. It takes a little while to withdraw troops from a combat situation so expect Georgian President Saakkashvili to continue to try to use the western media to inflame live events. U.S. Secretary of Sate, Condoleeza Rice indicated yesterday, international peacekeepers will arrive within days. The Washington Post has more here.

In a press briefing this morning, President Bush repeated the above but more importantly in several different sections of his announcement pointed out that South Osettia and Abkhazia were part of Georgia recognized by international law which had previously been agreed with by Russia. Bush pointed out the U.S. supported the Georgian government and their sovereignty, again pointing out the disputed regions as part of Georgia. Russia has previously said it will continue their peacekeeping presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as allowed by international treaty. Stay Tuned.


Negotiations continue for Pakistan President Musharrif to resign prior to impeachment - a very convoluted story with much history. Both opposition leaders Nawaz Sharif and Al Zardari both had trouble with the court in previous years. Sharif is who was unseated when in a bloodless coup, Musharrif took power in the late 1990's. Zardari, the husband of slain leader Benazir Bhutto had been charged with being Mr. 10% for the alleged kickbacks he received. Both had ended up being exiled from the country. Supposedly, Musharrif wants immunity from any possible charges and also wants to be able to live within Pakistan, the latter being the sticking point. has more here.


Clinton likely to receive less delegates at Convention roll call vote than she won in the primary - is it worth the exercise? Some of her closest supporters say yes while other political strategists say it only distracts from Obama, the eventual nominee, could show further erosion of support for Clinton and perhaps exacerbate the unity movement by the Democratic Party leadership. The same strategists point out a roll call also eats up valuable media time. has a good read here.

The last delegate count per is as follows: Total: Obama - 2229.5 and Clinton - 1896.5. Pledged delegates: Obama - 1766.5 and Clinton 1639.5. Superdelegates: Obama - 463 and Clinton - 257. The number of delegates needed for the nomination is 2118. Notice that neither candidate was able to reach the 2118 number without superdelegates. Hopefully, superdelegates will be eliminated in the nomination process after this election. Read the numbers here.


Obama sure to announce VP pick within days - with the Democratic Convention only eight days away, the announcement will happen soon. The Obama campaign has done a very good job of keeping the lid on the nominee. The Chicago Tribune blog has a good read today entitled "Six rules for a successful VP rollout". Let's see how successful the Obama campaign is in their VP rollout. Stay Tuned.

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