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Monday, August 4, 2008

Dem Campaign Chatter 8-4-2008

George Wenschhof

Today, Obama is in Michigan and will unveil his energy plan - He will be in Lansing in the morning and give a speech outlining his energy plan. It will include instant rebates to Americans paid by taxing oil companies on their profits. Also, he will mention creating millions of "Green jobs" along with the goal of eliminating the need for Middle East oil within ten years. Read more here. The Obama campaign also released a new ad attacking McCain on his energy policy. Watch video here. Obama also turns 47 today.


Yesterday, Obama sent letter to Democratic National Committee's Credentials Committee asking that they restore full delegates to both Michigan and Florida - They are scheduled to meet on August 24 and any decision they make needs ratification from the convention delegates. The has more here. I wrote about the decision by the credentials committee to grant each state 1/2 of their delegates on May 31, the day they made their decision - you can read it here.

This is a good move by Obama prior to the convention. You can bet that Senator Clinton's name will not be offered up for nomination. However, this request by Obama, once again points out the convoluted and ineffective system the Democratic Party uses to determine their Presidential nominee. We can only hope that immediately following the election in November, the DNC appoints a well represented committee and charges them with a complete rewrite of the nomination process resulting in the adoption of a more fair and effective system prior to the 2012 election.


DNC Platform Committee Meets and agrees on health care language - you may recall that Hillary Clinton argued that Obama's health care plan was not universal for it did not include everyone. The following language was agreed upon to be added to the platform: "a shared responsibility between employers, workers, insurers, providers and government. All Americans should have coverage they can afford." Read more here. The platform will be presented to the convention delegates on August 25.

Also included in the 44 page draft document is language saying the decision to invade Iraq was a strategic blunder along with a plan to withdraw from Iraq consistent with Obama's position. Read more here.


Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee adds six more to their Red to Blue List - The DCCC announced their fourth round, adding another six more candidates, bringing the total to 44 candidates on the highly competitive Red to Blue List. They also announced 15 emerging races. Read the complete list here.

Candidates added to the list receive funding and campaign strategy advise. "The candidates for change being named to the DCCC Red to Blue program are running solid campaigns and are committed to making things easier for middle class families in their districts," said Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Red to Blue program has been very successful in raising funds for campaigns. In 2004, 27 campaigns received an average of $250,000 and in 2006, 56 campaigns received an average of 404,000.

Locally, in the Maryland 6th district, candidate Jennifer Dougherty failed to make either list again, probably due in part, to a dismal financial report for the end of the second quarter. Frank Kratovil, Democratic candidate for the 1st district was added to the list in the last update. Read the DCCC press release here.


More bad economic news on mortgages - Just as it seemed the sub-prime mortgage defaults may have hit bottom, some banking experts are concerned about the prime mortgage market. Seems some people with good credit are getting behind on their payments as well which could lead to an even bigger meltdown. The New York Times has a good read today entitled "Housing Lenders Fear Bigger Wave of Loan Defaults".

The Fed is expected to sit tight on rates when they meet Tuesday as the concern pertaining to inflation mounts. Read more here.


Former President Bill Clinton in a interview in Africa says "I'm not a racist" - In a ABC interview in Monrovia, Liberia, Clinton discusses the Democratic primary, including his comments after Obama won S. Carolina. Read more and watch the video here. These remarks can not help Obama, coming right after the McCain campaign calls out the Obama campaign for using the race card.


The Boston Globe has a funny story on vacations taken by Presidential candidates - perhaps not so funny as Obama plans to take a week off in Hawaii prior to the Democratic convention. The article discusses the unfortunate gaffes that have happened during vacation time. Read more here.

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