We’re obviously in the home stretch here, and Flordia, while giving Obama a slight slight lead, is still very close and will likely be decided by a few points in either direction.
Given the tight race there, it’s great to see that he is bringing out all of the big guns:
Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential contender in 2000, will be joined by his wife, Tipper Gore, at a rally for Barack Obama on Friday afternoon at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.
Convention center officials announced the event today. It will be held in the Center’s Grand Ballroom, and is expected to be limited to about 2,000 attendees.
From Andrew Halcro, who was one of the Republicans who ran against Palin in 2006.
The campaign of John McCain has sent a staff of eight people into Alaska to conduct background checks and vetting on Governor Sarah Palin.
Word is they have have eight rooms reserved at a Wasilla hotel.
Absolutely stunning. It is clear they did next to no vetting whatsoever:
The McCain campaign has gone to great lengths to present the selection of Sarah Palin as one made after a careful, meticulous vetting process. But evidence continues to suggest that the Arizona Republican made his VP choice with surprising haste.
On Saturday, a Democrat tasked with opposition research contacted the Huffington Post with this piece of information: as of this weekend, the McCain campaign had not gone through old newspaper articles from the Valley Frontiersman, Palin’s hometown newspaper.
How does he know? The paper’s (massive) archives are not online. And when he went to research past content, he was told he was the first to inquire.
“No one else had requested access before,” said the source. “It’s unbelievable. We were the only people to do that, which means the McCain camp didn’t.”
McCain’s judgment on this pick is so outrageous that it should disqualify him from being within 50 miles of the White House. They should revoke his ability to even tour the place.
McCain’s pick of the former mayor from a town of about 8000 was about as cynical a strategy as can be imagined in recent history. With Obama getting a nice bump out of his convention, McCain clearly saw the writing on the wall:
Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.
McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.
McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning — or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.
So he decided to throw the deep pass, hoping that picking Sarah Palin would open the door to women in general, and unhappy Hillary supporters in particular. Take a listen to her transparent pander to those voters at yesterday’s rally:
Oops, that’s Gov. Palin calling Hillary a whiner. Sorry about that. Anyway, at yesterday’s rally, she made a transparent play to Hillary voters, essentially saying, “thanks for all of the chips in the glass ceiling, but I’ll take it from here.“
Unfortunately for McCain and Palin, women are not as gullible as they seem to think they are:
The Washington Post takes on the decision to nominate Sarah Palin, and beyond liking her personal story, isn’t too impressed with either Palin or McCain:
But the most important question Mr. McCain should have asked himself about Ms. Palin was not whether she could help him win the presidency. It was whether she is qualified and prepared to serve as president should anything prevent him from doing so. This would have been true for any presidential nominee, and it was especially crucial that Mr. McCain — who turns 72 today — get this choice right. If he is elected, he will be the oldest man ever to serve a first term in the White House.
In this regard, count us among the puzzled and the skeptical. Not long ago, no less a Republican strategist than Karl Rove belittled Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as a potential running mate for Barack Obama, noting that picking him would appear “intensely political” because Mr. Kaine’s experience consisted of only three years as governor preceded by the mayoralty of Richmond, which Mr. Rove called “not a big town.”
Using Mr. Rove’s criteria, Ms. Palin would not fare well. Her executive experience consists of less than two years as governor of her sparsely populated state, plus six years as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (pop. 8,471). Absorbed in Alaska’s unique energy and natural resource issues, she has barely been heard from in the broader national debates over economic policy and health care. Above all, she has no record on foreign policy and national security — including terrorism, which Mr. McCain posits as the top challenge facing America and the world.
As the Post later notes, once the buzz wears off this choice and the scrutiny begins, this decision likely won’t be as good as they thought it would be while they were throwing back shots, trying to figure out how to counter Obama’s new found momentum.
Oh, and for must read, head over to Andrew Sullivan, who is in rare form.
I think this is about right:
Marc – remember back to the 2007 World Series.
It was the final innings of game 4, with the Red Sox about to close it out. It was at that moment that Scott Boras, baseball’s uber-agent, leaked to Fox that his client, Alex Rodriguez, had opted out of his mega-contract with the Yankees.
Red Sox fans were incensed – it tried to compete with our moment of triumph.
If you think that the McCain campaign – who’s been stringing along the MSM all week long with these video press releases – can resist the temptation to leak the name Lieberman or Pawlenty or Jindal to Chuck Todd’s Blackberry in the middle of tonight’s festivities, you’re deluding yourself.
Expect to find out tonight.
I think McCain could be setting himself up for a backlash here. Obama staffer Dan Pfeiffer says it would be “political malpractice”; Andrew Sullivan is calling it immature, but par for the course regarding their campaign. He also notes that this might be a desperate ploy to stop what seems to be a nice bounce for Obama. It’s probably a combination of both: McCain has demonstrated that he has no problems engaging in the worst of political tactics, and he knows he is nothing like he was in 2000. Maybe that’s why he is getting angry with reporters.
Update: A nice quip from Pfeiffer:
Pfeiffer did, however, call McCain’s bluff.
“If they do it, I will pay all of McCain’s mortgages next month,” he quipped.
Wow, Pfeiffer could be out a lot of money then. Oh, wait, John doesn’t own any of the homes himself, and they don’t have any monthly house payments besides.
There was a lot of (overblown) talk about Democrats being divided, but I suppose that’s better than nobody caring about you:
Tickets are still available for Sen. John McCain’s Friday, Aug. 29, rally at Wright State University’s Nutter Center in Fairborn.
I suppose it’s not surprising that McCain events don’t sell out, given his general hideousness, but you think they’d show up for a potential VP announcement:
There has been speculation that McCain would use the Dayton visit to announce his running mate but McCain said he’s not reached a decision yet, so he’s not sure if there will be an announcement here.
Not selling out an event where you announce your VP? Pretty pathetic.
This would seem to take some steam out of the complaints that Hillary wasn’t vetted.
In the end, it came down to Biden, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, said several people involved in the deliberations. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also was a strong contender, but dropped out of contention as Obama focused on the other three.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who ran so closely to Obama in the primary, was never seriously considered, said two officials involved with the search. She asked not to be vetted unless she was going to be picked, the two officials said, speaking on a condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.
This makes so much more sense. When the original story came out, I would thoroughly confused. Why would Hillary or her advisers leak this story? The only result would be to sow division in the party. Obviously, not agreeing to submit yourself to the vetting process would preclude Obama from seriously considering her. That doesn’t even take into account whether Bill would have submitted himself to vetting. But it appears that Hillary as VP was a non-starter. In any case, I think it is well-past time to put the primary to rest. Hillary has come out with a very nice statement endorsing the pick:
In naming my colleague and friend Senator Joe Biden to be the Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Obama has continued in the best traditions for the Vice Presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant. Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic Vice President who will help Senator Obama both win the Presidency and govern this great country.
She will do the right thing next week and give a rousing endorsement. She has been great since the primaries ended, doing whatever has been asked. Hopefully this will end some of the complaints and we can move to have a great convention.
Everyone is breaking it now.
It should be noted that the Obama camp has not sent out the text, and this is not confirmed by anyone in the Obama camp. That nothwithstanding, it’s odd that they didn’t just send out the text, as they must have had a feeling that the dam was about to burst. Assuming they haven’t done a massive head-fake here, of course. For the record, I’m pretty happy with this pick. Biden should be able to take McCain and the GOP apart. As proof, I present the following:
Let’s go get ‘em.
Update: Wow, Chuck Todd is reporting that Dick Lugar (R-IN) recommended Biden to Obama. Obama has a lot of affection for Lugar, with good reason.
Update: Per the banner above, the announcement is confirmed by the Obama campaign. No texts though?
Update: Looks like the texts are now going out in earnest, at right about 3:00am eastern. Boy, the media won’t play *that* up, will they…
The Financial Times is reporting that Joe “my own state hates me” Lieberman is on McCain’s short list.
Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee who has endorsed John McCain, is being vetted as a potential running mate for the Republican presidential hopeful, according to an adviser to Mr McCain’s campaign…
Another McCain adviser said that it was unlikely that the Republican candidate would base his decision on “tactical considerations”.
“He can be pragmatic, but on the biggest decisions he tends to favour his instinct for the bigger picture,” the adviser said.
The bigger picture, in this case, being someone who would manage to alienate both the conservative base (a pro-choice, socially liberal New England Jew) and anyone else who eschews the George W. Bush foreign policy approach (which is basically all moderates and liberals).
Of course, if he doesn’t pick Lieberman, he’ll have to find someone else to whisper in his ear when he screws up basic foreign policy – but I guess McCain could always find a biased lobbyist to advise him in moments of crisis.
Some of Lieberman’s recent numbers? Less than 50% approval rating from independents in his own state, with only 26% of Democrats approving of his work.
On the positive side, he’s one of only a few living Americans who actually makes McSame seem like he has a pulse.
With news of Kaine being highly considered for VP, he has canceled a Baltimore fundraiser for tomorrow. Obama is going to be in Missouri tomorrow, the same place Kaine went to High School and College.
Could we be on the cusp of an announcement? On Countdown, Howard Fineman said he has talked to one of the three of Biden, Kaine and Byah, and that person told them that the vetting is essentially done, and that the VP is down to those three.
I would be very surprised if he announces this soon, but there is growing speculation that an announcement could be imminent. Will the VP make it down to MO tomorrow for a joint appearance? I still lean towards closer to the convention, but that final three sounds about right to me.
Update: The New York Times throws some cold water on an imminent decision.
Yet Mr. Obama has not conducted formal sit-down interviews with candidates, aides say, and a decision is believed to be weeks away, not days. His aides say there is no particular rush: the campaign seems to be going well for him at the moment, and so he does not need the burst of attention and energy that typically accompanies the announcement of a vice-presidential choice.