Dschwen.Following Barack Obama‘s Saturday morning text-announcement of Joe Biden‘s vice presidential candidacy, a rally was held in Springfield, Illinois, at 3:00pm (UTC-5).

The rally was held on the steps of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield. In a email sent out to supporters of Obama who signed up on the Obama campaign website, Obama said that “Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois—the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.”

The rally was broadcast at the official Obama campaign site, starting at 3pm (UTC-5), and carried by major cable news networks.

Springfield owns a piece of presidential history, having been the home of former President Abraham Lincoln after he moved there in 1837. He lived there for 17 years, before taking presidential office in 1861.

Source : wikinews

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Senator Barack Obama from Illinois, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, announced Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. The announcement came via text message early Saturday morning, to people who had signed up to receive the announcement on the official Barack Obama campaign website.

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Friday afternoon, several campaign officials had informed the media that the text message announcement would be distributed Saturday morning. Reportedly, the announcement would come a few hours ahead of a scheduled rally at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, where Obama and and whoever the VP candidate would be would appear together for the first time as the Democratic ticket.

On August 19th, Biden while leaving his house reportedly said to some reporters, “Hey guys, I’m not the guy.”

Biden had been one of the top choices for being the VP candidate according to Rasmussen polls. Following his trip to Georgia, from August 17th through the 18th, he was surrounded by a lot of speculation that he would in fact be the candidate.

On Thursday, Barack Obama announced that he had already made his decision, but wasn’t yet stating who the VP candidate would be. On August 20th the Obama campaign reportedly sent a email to select news agency with the subject being “Vice presidential…”. However, the contents of the email did not state who he had picked, but instead the first line of the email was “just kidding.”

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Prior to the announcement of Biden being the VP candidate, Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, Chet Edwards, Tim Kaine, Bill Richardson, and Kathleen Sebelius had all been reported as being on the short list.

Obama has been reportedly calling the potential VP candidates and informing them that they had not been picked. Sources said that Governor Tim Kaine and Senator Evan Bayh had been told they were no longer considered. None of the other choices had stated whether or not they had been called, though Representative Edwards specifically stated that he had not been contacted.

The 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado begins on August 25, 2008. Biden will reportedly speak on the third night of the convention.

Republican candidate John McCain of Arizona has not yet announced who his running mate will be. The 2008 Republican National Convention begins September 1, 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Biden, a Senator from Delaware, is currently the committee chair for the foreign relations committee. Biden has served in the Senate since 1973, and was the head of the judiciary committee from 1987 through 1995.

Source : wikinews

Pastor Rick Warren

United States Presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain each participated in a live forum broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. The forum, moderated by pastor Rick Warren, was scheduled to showcase the candidates to an evangelical segment of the population, who account for 26.3% of the American public.

During the forum the candidates were each individually asked a series of identical questions by the pastor, with Senator Barack Obama going first and Senator John McCain taking his turn after being held in a soundproof room as Obama was interviewed. On some questions the candidates differed in their interpretations.

When asked whom they believed were the three wisest people to rely on as president, Obama answered that his wife and grandmother were at the top of his list along with a mix of Republican and Democratic Senators. McCain comprised his list of a range of people: the architect of the troop surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus; Democratic Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; and the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman.

In response to being questioned about their toughest decisions in life, Obama answered that deciding to oppose the Iraq War in 2002 was his toughest, while McCain cited his refusal to leave his men behind in a POW camp in Vietnam when given the chance.

On some philosophical questions the candidates differed in their moral stances. When asked when they believed individuals should be given human rights, Obama responded that the question was “above [his] pay grade” while McCain decisively replied that he believed it should occur “at the moment of conception.” On the concept of evil, Obama related it to the situation in Darfur and on America’s streets. McCain related it to radical Islamic extremism relaying that he believed evil should be “defeated.” He then promised that as president he would hunt Osama bin Laden to the “gates of hell.”

On a few questions the candidates had similar responses. They both answered that the biggest moral dilemmas in their lives were personal mistakes they had made when they were younger. For Obama, it was his drug use, for McCain it was his failed first marriage.

Both candidates were on the stage together briefly between the interviews and shook hands and hugged in a moment symbolic of Warren’s call for civility at the beginning and end of the forum.

Source : wikinews

The primaries are over… the general election is on.

Over million voters read Senator Barrack Obama’s web site daily.  His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions.Quadrennial pomp and pageantry to pamper the voter will begin in Denver next week at the Democratic Party Convention. It does not get more scripted than this. No insider free-for-alls are expected like in the sixties. The 47 year old Barrack Obama would become the first Black candidate in US history to be made the party nominee. The animus of a hard fought primary may finally vanish as Hillary Clinton gets prime time spot. Spotlight will shine on Obama as he makes his acceptance speech to a 76,000 cheering crowd at the Mile High stadium. The speech would be one of the best ever, most predict.

Media hordes would telecast at least one hour of prime time broadcasts every day in over 100 TV channels during the convention. Wooing a multiplicity of voting blocks is like a tight rope walk. Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Whites, , Catholics, Evangelicals and Academic liberals-to name a few of the power groups- will either be won or lost by what Obama has to say

Conventions were do or die battles in the sixties when the delegates tried to nominate their favorite candidate over and over gain calling for one more roll call. Delegate leaders from each of the fifty States announced their choice one by one until the required number of delegates for victory was achieved. There will most likely be one roll call and Hillary Clinton’s name may also be in it.

This year, the election battle is very close with Obama showing a slender lead. Stakes are high as about fifteen states are considered battle ground areas: .Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, South and North Carolina and Virginia may be some of those states

US voters have an unenviable task of picking one candidate out of a myriad of images projected on TV screens, media outlets and advertisements. A photo of Obama not wearing a lapel pin may be construed as unpatriotic behavior. McCain pondering about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years could become fodder to the opposing side. Politics is very much local and personal nowadays. Character and personality are the norms for judging how good a candidate is. An old time protector of America versus an untried new-comer is how the debate is defined by the Republicans. Democrats paint McCain as a clone of George W. Bush.

The convention next week will bring a glorious opportunity to Obama to highlight and contrast his style of campaigning and drive home the image that McCain is anachronistic and generates little excitement. Republicans have made Obama the issue calling him a vacuous opportunist with an empty rhetoric and little to offer. His father’s Muslim heritage is often made an issue. Caricature is now the accepted norm in politics.

Conventions still serve a purpose. A bump in the polls would be expected for Obama after next week. It is estimated that about ten percent of the voters may be influenced by Conventions. The fifty states are sliced and diced as the campaigns target different voting blocks. Conventions offer a chance to address all of them under one roof.

Obama’s campaign Chief David Plouffe is renowned for his fiercely competitive style. He has so far handled the fundraising, field organization and media projection with an expert touch. Obama’s foot soldiery is unprecedented. Even in the Republican pocket borough of Alaska there are field workers canvassing for Obama. They are also doing that in McCain’s home state of Arizona. Over million voters read Obama’s web site daily. His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions. Plouffe is offering the best convention ever. It is no doubted best funded, organized and presented. People are eager to se how it works out.

Source – Asian Tribune –

United States Senate.

The latest advertisement for United States Republican presidential candidate John McCain is questioning Democrat Barack Obama‘s benefit to families.

Last week the BBC reported that the McCain campaign had released an advertisement comparing Obama to American celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, calling him “the biggest celebrity in the world.”

McCain’s newest advertisement, released early this week, continues along those same lines.

United States Senate.

“Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?” the narrator asks, according to The Boston Globe and a video of the ad displayed on its website. “The real Obama promises higher taxes, more government spending. So, fewer jobs.” With images of wind turbines in the background, the narrator says, “Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that’s John McCain.”

The Boston Globe reports that McCain’s latest ad does not acknowledge that Obama’s economic policy, especially the proposed rollback of current president George W. Bush‘s capital gains tax cuts, would largely affect the wealthiest of America, not the middle class.

Obama, the BBC reports, is quoted as calling McCain “cynical,” “desperate” and “in the pocket of Big Oil.”

The latest Obama video, shown on the USA Today website, touts McCain as “just more of the same” politics employed by George W. Bush. The ad cites a May 22, 2003 Fox News Channel interview where McCain says “the President and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed I voted with the President over 90 percent of the time.” The ad then criticizes McCain’s policies on tax cuts, money for oil companies, and “tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

USA Today does note that “[w]hile the ad shows McCain touting the fact that he had voted “with” President Bush more than 90% of the time, the Arizona senator did criticize the administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq — calling early on for more troops to be sent there. He also voted against the president’s original tax cut plan — though McCain now says he supports extending those tax cuts. And, he proposes cuts in all kinds of corporate taxes, not just those on oil companies.”

McCain is set to appear at an Ohio furniture plant Wednesday to reinforce the messages in his latest advertisement.

“America has the second highest business tax rate in the entire world,” he plans to say, according to prepared remarks issued by his campaign, and released by The Boston Globe. “Is it any wonder that jobs are moving overseas when we are taxing them out of the country? Unfortunately Senator Obama’s plans would raise taxes on businesses even more. He has promised tax increases on income, tax increases on investment, tax increases on small businesses. This is exactly the wrong strategy. Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you could do because it will kill even more jobs when what we need are policies that create jobs.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded:

“Is the biggest proponent of George Bush’s tired, failed policies ready to bring about change? Another day brings another dishonest attack from John McCain. While Senator McCain knows that Senator Obama has proposed cutting taxes for 95% of American families, what he’s not telling us is that he wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies, continue giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our job overseas, and provide no direct tax relief for more than 100 million middle-class families. It’s time to retire these old policies and bring new energy to America.”

Source : wikinews

Before leading a town hall meeting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Senator Obama listened to the concerns of citizens affected by last month’s devastating flood.