News/Campaigns/Presidential Campaigns

News/Campaigns/Presidential Campaigns

Nader, Barr Say Debate Confusion Should Mean Their Invitation

John McCain's call to reschedule Friday's presidential debate illustrates how easy it would be to include third party candidates on short notice, Independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr said in a joint statement Wednesday afternoon.

"The fact that a candidate can call for changing the date of the debate only two days before it is scheduled indicates how easy it would be for the candidates to also call for the inclusion of the leading third party and independent candidates, which would bring fresh ideas to the table on how our country can truly tackle this heavy challenge," Nader and Barr said.

Friday's debate was left in limbo after McCain's statement, with Barack Obama saying in a late afternoon press conference that he would like to see the debate go forward. It was unclear how the candidates' stances would be resolved.

The University of Mississippi, which is hosting the debate, said it was planning to go forward with debate preparations. " At present, the University has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate," the university said. "We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled."

-Michael O'Brien

O'Brien Jokes on MSNBC's Perceived Bias

Late-night comedian Conan O'Brien poked fun at sister network MSNBC on last night's show, playing off recent claims by conservatives that the network favors Democrats in its coverage.

"Yesterday the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, challenged John McCain to a debate," O'Brien joked. "McCain says if he wanted to be attacked by an extremist in an unfair environment, he'd appear on MSNBC."

Earlier this month, NBC News announced that it had benched controversial host Kieth Olbermann from anchoring political coverage on MSNBC after conservatives complained about Olbermann's on-air antics that they said favored Democrats.

-Michael O'Brien

Ron Paul Endorses Constitution Party Candidate

Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr will lose out on the endorsement of one of his predecessors, as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) announced his support for Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin.

In a statement on his website, Paul, the 1988 Libertarian candidate for president, said he would support Baldwin this fall, shunning both the Libertarian and Republican parties in which he has served.

After Barr had admonished Paul for staying neutral in the presidential race to date, Paul said he made a decision to endorse after all.


McCain Leads Obama in Ohio Poll

A new Ohio poll shows Republican John McCain leading Democrat Barack Obama in the key swing state of Ohio.

The poll, conducted September 12-16, shows McCain with 48 percent and Obama with 42 percent, although the poll was conducted before significant developments in the American financial industry. The Ohio Newspaper Poll, commissioned by the Buckeye state

Winfrey: Drudge Story 'Categorically Untrue'

Oprah Winfrey has issued a denial of a Drudge story claiming the talk show host doesn't want to allow Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to appear on the show:
The item in today's Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.

Harry & Louise Making Come Back

Harry and Louise are back. The fictitious couple that starred in TV ads that helped kill President Clinton's healthcare reform plan in 1994 are returning to the airwaves for the 2008 campaign.

This time, though, they aren't speaking for the health insurance industry. On Tuesday, a diverse coalition of interest groups will debut the new Harry and Louise ads at a press conference in Washington.

Last time around, the middle-class couple was warning us that Clinton

Dream Ticket Group Resurfaces to Laud Convention Agreement

Vote Both, a group formed during the Democratic primary to push for a so-called dream ticket, resurfaced today to praise the deal that will put Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) up for a nomination vote at the Democratic convention in Denver.

The group shut down in late July, telling supporters that a ticket shared by Clinton and Barack Obama and was no longer likely, but it says the new agreement will do well to unify the party.


Obama Camp to Ohioans: Paint Our Logo on Your Barn

Rural Ohio's scenery may be getting a political paint job, thanks to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Obama for America is encouraging rural Ohioans to paint their barns with Obama's campaign logo, the campaign announced today as it launched a new a program dubbed "Barns for Obama."

Barn-owning Ohioans can sign up through Obama's website, where they can request assistance from volunteers or choose to paint by themselves.

"Barns for Obama combines Ohio's rich history of painted barns

Paris Hilton's Parents Are McCain Donors

The John McCain campaign may want to rethink its strategy of attacking Barack Obama by comparing him Paris Hilton, her family has kicked a lot of money to his campaign.

Paris's parents have donated a combined $6,900 to the McCain campaign. The celebutaunt's father Rick gave McCain $4,600 in March, and her mother Kathleen spent her own $2,300 in April.

The family patriarch William Barron Hilton, the co-chairman of the Hilton hotel chain and celebrity's grandfather, has made five separate donations to McCain, totaling $15,100. The elder Hilton is a highly active GOP donor for several campaigns and committees, having donated to Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee to the tune of $15,000.

Paris has not donated to a candidate.

Unlike the Hilton's, the McCain camp doesn't have to worry about offending the family of Britney Spears. Neither the pop star nor her family have made any campaign contributions.

Obama Nearly Triples McCain in Hispanic Support, Pew Finds

Pew Research Center has a new poll that appears to be good news for Barack Obama: it shows him leading John McCain 66 percent to 23 percent in support among Hispanics nationwide.

That poll has Obama doing better than Gallup's numbers from earlier this month, which showed Obama leading McCain 59 percent to 29 percent.

McCain has courted Hispanic voters hard with a series of ads targeting them. In one Spanish-language radio ad, which aired in Nevada and New Mexico, McCain's campaign questioned Obama's commitment to Hispanic voters, as McCain's former Naval Academy roommate suggested Obama has "just discovered the importance of the Hispanic vote."