NDN Blog

Quick '08 Update: Hollywood and Tire Pressure

- I already posted the Paris Hilton video, but here's some additional Hollywood news: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama will join Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in Switzerland for a fundraiser in September.

- U.S. Sen. John McCain is outspending Obama with what AdAge describes is a last-minute $6 million ad buy during the Olympics. That is $1 million more than Obama's buy.

- NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg threw a party for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton this past Monday at Gracie mansion. Debt relief was not on the agenda. Speaking of Sen. Clinton, check out her op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal.

- Jake Tapper cites Politifact research to conclude that Obama's remarks on tire pressure have merit. In fact, as he points out, former President George H.W. Bush's administration held views similar to Obama's on the issue. Game, Set, Match.

- Speaking of energy, Obama is up in Florida with a new ad on energy and gas prices. (Via Eric Kleefeld over at TPM).

- According to Politico, the DNC is responding to the RNC's tire gauge campaign with the launch of its "Exxon-McCain '08" campaign.

- McCain was in Michigan yesterday, emphasizing his support for nuclear power. More on this below.

- Obama's in Indiana today with U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh. Speculate away! Also for those who are looking to affix a label to Bayh's politics, be sure to check out this analysis from Josh Patashnik. (Via Andrew Sullivan.)

- The New York Times and the Washington Post both took a look at campaign bundlers.

- Ben Smith, you are the man for finding this picture:

- As referenced above, this was way too easy. Thanks to Dave for adding who he calls the next Secretary of Energy, C. Montgomery Burns, to the picture of McCain stating his position on nuclear energy. Excellent...


I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that Paris Hilton responded to U.S. Sen. John McCain's celebrity ad. And yet here I sit, speechless, questioning humanity. Check out the video below. (Thanks for sending it my way, Kishore!)

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Quick '08 Update: No Moles Allowed

- Disclaimer: There isn't a direct mention of John McCain's now extinct mole in this post. However, the implications surrounding it, which Chris Cillizza covers, are.

- Office productivity might rise due to Facebook nixing scrabulous.

- The GOP has launched BarackBook, a mock Facebook site for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. The site's version of news feed highlights some of Obama's more controversial connections, who are all given opposition profiles.

- Jake Tapper highlights a change in U.S. Sen. John McCain's philosohpy on taxes. Whereas McCain has previously ruled out any consideration of a tax increase, he recently stated he wouldn't take payroll taxes off the negotiating table.

- We need some VP speculation. VA Gov. Tim Kaine is in DC, as is Obama. Coincidence? Also, the WSJ's Washington Wire notes that the health plan championed by former MA Gov. Mitt Romney is similar to the one being proposed by Barack Obama. But if that's the case, then according to the WSJ editorial section Obama and Mitt's plans are flawed. Bottom line: picking Mitt might complicate things.

- The Page's Mark Halperin notes Barack Obama's busy, high-profile schedule today. The Pakistani Prime Minister, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the House Democratic Caucus will all sit down with the Senator today.

- In his New York Times column, Bob Herbert gives Barack Obama praise, but wonders if he can close the deal with a solid economic narrative.

- AdAge's Bonnie Fuller discusses Team Obama's Tabloid Strategy.

- The Huffington Post's Sam Stein explains how the Obama campaign is handling John McCain's age as an issue. Clue: he took a few hints from Bill Clinton. Simon's got a great quote in the piece, so check it out!

- Speaking of taking cues, according to the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray:

Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee are expected to unveil a $20 million investment in Hispanic voter mobilization Tuesday that targets most major battleground states.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said the sum is unprecedented for a presidential campaign and represents a show of Democratic confidence that Latino voters could prove pivotal in states including New Mexico and Michigan.

Sign Me Up (In Forty Years)

This is just too cool to gloss over. Today, Virgin Galactic unveiled White Knight Two, the carrier aircraft that will release SpaceShipTwo - with each passenger inside that paid $200,000 per ticket - 50,000 feet in the air before it climbs about 62 miles above the Earth. Check out the promotional video from Virgin below:

Via the AP and Huffington Post.

Obama Meets Protocol

Granted, this post from Sam Coates was made before today's article in The Times of London highlighting frustrations with British PM Gordon Brown, but it's interesting taken together:

Barack Obama's overnight into Saturday here is a big moment - even though Britain is playing a second tier in rock star's big tour. Still, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be looking for a bit of Obamacadabra magic to rub off on them. Who wouldn't.

But protocol in these situations is all, and consequently there is much hand wringing. Gordon Brown is deeply restricted in what he can do with Obama, and there will be no handshakes outside Number 10 because there wasn't one when McCain came over.

There are less restrictions on David Cameron, who will be meeting him afterwards in the Houses of Parliament.

So it caused considerable consternation inside Number 10 when they were told by Obama's advisers that one plan under consideration was that the presumptive Democrat nominee would leave Downing Street and meet David Cameron at the gates of Downing Street. They would walk - yes walk - to Parliament for their meeting. Huge "spontaneous" photo op.

Though this plan was extremely risky for both sides and always seemed unlikely - Downing Street were terrified that this would be seen as a sign of Obama preferment. Which it would. The plan has now, apparently, been bashed on the head after high level intervention.

But that Obama's people were considering this is, to say the least, surprising.

Best Button Ever

Quick '08 Update: Richard Simmons, the Dalai Lama, and "Obamacans"

- Richard Simmons for Congress.

- According to AdAge, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign dropped $5 million to be among the sponsors of NBC's Olympics coverage. His spots will run on both network and cable TV.

- Obama is in Berlin where he is set to deliver his much-anticipated speech at 1 p.m. EST (If you needed more proof, Gallup has more polling showing just how much Europeans prefer Obama to McCain). Jake Tapper has a great post on Obama's speech. Meanwhile, McCain is in Ohio at a Livestrong Summit with Lance Armstrong. Tomorrow he's off to meet the Dalai Lama in Colorado.

- U.S. Sen. John McCain's VP update: Gov. Bobby Jindal said he will not be McCain's VP yesterday and Chris Cillizza points out that the Michigan Democratic Party is going after Mitt Romney in a new web ad.

- The Obama campaign is ramping up its interaction with the Hill. Yesterday, campaign manager David Plouffe met with House Democrats to discuss strategy, and The Hill points out that the campaign is coordinating a publicity blitz with "Obamacans" (those who have been aligned with the Republican Party but back Obama).

- The Hill also reports that donors who backed Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2006 don't seem to be giving their financial support to McCain. In fact, it cites financial records which show that "only two of John McCain's post-primary contributions [over $200] have come from Sen. Joe Lieberman supporters".

- Jonathan Martin has a must-read piece in The Politico about how the GOP is losing the new-media war.

- Want a ticket to come see Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver? Chuck Plunkett says Steve Hildebrand, Obama's deputy campaign manager, wants you to leave as an informed Obama volunteer.

- Robert Reich compares the economic philosophies of both candidates in a clear, understandable way on his blog.

- John McCain has a new web ad out in South Florida that places Barack Obama next to Fidel Castro with "Fidel Castro thinks he is the most advanced candidate" on it. Check out the Huffington Post for an image. This is interesting, as our own Will Wallace rightly points out, because Obama's Spanish-language radio ad that is running in FL highlights issues like education, job growth, etc., which are what's really relevant. Learn more in NDN's 2006 Cuba poll.

- In the Turkish daily, Today's Zaman, Jeffrey Sachs reflects on the G8 Summit meeting in Japan and asks where all the global leaders are.

- President Bush will address the RNC Convention, but who knows where he'll fit in the line up.

- And finally, check out the Secret Pants video below where the interviewer asks participants whether phrases were said by Batman or President Bush. Thanks for the head's up, Nate! I'm not sure how I feel about the likeness in some of these, but it's amusing nonetheless:

What happens tomorrow?

Simon on Obama's Trip, McCain's Lie

In the video below, NDN President Simon Rosenberg offers his thoughts on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's trip overseas, what the polls show, and U.S. Sen. John McCain's recent ad that blames Obama for high gas prices. It's about 4 minutes long, so check it out.

As he says, we're going to be doing more of these so let us know what you think. And if you have any questions you'd like him to answer in the next video, feel free to leave it in the comments below. Don't know how? Use our help section!

For more of Simon's analysis, check out two of his recent posts: Is Cheney Tied Up Somewhere? and The Story of the Race So Far - the Surprising Weakness of John McCain.

Update: In the video, Simon talks about Obama leading in Nevada and New Hampshire, but he meant to say Iowa, not Ohio.

Quick '08 Update

- Continuing his world tour, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is in Jordan today with his recently repainted plane. (This time, you can see change in the air!) ABC's Jake Tapper has more details of the trip, which includes a press conference with Obama on his trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. Look for more questions regarding Obama's assessment of the surge to come up.

- For those looking for an interesting piece on how the Netroots is adjusting to Obama's candidacy, check out this Washington Post piece from Jose Antonio Vargas. As Simon explains:

"Think about it: Netroots was born at a time when the Democrats were in opposition, and it's learning how to be a force of good when the Democrats are in power -- and could have more power next year."

- Negating recent polls that reflect a European fondness of Obama, the WSJ's Washington Wire cites David Aaronovitch's column in The Times of London to show that their feelings are not likely to last.

- Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. John McCain is successfully breaking into the press cycle with speculation over whether he will soon announce his VP candidate. As Eric Kleefeld points out, McCain is set to meet with LA Governor Bobby Jindal tomorrow. Coincidence? For more on the VP stakes, check out Christina Bellantoni's piece in the Washington Times that features some advice from Simon on picking a VP:

"The single most important thing is it has to be somebody Barack Obama actually likes. This is the greatest battle of your life, and you should have someone you know and trust at your side."

- Whether or not Evan Bayh fits that particular mold is uncertain, though Chris Cillizza makes the case for him in The Fix. Andrew Sullivan also has a good roundup of the VP speculation - in addition to some devastating news about the latest Caped Crusader - over at The Daily Dish.

- The New York Times is defending its decision not to publish an oped "as submitted" from John McCain. The paper is willing to look at another version, but the McCain campaign isn't planning on submitting one.

- Since eyes will be following Bobby Jindal, it is worth mentioning that his state of Louisiana just asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on the death penalty for child rape. (via SCOTUSblog)

- Hillary Clinton's donors are giving to Barack Obama, at least according to The Trail's Sarah Cohen and Matthew Mosk.

- Will the real Ron Burgundy please stand up?

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