Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Read

Subject: First Read: Talk about an odd couple...

*** I Am The Key(note) Master: The Obama campaign has announced that former Virginia Gov. -- and current Senate candidate -- Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address on the Tuesday of the Democratic convention. This will continue the tradition of one-time (or once-thought-to-be) presidential candidates (Bradley, Obama) getting their first audition chances as a keynoter. Also, is Obama paying it forward here by picking someone who is a candidate for Senate on his way to a blowout victory?
And by the way, doesn't this bode ill for Tim Kaine's veep chances? It's hard to imagine there would be Virginians on two straight nights dominating prime time. Just asking: Did the unveiling of the "security" theme for the Wednesday VP night also send a signal that Kaine, Sebelius, and perhaps Bayh were falling on the list? That reminds us: We haven't heard much from Biden lately. Has he passed the "can you keep it quiet for a few weeks" test?

*** Talk About An Odd Couple: How shocking is it that Ralph Reed -- the former GOP boy wonder who was Jack Abramoff's business partner ("I need to start humping in corporate accounts," Reed once emailed Abramoff)-- is helping to raise money for McCain for a fundraiser next week in Atlanta? Consider that: 1) McCain used his perch on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hit Abramoff and Reed; 2) McCain has railed against Abramoff on the campaign trail ("I led in the Abramoff hearings in
the -- in the obscure Indian Affairs Committee, for which people are still testifying and going to jail," he said at a GOP debate in 2007); and 3) some McCain loyalists have blamed Reed for launching the now-infamous whisper campaign against McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. McCain made it part of his life's mission to hammer Abramoff and Reed, and now he's getting help from the Christian Coalition boy wonder? It's amazing marriage of convenience -- one that some in McCain world may
believe is a step too far. In fact, what are the odds that Reed actually shows up to this McCain event?

*** Pulling A Zell: ... It was two years ago this month that Joe Lieberman lost his Dem primary, and now he's on McCain's short list for VP. By the way, is Lieberman trying to force Democrats to expel him from their caucus if they pick up Senate seats in November? Yesterday, campaigning for McCain in Pennsylvania, the Connecticut senator suggested that Obama doesn't put his country first. "In my opinion, the choice could not be more clear: between one candidate, John McCain, who's had experience, been tested in war and tried in peace, another candidate who has not,'' Lieberman said. "Between one candidate, John McCain, who has
always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not." Lieberman, who will campaign again with McCain today, has definitely upped his rhetoric, which is why his name continues to stay on the short list. And Lieberman himself doesn't seem to do a lot to discourage the talk. In fact, longtime Lieberman watchers will probably wonder why the one-time Dem VP nominee wasn't this good of an attack dog when he was Al Gore's running mate. Obama may have some Republicans in his camp, but they aren't doing attack-dog politics like Lieberman's doing for McCain.

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