For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.
Anderson is off tonight. John King is anchoring from Denver while Erica holds down the fort in NYC. Take a look at her webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST
And don’t forget about the live web camera the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Have we mentioned how much we love mapping out and writing two versions of 360 instead of one? Really, it’s fine. We love cliffhangers.
Yep, we’re on veep watch again tonight. We’re told Barack Obama will send his historic text message announcing his running-mate any time now. But will it be minutes from now? Hours? The news business is fluid and unpredictable by definition. That’s why news producers love contingency plans. (We’re not kidding about the two versions of tonight’s 360.)
No text message yet, but there are all kinds of rumors flying around. The best political team on television is standing by to weigh in when we finally get word. If we get the news by airtime (or during the program) we’ll have in-depth coverage of Obama’s pick. We’ll tell you everything you should know about his running-mate - from the pluses he or she brings to the ticket to any downsides. We’ll also tell you who’s feeling sour grapes over not being chosen.
We’ll also look at what Obama’s choice means for John McCain’s strategy. You can bet your copy of “Waiting for Godot” that McCain and his people will go into overdrive as soon as they know who’s sharing Obama’s ticket.
Then there’s Plan B. If we don’t get the text, we’ll focus on what’s taking so long and what the tea leaves were saying today. We’ll also look ahead to next week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. It’s expected to be the most dramatic piece of political theatre we’ve seen in a long time. We’ll explain why.
Lots of suspense tonight. It’s called hurry up… and wait.
See you at 10 PM eastern.
Editor's note: The following is a memo from the McCain campaign team, published on TIME.com by Mark Halperin.
McCain Campaign Director of Strategy
Monday marks the beginning of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A combination of factors makes this particular convention historic on many levels. Democrats have just completed an incredibly compelling primary cycle that has both energized and divided the Democratic Party. Because of the unique nature of the Democratic primary, we believe Obama will receive a significant bump from his convention.
This cycle mirrors Bill Clinton’s Democratic convention in 1992: A historic 16-point bump. Barack Obama is more similarly situated to Bill Clinton in 1992 than any other candidate in recent history. Bill Clinton was a new candidate on the national scene; he was running in a “change” oriented election cycle and the economy was voters’ top issue — a dynamic he was able to capitalize on. He received a 16-point bump coming out of his convention. Obama is also a “new” candidate in a change-oriented environment. And, like Bill Clinton, he will spend the convention presenting himself as the agent of change who will fix the economy.
Obama will ride his VP bump. In addition to Obama taking advantage of the political environment, he will announce his Vice Presidential candidate late this week. This announcement typically gives a candidate a 5-point temporary bump that dissipates. However, Obama’s timing allows him to maximize his Vice Presidential bump and sustain press attention for the course of the week. He will ride the wave of an announcement from late this week (announcement expected by Saturday) through his speech on Thursday. This means that whatever bump he gains from the announcement has the potential to be lasting.
AC360° Editorial Producer
We are gearing up for AC360 tonight, sitting in the Pepsi Center listening to the house band practice for the convention. There’s lots of activity in here, as crews are finalizing the arena for next week. Although we are still three days away from the first speeches, there will be constant checking to make sure everything goes correctly. At the moment, the band is playing some Michael Jackson which is making things a little more fun in here for us. They are testing the floor cameras for the big screens above the stage, and checking out the lighting. You’ll probably see and hear all of this behind John and the panel on 360 tonight.
That’s it for now. Will check in later.
You've waited long enough! It's finally time for today's Beat 360°!
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Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Senator Hillary Clinton talks to the media before starting her tour of the New York State Fair in Geddes, New York today. Clinton co-hosted a brunch with NY State Comptroller Thomas P. Di.Napoli, at left.
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This waiting game puts the CrackBerry addiction in an entirely new category. The most minor buzz from our BBs (sign of a new message) sends us all reeling; it’s getting to be a bit much. In fact, it’s a bit cruel. Just tell us already!
Also in the “getting to be a bit much category”: the growing list of non-terrorists on the terror watch list. From toddlers to retired attorney general to Drew Griffin to a veteran who could lose his job as a pilot because he’s on the list, when you hear the stories it makes you wonder how the list could work, when it seems to have so many members who don’t fit the bill.
How great would it be to recharge your BlackBerry/cell phone/laptop without plugging it in? Talk about making life easier on the road! Your phone is wireless, your internet connection, so why not your electricity?
This is a system I’d like to get in on. A Wisconsin couple won $1.4 million dollars using the same numbers on four separate lottery tickets. They bought each one in a different town, but all were for the same drawing. Clearly it paid off – or out, as the case may be. After taxes, they’re looking at $955,000. Not bad. How’d they do it? Not the luck o’ the Irish. Think fancy math and patents. For some reason I feel like the Lottery Commission may not be a huge fan…
It’s an overworked cliche to compare U.S. political conventions to really long television shows. They are staged primarily for a TV audience at home and they’re as carefully staged and scripted as any prime-time drama.
Arriving here before the start of the Democratic Convention, I can tell you that doesn’t capture the scale of the operation. It’s bigger than a TV show — it’s like a sprawling TV studio that spreads through several buildings over entire city blocks.
Not a single delegate has arrived, the politicians aren’t here yet, but there are carpenters, construction crews, painters, upholsterers, caterers and a lot of TV-news people setting up enough equipment to start a whole new network.
The convention starts Monday and runs through to Thursday. Tune in to our live coverage and see how big it looks on TV. Believe me — here, in person, it’s bigger.
AC360° Senior Producer
I just did something I pledged I would not do. I just paid $5.99 to watch television on an airplane. They threw in the headphones for free.
I paid my money because I can't get a text message in mid-air. And I – like you I suspect – want to be one of the first million or so people to know who Barack Obama picks as his running mate.
I'm flying to Denver for the convention. The Livemap on Channel 13 shows I am currently over Indiana. I wonder if Evan Bayh already got his call from Obama.
I've been reading CNN's briefing book. Someone's been busy. (Fact: the Pepsi Center seats 18,007 for hockey but 17,417 for arena football).
CNN's been busy for weeks in Denver and Minneapolis. It takes months of planning and weeks of physical labor to get our setups set up.
I'll get my first look in a few hours. Check back then for more.