Amy Holmes: 10:40p ET – Palin: A+. The plus is for wildly exceeding expectations. She more than held her own. She was polished, direct, folksy, and on message. She stressed her personal experience both as a mom and as a governor, from the kitchen table to the executive branch, her record as a reformer and bipartisan deal maker. She even got Biden to agree with her. Read more...
Roland Martin: Expectations are high for Palin AND Biden. Many of you read my commentary this week on CNN.com and I haven’t changed my opinion.
I’m tired of Washington journalists continuing to say that the expectations are low, and the bar even lower, for Gov. Sarah Palin.
And the same goes for Sen. Joe Biden. Read more...
Amy Holmes: 9:40p ET – Were those Katie Couric interviews a devious head fake? I've heard Biden say at least twice now that he agrees with Palin. First on the issue of windfall profits, and then on the issue of gay marriage. Regarding the first, he actually said he and Obama would like to do what the Governor did in Alaska. Economic conservatives won't like it. But for debate purposes: advantage Palin.
Candy Crowley: 9:35p ET – Palin veers off course — the question is about helping consumers with crushing debt, and she's responding with energy policy. Politicians frequently change the subject, but this was a pretty obvious 180.
CNN Senior Political Analyst
10:36p ET: Palin's primary strength is her outside of Washington status. She doesn't act like an insider, she doesn't talk like an insider, and a lot of voters may respond to that.
10:24p ET: Palin's answers do not lack confidence, they lack coherence.
10:20p ET: Reform, corruption, maverick…these are words that Palin often uses, but she needs to define them.
10:16p ET: Palin say's she'll be a maverick, but she doesn't talk about how her administration would be different from McCain. She isn't drawing any kind of distinction.
10:14p ET: Biden's in an awkward position…Biden voted for the use of force in Iraq, Obama came out against it from the beginning.
It's a problem that he shares with Hillary Clinton.
CNN Senior Producer
The jury in the O.J. Simpson-Clarence Stewart kidnapping and armed robbery trial will begin deliberating tomorrow at 8:30 am.
Prosecutor Chris Owens told the nine women and three men
In his closing arguments the "offense is against the peace and dignity of the state of Nevada."
Owens called Simpson arrogant and said he was motivated by spite and anger.
Owens said there was plenty of evidence to find both defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes allegedly committed during a memorabilia sting at a Palace Station Casino hotel room.
Simpson's attorney Yale Galanter painted a picture of his client being targeted by money hunting liars and police out to get him.
Galanter stressed Simpson just wanted family heirlooms back.
Galanter asked, "Does anyone truly believe that O.J. Really had the intent to commit a crime?"
Stewart attorney Brent Bryson told the jurors there are lots of (prosecution) smoke screens and innuendo, but no proof his client committed a crime.
More than a thousand volunteers last year scoured 20 thousand square miles to find evidence of Steve Fossett’s airplane in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Yet, all it took was a lone hiker to solve the mystery.
Preston Morrow, a manager of sporting goods store in Mammoth Lakes, California, discovered Fossett’s pilot license and two other pieces of identification while hiking with his dog. He also found a thousand dollars in cash. Morrow didn’t recognize Fossett’s name right away, so it took a few days before authorities got involved. But hours after search crews looked in the area where Morrow made his find, they found Fossett’s plane.
Authorities say it was clear no one could have survived the crash. It appeared Fossett’s plane slammed into the side of a mountain. NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker says a "very little" amount of human remains were found in the wreckage.
The NTSB is treating the crash as an accident, which means they don’t suspect sabotage or anything else suspect. Crash investigators are often able to pinpoint what exactly happened, but the Fossett case may prove too difficult. The plane is in a million pieces, and it has been exposed to harsh outdoor elements for more than a year. No witnesses observed the crash, and the plane doesn’t have a black box.
Fossett’s wife said she is looking forward to closing the investigation into her husband's death. However, the family must have mixed emotions, and are probably reliving the tragedy. Conspiracy theorists have written on various “conspiracy” websites that Fossett faked his own death. The wreckage might finally put those rumors to rest.
There’s also the question about a reward. When Fossett disappeared, his friends and family offered substantial money to anyone who helped solve the mystery. It’s unclear if those offers are still on the table. What do you think? Should the hiker be compensated for his discovery?
Here are more pictures from the crash:
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Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden speaks at a rally last week in Detroit, Michigan.
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…but it’s not the only story you need to know about. Nor is the bailout/rescue plan/Capitol Hill debacle. Keep reading for a few tidbits that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
Anthrax antibiotics brought to your door by the US Postal Service. Woah.
When I read the headline, I immediately flashed back to the two postal workers who were killed in 2001 after inhaling the spores on anthrax-laced letters. Forget snow, rain, and gloom of night, how about terror attacks not keeping letter carriers from their jobs. When you think about it – putting aside the uncomfortable irony for a moment – it makes great sense. These folks visit every home in this country every day. As a senior counselor to health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt points out, they can provide “a front-end quick strike”.
But do America’s letter carriers really want this gig?
Over the past two years, tests in Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston paired postal workers with police officers on their routes. In eight hours, 50 letter carriers got their test packets to some 53,000 homes. Next stop: Minneapolis.
To make the double duty more attractive for postal employees, the government would supply each volunteer’s family with enough doxycycline for themselves and their families in advance, so they can be ready the moment an outbreak happens.
Let’s just hope that no matter how successful these tests are, and no matter how brave the USPS may be, we never need to use this system.
As a former general in the GOP, I get a lot of emails from various operative types around the country. Many are old comrades from the forgotten wars of old Republican statewide campaigns.
Unlike the well meaning but under-experienced six month wonders who seem to populate most of the GOP campaign apparat in Washington of late, these salty old pros have years of experience out in the field actually winning campaigns for our side, especially during the Republican glory years of the 90's when we held about every Governor's office in the country worth holding, as well as the House and Senate. Most are sidelined this time. And almost to 100% they are dismayed by what they see as the stunning lack of competence in the McCain operation.
One very smart consultant who knows McCain well sent me a link this morning to the video of McCain at Des Moines Register Editorial board interview. Set aside whatever you think of McCain's interview; this operative's point was purely technical and dead on correct:
What the Hell was McCain even doing there in the first place?
So, 35 days left and McCain is in Iowa? Why put McCain in the wrong state, at the wrong place? No surprise the result is the wrong message and the wrong tone.
CNN Senior Producer
In the halls of the Clark County Regional Justice Center, you can run into O.J. Simpson. He won't answer any questions about his trial.
But he will talk about his affinity for Las Vegas.
"The people in Las Vegas have just been tremendous. This is the first time I have come here that I have spent time off the strip in the neighborhoods. The people have been fantastic.
"A lot of people think I might move to Las Vegas. The truth is when I decided to move from L.A., It was between Las Vegas and Miami. Miami worked out well. Both kids (Nicole Brown Simpson's children with O.J.:Justin, 20 years old, and Sydney, 22 years old) are honor students and are in college.
"I don't want to say where they are. People at school don't know I'm they're dad. I was walking with my daughter (Sydney) and some radio guy says 'O.J. was spotted on campus with his new main squeeze and they just keep getting younger and younger.' They had no idea it was my daughter."
"But I now have a new respect for the citizens of Las Vegas. I like Las Vegas - great golf courses, great restaurants."
It's the showdown everyone's been waiting for.
Sarah Palin and Joe Biden face off on the issues.
Join the best political team on television for your front row seat!
Debate Night in America: Vice Presidential Debate
Tonight, beginning 8p ET
Suzanne Malveaux | BIO
CNN White House Correspondent
I talked to Obama campaign spokeswoman Linda Douglass who just arrived at debate site. Nothing surprising regarding Joe Biden, just some points:
– Biden is feeling “pretty relaxed.”
– He has lots of family members coming to the debate (he’s got famously big family.)
– “Biden will make a clear convincing case that the Obama-Biden ticket will bring change from the last 8 years of the failed Bush policies.”
– “Will provide a sharp contrast to the McCain-Palin ticket, and argue that the opposing candidate is more of the same.”
– They “expect Palin will deliver strong sharp, pointed attacks.”
– Biden will respond by “trying to stay connected to voters. He’ll do his best to avoid getting drawn into game-playing.”