July 31st, 2008
08:30 AM ET

In this poker game, McCain should hold

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/18/art.mccainobama.jpg]Leslie Sanchez
AC360° Contributor
GOP Strategist

If conventional wisdom is correct and Barack Obama's vice presidential selection is days away, should John McCain pounce with his own Veep announcement? I say no.

For McCain, this game is more like Poker than Quick Draw. He’s got one singular advantage when it comes to the Veepstakes, which is that he can afford to wait and see Obama’s hold card. Once he sees which of two or three strategies Obama has decided to play, he can then decide which of his own cards to play.

Will the Democrats make a choice based on region, or gender? Will Obama play to “new politics”? Either way, expect McCain's choice to counterbalance Obama’s.

While Obama has been playing his cards close to his vest, one thing remains clear: unlike McCain, he has every reason to announce his choice sooner rather than later. FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics
July 31st, 2008
08:15 AM ET

AC360° Q&A - If McCain wins, Roe v. Wade will be overturned

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.larry.tribe.jpg width=292 height=320]
Editor's Note: Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe is one of the United States’ preeminent constitutional scholars. An informal advisor to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, he is one of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s most ardent supporters. The liberal legal icon talks with AC360’s Jack Gray about the impact the next president will have on The Supreme Court, the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned and why Barack Obama is the most amazing student he ever taught.

Q. The economy, two wars, an energy crisis … are legal and judicial issues as important in this election?
A. I think they’re enormously important because they set the framework within which everything else is addressed. If we believe in democracy and the rule of law then an administration that is casual or reckless about the framework of the constitution simply can’t be trusted with either war or peace. So I think that although bread and butter issues of gas prices and home foreclosures are going to dominate individual consciousness, at some level people have to remember that it is our legal system and our political structure that defines our greatness as a nation and that projects our presence onto the world stage and indirectly accounts for our safety and security. If we don’t stand for a fundamental set of legal values abroad we will have an impossible time in the battle of ideas that constitutes the war on terrorism. FULL POST

Filed under: 360° Q & A • AC360° Staff • Barack Obama • Jack Gray • John McCain • Raw Politics • Supreme Court • T1
July 31st, 2008
08:06 AM ET

Morning Buzz: reality check

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.windmills.jpg caption="Giant wind turbines are powered by strong prevailing winds near Palm Springs, California."]
Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

Good morning!!

How about a little reality check on the issue that Americans say concerns them most: the economy. And let's drill down to its core: energy.

Everybody's talking energy - President Bush is pushing Congress to act before it goes on vacation, each presidential candidate talks about it every day...

Why, even Al Gore and T. Boone Pickens are weighing in with urgent calls to develop independent, sustainable forms of energy... like Pickens' proposal to quickly build windmills fields and let the clean wind power us, rather than burn up the rest of the fossile fuel so quickly...

So... what about that?

Why don't we quickly build windmill fields on federal land - since everyone's calling this an urgent national security issue.

And why aren't the candidates and the President and the Congress even talking about that? A quick executive order - citing a national emergency - followed by a quick Congressional appropriation could get construction going before the end of the year.

Opening up offshore drilling, by contrast, wouldn't increase actual oil supply for years, although advocates argue it would have a valuable psychological effect on markets and bring down oil prices.


But why not get some actual results more quickly - and get some cleaner energy and sustainability along with it?

Why not?

If you're a committed offshore drilling advocate because you think it'll drive down prices in the near term, why not add this kind of option to have an even greater psychological effect? It doesn't have to be either/or. And political finger-pointing over offshore drilling ain't gonna get us new energy right away anyhow.

If energy is an urgent matter of national security, we need a call to arms, right?

So why aren't the President, the Congress and the candidates making an urgent call for these kind of measures - in addition to their other proposals?

Maybe this is why none of them are wildly popular among the public, as polls show, with Congress's popularity ratings in the low 20s, President Bush's only a little above that, and neither presidential candidate cracking 50%.

Hello. Warning signs.

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • The Buzz
July 30th, 2008
10:59 PM ET

The Shot: Jesus cat

A pet owner claims the image of Jesus can be seen in the fur of a cat.

Filed under: T1 • The Shot
July 30th, 2008
09:52 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 7/30/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

Anderson is in South Africa working on Planet In Peril: Battle Lines. Campbell Brown will be filling in for him.  Be sure to check her out on our live web camera from 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.

Filed under: Live Blog
July 30th, 2008
09:49 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Going Negative

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/30/campaign.poll/art.split.gi.jpg%5D

Maureen Miller
360° Writer

It's getting nasty on the campaign trail. John McCain has a new ad that will run in 12 states that claims Obama is "the biggest celebrity in the world."  And, goes on to ask, "But is he ready to lead?". The video shows Obama in Germany last week before a crowd of 200,000 people. 
The ads also has video of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, who are better known for their wild antics that the paparazzi never seems to miss.  Barack Obama, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears?  OK. Maybe this is more comical than nasty?  What do you think? We've got the raw politics tonight on 360°.

Plus, what about Hillary and the so-called "dream ticket?"


Filed under: Maureen Miller • T1 • The Buzz
July 30th, 2008
08:41 PM ET

Tomorrow Buzz

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

Here’s a look at some of the stories on our radar for tomorrow:

RAW POLITICS: Sen. McCain will be at a town hall meeting in Racine, WI while Sen. Obama attends one in Cedar Rapids, IA.  President Bush is scheduled to make a statement on Iraq in the morning. 

TED STEVENS: Indicted Sen. Ted Stevens will make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon in Federal District Court in Washington. The Alaska Republican was indicted Tuesday on charges of lying about receiving gifts from an Alaska-based energy company on whose behalf he intervened in Washington.  Stevens has denied the charges. 

MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULTS HEARING: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee holds a hearing on "Sexual Assault in the Military."

11-YEAR-OLD COMPETENCY HEARING: Scheduled date of hearing for Semaj Booker. In early 2007, 9-year-old Booker led police on a high speed chase in a stolen car. Days later, he talked his way onto a flight from Seattle to San Antonio. He was caught when he tried to board a flight to Dallas. He was arrested in July 2008 on suspicion of burglary.

SIMPSON HEARING: Scheduled date of court hearing for O.J. Simpson, currently awaiting trial on robbery charges in connection to an incident at a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.

Filed under: T1 • The Buzz
July 30th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Obama samples slice of heartland

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.obama.diner.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama chats with diners at Bell Restaurant in Lebanon,Missouri."]
Editor's note: This pool report was filed by Michael Powell on the Obama campaign trail in Lebanon, Missouri.

Never let it be said that Barack Obama is a slow learner. Team Obama pulled into the Bell Restaurant (a diner, as defined by this New Yorker but who am I to argue with a Mizzou-an), which advertises itself as offering B.B.Q., Steak and Seafood.

The candidate, who is sparing in consumption of almost everything, and has taken grief in the press for not letting his waist expand as the campaign season progresses, wanders in and immediately and loudly announces:

"Well, I've had lunch but I'm thinking maybe there is some pie."

Then he drops that thought and sets to the business of chatting up waitresses, signing napkins and shaking hands with the 11 paying customers. These are mostly retired men in NASCAR and camouflage caps nursing their fifth or sixth cups of coffee. They are not a verbose lot.

How you guys doin'?" the candidate asks a table of four.
"Pretty good," one answers.
"What sort of work you do?" the candidate asks.
"Retired," says one. "Not much," says another.


The candidate moves toward the kitchen, trailed by a beaming waitress or two. The food question hangs there.

"Well, I should order something," he says, adding a caveat: "Now, I've had lunch."

He settles on fried chicken; in his telling, he's become a junk food dog. "The healthy people, we'll give them the breasts," he tells he waitress. "I'll eat the wings.

Word now is out that a presidential candidate is in. People crowd by, cell phones held aloft. FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Behind The Scenes
July 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET

Major airlines, major increases, major pains

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.baggage.jpg caption="Hundreds of bags wait to be checked at New York's Kennedy Airport Wednesday. The baggage system was not functioning, delaying some flights and others to take off without baggage."]
Gary Tuchman
AC360° correspondent

The major airlines (with the notable and commendable exception of Southwest) are in a feeding frenzy to not only implement, but continue raising the price of checked luggage. Fuel prices are high, but they've gone up in dramatic fashion before in the age of air travel, so trotting that out as the reason for these fees doesn't inspire one to feel pity for the industry.

What is apparent is that the airlines are sticking together. If one of the majors decided to make 2 checked bags free again, there would be pressure on the others to re-adjust.

Either way, here is something to think about. If your luggage doesn't arrive on your flight, and instead ends up late or lost, shouldn't you be entitled to a refund?

Remarkably, there are no provisions for that. If you pay 125 dollars for a third checked bag and it gets lost, you are still responsible for the 125 dollars! With that logic, no wonder the industry is in so much trouble.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gary Tuchman
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