August 29th, 2008
07:02 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The Dems' pitch, McCain's VP and Gustav's threat

Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

It was an excellent and powerful speech, no question.

Barack Obama was compelling. He gave specifics on what he would do as president. He fired back at John McCain in a way that seemed gracious and fair, but firm.

So did he make a sale... what do you think?

It's a question for all the big Democrats who spoke at the convention this week. Great oration is one thing. Connecting with voters, convincing them on a gut level that you are their candidate, is another thing.

It seems so easy when it works, so natural - and that's one reason it does work: a great salesman makes a simple, personal connection.

But it's been so hard for so many politicians, especially the last several Democratic presidential candidates, all of whom, including Obama, have been cerebral and professors in one way or another.

Some professors are great salesmen, but most aren't. And that's shown in the past few presidential elections.

All the past unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates who spoke at the convention this week - Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry spoke more powerfully than they generally did during their own campaigns. Remarkable, isn't it?

But we'll have to wait to see whether the polls indicate the Dems made the sale.

And speaking of sales, John McCain is expected to announce his choice for vice president today. There are unconfirmed reports that it's not Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota, or former Mass. Gov Romney of Massachusetts, or former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge told a CNN crew as he left the house wearing a windbreaker that he's getting a coffee and a haircut. Not exactly the high tension you'd expect to see ahead of a tightly controled VP announcement. But maybe he's just one cool cat.

Another possibility, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is looking especially fascinating today as KTVA reports the governor, afgter weeks of denying that she or anyone in her office applied pressure to fire a particular state trooper, now admits that one of her staff made calls that might have been perceived as pressure. Too complicated to get into here, but we'll all hear a lot more about that if McCain chooses her.

And then there's the possibility Mccain will do what Obama was asked to do but didn't - choose a woman. eBay CEO Meg Whitman and McCain advisor and former (controversial) Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have been cited as possibilities.

So who could it be and, more importantly, will that person help McCain make the sale?

We'll have all this, and one more grabber for you:

Anderson anchors the show from New Orleans tonight, as Gustav barrels toward the Louisiana coast, expected to reach Category 3 over the Gulf of Mexico - exactly three years after Hurricane Katrina struck. Is New Orleans ready? Can the Gulf coast handle another Cat 3?

We'll have the evidence at 10PM tonight. Thank you for joining us.

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Nick


    This was the greatest excuse in the world for McCain and the whole RNC to get away from the shot in the arm of going through the misery of trying to explain a running mate that no one knows, and trying to turn a pathetic oaf into a hero. This is not going to happen. This tells me as a liberal American that McCain is truly afraid.

    There are people whom I know with life threatening illnesses on respirators who almost literally climb mountains to give a speech. It shows me as a person with a disability who has to brave the weather to get my job done. What a coward McCain is. But that goes for the whole Republican party. Any good leader understands tragedy, and natural disaster, as well as advancements in technology. Why can't Senator McCain, and all of his delegates do everything via webcast, and still make it a fund raising event. And see how much money the Republicans could have raised, selling off their propaganda, and all that food. What happened to having a plan B?

    We've been hearing about Gustav since Monday. I think Obama would have rose to the occasion, and had the convention in a different state. They can do votes many different ways, including a conference call. This just furthers my belief that Obama is going to be our new leader. The Republicans have sadly enough gotten a dose of their own medicine by the reaction of fear.

    No way, no how, no McCain!

    August 31, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  2. Ije

    Senator John McCain and the Republican party have been hammering Senator Barack Obama on his lack of executive experience and asserting that Senator McCain has the experience to be president from day one. Now the McCain campain and the RNC are charging that Gov Palin even has more experience to be Commander-in-Chief and be heartbeats away from the presidency because of her executive experience as a former mayor of a city of 6500 people and a governor with 2 years experience on the job! One of her supporters just commented on CNN this afternoon that she is more qualified than Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney and all the other McCain rivals during the primary as well as everyone else.

    I find this very stunning!

    My question is this:




    August 30, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Margaret

    Is Palin going to bring her infant with her when she travels abroad, or leave him with her husband or a nannny? Not sure what kind of a life this "pro-life" mom is giving her kid. It doesn't seem like she's going to have a lot of time to spend with him. VP of th US is more than a 40 hour a week job. Any child development expert will tell you that infants need their MOMS and they say that without any sexism, but empirical research. I say a woman who has given birth 4 months ago and has an infant with Downs Syndrome is a BAD MOTHER to take on the huge responsibility she's been offered. I don't care how well she multi-tasks – both sides of this – the infant and the American public – are getting less than the full-time attention EACH job requires.

    August 30, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  4. AP

    To all those who are not sure about Obama. Let me remind you that it was a Repulican that has run this country into the ground.
    You have only one chose now!
    Wake up! We can not take another 4 years of Republican maddness.

    August 30, 2008 at 2:45 am |
  5. Ardes Peaster

    The Republican Party has been consistent with their stupidity.
    They are out of touch with the average american people.
    I am a woman and I am insulted with the chose of the Republican's VP pick.
    How dare they think that women are so shallow that they don’t realize that this Is just a political trick!
    How long do the Republicans think they can hold us captive! They have done nothing to change this dangerous path that we are on. It’s a little too late and I will not give them a second look.

    August 30, 2008 at 2:39 am |
  6. Judy

    Hi Cindy, I listen to Anderson tonight he said the speech was truthful so what does that make you!! More of the same!

    August 30, 2008 at 2:32 am |
  7. Caroline - Tennessee

    Someone give John McCain a Captain's hat – he has chosen Marianne
    from Gilligan's Island as his running mate.

    How timely that while a storm is once again approaching the coast of Louisiana, we are choosing between the USS Minnow and the QE2.

    It is an insult to Hillary Clinton's supporters to think that they don't understand the difference between an internationally respected senator of New York who had championed the rights of women and children all her adult life and a beauty pageant contestant who is willing to take her four month old premature Down's Syndrome baby on the campaign trail.

    Barack Obama has won the leadership question hands down.

    August 30, 2008 at 2:16 am |
  8. Doug

    I keep hearing some people say Palin is someone we can connect with. How could a midwestern factory worker for the UAW connect with a canidate from ALASKA? She couldn't possibly connect with the pains of job loss we are experiencing here! Obama you do give us hope!!

    August 30, 2008 at 1:30 am |
  9. Dean, Oklahoma City

    As an undecided voter in this election, I must say that Mccain's pick as well as a few other things has swayed my decision. First off, his bashing of Obama for his lack of experience is out the window. He said that experience was the main thing he was looking for in a running mate. His pick is very hypocritical and shows bad judgement. He also bashed Obama for being a "Celebrity Type" person, but then he is sitting on the couch on the Tonight show with Jay Leno??? Who is the celeb here? Then the statement about 5mil/yr being middle class, why say that and then follow it with, "I know that will be misconstrued". You don't put your foot in your mouth and try to turn it into a joke, this is serious to a lot of people. Finally, it is such a shame that this historic choice of VP had to be wasted on a campaign looking for a boost from women voter!!! This is a sad day for Republicans...

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 30, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  10. matt Dougan

    McCain has his second Trophy wife! You ahve got to be kidding, this is a joke!
    Obama/Biden 08 for sure now!

    August 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Diane O

    Obama was wonderful last night. I have every confidence in him. He is going to surround himself with the people he needs. Just like Bush did. I think McCain's choice was stupid. He certainly can't play the inexperience card anymore. She seems like a very nice person. However, she has a special needs child that needs her. As a mother myself, I would never have taken on a job like that having just had an infant, especially a special needs infant. I guess she is going to depend on the older daughters to nurture the baby.

    August 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Jessy M Clement

    John Mccain is talking about Obama don't have the experience to be commander in chief.What does Ms Palin bring to this tiket against Joe Biden.Do we need her on the job trainning to oversee our nation.As a Hilary supporter I am insulted that he could just pick any women to measure up to her.I dare him.He prove to me that he will do anything to win this election and bring this country in worse shape then it is now.That is a REPUBLICAN FOR YOU! they only care about themselves,get ritcher,and ignore the poor of this country.

    Very truly yours
    Jessy Clement

    August 29, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Obama's speech was so full of lies it isn't even funny! He may be great with his rhetoric when giving speeches but when matched up with his record of voting you can spot the lies a mile away!

    1) He's going to lower taxes...Not true...voted for the Dem budget in 2008 to raise taxes on people making $42,000 or more.

    2) He is a Bipartisan.....Not true...he has voted 97% of the time with liberals. Has no record of voting over the line.

    3) Ensure troops have adequate equipment....not true...voted against funding troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on 5/21/07

    4) McCain thinks the economy has made great progress and no one is hurting...Not true...That quote was taken out of an interview but they left off the ending of it where McCain says...we have made progress with the economy but that is no comfort to struggling families.

    5) Pay for spending by balancing the budget...Not true...told the AP on 7/8/08 that he won't eliminate the deficit in his first term, and frankly he's not sure if he'd bring it down at all in 4 years considering his spending plans.

    OK..I can go on and on but will stop there. As you can see, Obama does nothing but lie. I can rip apart his whole speech this way.

    Moving on...I am SO glad that Anderson will be in NOLA tonight. Hopefully we will actually get reports and talk about NOLA and not politics. As I recall last time he was there we didn't get but one report on NOLA.


    August 29, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  14. Anna, HK

    Caught Obama's speech live earlier – riveting viewing! But, the comments tossed around by the political commentators immediately afterwards was insightful too. Definitely a good idea to extend the (Asian) live feed to 2hrs, than stay with the usual 1hr after an important speech (eg Hillary's).

    Moving onwards to the Republicans next week – McCain & Palin... another balancing act...

    August 29, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  15. Zia

    He turned 72 tthis month! God forbids if something happens to him, this ex-mayor and beauty paegent (under federal investigation) from Wassila is going to have the key to the nukes. NO WAY, NO HOW, NO

    August 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  16. AJ

    That's great that Anderson is going to cover New Orleans right now, they can't withstand the same things happening again...we really need to upgrade, or even just maintain the infrastructure here at home.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  17. Annie Kate


    McCain picked the worst VP possible if you care anything at all about the environment. Palin is for big business and oil drilling despite the destruction of fragile ecosystems for other wildlife or the extinction of some wildlife. In the environmental activist world there is always a petition or letter writing campaign going on that is generally against Gov. Palin because of what she supports at the cost of our environment and our people.

    If Obama wanted a present from the GOP for his convention he just got one in his pick for the VP.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 29, 2008 at 11:16 am |