.
August 29th, 2008
06:28 PM ET

McCain V.P. pick younger, less experienced than Obama

ALT TEXT
Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

All we have heard from John McCain for months is, "Barack Obama is too young. Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief. Who do you want answering the phone in the White House at three a.m.? Blah, blah, blah."

So what does McCain do? He picks someone to be his running mate who is even younger than Barack Obama and has less experience.

Sara Palin is 44 – Obama is 47. Sara Palin is in her first term as governor of Alaska, a state that has 13 people and some caribou. Obama is a member of the United States Senate from Illinois.

It's not a big deal, except for this: If McCain wins, he will be the oldest person ever inaugurated for a first term at 72. He has a history of health problems that include bouts of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. It is reasonable to consider that McCain's running mate could be called upon to be our president.

Watch: Cafferty: McCain's VP mistake?

Meanwhile, some may see this as a move for McCain to attract disaffected women who voted for Hillary Clinton and aren't yet behind Obama. But that might not work for a few reasons: Palin, like McCain, is pro-life. Also, she might be a woman, but she's no Hillary Clinton – when it comes to her experience or her ideology.

At some point, voters will have to ask themselves who they would want running the country if it ever became necessary: Joe Biden or Sarah Palin.

Here’s my question to you: Does John McCain undercut his own message by naming someone even younger and more inexperienced than Barack Obama to be his running mate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain • Sarah Palin
August 29th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

How can GOP top Dems convention?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Democrats went out with a bang last night at Invesco field, and may have ended the week with one of the best political conventions ever. This also means they've left John McCain and the GOP with one tough act to follow when they convene in St. Paul on Monday.

Although it's pretty hard to argue that the week wasn't a hit, Republicans were quick to dismiss Barack Obama's speech in front of nearly 90,000 people last night. McCain called it "misleading" and "fundamentally at odds" with his "meager" record. McCain insists despite all the hoopla, Obama is still not ready to be president. it will be interesting to see if he keeps making that argument now that he's named Sarah Palin, a first-term governor from Alaska who's younger than Obama and has even less experience, as his V.P.

Republicans may also have to contend with Hurricane Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast and maybe even New Orleans, next week. Some Republican officials are considering delaying the start of the convention, and the White House has also been debating whether President Bush should cancel his appearance Monday. Three years after Hurricane Katrina, the image of Republicans celebrating their nominee with another potentially deadly storm looming could be a disaster for the party. However, the convention president insists that the gavel will go down Monday.

Here’s my question to you: What do Republicans have to do at their convention to top the Democrats?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: DNC Convention • GOP Convention
August 29th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

67 days to go, what should Obama do to win?

ALT TEXT
Obama's campaign is encouraging his supporters to reach out to unregistered voters.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"We are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight."

And with that, Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination in front of 84,000 people in Denver, Colorado. It was the climax to a political convention unlike anything anyone's ever seen before.

To the relief of many Democrats, Obama ripped into his rival John McCain, painting him as out of touch with ordinary Americans, "It's not because John McCain doesn't care... it's because John McCain doesn't get it." Obama described his own upbringing by a single mother and grandmother, food stamps, student loans, etc. – saying "I don't know what kind of lives McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine."

He referenced McCain's famous temper, saying he's ready to debate McCain on who has the temperament, and judgment, to be commander in chief. The crowd ate it up.

But the Democratic convention is now over and Obama and Joe Biden have just 67 days to close the deal with voters. They started today with a bus tour of the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

Obama's campaign encouraged his supporters to text message friends and call thousands of unregistered voters. The campaign says it's identified 55 million unregistered voters across the country – including about 8 million blacks, 8 million Hispanics, and 7.5 million people between the ages of 18 to 24. These Americans could elect our first African-American president.

Here’s my question to you: In the final 67 days, what does Barack Obama have to do to win the White House?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama
August 28th, 2008
04:52 PM ET

What can Obama say to get your vote?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Even for a guy who's used to delivering impressive speeches, tonight is big.

Barack Obama will address 80,000 people at Denver's Invesco Field as the first African-American nominee ever for a major political party, on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. No pressure.

Millions more will watch him on TV – and to many of them, Obama is still an unknown. The Democratic nominee has said there are two things he wants to accomplish tonight – to make the choice between himself and John McCain as clear as possible and to tell America what he stands for.

Obama wrote a first draft of his speech longhand last week, and then worked on it with his speechwriters. He looked to previous convention speeches from people like John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton for inspiration.

Friends say Obama has become sensitive to criticism that his speeches lack content. So look for specifics on how he'll fix the country's problems tonight. But he also must connect with his audience on an emotional level. There will be lots of time for policy. Tonight he's got to make people want to vote for him. To do that, he's got to touch their feelings.

Here’s my question to you: What can Barack Obama say tonight to convince you to vote for him?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • DNC Convention
August 28th, 2008
01:55 PM ET

Did Clintons deliver for Obama?

ALT TEXT
Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was pretty easy to see last night why Bill Clinton was elected president. When he's on, there's nobody better.

The former president came out swinging, declaring that Obama is "ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world." He rather cleverly pointed out that when he was running in 1992, critics said the same things about him as they say about Obama. "Too young, too inexperienced." Clinton said those criticisms didn't work against him then, and they won't work against Obama now because "he is on the right side of history".

Like his wife, Clinton called on Hillary's 18 million supporters to vote for Obama. But he went even further than Hillary had, praising Obama's ability to inspire people, his intelligence and curiosity, his "clear grasp" of foreign policy, the strength he gained from the long primary season and his good judgment in choosing Joe Biden as his number two. And he did it all with a straight face.

Watch: Cafferty: Clintons deliver?

Bill Clinton ripped into John McCain, saying that after two terms of President Bush, "in this case, the third time is not the charm." Clinton cited a laundry list of Republican failures of the last 8 years, particularly the sinking image of America abroad: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of power".

With thousands of delegates waving American flags, it seems like party unity may have finally arrived. Hillary Clinton also made the symbolic move yesterday of stepping forward during the roll call to propose that Obama be declared the nominee by acclamation. So after months and months of bitterness and division…

Here’s my question to you: Did the Clintons deliver for Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

August 27th, 2008
04:49 PM ET

McCain’s attack ads changing your opinion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama is losing his lead over John McCain according to the latest polls. It is hardly an encouraging sign if your poll numbers are going down during the week you accept your party's nomination.

The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows Barack Obama in a dead heat with Republican John McCain. 47 percent of registered voters like Obama, and 47 percent like McCain. And this poll was conducted AFTER Obama announced Senator Joe Biden as his pick for Vice President.

The Obama campaign had hoped for a bounce from that announcement. No such luck. And so far it doesn't appear the Democratic National Convention is moving the needle either. For one day this week McCain actually topped Obama by two points in the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll. Today Obama is back up by one. Last month, Obama had a 7-point lead in CNN's poll.

Maybe those negative ads are working. Painting Barack Obama as an out-of-touch celebrity, grabbing headlines like Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or "The One" parting the Red Sea like Charlton Heston's Moses. Now, the McCain ads are using Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton's own words in commercials AGAINST Obama.

Remember that Clinton ad: "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?" The McCain campaign is re-running a version of it in key battleground states with the announcer saying at the end, "Hillary was right."

Here’s my question to you: Have John McCain's attack ads changed your opinion of Barack Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Attack Ads • John McCain
August 27th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Can Hillary make the difference for Obama?

ALT TEXT
Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If someone in the Obama camp doesn't turn this into a campaign slogan, they're not as smart as I thought they were. "No way. No how. No McCain.” With those words, Hillary Clinton finally hit one out of the park last night for Barack Obama. Our John King got it right last night when he said Clinton is "a big game player" and this was a "big game speech."

It might have been the best speech she ever made, calling for party unity and for her 18 million supporters - the "sisterhood of the travelling pantsuits" - to back Obama in November. One of her better lines was, "We don't need 4 more years of the last 8 years.”

Clinton also lashed out at John McCain on the economy, health care, Social Security. Another good line: It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.

Watch: Cafferty: Can Hillary help?

Joe Biden turned out to be "bounceless"in the polls but Barack Obama might just get one from Hillary.

It was interesting that in her speech Clinton said she was honored to be there as a proud mother, Democrat, senator, American and Obama supporter. With her husband looking on in the audience - she made no mention of being a proud "wife."

Hillary Clinton plans to attend Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field tomorrow night. But her husband is reportedly not going to be there. Bill Clinton speaks tonight… and while he's good, he'll have to bring his "A" game to top his wife's performance last evening.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Barack Obama winning the White House, can Hillary Clinton make the difference?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
August 26th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

How much do you have in common with Obamas?

ALT TEXT
Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Michelle Obama's speech last night was meant to convince Americans that her family is just like the rest of us.

The wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee talked about things like family and hard work – that should resonate with millions of people across the country. The idea is to calm the fears of some that Barack Obama is different and unknown with an exotic background.

Michelle Obama described herself as a daughter, wife and mother coming from a blue-collar background – her dad was a city worker in Chicago. She talked about the anxiety her husband felt when driving their oldest daughter home from the hospital as a newborn, and what she thinks about when she tucks her two girls into bed at night.

Watch: Cafferty: Relate to Obamas?

Mrs. Obama said her husband is an ordinary man, joking about his love of basketball. She talked about his being raised by a single mother and grandparents who "scrimped and saved" so they could give him opportunities they never had. She also tried to put to rest questions about her own patriotism, declaring,"I love this country".

At the end of her speech, viewers were treated to an unscripted moment between her two young daughters and her husband via a live video hookup. The girls evaluated their mom's speech and told their "daddy" that they loved him. A moment that could go far in cementing the image of the Obamas as an American family like any other.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll suggests Michelle's speech could make a difference, with more than half of Americans saying a candidate's spouse is an important factor in their vote.

Here’s my question to you: How much do you feel you have in common with Michelle and Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Michelle Obama
August 26th, 2008
05:41 PM ET

Higher taxes a sure thing with next president?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: GALLUP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

During these shaky economic times, many Americans are betting on higher taxes – no matter who the next president is.

A new Gallup poll shows 53% of those surveyed think Barack Obama would raise their taxes as president; 34% think John McCain would hike taxes if he gets the job. Both of these numbers are higher than what Americans expected from John Kerry and George Bush last time around.

And, what's especially interesting is that a substantial number of independents – that ever-important voting bloc – think their taxes will go up under either candidate.

Republican John McCain has pledged to renew President Bush's tax cuts, which he opposed twice while in the Senate. However after he promised not to raise taxes, McCain now says nothing can be ruled out in order to keep Social Security solvent.

As for the Democrat, Barack Obama, he's said he'll raise income taxes on the wealthiest but provide a tax cut to middle class Americans.

Although more people think their taxes would go up under an Obama administration – they also think he is better equipped to handle the issue of taxes. Gallup suggests this may be because a majority of Americans think Obama's policies will benefit the middle class and the poor most... while they think McCain's policies will help the wealthy.

Here’s my question to you: Are higher taxes inevitable with the next president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Taxes
August 26th, 2008
04:56 PM ET

Hillary’s advisers skipping Obama speech?

The Washington Post reports that some of Clinton's top advisers will be absent for Obama's speech on Thursday.

The Washington Post reports that some of Clinton's top advisers will be absent for Obama's speech on Thursday.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton is expected to be a cheerleader for party unity when she takes the stage tonight in Denver, but there may be less there than meets the eye. Reports are that tensions continue to run high between the Clinton and Obama camps.

The Washington Post reports that some of Clinton's top advisers will leave town before Barack Obama accepts the party's nomination on Thursday night – that includes Terry McAuliffe who was Clinton's campaign manager.

One Clinton supporter who is staying on for Obama's speech says it would be unrealistic to expect that there wouldn't be tension between the two groups... and that the convention is a good chance for the two groups to bond – which is hard if you're leaving Denver.

Two longtime Clinton backers who are leaving early have excuses: one says it's for his daughter's weekend wedding and the other for an overseas business trip.

Nonetheless, the Democratic Party is probably not as unified as Barack Obama and many others were hoping it would be at this point. Obama was forced to address reports that Hillary Clinton was never even vetted to be his running mate, saying he did in fact consider her. Meanwhile, John McCain is now out with his 4th ad using Hillary Clinton's words from the primaries against Barack Obama. The infamous 3 A.M. ad is back with the announcer intoning, "Hillary was right."

This is not the way the Democrats drew this up.

Here’s my question to you: What message does it send when some of Hillary Clinton's top advisers plan to skip Barack Obama's acceptance speech?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • DNC Convention • Hillary Clinton
« older posts