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Spin Control

Archive for June 2008

Friday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s videos:

CBS News: Clinton, Obama making joint appearance

Fox News: McCain applauds Supreme Court ruling on guns

And some updated poll numbers from Gallup

• Former rivals Obama, Clinton take first public step toward reconciliation
• Democratic delegate who said she’d vote for McCain tries to keep convention credentials
• Rendell expresses interest in federal energy, transportation posts but not before 2011

Italian Club raps Rossi video

The Italian Club of Seattle is objecting to the state Democratic Party’s new video on likely GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi.

How badly are they objecting? They say it’s distasteful and racist. They say it is “beyond offensive.”

They want Gov. Chris Gregoire to have it taken down from the state party’s Web site, and an apology from her and State Chairman Dwight Pelz — just before Pelz gets his pink slip.

The problem, club President Brian DiJulio says, is the use of the theme song from “The Sopranos” as the background for the video. It’s negative ethnic stereotyping.

“As Italian-Americans, we celebrate the positive contributions our cultural heritage has made to Washington’s rich and diverse history,” DiJulio wrote to Gregoire. “We thereby call on you to demand Mr. Pelz’s resignation and help find a replacement capable of respecting the culture of others.”

To see the video, and read the whole letter, click here.

Michelle Obama to campaign for Gregoire

Michelle Obama will appear at an event for Chris Gregoire next month in Seattle, the governor’s re-election campaign announced Tuesday.

They have a fund-raiser planned for noon July 17 at WAMU Theater at Qwest Field, tickets ranging in price from $200 to $1,000 each. (Perhaps with the higher donation, one gets a personal fist bump from Mrs. Obama?)

Gregoire, a super delegate to the national convention, endorsed Obama shortly before the state’s precinct caucuses in February.

While this is likely to generate sizable cash and attention for the Gregoire campaign, one might reasonably expect Republican Dino Rossi’s forces will spin this as a sign that she’s
a.) nervous;
b.) worried;
c.) desperate;
d.) all of the above
in the face his furious campaign onslaught.

Preaching to the choir

The campaigns and allies for Gov. Chris Gregoire and likely Republican challenger Dino Rossi are arguing Tuesday that the other side is more likely to cater to big donors.

At about 12:22 p.m., the state Democratic campaign apparatus reiterated and recycled its fears that Rossi would cave to the Building Industry Association of Washington, a pro-development group that is funding the current anti-Gregoire commercials.

A mere 35 minutes later, the Rossi campaign weighed in that it would really be Gregoire kow-towing to financial backers such as unions, trial lawyers and the Native American tribes.

Or another way to look at it:

Monday’s quickie political briefing

George Carlin: Maybe it’s not the politicians who suck (Warning: contains language many may find offensive…it’s George Carlin, after all.)

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign, from the Associated Press:
Obama braces for race-based ads as GOP vows fair but tough campaign

Sen. McCain offers $300 million prize for new auto battery that can reduce dependence on oil

John McCain campaigns in California. Barack Obama campaigns in New Mexico.
“I’m backing Senator Obama. I expect to work as hard as I need to, as I’m called on to do to make certain that he is the next president.” — Elizabeth Edwards, wife of one-time Democratic candidate John Edwards, speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
John McCain won California’s Republican presidential primary in February with 42 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney garnered 34 percent, compared with Mike Huckabee’s almost 12 percent.

Spending the big bucks

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission just issued its “Most Money” listing for campaigns over the last 30 years.

Not too many surprises. Most money spent by a gubernatorial candidate? Christine Gregoire in 2004. Second most? Dino Rossi in 2004.

Those numbers seem destined to come crashing down this year.

But there’s one category that is regularly a source of local pride or local shame…

Friday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: A shot at McCain over “really loving” America?

From the files:
Obama flipping on public funding? Click here
McCain flopping on off-shore drilling? Click here

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

Burns was lukewarm on McCain last week in Sandpoint; he’s out this week in Montana

Obama to campaign with former rival Hillary Clinton in step toward unifying Democrats

NY’s Mayor Bloomberg defends Obama before Jewish audience in Florida
Barack Obama discusses the economy with Democratic governors in Chicago before holding a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla. John McCain gives a speech in Ottawa.
“This is wedge politics at its worst, and we’ve got to reject it — loudly, clearly and unequivocally.” — Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who urged Jewish voters to denounce the whisper campaign that has pushed the false rumor that Democrat Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.
In the 2004 presidential election, 72 percent of voting-age citizens were registered to vote, according to the Census Bureau. That’s 2 points more than in 2000 when 70 percent of those eligible were registered.

Video record of Obama on public financing

It didn’t take long for the Internet — or the McCain campaign — to raise questions about Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of Public Financing.

Click to take a look at the videos and decide for yourself if Obama flip-flopped on taking public financing in the presidential campaign.

WA Dems: After the convention

From the point that it seemed likely that Barack Obama was going to edge out Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, there were signs that blending his supporters with hers would not be easy.

It didn’t take the Great Karnac to read the signs. Spend six months or more in tough competition for anything and there’s bound to be hard feelings between those who finish first and those who finish second.

The real question then and now, is how difficult will it be to solve the rift?

there were two competing views of that last weekend at the Washington State Democratic Convention…

Tanker contract could be a political football

Look for the report nixing the Air Force contract on a new tanker to pop up in the presidential campaign in the coming days.

The Government Accountability Office says the Air Force didn’t follow its own rules when awarding a $35 billion contract for the next generation of tankers to Northrop Grumman. The Boeing Co., and its bid to build the new tanker on its 767 line in Washington state, were put at a disadvantage in the process, the GAO says.

In other words, the GAO is strongly recommending a “do-over” on the new tanker.

“They threw the whole thing out,” Sen. Patty Murray said.

Wednesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Age is a factor for voters in the presidential election

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press
Obama meets with foreign policy group; team includes potential Cabinet members

Fla. Gov. Crist joins McCain in opposing offshore drilling moratorium, says let states decide

Barack Obama meets with AFL-CIO leaders, his national security working group and retired military personnel in Washington. John McCain holds a briefing on energy and economic policy in Springfield, Mo.
“It’s time to end the war in Iraq responsibly, refocus on Afghanistan and al-Qaida, and renew our global leadership so that we can tackle the huge challenges of the 21st century.” — Democrat Barack Obama, in a statement on national security.
John McCain narrowly won Missouri’s Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday in February. He received 194,304 votes, compared with 185,627 for Mike Huckabee and 172,564 for Mitt Romney.

The party that campaigns together…

Washington state Democrats will once again be running many of their campaigns in Spokanke out of a central office.

The Coordinated Campaign, as they call it, plus the Mark Mays congressional campaign, will be operating out of an HQ at 1009 N. Washington, staring with a grand opening Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Perhaps by that time the staff will learn the names of all the elected officials and candidates they are representing. They got two names wrong in their announcement, and one of them is pretty well-known incumbent with tons of seniority and clout in Olympia.


Tuesday’s press release is reprinted here. See if you can catch the errors.

Political donations by occupation

Crossposting from Rich Roesler’s blog and originally from BoingBoing, here’s an interesting piece from Mother Jones that breaks down political donations by occupation.

It lists donation amounts and matches them to what we assume are respondents’ self-descriptors - as broad as “Businesswoman” (mostly to Democrat) and as specific as “sex slave” and “Wizard” (100 percent of those donations went to Ron Paul)

Keep in mind that the Party proportions are based on the donation amount - ‘X percent’ means ‘X percent of the donation amount listed’ so 100 percent to a particular candidate may actually mean all of $425.

CLICK HERE to see the data.

ID GOP Convention: New leadership

Staff writer Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint the Idaho GOP has a new leader and a new direction on how to vote in primaries, the result of a dramatic convention that revealed the division of the party and perhaps a straying from the GOP establishment

In an upset Norm Semanko, a Kootenai County native who now lives in Eagle and ran an unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2006, was elected party chairman Saturday in a vote of 227-169 by secret ballot, which the delegation demanded to remove any potential retaliation in the high-profile race. Semenko promised to uphold conservative Republican principles.

Initially Sen. Bart Davis of Idaho Falls, who was elected to run the convention, refused to reveal the vote count Saturday night, but reversed his decision after ousted party Chairman Kirk Sullivan gave him the go ahead.

The vote directly went against Gov. Butch Otter and other party establishment who supported the two-term chairman and former Boise Cascade executive and lobbyist. After the vote, Sullivan told supporters he planned to largely withdraw from politics.

ID Dem Convention: Wrapping up a lovefest

Betsy Russell reports from Boise that the Democrats have ended their convention on a good note.

Read about it at Eye on Boise by clicking here.

WA Dems: Winding down

Washington Democrats haven’t adjourned, but most of the delegates are filing out of the hall.
One speaker left….

WA Dems: Platform adopted

Washington Democrats may be getting tired of the back and forth of convention politicking.

The platform was introduced, and a motion was made to adopt it by acclamation.


Passed overwhelmingly.

On to resolutions.

Time elapsed: 2 minutes.

ID GOP Convention: Delegates selected

Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint that the Idaho GOP Convention just approved the slate of delegates to the national convention, including the six Ron Paul delegates and alternates.

The list of delegates is already posted on HBO.
The only addition is the four electors who are John Erickson of Jefferson County, Melinda Smyser of Canyon County, Gen. Ben Doty of Ada County and Darlene Bramon of Blaine County.

For more details from Sandpoint, click here.

WA Dems: Electoral College nominating speeches are over…

…and they’re going to discuss Charter Amendments.

ID GOP Convention: Voting for an open primary

Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint that Republicans just narrowly voted to change their party rules and open the GOP primary, a reverse in course that shows the division within the party about the controversial issue.

The recommendation passed by just seven votes and now will go to the state Central Committe, which more than once has voted for a closed primary and launched a lawsuit against the state in April.
Read more here.

They’ve also passed most of a platform, but are currently debating whether to do away with the Federal Reserve. Read about it here.

WA Democrats: Lunch break

Convention chair orders a lunch break until 1:45 p.m.

WA Dems: Minutia in the slow times

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott managed to mess up a few things in his speech, most notably the date of the election.
“It’s not over until 8 o’clock on the Eighth of November,” he said.
Actually, by that time, the election will have been over for four days. Election Day this year is Nov. 4.

State Chairman Dwight Pelz took what seemed like an unfair shot at Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna. Sure, McKenna looks like a Boy Scout, and yes the Democrats would like to replace him. But it seemed to be going a bit far to describe McKenna as “best remembered for his role as Sherman in ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle.’”

Well, yeah, it got a laugh. But still.

Former State Chairman got up to give an impassioned arguement against adopting charter Amendments, which would be akin to adopting amendments to the Constitution and shouldn’t be taken lightly, he said. But the convention wasn’t debating that, he was told; it was merely talking about whether they should change the order of debate on amendments.

“In that case, nevermind,” he said.

WA Dems: Bogging down a bit

There’s discussion over changing the order of the future discussion of the Charter Amendments, which delegates are supposed to debate after lunch.

The convention is still operating with its temporary chair, because one must accept the rules and schedule before it can move on to the real business.

The bottom line: Not much is happening, and as one person just said “People are unclear about this whole situation.”

Speech from Sen. Maria Cantwell

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

ID GOP: Fireworks in Sandpoint

Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint on some sound and fury over delegates:

Delegate John Ferris of Benewah County let it rip on new Shoshone County Chairman Bill Dire after the meeting to reinstate the District 2 delegates.
“Thanks for destroying District 2,” Ferris said angrily, loud enough for people still lingering in the room to hear. “I’m from Benewah County and I’m going to remember you.”
A red face Ferris shot back, “Well if you would play by the rules.”
Ahhhh, unity is in the air.

If Spin Control 2.0 forgets to remind you, be sure to keep tuning in at Huckleberries.
Just be sure you come back here.

WA Dems: Klobuchar to speak

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, being introduced as the keynote speaker of the convention.

State Chairman Dwight Pelz recounts great Democrats from Minnesota. “From Gene McCarthy to Paul Wellstone.” Then he pauses.

“What about Hubert Humphrey? Who writes these notes?”

WA Dems: Gregoire continued…

Gov. Chris Gregoire compares Barack Obama to John Kennedy, says she told her daughter she believes Obama is her generation’s JFK.

She Hillary Clinton’s historic run and tells delegates “Today is the day we stand proud and tall” to support Obama.

Washington state is doing better than much of the country, she says. Reason: It has a Democratic governor, state House and state Senate.

She’s about to get into the heart of the speech: Gregoire v. Dino Rossi, the GOP’s favored gubernatorial candidate.

WA Dems: Murray speaks

Sen. Patty Murray tells delegates there’s 143 days until the election “and we can’t afford to waste a single one.”

She gets cheers when she says they can change the country and take it back, and the expected boos when she mentions George Bush or GOP presidental nominee John McCain — the biggest when she mimick’s McCain’s recent statement that leaving troops in Iraq “doesn’t matter.” (She leaves out the part where McCain says “as long as they aren’t being killed” but that’s probably just a minor oversight.)

She tells them they’ve come through a “history and her-story changing election” in the caucuses and primaries.

And she borrows Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” for electing everyone from the governor to the Democratic candidates for Congress in traditionally Republican districts.

WA Dems: The flag, the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge

The convention opens, as do all conventions, with an invocation, the presentation of the flag, the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

The color guard is courtesy of the local Naval Reserve Unit.

National Anthem courtesy of Julia Keefe, who also sang the song when the convention was in Spokane in 2000, and she was 11.

Gov. Chris Gregoire speaks at Dems convention

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

WA Dems: Who’s this guy?

The third featured speaker at the Washington State Democratic Convention is Mark Parkinson.


He’s the lieutenant governor of Kansas.

But beyond that, he’s a pretty good speaker, which is why State Chairman Dwight Pelz asked him to come west for the evening.

WA Dems: Time to take the country back — Murray

Sen. Patty Murray, one of the state’s first endorsers of Hillary Clinton, made a spirited pitch for Barack Obama Friday evening as she brought Washington Democrats to their feet over issues ranging from opposing the war to supporting veterans when they come back.

“I feel change is in the air,” Murray said.

WA Dems: General milling about

Political conventions include a significant amount of down time.

Time between Workshop A and Workshop B. Time for lunch. Time between Workshop C and the general discussion on being a good progressive.

Time for the pre banquet reception.

Time between the pre banquet reception and the banquet, which, at 6:20 p.m., is where Washington Democrats are at their state convention.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray are among the featured speakers. But speakers don’t start speaking until the delegates take their seats, get served their salad course and (probably) their entree.

Spin Control 2.0 will post up on the speeches when they occur, and hopes to have some audio and video later this evening.

WA Dems: A big platform vs. a big tent

One of the most noticeable differences between the Democrats and the Republicans in their conventions this year is likely to be their platforms.

As adopted two weeks ago, the Republicans have a platform that fit neatly on three sides of standard size paper. Each section was a paragraph or two. They were in and out of the big issues quickly, an attempt to keep from shedding political blood over the fine points of orthodoxy.

The Democrats currently have a 17-page platform (true, the type is a bit bigger and not every page is filled to the bottom, but trust us, it’s muchhhh longer), and they spent several hours making refinements that may have added lines here or there.

WA Dems: It’s Gregoire’s convention

There’s no doubt who this convention is designed to boost.

Sure, there are cardboard cutouts of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the grand hallway, and paraphernalia for candidates of all levels. But the Washington Democrats, like their Republican counterparts two weeks ago, are focusing on the governor’s race as they gather for their convention.

Want proof? Chris Gregoire’s signs out number every other candidate’s in the grand hall.

Her volunteers are walking around in white t-shirts with her name plastered across their chests.

Her smiling face adorns every identification tag, turning every delegate, alternate and guest into a walking campaign sign for Gregoire.

Even the Republicans didn’t think of that last one for their convention.

Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray address the convention banquet tonight. Sen. Maria Cantwell addresses the convention Saturday morning and the Spokane County Democrats Salmon Feed in the evening.

ID GOP Convention: Delegate ousted, pot canned

Staff writer Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint that Idaho Republicans have ousted three Ron Paul delegate from North Idaho because of questions over their nominating meeting. Read about it here.

The resolution committee also passed a statement opposing legalized marijuana, even for medical purposes. Read about it here.

WA Dems: Signing in

Washington state Democrats are meandering in to the Spokane Convention Hall for a morning that isn’t exactly jam packed with excitement.

They have meetings by the Platform, Rules and Credentials committees that started at 10 a.m., and workshops on campaigning.

Unlike the Republicans two weeks ago, who were neatly contained within the Ag Trade Center and old Convention Center, Democrats are sprawling across the complex with different meetings and events.

There are also cardboard cutouts of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the main hallway, the kind for standing up next to and taking one’s picture with.

Could be an illusion, but Clinton looks a bit shorter than real life…

Spin Control is headed for the Platform Committee to see if there are any possible hot spots for tomorrow’s convention debate.

ID GOP Convention: Starting up

Erica Curless reports from Sandpoint: The sun is shining here as the GOP is gathering at the Bonner County Fairgrounds for the first day of real action at the state convention.
Read her convention reports at Huckleberries.

ID Convention Watch: Welcome to Sandpoint

Staff writer Erica Curless looks for Ron Paul delegates, the revolution, and entertainment at the Idaho Republican Convention. Read about it by clicking here.

ID Convention Watch: Dems flocking to Boise

Boise burea chief Betsy Z. Russell weighs in on the start of the Idaho Democratic convention.

Hundreds of Democrats are standing in wide lines to check in for the state party convention today, campaign signs and buttons galore are promoting not only election candidates but also the many state delegates who are vying for a chance to attend the national party convention, and it’s tough as can be to find a parking space at the Doubletree Riverside. That means the lower-key of the two state party conventions in Idaho today is off and running…

Get the full post, plus photos at Eye on Boise, by clicking here.

New video spoof: McCain Girl

Brought to you by the folks behind Obama Girl, with an eye on this weekend’s big movie opening.

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: McCain on troops in Iraq, oil prices and other things…the full interview

A political weekend is coming up, with Washington state Democrats conventioning in Spokane, Idaho Republicans in Sandpoint and Idaho Democrats in Boise. The Spokesman-Review and will be following all three events.

Catch live blogs from the Washington Democrats events here on Spin Control 2.0

Catch Erica Curless’s reports from the Idaho GOP convention starting later today at Huckleberries.

Catch Betsy Russell’s updates on the Idaho Democrats at Eye on Boise. Here’s a sample of her first post:
‘A Democrat and a Republican back-to-back’
As the state Republican convention opens today in Sandpoint and the state Democratic convention opens in Boise, it seems worth noting that Idaho’s political history is a story of both parties, though Republicans have dominated in more recent times. “We had a lot of leading citizens on both sides all through our history,” said Idaho state historian emeritus Arthur Hart.
Read the rest by clicking here.

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:
Obama campaign creates Web site to debunk rumors

Some Democrats vowing to stay neutral in presidential race

When Obama’s advisers go astray, some stay, some go and some wait in limbo

Barack Obama meets with voters in Kaukauna, Wis. John McCain holds town hall-style meetings in Nashua, N.H., and New York City.
“I don’t think that if the good Lord himself had been nominated as a Democrat that some of those folks would have endorsed him. They are afraid of looking too much like a Democrat because of the kind of districts they’re from.” — Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Democratic lawmakers who have not endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Sixty-seven percent of Republicans have very unfavorable views of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. That’s 24 percentage points more than those Republicans who feel that way about Democrat Barack Obama, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll.

Throwdown over gov money

Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire and presumptive Republican challenger Dino Rossi are having a little back and forth over one of the most important issues of the gubernatorial campaign.

Money. As in, who’s doing the best job of raising it.

The Rossi campaign announced Tuesday that’d he had a good May, raising $701,112 last month. It’s a sign, spokeswoman Jill Strait said, “this race is extremely close and competitive.”

Competitive enough that within 30 minutes, the Gregoire campaign announced she’d raised …

New low in campaign paraphernalia?

Presidential years bring out the best and the worst in the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Ever since candidates started putting their mugs on buttons, the nation has seen a wide range of campaign collectibles _ just about any kind of jewelry imaginable in the shape of donkeys and elephants; watch fobs and pen knives with candidates’ faces; ties, pennants, bumper stickers and signs.

Add to the mix this year: condoms.

A New York Group calling itself “Practice Safe Policy” is marketing condoms with Barack Obama and John McCain’s pictures on them. The Obama pack carries his face and the slogan “Use With Good Judgment”; the McCain pack has his face and the slogan “Old but not expired”

Spin Control is not making this up. Spin Control has never been able to make up things as weird as real life.

Click to read more.

What’s in a (party) name?

Filing week is behind us, but a few questions remain about those petitions the candidates filed.

Among them: Is there a difference between candidates who filed their party preference as “Republican” and those who filed “GOP” or “R”? Could there be some secret signal to the Republican faithful, that “GOP” after the name is indicates support of Ron Paul or “R” is a member of the McCain camp?

And what’s with some people filing as prefering the Democrat Party, and others saying they prefer the Democratic Party?

Murray, Cantwell switch to Obama

As expected, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, two superdelegates who were among Hillary Clinton’s earliest supporters, announced today they are switching to Barack Obama.

In press releases shortly after Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama, the two Washington state senators praised Clinton for running a “ground-breaking” campaign and said they looked forward to working with Obama in the coming campaign.

Thoughts on how that or anything else around Clinton’s action today? It’s the topic of discussion here.

Noontime filing update

With less than five hours left to file for office in Washington state, the list of candidates continues to grow.

New additions to the list (other than Curt Fackler’s name, which was recounted earlier) include:

Mohammad Hasan Said of Ephrata, running for governor and listing “No party preference”, and Will Baker, running for governor for the Reform Party.

Longtime state financial guru ChangMook Sohn running for state treasurer as a Democrat.

Laura Carder of Spokane making another run against Rep. Alex Wood as a Republican.

David Stevens running against Linda Tompkins for a seat on the Spokane County Superior Court.

Here’s the full list, as of about noon:

A matter of preference

Spokane’s Curt Fackler was added to the list of candidates for office this morning as the Secretary of State’s office processed his electronically filed paperwork to run for state Insurance Commissioner.

That’s not a huge surprise, considering Fackler ran for the office four years ago and has stayed interested in the issues.

The big surprise may be how he’ll appear on the ballot. Fackler is the Spokane County Republican Party chairman, a delegate to last month’s state Republican Convention, and served as the chairman for the 5th Congressional District Caucus.

Wanna bet how his party preference will be on the primary ballot?

Click for the answer, and the latest list of candidates.

Make that 6 for the 5th

Another candidate has jumped into the 5th Congressional District primary.

Randall Yearout of Otis Orchards filed this afternoon as a member of the Constitution Party.

Not to be confused with Kurt Erickson of the Republican Party, who bills himself as 100 percent Constitutional. (Perhaps Yearout is 110 percent?)

Click to see the rest of the list of candidates appearing on ballots in Spokane area districts.

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Slate’s counter to Hillary Clinton’s “popular vote” argument

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

Clinton to end historic candidacy and announce she is supporting Obama for president

Dean stays as DNC chair; bans lobbyist, PAC money consistent with Obama’s position

McCain reports his best month of presidential fundraising at $21.5 million

Virginia an example of possible larger electoral map with Obama, McCain running
John McCain addresses the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and Florida Press Association at a convention in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama speaks to voters at two stops in Virginia.
“The quicker we proved that we were committed to Senator Obama, then the better for all of us.” — New York Rep. Charles Rangel, on CBS’ “The Early Show.”
One in seven white voters in Democratic primaries said in exit polls that race was important in choosing their candidate.

Hillary Clinton calling it quits

The Associated Press says Clinton is telling people she’s officially dropping out of the race on Saturday, and supporting Obama:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to end her historic presidential campaign while leaving her options open to retain her delegates and promote her issue agenda, a campaign official says.

The former first lady told House Democrats during a private conference call Wednesday that she will express support for Barack Obama’s candidacy and congratulate him for gathering the necessary delegates to be the party’s nominee.

“Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton’s supporters who want to attend,” her communications director Howard Wolfson said.

Lunchtime political discussion

Two similar questions (which may have two very different answers):

Should Barack Obama pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate?

Will Barack Obama pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate?

Weigh in by clicking here.

Wednesday’s filing update

At close of business Wednesday, here’s the list of candidates Spokane area voters will see on their primary ballots in August:

Notes on keynotes

U.S. Sen. and former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will be the keynote speaker at the Washington State Democratic Convention later this month, party officials confirmed today.

Although Kerry may have slipped a few notches from an “A” list guest compared to 2004, he did carry Washington in the last presidential election and still has plenty of fans in the state. And as an early supporter of Barack Obama, he sort of qualifies as a surrogate.

He’ll speak about 10 a.m. Saturday, current scheduling says.

But the Kerry as keynote confirmation brings to mind one of the glitches at last weekend’s Washington State Republican Convention. Everyting did not go off entirely smoothly, as readers of the weekend blog-a-thon might have surmised, but one of the biggest hiccups was the loss of the scheduled speaker for Friday evening’s banquet.

Monday’s quickie political briefing

Monday is the first day of filing week. Anyone who hasn’t decided yet whether to run for office has until 5 p.m. to spit or get off the spot. For more on filing week, click here.

McCain uses speech to pro-Israel group to criticize Obama on Iran

Clinton wins most Puerto Rico delegates, but Obama moves closer to nomination

Obama, Clinton try to wrap up nomination with American Indian votes
John McCain spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference in Washington before stopping in Nashville, Tenn. Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns in South Dakota. Barack Obama talks with voters in Troy, Mich.
“It does appear to be pretty clear that Senator Obama is going to be the nominee. After Tuesday’s contests, she needs to acknowledge that he’s going to be the nominee and quickly get behind him.” — Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor and a national co-chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign.
South Dakota has voted Democratic for president just four times — 1896, 1932, 1936 and 1964 — since it joined the union in 1889.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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