Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama's to do list: pick running mate, convention, vacation

| 34 Comments

from the Tuesday print Sun-Times.

CHICAGO--With 99 days until election day, and an overseas swing out of the way, Barack Obama's campaign has some big items on the "to do" list.

"It really is a sprint at this point," said Obama senior adviser Anita Dunn on Monday.

Top items:

• Select a vice presidential running mate. While the selection team is narrowing the choices to present to Obama -- Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine was the latest buzz on Politico.com -- a team at the Chicago headquarters is getting ready for the rollout. The newly minted vice presidential hopeful will find waiting for him or her a chief of staff, Patti Solis Doyle; an advance team; press spokesman, scheduler and plane.

• Gameplan the Denver Democratic nominating convention. Obama's Aug. 28 acceptance speech at Invesco Field is in place, but the other elements have to be finalized such as the platform, other speakers and Obama's "grand entrance" in the run up to Denver. "All of that is being worked out now," said Obama top adviser Valerie Jarrett on Monday.


Obama's speechwriters are turning their attention to his acceptance speech. Obama's speech at the 2004 convention in Boston skyrocketed him to the fame he leveraged to be the Democratic nominee.

• Prepare for three debates with John McCain. The debates are Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Oct. 7 at Belmont University at Nashville and Oct. 15 at Hofstra University at Hempstead, N.Y. There is a vice presidential debate Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.

• Fund raise. Obama fund-raising director Julianna Smoot and finance chair Penny Pritzker were in Denver on Monday. Their big donors and fund-raisers are getting VIP treatment in Denver, from access to top hotels, to floor passes, to exclusive parties.

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Jarrett are the headliners for a $1,000-per-person fund-raiser in Chicago on Wednesday. Raising or donating $10,000 buys a place at a "political and policy briefing" Thursday in Chicago featuring campaign manager David Plouffe, top strategist David Axelrod, Pritzker and other campaign leaders. The policy briefings are in the afternoon followed by dinner with senior staffers.

• Vacation. While in London, Obama said he planned to take a week off in August. Michelle Obama on Monday said yes when asked if she was looking forward to a vacation in Hawaii. The Honolulu Star Bulletin reported earlier this month that Obama will be in his native state for a fund-raiser Aug. 12.

The Honolulu visit will offer the campaign yet another chance to revisit Obama's "story" as the campaign moves to underscore his unique biography. "Many people aren't paying attention to the election until it gets closer," Jarrett said. "He still is a relative newcomer to the national stage."

• Define McCain. The campaign is deconstructing McCain's image as a maverick and reframing him as the conservative he is, but that is a big job because "a lot of people attribute to him all kinds of progressive values,'' said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Obama campaign national co-chair.

34 Comments

It looks like Obama is closing in on a veep, he will be able to cross that off his list very shortly. I guess its time to stop routing for Clark, I dont even have a vp I can route for anymore, my candidate lost, my vp isnt going to be on the ticket. Wow bummer. Good news is i think McCain is just about done, I wouldnt doubt the GOP ditch him at the last second and run a younger more charasmatic charachter. They could site his Cancer scare as the reason. I dont doubt that they will, Becuase he is becoming more unelectable by the day, with gaff after gaff. Did you see him knock all that stuff off the shelf at the supermarket. the video is at http://www.mccanes.com all the while barack obama is looking like an NBA super star, (arrogence and all) even taking time to stop and have a cigar break video at http://www.theobamaplan.com I mean really what is the GOP going to do. McCain cannot win at this point and we havnt even started the debates.
You could go to a site www.veeppeek.com to sign a petition for your favorite veep. and see where your veep stands in realation to the other veeps. Tim Kaine isnt a bad choice I guess, just not my pick.

What's the big rush for Obama to pick a running mate? Reagan didn't pick one until his party's convention. And for that matter neither did John F. Kennedy. Right now a running mate for Obama would only muddy the water and offer another target for the Republican attack machine.

Sterling Greenwood
Aspen Free Press

If Mr. Obama wants my vote, I will need to see Hillary on the ticket as V.P.
I have voted every election since Reagan ran the first time. I will vote this time also.
If he wants my vote ..... that is the easiest way to get it.
Cory

i am ashamed to say i am a teamster. i can not for the life of me understand how we can support obama

I realize this will never appear but I just want someone in Obama's camp to know that all America are not ignorant to the fact that Obama and his wife dedicated Moslems. Some of us are well up on their hand and body language. Lucky for the world that this is known by the authorities and the trap will be sprung at the 11th hour.

You will support Obama, mr. teamster, cuz mr. hoffa sez so or else!
The 60 year old women won't be so easy to convince.
For them, he's an offer they can and will refuse unless Hillary is on the ticket.
The Obamas are being themselves and they're tanking in the key poll that counts--LIKELY VOTERS.
Organic chicken luncheons (who can afford THAT?) and casting her nose down upon non-'slow food' people (helps if you have a maid, I guess) who well, WORK FOR A LIVING instead of doing da daley job is one thing.
Pining for a vacation in Hawaii (like the family hasn't had ONE or TWO vacations already in the last SIX MONTHS is just plain bone-headed.
They need Hillary on the ticket and FAST before the negative opinions the kids have been generating for themselves solidify.
Obama trended to the center thinking that would help (did he miss how that hurt Gore and Kerry?) and it did not help.
And now the kids are begging for help in IOWA_-the state they tried telling us Repugs hadn't 'given' them in a manner most cynical.

I don't understand how any one can be contemplating McCain for president as solution to America's problems when 8 years of his party and their actions mostly he himself endorsed caused it.

Don't let what happened in 2004 happened again in 2008.

Biden is the best thing Obama can do for himself. There are people stating that Biden "can't keep his mouth shut"
or will be a liability of some kind. Together this team can make something happen! Biden is a real progressive democrat who will not knuckle under to the Reich the way these other crybabies have done, Barach needs his strength and experience. Please do not tell me that the man I am voting for in November hasn't the strength and personality to match the dynamism of a Joe Biden. He's quieter but I know they would be great partners, and they will win!
That's my two Cents
David Jim Daniels

Biden is the best thing Obama can do for himself. There are people stating that Biden "can't keep his mouth shut"
or will be a liability of some kind. Together this team can make something happen! Biden is a real progressive democrat who will not knuckle under to the Reich the way these other crybabies have done, Barach needs his strength and experience. Please do not tell me that the man I am voting for in November hasn't the strength and personality to match the dynamism of a Joe Biden. He's quieter but I know they would be great partners, and they will win!
That's my two Cents
David Jim Daniels

Jerry please support Obama. You know in your heart and "mind" McCain isn't mentally or physically fit to run for president. He speaks worse than Bush, which I never thought I would say. His non message and solutions to our problems for the last month tearing Obama down and himself. He is so dishonest, he doesn't have the character or temperment to lead, ask all his collegues, they know. You must speak of solutions. We must bring about a change and build new and old relations to help us fights we're in now. We can't stand alone, Jerry, we must make friends to even look strong. I don't want four more years of Republicans. I know all out there will not believe I've voted Rep. lines for twenty years. I'm no fool we must change politics in Wawshington. McCain change he's too much of the problems, he's been there. Accusing Obama of being responsible for high gas cost and it is HE" that has been in the do nothing senate. Wake up, and vote issues, Obama is well prepared to lead. It's time to go and create a new Rep. party that support no taxes, cut spending if you can't pay for it, no abortions, no gay masrriages, school choices, vouchers,etc....where are my Rep when I need them....They're in jai, for abusing power and making an absolute mess of this country.

VOTE OBAMA

If OBAMA wants to win this election he would pick the Hillary for V.P. It is best choice for him to get it.

If Hillary is not the VP choice of Obama, he cannot count on me to vote for him. I won't vote for Mc cain either. I'll just do a write in for Hillary It is all up to him. Hope he remembers how many popular votes Hillary received during the primaries.


who is Obama's running mate
i wish him good luck

Cory and others who say they won't vote for Obama unless Hillary is offered VP are irrational, selfish children.

As a big Obama supporter, I plead with the people making the VP decision-Don't choose Tim Kaine! He's wrong for many reasons-no foreign policy experience, shaky history on choice, boring, no debate experience and more. This is not the right message to send out. Joe Biden, Sam Nunn, or even Bloolberg-but not Kaine! This would be a serious mistake.

The fact that Mr. Obama is taking his time to select his VP shows how serious he is about selecting the best VP. Mr. Obama is very focused on his campaign with each concern of this country. He has shown in his campaign ads and interviews that he is more concerned with making the right choices for our country, then
trading offensive comments about the republican candidate.

Before throwing stones at Mr.Obama, look at what's going on in the republican house.......it's not all roses around that house either!

A WHITE WOMAN IN HER 60'S FROM OHIO. AN ARDENT HILLARY SUPPORTER AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE. OBAMA, PLEASE PICK HILLARY. HILLARY WILL BRING 18 MILLION VOTES, A DREAM TICKET, UNITE THE SPLIT IN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY AND YOU AND MICHELLE AND HILLARY AND BILL ON STAGE WILL BE ELECTRIFYING. 50 STATE SWEEP. HISTORY IN THE MAKING WITH THE FIRST MAN OF COLOR AND THE FIRST WOMAN. UNBELIEVABLE. YOU CAN JUST PUT ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES FOR VP IN HIGH OFFICES IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO WIN REALLY YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART HILLARY IS A HARD WORKING NON STOP MOST POPULAR WOMAN IN THE US. AND SHE WILL WORK HER HEART OUT FOR YOU TO BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE US. PLEASE PICK HER. AND GOOD LUCK. LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT FOR VP.

Kennedy is picking his VP, Obama is not concerned.

Obama needs to fund raise, fund raise and more fund raising, to Keep his mind conditioning reinforcements going so it works.

Im sure a vacation fund raising, is what the Obama's enjoy. money, money, money.

His Convention Plans are sounding more Hollywood than political. With all the expense and hoopla.

Im sure the poor starving people in Chicago love it though.

If we elect John McCain in 2008, we may very well be looking back in 2012 saying, "what were we thinking in 2008???", just like we've been doing with George W. Bush from 2004.
Will we ever learn and stop making the same mistakes??
John McCain's ideas will not take us into this next century and lead us in the direction that this country needs to go. Obama may not have the "political experience" that McCain has, but I've read everything I can get my hands on about his life and I must say, it's impressive. His life's experience will well serve him as leader of this nation.

And to Sonny Williamson's comments about Obama and his wife being Muslim, I can't believe such ignorance still exists after all of the information that's been publicized.

Cory, I wish it did work that way. I don't have anything at all against Hillary being on the ticket, but let's be real and honest. She doesn't bring anything to the table. Do not get me wrong. I think she's brilliant, intelligent, and really knows how to stick it to anyone who says anything negative about her or any other democrat. She's great! But the republicans will use her and all her negative remarks and Obama's negative remarks they used against each other in the primary against their merger. Then there's the issue of Obama only being a senator. Ok, Clinton's been in a little longer, but she's just a senator. Ultimately, what do senators do? Nothing. They just talk. That's there job. And I know all the hype around McCain being a so called "maverick", well, that's bs, too...he's just another talking head. There won't be that executive experience person in the race this year...we will be getting a senator either way. That said, Obama will need someone like a governor to bring that executive balance to the ticket. He might need a military (I'm not big on the military thing...I believe Gen. Clark was right in saying you don't need to be in the military to be the president) or foreign policy experience guy/gal on the ticket. It isn't because we "hate" Hillary Clinton. I like the idea of her and Obama trying to break the glass ceiling. John McCain wants to put plexi glass in that ceiling. Why do we want to go back? Hillary Clinton may even hold a high powered position in an Obama administration. People would just be holding her back again if they vote for McCain. If Hillary can get a job like a Supreme Court Justice and Ambassador or something, if she ran again, she can use that. She would have undebateable experience, not just being a senator. I understand Obama's a senator, but he's in this place where he is running for president. He went abroad and looks like a president. He's more for Clinton than McCain is, and for people to go against that is insane. They're actually making more road blocks for Hillary in the future, going back to the good ol' boys, leaving her on the outside again. We must use our heads and quit jumping the gun all the time if we want a democrat in the White House. McCain claims to be a "maverick", but he's bringing the republicans with him. We've done republican for 8 years now, and it's not working for us. Obama is for the poor and middle class. McCain is for the rich, and I don't believe he can feel my pain. Somehow I don't see him and Cindy sitting around trying to figure out what bills to pay or if they're going to eat this month. You can vote for McCain if you want to, but it's more spiteful than logical. Obama needs someone who brings something to his ticket, and Hillary doesn't really have that. In the polls, it also said that Obama loses tons of Independents if he puts her on the ticket. We don't need that to happen. It's bad enough as it is.

As an independent and a woman, I will not be voting for Mr. Obmaa. There still is plenty of unknowns regarding Obma. A careful reading of Obama's first memoir, 'Dreams of My Father', reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18--a man he cryptically refers to as 'Frank'-- was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his 'subversive', 'un-American activities.' Obama followed in Davis' footsteps, becoming a 'community organizer' in Chicago. His boss there was Gerald Kellman, whose identity Obama also tries to hide in his book. Kellman is a disciple of the late Saul 'The Red' Alinsky , a hard boiled Chicago socialist who wrote 'Rules for Radicals' and agitated for social revolution in America. Obama is a Socialist, more so than an Liberal. He is calculating and a cunning politician.

I am with you, I think Biden is the best person for Obama.
For all you ignorant people Obama is not a muslin.
Look at what the republican have done to this country.
You just will not vote for a black man.
Tell the truth.

looks like mr. mcain is doing the defining right now. britney, paris? hey, massachusetts governor deval patrick refered to sen. obama as a "rock star" on boston common:-). you were there lynn. and, well, he was on the cover of rolling stone, yes?

on energy:
mccain wants to drill in more places for oil. yeah it would take a little while for the effects to be felt, but they would help in the long run. and while we are pumping this oil, we would be producing more and more cars that use different energy sources. drilling for oil helps us to get us over the hump. if we dont drill, and depend on foreign oil like Obama wants, that hump becomes more like a mountain. Mccain wants more nuclear power plants. this is very clean energy people. there are 104 reactors running in the states right now. and ALL of them burn clean and produce MUCH more electricity than coal or oil. they are safe. even japan, who, naturally, has funny feelings about nuclear anything, runs mostly on nuclear energy. Mccain Wants more wind resources. McCain wants more Solar resources. and what do the democrats say?
"we cant." we cant allow this to be happening. "nuclear energy is too expensive to build" "drilling is out of the question. we dont want to upset the environmentalists." all i hear is we cant. we cant. we cant. what ever happened to Hillary's "YES WE CAN!"?

Obama wants change. thats wonderful. im all about it. but it sounds to me like McCain is the only one putting forth a PLAN for change.
factor in the fact that mccain is a proven leader and doesnt just talk the talk. mccain walks the walk and that is why he is getting my vote.

Biden? Biden?
After what he did to Anita Hill?
Unforgivable.

JOHN MCCAIN RAN THE WORST AD IN POLITICAL HISTORY!
THE QUESTION IS WHAT WOULD MCCAIN DO IF HE DID
RUN THE COUNTRY, HE IS PITIFUL, AND THE GOP KNOWS
IT!
JOHN MCCAIN WHAT ARE YOU FOR, AND STOP TELLING US
WHAT YOU ARE AGAINST!
MCCAIN IS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE AND HE WANTS TO
COME OFF LIKE A REGULAR GUY, AND HE EVEN GETS
2,000 DOLLARS A MONTH FROM SOCIAL SECURITY!
MCCAIN HAS A SELF-ESTEEM PROBLEM, THEREFORE HE
CAN'T HELP AMERICA, PLEASE VOTE FOR OBAMA, HE
HAS A PLAN AND HE DOESN'T HAVE A SELF-ESTEEM
PROBLEM, HE WANTS TO MAKE AMERICA A BETTER PLACE
TO LIVE!

phil.
im talking about the future of our nation as well. aside from the fact that mccain commanded a wing division, and aside from the fact that he has been in politics for longer than ive been alive, and aside from the fact that McCain can appeal to democrats just as well as any other democrat...yah i can see where he would be a bad leader. infact he would bring our country to shambles. honestly though. i could care less who is president. 4 years has never brought our nation to its knees. infact no president (except buchanan) has ever brought the country to its knees. by the way barack obama is less experienced than buchanan was when he took office. and buchanan brought the nation to civil war. im not worried about the next president. its not like their running the show anyway...

CIA/FBI/NSA = puppetmasters.

THESE ARE TURBULENT TIMES, WE NEED SOMEONE WHO
THE WORLD WILL LISTEN TO, NOT POLITICS AS USUAL!
MCCAIN HAS NO PLAN TO GET US OUT OF THIS MESS,
HE IS A WAR-MONGER, A LEOPARD DOESN'T CHANGE HIS
SPOTS!
HE IS A VIETNAM VETERAN, WILL SOMEONE ASK HIM IF
WE WON THAT WAR, I WONDER WHAT HE WILL SAY, WHY
DID WE EVEN GO OVER THERE, ASK HIM THAT QUESTION?
THE MAN IS DAMAGED GOODS, AND WE DON'T NEED A
GUY WHO IS A FEW FRIES SHORT OF A HAPPY MEAL IN
CHARGE!
HE THOUGHT OBAMA WOULDN'T RESPOND OR DID HE, IT
DOESN'T MATTER THE GENIE IS OUT OF THE BOTTLE,
MCCAIN IS A TROUBLE MAKER, THAT'S WHY HE HANGS
OUT ON FOX NEWS, BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK
TOGETHER!
STARBUCKS CLOSING STORES, BENIGANS SHUTTING THEIR
DOORS, CALIFORNIANS LOSING THEIR JOBS, CAR
INDUSTRY IN SHAMBLES, AND MCCAIN MAKES AN AD WITH
OBAMA AND SPEARS, AND HILTON, HE SURE SOUNDS LIKE
PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL TO ME, PLEASE!
LET'S RETIRE MCCAIN ON NOVEMBER 4TH!

I've been looking... what and where is Obama's so call "plan" for anything?

Obama is a socialist.

I am not voting for McCain but I have to say in his defense that he is not a WAR-MONGER he is a war HERO. He was called to fight and he didn't run like so many others...He didn't lose the war. That said, I am not voting for either of them. I am going to write Hillary in. She is the best person for the job. She is the only one that can get us out of this mess. The country was in good shape when Bill Cliton left office, but all anyone can think of is his infidelity. Is he the only man in the world that ever cheated on his wife?? He was advised to lie about it...but when HE lied nobody died...Write in Hillary.

What's wrong with Socialism? Perhaps we need to rethink the American idea of a perpetually growing economy.

In lots of countries in Europe, socialist structures enable lots of services to be provided to everyone; great educations, extremely high quality higher education at fractions of the cost it is in the states, good affordable healthcare, less working hours, and generally a different life.

If applied well, it can lesson the divide between the rich and poor. You will always have people who take advantage of any system, and socialism is no different. We need a presidential candidate that can evaluate new ways of thinking, working, living and security. I have a feeling that it will take more of a shift in the American mind-set than a few bills/programs/etc.

I've been living abroad for seven years and will be voting (and throwing a party at the same time) this year just like the last election. If you don't think America needs not only a new image, but a new soul, go on holiday.

I'm excited about this election! Let's stay positive, it's going to be grand.

I hope that he will pick Hillary Clinton.

why did he not pick a black man or woman as his running mate.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 30, 2008 10:10 AM.

More to the story: about my post on Obama canceling visit to troops in Germany was the previous entry in this blog.

Gibbs, Wallace face off on "Today" show. Gibbs says McCain going "very personal and very negative." is the next entry in this blog.

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