Tag Archives: Denver
by Reinout van Wagtendonk
Barack Obama is officially the Democratic Party’s candidate for the US presidency. On the third day of the Democratic convention in Denver his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton, submitted a motion to elect Obama the winner by acclamation, and in his speech her husband Bill Clinton expressed his unconditional support for Obama. Later in the day, Joe Biden was officially elected as Barack Obama’s running mate for the vice-presidency.
A roll call like this, coming forward state by state to vote for the presidential candidate, is largely just a tradition. The result is known in advance. This time too Barack Obama had for months been the unofficial Democratic candidate. But the long and bitter battle with Hillary Clinton for that nomination had left wounds. That’s why the tradition had to take a dramatic turn. Orchestrated drama, of course, since it had been negotiated in advance and arranged precisely so it could be shown live in the half-hour around mealtime when the big three TV networks have their evening news.
Hillary Clinton interrupted the voting ritual with a motion calling for Obama to be elected by acclamation as a united party’s candidate to face the final battle against John McCain:
“I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected of this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.”
With a rapid blow of her gavel, convention chairwoman Nancy Pelosi ensured that whatever opposition remained would not be heard. The convention now belonged to Barack Obama. Most of Hillary’s supporters resigned themselves to the situation.
Ovation for Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton showed no trace of disappointment or resentment whatever. The former president’s speech was received by the Democrats with a lengthy ovation. Until recently Clinton seemed inclined to undermine Obama’s campaign. But on Wednesday evening he said he was convinced that Obama has what it takes to be the leader of the United States:
“My fellow democrats, I say to you, Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.”Clinton referred to his own presidential campaign in 1992, when the Republicans tried to write him off as an inexperienced lightweight, just as they are doing with Obama today. Clinton didn’t do too badly, as he modestly pointed out. So that should work again in 2008. The speech was the perfect launching pad for vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech which will round off the convention on Thursday evening.
Obama appears briefly
Obama appeared briefly in the convention hall on Wednesday night, following Joe Biden’s speech. He explained that he would be holding his speech in a huge stadium, before an audience of 80.000 people, because they are the people who will help him to bring about change in America:
“Change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things, and so we want to open up this Convention to make sure that everybody who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back.”
from the Wired Blog Network
By Sarah Lai Stirland EmailAugust 27, 2008 | 3:27:52 AMCategories: DNC 2008
It didn’t ignite the crowd at the Pepsi Center in Denver Tuesday night in the same way as Hillary Clinton’s speech did, but the 2008 Democratic National Convention keynote by former Virginia Governor Mark Warner lit up the micro-blogging service Twitter as its geek community celebrated a throwaway line in Warner’s speech.
Warner, a former Capitol Hill staffer for senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and telecommunications entrepreneur, focused his speech on creating an environment that keeps America competitive in the global economy.
In a one-liner, he quipped: “Just think about this: In four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science!”
It was as if Warner were acknowledging a constituency that feels as if the Bush administration had thrown a Harry Potter invisible cloak over it for the past eight years. Many members of that online constituency poked their heads out from under the cloak on Twitter.
“In four months, we’ll have an administration that actually believes in science. lol, but YEAH!” tweeted kmcg.
“My fav from 2nite: ‘Just think about this: in six months we will have an administration that actually believes in science’-Mark Warner; YES!” agreed tujaded.
Those were just two of a slew of comments on Twitter reacting to Warner’s remark. Here’s a quick summary:
* jlangenbeck: “Warner’s speech was fantastic. We have to fund and tech to save this nation and remain competitive,”
* epolitics: “Diggin’ me some Mark Warner. Science! (poetry in motion)”
* dagsalot: “I’m a big fan of former Gov. Mark Warner right now. ‘Think, in 4 months, we could have a presidency that believes in science!’ It’d be nice!”
* twitterdoug: “Best line of Warner’s speech so far — In four months we will have an administration that believes in science.”
During his talk, Warner also pointed to the importance of broadband rollout, education and job training to keep jobs from migrating to India, referring to his own efforts as governor to revive small towns in Virginia.
“We delivered broadband to the most remote areas of our state, because if you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you can sure as heck send one to Danville, Virginia, and to Flint, Michigan, and to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and to Peoria, Illinois,” he said. “In a global economy, you shouldn’t have to leave your hometown to find a world-class job.”
The Democrats have made broadband rollout part of their party platform, and both Obama and Warner have expressed support for net neutrality.
DENVER (CBS4/AP) ― CBS4 has learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges.
CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass reported one of the suspects told authorities they were “going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a … rifle … sighted at 750 yards.”
Law enforcement sources tell Maass that one of the suspects “was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative.”
The story began emerging Sunday morning when Aurora police arrested 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell. He was driving a rented pickup truck in an erratic manner according to sources.
Sources told CBS4 police found two high-powered, scoped rifles in the car along with camouflage clothing, walkie-talkies, wigs, a bulletproof vest, a spotting scope, licenses in the names of other people and 44 grams of methamphetamine. One of the rifles is listed as stolen from Kansas.
Aurora police alerted federal officials because of heightened security surrounding the Democratic convention, Dudley said.
“Clearly we found there are federal implications — otherwise we would not have notified them,” Det. Marcus Dudley with Aurora police said. “The weapons clearly would cause great concern.”
Subsequently authorities went to the Cherry Creek Hotel to contact an associate of Gartrell’s. But that man, identified as Shawn Robert Adolph, 33, who was wanted on numerous warrants, jumped out of a sixth floor hotel window. Law enforcement sources say Adolph broke an ankle in the fall and was captured moments later. Sources say he had a handcuff ring and was wearing a swastika, and is thought to have ties to white supremacist organizations.
A third man — an associate of Gartrell and Adolph, Nathan Johnson, 32, was also arrested. He told authorities that the two men “planned to kill Barack Obama at his acceptance speech.”
Johnson, along with his girlfriend, Natasha Gromek, are also under arrest on drug charges.
The Secret Service, FBI, ATF and the joint terrorism task force are all investigating the alleged plot.
The U.S. Attorneys Office has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. Attorney in Denver said it does not believe there is a credible threat to Obama or the convention.
“It’s premature to say that it was a valid threat or that these folks have the ability to carry it out,” said a U.S. government official familiar with the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said the case was under investigation.
“We’re absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado,” Eid said in a prepared statement.
WASHINGTON: Senator Barack Obama has all but settled on his choice for a running mate and set an elaborate rollout plan for his decision, beginning with an early morning alert to
supporters, perhaps as soon as Wednesday morning, aides said.
Obama’s deliberations remain remarkably closely held. Aides said perhaps a half-dozen advisers were involved in the final discussions in an effort to enforce a command that Obama issued to staff members: that his decision not leak out until supporters are notified.
Obama had not notified his choice — or any of those not selected — of his decision as of late Monday, advisers said. Going into the final days, Obama was said to be focused mainly on three candidates: Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia and Senator Joseph Biden Jr. of Delaware.
Some Democrats said they still hoped that he would choose Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, or Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, who has been under steady consideration by Obama’s campaign.
By all indications, Obama is likely to choose someone relatively safe and avoid taking a chance with a game-changing selection. A similar strategic choice now faces Obama’s Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, who has been under pressure from some Republicans to make a more daring choice.
Obama’s advisers said he all but reached his decision while on vacation in Hawaii. They said it was the end of what proved to be an unexpectedly intense process, condensed because he did not want to start actively vetting potential running mates before Clinton quit the race in June.
By contrast, McCain, who had wrapped up the Republican nomination months earlier, began his process in late spring.
That gave Obama’s team of lawyers less time to review candidates, and several Democrats said it appeared that the list of candidates who were deeply vetted was limited to about a half-dozen people. (Campaigns typically check the background of candidates who are not necessarily in play, as a way of gaining favor with various constituencies or to keep the other party off balance.)
The team of advance workers and aides involved in planning the rollout — timed to galvanize Democratic voters as Obama heads to Denver next week for the party convention — have not been told who Obama will be selecting.
If all goes according to plan, the announcement will be made with text and e-mail messages to supporters early in the morning, in time to capture coverage on the morning news shows and take advantage of a full day’s news cycle.
Obama and his running mate will begin, perhaps that day, a visit to swing states. Plans call for them to be on the trail together for much of the time between the day of the announcement and the day Obama arrives in Denver, a week from Wednesday, but their most intense campaigning together will come after the convention.
Obama’s schedule calls for him to awaken on Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, and by the end of the day be in Raleigh, North Carolina. By Wednesday, he is scheduled to be in Virginia. The Obama campaign has cautioned against reading anything into his schedule, saying it could be changed in an instant to accommodate the plan to introduce the running mate.
Aides said the announcement would come at the earliest on Wednesday morning.
Obama’s advisers said they wanted to time the announcement to get maximum publicity going into the convention, after a stretch in which Obama was on vacation in Hawaii and McCain made good use of having the political stage largely to himself. Vice-presidential announcements are one of a handful of moments when the presidential candidates are given a clear grab at the public spotlight, and both Obama and McCain have put much thought into the timing of their announcements.
If Obama is looking to build excitement going into the convention, McCain’s aides have looked to announcing his choice right after the Democratic convention, which ends Aug. 28, a Thursday, as a way of stepping on whatever bounce Obama enjoys from his nomination.
The Republican convention begins the following Monday.
Democrats close to the process said the ability to turn up information on the Web had made it easier for Obama’s search team — Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, a former deputy attorney general — to plumb the backgrounds of prospective running mates with relatively little notice. In addition, because so many of the candidates were senators, they were required to file annual financial disclosure reports.
Holder and Kennedy have been working largely out of Holder’s law firm in Washington, using lawyers in his firm and others — many of whom are veterans of the process from having worked for Senator John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000 — to check the backgrounds of the potential candidates.
Obama was briefed frequently throughout the proceedings — receiving updates by telephone and e-mail — and came to Washington for a handful of meetings with a small group of senior advisers in the law offices of Covington & Burling, where Holder is a partner. With the vetting concluded, there was no activity on Monday in the firm’s suite of offices on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Unlike in previous selections, Obama has been largely spared the obligation of staging elaborate cloak-and-dagger processes to interview prospective running mates because he has been campaigning with them in close quarters, giving him a chance to get to know them.
The rampant speculation during the selection process encompassed many of the best-known names in the party, including Kerry and Gore, Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia.
The big choice for Obama, advisers said, was the extent to which he needed to choose someone who would fill perceived holes in his résumé — lack of experience, particularly in foreign policy — versus a candidate who would reinforce his promise of change or one who might help him win a contested state.
Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, clearly fell into the category of helping Obama on foreign policy, while Kaine is a relative newcomer to national politics and would reinforce the notion of change. Both Kaine and Bayh would help Obama in a state that Democrats are trying to put in play.
For all the attention to Obama’s deliberations, it is by no means assured that his choice will make a big difference in the outcome of the campaign.
“Vice-presidential candidates can make a marginal difference,” said Matt Bennett, the co-director of Third Way, a Democratic advocacy group, “but they rarely matter in terms of winning a state or region — as Mike Dukakis and John Kerry found out. And a weak candidate doesn’t really drag the ticket into the drink — as George H. W. Bush found out.”
from The Washington Post “The Trail” post: Obama Praises Edwards, Hopes for His Backing
By Alec MacGillis
DENVER — Barack Obama showered John Edwards with praise today at the outset of a huge rally here, saying his former rival for the Democratic nomination’s “campaign may have ended, but his cause lives on for those who believe we can achieve one America.”
“John has spent a lifetime fighting to give a voice to the voiceless and hope for the struggling,” Obama told a crowd of 9,000 gathered inside the University of Denver basketball arena, with several thousands more gathered in overflow areas elsewhere on the campus. “At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down he’s consistently made us focus on who matters — the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about in Washington. John and Elizabeth Edwards believe deeply that two Americans can become one.”
Not surprisingly, Obama made no mention the criticisms he has leveled at Edwards over the course of the campaign — most notably, his charge that Edwards came to his liberal presidential campaign platform only after voting differently on a slew of issues in the Senate, from Iraq to bankruptcy reform to the Patriot Act. Obama is hoping to win Edwards’s endorsement, banking on the overlap in their anti-establishment message and critique of Hillary Clinton. But Edwards has so far signaled that he will be making no immediate endorsement.
Obama campaign officials say Edwards called twice in the past day — first, last night, to say that he was considering leaving the race and to encourage Obama to speak more about Edwards’ favorite topic, poverty. He then called Obama again this morning to confirm his departure.
Obama officials say their emphasis now is not just on winning Edwards’ backing but on winning over supporters, both prominent and rank and file, who were behind the former North Carolina senator. They dispute the suggestion that Edwards’ departure will help Clinton in southern states where white men who were leaning toward Edwards will now swing toward Clinton; Obama officials note that Obama did nearly as well as Clinton among white men in the South Carolina primary, according to the exit polls.