Tracking Barack Obama and John McCain's Quest

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McCain Concedes Close To Home

November 5, 2008 at 8:45 AM | by | ()

John McCain hushes a booing crowd during his concession speech at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix last night, flanked by running mate Gov. Sarah Palin.

Early punditry blamed the Arizona Senator's loss on a combination of tactical errors (including, some might say, the Palin pick), an inability to stick to a message that reached undecided voters and the shadow of President George W. Bush.

But McCain was all grace last night as he told a crowd, "I would not be an American worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century."

Related Stories:
· For CNN, It's Never Over [NYT]
· McCain's Speech Last Night [JohnMcCain.com]
· Possible Presidents '08 coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: NYTimes.com]

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You're Always A Day Away

November 4, 2008 at 9:10 AM | by | ()

Today is the great nailbiter for people on both sides of the aisle. By tomorrow we'll know who will be our next president... Or will we? Anyone who still remembers falling asleep in front of the TV in 2000 is wary of any pat resolution.

Of course, for the tiny town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, there's nothing else to do but wait: The traditional first place in the nation to vote went for Barack Obama in the first rush of ballots. Polls opened at 6 am in most East Coast states

Want to celebrate or cry with your candidate of choice tonight? Obama supporters are amassing in Chicago's Grant Park tonight to count returns. It's ticketed to the tune of about 78,000, but the Sun-Times estimates 250,000 could rush the waterfront, so if you don't like crowds, stay home.

For John McCain, head to the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, in the shade of the gorgeous Camelback Mountains. There seems to be a little confusion over whether McCain will be outside on the lawn or in the grand ballroom, so make sure to arrive plenty early. The Biltmore has hosted every president since Herbert Hoover, and the hotel told the Arizona Republic they've got plenty of bubbly in reserve.

Related Stories:
· What to Expect for Obama's Grant Park Bash [Chicago Sun-Times]
· Obama Wins in Earliest Vote in Tiny Dixville, NH [AP, via Google]
· McCain to Shake Up Election Night Party at the Biltmore [HC]
· Resort Hosts McCain Camp, Prepares for Global Publicity [Arizona Republic]
· Scary, Scary Close [Jaunted]

[Photo: walknboston]

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Scary, Scary Close

November 3, 2008 at 1:35 PM | by | ()

How scary can an ordinary costume be when the Ghost of Elections Past is about?

In the last day before the election, the candidates aren't clowning around; the hours to stump are numbered, and the pundits are rustling their prep sheets in preparation for Tuesday night's opine-athon.

John McCain has already been through Florida, Tennessee and Pennsylvania this morning; he told the crowd in Tampa, "I need your vote, we need to bring real change to Washington." This afternoon he'll stop in Indianapolis, Roswell, New Mexico and Henderson, Nevada before hosting a midnight rally in Prescott, Arizona. They say the elderly need less sleep than the rest of us; we feel tired just looking at this frenetic schedule!

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Endorsing A Candidate Is Now Your Only Job, America

October 30, 2008 at 3:30 PM | by | ()

One Ohioan let his opinion be read at a McCain-Palin rally in Defiance yesterday. The Republican ticket stays in Ohio with events in Mentor and Elyria, exposing the nation to the incredible diversity of naming conventions of small Midwestern towns. McCain stayed mum on opponent Barack Obama's primetime ad buy last night, but a 30-second ad urged voters to look behind the "TV special" and confront a candidate who's less than fit to lead in an age of heightened national security.

Amid rumors that the McCain campaign is blaming running mate Sarah Palin for their current state in the polls, Palin continues to campaign in Pennsylvania with stops in Williamsport and Latrobe. But all eyes will be on Ohio tomorrow as McCain brings out the big guns: California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has coasted above the fray until now, will campaign with the Republican ticket tomorrow in Columbus. But will he appear in costume?

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The Men Behind The Masks

Where: 625 East McMurray Rd. [map], McMurray, PA, United States
October 29, 2008 at 4:15 PM | by | ()

Students at Peters Township Middle School in McMurray, Pennsylvania are preparing for their mock election November 4. As swing staters, they have a front row seat to democracy, even though they can't yet legally vote.

While heavy rain disrupted his campaign appearances in the Keystone State yesterday, the McCain campaign is not giving up, believing the blue-in-'04 votes will turn red this year. Sarah Palin will be back in PA tomorrow, but for today she's in Bowling Green and Chillicothe, Ohio, beating the bushes in yet another 2004 swing state, while the top of her ticket holds what's billed as a "Joe the Plumber Rally" in Miami, Florida.

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Fancy, Fancy Footwork

October 28, 2008 at 3:04 PM | by | ()

Four years ago, when we picked our last president, "Dancing With The Stars" hadn't even aired yet. Thank goodness on the Wednesday after this election, the losing ticket (not shown above) will have the opportunity to humiliate themselves once again, this time with cell-phone voting.

Barack Obama urged supporters yesterday in Canton, Ohio not to let up in the last week before the election, as he referred to the January 2007 speech he made to kick off his campaign. (It seems so long ago...)

He speaks in Chester, Pennsylvania and Harrisonburg, Virginia today, but he's also coming to your living room: Almost a month ago, Obama made huge buys of half-hour chunks of primetime on NBC, CBS and Fox for what most believe to be a pre-taped campaign ad in the style of Ross Perot circa 1992. (Perot finished 3rd, but mounted the strongest third-party bid for Prez in 50 years.) It's a hard night for cynics: ABC, having waffled over selling to the Obama campaign and deciding too late, is counter-programming with its bright, dewy-eyed modern fairy tale "Pushing Daisies."

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For a Week at a Time, and Never See Eye to Eye

October 27, 2008 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

Hey, they're head to head! The real candidates won't be spending any time in London in the next eight days, so their Madame Tussauds' head molds will just have to do.

So where is John McCain going to be now that the end is in sight? According to the LA Times, the Republican from Arizona will be focusing on swing states that Bush won in 2000 and 2004, like Ohio, where he rallies his supporters in Dayton today, and Virginia, where vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin makes stops in Loudon County, Fredricksburg and Roanoke.

Just like in the big-budget Disney movie we are trying not to mention any more, it's "Now or Never" for McCain: He was on the trail a full 18 hours Sunday, making several stops in another battleground state, Pennsylvania, to praise the patriotism of small-town America and declare his wife's fitness to be First Lady. On "Meet The Press," he told Tom Brokaw, who was bearing poll numbers showing him behind in Iowa of all states, "We're doing fine. We have closed in the last week."

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Taking the Plunge

October 23, 2008 at 2:05 PM | by | ()

Sure takes cojones to dress up as a guy half the country hates and jump out of a plane! We salute Dan Brodsky-Chenfield and Scott Smith for dressing up as John McCain and Barack Obama to skydive. And--are they holding hands? Awwwh. How bipartisan.

As far as we know, neither campaign is planning any kind of extreme stunt like this. But with less than two weeks left, it may feel like they're one parachute away from a free fall.

At a campaign stop in Ormond Beach, Florida this morning, McCain invoked his bestie Joe the Plumber again and pledged he "won't make the same mistakes Senator Obama is ready to repeat." He hosts a campaign rally in Sarasota later this afternoon before taking the Straight Talk Express to Missouri tomorrow.

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Possible Presidents Travel: Joe the Plumber, Meet Madelyn the Banker

October 22, 2008 at 2:15 PM | by | ()

These are not real McCain campaign ads... If only.

Here's a heartwarming holiday movie: Barack Obama is canceling campaign stops on Thursday and Friday to rush to the side of his 85-year-old grandma in Hawaii, who broke her hip earlier this week. Two rallies planned for Madison, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday will be replaced by one in Indianapolis; on Friday, Michelle Obama will speak at two campaign events in Ohio.

Obama was raised partly by his grandmother and has mentioned her in several of his speeches, including the 2004 address to the DNC that was his real national debut. (A former employee of the Bank of Hawaii, she eventually became one of its first female veeps.) We'll see if he mentions her today at stops in Richmond and Leesburg, Virginia.

Joe Biden is in Pueblo and Colorado Springs today and sallies forth to North Carolina, another state that features early voting.

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Possible Presidents Travel: Live From New York, It's Sarah Palin

October 20, 2008 at 3:43 PM | by | ()

She came, she saw, she let Amy Poehler do the work: Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin waves to reporters while holding baby Trig outside the "Saturday Night Live" studios in New York. In case you've been living under an Alaska-shaped rock, watch the governor watching Tina Fey and declining to rap.

Certainly more ink was spilled on her primetime appearances than anything else the McCain campaign did this weekend, including an appearance in Joe the Plumber's backyard of Toledo, Ohio while Joe himself was appearing on Fox's new variety show "Huckabee." (Yes, as in former Republican primary candidate Mike Huckabee.)

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Possible Presidents Travel: A Multitude of Joes

October 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM | by | ()

After he made Letterman cry, John McCain visited the "Late Show" set to make amends.

First we met Joe Biden. Then we met Joe Sixpack. Now Joe the Plumber has completed the trifecta of Joes that will be remembered in the 2008 election.

After Republican candidate John McCain mentioned Joe Wurzelbacher in Wednesday night's debate, the unlicensed plumber and registered Republican is this year's model of the voter everyone wants. And the McCains are hoping all the times they let him sleep over at their houses will pay off.

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Possible Presidents Map: Believe in the Green Light

October 15, 2008 at 3:30 PM | by | ()

A Houston teenager made this pro-Obama video. Oh, how we love the redeployment of the rap cliche.

Tonight's the final debate of this campaign, but with 19 days left, the candidates will still have time to do a lot of talking before then. Barack Obama isn't making any appearances today, choosing to prep in a secure undisclosed location--probably not Dick Cheney's house--for his verbal bout against Republican candidate John McCain at Hofstra University on Long Island.

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