Warner Selected to Deliver DNC Keynote Address

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Democratic Party leaders yesterday selected a former Virginia governor, Mark Warner, to deliver the keynote address at their national convention in Denver this month, positioning him prominently in a weeklong lineup that seeks to pay homage to the party of the past while ushering in a new generation of leaders under Senator Obama. The choice of Mr. Warner appeared to dim chances that the state’s current governor, Timothy Kaine, would be selected as the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee. If Mr. Kaine were chosen as Mr. Obama’s running mate, two Virginians would have back-to-back, prime-time speaking slots, which party officials regard as unlikely. A source close to Mr. Kaine said Tuesday night — before the announcement about Mr. Warner — that the governor believed he would “get the silver medal” in the vice presidential sweepstakes. Mr. Obama’s decision to make security the theme of Wednesday night is also regarded by party observers as a subtle hint that Mr. Kaine and other governors without foreign policy credentials might be less likely choices.


A political strategist tied to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal is helping raise money for Senator McCain, urging his fellow Georgia Republicans to attend a fund-raiser for the presidential candidate in Atlanta. Ralph Reed, a former director of the Christian Coalition, said he had agreed to be on Mr. McCain’s “Victory 2008 Team” in an e-mail that solicited donations on Mr. McCain’s behalf. The Republican National Committee is hosting the fund-raiser, set for an Atlanta hotel on August 18. A House investigative committee in 2006 did not call Mr. Reed as a witness, but concluded that he interceded with the Bush White House to help some of Abramoff’s clients. Mr. Reed’s public relations firm also received $4.2 million from Abramoff to mobilize Christian voters to fight the opening of casinos that could compete with Abramoff’s Indian tribe clients.


Two weeks before Senator Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president, conservative author Jerome Corsi has attacked his story with a narrative of his own: The son of an “alcoholic polygamist,” Mr. Obama deals with his abandonment issues and “black rage” by experimenting with drugs and radical thought. He makes a calculated entrance into politics despite having accomplished little and having developed some “anti-American” sentiments. Now in office, he regularly manipulates the political machine and becomes a liberal who will “divide America.” Mr. Corsi’s “The Obama Nation,” which will make its debut as a no. 1 New York Times best seller, lacks major disclosures and has been dismissed by Mr. Obama’s campaign as a series of lies from a serial liar. In 2004, Mr. Corsi co-wrote “Unfit for Command,” in which Swift boat veterans criticized Senator Kerry’s military record in Vietnam. It was widely disproved.


The rigors of campaigning caught up with Cindy McCain yesterday. She suffered a minor sprain after an “enthusiastic supporter” shook her hand at a fund-raiser. Later in the afternoon, Mrs. McCain stood beside her husband, Senator McCain, wearing a soft cast on her right arm supported by a black fabric sling with a sparkly brooch. “I’m absolutely fine,” she said. Mr. McCain joked that his wife now would “not have to shake so many hands” while on the stump. The injury occurred at a noon fund-raising luncheon in West Bloomfield, Mich., the first of the day’s three McCain fund-raisers. The handshake apparently aggravated an old problem for which she had wrist surgery several years ago.


The presidential race is a toss-up, as Senator Obama has lost what was once an eight-point lead over Senator McCain, according to a new poll. The Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said yesterday that Mr. Obama now leads Mr. McCain 46% to 43% among registered voters, down from June, when the Illinois senator enjoyed a 48 to 40 advantage. His lead narrowed to five points in July, the survey said. The nonpartisan group attributed the shift to Mr. McCain’s progress winning over core Republican voters, including white evangelical Protestants along with white working class voters. By contrast, the poll said, Mr. Obama has made “little progress” expanding his support among Democrats over the past two months.

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