Published September 23, 2008
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
While the focus has been on Sarah Palin since she was announced as John McCain's running mate, Barack Obama's number two has had quite a run. Joe Biden told CBS he thought an Obama campaign ad mocking John McCain as a computer illiterate was "terrible." Later, after actually seeing the ad, Biden said it was OK.
Then, Biden spoke of President Franklin Roosevelt's having gone on television after the stock market crash of 1929. But Roosevelt was not president in 1929, and television was not present.
Biden also said neither he nor Obama supports clean coal technology in America. But Obama does support clean coal. Obama also said of Biden's instant criticism of the government's big loan to insurance to AIG, "I think Joe should have waited ..."
Earlier, Biden said Hillary Clinton may have been a better vice presidential pick than he and said that paying more taxes is the patriotic duty of the rich. And, he encouraged wheelchair-bound Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham to stand up at a campaign rally.
University of Massachusetts officials have quashed efforts by a campus chaplain to secure college credits for any student willing to campaign for Senator Obama. Chaplain Ken Higgins e-mailed students, "If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. It would be fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and the election."
He wrote that an unnamed sponsor in the university's history department would offer two credits for those willing to volunteer for Obama, but university officials say no such activity has ever been approved and that such an effort could run afoul of state law and university policy.
Former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis says McCain is using the same race based tactics that were used against him in 1988. The Web site PolitickerMA.com says Dukakis is referring to a McCain ad claiming Obama received economic advice from former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines.
The ad features images of Raines and Obama — both African-Americans — and then an image of an elderly white woman. Asked if he considered the ad to be in the same vein as the infamous "Willie Horton" ad used against him Dukakis said, "Essentially, yes... the same thing is happening again this year."
Willie Horton was an African-American convicted of murderer who raped a white woman after he was released on a weekend furlough program that Dukakis supported. The ad was sponsored by a private group supporting George H.W. Bush.
Stuck in a Rut?
Barack Obama seems to be making little progress with former Hillary Clinton supporters. An Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll shows that just 58 percent of adults who backed Clinton during her primary battle now support Obama. That number is unchanged since June, when Clinton ended her bid and urged supporters to vote for Obama.
Meanwhile, John McCain is making inroads into the former first lady's base. The poll says McCain's support among former Clinton backers is up from 21 percent in June to 28 percent.
That may explain why McCain now leads among likely women voters in a new poll conducted by Lifetime Television on the question of who better understands women. McCain erased a 34 point deficit in July and is now up 44 to 42 percent.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.