Obama’s planning an intimate little nomination acceptance speech for 75,000 people, while the Republicans are figuring out how to honour George W Bush at their convention, while keeping him the hell away from tainting their candidate McCain.

McCain may avoid Bush at Republican National Convention – The US News reports that organisers of the Republican National Convention are working on ways to best showcase their presidential nominee John McCain and honour the outgoing President Bush – and they may even make sure that the two men don’t appear together at all. Apparently they’re considering giving Dubya a first night speech at the convention, and ensuring that McCain doesnt’ even arrive in town until Dubya’s flown out. — US News (via Daily KOS)

Obama thinks big for nomination speech – The big news (and we mean the size of a football stadium) is that Barack Obama has upsized the venue for his speech to the Democratic National Convention when he’ll accept the party’s nomination. Usually done at the DNC venue, Obama will accept the nomination across the road… in the Denver football stadium in front of up to 75,000 people. — NYT

The Huffington Post reports that several major TV networks, noses out of joint over the change in venue – and mindful of the millions they’re spending to cover the DNC – may scale back coverage of other parts of the convention.

Whistleblowers speak out on FISA – The Daily KOS rounds up a number of former whistleblowers who have come out against the FISA legislation, including “perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all, former intelligence officer Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who in the early 1970s released the Pentagon Papers”.

A pro-Obama view of FISA – A contrasting view of Obama’s position on FISA  – and the legislation itself comes from Lanny J. Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton. “Obama’s change of position has angered some of his more liberal supporters — but, I submit, only because they don’t appreciate the significant legal restrictions placed on the administration’s conduct of the Terrorist Surveillance Program by this legislation. Obama has “reminded voters that as president he would be more committed to the “solutions” business than to yield to the pressure to prove his ideological purity to his party’s base.Chicago Sun Times

McCain ad attacks Obama’s 1960s aura  – The election campaign so far has been full of discussion of the 1960s – largely centred on the campaign and promises being made by Barack Obama. The current issue of Vanity Fair has RFK on the cover, and it’s certainly not the first to compare Obama with the charismatic Kennedys. The McCain campaign has just put out an ad trying to hose down Obama’s 1960s sheen. Time‘s Swampland blog says the ad attempts to “tie Obama to the cultural division of the that era”:

Though Obama’s name is never mentioned–he was not yet old enough to shave, let alone protest–the ad clearly identifies the counter-culture with the Obama campaign. “It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change,” begins the narrator. Hope! Change! Beware! “Beautiful words cannot make our lives better. . . Don’t hope for a better life, vote for one.” — Swampland

Barack Obama: Forensics on the South Side – Here’s a good read for the day – Huffington Post takes a look at the Southside housing project in Chicago where Barack Obama lived and worked after university. If Obama wins the votes on November 4th, not only would the first African-American move into the White House. For the first time in a long time, a politician would become President of the USA who knows the hardships of the simple life — and the tricks to stay afloat in a city like Chicago... However, Obama could do little to change these realities. “I have great appreciation for what he did here,” says Cheryl Johnson of Obama. “But the problems have remained.”Huffington Post

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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