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Morning Road Map

By Michelle Levi and Steve Chaggaris

Obama is expected to make a brief campaign stop in Greensboro, N.C. this morning before spending the rest of the day in Virginia, fueling speculation about whether he'll choose Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as his running mate. At 11:30, Obama holds a "discussion" on the economy and will be introduced by U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Mark Warner, D-Va. Later, Obama will campaign in Lynchburg and he'll address a couple of union conventions via satellite. This evening in Lynchburg, he'll host a town hall meeting at 6:35pm ET.

McCain will hold a town hall in Las Cruces, NM at noon. Later, he meets privately with the United Dairy Farmers National Association. McCain will take a few days off the campaign trail beginning tomorrow.


VEEPSTAKES
Obama described his ideal running mate and, interestingly, only used the pronoun "he" to describe that person. "I want somebody who has integrity, who's in politics for the right reasons, I want somebody who is independent. Somebody who is able to say to me, 'you know what, Mr. President I think you're wrong on this and here's why' and will give me who will help me think through major issues and consult with me, would be a key advisor. I want somebody who is capable of being president and who I would trust to be president... I won't hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he's doing....he wont be one of these 4th branches of government." CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic notes that Obama had made a point to use "he or she" before last night's comments. A hint? Or just a slip-up?

CBS News' Ambinder, "Obama: What We Know And Don't Know About Timing"

Chicago Sun-Times' Sweet, "Obama, running mate to rally in Springfield"

Reuters' Whitesides, "Speculation over VP picks hits fever pitch"

Associated Press' Raum, "Veep short-listers mix positives and negatives"

Newsday's Gordon and Henderson, "Obama set to announce VP; Clinton a long shot"

NY Daily News' Sisk, Bazinet and McAuliff, "Obama, McCain look to end search for running mates"

NY Times' Bumiller, "Talk of McCain's No. 2 Concerns Conservatives"

Newsweek's Romano, "Is McCain Preparing to Pick a Pro-Choice Veep?"

San Francisco Chronicle's Marinucci, "The betting line on Obama's veep possibilities"

USA Today's Kiely, "Obama's VP pick remains mystery despite more clues"

LA Times' Barabak, "In announcing a running mate, timing and place are key"

Chicago Tribune's Schmich, "Barack's using me, but I'm in it for the text": "For a whole week, since I texted him and said: Yes, Barack, yes, let's do it, put me on your list to be among the first to know your vp pick. Well, ever since that day every time my cell goes 'brrrrng,' my heart cramps with desire."

Politico's Harris, "Nader predicts Obama to pick Clinton"

Michael Moore makes a plea to Obama veep vetter Caroline Kennedy, "Caroline: Pull a Cheney!": "What Obama needs is a vice presidential candidate who is NOT a professional politician, but someone who is well-known and beloved by people across the political spectrum; someone who, like Obama, spoke out against the war; someone who has a good and generous heart, who will be cheered by the rest of the world; someone whom we've known and loved and admired all our lives and who has dedicated her life to public service and to the greater good for all. That person, Caroline, is you."

NY Times' Dowd, "Two Against the One"

DEM VEEPSTAKES - BIDEN
LA Times' Nicholas, "Biden rises among vice presidential candidates, sources say"

Wall Street Journal's Cooper, "Biden's Foreign Policy Background Carries Growing Cachet"

DEM VEEPSTAKES - KAINE
Washington Post's Craig, "Virginia GOPers Hit Kaine Ahead of Appearance with Obama"

Washington Times' Emerling, "Obama's return to Virginia puts focus on Kaine"

Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star's Davis, "Obama's state visit fuels VP speculation"

DEM VEEPSTAKES - SEBELIUS
Kansas City Star's Kraske and Helling, "Veep contest raises Sebelius' national profile"

Topeka Capital-Journal's Carlson, "Is it Sebelius? Stay tuned"

Detroit News' Trowbridge, "Kansas governor dodges VP talk"

NY Times' Zernike profiles Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, D-Kansas, "Hand on Statehouse, the Other Across the Aisle"

Detroit News' Trowbridge, "Kansas governor asks women to back Obama"

GOP VEEPSTAKES - LIEBERMAN
McCain supporters Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. leave today for a two-day trip to Poland, the Ukraine and Georgia. While in Georgia, they will meet with President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Hartford Courant's Pazniokas, "Lieberman A Possible Running Mate For McCain"

Politico's Allen, Martin and Burns, "McCain weighs a Lieberman surprise"

Washington Times' Hallow, "GOP leaders try to foil Lieberman pick"

McCAIN vs. OBAMA
LA Times' Finnegan, "Obama and McCain in a statistical tie"

NY Times' Rutenberg, "Obama's Ads in Key States Go on Attack"

LA Times' Levey, "Obama rachets up negative advertising"

LA Times' Reston and Mehta, "Obama says McCain shouldn't question his patriotism"

NY Times' Bumiller and Broder, "McCain Takes Case for Drilling to the Gulf"

Washington Post's Bacon and Shear, "This Time, McCain Knows the Drill"

Newsweek's Romano, "The 2008 Money Race: Still Closer Than You Think": "on Sept. 4, the Republican nominee--who opted into the public financing system--will receive a check from U.S. taxpayers for $84.1 million. Obama won't. Going forward, this gives McCain two advantages over his Internet-fueled rival from Chicago. For starters, he's free to spend his entire savings ($21 million) plus his entire August fundraising haul (another $25 million or so) before the Republican convention; that $45 million kitty, which can't carry over into the general election, dwarfs Obama's estimated budget for August (about $30 million). That's why McCain has been clobbering Obama on the airwaves in an array of battleground states. Secondly, for the final two months of the campaign, McCain will be able to stop detouring from the trail to attend private fundraisers, relying instead on $42 million a month in public funds plus an estimated $130 million from the RNC to see him through. In other words, McCain will have far more money after Sept. 4 than he's ever had before--and he won't have to work for it. Obama, meanwhile, will still have to step off the stump for glitzy fundraisers like this week's $7.8-million bashes in San Francisco if he hopes to continue raising $50 million a month--which is what he'll need to keep up."

Houston Chronicle's Powell and Dunham, "McCain, Obama compete to be seen as friend of NASA"

NY Daily News' Goodwin, "After Barack Obama hype, a backlash": "The Obama campaign and its media handmaidens are taking their candidate way too seriously. So much so that they could be setting up a backlash against the hype. No human being can meet the wildly inflated expectations that accompany the rookie senator's every move. It can't help that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Obama 'a leader that God has blessed us with at this time.' That's the kind of remark that can turn voters into problems. Most Americans famously resent being told an election is over months before the polls open or that God is taking sides.

Washington Post's Ignatius, "The Risk of the Zinger"

CONVENTIONS
Denver Post's Plunkett, "Convention cash hits target": "After struggling for more than a year and a half, and missing its June deadline by $11 million, the committee responsible for raising $40.6 million in private cash that finances the convention has met its goal."

USA Today's Raasch, "Democrats planning everything but the weather in Denver"

KCNC-TV's Sallinger, "Homeless Get Cleaned Up With Free Haircuts For DNC"

NY Daily News' Katz, "Gov. Paterson to speak at Democratic Convention"

USA Today's Keen, "St. Paul hopes GOP convention wows guests"

Wall Street Journal's Kronholz and Farnam, "McCain Takes Hands-Off Approach With Platform"

IN THE STATES
Associated Press' Sidoti and Hennessey, "Obama bids for Western votes as key to victory"

ABORTION
Associated Press' Wills, "Obama faces new criticism on abortion"

Chicago Tribune's Manier, "Obama's record on abortion hit"

Washington Post's Weisman, "Candidates' Abortion Views Not So Simple"

Beliefnet.com's Waldman writes in the Wall Street Journal, "The Real Story of the Democrats' Abortion Plank"

ALSO:
Washington Post's Vargas, "Obama's Wide Web - From YouTube to Text Messaging Candidate's Team Connects to Voters"

NY Daily News' Saul, "Campaign trail makes candidates' hair turn gray"

LA Times' Malcolm, "Presidential debate outrage! Libertarian Bob Barr wants in -- and a poll majority agrees"

Associated Press' Kuhnhenn, "McCain, Obama to silence critical ads on Sept. 11"

Reuters' Parsons, "Group asks McCain, Obama not to campaign on 9/11"

Associated Press' Pearson, "Toby Keith praises Obama"

Oakland Tribune's Drummond, "Obama's political star potential evident in 1990"

Wall Street Journal's Freddoso, "Obama Played by Chicago Rules": "Democrats don't like it when you say that Barack Obama won his first election in 1996 by throwing all of his opponents off the ballot on technicalities. By clearing out the incumbent and the others in his first Democratic primary for state Senate, Mr. Obama did something that was neither illegal nor even uncommon. But Mr. Obama claims to represent something different from old-style politics -- especially old-style Chicago politics. And the senator is embarrassed enough by what he did that he misrepresents it in the prologue of his political memoir, 'The Audacity of Hope.'"

Associated Press' Woodward, "Washington state voters get a rematch for governor"