The Chicago Tribune's Mike Dorning and Christi Parsons profile someone you don't read much about: "[Mike] Strautmanis, now 39 and a senior counsel to Obama's presidential campaign, has emerged as a member of a circle of Chicagoans positioned in influential roles on the Illinois senator's team," they write. "Strautmanis, a genial political diplomat with an easy manner and a ready smile, has a connection with the candidate that stretches back as far as nearly anyone involved in the operation. . . . That history has been an asset for someone who, in Obama's U.S. Senate office, served as an ambassador of sorts in the capital to key Democratic constituencies, such as African-American leaders, unions and other liberal interest groups."
Newsweek's Holly Bailey profiles McCain's "court jester" -- who only sometimes wears a bikini T-shirt on the campaign plane. "[Steve] Duprey, a New Hampshire real-estate developer who's been in Republican politics for decades, never thought he'd spend a year traveling almost full time with the GOP nominee. A former New Hampshire state-party chairman, he began advising McCain back in 2006 and stuck close to his friend of two decades, even when his campaign nearly went belly up last year. Duprey ferried McCain around in his own Chevy Suburban, driving him to town halls and events all over New Hampshire. After McCain won the primary there, the senator and his aides invited Duprey to stay on for the ride."
McCain still has a friend in Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. "I think the guy calls 'em as he sees 'em, and as president would call 'em as he sees 'em, and would make people mad all over the place because it wouldn't fit anybody's playbook," Feingold tells the Milwaukee Journal's Craig Gilbert. "He would be very original."
Mark your calendars (unless someone is crossing off dates for them): "Salem State officials [in Massachusetts] say they expect the Sept. 23 'conversation with John and Elizabeth Edwards' to go forward, but they are consulting with the corporate sponsors who helped pay the Edwardses' undisclosed speaking fee to ensure the couple will still make an appearance," Scott Allen reports in The Boston Globe.
Two years ago, Sen. George Allen said the word "macaca," and you the rest. Actor Kal Penn on Monday celebrates the anniversary in Northern Virginia at Toby Chaudhuri and Ruby Roy's house, for an event they're calling "Hakuna Macaca."
"I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen." -- John Edwards on Bill Clinton, February 1999.
"I went from being a senator, a young senator to being considered for vice president, running for president, being a vice presidential candidate and becoming a national public figure. All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences." -- John Edwards, on John Edwards, to ABC's Bob Woodruff Friday.
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