Senate women speak out for Obama 

The first appearance of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention program came by way of a video introduction of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland.

In her video, Clinton lavished praise on the diminutive lawmaker, labeling her “the dean of the Senate women.”

Mikulski focused on the need for legislation mandating gender-pay equity, saying that the election of Barack Obama would “put change in women’s wallets.”

Mikulski was just the first of the female senators to take the stage Tuesday night. The second was Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, who like Mikulski was an early, ardent backer of Clinton. But she too spoke passionately of Obama’s merits.

“Elections have consequences, and when we win in November, we will prove it,” Boxer said. “In November we can’t afford more of the same, so that the world’s economic and environmental leader will clearly be the United States of America.”

After her remarks, eight of the 11 female Democrats in the U.S. Senate came out on stage and swayed to a smooth-jazz version of the song “Sisters.”

Romney jabs at Biden

The John McCain campaign sent several surrogates to Denver to counter the Democrats’ message.

At a luncheon hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took some strong shots at Democratic vice presidential nominee designee Joe Biden.

Noting that Biden’s reputation is strongest on foreign policy, Romney said that Biden was wrong on how to deal with the Soviet threat, wrong to oppose the first Gulf War in 1991, wrong to suggest earlier this decade that Iraq be partitioned three ways and wrong to oppose the surge.

“His record of being wrong on foreign policy is as long as his [whole] record on foreign policy,” Romney said.

No place like Kansas

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a personal favorite of Obama’s who was among the finalists to be his running mate, found a way to localize the Democratic refrain mocking McCain for owning so many homes (seven or eight, depending on who counts them).

“I’m sure you’ll remember a girl from Kansas who said there’s no place like home,” Sebelius said. “Well, in John McCain’s version, there’s no place like home. And home. And home. And home.”

Polling dilemma?

This year’s unprecedented back-to-back political conventions, coupled with the candidates’ late announcements of their vice presidential picks, make it very difficult to judge Obama’s postconvention “bounce,” a panel of polling experts said.

Speaking at a National Journal event, former Clinton pollster Geoff Garin said that because McCain is expected to announce his VP pick Friday, “the Republican convention [effectively] begins the day after the Democratic convention ends.”

Mark Blumenthal, editor and publisher of Pollster.com, added that “unless there’s a way to poll at 1 a.m.,” immediately after Obama’s acceptance speech, “it’s impossible to tell.”

Barry's convention ride

District of Columbia Council Member and former Mayor Marion Barry is among the dozens of the District’s delegates at the Pepsi Center.

Barry and D.C. Democratic Party Chairwoman Anita Bonds were making their way out of the convention arena before Hillary Clinton’s speech when The Examiner caught up with them.

The former mayor was being shuttled around by one of the many Democratic National Committee-run golf carts. He said complications from high blood pressure and his longtime battle with diabetes made it necessary for him to avoid long walks.

Barry and most of the rest of the D.C. delegation were sporting “Taxation Without Representation” T-shirts. He called the reported rift between the Clinton and Obama camps a “wishfulthinking figment of the media’s imagination.”

The 72-year-old former mayor has been a longtime supporter of Bill Clinton, but he threw his support behind Obama in February.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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