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   MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the recurring themes stemming from the Republican National Convention is the suspension of political rhetoric in the midst of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Gustav.   But that doesn't mean that criticism of Democratic candidate Barack Obama isn't in full swing beyond the convention hall rostrum. Rep. Peter T. King of Nassau Coun…

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Some news and notes from the Republican National Convention:    -- Edward F. Cox, the Manhattan lawyer and son-in-law of the late President Richard M. Nixon, has a prominent role at this convention as chief of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in New York. Cox has one of the toughest jobs in the entire McCain organization, since hardly …

   It was a beautiful day for a parade, and thus a beautiful day for a politician, but that doesn't mean Jack Davis was ready to shake everybody's hand.    Sitting behind the wheel of his gleaming black Excalibur at today's Labor Day Parade in Clarence Center, Davis saw one of his opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination for Congress, Jon Po…

   MINNEAPOLIS … If Sen. John McCain wanted to shake up the Republican presidential race, he couldn't have scored better than with today's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.    The presidential candidate, expected to arrive here over the weekend for the Republican National Convention, stunned the political world with his selection…

DENVER -- So Barack Obama was supposed to be a genteel "celebrity," right? Well, it turns out he was ready to rumble. Listen to this: "America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this." And this: "I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first." And this, on the George Bush years and …

DENVER -- Forty-five years after Martin Luther King Jr. told us he had a dream, the son of a woman from Kansas and a man from Kenya stood on a stage in the middle of a football stadium here and accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. And while Barack Obama didn't dwell on the historic nature of the moment during his speech at Invesco Field, …

DENVER -- So, less than 24 hours after his wife's much-lauded speech endorsing Barack Obama, Bill Clinton took the stage at the Pepsi Center and said the words the Democratic Party had been waiting for. "Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America's standing in the world," Bill Clinton said. "Everything I lear…

   DENVER -- They were supposed to be prowling the streets and biting back at a Democratic nominee they see as a callow interloper, but the Hillary Rodham Clinton loyalists called "PUMAs" are few and far between in the streets of Denver.    "PUMA" stand for "Party Unity My"...well, anatomy, and the PUMAs have been trying t…

DENVER -- Out on the campaign trail, Barack Obama must have been smiling. On the state at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Rodham Clinton was giving a speech full of passion and poetry, an emotional endorsement of Obama for president. "My friends, it is time to take back the country we love," she said. "And whether you voted for me, or voted for…

DENVER -- Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's speech at the Democratic National Convention Monday proved to be an especially touching moment for Rep. Louise M. Slaughter of Fairport. Slaughter and Kennedy spent years working together to try to pass legislation banning discrimination on the basis of a person's genetic makeup, and finally this spring they succeeded. Kennedy was at Sla…

DENVER -- Steps away from the convention hall and in the shadow of a giant roundish yellow tent with the word "Trojan" stamped on its side, a young woman with stringy brown hair and goggle-shaped sunglasses stopped me and thrust a condom into my hand. "We are trying to get condoms on the agenda!" she said in a thick, inexplicable Australian accent. No…

DENVER -- Finally, it seems to be happening. The Clinton supporters in the New York delegation are moving on to support Barack Obama. At least that's what many of those interviewed this morning told me. But how about you? If you backed Clinton in the primary, would you still want the chance to vote for her if you could at tomorrow's roll call vote at the Democratic Natio…

DENVER -- Diana Cihak was one of Barack Obama's first supporters in Western New York, and that made Monday all the more special for her. About a year after Cihak, former Common Council President George K. Arthur and a handful of others began organizing for Obama in the heart of Clinton country, Cihak found herself on the floor of the Pepsi Center as an Obama delegate. Li…

DENVER -- Well, now that was adorable, wasn't it? There they were, Barack Obama's wife and two young daughters, onstage at the Democratic National Convention when their dad, the nominee, suddenly appeared on the super-wide screen TV behind them. The family joked and smiled and made like any other happy, well-adjusted family. Except that this might be our next first famil…

DENVER -- You can count Seneca Nation President Maurice A. John Sr. among those entranced by the Democratic convention. John is in Denver, along with former Seneca President Barry Snyder -- chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corp. -- and tribal counsel Robert Obawi Porter. “This is a special opportunity for me to represent the Seneca people at the Democratic convention,” …