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Hotline Sort: Down in the Desert

7) American Crossroads isn't bluffing so far: Politico reports the group has pulled nearly $700,000 in reserved advertising time against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Meanwhile, the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List is spending money in Missouri, not to help embattled Senate candidate Todd Akin, but to attack President Obama's record on abortion. 6) Politico floats names in a potential Romney administration cabinet. The most intriguing name: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell as Transportation Secretary. That's been the designated spot to put Cabinet members from a different party. Former GOP Rep. Ray LaHood has filled the role in the Obama administration; it was former Democratic Rep. Norman Mineta in the Bush administration. 5) As Republicans prepare to kick off the convention today, the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA is out with a new ad, this time hitting Mitt Romney over his record as governor of Massachusetts. The ad features a female small business owner in Massachusetts who supported him in 2002, but now says she was "duped by Mitt Romney." 4) Tropical Storm Isaac continues to move closer to the northern Gulf Coast. The storm's barometric pressure is dropping, usually a sign of strengthening, but dry air from the northeast is keeping Isaac just below hurricane-strength. Isaac remains a significant threat to the southeastern U.S., and it's forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday, moving ashore along the coast of Louisiana or Mississippi late Tuesday or early Wednesday. 3) Hurricane politics: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal claimed that Obama isn't doing enough to help the state as it readies for the significant storm. Jindal wrote a letter to the Obama administration Monday that the president's emergency declaration isn't enough for the state. "We appreciate your response to our request and your approval," Jindal wrote. "However, the state's original request for federal assistance ... included a request for reimbursement for all emergency protective measures. The federal declaration of emergency only provides for direct federal assistance." Jindal canceled his scheduled speaking gig at the convention to manage emergency preparations back home. 2) Convention planners are publicly forging ahead to hold the convention as scheduled, but the Romney campaign is privately mulling a truncated lineup. One theme for tonight's convention: Obama defectors. Republicans will show a video at the convention tonight, featuring testimony from supporters of Obama in 2008 who have switched to Romney. Former Democratic Alabama congressman Artur Davis, who switched parties and backed Romney, will be speaking at 9:00 tonight. Other speakers tonight: Ann Romney and keynoter New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Romney is arriving in Tampa later today so he can see his wife's speech. 1) Tropical Storm Isaac isn't just impacting the Republican National Convention, but Obama's campaign schedule as well. The president was slated to kick off a three-day college tour today beginning in Ames, Iowa - and through Fort Collins, Colorado and Charlottesville, Virginia in the next several days. Those plans are still on, but could change depending on the storm's impact. Scott Bland and Steven Shepard contributed to this report.

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