Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Romney's torrid fundraising pace continues, Warren hears it from her Democratic skeptics, O'Malley lands primetime in Charlotte and Team Obama struggles to answer whether voters are better off than they were four years ago.
9) Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin is reminding Republicans that his party's establishment backed former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who's speaking at the Democratic National Convention, over rising Republican star Marco Rubio in the 2010 race.
8) The can't miss profile over the weekend came from New York Magazine's John Heilemann, who wrote about Vice President Joe Biden.
The money quote from the piece: "Biden will turn 74 in 2016, and his poll numbers have sagged since he took office, but he and his people have been hinting that he might have another presidential bid in him. Some political observers regard this prospect as ludicrous: They see Biden as a clownish gasbag. Others greet it with delight: They see him as a national treasure. This is how it's always been for Biden, with opinions about him diverging radically as if at a fork in the road of life--one that seems as fundamental as whether, deep down, you're a Beatles or a Stones person."
7) Politico's David Catanese has a thorough look at how Elizabeth Warren continues to underachieve against Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. The piece quotes top Democratic strategists conceding it was a mistake to portray Brown as a hard-right ideologue, saying the attacks haven't stuck. And it reports that one of Sen. John Kerry's closest friends and top donors is actively aiding Brown's re-election.
Meanwhile, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who hasn't yet endorsed a candidate in the Senate race, says he'll be backing someone very shortly. Since he's here in Charlotte at the convention, expect him to support Warren.
6) Democratic party chairmen gone wild: John Walsh
, the Democratic state chair in Massachusetts, said
Brown was an "honorary girl" because he folded laundry in one of his most recent commercials. Walsh issued an apology six hours later, after the Women for Brown Coalition called the remarks sexist.
Meanwhile, tart-tongued party chairman John Burton
in California compared
Paul Ryan to Goebbels -- a remark that drew instant condemnation, including from Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt
. He later gave an awfully lukewarm apology.
5) The DSCC is beginning to put big advertising bucks
in the Ohio Senate race on behalf of Sen. Sherrod Brown
, D-Ohio. Outside Republican groups have already poured money into Ohio to aid state Treasurer Josh Mandel
, making the race tighter than Democrats initially expected.
4) First Lady Michelle Obama
heads the list of speakers at tonight's convention; she made a surprise visit
to the convention hall Monday afternoon. Bloomberg reports she has an "urgent task" - to persuade voters that her husband deserves more time to finish his job. But it's San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro
, tonight's keynote speaker, that's getting much of the buzz.
Castro has frequently been bandied as a candidate for higher office, but holding elective office in Texas for a Democrat makes it tough to get a promotion. Texas doesn't have a single Democrat holding statewide office; it would take a stellar campaign and some luck for Castro to win a gubernatorial or Senate race.
3) Cue the 2016 speculation: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
lands a coveted primetime speaking slot tonight - in the 10:00 hour - immediately before keynoter Castro. He took heat for misspeaking that the country wasn't better off than it was four years ago on CBS' "Face the Nation," but is still viewed within the party as potential presidential material.
2) Mitt Romney's fundraising team claimed
he hit the $100 million mark again for the month of August, according to a top Romney fundraiser who was briefed on the party's fundraising efforts.
1) On the day before the convention, Democrats struggled to explain away comments from leading surrogates that avoided answering the question whether Americans were better off than four years ago. They're now all on the same page - that America is indeed better off - but some damage was inflicted.
Obama himself struggled to answer the question in an interview with KKTV in Colorado Springs: ""You know I would say incomplete...but what I would say is the steps that we have taken in saving the auto industry, in making sure that college is more affordable and investing in clean energy and science and technology and research, those are all the things that we are going to need to grow over the long term."
From the NYT
: "The focus on the campaign's handling of the question, after halting and contradictory responses from Democrats on Sunday, complicated the White House's effort to begin striking a set of themes the president intends to highlight here and carry through the general election."