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Dem Convo, Day 3: Another McCain ad

— Pegged to the foreign policy night of Obama's convention, the McCain camp says it's up with a new TV ad -- to air in key states (read: not it's regular battleground buy) -- that hits Obama on the issue of Iran. It goes, "Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to "generate power" but threatening to eliminate Israel. Obama says Iran is a "tiny" country, "doesn't pose a serious threat." Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't "serious threats"? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president.

Some nuggets on tonight's big speakers:
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE, Obama's vice presidential pick)
-- Delaware's longest-serving senator. He was first elected to the Senate when he was 29; five weeks later, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident.
-- Currently chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
-- A son of Scranton, as the Obama campaign is emphasizing, his grandfather was a state senator in battleground Pennsylvania.
-- Ran for president in 1988, but bowed out after he was accused of plagiarizing a speech from a British politician.
-- Suffered a brain aneurysm in 1988.
-- Son Beau Biden was elected Delaware attorney general in 2006. He is also going to be deployed to Iraq in October as a member of the National Guard.
-- Advocate of Amtrak -- commutes to 80 minutes each way daily to DC from Wilmington; he's come to know the Amtrak crew workers personally and hosts an annual Christmas dinner for them.
-- Used against him by the right, this quote defending Obama's belief that Afghanistan is the central front on the war on terrorism: "If John wants to know where the bad guys live, come back with me to Afghanistan," Biden said. "We know where they reside. And it's not in Iraq."
-- Affectionately called "The Champ" by his father, a car dealership manager.
-- The gregarious Biden who famously answered, "Yes," in an NBC News debate about whether or not he could keep his gaffes to himself, actually suffered from a stutter as a child.
-- Named his dog, "Senator" when he was in college.
-- What's with Joe Biden and root canals? In 1991, during Clarence Thomas' hearings -- while he was chair of the judiciary committee -- Biden had to go to the dentist twice in the middle of the night for a root canal, so he wouldn't miss any hearings. Ironically, he found out about being selected by Obama as his vice presidential pick when he was with his wife at the dentist, where she was getting a root canal.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
-- The 2004 Democratic nominee endorsed Obama Jan. 10 -- after Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire primary victory.
-- Volunteer on Ted Kennedy's first Senate campaign in 1962
-- In 1972, he was the only Democratic candidate for Congress to lose a district that George McGovern won.
-- Facing first primary challenger in his 24-year Senate career, long-shot Ed O'Reilly
-- Criticized Bill Clinton's rhetoric leading up to the South Carolina primary: "I mean, being an ex-president does not give you license to abuse the truth, and I think that over the last days it's been over the top."

Bill Clinton
-- The former president is a New York superdelegate. No word on if he, like his wife, will cast his roll call vote for Obama. And it's unclear if he will attend Obama's speech at Invesco.
-- Compared Barack Obama's win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson's, inciting charges of inserting race into the campaign: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."
-- In the wake of the primary campaign, in which some thought he crossed a line in his criticism of Barack Obama, he's sought to repair his image, telling ABC News from Rwanda in the beginning of August: "There are things I wish I'd urged her to do, things I wish I had said, things I wish I hadn't said. But I am not a racist, I never made a racist comment, and I didn't attack him personally."
-- In the same interview, he also appeared reluctant to give a full defense of Obama's readiness to be president: "You can argue that nobody is ready to be president. I certainly learned a lot about the job in the first year, He clearly can inspire and motivate people and energize them which is a very important part of being president. And he's smart as a whip so there's nothing he can't learn."
-- As recently as Tuesday, The Hill reported Bill Clinton seemed to question whether Democrats were making the right decision in nominating Obama, posing a hypothetical question to a group of foreign dignitaries in Denver: "Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?" He added, "This has nothing to do with what's going on now."