US election diary

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The Independent Online

*Even the "hang'em and flog'em" brigade is swinging behind Barack Obama. The LA police chief William Bratton has just recorded an automated telephone endorsement of the Democratic candidate. In his previous job, he pioneered "zero tolerance" policing under Rudolph Giuliani, the New York mayor. This week, Mr Bratton suggested Osama bin Laden may be about to launch a terrorist attack to influence the US election – sparking speculation that he's jockeying for position in an Obama White House.

*Will Ferrell, has returned to Saturday Night Live – where he began his career in the late 1990s – to play George Bush alongside Tina Fey's Sarah Palin. The Hollywood star's "Mr Bush" announced that the election is between "the hot lady and the Tiger Woods guy". He endorses Mrs Palin and then talks about how important the VP job is. They are the person that decides "when we go to war, how we tax citizens and how we interpret the constitution. The president can do nothing without checking with the vice-president". Fey's "Mrs Palin" points out his mistake. He is shocked. "Really? That's not what Dick Cheney told me."

*John Cleese has waded into presidential politics. "I used to think Michael Palin was the funniest Palin on Earth," he said, during a TV interview at his Santa Barbara mansion. "What fascinates me though is how people watching her on television, can they not see that she's basically learnt certain speeches? She does them very well, she's got a very good memory. But it's like a nice-looking parrot."