Friday, August 1, 2008
GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES with excerpts
'Praise The One'
Gallup poll: Obama 45%, McCain 44%
The race for the presidency has moved back into a statistical tie in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update of national registered voters, with Barack Obama now ahead of John McCain by just one percentage point
McCain camp accuses Obama
John McCain's campaign accused Barack Obama of playing "the race card" on Thursday after the first black candidate with a serious chance of winning the White House claimed Republicans will try to scare voters by saying he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills." Until now, the explosive issue of race has been almost taboo in the campaign, at least in public, with both sides fearing its destructive force.
"Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said, suggesting the Arizona senator had been wrongfully accused.
In turn, Obama's campaign said his comment was not about race.
"Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they're using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign," said spokesman Bill Burton.
ABC's Jake Tapper:Obama words 'pretty inflammatory'
"... I've seen racism in campaigns before -- I've seen it against Obama in this campaign (more from Democrats than Republicans, at this point, I might add) and I've seen it against McCain in South Carolina in 2000, when his adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget was alleged, by the charming friends and allies of then-Gov. George W. Bush, to have been a McCain love-child with an African-American woman.
"What I have not seen is it come from McCain or his campaign in such a way to merit the language Obama used today. Pretty inflammatory."
McCain paints Obama as celebrity,
not leader -
Barack Obama accused White House rival John McCain of trying on Wednesday to scare voters with attacks on his character, as McCain launched a new ad labeling Obama more of a celebrity than a leader.
... McCain launched a new ad linking the Illinois senator to celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, calling him "the biggest celebrity in the world" but questioning whether he could deliver on his talk.
The ad included images of Obama's speech last week in Berlin on his tour of the Middle East and Europe and asked if Obama was ready to lead.
"Senator Obama doesn't have the strength to speak openly and directly about how he will address the serious challenges that confront America," McCain said. "How will he be strong enough to really change Washington?"
RNC website slams Obama's uber-sized ego
...the RNC's new website -- "Obama Audacity Watch" -- uses myriad press clips from the major networks and other media organizations to prove their point that the lanky Illinoisan who seeks to control the Western World has a big ego.
Examples of the presumptive's presumptuousness include Obama's mock presidential seal, replacing the American flag on the tail wing of his plane with an enormous Obama "O," his use of a video of his Berlin rally to help raise campaign cash, his curious projection that he would be president for "eight to ten years," and other examples.
McCain tries to define Obama as out of touch
Mr. McCain’s campaign is now under the leadership of members of President Bush’s re-election campaign, including Steve Schmidt, the czar of the Bush war room that relentlessly painted his opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, as effete, elite, and equivocal through a daily blitz of sound bites and Web videos that were carefully coordinated with Mr. Bush’s television advertisements.
“I would say that it is beyond dispute that he has become the biggest celebrity in the world,” Mr. Schmidt said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “The question that we are posing to the American people is this: ‘Is he ready to lead yet?’ And the answer to the question that we will offer to the American people is: ‘No he is not.’ ”
McCain: no new taxes, redux
Senator John McCain, whose recent suggestion that an increase in the Social Security payroll tax would not be off the table infuriated some fiscal conservatives, sought to reassure people here Wednesday that he opposes tax increases.
“I want to look you in the eye: I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase,’’ he said here Wednesday at a town-hall-style meeting at the Wagner Company, a Caterpillar dealer. “I will not do it.’’
Mr. McCain has been attracting criticism from the right ever since he said that “nothing’s off the table” when he was asked Sunday on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” whether raising payroll taxes would be an option for Social Security.
McCain camp sees energy as winning issue
Republicans believe that the McCain campaign, which has been criticized for being overly reactive in its battle with Obama, has finally found an issue on which it can successfully go on the offensive.
"This is the first time the Republicans have felt upbeat and optimistic about a major issue in a long time," said Republican strategist Scott Reed. "McCain has framed the issue well, with solutions and a sharp contrast to Obama, and in Congress, Republicans seem to be rallying around this issue. They feel Democrats have boxed themselves in a corner."
McCain skin biopsy: no cancer
A biopsy conducted on skin taken from the face of U.S. Republican
presidential candidate John McCain showed no skin cancer, medical
Obama challenges McCain to a policy 'duel' on taxes
“These anxieties seem to be growing with each passing day,” Obama told a crowd of over 1,500 inside a Springfield, Mo., high school gymnasium. “We can either choose a new direction for our economy or we can keep doing what we’ve been doing. My opponent, John McCain, thinks we’re on the right track.
“I’m ready to duel John McCain on taxes right here, quick draw,” Obama said, comparing himself to western legend Wild Bill Hickock who once fought a duel in Springfield.
Obama says McCain is the risky pick
“Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me,” he told more than a thousand people at a high school here. "'He's risky' -- that's the argument... It's like, 'Well, we don't have very much to offer but he's risky.' And let me just say, it's true that change, change is hard. Change isn't easy. And the question you have to ask yourself is, 'What's more risky?’”
He added, "We are in a time right now where it is too risky not to change. It is risky to keep on doing what we are doing, to accept the tired status quo."
Obama-Clinton ticket group shuts down
An effort to urge Barack Obama to pick former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate is shutting down under the assumption she is not a contender for the No. 2 spot.
The two former Clinton staffers who started the group Vote Both say Obama's decision to offer Clinton a prime-time speaking role at the Democratic Party nominating convention and other signals suggest Obama will not chose her...
Obama tries to show Missouri concern for small-town issues
With a town hall meeting and rally in Springfield, another in Rolla, a stop in Lebanon, and a rainy barbecue here, Obama is trying to mimic Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's winning game plan from 2006 and get beyond more traditional strategies that left Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) narrow losers in the Show-Me State. Democrats have traditionally counted on huge margins in St. Louis and Kansas City to counter GOP strength in the rest of the state, and it hasn't worked...
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