Bloomberg's Edwin Chen seeks out the kinder, gentler, John McCain: "Little known beyond his family and small circle of friends, McCain has a softer, compassionate side that co-exists with his temper. Those who have seen him in private moments and in personal relationships say the Arizona senator has demonstrated extraordinary kindness, bringing to the political realm a human dimension often obscured by the heat of the moment."
The Boeing deal continues to bubble up as a campaign issue: "Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) allies are defending the presumptive GOP presidential nominee from Democratic attacks stating that he single-handedly helped doom Boeing's bid for a multibillion-dollar defense contract, which instead went to a U.S.-European team that included rival Airbus," The Hill's Roxana Tiron reports.
"McCain's Hill supporters, along with independent watchdog organizations, warn that Democrats could be playing a dangerous game in criticizing McCain. They note his probe of the Air Force's leasing deal with Boeing unearthed corrupt procurement practices that led to prison terms for a former top Air Force official and a Boeing executive."
Saturday brings a special election in former House speaker Dennis Hastert's district, and it could lose the GOP another seat: "Some flavors of ice cream are just a bit too tangy for conservative palates," Dan Rozek and Abdon M. Pallasch write in the Chicago Sun-Times. "Maybe that's why Republican dairy magnate Jim Oberweis is having trouble selling himself to mostly Republican voters in this far west suburban congressional seat Denny Hastert held for 21 years."
"Should [Democrat Bill] Foster win on Saturday, Republicans will face renewed skepticism of their ability to take back congressional seats this year," Reid Wilson writes for Real Clear Politics. "If Democrats win a seat long dominated by Republicans, it will suggest that Democrats have yet to reach their ceiling."
Don't leave out the Senate: "For Democrats hoping the November elections set off a seismic shift in Washington, the dream scenario is not just capturing the White House, but also winning a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats in the Senate -- a luxury no president has enjoyed since Jimmy Carter 30 years ago," David M. Herszenhorn writes in The New York Times. "As far-fetched as that might seem -- Democrats now control the Senate by a razor-thin 51 to 49, thanks only to two independents who vote with them -- some Democrats have started thinking aloud that such a scenario is within reach."
"clintonisbad.com." -- One of at least 25 domain names related to Hillary Clinton with "links to the Republican National Committee, per The New York Times. (The running-mate guesses: clintonbabbit.com, clintoncleland.com, clintoncohen.com, clintonkerrey.com, clintonomalley.com, clintonsalazar.com.)
"Right now, he's in a place he's very comfortable with. But I'm sure he's biting his tongue a lot." -- Former Clinton White House press secretary Mike McCurry, speaking about his former boss.
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