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A senior McCain adviser vowed Tuesday to keep Barack Obama's controversial depiction of small-town Americans alive through November.

"This is an important and defining moment in the race because it opened up a window into how Barack Obama feels about the people in this country and it will be an issue that continues to be spoken about, certainly by the McCain campaign, for the duration of Sen. Obama's candidacy," said McCain adviser Steve Schmidt on a conference call with reporters.

"All elections, at the end of the day," he added, "are [about] 'what does the American president believe about the American people?'."

"And, I think," he continued, "that many people in this country were rightly and justifiably offended by Sen. Obama's very condescending and elitist viewpoint towards them, towards their culture, towards their values, towards their lifestyles."

Although Schmidt is already gunning for Obama, Hillary Clinton is far from throwing in the towel and she gets a prime opportunity to confront the Democratic frontrunner at Wednesday's ABC News debate which will be moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos.

The Philadelphia debate, which airs from 8:00 -- 10:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network, is taking place at the National Constitution Center.

It is the first Democratic debate since Obama and Clinton faced off in Cleveland on Feb. 26.

Bush Goes Gore?

Not quite, but ABC's Jonathan Karl reports that President Bush will use a Wednesday Rose Garden speech to announce what a senior White House official calls an "aggressive and ambitious but also realistic" way of dealing with the problem of global warming.

The Bush Administration has long resisted federal limits on green house gas emissions but the president is making Wednesday's announcement, according to Karl's reporting, to pre-empt Democratic proposals for more far-reaching efforts to limit green house gases.

During the first week of June, the Senate is scheduled to debate several Democratic bills, all of which are opposed by the White House.

"Still," according to Karl, "the move is likely to be criticized by conservatives, who have been urging the President not set specific goals."

The kicker:

"I think we got consensus here among the traveling press that nobody understood anything of what was just said" (laughter).

--Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan on the McCain campaign's efforts to explain the cost of its tax proposals

On the campaign front. . .

BARACK OBAMA

-- 8:00 pm ET: Participates in the ABC Philadelphia Democratic Primary Debate, Philadelphia, PA

MICHELLE OBAMA

-- 10:30 am ET: Attends event with voters, Evansville, IN

-- 3:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Indianapolis, IN

-- 6:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Anderson, IN

HILLARY CLINTON

-- 9:45 am ET: Delivers remarks to Building Trades National Legislative Conference, Washington, DC

-- 8:00 pm ET: Participates in the ABC Philadelphia Democratic Primary Debate, Philadelphia, PA

BILL CLINTON

-- 9:15 am ET: Attends event with voters, Indiana, PA

-- 11:00 am ET: Attends event with voters, Kittanning, PA

-- 1:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Clarion, PA

-- 3:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, New Castle, PA

-- 5:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Cranberry Township, PA

As for the Republicans. . .

JOHN MCCAIN

-- 10:00 am ET: Attends economic summit with business and academic leaders, South Milwaukee, WI (closed to public)

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