Clinton was in Florida Wednesday to talk delegates; Obama was there to talk John McCain. "Obama focused on McCain rather than Clinton and intraparty squabbles," Nicholas Riccardi writes in the Los Angeles Times. "Before a crowd of about 15,000 in Tampa, Obama criticized McCain over the role of lobbyists in the Republican's campaign after several staff members were cut because of their lobbying ties."
On the kick-off event in Tampa, per ABC's Sunlen Miller: "In a speech that lasted seven minutes, Obama praised his party rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for an 'admirable campaign,' quickly changing focus to the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, targeting him on foreign policy and lobbying."
The day's events in Florida are "evidence that the two rivals are operating on separate calendars based on their divergent positions in the nominating race," Sasha Issenberg writes in The Boston Globe.
"Neither candidate came to grovel," The Miami Herald reports. "Obama, closing in on the nomination, aimed to jump-start his long-dormant campaign in the nation's largest swing state with a three-day tour. Clinton, trying to stay afloat for three more contests, swooped in for a quick booster shot of cash and righteous indignation over her uncounted votes in Florida."
"Though the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination continues, Obama spoke as if he were already the winner," per the St. Petersburg Times.
It's a tough state for Obama: "To succeed, he will need to put together a field organization of his own, in a state that hasn't had a Democratic ground operation of any note in a decade or longer," Christopher Cooper writes in The Wall Street Journal. "Moreover, the Illinois senator will need to overcome the resentment of some party leaders and voters who look at him as an obstacle to seating their convention delegation."
With Obama visiting a synagogue Thursday, the Jews are not convinced -- somewhere between Jeremiah Wright, old comments on Palestinians, and scurrilous e-mails, there's a perception of a potential threat.
"In recent presidential elections, Jews have drifted somewhat to the right," Jodi Kantor writes in The New York Times (worth reading simply as a catalog of innuendo). "Because Mr. Obama is relatively new on the national stage, his résumé of Senate votes in support of Israel is short, as is his list of high-profile visits to synagogues and delis. So far, his overtures to Jews have been limited; aside from a few speeches and interviews, he has left most of it to surrogates."
Obama "will discuss Middle East issues at a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida, to defuse the criticism, which his campaign said ignores a consistent pro-Israel record," per Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla and Julianna Goldman.
The GOP knows this is a problem for him: "The Republican Jewish Coalition purchased newspaper ads in three southern Florida cities for the same day the likely Democratic presidential nominee will address the B'nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Fla.," Eli Lake reports in The New York Sun. The latest debate between Obama and McCain over meetings with leaders of rogue nations continues to be problematic for Obama -- and not just in Florida.