Obama Breaks Pledge, Rejects Public Funding Against McCain

"Obama's turn on 'The View' proved how much the would-be first lady will remain on the front lines of her husband's presidential bid," writes The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss. "She's too interesting a figure to linger in the background, an unHillaryesque mix of unapologetic femininity and headline-drawing presence."

McCain dabbles in disaster politics on Thursday -- coincidentally the same day President Bush has chosen to tour flood-damaged areas in Iowa.

The downside: "The debate about whether Senator John McCain is "McBush'' continues, but on Thursday one thing will be clear: The presumptive Republican nominee and President Bush will be in Iowa touring areas hard hit by floods," Elisabeth Bumiller writes in The New York Times.

Said McCain adviser Charlie Black: "We're not going within 30 miles of the city he's in."

But McCain and Bush are teammates in this new energy push: "Republicans positioned themselves for an election-year battle with Democrats on the issue of high gasoline prices as President Bush lined up with John McCain to push for oil drilling off the U.S. coast and in other environmentally sensitive areas, such as oil-shale regions in the U.S. West," John D. McKinnon and Stephen Power report in The Wall Street Journal.

Should we feel bad for McCain here? "Poor McCain has been trying desperately to convince the public that there's a vast, vast gulf between him and the current administration," Gail Collins writes in her New York Times column. "It's been tougher than he expected."

Could another move be next? From the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader: "For years, McCain has opposed drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Refuge Area (ANWR). But during today's town hall meeting, McCain said he'd be willing to reconsider that stance. 'I would be more than happy to examine it again,' McCain said."

"In a move that was carefully coordinated among the White House, Sen. McCain's presidential campaign and leading Republican lawmakers, the president sharply criticized the Democrat-run Congress for blocking the administration's past proposals to boost domestic oil production," they write.

Plus, the nuclear option: "Sen. John McCain proposed Wednesday to dramatically increase America's commitment to nuclear power, calling for a crash program to build 45 reactors by 2030 and a long-term goal of building 100 such plants across the country," Bob Drogin reports in the Los Angeles Times.

The Sked:

McCain is in Iowa to tour flood damage on Thursday, as is President Bush.

McCain caps his evening with a fundraiser in Minneapolis and a town-hall meeting in St. Paul, Minn.

Obama meets with labor leaders in Washington Thursday morning, and also spends time with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and members of the Women's Caucus before heading home to Chicago.

Obama "met here last night with dozens of union leaders in an effort to mobilize their support for the general election as lingering rifts from a hard-fought primary campaign as well as broader tensions among major unions threaten to undermine organized labor's efforts on his behalf," The Washington Post's Alec MacGillis reports.

Part of what must be overcome: "AFSCME's president, Gerald W. McEntee, criticized Obama until the end of the primaries, declaring in late May that Obama was a weak candidate who 'will literally walk almost lame into the Democratic National Convention' and who 'has a problem with the blue-collar worker and relating to that worker.' "

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