Obama Breaks Pledge, Rejects Public Funding Against McCain

The Los Angeles Times' Don Frederick picks up on the panning Gov. Charlie Crist, R-Fla., got at a fundraising dinner last week in Orange County, Calif. In his appearance, Crist said that Ronald Reagan "came from right here in Orange County." (He must have had him confused with Nixon.) And note to staff: Not all Republicans love California's Republican governor.

Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., weighs in on what might make a good vice president, then leaves the rest to our imagination: "We've ignored the Southwest. . . . We've ignored the Southwest Hispanic vote," he said Wednesday in New York, per The Washington Post's Keith B. Richburg. "If John Kerry had won New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado -- states he lost by two or three percent -- he'd be president today."

More buzz for Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.: "He could become what Democrats have long needed: the soldiers' candidate," Dan Payne writes in a Boston Globe op-ed. "Webb on Webb: 'It's pretty safe to say that I am the only person in the history of Virginia to be elected to statewide office with a union card, two Purple Hearts, and three tattoos.' White guys like talk like that."

Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson likes the sound of "Vice President Al Gore." "The most important reason Gore should be vice president is that he's suffered and learned. He has the temperament some of us reach on our death beds. He could have fought on, but found honor in retreat," Carlson writes.

The New Republic's Ben Wasserstein talks up (and down) Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-N.Y. -- for both tickets. "It's easy to see why Bloomberg -- or the idea of Bloomberg--is so appealing to both presumptive nominees. McCain and Obama both believe that the brand of politics Bloomberg has come to represent--intelligent, technocratic, results-oriented, bipartisan, or, variously, post-partisan--is their own," Wasserstein writes. "Politically, Bloomberg represents Obama and McCain as they see themselves. He would be, in short, the ultimate vanity veep -- and part of that vanity would come in ignoring just how bad a choice he would be."

Also making news:

Compromise, at last, on war funding: The House vote is set for Thursday. "President Bush would win $162 billion in long-overdue funding to carry out military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year under a bipartisan agreement sealed on Capitol Hill on Wednesday," the AP's Andrew Taylor reports. "The agreement reached between House Democrats and Republicans and the White House -- if passed into law as expected -- would finally put to rest Bush's long-standing battles with congressional Democrats over war funding."

"The bill, which could be voted on as early as Thursday in the House, would effectively bring to a close the two-year battle between President Bush and Congressional Democrats over war financing by allocating about $163 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through early next year without imposing conditions like a withdrawal deadline," Carl Hulse writes in The New York Times.

Karl Rove has tough words for both candidates on the economy: "Barack Obama and John McCain are busy demonstrating that in close elections during tough economic times, candidates for president can be economically illiterate and irresponsibly populist," he writes in his Wall Street Journal column. "Messrs. Obama and McCain both reveal a disturbing animus toward free markets and success."

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