The Note: Solidarity Salsa

Get the full political schedule in The Note's "Sneak Peek."

Elsewhere on the Trail:

Charlie Black's Kinsleyian line gets another turn through the grinder -- but what if (as most seem to agree) he's most likely right?

"On some level Mr. Black's assertion was the logical extension -- if inartfully expressed -- of the McCain campaign's premise that Mr. McCain is better suited than Senator Barack Obama to keep the nation safe from terror," Michael Cooper writes in The New York Times.

"Making that case, of course, can be a balancing act, the challenge being how to position Mr. McCain as the candidate who will keep Americans safe without seeming to be exploiting their fears. The Obama campaign struck back hard, questioning why Republicans who favored invading Iraq were presumed to have expertise in fighting terrorism, and labeling Mr. Black's remark as part of a 'cynical and divisive brand of politics.' "

It IS the strategy, after all: "One of Sen. John McCain's main strategies for overcoming the deficit he and his party face in opinion polls is to make the election about national security and terrorism," Elizabeth Holmes writes in The Wall Street Journal."That approach helped the Republican presidential candidate emerge victorious from the primary field, and the topic remains the top issue on which he bests his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama. Even so, Sen. McCain risks accusations from Democrats that he is following the Bush administration by playing into the politics of fear."

"Behind their protests lay a question that has dogged Democrats since Sept. 11, 2001: Was Black speaking the truth?" Jonathan Weisman writes in The Washington Post. "Radio host Rush Limbaugh said aloud what other Republicans have been saying privately for months. Black's comments were 'obvious,' Limbaugh said yesterday on his program as he criticized McCain for distancing himself from them."

Obama may get his chance to make a strong statement on this theme this week, with the FISA bill (and enrage liberal groups in the process: "He has also begun a shift to the political center, saying he would support a compromise bill to authorize warrantless wiretapping of terrorist suspects over the strenuous protests of civil libertarians and party liberals. The Senate will vote to break a Democratic filibuster of the measure today," Weisman reports.

Cue the calls for Black's head: "Regret wasn't enough for some, including an umbrella union group with some 6 million members, Change to Win, that has backed Obama and called on McCain to fire Black," David Saltonstall writes in the New York Daily News. "The memory of our workers and all Americans who died on 9/11 demands it," the organization said in a statement.

Obama is taking on the challenge offered by Dr. James Dobson. Responding to Dobson's line accusing him of endorsing a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution," Obama told ABC's Jake Tapper and Jennifer Duck: "I have no idea what he's referring to. Anybody who's read that speech will tell you that I extol the need for people with religious faith to express their views in the public square, and I don't interpret the Bible in the ways he's referring to."

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