Here's the whiff you're looking for (but it's not a very strong one): "The bottom line is, this was a business proposition for us," Northern Trust Vice President John O'Connell said. "Our business model is to service and pursue successful individuals, families and institutions."
And a new poll argues for the close race, not the early landslide: It's Obama 50, McCain 45 among registered voters -- "a statistical dead heat in the race for the White House," per CNN.
McCain, R-Ariz., took his new plane south of the border -- but he squeezed in some Clark digs and some trade comments before landing. "He called Mr. Obama 'a protectionist' and cast him as ignorant about economic forces in the United States," Elisabeth Bumiller and Simon Romero write in The New York Times.
In Cartagena: "In a 20-hour visit, Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is seeking to use the city as a photogenic backdrop to score political points against Mr. Obama and to promote his foreign policy and national security credentials," Bumiller and Romero report.
"The visit to Colombia and then Mexico Wednesday was meant to send images back home of the Republican presidential candidate comfortable engaged in critical issues on the world stage," Laura Meckler writes in The Wall Street Journal. "He was also highlighting his support for the pending free-trade agreement with Colombia, which he says is needed to support a vital partner in the region."
This remains about optics more than optimal use of campaign time: The foreign trip's "value has been questioned by campaign strategists in both parties," Juliet Eilperin and Michael Shear write in The Washington Post. "His insistence on the virtues of free trade remain suspect in Rust Belt swing states, and his position on immigration continues to make many conservatives wary."
They continue: "That raises a difficult question for his campaign: Can a presidential candidate really win by 'expanding the map' to Mexico, Colombia, Canada and Europe?"
And by not seeming to focus the American economy? McCain wants you to know he knows his stuff -- and that he's ready to fight the drug war (?). "I know Americans are hurting very badly right now," he told ABC's Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "I'm very strong on the economy. I understand it. I have a lot more experience than my opponent."
Also following McCain to Colombia -- and the DNC is going bananas (sorry) with this one: "The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States," Nico Pitney writes for Huffington Post. "Carl H. Lindner Jr., the billionaire Cincinnati businessman, was CEO of Chiquita Brands International from 1984 to 2001, and remained on the company's board of directors until May 2002."
You've heard this before, and will hear this again: "Top GOP officials, frustrated by what they view as inconsistent messaging, sluggish fundraising and an organization that is too slow to take shape, are growing increasingly uneasy about the direction of the McCain presidential campaign," Politico's David Paul Kuhn reports.