"Mr. Obama may be overreaching by running ads in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, Montana, Alaska and North Dakota -- states Republicans won by comfortable margins in recent years," Rove writes. "Money may be the mother's milk of politics, in Jesse Unruh's famous phrase, but when running for president, money alone can't buy a candidate love."
Is Obama making himself vulnerable? "The mark of a good politician is that he can realign his post-nomination stance in a way that goes largely unnoticed," Steven Stark writes for the Boston Phoenix. "In contrast, Obama so far seems to be publicizing his flexibility, which is the kind of mistake inexperienced candidates often make."
Then there's Iraq -- where the GOP pressure is on, and the surrogates aren't precisely on message. "Barack Obama has never said this is written in stone," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., per the Kansas City Star's Dave Helling.
Counterpoint: Democratic strategist Dan Payne rounds up the McCain shifts, in his Boston Globe column: "While the 2008 John McCain literally embraced W and courted the Religious Right, many in the news media believe he's secretly the 2000 McCain, who campaigned against W and the Religious Right."
Obama campaigns Thursday in Fargo, N.D. -- surely a city that wasn't expecting a Democratic candidate in the general election. Per the campaign: "He will discuss his commitment to giving our veterans and military families the care, support, and benefits that they have earned. He will discuss his record on the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee, and what he'll do for veterans as President."
As values week continued Wednesday . . . "The senator from Illinois laid out his plans for an expanded national service program, though little in it was new," Peter Nicholas writes in the Los Angeles Times. "As much as anything, his visit to this battleground state was to show that his values are largely mainstream -- a message he hopes will sink in among voters who may find him an unfamiliar figure out of touch with everyday concerns."
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman: "Throughout the week, Obama has been striving to win over voters in Republican areas, defending his patriotism in Independence, Mo., on Monday; pledging to expand federal assistance to religious social service groups in rural Ohio on Tuesday; and preaching service in central Colorado on Wednesday. He will speak about veterans in Fargo, N.D., on Thursday, then will highlight the theme of family on Friday as he celebrates Independence Day in Butte, Mont., with his wife and two daughters."
Is this part of the price? "Barack Obama is facing a rebellion from the liberal blogosphere that helped him lock up the Democratic presidential nomination," Kathy Kiely and Martha T. Moore write for USA Today. His moves to "centrist positions may help woo swing voters, but they infuriated some of Obama's core supporters. Nearly 12,000 of them have formed an online group on Obama's presidential campaign website, urging him to vote against the domestic wiretapping bill."
McCain wraps up his foreign visit in Mexico on Thursday, meeting with President Felipe Calderon before heading back to Arizona for the holiday.
AP's Beth Fouhy: "McCain has said he planned to seek Calderon's help in addressing illegal immigration, a key issue for Hispanic and many conservative voters. The Arizona senator has called for increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border."