"His bubble hasn't burst, but it's leaking a little bit," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, tells the Washington Times' S.A. Miller and Stephen Dinan. "It is not massive. It is incremental, but we've seen it across the board in all of these states, that [Mr. McCain] is doing better among white voters, especially white voters without college educations."
"Whatever one might think of the [celebrity] ad' s execution, as far as the McCain campaign was concerned, it was placed at exactly the right time for exactly the . . . right purpose: To plant seeds of doubt in the summer that will grow into a full-scale assault -- turning a candidate's greatest strength into his weakness -- by the first leaves of fall," Sridhar Pappu writes for the Washington Independent.
It looks like any other campaign (who wins when that happens?): "This year's presidential campaign is shaping up as a case study in how the race for the White House has turned into a form of marketing warfare, featuring advertisements and gimmicks seeking to brand the opposing candidate with a series of indelible negative images," The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish writes.
The latest piece to bring Obama earthbound: "Records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama's Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries, raised in contributions of that size,"Michael Luo and Christopher Drew write in The New York Times.
"Behind those larger donations is a phalanx of more than 500 Obama 'bundlers,' fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more. Many of the bundlers come from industries with critical interests in Washington," they write. "Mr. Obama has worked to build a network of big-dollar supporters from the time he began contemplating a run for the United States Senate."
The Boston Globe's Sasha Issenberg looks at a post-college Obama year you almost never hear about: "Those who worked at Business International say Obama's brief account [in his memoir] contains inaccuracies or misrepresentations about the company. (Obama has acknowledged fictionalizing narrative elements in the book.) They say that while offering consulting functions to clients, Business International was far more a publishing house than a consulting firm."
Watch Republicans push this: "The Muslim-outreach coordinator to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama has resigned amid questions about his involvement in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups," Glenn R. Simpson and Amy Chozick write in The Wall Street Journal.
Money troubles on the other side (with memories of Norman Hsu): "The bundle of $2,300 and $4,600 checks that poured into Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign on March 12 came from an unlikely group of California donors: a mechanic from D&D Auto Repair in Whittier, the manager of Rite Aid Pharmacy No. 5727, the 30-something owners of the Twilight Hookah Lounge in Fullerton," Matthew Mosk writes in The Washington Post.