Bold-faced name alert: "A string of celebrities from the entertainment world are helping Obama raise campaign money in August and September: Bruce Hornsby, Luciana and Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Star Jones, Kal Penn, Mira Nair, Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers and Scarlett Johansson. Leon Fleisher, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman will perform at an Obama fund-raiser in Phoenix next month," Sweet reports.
Whose vacation is it again? "There has always been a fine line in politics between fame and success," Peter Nicholas writes for the Los Angeles Times. "According to the latest poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, nearly half of those surveyed said they are tired of hearing about Obama; about one-quarter said the same about McCain."
"Obamamania may be filling Barack Obama's campaign coffers and making him a global celebrity, but Americans are getting tired of hearing so much about him," Charles Hurt writes in the New York Post.
How conventional can we get? "In a presidential campaign billed as 'the maverick vs. the outsider,' this was supposed to be a different sort of election," John McCormick writes in the Chicago Tribune. "So far, however, the nastiness is just as intense as in previous contests, with tire gauges, pop stars and some choice adjectives being tossed about in recent days."
David Broder remains optimistic: "The first question I asked John McCain and then Barack Obama was: How do you feel about the tone and direction of the campaign so far?" Broder writes in his column. "No surprise. Both men pronounced themselves thoroughly frustrated by the personal bitterness and negativism they have seen in the two months since they learned they would be running against each other."
It's not just Democrats who are worried about their candidate. More advice from Karl Rove, in his Wall Street Journal column: "Mr. McCain must also make a compelling case for electing John McCain. Voters trust him on terrorism and Iraq and they see him as a patriot who puts country first. But they want to know for what purpose?"
Rove continues: "Mr. Obama has the easier path to victory: reassure a restive electorate that he's up to the job. Mr. McCain must both educate voters to his opponent's weaknesses and persuade them that he has a vision for the coming four years. This will require a disciplined, focused effort. Mr. McCain has gotten this far fighting an unscripted guerrilla campaign. But it won't get him all the way to the White House."
(But Rove likes the tire-gauge gag: "What is the president of the United States going to do, send out the tire police to make certain we all have inflated our tires to the proper level?" Rove said on Fox News Wednesday.)
McCain Thursday tries to get control of a damaging Ohio storyline: "Republican presidential candidate John McCain is taking up the issue of possible job losses due to the closure of a DHL shipping site in Ohio, the result of a corporate merger aided by his campaign manager during his work as a lobbyist," per the AP's Beth Fouhy. "McCain on Thursday was to discuss DHL's plans with local officials and others affected by the potential job losses."