"Republican John McCain called Thursday for a federal investigation into plans by the DHL shipping company that could cost 10,000 jobs here, as he and his campaign manager took criticism for helping DHL complete a key corporate merger in 2003," the AP's Beth Fouhy reports.
"The politically sensitive case has embarrassed McCain, who has railed against the role of special interest groups in Washington, and it threatens to undermine his efforts to capture this crucial state in November," the Los Angeles Times' Bob Drogin writes. "In news releases, conference calls and local street protests, Democrats and union groups have blamed McCain and Davis for backing the original deal, and accused McCain of ignoring the workers' plight."
A key test for McCain? "I can't assure you that this train wreck isn't going to happen but I will do everything in my power to see that we avert it," said McCain in a meeting with Wilmington, Ohio, business owners, local officials, and community organizers, per Politico's Lisa Lerer.
At what price? "Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Thursday jumped onto a populist, anticorporate bandwagon, appearing before workers expected to lose their jobs in the planned shutdown of a large DHL air cargo hub here, and promising to use government powers in an effort to prevent the loss-plagued company from slashing jobs," Alex Roth and Elizabeth Holmes write in The Wall Street Journal.
How does this square with the new McCain economic message? "People are tired of big corporations, lobbyist and special interests who they feel prosper at their expense," reads the memo from McCain aide Taylor Griffin, as obtained by Huffington Post. "People must understand that John McCain is not only thinking of their future, but their children's futures as well."
A new strategy in the 527 wars: "Nearly 10,000 of the biggest donors to Republican candidates and causes across the country will probably receive a foreboding "warning" letter in the mail next week," Michael Luo reports in The New York Times. "The letter is an opening shot across the bow from an unusual new outside political group on the left that is poised to engage in hardball tactics to prevent similar groups on the right from getting off the ground this fall."
"Led by Tom Matzzie, a liberal political operative who has been involved with some prominent left-wing efforts in recent years, the newly formed nonprofit group, Accountable America, is planning to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions," Luo writes.
But who, exactly, is the candidate of big oil? Citing Center for Responsive Politics data, ABC's Jake Tapper reports: "McCain has received three times more money from the oil industry in general -- $1.3 million for McCain compared to approximately $394,000 for Obama. But that said, Obama has received more campaign cash than McCain has from the employees of some of the biggest oil companies -- Exxon, Chevron and BP."
"Maybe Barack Obama is wrong in insisting that John McCain is the darling of Big Oil. Maybe it's really Obama," McClatchy's David Lightman writes.