The Note: Base Instincts

But absolutely, positively, definitely no trip to Indiana on Saturday, for whatever that means (nothing): "The Obama campaign offered a rare, concrete piece of information about the vice presidential process on Wednesday, declaring that Sen. Barack Obama is not -- repeat not -- going to Indiana on Saturday," The Washington Post's Anne Kornblut writes. "A web site in Tennessee, nashvillepost.com, had reported that he would make such a trip, citing sources in Denver."

The veepstakes is everywhere: "Obama and his top aides stayed mum on the vice-presidential pick even as the candidate made plans to spend today campaigning with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, an early supporter who has climbed to the top of Obama's short list," Geoff Earle writes in the New York Post.

With McCain's break starting, Obama has the field to himself for a little while. "As Democrats await the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's choice of a running mate, Obama tried to keep the focus on his Republican rival as he campaigned through the rural South," Kathy Kiely writes in USA Today.

Obama is the only one not obsessed with who he's picking: "While the world's collective consciousness is focused on Obama's vice presidential pick, the Illinois senator seems more focused on his White House rival -- taking a sharper tone since returning from a Hawaiian vacation last week," ABC's Jake Tapper reports.

The money rundown, per the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn: "After tightening his expenditures in June, Barack Obama spent far more freely in July, cutting into his cash reserves. . . The Illinois Democrat raised more than $50 million in July, a slight dip from the previous month, according to his monthly financial report, filed around midnight Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. He spent about $55 million, with three-fifths of that devoted to media costs. McCain had his best fundraising month yet, collecting more than $26 million. He, too, spent heavily -- a total of $32 million, of which two-thirds was on advertising."

As for Hillary: "Hillary Clinton whittled down her presidential campaign debt by $1.3 million in July, and presumptive nominee Barack Obama chipped in to help," Dan Morain writes in the Los Angeles Times.

Obama deals in Ralph Reed: "A newly aggressive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is set to release a new TV ad in Georgia tomorrow, drawing a connection between Republican John McCain's decision not to call Ralph Reed before a Senate panel — and Reed's involvement in an Atlanta fund-raiser for McCain this week," per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The ad will run only in Atlanta, beginning Thursday."

It's "part of the Obama campaign's swing-state-targeted negative TV ad campaign," Tapper writes.

Reed talks about his support for McCain with Beliefnet.com's Dan Gilgoff: "There are a lot of people who have talked to pro-life talk. John and Cindy have walked it."

And this on organizing efforts among religious voters (which he says will never match Bush-Cheney '04): "The McCain does need to do more to organize social conservatives in the battleground states, but I understand those [efforts] are underway, and I think they will get more muscular in the weeks to come. . . . Obama is running the most aggressive outreach to evangelical voters for a Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter in 1976. But it is not yielding much fruit at all."

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