The Note: Base Instincts

McCain talks lobbyists with Politico's Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin -- calling them "birds of pray" who exploit a "corrupt system" and saying his White House staffers won't be permitted to return to lobbying (how does one enforce that?).

"I would not allow anyone who worked for my administration to go back to lobbying," McCain said. "They would have to make that pledge."

The DNC had a brief response video (with cool ca-ching sound effects) posted within three hours.

And does McCain really not know how many houses he owns? Umm -- yes. "I define rich in other ways besides income," McCain said.

The Sked:

Obama will hold a town hall meeting on the economy at John Tyler Community College in Chester, Virginia at 10:30 am ET. From Obama spokesman Bill Burton: "Governor Tim Kaine will join him, and they will both be introduced by Kathy Crews- Canovski, a single mother of two and social worker for the American Heart Association."

Then it's a town-hall meeting on the economy in Chesapeake, Va.

Adversary-turned-surrogate Hillary Clinton will hit the campaign trail for Obama in Florida. She will spend the morning in Orange County, meeting with officials from the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. Then it's Florida Atlantic University for a 1:30 pm ET Obama rally, and later an event with seniors in Broward County.

McCain spends some down time in Arizona.

President Bush is back on the ranch in Crawford, Texas.   Get the full political schedule in The Note's "Sneak Peek."

Also in the news:

Remember health care? The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman does. "In the daily rat-a-tat-tat between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, the silence is deafening. It was once the "it" topic of public policy that helped propel the Clintons into office, sparked open warfare among special interests, and then toppled a Democratic Congress."

The New Republic's Noam Scheiber looks at the McCain partnership that could be the most important in his rise: his joining of the Hensley clan. "At the climax of the wedding ceremony, with everyone looking on, the pastor prepared to present the new couple: 'I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. . . .' -- at which point there was an awkward pause. 'He stopped, he obviously didn't remember,' recalls David Frazer, who was then Jim Hensley's corporate lawyer. Finally, mercifully, someone from the wedding party interjected: 'John McCain.' "

"As Cindy McCain faithfully shadows her husband in his quest for the presidency, it's hard to imagine that she was once the senior member of their partnership," Scheiber writes. "But the reality behind this political creation myth is far more complex. McCain was a relative nobody when he married Cindy Hensley -- a middle-aged divorcé working a mid-level job in a far-off bureaucracy."

A much different kind of relationship, here: "Le Van Lua, the first North Vietnamese that Lieutenant Commander John McCain encountered in 1967, says he greeted the American aviator with the biggest kitchen knife he could find. He'd like to welcome McCain back as president of the United States," Bloomberg's Hans Nicholas writes. "He isn't alone. Former prisoner of war McCain has some unlikely supporters in Vietnam, a country he bombed 23 times. Like Le, many Vietnamese are cheering for the self-confessed 'air pirate,' absolving McCain-the-bomber and embracing the senator who pushed to normalize diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1995."

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