The Note: The Big Shift

McCain and Palin double-byline a take on Fannie and Freddie, in The Wall Street Journal: "The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another outrageous, but sadly necessary, step for these two institutions. Given the long-term mismanagement and flawed structure of these two companies, this was the only short-term alternative for ensuring that hard-working Americans have access to affordable mortgages during this difficult economic period. We are strong advocates for the permanent reform of Fannie and Freddie," they write.

A Palin flub? From Saturday: "The fact is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers," she said. ABC's Jake Tapper points out: "They're private entities" -- though they are, ultimately, backed by the federal treasury.

An Obama gaffe? The Boston Globe's Scott Helman sees Obama as a Tom Toles fan. Said Obama, in mocking McCain-Palin: "Except for economic policies, and tax policies, and energy policies, and health care policies, and education policies, and Karl Rove-style politics -- except for all that, we're really going to bring change to Washington! We're really going to shake things up!"

Wrote Toles, in his Washington Post cartoon Friday: "Watch out, Mr. Bush! With the exception of economic policy and energy policy and social issues and tax policy and foreign policy and Supreme Court appointments and Rove-style politics, we're coming in there to shake things up!"

A different kind of gap is emerging -- one Obama hasn't known the bite of yet: "A new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama's fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign's decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it," Michael Luo and Jeff Zeleny write in The New York Times. "The signs of concern have become evident in recent weeks as early fund-raising totals have suggested that Mr. Obama's decision to bypass public financing may not necessarily afford him the commanding financing advantage over Senator John McCain that many had originally predicted."

"The campaign is struggling to meet ambitious fund-raising goals it set for the campaign and the party," they write. "It collected in June and July far less from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's donors than originally projected. Moreover, Mr. McCain, unlike Mr. Obama, will have the luxury of concentrating almost entirely on campaigning instead of raising money, as Mr. Obama must do."

McCain is getting federal funds for his campaign -- but still raising money for the RNC. The haul topped $4 million, in Obama's hometown Monday. "Sen. Obama has never once stood up to his party. You know that very well in the state of Illinois," McCain said, per the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson.

A new disclosure Tuesday to scuff Palin's image (assuming it's scuffable with the folks who see her as superhero): "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a 'per diem' allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business," James V. Grimaldi and Karl Vick write in The Washington Post.

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