The Note: Lipstick on a Campaign

That means Obama is ahead in two of the Big Three. But in Pennsylvania, said ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America," "That's a little closer than Barack Obama might like."

Four new state-level polls from CNN/Opinion Research Corp. out late Wednesday:

Michigan: Obama 49-45

Missouri: McCain 50-45

New Hampshire: Obama 51-45

Virginia: McCain 50-46

"The polls found that Obama has problems attracting white voters. In Missouri, Virginia and Michigan he loses that segment, by 14 percentage points in Michigan and 20 points in Missouri," per Time magazine.

Welcome home, governor: "Gov. Sarah Palin, named almost two weeks ago as Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, flew into Fairbanks on Wednesday night in her campaign jet and told a crowd of about 3,000 that she's spreading an Alaska message of oil drilling and reform on the trail," Sean Cockerham writes in the Anchorage Daily News.

She's a rock star there, too: "People began waiting in line to get into the event six hours before Palin was to speak. Some brought collapsible chairs for the wait, then jog-ran into the hangar in pursuit of a good spot in front of the stage when the Secret Service finally let them in three hours before showtime," Cockerham writes.

"Little girls wore rubber lips -- and this sign: 'Read My Lipstick,' " ABC's Kate Snow reported on "Good Morning America" Thursday. "All because of one comment."

Down in the lower 48, not all surrogate work is helpful: South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Carol Fowler tells Politico's Jonathan Martin that Palin's "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion."

Fowler apologized, but the McCain campaign sees rank sexism. "You can go back to the remark that Sen. Obama made to a reporter back during the primary, claiming she was referred to as 'sweetie,' " said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., per ABC's Teddy Davis, Bret Hovell, and Arnab Datta. "And then, moving forward, he passed over Sen. Clinton, and many feel like he also passed over Gov. Sebelius, both as running mates, and then the lipstick comment that he made yesterday."

Also not helpful: "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate a governor," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., per ABC's Jake Tapper.

Harsher pushback from Obamaland: "I wonder where [Jane Swift's] outrage was when John McCain said he was going to beat Hillary Clinton like a drum," Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said on MSNBC. "Or participated in an event where one of his participants called Hillary Clinton a bitch. Those are direct comments targeted at somebody's gender."

But here's guessing Sen. Joe Biden didn't make Obama's task any easier:

Biden didn't make it better: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me," Biden said Wednesday, per ABC's Matthew Jaffe.

The New York Daily News: "Hey, Barack, now even your running mate thinks Hillary Clinton may have been a better choice for veep."

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