Pressing his advantage: In a Detroit Free Press editorial board meeting, Obama "left open the possibility that he would name his treasury secretary before the Nov. 4 election, acknowledging the greatly expanded powers of the job should Congress approve a financial bailout plan that gives the federal government sweeping power over financial markets," per the Free Press' Chris Christoff. "He said there are three or four people he'd consider, though he wouldn't name them."
Add to that, Florida: "Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state," Alex Leary, Jennifer Liberto and Steve Bousquet report in the St. Petersburg Times. "The polls come amid a cascade of bad news about the economy, an issue that McCain has struggled with in recent days.
More on the pile: "Another trend is favoring Sen. Obama as well heading into the campaign's final month, with voter-registration rolls in eight competitive states showing a bigger jump in new Democrats than Republicans. Iowa and Nevada -- two states won by President George W. Bush in 2004 -- have reversed longstanding trends and now have more registered Democrats than Republicans," The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler and Nick Timiraos write.
Does one electoral vote make up for it all? "Much of McCain's gain appears to derive from a renewed appeal in Maine's Second, the largest district east of the Mississippi River, sprawling through the state's rural north and east. Maine consultants describe the differences between the electorates in their two districts in lifestyle terms: the southern, liberal First is hiking and kayaking, the Second is hunting and fishing," Sasha Issenberg reports in The Boston Globe.
Out of the wreckage: "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) now must win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency, his campaign says," per Politico's Mike Allen. "McCain has very limited ways to win, with no room for error. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) still has many routes to the White House and so can afford to campaign on a much broader playing field."
In the real world (such as it is) -- do we get to move on now? Look for an early afternoon vote in the House on the bailout package (or whatever we're supposed to call it these days).
"House Democrats said late Thursday night that they would bring the $700 billion economic bailout package to the floor for a vote on Friday, signaling confidence that they had enough support to pass the bill," David M. Herszenhorn and Robert Pear report in The New York Times.
It could be interesting yet: "At least five members who had opposed the original plan said they would now support it, leaving backers just seven short of a majority," David R. Sands and Kara Rowland write for the Washington Times. "An even larger bloc of more than a dozen lawmakers who voted 'no' on Monday said they were prepared to switch if the initial payout under the plan was sharply cut and if pork spending projects added by the Senate Wednesday night were stripped from the bill."
Look who's putting himself on the line (again): "Sen. John McCain is 'guardedly confident' that the U.S. House of Representatives will pass the $700 billion economic bailout package today, noting that even though arm-twisting isn't his brand of politics, he's been working the phones," per Allison Sherry of The Denver Post.