"No single state is more important to Barack Obama's prospects than Ohio," ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" Friday. "By saturating the state over the next five days, he wants to lock in that lead."
What might resonate there? "Everywhere he went -- from Cincinnati to Dayton to Portsmouth -- he slammed his opponent, Republican John McCain, for turning away from talking about the struggling economy and turning instead to personal attacks on Obama and his running mate," Howard Wilkinson writes for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Obama is finding a new way to take it to McCain: "Barack Obama described John McCain as risky, erratic, and uncertain, and that was all just in his first event of the day," ABC's John Berman, Sunlen Miller and Ursula Fahy report. "If you had a nickel for every time an Obama aide used the word 'erratic,' you might be able to afford to attend one of the senator's big ticket fundraisers."
"On a day when some conservatives also critiqued McCain's proposal, Obama used the 'risky idea' as a way to describe McCain as a desperate candidate 'lurching' from idea to idea as he tries to find an answer to the economic crisis that has roiled the presidential campaign," The Washington Post's Robert Barnes and Michael D. Shear write. And: "On Thursday, the stock market lost nearly 700 points and dropped below 9,000 for the first time in five years. Neither McCain or Palin mentioned the stock market on the campaign trail, and their campaign did not release a comment on it."
"Obama sought to use McCain's newest economic proposal -- a mortgage bailout plan he announced in Tuesday's debate -- to suggest in his sharpest language yet that McCain is unfit to be president," Michael Finnegan and Peter Nicholas write in the Los Angeles Times.
"Just the latest in a series of shifting positions," said Obama. "This is the kind of erratic behavior we've been seeing out of Sen. McCain."
McClatchy's Margaret Talev and William Douglas: "If McCain hopes his uncharacteristically big-government proposal will hold populist appeal for millions of struggling homeowners in the closing weeks of the campaign, Obama is betting that he can turn that strategy upside down by presenting it as evidence that McCain, a longtime advocate of deregulation, is more interested in helping the lending industry than homeowners."
McCain's admission that his plan may require new money -- on top of the $700 billion bailout -- brings a new opening to Obama. "John McCain's risky bailout scheme just keeps getting worse," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan tells ABC's Teddy Davis and Arnab Datta.
Guess who else isn't thrilled? "The notion leaves conservatives cold," Fortune's Nina Easton writes. "That kind of ideological impurity is one reason McCain has such an iffy relationship with his party's conservative wing."
It might not be strictly legal, either. The key provision from the new TARP law, per The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: to head off "unjust enrichment," the law "prevent[s] the sale of a troubled asset to the Secretary at a higher price than what the seller paid to purchase the asset."
And will voters listen? "The candidates maneuvered as a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll showed that viewers of the second presidential debate have more confidence that Obama can handle the economy. By a more than a 2-to-1 margin, however, debate viewers have less confidence that McCain can deal with the nation's economic problems," USA Today's David Jackson writes.