More talk-radio fodder: "The Obama campaign said it was a mistake for an outreach coordinator to join a meeting last month attended by leaders of two controversial Muslim groups as it seeks votes from large Muslim populations in swing states," Susan Schmidt writes in The Wall Street Journal. "Minha Husaini, newly named as head of the campaign's outreach coordinator to Muslims, attended a discussion session Sept. 15 with about 30 Muslim leaders and community members in suburban Washington, the Obama campaign confirmed. Participants included leaders of the Council of American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, which have been cited by the government in the past for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas."
The turns people take: "With the economy in crisis and Election Day in sight, Obama can't say enough about the Clinton epoch -- the job growth, the budget surpluses, the broad prosperity -- and often lauds the former president's economic stewardship as a model," Scott Helman writes in The Boston Globe. "Obama's characterization of Clinton's presidency is markedly different than the one he offered during the Democratic primaries, when he was running against Clinton's wife, Senator Hillary Clinton."
"Taking a page from Bill Clinton's 1992 playbook, fellow Democrat Barack Obama used the first day of a two-day Ohio campaign swing to highlight his plans to solve the current financial mess," William Hershey writes in the Dayton Daily News.
Big choice for Obama? "Does he begin now to prepare the electorate for tough times, or does he continue to maintain a politically contrived optimism on the assumption that he can shift gears after election day," Huffington Post's Tom Edsall writes.
Hard to win like this: "Despite championing immigration reform in 2007, John McCain is poised to lose the Hispanic vote by a landslide margin that is well below President George W. Bush's 2004 performance," Politico's Ben Smith reports.
Good luck tracking: "Spending by independent political groups in congressional races is surging in the final weeks before Election Day, in some cases surpassing what candidates themselves are pumping into close contests," USA Today's Fredreka Schouten writes. "Since Sept. 1, nine groups have spent more than $1 million each in House and Senate races, including $11.3 million by an organization bankrolled by drug companies that is running ads featuring 26 members of Congress from both major parties."
Daily sign that the end is near: "President Bush created a special council yesterday to guide the transition to a new administration, another step toward the end of Bush's eight tumultuous years in office," Dan Eggen writes in The Washington Post.
Barack Obama finishes off his two-day bus tour in Ohio with rallies in Chillicothe at 9:40 am ET and Columbus at 1:20 pm ET. He then heads to Philadelphia for an evening fundraiser.
Joe Biden begins his Friday with a rally in Springfield, Mo. at 12:30 pm ET then heads to Chicago for a fundraiser -- where he'll appear with Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
John McCain holds a rally in La Crosse, Wis., at 11 am ET, followed by a second rally in Lakeville, Minn. at 5 pm ET.