McCain Vs. Obama: New Electoral Map Emerges

Karl writes, "Mrs. Bush has made support for Afghanistan's women -- who endured brutal repression under the Taliban regime -- one of her signature issues. This is her third trip here, the second traveling alone, without the president. Previously, no first lady had ever stepped foot in Afghanistan. The first lady's trip to Bamiyan Province is rich in symbolism. Dirt poor and remote, Bamiyan became a symbol of the Taliban's backwardness and senseless brutality when two enormous Buddhist statues were blown up in March 2001 by Taliban militiamen. They were destroyed under an edict to remove the 'gods of the infidels.' The statues had stood for more than 1,500 years and were considered among the world's greatest ancient cultural treasures."

On the significance of the statues' destruction, Bush said, "I see it as a symbol of what the Taliban did and what al Qaeda does. [It was] a way of destroying the past, a way of destroying what people before you thought, or what they believed, or what they liked, and I think it really is representative of a sort of destruction of civil life, cultural life, civil society that they represented," she said, according to Karl.

No joke, Al Franken's official! Minnesota Democrats endorsed the comedian of "SNL" fame to challenge Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

Mike Huckabee is gonna have a great line about this one! The former Arkansas governor and former Republican presidential candidate performed the Heimlich maneuver on a North Carolina politician who was chocking on food. Again, the world waits for the Huckster to drop one of his witty one-liners about assisting a Republican candidate for North Carolina lieutenant governor.


On "Fox News Sunday," two men rumored to be in the running for their party's vice presidential nod talked about the McCain/Obama match up. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty predicted that Hispanics, women and middle-class voters will crossover to vote for McCain, just as they chose Clinton over Obama in large numbers in some places during the Democratic primary fight.

Pawlenty repeatedly rejected the idea that Obama is a change agent, arguing the senator has consistently voted along party lines during his four years in the Senate. "You look at Sen. McCain's voting record -- he has consistently and regularly reached across the aisle to get things done in a big way. The change really has been from Sen. McCain, somebody who's willing to take risks, take on big issues and get things done for the country."

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine shot back with Democrats' talking points about McCain having voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time last year.

Pawlenty cited the 2005 energy bill that McCain opposed and Obama supported and the fact that Obama was not part of the Gang of 14 bipartisan group on judges -- which McCain joined -- as examples of how McCain has bucked the GOP.

The governors also sparred on health care and foreign policy.

The headline: Kaine and Pawlenty basically said they would take the vice presidential job by not saying they wouldn't. On what Kaine would do if Obama asked him to be vice president: "It would be difficult for anybody in those circumstances to say no. "On what Pawlenty would do if McCain asked him to be vice president: "It would be difficult to turn that down."

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