McCain Vs. Obama: New Electoral Map Emerges

The host of the secret Clinton/Obama meeting Thursday in Washington, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, was one of many Clinton backers on the Sunday programs promoting an Obama/Clinton ticket. "I've looked at every other possible candidate. No one brings to a ticket what Hillary brings. Eighteen million people committed to where she's going," she said in an appearance on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., explained his view of the differences between McCain and Obama, also on "This Week." "... This is not the Wharton Business School against the London School of Economics," he explained. "You've got a liberal in Sen. Obama, who will repeal the Bush tax cuts that expire in 2011. The capital gains rates will go up. Dividend tax reductions will go down. The marginal rates will all go up.

"John will say keep the tax rates in place. He will be talking about energy independence. One way to help our economy is stop sending $450 billion overseas, with oil prices this high. Look for oil and gas in our backyard, find alternative energies to get away from fossil fuel consumption. And at the end of the day, stop spending."

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's response: "The fact is that John McCain voted 95 percent of the time with George Bush last year, and 90 percent of the time with George Bush over the entire presidency. That's not a change. That's not reform. That's not a difference.

"And on the economy, it's profound for the American worker and people who are struggling today. Barack Obama wants to give every worker $1,000 reduction in their taxes. So, he's going to give a tax cut to the middle class and for people struggling to get into it. For people earning $50,000 or less, who are retired, he's going to do no taxes for them, and he's going to pay for all of this and be fiscally responsible by not continuing the irresponsible Bush tax cuts that this nation at the high level cannot afford."

Over on CBS's "Face the Nation," in a bizarre, parallel universe-like moment, Howard Wolfson spun for Obama. (No, this is not a joke. Wolfson, the Clinton communications chief, who was unconvinced months ago that Obama had passed the commander in chief threshold, vouched in an unofficial capacity for the Illinois senator).

"I think Barack Obama ran an amazing race. He energized enormous numbers of Americans to come out and vote. And I think we can't afford a third George Bush term. John McCain is running to be the next George Bush. We can't have that in this country. The economy is spiraling into recession. John McCain says more of the same. We've got terrible problems in Iraq. John McCain says more of the same. We need a fundamental change, a fundamental break. And I think Barack Obama offers that. And I think the American people are going to respond very affirmatively to that," he said.

Wolfson didn't help end the rumors that Clinton is jockeying for the vice presidential slot, saying that she was willing to do whatever Obama asked of her. "She's willing to do whatever she can, whatever she's asked. And I'm sure President Clinton feels the same way. She'll do whatever she can for Senator Obama," he said. He did mention that Clinton is not pursuing the job.

Also on "Face the Nation," Virginia Sen. Jim Webb dodged a question about whether he would accept the vp nod. "I -- you know, this is not something that's come up," said Webb. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., expressed support for Obama putting Clinton on the ticket and said he hope Bill Clinton will play an active role in the campaign. "He's well-loved and respected around the world. And there's certainly parts of the United States that people still miss, love, and hope that we could see his presence."

WEEK AHEAD:

Obama heads to North Carolina -- one of those red states the campaign believes might swing blue in November -- on Monday.

McCain raises campaign coin in Virginia on Monday.

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