McCain Seeks Message, Targets Obama

Analyzing the poll, Washington Post reporters Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta write, "At the same time, there is an overwhelming public openness to the idea of electing an African American to the presidency. In a Post-ABC News poll last month, nearly nine in 10 whites said they would be comfortable with a black president. While fewer whites, about two-thirds, said they would be "entirely comfortable" with it, that was more than double the percentage of all adults who said they would be so at ease with someone entering office for the first time at age 72, which (Sen. McCain) would do, should he prevail in November."

Obama spoke about race and the campaign this weekend. "It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," he said at a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Association Press. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced, and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'" Read about the comment HERE.

Like the sonorous sound of a choir, Republicans continued to lay on the rhetoric that Obama is a flip-flopper for breaking his pledge to take public money in the general election contest. Looking past GOP efforts to claim he's not the real deal, Obama is thinking about just what he might be able to do with what could be a financial advantage of tens of million or hundreds of million of dollars in September and October.

Jim Rutenberg and Chris Drew of the New York Times report, "(Obama) is drawing up plans for extensive advertising and voter-turnout drives across the nation, hoping to capitalize on his expected fundraising advantage over (McCain) to force Republicans to compete in states they have not had to defend in decades."

More Rutenberg and Drew: "Future commercials could run on big national showcases, like the Olympics in August, and smaller cable channels, like MTV and Black Entertainment Television, that appeal to specific demographic and interest groups."

Democrats hope that the country and media continue to draw similarities between McCain and former Sen. Bob Dole. Dole's 1996 presidential campaign fell flat as Americans worried about Dole's age. "But for all the obvious similarities, there are also sufficient differences between the two Republicans to make surface comparisons somewhat misleading," writes Adam Nagourney of the New York Times.

The differences that Nagourney describes: Dole refused to run against establishment, while McCain is mired with the image of a man who bucks the establishment. Dole limited his humor and erected a protective wall around himself, while McCain scores big points with the public and media because of his open town halls and frequent media chats. Read more HERE.

McCain's wife, Cindy, earns cover honors in Newsweek this week. The reporter who did the profile, Holly Bailey, writes that she got the impression that Mrs. McCain wishes she could reclaim the privacy she has lost.

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