The Note: McCain, Obama Battle Own Images

By Alexa Ainsworth

Jul 14, 2008 8:20am

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports in Monday’s Note: Whose political purgatory will last longer — Jesse Jackson’s or Phil Gramm’s?

Whose joke fell flatter — Bernie Mac’s, or that one on The New Yorker cover?

Which Monday fight has the most implications — Sen. John McCain vs. Sen. Barack Obama on immigration (with McCain getting his turn at La Raza), or Barack Obama vs. Jesse Jackson (with Obama due to speak in front of the NAACP)?

Who will be the first candidate to find the right pitch on housing? (And who will try to make new friends named Fannie and Freddie?)

Which measurements really matter — the ideological distance between McCain and Obama, or the distances between the candidates’ primary-era images and general-election realities?

Speaking of measurements — no more talk of outlier polls now: It’s Obama 44, McCain 41 in the latest Newsweek poll — compared to a 15-point spread in the previous survey.

Read the rest of The Note — and get all the latest on the 2008 election, Congress, the White House and the wide world of politics every day — from Rick Klein by bookmarking this link.

"Obama’s rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate," Newsweek’s Jonathan Darman writes. "Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience — an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests."

You can underline and bold-highlight this sentence: "In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage," Darman writes.

Just maybe slightly on that subject . . . Obama seeks further clarification for his Iraq position on Monday, with a New York Times op-ed.

"We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months," Obama writes.

"In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected."

Continue reading today’s Note by clicking HERE.

ABC News’ John Santucci and Alexa Ainsworth contributed to this report.

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