The Note: Obama, McCain See Brands Diminish

By Alexa Ainsworth

Jul 30, 2008 8:23am

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports in Wednesday’s Note: If you look carefully through those tubes, you can see why Sen. Chuck Schumer is thinking about the big Six-Oh.

If you look carefully at the news cycle’s latest popular kid, you can determine how new Gov. Tim Kaine and his friends are at this veepstakes thing.

If you look not-so-carefully at what President Bill Clinton is up to, you might forgive him for missing the perks of the presidency.

If you look carefully at what Sen. John McCain is doing and saying, you can measure how much twisting straight talk can survive.

If you look carefully at what Sen. Barack Obama is doing and saying, you can watch his self-image swell to fill the mold being fitted for him. (And hey — the inevitability thing worked SO well in the primaries . . . )

Some of the most interesting looking centers on Obama: Secret meetings, a bizarrely vague public schedule, sit-downs with the Fed chairman and the new Pakistani prime minister, all after a heralded foreign trip?

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.

You might say he’s measuring the drapes — but that assumes he hasn’t ordered new windows.

The latest entry in the (bulging) Obama files: "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," he told House Democrats Tuesday night, per The Washington Post’s Jonathan Weisman. "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

(Read that sentence again, and try to imagine how it would look if it was said on camera.)

Obama may be right (and if he is, he wins) — but the first personal singular is the most dangerous of tenses, particularly when the meme is being set. Toss in a jettisoned faux-presidential seal, a canceled visit with troops, maybe a sprinkling of broken promises, and you’ve got enough to weave an uncomfortable yet unforgettable suit.

With a public schedule that "would have made Dick Cheney envious," this is Obama going from presumptive to presumptuous, Dana Milbank writes in his Washington Post column.

"Some say the supremely confident Obama — nearly 100 days from the election, he pronounces that ‘the odds of us winning are very good’ — has become a president-in-waiting," Milbank writes. "But in truth, he doesn’t need to wait: He has already amassed the trappings of the office, without those pesky decisions."

Continue reading today’s Note by clicking HERE.

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

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