By Daniel Politi
The Wall Street Journal leads its world-wide newsbox with the continuing debate between the Democratic presidential contenders over Sen. Barack Obama’s remarks that rural voters in Pennsylvania “cling to guns or religion.” The paper points out that as Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton continue to discuss guns and family values, Republicans clearly see an opportunity. Sen. John McCain said he would use Obama’s remarks to paint him as an out-of-touch elitist.
As the Democratic presidential contenders prepare for Wednesday’s debate in Philadelphia, Sen. Barack Obama spent a fourth day trying to explain his now-infamous remarks where he said voters in small towns in Pennsylvania are “bitter.” Clinton kept on pounding on Obama for the statement and released a television ad that shows voters saying they were “insulted” by the comments. But yesterday it moved beyond infighting among Democrats as McCain picked up Clinton’s line of attack and used the “bitter” statement to portray Obama as out of touch with the everyday realities of small-town life. Meanwhile, the WSJ points out that McCain continues to “raise and spend money” despite the legal questions surrounding his fundraising. The paper says it’s a sign that the McCain camp is confident the race will be over by the time election officials actually take action.
For those interested in a little McCain history, the LAT fronts a look at how he went from being a POW to a lawmaker, representing a state where he had never lived. The key was his position as the Navy’s liaison to the Senate. The job didn’t have much prestige (“a glorified valet”) but it helped him see how Congress worked from the inside and he befriended some of Washington’s most powerful lawmakers who were ready to help him once he decided that he wanted to go into politics.
The WP and LAT note that former president Jimmy Carter is “getting the cold shoulder” (WP) in Israel. None of Israel’s top officials will meet with him and Israel’s security service will not protect him. Israeli officials aren’t happy that Carter said he would meet with the leader of Hamas and for his book in which he sharply criticized Israel. “A meeting like this gives some semblance of legitimacy to those who do not deserve it,” one Israeli official said. “The book doesn’t help him, either.”