By Daniel Politi, Today’s Papers
USA Today devotes most of its front-page real estate to interviews with the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees. In Florida, John McCain emphasized that he’s not trying to distance himself from President Bush and instead just wants to “point out my own record and my own plan of action.” McCain also said he’ll try to win votes by contrasting his experience with Barack Obama’s. The Republican described his opponent as a rookie politician who believes in “big government” and “doesn’t understand.”
For his part, Obama was in Virginia yesterday launching a tour about economic issues that will take him to several of the states that Clinton won as part of his efforts to get white, working-class voters on his side. The Democrat also said he would launch an “Apollo-style program” to develop new energy sources and he’s “almost certain” that he’ll go to Iraq before the election.
While Obama was campaigning in Virginia, a move designed to show how he intends to compete in several Republican-leaning states, Hillary Clinton tried to distance herself from an effort to force Obama to pick her as his running mate. The two Democrats met late yesterday at the Washington, D.C., home of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but no one has any information on what they talked about at the unexpected encounter. Meanwhile, Obama moved to take control over the Democratic National Committee and sent one of his top campaign operatives to oversee party operations. The presumptive nominee also said that his campaign’s ban on receiving money from political action committees or federal lobbyists would also apply to the DNC.
The NYT fronts a look at a letter written by a top adviser to McCain that says the Republican supports warrantless wiretapping to monitor Americans’ international communications. Although his campaign insists McCain’s views on the matters of surveillance and executive power haven’t changed, the NYT points out that he seemed to sing a different tune six months ago in an interview. This marks the latest example of how McCain has taken up important Republican issues now that he’s the presumptive nominee and is working to unify his party’s base.
Just because he’s a good speaker doesn’t mean his jokes are funny. In his interview with USAT, Obama said he’s looking forward to spending the weekend in Chicago with his family. But it won’t be all R&R for the presumptive nominee. On Saturday night, Obama will welcome eight 7-year-olds to his house for a sleepover to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. “These kids are planning to make pizza, so who knows what our kitchen will look like,” he said. “They shouldn’t call these sleepovers. They should call them wake-overs.”