By Roger McShane, Today’s Papers
The LAT leads with a report on Barack Obama’s move to the center on many issues, while the WP fronts his appearance with Hillary Clinton in Unity, N.H.
LAT cites Barack Obama’s “tougher stance on Iran, mild reaction to expanded gun rights and malleable view of free trade” as proof that the candidate is moving toward the center to broaden his appeal. This is a typical move for a general-election candidate, but tougher for Obama, who carries the risk of diminishing his self-styled image as a new type of politician. Mr. McCain, of course, is doing the same thing, but he’s moving right in an attempt to court conservatives, says the Times. All this posturing makes TP sympathetic to Libertarians, some of whom complain to the NYT that the party is “fundamentally more committed to principle than electoral action.”
The WP reports that the Obama campaign is encouraged by Hillary Clinton’s willingness to stitch the Democratic Party back together. Obama’s advisers hope to use both Hillary and Bill Clinton to speak to voters about the economy. The Post notes that Obama will have a distinct advantage over John McCain if he is able to consolidate the Democratic vote—many more Americans identify with the Democrats than with the Republicans. But he’s not there yet. “We want Hillary!” chanted some in the New Hampshire crowd yesterday. “It’s over!” a man yelled back.
Obama may also benefit from Bob Barr’s candidacy on the Libertarian ticket. Earlier in the week Obama’s campaign manager said a strong showing by Barr could deliver Georgia and Alaska to the Democrat. Barr, meanwhile, tells the NYT that a group of Republicans have told him not to run. But should they really be so scared? Barr has raised just over $300,000 so far, and “he has yet to lease a campaign headquarters, have a fund-raiser, tape a television advertisement or hold a campaign event,” says the Times.