By Daniel Politi
The WSJ fronts its latest presidential election poll, which shows things have remained relatively flat, as 47 percent of voters say they want Barack Obama to win while 41 percent prefer John McCain. But, according to the WSJ‘s interpretation, “the presidential campaign looks less like a race between two candidates than a referendum on one of them.” Half the voters surveyed said they’re trying to figure out how Obama would act as president, while only one-quarter are focused on McCain. The paper then becomes the latest to write about what seems to be the emerging conventional wisdom about the race: 2008 as 1980. In 1980, voters wanted change but didn’t break for Ronald Reagan until late in the process. A similar dynamic could be at work this year as voters seem to be open to the idea of Obama in the White House but don’t know enough about him to really make him their choice yet. Of course, this gives McCain a chance to define Obama for them in a not-so-positive light.
The LAT fronts, and everyone mentions, Obama’s day in Israel, where he rushed around to meet with several leaders (“Obama tried his hand at a practice round of shuttle diplomacy,” says the NYT). The Post says it was this leg of the trip “that was the most sensitive and the most meticulously planned” by the campaign, which illustrates the concerns about support for Obama in the Jewish community. The LAT highlights that Obama was received warmly by Israelis, and no Jewish leaders even privately mentioned concerns over his commitment to Israel’s security or his willingness to talk more openly with Iran. “That left McCain out of sync with Israeli leaders in condemning Obama as weak on Iran,” says the LAT.
In a blunt piece inside, the Post notes, “In this campaign, it seems, McCain just can’t catch a break.” He was supposed to go to an oil rig yesterday but had to cancel. Now, while Obama will likely be greeted by huge crowds in Germany, McCain will be in Ohio, “speaking at a nighttime cancer event.” The only really good news for McCain this week was that the NYT rejected his op-ed piece, which gave him an easy way to criticize the media. But the bad luck keeps coming. The WP notes that although Obama will speak at the Democratic National Convention on the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, McCain’s will fall on the opening night of the NFL season.
Early reports reveal that motor-racing boss Max Mosley won his much-discussed privacy lawsuit today against a newspaper that had accused him of participating in a “sick Nazi orgy.” The Sunday tabloid now has to pay Mosley 60,000 pounds (around $120,000) in damages. “It has to be recognized that no amount of damages can fully compensate the claimant for the damage done,” the judge said. “He is hardly exaggerating when he says that his life was ruined.”