The Washington Post leads locally but goes high with the efforts by Barack Obama’s campaign to increase registration and turnout among African-Americans. Black voters could be the key to an Obama victory in several battleground states, including some in the South. But the campaign has a steep hill to climb, and there’s uncertainty about whether spending so much time and effort on reaching citizens who have long tuned out of politics will actually pay off in November.
The NYT fronts a look at John McCain’s 15-year leadership of the International Republican Institute, a role that has brought him into close contact with many of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists. The group’s mission of promoting democracy around the world is certainly consistent with McCain’s stated values, but a closer examination “reveals an organization in many ways at odds with the political outsider image that has become a touchstone” of his campaign for the White House. McCain has helped the institute raise millions of dollars from lobbyists and companies who have interests before the Senate. And lobbyists have also been an integral part of the institute, as 14 of them served on the group’s board during McCain’s tenure.