DALLAS – According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a 19-point lead over Republican rival John McCain among U.S. voters who have already cast their ballots.
Tales from the Trail
BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – Republican John McCain’s military history is famous, but the service of his sons is less well known. And until recently, that’s exactly how the presidential candidate and his wife, Cindy, wanted it.
But on Wednesday, Mrs. McCain made a rare reference to her sons when criticizing the Illinois senator for his 2007 vote against a war funding bill. McCain has two sons in the military, and one has served in Iraq. “The day that Sen. Obama decided to cast a vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body,” McCain told a crowded rally in Pennsylvania, an electoral battleground state.
“I would suggest that Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day and see what it means … to have a loved one serving in the armed forces and more importantly, serving in harm’s way,” she said. “I suggest he take a day and go watch our fine young men…and women deploy, get on those buses and leave with a smile.”
McCain also invoked vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s son, who recently deployed to Iraq.
”We have a lot in common, the McCain family and the Palin family,” she said. “We represent between us the Army, the Navy and the United States Marine Corps.”
Obama voted against the funding bill in 2007 but supported a version that included a timetable for withdrawal for U.S. troops from Iraq.
The son of Obama’s vice presidential running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, has just been sent to Iraq with the Army National Guard, and will be there for about a year. Obama has two young daughters.
In a bruising campaign, John McCain’s unfaithfulness during his marriage to his first wife, Carol, and Barack Obama’s drug use as a young man have occasionally come up.
So when IDW Publishing set out to create biographical comics about McCain and Obama, it included those scandals.
In one panel from Obama’s youth, he is shown playing basketball and driving to the basket. A narration box says that “He was experimenting with tobacco, alcohol, pot and cocaine.” The comic helpfully explains that Obama was trying “to figure out where he belonged” at the time.
McCain’s former hard-partying lifestyle is also put on display in the comics. In one panel, he is seen dancing on a table with a woman in a skirt, from his days in the Navy. In another panel from the same time period, McCain is seen in a red convertible with a woman. The narration box reads that “He began seeing other women. Rumors flew around the base. Before long Carol knew, but kept silent.”
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has sought this week to paint Obama as a man who was “palling around” with terrorists by in the past associating with William Ayers, a former member of the radical group the Weather Underground. That connection doesn’t merit a mention in the Obama comic book. There is, however, a panel on Obama arriving at the Democratic National Convention in 2000 and not being able to get a floor pass.
The comics hit stands and bookstores on Wednesday.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Wednesday she would be ready to deal with foreign policy if she and John McCain win the White House and offered to play “stump the candidate” to test herself on specific policy issues.