Tales from the Trail

Obama tests his fantasy football mettle

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has made it clear he’s a sucker for ESPN’s SportsCenter, and turns out he knows a thing or two about fantasy football too.

Sportswriter Rick Reilly challenged both presidential candidates, Obama and Republican contender John McCain, to pick an NFL fantasy football team for one week to see if they had what it takes on the sports side of life.

Obama picked up the gauntlet and while he agreed to play second chair to the sports network expert, Reilly reports in his ESPN Magazine column this week that the White House hopeful had done his homework and was aggressive in a 30-minute tussle for his preferred picks for NFL Week 6. 

Reilly writes: 

He is taller, grayer and quicker to laugh than I expected. Moves sort of like an athlete—cool and smooth. “Now, you’re the expert,” he began. “And I’ll gladly be the junior partner in this, but I really think we should take Drew Brees. He could have a big week. Oakland’s secondary is a wreck.”

Ohhhh, so that’s how it’s going to be. “Well, I like Carson Palmer,” I said. “He’s due for a big week, plus he plays in Ohio and I figure that’s a state you need, so …”

McCain says he wants people to ‘get wealthy’

johnmc.jpgGREEN, Ohio – John McCain wants Americans to get rich.

That was the message from the Republican presidential hopeful Wednesday as he focused again on the differences in his tax proposals and those of Democratic rival Barack Obama.

The Arizona senator has hammered Obama in recent days for a philosophy of spreading Americans’ wealth around, articulated by the Illinois senator in a now famous exchange with an Ohio man dubbed Joe the Plumber.

McCain promised at an outdoor rally with an enthusiatic crowd he and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would not make people or businesses send more money to the federal government.

from MediaFile:

Presidential candidates: Love ‘em and Lehman

Media coverage of the U.S. presidential race has not so much cast Democratic candidate Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed Republican opponent John McCain in a negative one.

That' s the verbatim conclusion of a new report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism that analyzes the way the press has covered the campaign.

The report shows that negative stories about Arizona Sen. McCain has been decidedly unfavorable and has worsened over time, with negative stories about him outnumbering favorable Obama stories by more than three to one.

from MediaFile:

Presidential candidates: Love ‘em and Lehman

Media coverage of the U.S. presidential race has not so much cast Democratic candidate Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed Republican opponent John McCain in a negative one.

That' s the verbatim conclusion of a new report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism that analyzes the way the press has covered the campaign.

The report shows that negative stories about Arizona Sen. McCain has been decidedly unfavorable and has worsened over time, with negative stories about him outnumbering favorable Obama stories by more than three to one.

A taxing question on Palin’s clothing allowance

Sarah Palin’s $150,000 clothing allowance from the Republican National Committee raises questions about whether John McCain’s vice presidential pick will have to pay federal income taxes for the items she bought with the money.  palin2.jpg

Maybe, according to one congressional tax expert.

The McCain campaign says the clothing, which according to Politico.com was purchased at stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks, will go to charity after the campaign.

If everything is handed over to charity once the last ballot is cast, Palin could argue that she never actually owned the clothes and that they were more like costumes or uniforms used for work, the tax expert said.

Obama leads youth vote by nearly 2-1 ratio

obama.jpgBOSTON – Democrat Barack Obama leads his Republican rival John McCain by a nearly 2-1 ratio among young voters in the race for the White House, a poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics showed on Wednesday.

Obama leads McCain 56 percent to 30 percent among likely young voters, according to an online survey of 2,406 18 to 24 year olds conducted by Harris Interactive for the institute between Sept. 12 and Oct. 6. Fifteen percent were undecided.

Obama’s lead is essentially unchanged from polls in July and March, the institute said.

Catholic groups launches pro-Obama web site

DALLAS – Catholics for Obama has just launched a web site as the Nov. 4 White House race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain enters its final laps.

The candidate

Catholics, who account for close to a quarter of the U.S. adult population, comprise a key religious group that both sides have tried to woo. In closely contested swing states such as Ohio or Florida the Catholic vote could make a difference.

The web site is sure to stoke controversy in Catholic circles with this statement: “Is Barack Obama really pro-life? The answer is ‘yes.’ Looking through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, Senator Obama has spent his entire career striving for the common good. He supports health care programs that will cover all Americans, a living wage for working families, and solutions that allow distressed families to stay in their homes.” 

I can boogie better than McCain, brags Obama

boogie.jpgMIAMI – One thing Barack Obama does know — he can beat his Republican rival John McCain in a dancing contest.

In an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show via satellite from Miami, Obama stood before a crowd of cheering supporters and showed off his dance moves to James Brown’s big hit “Get Up Offa That Thing”. 

After boogying to the music played from Ellen’s studio, Obama conceded that his wife Michelle is a better dancer.

Oops! McCain asks Russia’s U.N. envoy for money

By Louis Charbonneau 

UNITED NATIONS – John McCain’s U.S. presidential election campaign has solicited a financial contribution from an unlikely source — Russia’s U.N. envoy — but a McCain spokesman said on churkin.jpgMonday it was a mistake. 

 In the letter, McCain urged Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin to contribute anywhere from $35 to $5,000 to help ensure McCain’s victory over Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama, currently ahead in voter preference polls. 
 

“If I have the honor of continuing to serve you, I make you this promise: We will always put America — her strength, her ideals, her future — before every other consideration,” McCain assured Churkin. 

Colin Powell criticizes fellow Republicans, backs Obama

WASHINGTON – Colin Powell, a retired U.S. Army general and former secretary of state in the Bush administration, criticized fellow Republicans on Sunday and endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The Republican Party “has moved more to the right than I would like to see it,” Powell told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Powell described Obama as an inspirational figure and denounced some efforts by White House contender John McCain and other Republicans to defeat him.