EAST LANSING – With a little over a month to go until the Nov. 4 U.S. presidential election, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has no time for fainters. At an outdoor rally on Wednesday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, the Democrat was all business.
Tales from the Trail
WASHINGTON – Sometimes it’s hard to tell when John McCain is joking.
Take his interview Tuesday with journalists at The Des Moines Register.
The Republican presidential candidate acknowledged the financial bailout measure before Congress was not perfect, but he said it was unacceptable to do nothing and admonished lawmakers for failing to pass a rescue plan.
Then, without cracking a smile or missing a beat, he added this little nugget: “I’m not saying this is the perfect answer. If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be, I would write it … a little bit differently.”
With the Treasury secretary likely to have a huge amount of power under any bailout scheme, McCain was asked what sort of person he was looking for to fill that job. He said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had been doing admirably.
“I think a person along Paulson’s lines,” McCain said. Given the fragility of Wall Street, he added, any candidate “probably has to have a sound grounding in the financial markets and that aspect of America’s economy.”
The Arizona senator said if elected he would recruit the brightest and the best for his Cabinet, Democrat or Republican, in government or in business.
“I’ll go out and ask them to serve the country for a dollar a year,” he said.
He mused aloud about who might be enticed into government service: billionaire Iowa businessman Warren Buffett, eBay founder Meg Whitman, or Fed-Ex chief Fred Smith.
PHOENIX – U.S. lawmakers have yet to back a plan to try and stem the global financial crisis. But the vigorous round of finger-pointing over who is to blame for it continued on the campaign trail on Tuesday as John McCain’s camp singled out Democratic rival Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton in a new ad.
DALLAS – Republican presidential contender John McCain still retains strong support from white evangelical Protestants, but the 72-year-old Arizona senator’s appeal fades with younger voters from this flock.
WASHINGTON – Republican White House hopeful John McCain, fresh from his first debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama in Mississippi, expressed regret on Saturday that his performance didn’t win over all the pundits in the press.
“I was a little disappointed the media called it a tie but I think that means, when they call it a tie, that means we win,” McCain said during a telephone call that was caught by cameras filming him at his campaign headquarters.
Both camps claimed victory after the 90-minute debate on Friday.
Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, sought to lower expectations for the next debate in Tennessee on Oct. 7. It will be conducted in a town-hall style with questions from an audience.
“We will be a decided underdog in that encounter, and John McCain is the undisputed town hall champion,” Plouffe told reporters on a conference call, noting that McCain — who is fond of the format — had challenged Obama to do joint town hall meetings throughout the summer.
“He clearly feels, even more than the foreign policy debate, this is his home turf. So if we can just escape relatively unscathed against the undisputed town hall champion in Tennessee, we’ll be thrilled.”
Obama has held regular town halls of his own throughout the 2008 campaign and does not appear to struggle with the format.
WASHINGTON – There wasn’t a “You’re no Jack Kennedy” moment at the first presidential debate of 2008. But there were several lines both White House hopefuls kept using throughout the evening as a way of getting in subtle and not-so-subtle digs at each other.
By our count, Democratic contender Barack Obama mentioned the unpopular President George W. Bush 10 times over the course of the 97-minute debate, trying to suggest Republican rival John McCain would represent the same as the last eight years.
“John mentioned me being wildly liberal. Mostly that’s just me opposing George Bush’s wrong headed policies since I’ve been in Congress,” the Illinois senator said.
McCain had his own way of using words to undercut his rival, focusing on Obama’s four years in the U.S. Senate versus his 22 years in the legislative body.
OXFORD, Miss. – It’s the seal that just keeps on giving.
WASHINGTON – Republican White House hopeful John McCain tried to use a bracelet of a fallen U.S. soldier given on the campaign trail to drive home his point that he would not withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq based on an arbitrary timeline.