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McCain vs. Obama

The Dem front-runner and the presumptive GOP nominee sparred over Iraq yesterday. The Washington Post front-pages, "For McCain, the decision to pick a fight with Obama helps keep the presumptive GOP nominee from being overshadowed by the battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) for the Democratic presidential nomination. It also gives him a chance to undermine confidence in Obama's foreign policy experience before the Democrat can turn full attention to the general election. But even as he focuses on a potentially decisive showdown with Clinton in four contests next Tuesday, Obama has made it clear he won't ignore the attacks from McCain. Generating headlines about an Obama-McCain showdown could also benefit Obama by creating the sense among Democratic primary voters that he is on the verge of becoming their party's nominee and also that he can hold his own against the Republicans."

The New York Times: "In the exchange of charges between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain, both essentially ignored Mr. Obama's Democratic rival, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was campaigning in Ohio on economic and trade issues."

The Boston Globe: "The rapid-fire, long-distance exchange underscored that the two consider each other likely general election rivals, even though the Democratic contest remains unresolved."

The Wall Street Journal: "The disputes between the two men touch a variety of issues. On campaign finance, Mr. McCain slammed Mr. Obama for hedging on his pledge to accept public financing in the general election. 'He committed to public financing. It is not more complicated than that,' Mr. McCain said last week. 'I'll keep my word. I want him to keep his.'"