This piece by the Washington Post's Milbank might generate some discussion today. "So much for the liberal media. John McCain and Barack Obama both appeared before the nation's newspaper editors yesterday. The putative Republican presidential nominee was given a box of doughnuts and a standing ovation. The likely Democratic nominee was likened to a terrorist." More: "McCain got a standing ovation -- an honor Obama did not receive when his turn came two hours later."
The Wall Street Journal previews McCain's economic speech. "Mixing austerity and tax cuts, Sen. John McCain is laying out an economic plan that includes increased Medicare premiums for wealthy seniors and a one-year freeze on spending along with a proposal to review a vast swath of federal programs. In a major economic speech Tuesday, the likely Republican presidential nominee also acknowledges economic distress among students and families."
"He plans to aid students caught in the credit crunch who may have trouble obtaining college loans and to call for another big tax cut -- this one helping families with children. The proposals, combined with those he has already put on the table, show the Arizona senator's mixed approach to economics. He pushes tax cuts, a traditional Republican favorite; government reforms, such as an end to pork-barrel projects; and new spending for those he sees as deserving, such as students looking for loans and homeowners who need to refinance their troubled mortgages."
Bloomberg News also previews the McCain speech: "To ease gasoline prices, which average $3.37 a gallon nationally, McCain will propose a 'gas-tax holiday,' scrapping the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal levy from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. 'Because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy,' McCain will say in the speech."
The DNC officially "filed a federal lawsuit in Washington alleging the Arizona senator can't legally spend any more money on his campaign until September. In February, the chairman of the Federal Election Commission, a Republican, wrote a letter to Sen. McCain that raised similar issues. Sen. McCain continues to raise and spend money, with his campaign lawyers arguing he isn't breaking any laws. To complicate matters, on Sept. 4, if all goes as planned, Sen. McCain will accept the Republican Party's nomination at a convention in St. Paul, Minn., whereupon a different set of funding rules for the general election kick in."
"Sen. McCain's problems stem from last summer, when his campaign nearly went broke. While his Democratic rivals were raising record sums, he signed up for an increasingly outmoded Watergate-era public matching-grant program -- and its effective spending cap of $57 million until September. He passed that spending cap in February after he emerged as the party's likely nominee, campaign financial reports show. Also that month, he notified the FEC he was withdrawing from the public-financing system, arguing he could do so because he hadn't yet accepted any money from the U.S. Treasury."
The Chicago Tribune's Zuckman writes about Cindy McCain's trip to Kosovo. "[Her] Easter week visit to Kosovo to assess the land-mine situation with Halo Trust, the international group that removes mines from post-conflict countries, was nothing unusual—just a little more comfortable than her typical overseas trips. She has camped out in rural Angola, was once left stranded when an overbearing African minister of education commandeered her charter plane and witnessed a boy get blown up by a mine in Kuwait."
Here's Part 2 of the L.A. Times' post-P.O.W. McCain profile. It looks at how he decided to get into politics.
"Rudy Giuliani's decision to quit the presidential race and back Sen. John McCain is apparently worth something -- McCain will help the former mayor pay off his campaign debts. McCain manager Rick Davis asked the presumptive GOP nominee's top fund-raisers to dig a little deeper for Giuliani, who endorsed McCain on the same day he dropped out of the race last January."
McCain came out in support of the reporter shield law during a speech and Q&A with AP.