The Washington Post front-pages that Obama has worked to reintroduce himself in the opening weeks of the general election. Obama "has moved aggressively to shape his campaign and offered a clear road map for the kind of candidate he is likely to become in the months ahead: an ambitious gamer of the electoral map, a ruthless fundraiser and a scrupulous manager of his own biography in the face of persistent concerns about how he is perceived. Obama's early maneuvers suggest a clear understanding within the campaign of his strengths and weaknesses."
The piece also makes this point about Obama's decision to opt out of the public financing system, which has drawn plenty of criticism. "Yet Obama's advocates also argue a positive lesson about their candidate's character can be drawn from the decision: that Obama is willing to take political risks in order to win. His toughness as a politician was often questioned during the Democratic primary, as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cast herself as the only Democrat able to do hand-to-hand combat with Republicans. 'People and commentators have been saying we know Barack is hopeful and that he appeals to a broad cross section of the public,' [Obama friend and adviser Valerie] Jarrett said. 'But perhaps people didn't know how tough he is. He's been saying all along, don't confuse hope with naivete.'"
The Los Angeles Times notes that Obama's campaign is "quietly laying plans to draw African American voters to the polls in unprecedented numbers by capitalizing on the excitement over the prospect of electing the nation's first black president. Obama strategists believe they have identified a gold mine of new and potentially decisive Democratic voters in at least five battleground states -- voters who failed to turn out in the past but can be mobilized this time… In Florida alone, more than half a million black registered voters stayed home in 2004. Hundreds of thousands more African Americans are eligible to vote but not registered. And campaign analysts have identified similar potential in North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Ohio."
But: "The strategy requires a deft touch and carries risks… Strategists say he cannot afford to appear to be exploiting race or running solely as a black candidate -- particularly as he courts moderate whites and blue-collar workers who did not support him in the primaries."
The Wall Street Journal previews Thursday's Obama-Clinton fundraiser, which is set to raise between $500,000 and $1 million for Obama. "People who plan to go say it will serve two purposes: to lock down support for Sen. Obama and to hammer out a pledge from his campaign to help Sen. Clinton retire some of her own campaign debt. The Clinton camp reported a $22.5 million debt at the end of May, more than half of which was a personal loan from the senator to fund her presidential run."
The Journal also writes about the "tricky balance" the Obama campaign "is trying to strike: to tamp down false rumors -- intended by some to link the Democratic presidential candidate to radical Islam -- without offending Muslims and harming his image of inclusiveness."
"Barack Obama's presidential campaign raised eyebrows and elicited snickers Friday when it unveiled the Obamamania version of the presidential seal," the NY Daily News writes.
The New York Times takes a look at Obama's close ties to the ethanol industry.
And the New York Daily News profiles David Axelrod, the New York kid who went to the city's elite public school, Stuvesant High School, then headed to the University of Chicago for college, "not expecting to make his life and fame in the Second City. But he did. He became a star political reporter for the Chicago Tribune, then switched careers in 1984 to help guide Democrat Paul Simon's upset win over three-term Republican incumbent Sen. Charles Percy. In 1992, Betty Lu Saltzman, a friend and well-known Chicago Democrat, told him about this 'most impressive young guy' named Barack Obama."