The New York Times looks at Obama's push to compete in the South. "Obama's Southern strategy relies on significantly increasing black registration and turnout, as he did in the primary season. Mr. Hildebrand said that by some estimates there are 600,000 unregistered black voters in Georgia alone. The higher the black share of the vote, the lower the requirement for garnering white votes. But the Obama camp argues that it can increase its share of the white vote as well by focusing on younger, more progressive whites."
Also: "In the Republican camp, strategists say that for all the difficulties the party is facing, the South remains deeply conservative. 'It would take an awful big shift in the electorate this year,' said Mike DuHaime, a senior adviser to the McCain campaign. 'It's not like we're talking about states that were won by one or two points last time. These Southern states, with the exception of Virginia and Florida, were double-digit wins.'"
Speaking of the South, the Wall Street Journal writes about Obama's voter registration campaign there.
The New Yorker's George Packer writes: "In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office. At the time, this pledge represented conventional thinking among Democrats and was guaranteed to play well with primary voters. But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama's rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far."
More: "The politics of the issue is tricky, because acknowledging changed ideas in response to changed facts is considered a failing by the political class. Accordingly, Obama, on the night that he proclaimed himself the nominee, in St. Paul, made a familiar declaration: 'Start leaving we must. It's time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future.' His supporters claim that the polls are with Obama, that war fatigue will make Iraq a political winner for him in November. Yet, as exhausted as the public is with the war, a candidate who seems heedless of progress in Iraq will be vulnerable to the charge of defeatism, which John McCain's campaign will connect to its broader theme of Obama's inexperience in and weakness on national security. The relative success of the surge is one of the few issues going McCain's way; we'll be hearing about it more and more between now and November, and it might sway some centrist voters who have doubts about Obama."
Bill Clinton and Obama may talk in 24 to 48 hours, according to former Clinton fundraiser-in-chief Terry McAuliffe. " 'Is he somewhat angry, as I am, and others, at some of the treatment Hillary Clinton received from the press? Sure. But, you know, that's life,'" McAuliffe said in an interview with CNN. Clinton's trip to Europe was in deference to his wife, McAuliffe added. "What I think they wanted to do was, first of all, go through the event on Friday, the Unity event," McAuliffe said. "It was up to Hillary. As Bill Clinton will say, she is the political leader of their family."
Michelle Obama sat down with USA Today. "'I don't want to be a distraction. I want to be a part of the solution,' Obama told USA TODAY in a 27-minute interview Thursday. She said she hopes to help make America a place where 'more hardworking people feel they can carve out a life that makes sense for themselves and their kids."