The New York Times examines the harsh tone coming out of the McCain campaign. "The old happy warrior side of Mr. McCain has been eclipsed a bit lately by a much more aggressive, and more negative, Mr. McCain who hammers Mr. Obama repeatedly on policy differences, experience and trustworthiness. By doing so, Mr. McCain is clearly trying to sow doubts about his younger opponent, and bring him down a peg or two. But some Republicans worry that by going negative so early, and initiating so many of the attacks himself rather than leaving them to others, Mr. McCain risks coming across as angry or partisan in a way that could turn off some independents who have been attracted by his calls for respectful campaigning."
The Washington Post writes that the McCain campaign's charge that Obama skipped his Landstuhl visit because he couldn't bring the press along with him doesn't have any evidence to back that claim up. The paper also notes: "The attacks are part of a newly aggressive McCain operation whose aim is to portray the Democratic presidential candidate as a craven politician more interested in his image than in ailing soldiers, a senior McCain adviser said. They come despite repeated pledges by the Republican that he will never question his rival's patriotism."
The Post doesn't pull punches with this next graph, reporting flat out that McCain and his allies are questioning Obama's patriotism. "Despite serious and repeated queries about the charge over several days, McCain and his allies continued yesterday to question Obama's patriotism by focusing attention on the canceled hospital visit."
Speaking of the Landstuhl attack, the New York Times reports the campaign put very little money behind its TV ad attacking Obama on the issue. "The number of times Senator John McCain's new advertisement attacking Senator Barack Obama for canceling a visit with wounded troops in Germany last week has been shown fully or partly on local, national and cable newscasts: well into the hundreds. The number of times that spot actually, truly ran as a paid commercial: roughly a dozen."
"Result for Mr. McCain: a public relations coup that allowed him to show his toughest campaign advertisement of the year — one widely panned as misleading — to millions of people, largely free, through television news media hungry for political news with arresting visual imagery."
The AP: "Evan Tracey, who tracks political ads as head of TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, said the ad aired four times on Sunday -- a barely perceptible showing. ... The ad claims Obama 'made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops,' while displaying footage of Obama with a basketball in a gymnasium. The ad misleadingly does not mention that the footage is from Obama's visit with troops in Kuwait."
"After upsetting some conservatives by signaling an openness to higher payroll taxes for Social Security, Republican John McCain gave the simplest of answers when asked if he would raise taxes as president," the AP reports. " 'No,' McCain said sternly when the question was put to him by a young girl at a meeting Tuesday in Sparks, Nevada. Despite previous vows not to raise taxes of any kind, McCain had caught some Republicans by surprise by suggesting the opposite."
McCain is acknowledging the political climate he'll be in if he wins in November. McCain "pledged that if elected president, he would work closely with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, praising her as an effective leader and an "inspiration to millions of Americans."
"'I respect Speaker Pelosi. I think she's one of the great American success stories,' McCain said during an interview with The Chronicle prior to a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. 'We talk about (New York Sen.) Hillary Clinton and her inspiration to millions of Americans. Speaker Pelosi has been an inspiration as well' in a role that is 'in many ways ... more powerful than the president.'"
"And McCain also had high praise for the 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and his advocacy on the issue of climate change. McCain recently raised eyebrows in GOP circles by calling 'doable' Gore's suggestion that the country could become entirely energy independent through use of renewable resources within 10 years."
There's never any good that comes to the McCain when Bob Dole is brought up.