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Obama: The big fundraising guns

The New York Times looks at Obama's fundraising network, and the paper focuses on the fact that Obama's fundraising machine isn't just small donors; he's raised more from folks giving $1,000 or more than McCain as well.

Obama is having a hard time figuring out how to reach out to Muslims and Arabs. The person he appointed as his Muslim outreach coordinator had to resign. "Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, who was appointed volunteer national coordinator for Muslim American affairs by the Obama campaign on July 26, stepped down Monday after an Internet newsletter wrote about his brief stint on the fund's board, which also included a fundamentalist imam."

Obama had a very contentious interview with the Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston, whose TV show is must-viewing for Nevada's political elite. Here's the back-and-forth between the two.

REPORTER: I guess what the American people want to know though Senator, is what is the real difference between you and John McCain. You are running this ad tying him to the industry saying that he has taken all of these contributions, but as you well know there is a story out today about how you supported the Dick Cheney bill and he opposed it. That bill gave subsidies to the oil and gas companies, John McCain opposed the bill saying those are tax breaks for those companies, Barack Obama favored it.

SEN. OBAMA: Hold on a second John, I thought I was talking to you instead of debating John McCain, but I am happy to let you serve as his proxy. The fact of the matter is that I supported that energy bill saying at the time that those tax breaks were wrong but also recognizing that this was the largest investment in alternative energy in history. And that it was important for us, for the solar industry to get off the ground in places like Nevada, for to get wind kicked off the ground, that that was something that we had to do and I immediately said during that time and subsequently that we should strip out those tax breaks for oil companies. I would point out that in December of last year, we had a vote to strip out those tax breaks for oil companies, there was one Senator that did not vote on that measure, and that was John McCain. And that money would have gone to alternative energy. But look, people aren't interested in this sort of tit for tat, there're interested in figuring out how we actually are going to get something done. And I have consistently supported fuel efficiency standards on cars, John McCain opposed them, I have consistently supported solar power, John McCain opposed them, I have consistently supported wind power, John McCain opposed it, I have consistently supported bio fuel development, John McCain has opposed it. There are some differences, just for example John McCain is in favor of Yucca Mountain, I am opposed to it. There are some clear contrasts here, but the notion that there is somehow no difference between John McCain and myself on energy policy is simply not true."

A little fact-checking on that claim that Obama supported the Bush-Cheney energy bill, however. As FactCheck.org wrote back in April, "[T]he compromise Obama voted for was supported by most Senate Democrats and lacked many of the administration's original proposals. As we've said before, it resulted in a small net tax increase on oil companies."

The Boston Globe front-pages Obama's year at a publishing house. "Obama rarely talks about his year spent within the arcane sphere of global finance as a junior editor for Business International Corp., a publisher based in New York… But in the years since, Obama has demonstrated an economic worldview bearing some common priorities with the first company for which he worked. At some points in his legislative career and presidential campaign, Obama demonstrated a willingness to let markets run their course when some other Democrats had sought a more forceful government hand. He rejects mandates for adults to buy health insurance and encourages the expansion of global exchanges for carbon-emissions credits. He has helped make it easier for private companies to take over public housing projects."

More: "Those who worked at Business International say Obama's brief account contains inaccuracies or misrepresentations about the company. (Obama has acknowledged fictionalizing narrative elements in the book.) They say that while offering consulting functions to clients, Business International was far more a publishing house than a consulting firm."

It's no secret that Obama is popular with younger voters. The AP does some man-on-the-street interviews. "According to these members of Generation Y, Obama, 47, has the 'cool' thing down. He's an avid basketball player, listens to Jay-Z on his iPod and was on the cover of this month's issue of Rolling Stone magazine. McCain, on the other hand, has admitted he's a big fan of the '70s-era Swedish disco band ABBA and an 'illiterate' when it comes to using a computer. He turns 72 next month, and if elected, he'd be the oldest president in American history to begin his first term."

The AP looks at all the Kerry aides now working for Obama.