Obama continues his European tour today in France with a closed meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris at 11am ET before speaking to reporters. Tomorrow, Obama concludes his foreign trip in London, England where he has a meetings with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, current Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative Party leader David Cameron. On Sunday, Obama will speak to the Unity Convention in Chicago.
McCain is in Denver today where he will address the American GI Forum Convention at 1:30pm. Later, he'll hold a private meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Tomorrow, McCain will address the Americans with Disabilities Conference via satellite from his home in Sedona, Arizona, where he's reportedly also hosting a BBQ for his senior campaign staff.
OBAMA IN GERMANY
Obama cancelled a planned visit to Ramstein Air Force Base and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Southwest Germany today. The campaign explained that the Pentagon asked him not to visit because it would be viewed as a campaign event. Campaign adviser Gen. Scott Gration said, "We learned from the Pentagon last night that the visit would be viewed instead as a campaign event. Senator Obama did not want to have a trip to see our wounded warriors perceived as a campaign event when his visit was to show his appreciation for our troops and decided instead not to go." Earlier in the day, campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs suggested a visit while on a campaign trip would be "inappropriate." McCain's campaign blasted that comment. "Barack Obama is wrong. It is never 'inappropriate' to visit our men and women in the military," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in a written statement. Obama visited military bases on his trip through Afghanistan and Iraq but that trip was officially a congressional trip paid for by the government, not a campaign trip.
NY Times, "Obama, Vague on Issues, Pleases Crowd in Europe"
Wall Street Journal, "Obama Takes Stump to Europe"
Der Spiegel, "Obama's Berlin Speech: People of the World, Look at Me"
Washington Post, "Obama Says Walls Must Come Down"
Der Spiegel, "Obama in Berlin: Huge Crowds Left with Mixed Feelings"
NY Sun, "McCain Camp Hopes for Backlash": "Mr. McCain's aides are trying to feed a perception that Mr. Obama is overreaching as he tries to bolster his foreign policy bona fides and present himself as a credible world leader."
OBAMA'S FOREIGN TRIP
Associated Press, "Obama scraps visit to wounded U.S. troops in Germany"
Washington Post, "Obama Abroad: We Get the Picture – The Candidate Looked Good This Week. Did the Press?"
Politico, "Sarkozy: Obama's my 'pal'"
Guardian, "Europe's Obama cheers ring hollow in the Middle East": "What a contrast. In western Europe Obama-mania is in full flood, epitomised by raving crowds in Berlin last night as well as the polls which show the Democratic candidate to be far more popular than John McCain in almost every country. In Israel he is met with apprehension, and in the Palestinian territories there is only the faintest hope that the deadlocked conflict will ever end."
McCAIN ON THE TRAIL"My opponent, of course, is traveling in Europe, and tomorrow his tour takes him to France. In a scene Lance would recognize, a throng of adoring fans awaits Sen. Obama in Paris – and that's just the American press," McCain said at a LIVESTRONG town hall on caner in Columbus, Ohio last night where he was joined by cyclist Lance Armstrong. McCain said he would increase funding for the National Cancer Institute, but when asked if he would double it, as Obama has said, he said that liberals like to promise you things but they can't fund them. McCain later defended his recent criticism that "Obama would rather lose a war than lose a campaign," acknowledging, that "that has really fired up a lot of people, I can tell you." "But I don't think it's a lack of patriotism, I think it's a lack of understanding. So he treats the war as just another political issue. No one, no rational observer would say, that the surge has not made a difference in Iraq. The change is dramatic To say that the surge didn't matter, and had no impact on it, I think substantiates my allegation that he treats it as a political issue." Former U.S. Rep. and Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman, who's rumored to be on McCain's potential running mate list, joined McCain in Columbus.USA Today, "McCain to meet with Dalai Lama"
LA Times, "McCain holds small events in a key state: Ohio"
NY Times, "Hey, Obama, There's Bratwurst in Ohio, Too (but No Cheering Masses)"
Denver Post, "Protest set at McCain's Denver speech"
Washington Post, "McCain May Act Soon on VP Pick – Aides Predict Announcement Before Olympics"
St. Paul Pioneer Press, "Pawlenty won't speculate on being VP"
WCCO-TV, "Did Pawlenty VP Talk Give McCain a Poll Bounce?"
Wall Street Journal, "Rebel With a Cause: Bobby Jindal's Spiritual Journey"
Falls Church News-Press, "McAuliffe Touts Kaine for V-P in Fairfax Talk"
Dallas Morning News, "Picking running mate is Obama's biggest test yet"
Dallas Morning News, "Analyzing the Democrats most frequently mentioned as running mates for Obama"
The Secret Service requested an extra $9.5 million dollars to "cover unexpected costs of protecting the presidential candidates", AP reports. "Among other things, the extra money would be used for the added costs for the candidates' international travel and a late-in-the-game decision by Barack Obama to accept the Democratic nomination at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High - an open-air, 76,000-seat stadium."
LA Times, "Obama's path to presidency is far from clear": "The Democrat is winning fans on his trip abroad, but is struggling to gain real ground against McCain at home. Some key Clinton backers remain alienated."
Associated Press, "McCain fighting the label 'old and confused'"
Wall Street Journal, "Gap Is Narrowing in Battleground States"
LA Times, "McCain gains on Obama among voters in 4 key states, polls show"
National Review's Conway, "Where's the Barack Bump?"
Wall Street Journal, "Energy Is Top Economic Issue For Voters"
Reuters, "Obama and Muslim voters a double whammy?"
Politico, "Obama leaves the gifting to Santa":
LA Times, "National Enquirer alleges John Edwards affair; blogosphere readies salt shaker"