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Morning Road Map

By Michelle Levi and Steve Chaggaris

McCain campaigns in Pennsylvania again today with a town hall meeting in York at 11:45am. This evening he hosts a fundraiser in Teaneck, N.J.

Obama continues his Hawaiian vacation and has a closed fundraiser in Honolulu this evening.

NEW OVERNIGHT: Obama visited his maternal grandmother yesterday in Hawaii before going with a group to watch "The Dark Knight." A large number of people, including Obama's sister Maya, ate dinner at a high end restaurant before retiring for the night. Meantime, McCain visited a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Harrisburg, Pa. yesterday where he mingled with staff and customers and bought a fish scale. He was accompanied by former Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pa., who has been mentioned as a possible running mate.

Wall Street Journal's Meckler, "Georgia Conflict Tests Candidates on Foreign Policy"

LA Times' Wallsten, "McCain and Obama condemn conflict in Georgia"

NY Times' Cooper, "War Puts Focus on McCain's Hard Line on Russia"

Wall Street Journal's Holmes and Chozick, "McCain Bristles Over Russia's 'Aggression'"

Wall Street Journal's Seib, "Russia-Georgia Conflict Offers Glimpse at New World Order"

LA Times, "Sounds like Tom Ridge is out of the VP picture"

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Brown, Wereschagin and Zito, "Ridge escorts McCain through state"'s Judge writes about Fmr. Gov. John Engler, R-Mich., "New Face for the Veepstakes"

Washington Times' Dinan, "McCain learns his lessons on No. 2 picks"

NY Times' Hulse, "Indiana Senator Offers Obama Risks and Rewards"

USA Today's Lawrence, Obama fans to get VP decision B4 NE1 else via e-mail, text"

The Atlantic's Green, "The Front-Runner's Fall": "Hillary Clinton's campaign was undone by a clash of personalities more toxic than anyone imagined. E-mails and memos... reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an epic meltdown."

NY Times' Healy, "Memos and E-Mails Reveal Discord in Clinton Campaign"

San Francisco Chronicle's Marinucci, "Backers want Clinton nominated at convention": "A determined crowd of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's delegates - preparing to head to the Democratic Party's national convention in Denver - have begun gathering signatures to ensure her name is placed into nomination, insisting their effort won't take spotlight off presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama."

Rocky Mountain News' Ensslin, "Dems call Clinton delegate on carpet": "Colorado Democratic party officials have asked a delegate who supports Hillary Clinton to come to headquarters and talk about a complaint that she wrote a negative e-mail about Barack Obama.

Denver Post's Fender, "Mulling through the rumor mill": "Awash in questions about access and security, most are trying their best to plan for the excitement and unknown inconveniences that will be part of showcasing their city."

Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn writes in Politico, "Negative ads: They really work": "Of course, voters publicly condemn negative advertising and suggest they would never be swayed by it. That was my experience in focus groups more than a decade ago, which found negative advertising to backfire. But Republican consultants such as the late Lee Atwater have used these tactics successfully in campaign after campaign. When reality and research differ, it is the research that is wrong."

Wall Street Journal's Rutkoff, "Obama Floods Florida Airwaves": "The Obama campaign has spent about $6.5 million on TV advertising in Florida... A spokesman for Sen. McCain declined to discuss why the campaign hasn't run TV ads in Florida, but said the Republican is investing heavily in the state and is doing well. 'We've got offices across the state and a very robust operation,' said Jeff Sadosky. 'That's a state where we won a primary.'"

McClatchy Newspapers' Gordon, "Watchdog seeks federal investigation of McCain donations": "A political watchdog group called for investigations Monday to determine whether fundraisers for John McCain's presidential campaign arranged illegal "straw" donations — contributions from people who did not spend their own money."

NY Daily News' Saul, "Obama's kids down on Paris, Britney"

Time Magazine's Newton-Small, "Obama's Economic Challenge": "[T]he Illinois Senator seems to have hit a ceiling in surveys, unable to crack 50% approval, usually hovering in the mid-40s, in public-opinion polls. Why isn't this advantage reflecting in polls? The answer lies in two kinds of economic voters Obama has yet to fully persuade: one group from the right and the other from the left, both of whom share a similar concern."

Washington Post's MacGillis, "In a Changing Corner of Pa., a Glimpse of Obama's Age Problem": "If the senator from Illinois is going to achieve his goal of bridging the nation's divides, he is going to have to overcome a generation gap with older voters unlike any such split a Democratic presidential nominee has faced in years."

Wall Street Journal's Dade and McKinnon, "Voter Registration Is the New Battleground"

Washington Post's Mathews, "Is Voting A Measured Decision?": "Once again, sweeping aside all the demographic intricacies and issue comparisons that are supposed to be important, it looks like the taller guy is going to win."

Politico's Cullen, "Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention"

LA Times' Wallsten, "Longtime Republican voters are airing new views"

Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan writes about how Obama's abortion stance and Catholic leaders are incompatible, "A Catholic Case Against Obama"

Wall Street Journal's Merrick, "South Dakota Vote Draws Attention": "Two years after a strict abortion ban here was overturned by voters, backers have brought a similar measure -- but one laced with complexities that could bode well for its passage, and ultimately could bring about the challenge to Roe v. Wade desired by abortion foes nationwide."

Associated Press' Taylor, "Obama's 'no income taxes on seniors' draws critics"

NY Times' Johnson, "Candidate Shocks Party and Himself": "What about Bob? That is the head-scratching question in Montana this election season, especially here in Butte, a tough old mining city that is home to Bob Kelleher, the surprise Republican nominee in the race against Senator Max Baucus, the longtime Democratic incumbent."