OBAMA is in Iraq today as part of his foreign CODEL trip today where he's expected to meet with U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus and Iraqi P.M. Nouri al-Maliki. He will also greet civilian staff working in Iraq and constituent service members.
McCAIN has a closed meeting with former President George H. W. Bush today in Kennebunkport, Maine beginning at 11:00am ET. Later today, McCain will attend a picnic in South Portland, Maine.
McCain sat down for interviews with all three network morning shows today.
On CBS's "The Early Show", McCain argued that Obama said the surge did not work and it has been successful and that Obama will find that out. If elected president, McCain noted that he will focus on national defense and the economy.
On ABC's "Good Morning America", McCain said Obama had "fundamental misjudgment on the surge" and that the increased media coverage of Obama's trip "is what it is" noting that voters can decide if the coverage was fair.
On NBC's "Today Show" McCain said his opponent ""badly misjudged the situation and he was wrong" and reiterated his claim that the U.S. would have left Iraq in March had Obama been president. He added about Maliki's support for a 16-month timetable, "of course they'd like to have us out. That's what happens when you win wars, you leave." He also repeated his criticism of Obama's not holding meetings on Afghanistan while chairman of a Senate subcommittee.
OBAMA'S FOREIGN TRIP
CBSNews.com, "Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal"
USA Today, "Next on Obama world tour, Iraq"
Associated Press, "Barack Obama begins firsthand inspection of Iraq"
Time Magazine, "Iraq Unsure How to Greet Obama"
NY Times, "Comment Stings Iraqi Leader on Eve of Obama Visit"
USA Today, "McCain caught in crossfire over U.S. troops' status"
Politico, "News in hot spots appears to aid Obama"
NY Daily News, "Travel trip-up would cost Barack, warn experts"
Der Spiegel, "Is Obama Speech Site Contaminated by Nazi Past?": "Finally, Barack Obama's campaign has settled on a site for his Berlin speech. But some German politicians have now criticized his choice as being one full of Nazi-related symbolism."
Chicago Sun-Times' Novak, "In Iraq, and Under the Spotlight": " Obama is a far more interesting personality and an incomparably more appealing candidate than Kerry. So why, in a year when the nation clearly has rejected the GOP as a party, does McCain have a real chance to be elected? Why does Obama have trouble breaking the 50 percent barrier, nationally and in battleground states? The answer, as seen by McCain's closest associates, is the issue they hope to ride to victory: leadership. They believe voters are hesitant to fully accept this charismatic newcomer because of doubts as to whether he can lead the nation. Now, in visiting Iraq for the first time in 2 1/2 years, Obama tests that issue. In what appears on the surface to be a public relations coup for Obama, the McCain camp will be scrutinizing -- and commenting on -- his every move in Iraq."
NY Times' Kristol, "What Obama Could Say in Berlin"
Washington Times, "Rice limits embassies' aid for candidates"
Bloomberg News, "Obama Raised More Than McCain, Didn't Outspend Him"
Wall Street Journal, "McCain Reports $16 Million Spent On Media In June"
NY Times, "Clinton Lends Her Campaign More Money as Its Debt Proves Stubborn"
Wall Street Journal, "A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank"
"I never thought I would hear myself saying this…While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might," Evangelical leader James Dobson and former McCain critic said Sunday in a radio address. "There's nothing dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her positions, especially in a constantly changing political context," Dobson continued. "Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain."
Associated Press, "Dobson shifts positions, may endorse McCain"
NY Times, "McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum"
RACE AND GENDER
LA Times, "For Obama, beyond civil rights": "The candidate downplays the possibilities, but an election victory would change the shape of a movement."
San Francisco Chronicle, "Obama raises profile of mixed-race Americans"
Wall Street Journal's Peter Brown, "Obama Must Carefully Calibrate His Celebration of King": "But how large a role the commemoration of the anniversary should play, and how much it becomes the convention's main theme, is a decision that Sen. Obama might be wise to think about long and hard. At stake could the votes of millions of white, middle-class voters who polls show remain skeptical about him. It could be much more significant than his much-discussed decision to move his speech from the convention hall to Denver's football stadium to accommodate a larger crowd."
Newsweek, "Why Won't Juan Come to the Phone? -- McCain's Hispanic outreach chief is both loved and loathed."
Associated Press, "Gore: Clinton campaign changed perception of women"
Associated Press, "Is media playing fair in campaign coverage"
Chicago Tribune, "Turning election into popularity race -- Movement seeks to skirt Electoral College, ensure presidency goes to candidate with most votes nationwide"
USA Today, "Study: Poor ballot designs still affect U.S. election"
NY Times, "Influx of Voters Likely to Test New Machines"
Washington Post, "Liberal Bloggers Brace for Victory": "Obama's Prospects Pose New Concerns for Netroots"
NY Times, "After 2000, McCain Learned to Work Levers of Power"
NY Times, "Rising Value of a Vote in a Struggling Economy"
LA Times, "Obama spoofers walk a fine punch line": "The candidate is a tricky target for comedy, but performers in his adopted hometown are happy to poke fun."
The Guardian, "People see in Obama what they want to see": "Liberals refer to him as though he represents a second coming. The left sees him as a disappointment waiting to happen. Hillary Clinton's team tried to paint him as a condescending sexist. Jesse Jackson wants to cut his nuts off."