The Washington Times - September 15, 2008, 08:33AM

The new, aggressive Sen. Barack Obama debuted Friday in New Hampshire, going after Sen. John McCain. Now he’s joined by a tougher running mate.



Sen. Joe Biden will speak in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, today, and will tell voters “John McCain could easily be known as ‘Bush 44.’”


Among other highlights, per the campaign:


“The campaign a person runs says everything about the way they’ll govern. John McCain has decided to bet the house on the politics perfected by Karl Rove.   


Those tactics may be good at squeaking by in an election, but they are bad if you want to lead one nation, indivisible.” 


Take a hard look at the positions John has taken for the past 26 years, on the economy, on health care, on foreign policy… and you’ll see why I say that John McCain is just four more years of George Bush. 


On the issues that you talk about around the kitchen table, Mary’s tuition, the cost of the MRI, heating the home this winter — John McCain is profoundly out of touch.


There is simply no daylight -– at least none I can see — between John McCain and George BushOn every major challenge we face, from the economy, to health care, to education and Iraq, you can barely tell them apart.


And perhaps the toughest part of the Biden speech, a reference to his friendship with the senator from Arizona and the change from his first presidential bid:


When Senator McCain was subjected to unconscionable, scurrilous attacks in his 2000 campaign, I called him on the phone to ask what I could do.


And now, some of the very same people and the tactics he once deplored his campaign now employs.


The same campaign that once called for a town hall a week is now launching a low blow a day.



Also, here’s some video of Biden addressing the Obama staffers in Chicago recently.


The Obama camp is up with this new ad, using the recent barrage of editorials slamming McCain for running a “sleazy” campaign to say the old McCain the nation loved in 2000 is long gone.


Here’s “Honor”:
















As the ad wars rage on, Team Obama also is doing a major push for the final weeks of voter registration in swing states, and encouraging supporters to vote by mail or vote early so they can get out and volunteer on Nov. 4.


National field director Jon Carson sent supporters this note linking to the Obama page that will help them find neighbors to reach out to about the presidential race (ala Plouffe’s “persuasion army” I’ve written much about.)


Here’s a portion of his email:


“It’s up to each of us to talk to voters across the country and make sure they know what this election is really about.

We have an exciting new tool called Neighbor to Neighbor that makes it easy to talk to potential supporters in your community about Barack and the issues that matter.

Nothing is more powerful than having undecided voters hear from ordinary people. And right now, that’s needed more than ever.

No prior experience is required. Neighbor to Neighbor gives you a list of potential supporters, suggested topics to talk about, and an easy way to report back on who you’ve contacted.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we can’t allow voters to lose focus on the big issues and get swept up by the smears and lies coming out of the McCain campaign.


I left the Obama bubble Saturday, filing this piece on his new stump speech going after McCain as a carbon copy of George Bush:


MANCHESTER, N.H. | Sen. Barack Obama told voters not to fall for Republican attempts to “distort my record,” keeping up his attacks on Sen. John McCain, whose campaign criticized the Democrat for talking politics during a hurricane.

During a rally that was scaled back as Hurricane Ike swamped Texas, the Democratic presidential nominee said Republicans “will try to undermine your trust in what the Democrats are trying to do,” but warned voters in the blue-leaning swing state that “the times are too serious for those strategies to work.”

“If we don’t [start] the changes that we need starting right now, then our children may not have the same kind of America that we want them to have,” Mr. Obama said.

Aides for Mr. McCain, who had no public events scheduled as his running mate hit the campaign trail solo for the first time, responded that Mr. Obama “showed zero restraint in the ferocity of his attacks,” calling it a “new low.”


Read the full story here.


Also breaking over the weekend, the Obama campaign raised a record $66 million in August.


Finally, Stephen Dinan did extensive analysis of Obama and McCain’s bipartisan legislation in Congress in the three years Obama has served. Read the story here.


Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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