McCain’s policies on the economy and taxation are under scrutiny, but it’s a TV interview with the Obama family that’s got tongues wagging.

McCain’s tax talk – McCain’s sticking to talk about the economy and taxes at the moment, peddling that old chestnut that ‘Democrats raise taxes and Republicans cut them”. Time’s Swampland blog has published an article cutting through the spin, saying: “both the McCain and the Obama tax plans will have the effect of reducing total revenue to the federal government, meaning lower aggregate taxes. But don’t take my word for it. “Their specific non-health tax proposals would reduce tax revenues by $3.6 trillion (McCain) and $2.7 trillion (Obama) over the next 10 years, or approximately 10 and 7 percent of the revenues scheduled for collection under current law, respectively,” says the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.” — Swampland

Obama’s family on show – America and its media always want to know about the candidates’ families, but the Obamas have come under fire from some quarters for recording a TV interview with their kids (ages 7 and 10).  The Atlantic lambasted the Obamas’ decision to appear on the Access Hollywood show as hubris: “I can barely credit that Michelle Obama agreed to this and that Barack Obama went along with it – it’s not what they would have done a few months ago. One great aspect of the Obama marriage has been the way in which they appear to have brought up their daughters as very regular girls, down-to-earth, normal and sane. Displaying them in this way was bad judgment and poor parenting.”
 
The Washington Monthly hit back saying “I gather that a fair number of people feel the same way, and even Obama himself now says he wouldn’t do it again. Am I living in a bubble when I say that I’m just flabbergasted by this reaction?” 

All the kerfuffle made us curious to see this controversial video and of course YouTube obliged. And, really, what in hell were people getting upset about? It’s a fluffy feelgood interview about what they have planned for their kid’s birthday and how the kids keep Barack from being a daggy dad in front of their friends. Not exactly the stuff that’s going to haunt the kids in therapy in years to come. Get over it, people! 

Fact-checking the candidates on energy – Newsweek has published an article by Factcheck.org, saying a new Republican campaign ad claims Obama has “no new solutions” to the energy problem, when he actually proposes $150 billion worth. The RNC is spending $3 million to run the ad, entitled “Balance” in the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

VP watch
– Still no news on the VPs, but Real Clear Politics points to a survey of over 240 “right of center” bloggers on their favourite elected Republican and tries to apply that to who might make a good VP choice. The list was topped by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and RCP points out that Mitt Romney, “widely believed to be one of McCain’s best options, is no where to be found in the top 20. Which I think, if we can stretch it even further, says something about Romney’s oft-stated appeal with conservatives. When given few other options — as in the primary — conservatives like Romney. But when the field is wide open, it’s a different story entirely.”

Jesse Jackson fallout – RCP points out some of the front page treatment that Jesse Jackson’s private attack (and subsequent public apology) has received in the press, and looks at the effect it may have on Barack Obama’s campaign. The conclusion? “Being attacked by Jesse Jackson certainly won’t hurt him with white voters, and African-American voters will rally to his defense as well.” —
 

Obama’s Hillary afterthought – Sure Obama’s got a lot on his mind last night, but this was just the slip-up his campaign didn’t need when they were wooing the hearts and wallets of Hillary Clinton’s supporters.  ABC News reports that Barack Obama walked offstage after a half hour speech to donors in NYC, then realised he had forgotten to ask them to open their wallets to help Hillary Clinton pay off her campaign debt – so he rushed back on stage to make the plea. 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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