The candidates are locked in a race to the middle, but you can expect some differences to emerge this week as they’re both scheduled to address African American civil rights group, the NAACP.

Meet you in the middle – The LA Times says that while the candidates are attempting to play up the differences between their offerings (particularly Obama, who is attempting to paint McCain as the next George W. Bush) there are a number of issues where the candidates agree or have moved their policies more towards the centre, including immigration, nuclear weapons, global warming and stem-cell research. — LA Times

But TalkLeft predicts that playing on his contrasts to McCain can continue to work for Obama and win him the election. — TalkLeft

McCain, Obama to meet NAACP this week – Both presidential candidates will speak to peak African American group, the NAACP this week. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has long played a role in the nation’s discussion of civil rights and the candidates will both be reaching out to black voters. In Obama’s case he’ll be attempting to again straddle the divide between reaching out to white voters while not alienating blacks –something which he’s come under fire for before, from Reverend Jesse Jackson among others.

“Obama is expected to talk about how the nation’s economic crunch is affecting African-Americans, according to Candice Tolliver, a campaign spokeswoman. “He’ll talk about what some folks feel is the next civil rights frontier – economics,” Tolliver said. “He’ll tell how organizations like the NAACP can be partners in helping families through times like this. If you look at the economy, from credit cards to bankruptcy to unemployment, it’s African-Americans who are disproportionately impacted in all the categories.” — McClatchy

Jesse Jackson’s Obama Trauma – Jesse Jackson’s ‘hotmiked’ remarks slamming Barack Obama may have been motivated by plain old jealousy rather than a large difference in policy, according to an op ed at Real Clear Politics. Jackson says he was referring to Obama’s Father’s Day speech when complaining that Obama talks down to the African American community. But “Jackson, too, has called for parental responsibility. I was part of the national media that gave glowing coverage to his PUSH for Excellence drive in the 1970s. Across the country he preached to black youths: ‘You are not a man because you can make a baby. You’re only a man if you can raise a baby, protect a baby and provide for a baby.’
One can only imagine how Jackson must feel seeing Obama… receive national applause for saying what Jackson has been saying for decades.” — RCP

Liberals “buyer’s remorse” over Obama — Whether he’s being politically expedient or bending to try to create achievable policies rather than rhetoric may depend on your point of view. An op ed piece in the New York Daily News says some liberal voters are experiencing “buyer’s remorse” over Obama as the campaign continues. “On defining issues — security wiretapping, gun control, campaign finance, Iran and Iraq — he has done partial or full about-faces.”

“In his rush to appeal to moderate voters, Obama has demolished his narrative. Political expediency is ordinary, and by embracing it, he has proven himself an eloquent but ordinary politician.” — NY Daily News
Nadar on the trail again — Ralph Nader didn’t have enough signatures in time to get his name on the North Carolina ballot. But under state law, he can qualify as a write-in candidate for president by turning in a petition with 500 signatures by August 6. — McClatchy

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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