First it was the Obama-Osama satire, now “the N word” is out there – and Whoopi Goldberg is making people cry on national television. Nice to see the US dealing with race relations in a mature fashion.

Race and “the N word” – The revelation that Reverend Jesse Jackson’s “hotmiked” criticisms of Barack Obama may – or may not – have included use of the racial hot button “N word” has continued to fan the flames of race in the election campaign. The issue was a hot topic on widely watched TV interview with Whoopi Goldberg. The discussion got pretty heated, with one celebrity blog Snarky Gossip running a video from the show of Goldberg “using the n-word repeatedly” and reducing interviewer Elisabeth Hasselbeck to tears. Goldberg argued that the word is only as powerful as a society allows it to be and advocated for using the word to give it new meaning.

Obama steps out with potential VPs. Will he choose a “Hill veteran or change agent”? Barack Obama is still vetting potential VPs, and the Washington Post reports he’s been seen with a couple of lower profile candidates this week. Obama campaigned in Indiana yesterday with a pair of potential vice presidential picks [Senators Evan Bayh and Sam Nunn] and will travel abroad with a third [Jack Reed], the latest round of high-profile appearances coinciding with a search process that could be critical to his chances of winning the White House in November.” 

McCain at the NAACP – It could be called a hard sell – John McCain speaking to one of America’s oldest African-American organisations to convince them not to vote for Barack Obama. But, he had a crack at it. The transcript’s here. The tack he chose was respect – the LA Times reported that the biggest cheer he got was when praising Barack Obama: “”Don’t tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways.” The main themes of the speech were education reform and increasing teacher pay. — LA Times

Fundraising – The Obama fundraising machine shows no sign of slowing down, with new figures showing June was his second biggest month raising $52 million – more than double than the earnings of McCain’s campaign. “Obama’s goal is raising $300 million for the general election with the party seeking to amass another $150 million — enough to carry the Democratic presidential campaign to states that normally vote Republican. For example, Obama this week will open 20 offices in Virginia, which hasn’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964.” — Bloomberg

McCain takes the Iraq argument to YouTubeReal Clear Politics points to a new 7 minute video which the McCain campaign has created which attacks Barack Obama’s handling of Iraq. The video is called The Obama Iraq Documentary: Whatever the Politics Demand.” You can view it here. — Real Clear Politics

Barack & Michelle as the next Bill & Hill. It’s surprising this argument hasn’t cropped up earlier in the campaign, really. National Review Online says that Barack Obama would be justified in defending wife Michelle against her “demonisation” by the right (including NRO itself) if she was running as a traditional first wife, but not if the Obamas are stepping up to be a “twofer” as Bill and Hillary Clinton presented themselves during Bill’s first presidential campaign. — National Review Online