TRAIL MIX for Monday: Campaign Insight from Newspaper Blogs

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By: Kathryn Blaze Carlson

Once again, in our daily feature, we go inside the campaigns by going inside the blogs.

Roberta McCain Steals Reporters Heart
The Swamp
Chicago Tribune
By James Rainey

“World traveler, grandmother, freeway speedster and potential First Mother of the United States, Roberta McCain,” says she’s been “muzzled” by her son’s presidential campaign, said James Rainey at the Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp. In today’s post, Rainey recounts his telephone conversation with Mrs. McCain and outlines some of the “distractions she created during the primaries.” According to Rainey, the “presidential season apparently will feature only rare media outings for Mrs. McCain, a charming and feisty woman who enjoys life more than many people a quarter her age.”

For Southpaws Barack Obama and John McCain, the Commonalities Mount
Top of the Ticket
Los Angeles Times
By Don Frederick

For the fifth time in the last 35 years, a leftie is poised to nab America’s top job, said Don Frederick at the LA Times’ Top of the Ticket in today’s post. Frederick’s piece takes a look at the similarities between the presidential candidates, going beyond the southpaw designation and pointing to their shared penchant for trinkets and Ernest Hemingway’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

‘W’ Impersonator Stars in Dem’s Radio Ad, ‘Outrageous,’ GOP Says
On Politics
USA Today
By Mark Memmott

Just when you thought one George Bush was enough, a Dubya impersonator is set to take the airwaves in a new radio ad put forward by the Dems, writes Mark Memmott in his post at USA Today’s On Politics. The ad, which will run Monday through Friday across the country, is part of a new campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices. Just in case you miss the ad, here’s what the impersonator had to say: “‘W’ here, wanted to thank you for your support of the big oil energy agenda. ‘Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to the big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what’s good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that’s why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh, heh, heh.”

Sunday Talker: Tracing an Email Smear
The Fix
The Washington Post
By Chris Cillizza

Getting to the bottom of an email smear is tricky, and finding the root of the common Obama smear — that he is a “secret Muslim” — has proven impossible. “It is this ‘level of anonymity’ and ‘technical efficiency’ that should rightly frighten any candidate and his (or her) supporters in the electronic age. The onus is now on campaigns to find ways to fight back quick and hard,” said Chris Cillizza in his post at The Washington Post’s The Fix. Cillizza specifically takes a look at Post reporter Matt Mosk’s recent article which “embarks on a mission” to get to the bottom of the smear.

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