MORNING READ

Barack Obama's policy shifts may have created a perception problem, according to bloggers. John McCain and Republicans in Congress, however, won't be able to distance themselves from President Bush this year, liberal bloggers write. But the latest poll of the Democratic-led Congress gives Republicans an opening, suggests one conservative blogger.

Obama may be correctly adjusting his Iraq withdrawal plan to the facts on the ground, but it's "discordant" for him to suggest that he hasn't changed his mind at all, writes Marc Ambinder. Obama's move to the center shows that he's getting stuck in the political culture and isn't the new kind of leader that he said he would be, writes Jon Henke at The Next Right. Obama sounds like former President Richard Nixon when he makes equivocal statements about ending a war, according to Townhall's Michael Medved.

Republicans will try to put distance between Bush and McCain, perhaps by having the president speak on the first day of the Republican convention, before McCain arrives, notes SusanG at Daily Kos. But just like Bush, "McSame" has aides who say that U.S. attorneys firings were "nonsense" and were involved in the controversy themselves, writes TalkingPointsMemo's Josh Marshall. Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), who has the reputation of being "independent," has voted 93 percent of the time with Bush, giving him a record that won't help him in his race this year, writes MyDD's Todd Beeton..

But with Congress's approval rating in the single digits, Republicans can make gains by offering optimism and reforms, such as more offshore oil drilling and an end to earmarks and higher taxes, according to Townhall's Carol Platt Liebau. House Democrats certainly aren't helping their case with open-minded, tech-savvy voters, as they're proposing that members post material only to websites that get congressional approval, RedState's Directors note.

FROM THE BLOGS:
Perception More Dangerous Than Reality for Obama - Ambinder
Obama's Hope-a-Dope - Jon Henke, The Next Right
Barack 'Makes One Thing Perfectly Clear' - M. Medved, Townhall
Obama and Soldiers' Trust - haystack, RedState
McCain to Ensure Bush's Glory at Convention - SusanG, Daily Kos
Yep, Nuthin McSame About That - Josh Marshall, TPM
Another AP Beaut on McCain - Josh Marshall, TPM
The Verdict is In: Joe Must Go - Todd Beeton, MyDD
Exposing Dreier as Bush Rubber Stamp - Todd Beeton, MyDD
If The GOP Only Had a Message - C.P. Liebau, Townhall
Pelosi Wants to Shut Down Member Blogging - Directors, RedState
Those FISA IG Reports - smintheus, Daily Kos
The Case for Tim Kaine - Chris Cillizza, The Fix
John McCain's Bold, Gutsy New Ad - P. Ruffini, The Next Right
Monolingual Americans? - Victor Davis Hanson, The Corner

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
Obama Donors Aren't Rushing to Aid Clinton - NYT
Cheney Sought to Alter Climate Discussion - WSJ
McCain Shifts His Message to Latino Immigrants - LAT
Dems to Target McCain for Medicare Non-Vote - The Hill