MORNING READ

The online debate over former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's tell-all book has shifted from the Bush administration to the media. McClellan was right to point the finger at reporters for not doing enough to question the rationale for war, liberal bloggers write. Bloggers on both sides lay out the paths to the White House for their respective candidates, while conservatives accept that Democrats will win Senate seats this year.

McClellan's admission that the Bush administration was less than forthcoming about its justifications for war shouldn't be a surprise to reporters, as Barack Obama, Phil Donahue and McClatchy's journalists treated them with skepticism in 2002 and 2003, according to The Huffington Post's Bob Cesca. Tucker Carlson shouldn't be shocked that the Bush administration had a "theoretical," nation-building rationale for the invasion, just as he shouldn't view the White House and John McCain's other rationale, "preemptive war," as defensible, Daily Kos's Kagro X writes. If reporters want to show they can hold the administration accountable, they should do more digging into the Pentagon's propanganda program, which used television networks to sell the war, Daily Kos's DarkSyde writes.

For McCain to win this year, he should push back against Democrats on the economy, as he's already running better on the issue than other Republicans and since economic growth under President Bush has been consistently good, according to The Next Right's Jon Henke. Obama, however, will benefit by tying McCain to Bush, since about three-quarters of voters in a new Pew Research poll want to end current policies or a new direction for the country, notes Josh Orton at MyDD. Both candidates will have opportunities to win states that their respective party's 2004 nominees lost, but Obama has the best odds of flipping more states, with Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada in play, according to Chris Cillizza's Friday Line.

The outcome of this year's Senate battle is less murky. Democrats are likely to win, concedes The Next Right's Sean Oxendine, who gives the party a 50 percent chance of coming away with 57 seats. The Republicans' candidate in Colorado, Bob Schaffer, isn't likely to help his party, as he's now facing questions over whether he secured a $3.6 million earmark as a House member for a man just convicted of defrauding the government, TalkingPointsMemo's Josh Marshall writes.

FROM THE BLOGS:
McClellan And No War For BBQ - Bob Cesca, Huffington Post
Media-Types Straddle Fence On McClellan - Kagro X, Daily Kos
David Gregory To The Rescue! - DarkSyde, Daily Kos
McClellan's Motive - Jason Zengerle, The Plank
McClellan: Hey, Wha' Hoppened? - Josh Marshall, TalkingPointsMemo
Reviewing Doug Feith's Book - Paul Mirengoff, Power Line
Economic Narrative And Counterfactuals - Jon Henke, The Next Right
What Ailments Is Obama Hiding? - Erick Erickson, RedState
Obama In Full Retreat: 4 Issues, 48 Hours - Soren Dayton, RedState
Pew Confirms McCain's Huge Weakness: Bush - Josh Orton, MyDD
Ranking The McCain-Obama Battlegrounds - Chris Cillizza, The Fix
Declaring Victory In Dem Race - Todd Beeton, MyDD
'08 Senate -- GOP In For Rough Ride - Sean Oxendine, The Next Right
Bob Schaffer: Going, Going... - Josh Marshall, TalkingPointsMemo

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
U.S. Cites Big Gains Against al Qaeda - Washington Post
Reid, Pelosi See End To Party Race - Washington Post
McClellan Disputes 'Disgruntled' Label - USA Today
Senate's Allure Drew McCain From Military - New York Times

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