MORNING READ


The debate over whether Barack Obama is "elitist" is again the talk of the blogosphere on Wednesday morning. Bloggers also weigh in on Obama's positioning in the Democratic race and John McCain's policy proposals.

Michelle Obama rebutted charges that she and her husband are "out of touch" during an appearance on the Colbert Report and on the campaign trail on Tuesday, The Caucus reports. Stephen Colbert, the fake newsman, parroted the conservative criticism that Obama is an elitist by asking how many silver spoons she has in her mouth, writes Ariel Alexovich. Obama responded that her family had four spoons growing up, and that her family picked up one more only when her father got a promotion at his plant. Obama brought up her modest Chicago South Side upbringing and the fact her husband just paid off his student loans in a Pennsylvania campaign appearance, reports Jill Abramson.

Hot Air's Allahpundit, meanwhile, notes that Barack Obama put on the American flag lapel pin at an event this week after famously choosing not to wear for much of his campaign. The conservative blogger can't think of any other anti-war pol who hasn't worn "the sort of symbolism that those small town yokels whom Obama has such affection for seem to appreciate so much."

Despite being on the defensive since his "bitter" remark, Obama is still well positioned, according to new polls and the delegate count. Marc Ambinder writes that Hillary Clinton's support might not move much beyond 40 percent in surveys and that Democrats' belief that Obama will be their nominee could be one reason Obama's "bumps in the road" are "sanded down." Jonathan Singer at MyDD reminds readers that Obama is up by more than 130 delegates and by double digits in North Carolina, two things that likely provide a cushion against any delegate gain for Clinton in Pennsylvania.

McCain's pro-life and economic positions are undergoing some scrutiny. Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner notes that while McCain brandished his opposition to abortion rights at recent event, he's been less clear over where he stands on embryonic stem-cell research, which is also important to Catholics. In the wake of McCain's economic speech on Tuesday, economists at The Caucus suggest that his proposed temporary gas-tax cut could raise gas prices, the opposite of its intended effect.

And in Congress, liberals and conservatives both pick up on favorite issues. Daily Kos's mcjoan, keeping an eye on federal agencies, suggests that FBI Director Robert Mueller might have been part of a conspiracy to obtain documents in a terror case without filing for the necessary subpoenas. And Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might be finally ready to allow floor votes on court nominees whom many conservatives and some liberals support.



FROM THE BLOGS:
Michelle Obama Charms Colbert
- Ariel Alexovich, The Caucus
Michelle Obama on Elitism - Jill Abramson, The Caucus
The Acid Test on 'Bitter' - Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish
Obama Back to Wearing Flag Pin - Allahpundit, Hot Air
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