McCain Up With First General Election Ad

Deciding not to wait for his Democratic rivals to make up their minds, John McCain is up with the first general election ad of the year. The ad mixes footage of the GOP nominee on the campaign trail with clips of McCain imprisoned in Vietnam.

"What must a president believe about us? About America?" the spot asks. "And, what must we believe about that president? What does he think? Where has he been? Has he walked the walk?"

The ad is title "624787" after McCain's Navy serial number.


Clinton: McCain Would Let the Phone Ring

Hillary Clinton today said John McCain would "let that phone ring, and ring, and ring" if he received a 3 a.m. phone call about the economy as president.

Clinton was discussing John McCain's economic speech, made Tuesday, in which McCain called for economic experts to meet and arrive at an answer to the recent swell of home foreclosures.

Barack Obama, in his own speech on the economy today, offered his own harsh criticism of McCain. Clinton's campaign circulated the video this afternoon as both candidates sought to denounce McCain's economic platform.


Gallup Breaks Down Dem Defectors

A Gallup poll yesterday caught a lot of attention for claiming 28 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters would defect to John McCain in an Obama-McCain match-up. The poll said 19 percent of Obama supporters would jump ship. Today Gallup released a follow-up showing that of the Hillary defectors, nearly 40 percent of Independents and Conservative Democrats jumpt to McCain if Obama is the nominee. Full results after the jump.

Clinton Campaign Accuses Obama of "Followership"

Hillary Clinton's campaign is claiming that Barack Obama "copies" Clinton's proposed $30 billion economic stimulus plan in calling for a $30 billion plan of his own.

"If Senator Obama has to copy policy ideas when he's a candidate on the campaign trail, how is he going to solve people's problems if he's president?" said Clinton policy director Neera Tanden in an e-mail. "When it comes to fixing the economy, we need leadership, not followership."

The attack is reminiscent of another that Clinton pushed just a few weeks ago. In a February debate, she accused Obama of copying words from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and thus running on "change you can Xerox." The line was met with boos from the audience.

Pelosi Remains Firm on Superdelegates

Mike Soraghan has a story on Speaker Nancy Pelosi responding to the letter sent by 20 Clinton fundraisers blasting Pelosi for saying super-delegates should support the winner of the pledged delegate count. Here is Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly's comment on the letter in Soraghan's story:

Obama-Bloomberg '08?

Not shying away from speculation of a fusion ticket, Barack Obama thanked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) for his "extraordinary leadership" while giving a major speech on the economy.

Bloomberg introduced Obama at Cooper Union. Obama then opened his speech by lauding Bloomberg for his record on the economy and on education.

"At a time when Washington is divided in old ideological battles, he shows us what can be achieved when we bring people together to seek pragmatic solutions," Obama said, according to his prepared remarks.

More after the jump.


Obama: Bush Economic Plan "Completely Divorced from Reality"

Chris Good has a story coming, but while you wait here is the full text of Obama's speech. After being introduced by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Obama laid out "six core principles for reform" and proposed a second stimulus package.

Obama called President George Bush's plan "completely divorced from reality." The Illinois Senator also hit John McCain saying McCain's plan "amounts to little more than watching this crisis happen."

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds had a ready response to Obama's speech. "No amount of rhetoric can hide Senator Obama's clear record of embracing the liberal tax and spend, big government policies that hit hardworking American families at a time when they're most vulnerable, and are certain to move America backward," Bounds said.

Obama does not mention Hillary Clinton in the speech. Read the entire speech after the jump. Video here.

Bill Clinton: "Let's Just Saddle Up and Have an Argument"

At a campaign event this afternoon, former President Bill Clinton said any concern over the escalating fighting between his wife and Barack Obama is overblown. "If a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office. If a football player doesn't want to get tackled or want the risk of an occasional clip he shouldn't put the pads on."

"Let's just saddle up and have an argument," Clinton said. "What's the matter with that? That's what America's about, right?"