John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock Biden on Graham's push for investigation: 'I don't know what happened' to him MORE's defense of Joe Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," from media scrutiny and criticism earns the GOP nominee praise from conservative bloggers, while liberals celebrate the Chicago Tribune's endorsement of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Obama remembers Kobe Bryant in speech to NBA All-Stars: 'Nothing is more heartbreaking' Warren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad MORE.

The banner headline on the Drudge Report this afternoon reads, "McCain Defends the Plumber" after McCain accused the media and Barack Obama's campaign of inappropriately scutinizing Wurzelbacher. McCain is right that Americans should be able to ask tough questions of candidates without reporters digging up their background info, Carol Platt Liebau writes at Townhall.com. Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, meanwhile, asks why Obama has not called on the media to leave Wurzelbacher alone, given that his campaign has criticized Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) for not denouncing agitated GOP supporters at her rallies.

The Tribune may be Obama's hometown paper, but Obama is the first Democrat it has endorsed in its 161-year history, SusanG notes at Daily Kos after its editorial board backed the Illinois senator for president today. The endorsement is particularly significant because the paper's editorial board is conservative--an alignment the Tribune editors admit in their endorsement piece--writes AMERICAblog's John Aravosis.

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Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), meanwhile, catches heat from one blogger for testimony he gave today at his corruption trial. Stevens basically deflected blame to his wife for the home renovation project, allegedly paid for in part by friends, that has landed him in court, TChris alleges at TalkLeft. Stevens said the renovation was essentially his wife's project, and the blogger claims Stevens is using his busy life as a senator as his main defense.

FROM THE BLOGS:
Never Question Obama - Dan McLaughlin, RedState
Trib Endorses Obama - John Aravosis, AMERICAblog
McCain to Obama: Lay off Joe - Allahpundit, Hot Air
Supreme Court Rules against Ohio GOP - T. Beeton, MyDD
Obama Slams McCain's Health Plan - Jed L, Daily Kos
McCain Defends Joe - Carol Platt Liebau, Townhall.com
Stevens Testifies - TChris, TalkLeft
Fake Votes in NM - Jim Geraghty, The Campaign Spot
The Fundamentals - Matthew Yglesias
Obama Worship at The Post - Paul Mirengoff, Power Line

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
Supreme Court Throws Out Ohio GOP's Suit - LA Times
Iraq Appears on Verge of Troop Deal with U.S. - NY Times
Rising Star Adopts Low-Key Strategy - Washington Post