That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
Barack Obama on Monday danced with Ellen and goaded Stephen Colbert, but given the expectation and anticipation that he’ll take a more forceful aim at Hillary Clinton, that is about it for levity. The media, pundits and donors are all focused on tonight’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia, anxious to see how and if Obama follows through on his intention of casting greater distinctions between himself and Clinton. His backers are getting anxious, and, to say the least, he finds himself in a tight spot.
When he visited Los Angeles last weekend, he pointed to a few policy initiatives, such as his call for increased automotive fuel standards, that are unique among the candidates. But on issues like health care, Obama said that his proposal, Clinton’s proposal and Edward’s proposal are “basically the same.” Instead, he cast the race as one of judgment vs. experience, pointing most often to Clinton’s 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq. But those are lines that he’s been repeating since at least the end of the spring. A problem that Obama has had his translating his “politics of hope” message into something that his supporters can carry elsewhere, on their own, via policy proposals or solutions. In fact, one of the chief complaints among his backers in Hollywood is that his campaign wasn’t able to channel a lot of the enthusiasm into concrete campaign activities. Obama’s campaign may not make or break based on tonight’s performance, but this may be one of his last and best opportunities to make his case.
Pitt Politics: The New York Daily News reports that the Obama campaign turned down Brad Pitt’s offer to stump for him. I’m a bit suspicious of this item, given that the item also says, “The overture was made through intermediaries, and it’s not known whether the Illinois senator was even aware of Pitt’s offer to make appearances on his behalf.” Anyhow, Pitt and Angelina Jolie has so far been neutral in the presidential contest. They appeared last month as guests at the Clinton Global Initiative.
No Magic: Foxnews.com’s Roger Friedman reports that Clear Channel stations are being told not to run songs from the Bruce Springsteen album “Magic,” even though it is No. 1 on the charts. Springsteen’s lyrics are critical of the current administration and U.S. foreign policy.