Barack Obama and John McCain are playing to their perceived strengths today.
Republican McCain, counting on his national defense credentials, penned an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal that presses his case that "we are all Georgians" and America needs to stand with the former Soviet republic against an increasingly aggressive Russia.
"The world has learned at great cost the price of allowing aggression against free nations to go unchecked," he wrote. "A cease-fire that holds is a vital first step, but only one. With our allies, we now must stand in united purpose to persuade the Russian government to end violence permanently and withdraw its troops from Georgia. International monitors must gain immediate access to war-torn areas in order to avert an even greater humanitarian disaster, and we should ensure that emergency aid lifted by air and sea is delivered."
Democrat Obama, meanwhile, has an op-ed in the Journal written by his top economic advisers promoting his tax plan as benefiting the middle class.
"Both candidates for president have proposed tax plans," write economic policy director Jason Furman and senior economic advisor Austan Goolsbee. "But they are starkly different in their approaches and their economic impact. Sen. Obama is focused on cutting taxes for middle-class families and small businesses, and investing in key areas like health, innovation and education. He would do this while cutting unnecessary spending, paying for his proposals and bringing down the budget deficit."
Furman also just issued a statement about the latest bleak economic news today on consumer prices.
“Today, we got the truly shocking news that inflation hit a 17-year high of 5.6 percent as the prices of gas and groceries continued to soar. Families have now lost an entire decade’s worth of raises to inflation as weekly earnings adjusted for inflation lie below the level they reached in August 1998. While Senator McCain apparently thinks the economy is doing just fine, and refuses to support any meaningful, short-term relief for America’s struggling families, Barack Obama has proposed an Emergency Economic Plan that would immediately put $1,000 in the pocket of families to help them pay for gasoline, groceries and other necessities. In addition, the Obama plan includes $50 billion in immediate measures to save more than one million jobs from being lost. America cannot afford four more years of a policy that puts tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations ahead of the real change America’s middle-class families need,” he said in a statement.
Obama, who believes he has the upper hand on the economy, also unveiled a new TV ad to run during the Olympics that also focuses on his domestic priorities.
The 30-second ad shows people building the quintessential three-bedroom ranch house as the announcer outlines Obama's plans to put the middle class first, ahead of corporate interests.
The announcer says Obama will give middle-class families a $1,000 tax cut, end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and help firms that keep jobs at home, invest in education, and move toward energy independence.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.