With the candidate himself on a Hawaii holiday, Barack Obama's campaign and the national Democratic Party are trying to fill the void today.
His campaign is launching its "Republican for Obama" group to promote his bipartisan appeal. Former US Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, former Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa, and former White House intelligence advisor Rita E. Hauser will help lead the effort.
UPDATE: Democrats tried to contrast Obama reaching across the aisle to Republican John McCain voting with President Bush 95 percent of the time last year.
“[Obama’s call for change] is rooted in very old American values that are as much a part of the Republican as the Democratic tradition -- there is an emphasis in individual rights, fairness and balance at home and progressive internationalism," Leach told reporters on a conference call. "And above anything else frankly I am convinced that the nation interest requires a new approach to our interactions with the world… I also have no doubt that a lot of Republicans, independents are going to be attracted to this call for a new era of non-ideological, bipartisan decision-making."
Leach also promoted Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who toured Iraq and Afghanistan with Obama last month, as a possible out-of-the-box vice presidential pick.
The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, launched the first web video of its "Exxon-McCain '08" campaign designed to link Republican John McCain to Big Oil. A parody of GOP Senator John Cornyn's "Big John" Western-themed ad earlier this year, the video highlights the campaign contributions that McCain has received from oil executives and the benefits that would flow to oil companies from the corporate tax cut he proposes.
"Exxon John's out of touch agenda may be a boon for Big Oil, but it's a bust for America's working families," DNC spokesman Damien LaVera said in a statement accompanying the video.
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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.