Wednesday, May 21

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

SurveyUSA is doing a series of McCain vs. Obama head to head match-up polls in different states testing an almost mystifying number of vice presidential possibilities for each nominee. Their poll of Pennsylvania is out and the snapshot is that John Edwards is Obama's strongest pick. The real headline though is the baseline number: McCain vs. Obama without veep nominees attached. On that SurveyUSA has Obama beating McCain 48% to 40%. Talking Points Memo

The poll shows Obama neck and neck if he uses Sebelius or Hagel. Rendell is a wash, even in Pennslvania but Edwrds could bring in 2-8 more points depending on whom McCain picks for his veep.

Charlie Black, the chief campaign adviser for Republican Party Presidential aspirant John McCain, has dismissed calls that he should resign due to his many years of lobbying work for BKSH & Associates, calling the calls "complete inside-the-beltway nonsense." Move On recently launched an advertisement demanding McCain fire Black. "John McCain's chief adviser, lobbyist Charlie Black, worked for some of the world's worst dictators -- mass murderers, terrorists, and tyrants. Call McCain and tell him to fire Charlie Black," the group's website states. Black defended working for dictators -- including Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire -- insisting that he never worked for foreign clients "without first talking to the State Department and the White House and clearing with them that the work would be in the interest of U.S. foreign policy." - PR Watch

Unmentioned in national reporting [about Obama's Portland appearance] was the fact that Obama was preceded by a rare, 45-minute free concert by rock stars, The Decemberists. The Portland-based band has drawn rave reviews from Rolling Stone magazine, which gave their 2005 album Picaresque four and a half stars (out of five), and another four and a half stars for 2007's The Crane Wife. . . Here's how the local paper The Oregonian, which estimated the crowd at 72,000, reported the rally: "Obama was the biggest star at Sunday's gathering -- though a popular Portland band, The Decemberists, provided the warmup act. With blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, many in the crowd said Waterfront Park was simply the place to be." Newsbusters