Thursday, July 3

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Think Progress ABC News' David Wright reports that when he asked John McCain to "explain how his Vietnam experience prepared him for the presidency," McCain "became visibly angry": "Please," he said, recoiling back in his seat in distaste at the very question. . . It's a legitimate question. In 2003, McCain said, "I absolutely don't believe that it's necessary" to have military service in order to be president. He also said military service alone is not a sufficient qualification to be president.

One of the questions that arose in our mind during the last weeks of the Clinton-Obama struggle was if the race was meant to be all over and Clinton meant to leave quietly, why do we need a convention at all? Haven't conventions become just another Las Vegas industry gathering to show the latest clothes or cars? Turns out we're apparently not alone in such musings. The Political Wire reports that "Sen. Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee "are toying with a convention scheduling change that has been broached before in theory but never seriously considered: cutting the party's conclave in Denver short by one day to give Obama an extra day of post-nomination bounce in the crowded August calendar."

Junaid M. Afeef, Wall Street Journal Mr. Obama is another victim of Islamophobia. He is now facing what Muslims have been and still are struggling with: an irrational fear and hatred of Muslims. Polls show that as many as 25% of Americans admit to prejudicial feelings against Muslims. Mr. Obama knows that Islamophobia has taken root in the U.S. Islamophobia hits very close to home for him because his father, from whom he also derives his black heritage, was a Muslim. While his heritage may include Muslims, Mr. Obama is a Christian, and when his religion is incorrectly identified he rightly corrects the record. . . The problem, however, is the manner in which he corrects the record. He vociferously denies being a Muslim as if it were a slur. . . If Mr. Obama simply said, "Yes, there are Muslims in my family, and while I am and always have been a Christian, I embrace my family's religious diversity," then surely the vast majority of Americans would move on to the real issues in his campaign.

While the word apparently hasn't gotten to the Obama campaign, a new poll finds 64% of American wanting the president to remove most US troops in Iraq within a few months of taking office.