August 22, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

A little housekeeping before political conventions

“How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?” Politico asked what seemed like a simple question of John McCain. But his response — that his staff would provide an answer — created a round of campaign sparring — and headlines.

The senator and his wife, Cindy, a beer heiress, have homes in several locations:

Arizona: The Arizona Republic pictured a Phoenix condominium tower: “Homing in on McCain Slip.”

Metro Washington, D.C.: “Houses Add Up to A Snag for McCain,” The Washington Post said. Its Style section offered, “Take the McCain House Tour!” adding “With Places to Hang His Hat On Two Coasts – and a Few in Between – the Candidate is Living Large.”

California: “How many homes?” the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek asked. “McCain isn’t sure.” The Tribune in San Luis Obispo noted the fallout, “Obama quick to pounce on McCain’s home gaffe.”

McCain’s stumble and his opponent’s reaction opened doors for headline writers. Los Angeles Times: “McCain blunder leaves him looking for political shelter.” The Seattle Times: “Candidates’ sparring hits closer to home.”

The New York Times noted that the political rivals are “Sparring Over Wealth, Seeking Tie to Voters.” The Star Tribune of Minneapolis said, “‘Rich’ becomes four-letter word on the campaign trail.” And from The Oregonian in Portland: “Candidates vie for common-man credential.”

What’s not on the front page: Barack Obama’s choice for VP. All week, VP stories like the one today from the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, have been appearing on front pages. “VP pick a secret,” said the Post in Denver, which hosts the Democratic convention beginning Monday.

The News Journal in Wilmington pictured reporters camped outside the Delaware home of Sen. Joe Biden, often mentioned as a possibility. “Betting on Biden, but no peep on veep.” The News Journal aggregated its coverage in an online Joe Biden page.

From Sen. Evan Bayh’s home state, The Indianapolis Star summed it up: “Obama’s pick: For him to know, us to find out.” Obama and his VP choice will appear Saturday in Springfield, Ill. Advised The State Journal Register: “Be prepared to be patient for Obama.” We already have been.

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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