The general election is (finally) upon us! Tim Pawlenty was on Fox News Sunday, making the case for John McCain as a leader for change. "Look at Senator McCain's record on the big issues of our time: changing of the war; being for climate change; cracking down on pork barrel spending; being against earmarks; reaching across even on things that are controversial, like campaign finance reform as a United States senator. Not casting a vote as a state legislator, but leading, being the person that was in the middle of it. The Gang of 14, that Senator Obama was against, that gave us Justice Roberts and Alito â€¦ Senator Obama was even against that."
Lindsay Graham, meanwhile, was on This Week and fired a warning shot across the bow of the Obama campaign, daring them to come after McCain for having ties to lobbyists. "Well, Charlie Black helped run Ronald Reagan's campaign, he is not lobbying now," Graham said in response to a jab by Obama surrogate John Kerry. "Rick Davis ran John's campaign in 2000. Mark Salter's his alter ego. Phil Gramm is a great friend. John McCain didn't borrow money from a guy going to jail to build his house, so if we're gonna start talking about associations, that's fine, we'll do that." He also hit on McCain's strong record of reaching across the aisle, contrasting it with Barack Obama's faux-bipartisanship: "Let's talk about the question of bipartisanship. I can't tell you how many phone calls I got about the ethics vote. I got beat up. Not. I can tell you I got my brains beat out helping John on immigration. I can tell you it was tough on campaign finance reform. I can tell you it was tough to go back to South Carolina and support Sen. McCain's efforts to reform interrogation policy. I can tell you I've been in a lot of bipartisan fights with John McCain where the Republican party really didn't like what John was doing. And when it comes to Senator Obama it's all talk: he never did anything that the left didn't want to hear, whether it's Iraq policy or anything else."
On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd tried to blow up the myth that Hillary Clinton had everything going for her in the leadup to the primary campaign. "You know, the biggest myth of this campaign was that somehow the Clintons controlled the apparatus. They didn't. â€¦ Two moments before the campaign even started were clues as to how difficult this was going to be for them. One was the election of Howard Dean as DNC chair, and the other was Democrats winning control of Congress in 2006 and the ascension of Nancy Pelosi as one of the leaders. Here they had two of the sort of three cogs of the Democratic leadership, in Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, who were waiting for there to be a crack in this inevitability armor of, of the Clintons. And once there was, it's as if they were just waiting. And it wouldn't have mattered if it was Barack Obama, Mark Warner, had he run, or John Edwards. Whoever ended up filling the vacuum of the anti-Clinton, they were going to rush to them."