With scrutiny. Sometimes it’s deceiving, and sometimes….just
humorous. Take, for instance, this New York Times article with the
headline “McCain and Obama Turn Fire on Each Other.”

Oh, really? Then why the big photo of Hillary Clinton shaking hands
at a rally? And where is that headline news in the first two paragraphs
of the story?

Here it is, in the third.

In early appearances on Wednesday, Mr. McCain and Mr.
Obama both turned their fire on the opposition party, perhaps signaling
a new dynamic in the presidential race.

“Fire”? After the Potomac primaries of Tuesday, I heard Sen.
Obama honor and encourage praise for Sen. John McCain’s heroic military
service to his country. And then he went on to disagree with McCain’s
party principles. That’s what elections are about. And later I heard
Sen. McCain credit Sen. Obama for the strong campaign he has run. Of
course, he went on to disagree with him as well.

Responding to a question about Mr. Obama’s campaign so
far, Mr. McCain said that the Illinois Democrat’s speeches have been
“singularly lacking in specifics” and noted that Mr. Obama was recently
rated the most liberal Senator by National Journal.

“I respect him and the campaign that he has run,” Mr. McCain said of
Mr. Obama, after a question about his decision to focus on Mr. Obama
and his message of hope in his victory speech on Tuesday night. “But
there is going to come a time when we have to get into specifics, and
I’ve not observed every speech that he’s given, obviously, but they are
singularly lacking in specifics.”

To point out that Obama’s campaign as been “lacking in specifics” is
hardly fire. It’s actually pretty restrained, as political battles go.

What other ‘hot rhetoric’ did the two candidates allegedly exchange?

“We are not standing on the brink of recession due to
forces beyond our control,” Mr. Obama said. “The fallout from the
housing crisis that’s cost jobs and wiped out savings was not an
inevitable part of the business cycle, it was a failure of leadership
and imagination in Washington.”

That wasn’t aimed specifically at McCain, though he’s a senator in
Washington. And so is Obama. And Obama’s party, the Democrats, have
controlled Congress in a long stretch of inaction and disarray.

But McCain has been called a maverick and Obama is blazing trails as
a renegade, so they want to be exempted from the Washington quagmire.

Mr. Obama opened his campaign for next week’s Wisconsin
primary inside a General Motors plant in Janesville, one day after
General Motors Corp. posted a $38 billion loss, the largest ever for a
U.S. auto company. He criticized the North American Free Trade
Agreement, which was signed during the Clinton administration, and
offered a series of plans to inject more jobs into the economy.

“You know, in the years after her husband signed N.A.F.T.A, Senator
Clinton would go around talking about how great it was and how many
benefits it would bring,” Mr. Obama said. “Now that she’s running for
president, she says we need a time-out on trade. No one knows when this
time-out will end. Maybe after the election.”

Now it looks like Obama is actually aiming some of his fire at Clinton.

Along with Washington and McCain.

“It’s a Washington where politicians like John McCain
and Hillary Clinton voted for a war in Iraq that should’ve never been
authorized and never been waged — a war that is costing us thousands of
precious lives and billions of dollars a week,” Mr. Obama said.

His opponent was out there trying to counter this attack. 

Mrs. Clinton, speaking before an enthusiastic crowd on
Wednesday morning in McAllen, Texas, also struck economic themes,
saying she offered solutions for voters’ financial struggles while Mr.
Obama offered “rhetoric.”

So….this is a firefight between…whom?

The New York Democrat blasted her Democratic rival for
the nomination for having “a plan that fails to provide universal
health care, fails to address the housing crisis, and fails to
immediately start creating good-paying jobs.”

Which leads one to wonder, how did they get that headline?

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....