Tales from the campaign trail


Barack Obama has agreed to appear on the Fox Network with Bill O’Reilly, even as John McCain pulled out of an appearance on CNN with Larry King. Meanwhile down ticket, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is abandoning New Mexico.

Obama had complained during the primaries about Fox coverage, and had what has been reported as a satisfactory a sit-down with Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. He will be featured on The O’Reilly Factor tonight, countering the presidential acceptance speech of McCain.

For his part, McCain is said to have objected to an interview between CNN’s Campbell Brown and campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds. Bounds had been touting VP nominee Sarah Palin’s experience as head of the Alaska National Guard. Brown repeatedly asked for an example of a decision she made in that capacity. In announcing the abandonment of the Larry King interview, the McCain campaign blamed it on "a relentless refusal by certain on-air reporters to come to terms with John McCain’s selection of Alaska’s sitting governor as our party’s nominee for vice president."

In New Mexico, even though NRSC is keeping mum, television stations are saying that ads are being pulled, according to the Associated Press. The matchup features two sitting Congress members, with Tom Udall (D-NM) holding significant cash and polling advantages over Steve Pearce (R-NM). AP says some of this cash may be diverted to help defend incumbents John Sununu (R-NH) and Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, is said to be running aggressive campaigns in Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon, is countering NRCC in New Hampshire and is adding buys in Maine and Minnesota.

RBR/TVBR observation: The battle lines have certainly changed since 2004. Barack Obama has been bringing more states into play than did John Kerry before him, and the unusually large number of competitive Senate races has definitely put the political category in play for stations all over the country.