Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Friday, July 18:
1. Keep an eye on Barack Obama’s international trip. The office of German Chancellor Merkel has now confirmed that she will welcome the presumptive Democratic nominee to Berlin Thursday morning. He is also expected to deliver a speech in the city, but the location has yet to be determined. Obama’s stop in Germany is part of a tour of Europe and the Middle East the Senator kicks off next week. There is lots of focus on the trip, and it’s not happening by accident. Watch to see how the campaign stage-manages the details of this major event to maximize its effect.
2) Watch how the media covers Obama’s trip. There’s been a lot of focus on the fact that Obama’s voyage is getting big coverage already, and will continue to draw major attention next week. Watch to see how the print coverage of the TV networks impacts how the Big Three cover the trip. Also, take a look at how the AP tees up the scene for Obama’s first high-profile step onto the world stage. This is a big moment in the campaign.
3) Pay attention to John McCain in Warren, Michigan today. The presumptive GOP nominee will hold an early-morning town hall meeting there. Many analysts consider Michigan to be the most important state in the election. Watch to see how McCain does there, particularly in talking about the economy– issue number one for Michiganders.