Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Friday, September 12:
1. Watch to see how the Obama campaign tries to fight back against the onslaught by the McCain campaign and the Republicans. The New York Times is out with a story today on how Obama and his surrogates will step up attacks on McCain beginning today, as a more aggressive GOP campaign has many Democrats concerned. This effort will include sharper TV ads and stump appearances, renewed linking of McCain to Bush and more stress on women’s issues, such as pay equity. Watch to see the cumulative effect of whether or not the Obama camp is able to fight back effectively.
2. Watch to see how the press tries to hold McCain and his campaign accountable for its statements, ads and other things. The AP called out McCain and Palin, saying “Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week.” There’s been lots of very tough media coverage of the pair. Watch to see if that gains any traction today in the press.
3. Keep an eye on Charlie Gibson as he continues his time with Sarah Palin. In her second interview with the ABC News anchor, the Alaska governor said humans play a role in climate change — a different view from what she has suggested in past comments. She also said she continues to disagree with McCain about drilling in ANWR, which he opposes and she supports. There’ll be another fresh interview coming tonight on ABC’s “World News” and in a “20/20″ special encompassing all three segments of Charlie’s interview. Watch to see how Sarah Palin does in part three.