Blog Buzz: Which Is the Bigger Problem, McCain's Lobbyists or Obama's 'Serious' Iran Talk?

Libs want a McCain Black-out, cons wonder if Obama is "serious" about Iran.

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Our daily look at stories and topics lighting up the Internets today:

McCain's lobbyist problem—fade to Black

As the McCain-lobbyist body count rises, libs turn their fire on the big fish, McC-adviser Charlie Black. Carpetbagger's Steve Benen gets a chuckle from the idea of Black, who used to lobby for very bad foreigners, meeting with other very bad foreigners (maybe Black'd be OK with it if Obama's precondition was a lobbying contract). WashMo's Kevin Drum thinks the press is bungling the story by expressing shock—shock!—that there are lobbyists in a presidential campaign, while MyDD's Jonathan Singer notes that McCain's biggest problem is that he apparently thought that these sort of ethics-lobbying stories would not apply to him. TNR's Noam Scheiber adds that the ongoing lobbyist/staffer firings are just adding credibility to the issue. Politico's Jonathan Martin notes that the McCain campaign is responding by pointing out that Obama consorts with ex-Weatherman William Ayers (raising the question: Who polls worse, lobbyists or terrorists?). Atlantic's Marc Ambinder says that the McCampaign is getting annoyed that Obama's lobbying connections aren't getting as much scrutiny. Never fear, McCainians, NRO's Jim Geraghty starts the nosing around here, with foreign policy adviser Greg Craig.

"Serious" talk about Iran

The right side of the Web is buzzing about Obama's arguing that Iran is not in the same league, threat-wise, as was the old Soviet Union (though Buzz didn't see anyone noting the irony in the youngster candidate saying that they don't make international nemeses like they used to). Conservative consensus is that Obama's statement makes him either 'stupid, simplistic, inexperienced, or some combination thereof. NRO's Jim Geraghty says that in an asymmetric age, Obama is missing the point of the Persian threat, while his blogging colleague Andy McCarthy says that comparing Iran and the U.S.S.R. at all is MADness. On the left, TPM's Josh Marshall comes to the Obama defense, saying that McCain is naïve if he thinks that Iran is in the same league as the U.S.S.R., while Carpetbagger's Steve Benen is impressed that Obama is engaging on foreign policy at all, marking a change of course for Dems.

—Robert Schlesinger