Blog Buzz: John McCain Brings Up the Barack Obama-Bill Ayers Connection Again, Obama Attacks McCain on the “Keating Five” Scandal, Sarah Palin Wonders About Rev, Jeremiah Wright

McCain begins an assault on Obama’s character; Obama responds with a documentary on the “Keating Five.”

+ More

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

McCain's Old Attack on an Old Scandal

According to the Washington Post, top Republicans say that John McCain's campaign is preparing to launch an aggressive attack on Barack Obama's character to shift attention away from the economy. The first line of attack appears to be familiar territory for the McCain campaign—Obama's connection to Bill Ayers. The campaign has released this statement, and Sarah Palin brought up Ayers at a rally in Florida this morning. Liberal bloggers say the Republicans are trying to "distract with slime" and provide examples of McCain's ties to a "pretty motley crew," including "his own Bill Ayers," G. Gordon Liddy. Other liberal bloggers, however, question the Obama campaign's response to the accusations. Conservative bloggers want to know exactly what Obama knew about Ayers and when he knew it. Chris Cillizza analyzes the shift that has taken place since the 2004 election, when personal attacks like this almost always came from outside groups, not from the candidates themselves.

Obama's New Attack on an Old Scandal

Responding to McCain's renewed attempts to link Obama with Ayers, the Obama campaign has E-mailed supporters a link to a 13-minute documentary on McCain's involvement in the "Keating Five" savings and loan scandal of 1989-1991. Liberal bloggers say that while Obama should not make the scandal a central campaign message, it does have much more relevance to current events than the Ayers line of attack, and is, therefore, an appropriate defensive move. Conservative bloggers point out that McCain was not found guilty of violating any Senate rules and say that the attack justifies McCain's Ayers tactic. They also think that the presence of John Glenn (who was also involved in the Keating Five scandal) at a pro-Obama event is hypocritical.

Palin's New Attack on an Off-Limits Scandal

Liberal bloggers have found another reason to question Sarah Palin's judgment in a recent interview with New York Times columnist Bill Kristol. Palin told Kristol that she wondered why Obama's association with former pastor Jeremiah Wright is not discussed more because, she said, "those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country." McCain has repeatedly said that attacking on Obama on his connection to Wright is off limits, leaving bloggers to wonder how McCain will respond to Palin's comments, and whether he neglected to inform Palin about Wright or he's changed his policy and Wright is fair game now. A conservative blogger says McCain would be "committing political malpractice" if he didn't start talking about Wright.

—Gretchen Hannes