• As commented on by Tom and Paul below, Barack Obama has a new general election campaign ad touting his strong American values. Schmaltzy for sure, but aggressive too -- the ad is running in mostly red states, even deep-red states like Alaska, which Nate at 538 argues Obama should make a push for.
  • In less encouraging news, Obama cut a different ad for pro-war House Democrat and netroots bete noir John Barrow of Georgia.
  • You know who isn't endorsing John McCain? Donald Rumsfeld. (Which isn't surprising given that McCain once called the former defense secretary "one of the worst in history"). Meanwhile, Bill Scher asks, "did Bush just lose Colorado for McCain?" With friends like these...
  • The other big story is Obama's decision to opt out of the public financing system. Accepting public financing would have given Obama access to over $80 million for the general election, but considering his donor base of 1.5 million people and counting, it's more than likely that Obama will be able to raise more than that. John McCain wasn't too pleased with the announcement, and his campaign appears to have been put off guard by the timing.
  • Straight Talk watch: Steve Benen documents 48 instances of McCain flip-flopping on policy, 17 in the last two months alone.
  • Contrary to yesterday's Quinnipac poll, Rasmussen has McCain beating Obama 47-39 in Florida.
  • A separate Rasmussen poll finds the American public largely unaware that drilling for new oil doesn't affect price or supply in the short term. Jonathan Stein argues that, because of this lack of knowledge, offshore drilling could become a potent election year issue for Republicans.
  • AFSCME, despite a long record of criticizing Obama, endorsed his presidential campaign today.
  • First Read notes the surprisingly longevity of the Obama/Carter comparison.
  • John McCain finally got his Secret Service code name: Phoenix. Earlier TAPPED codename blogging can be found here.

--Mori Dinauer