Change vs Status Quo: Obama Gears up for the General


He promises to keep the focus on the issues, but McCain's scandals and skeletons are relevant if the voter should know about them.


"I always felt that if anybody establishes himself as the clear leader, the superdelegates would fall in line." — Don Fowler, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The Republican National Committee is planning a $19.5 million advertising campaign to portray Mr. Obama, 46, as out of touch with the country and too inexperienced to be commander in chief, seeking to put him on the defensive before he can use his financial advantage against Mr. McCain, 71, party officials said.

"In 1984, Ronald Reagan said, ‘I’m not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience,’ " said Frank Donatelli, the deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. "Well, we are going to exploit Obama’s youth and inexperience."