McCain campaign seeks more discipline in day-to-day messaging

McCain messaging switch, China sets up "zones" for protesters, Charles Wick dies at 90, and more.

McCain generally interacts more with the press than Obama, but the campaign reportedly is working to project a tighter message from day-to-day, thanks largely to newly hired campaign strategist Steve Schmidt.

This means sticking to a single overall talking point each day as well as countering press interest in significant Obama events, such as his trip overseas, through provocative ads or statements. For example, the McCain campaign recently released a Web video designed as a mock valentine that criticizes the media for its allegedly uncritical coverage of Obama while overseas.

But McCain continues to be free-wheeling in talking with reporters and that might pose a problem, say some observers. The media is increasingly noting McCain's verbal gaffes, of which there have been a number of late, including confusing “Sudan” and “Somalia” and referring to the non-existant Iraq-Pakistan border.

McCain's defenders note that he talks with reporters much more than Obama, and so by the law of averages is simply bound to misspeak and be quoted on mistakes more frequently.

Also:

Facebook to feature new “Connect' function at upcoming developers conference. Analysts note rival sites such as Twitter fast gaining in popularity.

US Information Agency innovator and Radio Marti founder Charles Wick dies at 90. He pushed to double the USIA's budget during the Reagan era.

China sets up “zones” and permit process for protesters to gather and demonstrate during the Olympic Games.

Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy launches Shale.TV to inform concerned public about the benefits of municipal drilling.

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