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What Do Obama and McCain (Want You to) Read?

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: politics, Obama, McCain, Google Reader, news,

McCain vs. Obama over GoogleGoogle just released a new application called Power Readers in Politics, where both major presidential candidates and a number of journalists show off what they’re reading on Google Reader. Obama and McCain have reading lists that look like two sides of the same coin. Here’s a breakdown of what the candidates (or at least their campaign staff) say they're reading.




Non-Girly Man Credentials:
Obama: ESPN, NBA, Chicago White Sox
McCain: Arizona Cardinals, Diamondbacks, ESPN
Advantage: Obama. The White Sox won the World Series in 2005. The Arizona Cardinals haven’t won anything since the 1940s.

Trying to be funny:
McCain: BBQ Bible, JibJab
Obama: Daily Show
Advantage: Obama. Although the short, bespectacled Steve Raichlen of the BBQ Bible might play well in some parts of the country, the Daily Show is definitely funnier than Jib Jab.

Local Media:
Obama: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times
McCain: Arizona Republic
Advantage: Obama. The Chicago Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for investigative reporting. The Arizona Republic hasn’t won one since 1993.

Mainstream Media:
Obama: Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, the Economist
McCain: Forbes, Fox News, Wall Street Journal
Advantage: Obama. He’s got the numbers.

Online Media and Blogs:
Obama: Daily Kos, Think Progress, Talking Points Memo, the Huffington Post
McCain: National Review (2x), Wired Danger Room, Drudge Report, Jeffery Goldberg at the Atlantic, Politico (2x), Mark Halperin at Time,  Powerline, RealClearPolitics, the Weekly Standard Blog
Advantage: McCain. Talking Points Memo may be the strongest single link, but McCain’s got the bigger lineup. Also, McCain focuses more on individual reporters, which is sure to gain him points.

Non-Partisan Political:
McCain: ONE Campaign, Navy.mil, Yahoo! News
Obama: None
Advantage: McCain. Even though Yahoo! is a slightly mystifying choice on a Google application, McCain still wins this one.

Partisan Media:
Obama: Barack Obama’s Blog, Democratic Party Blog
McCain: GOP, Meghan McCain’s Blog
Advantage: Even. I was going to give this to McCain, but Meghan’s Blog makes her dad’s campaign look like a brainwashed summer camp.

Analysis: In spite of Obama’s famed advantage in Web 2.0, the McCain campaign put up a surprisingly strong fight. One factor was that McCain’s reader included more news sources than Obama’s. By my count, though, the Obama campaign was able to barely edge out the competition and win the Google Power Reader challenge.