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Polls show McCain, Obama even

John McCain and Barack Obama remained neck and neck seven weeks before Election Day, but there's been some softening of the support for McCain and his running mate, a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll has found. The national survey found registered voters split evenly, with 45 percent supporting Republican McCain and 45 percent supporting Democrat Obama. The latest survey of 1,046 registered voters was taken nationwide from last Thursday through Monday. Its margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

McClatchy Newspapers

BlackBerry claim draws barbs

John McCain did not invent the BlackBerry. Early Tuesday, his top economic adviser claimed that he did.

At a briefing for reporters, Douglas Holtz-Eakin held up his BlackBerry in an attempt to prove that his boss has the know-how to fix the nation's ailing economy.

“He did this,” Holtz-Eakin informed them. “Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years – comes right through the Commerce Committee – so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that's what he did.”

Obama aides jumped on the remark. “If John McCain hadn't said that ‘the fundamentals of our economy are strong' on the day of one of our nation's worst financial crises, the claim that he invented the BlackBerry would have been the most preposterous thing said all week,” said spokesman Bill Burton.

But in a throw-him-under-the-bus response, another top McCain aide, Matt McDonald, told reporters that McCain “laughed” when told of Holtz-Eakin's comments. “He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry. This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer,” McDonald said.

Washington Post

Adviser: McCain not qualified to lead big company

Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who is an economic adviser to John McCain, says neither the presidential candidate nor his running mate is qualified to lead a large corporation. She was asked Tuesday whether she thought vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had the experience to run a big company. “No, I don't,” Fiorina replied. “But that's not what she's running for.” Later, she said the same of McCain and of the Democratic candidates.

Associated Press