Campaign Snapshots

Gay marriage

a silent issue

Proposed bans on same-sex marriage are on the ballot in three important states this fall. But neither John McCain nor Barack Obama seems eager to push the issue high on their campaign agendas.

In California, it's the first time a ban-gay-marriage amendment goes before voters in a state where same-sex couples already have the right to wed. Similar amendments are on the ballots in Florida and Arizona, McCain's home state.

McCain supports the amendments, Obama opposes them – yet the two nominees rarely mention them as they compete for middle-of-the-road voters who rank the marriage debate low on their list of concerns.

“You have the economy, the war. It makes it more difficult for social issues to get people's attention, ” said Matthew Corrigan, a professor at the University of North Florida.

Both presidential candidates say they oppose same-sex marriage, although Obama adds that his personal beliefs do not translate into support for banning it. And unlike McCain, Obama has declared his support for civil unions that grant marriage-like rights to gay and lesbian couples.

In the past, McCain has voted against a federal ban on same-sex marriages, but in this campaign he's signaled he would back such a ban if federal judges sought to impose them on states that didn't want them. Associated Press

Biden: End Bush's ‘cowboy mentality'

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Friday part of the solution to the country's financial crisis is “ending the cowboy mentality of the Bush-McCain era.”

At a rally in Sterling, Va., Biden said McCain is against government regulation of the financial sector and helped foster a culture that led to the meltdown on Wall Street and in the banking industry.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski introduced Biden at the rally, which was focused on women's issues. She referred to the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as “George Bush in earrings.” Associated Press

Obama's the pick for game companion

People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain – but by barely the length of a football.

Obama was the pick over McCain by a narrow 50 percent to 47 percent, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll released Friday. Women, minorities, younger and unmarried people were likelier to prefer catching a game with Obama while men, whites, older and married people would rather watch with McCain.

Such views matter because in many elections, candidates considered more likable have an advantage. Associated Press

Musicians put support for Obama on CD

Obama's presidential campaign, which has inspired a multitude of songs by stars and amateurs alike, is now getting an official soundtrack.

“Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement,” which takes its title from an Obama campaign slogan, features Kanye West, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder and others. It will be available for sale exclusively through Obama's campaign starting Friday.

Proceeds from the CD will help fund Obama's campaign. Associated Press