Campaign Snapshots |

Colin Powell on ‘Meet the Press' Sunday; who will he endorse?

Credit NBC with putting together back-to-back lures for political junkies.

Sarah Palin's long-rumored appearance on “Saturday Night Live” happens today. And you can just keep your set tuned to the network when you go to bed, because the “must-see” TV on Sunday morning will be Colin Powell's appearance on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

Credit Powell with having starred in this campaign's longest-running guessing game: Would the famed former Army general and former secretary of state under President Bush cross party lines and publicly back Barack Obama? The buzz is that he will.

Powell, who flirted with seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, created a stir in June 2007 when he pointedly declined to commit to endorsing whoever became the GOP nominee. This year, his every word and action have been closely watched – and usually interpreted as indication of a pro-Obama slant. Los Angeles Times

Obama endorsed by home paper

Democrat Barack Obama on Friday won endorsements from two unlikely newspapers – the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

While the Tribune is the largest daily in Obama's hometown, the publication hasn't backed a Democrat in its 161-year history. And the Times hasn't endorsed a presidential candidate since 1972, when it backed President Nixon's re-election.

In an editorial posted on its Web site, the Tribune said the country needs a president who can lead it through a “perilous time” and restore “a common sense of national purpose.” Obama is the best candidate to do that, the editorial board said.

The Times, the country's fourth-largest newspaper, said McCain's campaign had left the candidate “nearly unrecognizable.” His selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for running mate was “irresponsible,” it said.

Republican John McCain, who trails Obama in the number of newspaper endorsements so far 51-16, according to a tally by Editor & Publisher magazine, has picked up the backing of papers including the New York Post, the Union Leader of New Hampshire and the Boston Herald. Associated Press

Cindy McCain reported $4.2 million in 2007 income

Cindy McCain reported $4.2 million in income for 2007, nearly $2 million less than she reported the previous year, according to tax returns released by the McCain campaign Friday.

Cindy McCain, who files her taxes separately from her husband, paid $1.1 million in taxes, a tax rate of about 26 percent. The McCain campaign said her losses were in investment income directly related to her family business, Hensley & Co., an Arizona beer distributorship of which she is chairwoman.

The Arizona senator's campaign had released her 2006 return in May but said Cindy McCain had requested an extension on her 2007 return. McCain himself released his own tax return last April, reporting a total income of $405,409 in 2007 and $84,460 in federal income taxes.

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, made their returns public earlier this year, reporting $4.2 million in 2007 income, most of it profits from his books. Associated Press