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Will John McCain's camp change its tune about the N.Y. Times?

Don't expect an anti-New York Times tirade from Steve Schmidt today.

At the start of this week, the top John McCain aide went off on the paper, calling it "completely, totally 150% in the tank" for Barack Obama.

This morning, perhaps he smiled as he perused the print edition's front-page story: "Dubious Claims in Obama's Ads."

Several other media outlets had been calling the Obama campaign to task for its recent spots, especially one widely seen as misrepresenting McCain's position on Social Security and another -- a Spanish-language spot -- that improbably linked the Republican to one of his longtime critics, Rush Limbaugh.

The New York Times, in wading in, summarizes: "In all, Mr. Obama has released at least five commercials that have been criticized as misleading or untruthful against Mr. McCain's positions in the past two weeks."

Schmidt's smile might have broadened as he noted that the front-page article jumped to an inside page that carried this piece: "In a Time of Crisis, Is Obama Too Cool?"

Here's the "nut graf" in the "Political Memo," penned by Patrick Healy:

However forceful and passionate Mr. Obama can be, his speeches and public appearances this week have underscored how he is sometimes out of sync with the visceral anger of Americans who are losing their jobs and homes. He often talks about growing up on food stamps and about having paid off his student loans only recently, yet his tone and volume, body language, facial expressions and words convey a certain distance from the ache that many voters feel.

We wonder where Schmidt's "in the tank" meter stands at today?

-- Don Frederick

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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