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October 10, 2008 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, October 10, 2008 - 7A

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, October10, 2008 - 7A

. With election a month away,
candidates zero in on ethics

Obama cites
opponent's 'erratic
behavior,' McCain
revisits Ayers issue
By MICHAEL FINNEGAN
and PETER NICHOLAS
Los Angeles Times
DAYTON, Ohio - The campaign
for president pivoted sharply to
character and temperament yes-
terday as Democrat Barack Obama
accused his Republican counter-
part of "erratic behavior" and John
McCain offered his most public
- if still elliptical - criticism of
Obama's acquaintance with a one-
time domestic bomber.
With the free-falling stock mar-
ket as a backdrop, Obama sought
to use McCain's newest economic
proposal -- a mortgage bailout plan
he announced in Tuesday's presi-
dential debate - to suggest in his
sharpest language yet that McCain
is unfit to be president.
He criticized a change the Ari-
zona senator made to the mortgage
plan that would give a break to
lenders that made bad loans.
"So banks wouldn't take a loss,
but taxpayers would take a loss,"
Obama explained, characterizing
the switch as "just the latest in a
series of shifting positions ... this is
the kind of erratic behavior we've
been seeing out of Senator McCa-
in."
Each candidate has tried to
characterize the other as the risk-
ier choice for voters, and McCain's
effort Thursday to portray Obama
as iffy presidential timber took a
page from the 1960s. Campaigning
with running mate Sarah Palin at
a town-hall-style event in Wauke-
sha, Wis., McCain was asked by
an attendee about Obamq and "the
people that he has hung with."
Without mentioning the name
of former Weather Underground
member William Ayers, McCain

alluded to him as "an old washed-
up terrorist" and said that "we
need to know the full extent of the
relationship because of whether
Senator Obama is telling the truth
to the American people or not."
McCain also launched an Inter-
net ad linking Obama and Ayers.
The two live near each other in
Chicago, and in the mid-1990s
Ayers, now an education profes-
sor, introduced Obama at a politi-
cal event at his home. The Illinois
senator was 8 years old when Ayers
and his colleagues planted bombs
to protest the Vietnam War, and it
is not clear when Obama learned of
Ayers' past behavior. The two are
not close, and Obama has criticized
the bombings as "detestable."
The moves by Obama and McCa-
in in Middle America suggested
the outlines of the campaign with
26 days to go before Election Day:
Obama, riding a surge in national
and bellwether-state polls, was
campaigning in southwestern
Ohio. He was using the economy as
a cudgel against McCain.
McCain, for his part, was cam-
paigning as the underdog in Wis-
consin, where he was trying to
stoke concerns about Obama's
background and relative lack of
national experience to peel away
voters.
More bluntly than he has in the
past, McCain conceded Thursday
what political analysts have sug-
gested for weeks: that his campaign
is in trouble, and time for a shift in
fortunes is diminishing.
"In case you missed it, this is
about the seventh or eighth time
that pundits have said 'McCain's
campaign is in trouble,"' the sena-
tor said at an event in Mosinee,
Wis., in a reference to his Lazarus-
like resurgence to win his party's
nomination. "We fooled them then,
and we'll fool them again."
Policy matters took a back seat to
character issues Thursday, but the
campaigns did bicker over McCa-
in's mortgage plan. The planwould
spend as much as $300 billion to

buy up troubled mortgages to sta-
bilize the housing market. As ini-
tially announced Tuesday, the plan
would have made lenders respon-
sible for "the loss that they've
already suffered." By Wednesday
morning, the McCain campaign
said that line was a mistake.
Obama pounced on the change
Thursday as evidence that McCain
favored banks over homeowners.
"We have to act to fix our broken
economy and restore the credit
markets, but taxpayers shouldn't
be asked to pick up the tab for the
very folks who helped create this
crisis," Obama said in Dayton.
For Obama, the back-and-forth
over policy was less important than
pressing the notion that McCain
had moved unpredictably on an
economic issue. He has been drum-
ming the same theme for weeks.
"We need a steady hand in the
White House. We need a president
you can trust in times of crisis,"
Obama told a crowd in Cincinnati.
He said McCain was "lurching all
over the place" on the economy.
McCain, for his part, has used
the Ayers issue sporadically in
recent days, raising it in inter-
views but declining to do so in
rallies or when on the same stage
with Obama in Tuesday's debate.
In making the connection more
directly Thursday, McCain mis-
stated the facts.
He described Ayers as some-
one "who still, at least on Sept. 11,
2001, said he still wanted to bomb
more" -- implying that was Ayers'
response to the terrorist attacks of
that day. McCain's reference was
to a New York Times article coin-
cidentally published Sept. 11, 2001
- based on an interview given
before that date - which quoted
Ayers as saying he did not regret
setting bombs and that "we didn't
do enough."
Ayers complained at the time
that his quotes were juxtaposed
and that he meant only that he felt
he didn't do enough to stop the
Vietnam War.

AP PHOTO
Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his wife Cindy McCain board their campaign plane in Phoenix, Arizona.
Since all but conceding Michigan to Democrat Barack Obama last week, McCain has made a strong push in other swing states,
McCain adjusts strategy'

MCCAIN
From Page 1A
coming week. His running mate,
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, spent
the bulk of her week campaigning
in Florida, also making stops in
Ohio, North Carolina and Penn-
sylvania.
McCain senior adviser Greg
Strimple called last week's deci-
sion to abandon the Michigan
effort an easy one, as Obama's lead
was growing ever-wider in the
state.

"It's been the worst state of all
the states that are in play and it's
an obvious one, from my perspec-
tive, to come off the list," Strimple
said.
According to University Prof.
Michael Traugott, an political
expert who works in the Com-
munication Studies department,
Democratic presidential nomi-
nee Barack Obama has received
poll boosts in swing states largely
because of the nation's economic
crisis.
"Bad economic times are a very
powerful source working against

the party in power," he said.
Because of the shift seen in the
polls, Traugott said, McCain has
gained a sense of urgency, partial-
ly reflected in a series of personal
attacks against Obama.
The same Wisconsin Advertis-
ing Project study found that at
the end of last month and begin-
ning of this one, almost all of the
McCain campaign's ads were
negative.
Thirty-four percent of the
Obama campaign's ads during
that same period were deemed
negative by the study.

'U' sets all-time research record

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RESEARCH, From Page 1A
research funding, they need to look
beyond federal dollars," said Mar-
vin Parnes, executive director in
the office of the vice president for
research. "There's just less federal
money and more people competing
for it."
Parnes said the University
has made a strong push to forge
ties with businesses in order
to secure non-governmental
funding.
By boosting its research, Parnes
said, the University can play a role
in aiding the state's struggling
economy.
COMMENCEMENT
From Page 1A
ningham said the University
/always planned to return com-
mencement to the Big House,
adding that the ceremony was
only moved because the stadium
was an open construction site
without restrooms.
"It was always our intention to
go back to the stadium," she said.
"The ceremony in the Diag was a
one-time event."
Although Michigan Stadium
is still under construction and
not slated for completion until
fall 2010, Cunningham said the
University doesn't expect the
current construction to signifi-
STEM CELLS
From Page 1A
gan, McClellan said the proposed
amendment provides for enough
regulation through "state and
local laws of general applicability,
including but not limited to laws
concerning scientific and medi-
cal practices and patient safety
and privacy."
However, the Associated Press
reported Wednesday that Former
Ingham County District Judge
Thomas Brennan said that the
ballot proposal would not allow
for government regulation, and
if the restrictions are lifted, it
should be done through the state
legislature instead of through a
proposal to amend the constitu-
tion.
Brennan was speaking at
a round table sponsored by
MiCause. Cure Michigan is host-
ing Bill Clinton at a reception in
Waterford tonight to promote the
ballot initiative.

"Anything we can do in terms
of introducing innovation and new
technologies into industry would
be helpful," he said.
He said researchers across the
country were shifting their focus
to private funding because of the
limited number of federal grants,
which are widely expected to stag-
nate in coming years.
John Reid, director of product
technology and innovation for
John Deere and Co., an agricultur-
al machinery manufacturer, said
the university has a partnership
with the company "on the order
of about $750,000 a year." Deere
and Company funds research at
cantly impede on this year's cer-
emonies.
If held atthe stadium, the gradu-
ation ceremony would likely be
cheaper than last year's. When
held in Michigan Stadium, the
event typically costs the University
between $300,000 to $400,000.
But last year's Diag commencement
cost $1.8 million.
Most students said they were
pleased with the news that com-
mencement would return to Michi-
gan Stadium.
School of Social Work senior
Megan Brooks said she was glad
that commencement would be in
the Big House because of the sta-
dium's long history and tradition.
Engineering sophomore John
Bogusz agreed.

the University on engines, envi-
ronmental technology and robotic
development.
Reid said University alumni ini-
tiated the partnership by pointing
the company in the University's
direction for research and devel-
opment questions, especially those
involving engineering.
"We leverage the University
to help stretch our thinking and
understand what. new horizons
are out there for our business," he
said. "We use the University to tap
into those innovations that will
affect John Deere's business."
"I thought it was kind of lame
that they pulled it out from under
the seniors last minute," he said.
"Definitely, the Big House would
be better."
others students, like Jennifer
Williams, a graduate student in the
Taubman College of Architecture
and Urban Planning who will grad-
uate this spring, said they would
prefer that the ceremony be held in
the Diag.
"I thinkH'aving it on the Diag is a
more holistic idea of what the Uni-
versity represents than the football
stadium," she said. "The football
stadium is great - it's a big thing
with the student body - but that's
more sports-related, and I think
that Michigan represents more
than just sports."

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University scientists strongly
support changing Michigan's
research laws.
Sean Morrison, the director of
the University's Center for Stem
Cell Biology, said the passage of
the proposal is key if the Univer-
sity wants to remain a competitive
research institution.
"If the initiative passes, then it
will dramatically improve our abil-
ity to recruit the best young scien-
tists," he said. "And it will improve
the treatments for disease."
Michigan's laws haven't pre-
vented researchers at the Universi-
ty from doing embryonic stem cell
research. But they require them to
import embryos from other states.
Biology Prof. Sue O'Shea said
relying on out-of-state embryos is
limiting.
"We would like very much to
make disease models, to study dis-
eases that Michigan people have,"
she said. "We would like to train
students about how you grow and
derive stem cells and right now we
can't do it."

LSA senior Landon Krantz,
president of Student Society for
Stem Cell Research, said his group
has been handing out flyers in the
Diag and bringing in speakers to
help garner support for the ballot
initiative and stem cell research in
general.
"We're getting a positive mes-
sage out about the ballot to let peo-
ple know how and why it affects
so many people," he said.
He said he is working with Stu-
dents for Life to put together a
debate between the two groups,
at which time speakers for and
against the initiative will be
brought in to present their opin-
ions.
LSA junior Lauren Bennett,
president of Students for Life, said
she not only opposes the ballot ini-
tiative, but also all forms of embry-
onic stem cell research.
"The real question we need
to ask is, what is an embryo? An
embryo is a living being that will
grow into a human being," she said.
"It's destroying life."

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