Obama back on the campaign trail

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After a week in Hawaii and an evening with John McCain (well, a handshake with McCain), Barack Obama is back out campaigning.

The presumptive Democratic candidate is a little over a week away from having the word "presumptive" banished from his descriptor as the coronation is slated to begin on August 25 in Denver at the Democratic National Convention.

Them again?

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Obama was back in form talking about the economy, taxes, health care, and energy. He just may have mentioned John McCain a few times too. Oh yeah, and don't forget the duo who could have considered least likely to be mentioned in a presidential campaign. He brought them up too.

"Don't get fooled by Paris and Britney and nasty e-mails that folks are sending out," Obama said. "Don't get fooled by them. This election is about you. It's about us. And whether we are going to meet the challenges that lie before us."

As for McCain's "Taxman Cometh" ad which predicts economic disaster if Obama gets the November win?

"I've got news for John McCain: My plan's not gonna bring about economic disaster," he said. We already have economic disaster from John McCain's president George W. Bush, and we can't afford another four years or eight years of George W. Bush policies and that's why we're gonna beat John McCain in this election to put America on a new path."

If McCain's strategy is to reestablish his maverick image as some GOP strategists are calling for, then Obama's camp was seeming to mount a counter-attack, almost mocking that image.

"John McCain wants to present himself as a maverick, right? He always says, ‘I’m a maverick, I’m a maverick, I’m a maverick.’ Let me tell you something, every single one of his top people are all lobbyists for the very special interests that have been dominating Washington all these years,” Obama said.

Come on, that was four years ago...

Obama met with Senator John Kerry's nemesis on Sunday as well. T. Boone Pickens, the oil man and the guy who poured millions into the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign four years ago, discussed his energy policy proposal with the presumptive Democratic candidate. After the meeting Pickens issued a statement saying he was pleased with the meeting.

"I assured Senator Obama that this is a non-partisan campaign and that I will do everything in my power to work together with leaders who are willing to solve our immense energy problems," Pickens said. "It would be inappropriate for me to speak for Senator Obama. I have a real sense, however, that he was very engaged. He understands the issues and is interested and excited by the work we are doing."

Did you record that?

One of McCain's most recent commercials contains footage of young women ogling over Obama calling him "dreamy" and exalting his "soft eyes."

The McCain team's got another one. If it made it on tape. The Wall Street Journal reports:

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