• As John McCain and Barack Obama "intensify their battle for the White House, they are competing for the mantle of reform, with each claiming that he has done the most to shield his campaign from the taint of lobbyists," the Los Angeles Times reports. "But the strategists behind those efforts are senior aides with a more-than-passing resemblance to -- what else? -- lobbyists."
• McCain and Obama "aren't waiting to be nominated to start a competition for votes and campaign cash from the technology industry," the Wall Street Journal reports. "So far, despite" McCain's "long history of involvement with technology issues, it is his Democratic rival who appears to be scoring more points."
• The Boston Globe looks at McCain's and Obama's search for vice presidential candidates.
• "The Libertarian Party on Sunday picked former Republican Rep. Bob Barr to be its presidential candidate after six rounds of balloting," AP reports. "Barr beat research scientist Mary Ruwart, who was the party's presidential nominee in 1983 and vice presidential candidate in 1992, by a vote of 324-276 on the final ballot." He said he expects to be on the ballot in at least 48 states.
• "The drive to eliminate gender distinctions in the military appears to be entering a new phase, with debate likely to come to a head within a few years," the Los Angeles Times reports. "The next president ... almost certainly will face the question of women in combat."
• The New York Times explores how the format of political debates could be improved.
• "Twice as many veterans of the Iraq war are running for Congress than in 2006, and this year Republican candidates outnumber Democrats," USA Today reports. "Although many of the veteran candidates still face primaries and some are long shots, the outcome in November could well increase the number of combat veterans serving in Congress, a group that has been dwindling since 2000."
• Campaign finance guru Christopher J. Ward is the focus of a FBI "inquiry prompted by the disclosure of the National Republican Congressional Committee that hundreds of thousands of dollars was missing and presumed stolen by Mr. Ward, who was fired from the committee in January," the New York Times reports, looking at how campaigns are targets for thieves.
DEMS 2008: Obama Lays Claims To The West
• "The underlying goal of Obama's trip this week through New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado is to lay claim to a region that Obama views as one of his best opportunities to pick off states in November," the Politico reports. "The states sit in Obama's top tier of potential pickups, aides say, along with Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa. It is in these states that Obama's promise of building a broader electoral map will be put to the test."
• Obama "underscored his willingness to talk to leaders of countries like Iran that are considered U.S. adversaries but said on Monday that does not necessarily mean an audience with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," Reuters reports.
• The New York Times profiles Obama's personal aide, Reggie Love.
• On Friday Obama "accused President Bush of complicity in the rise of his most fervent nemesis in Latin America" -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- "through what Obama called a 'negligent' U.S. foreign policy that has created a void for anti-American leaders to extend their reach in the region," the Boston Globe reports.
• Former Cuban President Fidel Castro on Monday gave "Obama an endorsement of sorts, calling him 'the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency' while also berating him for his plan to continue the trade embargo against Cuba," the New York Times reports.
• "Campaigning in Puerto Rico on Memorial Day," Hillary Rodham Clinton "tapped into the sentiment" among island residents that "they do not enjoy all of the same rights and privileges of citizenship as other Americans" even while "their sons and daughters are serving with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan," the New York Times reports.
• "Clinton tried again" Sunday "to explain her reference last week to Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, while her campaign aides accused" Obama's "advisers of taking the comment out of context and exploiting it," the Washington Post reports.
• "The Clinton campaign in 1992 used some of the same tactics that" Clinton "and her supporters now decry, like declaring the nomination secure early and encouraging party leaders and the news media to climb on board," the New York Times reports.
• The Washington Post looks at the unclear path for Clinton's political future.
• "Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that" Clinton "should abandon her battle for Democratic presidential nomination by early June," AP reports.
• "These are challenging days for" Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean as "he finds himself in a familiar position -- the center of a controversy -- though in an unfamiliar role: peacemaker," the Boston Globe reports. "On Saturday, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet to decide whether to seat the delegations from Florida and Michigan at the party's August national convention in Denver."
GOP 2008: McCain Eyes Young Louisiana Governor For VP Slot
• President Bush "will kick off raising money for McCain" today "and Wednesday at three events in Arizona and Utah, but" the two "will only be together at one and it will be out of the public eye," Reuters reports. "That has raised questions about whether Bush helps or hurts the Arizona senator."
• "In a Memorial Day speech to veterans and their families" in Albuquerque, N.M., McCain "kept alive a debate about a new G.I. bill making its way through Congress, which he opposes, arguing that his own counter-proposal would be better for the military," the New York Times reports.
• "McCain's tempestuous relationship with his own party will be on full display when the Senate dives into a major global warming debate next week," the Politico reports.
• "Over the holiday weekend, McCain entertained several potential vice presidential possibilities at his Arizona ranch," the Boston Globe reports. "And while some attention went to Governor Charlie Crist of Florida and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, more eyes were on the boy-governor of Louisiana, 36-year-old Bobby Jindal."
• Texas Rep. Ron Paul has put "relatives in a slew of key positions," paying "them a total of $169,063, according to the latest campaign finance reports," the Washington Post reports.
DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES