John McCain is prepping for a smear campaign this summer while camp Obama, ever cool and controlled, awaits the first strike. "It's going to be Swift Boat times five on both sides," said one McCain adviser who expects Obama to return fire. McCain's challenge is to hit above the belt and not seem racist, while Obama needs to react fast without sparking endless fights, Newsweek reports.
"Yes, we know what's coming," Obama told a North Carolina crowd last week; in fact, he's already seen it. In Pennsylvania, McCain has sent out a letter labeling Obama a pro-Hamas candidate, and Obama countered with a coy reference to McCain's age. But McCain, stuck with Bush's economy and war in Iraq, likely prefers tit-for-tat games to rigorous debates.