The Morning Read: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On Barack Obama, Maureen Dowd writes, “if the dominant perception of him is that you can’t make jokes about him,

On Barack Obama, Maureen Dowd writes, “if the dominant perception of him is that you can’t make jokes about him, it might infect his campaign with an airless quality.”

Obama leads John McCain, 50-42, in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The two candidates agree on little when it comes to Iraq, but have some of the same ideas about Afghanistan, reports the Washington Post.

Mitt Romney continues to take on a high-profile role in McCain’s campaign.

Ben Smith and Gur Tsabar have an op-ed calling on “some independent investigator” to find out why the Bronx district attorney issued several subpoenas looking for the identity of a blogger who criticized him.

Michael Gormley sums up campaign finance numbers for key state lawmakers.

“His contributors span the gamut of Albany’s special-interest groups,“ writes the New York Times about David Paterson. The paper also notes that the Sheldon Silver got money from groups that opposed congestion pricing, when Silver said he supported it.

One day after Paterson signed a dental bill into law, a lobbyist with a dental group donated $25,000 to Paterson’s campaign.

Liz Benjamin says many of Paterson’s donations came from people with business pending in Albany.

$100,000 was donated to Paterson by real estate developer Peter Fine, who gave both personally and via a limited liability corporation.

Eliot Spitzer’s campaign paid $10,000 to the law firm representing the woman who made his travel arrangements.

Spitzer’s official schedule shows he was in Albany on the day a bill for the Mayflower Hotel was paid.

The New York Sun has more on Hillary Clinton’s 2012 fund-raising letter.

Charlie Rangel said he was already planning on moving his campaign office out of the rent-stabilized apartment in his building.

Republican John Boehner wants Rangel’s fund-raising investigated.

Fully committed to the John Liu beat, Grace Rauh writes that more than half the people who donated at least $4,000 to Liu had never given to a city candidate before.

Joe Bruno’s furniture should be out by today.

Bruno said of the governor, “David is full of love, affection, passion.”

The Post, Daily News and Wall Street Journal are in talks to share home delivery operations. [subscription required]

Freshman congressman Mike Arcuri has more cash on hand than his Republican challenger, but raised less from individual contributors.

And Rick Dollinger out-raised Joe Robach, the Republican state senator he wants to unseat. The Morning Read: Wednesday, July 16, 2008