While Obama basks in the glow of his European lovefest, McCain's also hoping for a wee sprinkling of international stardust. Tomorrow McCain will be meeting with the Dalai Lama in Colorado, where the Tibetan leader has been hobnobbing with the other bigwigs at the Aspen Institute. After lunching today at a--surprise!--German restaurant, McCain told the press that he's jazzed to meet the "transcendent international role model and hero."
Tomorrow's tete-a-tete is unlikely to generate a fraction of the frenzy that Obama has received this week, but it at least it will give McCain's Junior Varsity press corps a moment to recall where either of the candidates stand on China to begin with. On Tibet itself, the candidates hold pretty indistinguishable positions, both denouncing China's crackdown on Tibetan protestors earlier this spring. But though the Olympics creep ever closer, there's been near-silence on any China issues on the campaign trail--which is surprising, given the morass that is now the American economy. There hasn't been so much as a squeak from either candidate about the massive trade deficit with China--or even, more broadly speaking, the need for the U.S. to assert its "economic sovreignity" and regain its global competitiveness. Perhaps neither the McCain nor Obama camp wants to ruffle the feathers of their Asian frenemy too soon before taking office ... or at least before the opening ceremonies.