[Barack] Obama implores [John] McCain in the interest of "one nation" and "one people" not to attack him. The shorthand, widely repeated by the news media, is that the Republican candidate must not "Swift boat" Obama. That amounts to unilateral political disarmament by McCain.
McCain is not about to disarm. His campaign has no intention of fighting this battle on Democratic turf. During the more than five months ahead, Republicans will explore the mindset of this young man who is a stranger to most Americans. That includes his association with the Chicago leftist William Ayers, who has remained unrepentant about his violent role as a 1960s radical. This will not be popular with McCain's erstwhile admirers in the mainstream news media, but America has not heard the last of Bill Ayers in this campaign.
Indicating what lies ahead is the McCain campaign's plan to bring in Tim Griffin, a protege of Karl Rove, who is a leading practitioner of opposition research -- digging up derogatory information about opponents. Although final arrangements have not been pinned down, Griffin would work at the Republican National Committee, as he did in Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
That's from Robert Novak's most recent column.