Wrong focus:

We thought the Republican presidential primaries were over. So we are at a loss to explain why Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been wandering around Pennsylvania and Indiana and anywhere else they might find a vote or a dollar arguing about which one cares more about guns and religion. Whose idea was it to leave six weeks open before the Pennsylvania primary?

Obama and Clinton do raise important issues in their speeches. But the campaign, as seen on TV has been consumed with the senators trading insults over Obama’s boneheaded remarks about working-class voters. They are not doing themselves or the country any good. What Clinton has yet to figure out is that she ends up hurting herself - feeding her negative image - by attacking too long and with too much relish.

The reason this campaign started out as the Democrats’ big chance to take back Washington is that Americans face huge challenges on which the Republicans have an abysmal record: Iraq and Afghanistan, the trashing of America’s global image, inequitable taxes, a flagging economy, epidemic home foreclosures, lost jobs, soaring health care costs and struggling schools. These are the issues Obama and Clinton should be addressing. We hope they get back to them, starting tonight at their debate in Pennsylvania. —The New York Times