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Obama, McCain to Hold California Town Hall?

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One week into the race for President of the United States and the biggest issue of this early national campaign has been a debate about debates. John McCain wants 10 town hall meetings, Barack Obama has said five might be sufficient and both have called each other's stylized stalling on the issue a sideshow aimed at drawing each other into political wedge.

McCain originally proposed holding 10 meetings once a week until the week before the Democratic Convention is slated to begin -- including a July date at the Reagan library in Simi Valley he has already accepted -- while Obama has offered to appear at five joint appearances between now and Election Day: three traditional debates plus a joint town hall on the economy in July and a debate on foreign policy in August.

"That package of five engagements would have been the most of any Presidential campaign in the modern era -- offering a broad range of formats -- and representing a historic commitment to openness and transparency," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe wrote.

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Clearly, McCain, like most politicians, prides himself on his ability to connect with voters on a smaller, folksier level. He has already held two -- one in New York city, the other in Nashua, NH -- but before Republicans get carried away with populist rhetoric it is worth noting that McCain's NYC appearance was not open to the public.