Muckraker: Grist on Politics Now that Barack Obama has the Democratic presidential nomination in the bag, John McCain says he wants to get the general election rolling. This morning, McCain invited Obama to join him for 10 town-hall-style meetings throughout the summer. In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, McCain said the “old-fashioned, traditional town-hall meeting” would “change the debate in America.”

McCain says he’d like to ride-share (might one call this “plane-pooling”?) with Obama to the first one, which he’s proposed for June 12 in New York City. It would “probably help out on energy savings,” he added.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe issued a statement calling the joint town halls “appealing,” but said they’re not ready to accept. “We would recommend a format that is less structured and lengthier than the McCain campaign suggests, one that more closely resembles the historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.”

No word yet on how Obama feels about plane-pooling.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.