News that Clinton’s campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle has bowed out after a year combined with Obama’s resounding victories in Washington State, Nebraska, Louisiana and Maine over the weekend further served to top up Barack’s momentum tank.

Meanwhile Mike Huckabee is hanging on by his fingernails with the help of a few miracles in Kansas and Louisiana. “I know the pundits, and I know what they say: The math doesn’t work out …Well, I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles. And I still believe in those, too,” the Republican candidate told the press pack on Saturday. But as Time helpfully pointed out, “unfortunately, miracles are not yet an approved nomination vehicle.”

Patti bows out: Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, left the position today, to be replaced by Clinton’s former top White House aide, Maggie Williams. The change formalizes a shift in the campaign’s power structure that began to set in after Clinton’s win in New Hampshire. I’ve obtained a copy of Solis Doyle’s e-mail to the campaign’s staff, sent about 15 minutes ago: — Politico

Sizing up the superdelegates: As a group, the “superdelegates,” a category created by party leaders in 1982 to give elected officials more clout in the nominating process, constitute a prize worth twice as much as the state of California. Though Clinton and Obama have pursued the support of superdelegates for a year, the courtships have intensified in recent weeks as it has become clear that the two are locked in a virtual dead heat for delegate support. Party insiders say this could be the first campaign in more than two decades that reaches the national convention in August without a clear nominee, making the votes of superdelegates — a group made up of current and former top elected officials and Democratic National Committee (DNC) members from around the nation — potentially decisive. —  The Washington Post   

The deck of race cards: The campaign’s other most potent form of currency remains its thick deck of race cards. This was all too apparent in the Hallmark show. In its carefully calibrated cross section of geographically and demographically diverse cast members — young, old, one gay man, one vet, two union members — African-Americans were reduced to also-rans. One black woman, the former TV correspondent Carole Simpson, was given the servile role of the meeting’s nominal moderator, Ed McMahon to Mrs. Clinton’s top banana. Scattered black faces could be seen in the audience. But in the entire televised hour, there was not a single African-American questioner, whether to toss a softball or ask about the Clintons’ own recent misadventures in racial politics. — Frank Rich, The New York Times

So much for a warm welcome: Ann Coulter has made controversy her currency, outrage her oeuvre. And a lot of currency it is: over the past decade, Coulter’s earned a huge amount of money from an unbroken streak of six best sellers, each an angry diatribe against liberals, most featuring her slim blond figure on the cover. Coulter Inc. has helped inspire a cottage industry of imitators, books that all seem designed to feed off the frustrations of the angry right. (“Liberal Fascism,” by Jonah Goldberg, is the latest to hit it big.) But Coulter has a subspecialty all her own: uttering remarks so off the charts, so contrary to every norm of civil discourse, that they attract national news coverage. A few months ago she declared on TV that Jews need “to be perfected,” and suggested that America would be better off if it were all Christian. Last week Coulter attacked her own party’s presumptive nominee. John McCain, Coulter said, was a traitor to conservatives, so much so that she’d campaign for Hillary Clinton if he were nominated. Newsweek

Inconvenient truths of 08: Each party’s base has two inconvenient truths it doesn’t want to hear. For Republicans, those truths concern immigration and the culture war. Most of today’s illegal immigrant population is here to stay (along with their descendants) and will pay no significant price for getting here outside the legal channels. No presidential candidate can change those facts. On the issue that matters most to conservative Christians–abortion–the political phase of the culture war is over. The right lost –a pro-life initiative failed in South Dakota in 2006: If it can’t win there, it can’t win anywhere. Well, maybe Utah. For Democrats, the relevant subjects are Iraq and federal spending. Discussions of the Iraq war in Democratic primaries have a bizarre quality: Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama speak as though the war is a lost cause. It isn’t–unless one of them wins the election and pulls the plug, a scenario that Iran’s proxies no doubt await eagerly. — The Weekly Standard

Why Obama’s colour doesn’t have to matter: Far from being a strike against him, Obama’s color is manifestly a political advantage. Not only because black voters will vote for him with enthusiasm, but because tens of millions of white voters will, too. Countless Americans plainly relish the chance to prove with their vote that they are not tainted by racial bigotry. “I confess that I plan to be moved to tears,” Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, has written, “on the day that I vote for a black man for the presidency of this stained and stirring country.” — Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe

Stop thief! These days, you will commonly hear Obama supporters, and even many undecided Democrats, describe the Clintons as mendacious, brutal, willing to bend (or break) any rule in pursuit of power. Not all of these criticisms are fair. A decade’s worth of resentment has come rushing out, as Democrats have suddenly felt free to despise the Clintons without worrying that their venting might aid Republicans. In certain quarters, it’s an old-fashioned pile-on. Looking at their plight with any detachment, it is even possible to develop a measure of sympathy for the Clintons. Or it was, anyway, right up until the point at which Hillary threatened to steal the nomination. And theft is the only way to describe the plan she has floated for certifying the Florida and Michigan delegations.The New Republic

The chicken doves: Quietly, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been inspiring Democrats everywhere with their rolling bitchfest, congressional superduo Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have completed one of the most awesome political collapses since Neville Chamberlain. At long last, the Democratic leaders of Congress have publicly surrendered on the Iraq War, just one year after being swept into power with a firm mandate to end it. — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey