The red phone worked in Texas, so what’s Hillary got up her sleeve next?

McCain’s spiritual adviser — destroy Islam: Senator John McCain hailed as a spiritual adviser an Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it. — David Corn, MotherJones

Hillary heaps on the fear: Hillary Clinton and her campaign clearly believe that they stemmed the mighty Obama tide on March 4 with a heaping dose of fear. The fear that they stirred, best encapsulated in the sure-to-be-immortal “red phone” ad in Texas, supposedly worked on parallel tracks: Some voters simply bought into the notion that Mr. Obama is frighteningly ill-prepared to handle a crisis; others may not have agreed with that but grew fearful that their fellow citizens, in the face of a similar and concerted Republican assault in the fall, would. — The New York Observer

The Mississippi problem: The post-primary story from the pundisphere was all about the stark racial disparity in the vote, and it was stark indeed, with exit polls showing 91 percent of African Americans going for Obama and 72 percent of whites for Senator Hillary Clinton. But there were other ways to read the Mississippi results, as the Free Press blog points out. For one thing, the strong white vote for Clinton was skewed, as Ladd points out, by Republicans turning out to vote for the New York Senator; 13 percent of the primary voters identified as GOPers, and nearly 80 percent of them went for Clinton. And while older people voted for Clinton, the future looks interesting for Mississippi Democrats; 72 percent of voters under 30 went for Obama, considerably more than the 60 percent overall. — Bob Moser, The Nation

McCain more bellicose than Bush: In May of 2006, as Iraq spiraled down into an orgy of sectarian bloodletting, John McCain had a solution. “One of the things I would do if I were president,” McCain told a group of wealthy contributors, “would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit.'” If only someone had thought of that before.  — The American Prospect 

Lessons from Obama’s memoir: Obama is the product of a union between a white Kansan and a black Kenyan who met in Hawaii. I had assumed, before reading his memoir, that Obama viewed himself as a natural bridge between the races and that his message of unity sprang in part from his biology. That was wrong. From his earliest years, Obama engaged in a preoccupying internal struggle to make himself a fully authentic black man. — Mona Charen, RealClearPolitics

Don’t write off half the country: First of all, it’s funny that he says that Obama is “winning the Democratic process”, but that it’s “irrelevant”. Nice framing there, Harold. But beyond that, here’s the Clinton campaign once again automatically writing off entire swaths of the country. Should we write off all those states? North Carolina and Nebraska can absolutely be competitive. According to SurveyUSA, North Carolina is currently only a 47-45 McCain state against Obama. And given the torrid growth of the state’s Research Triangle, the Democratic gains in the state’s 2006 mid-term elections at both the state and federal levels, and the overall negative climate for Republicans, NC is _absolutely_ in play. Even Clinton’s 8-point deficit in the state in that SUSA poll suggests that it is the case. — Daily Kos

It’s lose/lose for Democrats: The Democrats need both massive African-American support and a gender gap among women to win a presidential election. Is there any way they can appeal to both against Sen. John McCain? Will not all Democrats rally against the war and the Bush recession? Given the bitterness of the primary, especially of its final battles, this does not seem likely. Nor does a joint ticket of both senators seem probable. Sen. Clinton clearly feels that she has the right to be president. She would hardly accept the number two spot. Unless he has lost his mind, Sen. Obama knows better than to get trapped in a Clinton White House. — Andrew Greeley, The Chicago Sun Times

Peter Fray

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