Hillary Clinton may be playing up her blue collar credentials in Pennsylvania, not least by likening herself to Rocky Balboa, but that upstart Obama is starting to eat into her lead. And anyway, says Radar Online, everyone knows Britney is the new Rocky anyway…

Hillary “Balboa” Clinton: Hillary Clinton has spent the past few days courting the white, blue-collar workers who are most receptive to her no-nonsense message of hard work and experience. They also happen to be the people most suspicious of Mr. Obama. Some, like Ms. Vizzini, like him well enough, but echoing Pennsylvania governor and Hillary surrogate Ed Rendell, they think he will have problems with some white voters. Others think he’s an unreliable upstart who will stumble when it counts, or worse, that he’s simply a fraud. Among such voters, Mrs. Clinton is reveling in her role as the anti-Obama—a grounded, nuts-and-bolts candidate who refers to infrastructure problems on I-95 and declares herself “excited” to be in whatever factory or faded manufacturing center she happens to be touring at that moment. — Jason Horowitz, The New York Observer

Bill’s tirade: “The Bill Clinton who met privately with California’s superdelegates at last weekend’s state convention was a far cry from the congenial former president who afterward publicly urged fellow Democrats to ‘chill out’ over the race between his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Barack Obama,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. — The Huffington Post

Coffee talk with turd blossom: Karl Rove is not a guy who kicks back with a drink—even coffee’s a stretch (“I’m a decaf guy,” he says)—and shoots the shit for a few hours. This isn’t about a charm offensive—he gives the impression that he’s not even sure why he’s doing this. But: To be with Rove is to listen to a man who is utterly articulate and insightful and at the same time utterly…what’s the word? Plain? Normal? Caucasian? If you didn’t know he used to be Bush’s Brain, if you didn’t know he is widely credited/blamed with leading the Republican Party to an era of total world domination, if you didn’t recognize him (as numerous gawkers inside the Muse hotel restaurant do) as the man W. famously dubbed “Turd Blossom,” you’d think he was a middle-management sales lackey in town to sell Ginsu knives or something.GQ

The L word: Mr. Obama needs to inoculate himself against the claim that he’s a liberal. For the past quarter-century it has been consistently the most effective charge made by Republicans against Democrats. America is a center-right country and in modern times has not elected a thoroughgoing liberal as president (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ran as moderate Democrats). The problem is that, by any reasonable standard, Mr. Obama is an orthodox liberal. — Peter Wehner, The Wall Street Journal

Say something Al, anything!: Even as the rest of the Democratic Party around him takes sides in the epic struggle of Clinton against Obama, Al Gore remains inscrutable, silent, above the battle. His gigantic but unspoken presence is raising rumors and fueling speculation. Joe Klein, writing in Time magazine, even suggested a scenario that has a deadlocked convention turning its lonely eyes to Al. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) comes out for Obama, and so do Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ex-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.). Govs. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Jon Corzine of New Jersey back Hillary. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), while avoiding an endorsement, speaks out to ask superdelegates to respect the will of the voters. But Big Al says nothing. What’s his game? — Dick Morris, RealClearPolitics

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey