Barack Obama raised double the amount Hillary Clinton did for the month of March — 40 million smackeroos. But some pundits are calling for the Hillary bashing to stop. There’s no reason for Hillary to drop out yet, says the Boston Phoenix — why is it that “when Clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she’s constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party?”

The $40 million man: Sen. Barack Obama raised more than $40 million from more than 442,000 donors in March, his presidential campaign announced Thursday. More than 218,000 of the donors were giving for the first time, the campaign said. The figures are estimates, a campaign spokesman said. “We’re still calculating.” Sources in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign said the New York senator raised $20 million in March. — CNN

McCain must engage voters on economy: McCain needs to demonstrate proficiency (interest, even) in economic policy. He talks about his lifetime of preparation to fight Islamic terrorism, which he says is the “transcendent challenge” of our time, but voters want to know he is also prepared to deal with their own bread-and-butter issues. And to the extent that he has talked about economic issues, he doesn’t seem yet to have found a way to do so that actually engages voters. — The New York Observer

John Yoo defends his memo: In his first interview since the release Tuesday of a 2003 memo he authored providing legal authority for the use of aggressive interrogation techniques by the U.S. military, John Yoo denied to Esquire that his memo applied to soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan or that it authorized the kinds of abuses that were revealed at Abu Ghraib. “I did not think as a matter of policy that it was a good idea for the military to use aggressive interrogations of the kind that would be permitted to the CIA,” he said, adding that he expressed those reservations “to officials higher up the chain of command.”Esquire

Hillary bashing — enough’s enough: Thank goodness for the independent voices that have called attention to the ongoing gang warfare against Clinton. The Washington Post’s media writer, Howard Kurtz, has listed the particulars of the obsessive “Hillary-bashing.” Over at CNN, the tenacious Lou Dobbs hacks nightly at the weak assumptions underpinning the agitprop that Clinton can’t possibly win. Why do so few commentators worry about defending their Obama-centric viewpoints? Because much of the public already has been indoctrinated and believes them to be fact. The Obama campaign really knows how to plow those fields — those guys are good. — Froma Harrop, The Providence Journal

Clinton fatigue: Clinton is being held to a different standard than virtually any other candidate in history. That’s being driven by Clinton fatigue, but it’s also being driven by a concerted campaign that examines every action the Clintons take and somehow finds the basest, most self-serving motivation for its existence. Thus, in this case, when Clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she’s constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party. Is there a fair amount of sexism in the way she’s being asked to get out of the way so a man can have the job? You be the judge. — Steven Stark, Boston Phoenix

McCain tightlipped on religion: In an Oprah Winfrey era in which soul-baring and expressions of faith are the norm for public figures, the presumptive Republican nominee, open and candid about much else, retains a shroud of privacy around his Christianity. Raised Episcopalian, McCain now attends a Baptist megachurch in Phoenix. But he has not been baptized and rarely talks of his faith in anything but the broadest terms or as it relates to how it enabled him to survive 5½ years in captivity as a POW. — Politico

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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