Overnight reports from the US are still consumed by Hillary Clinton’s ‘assassination’ remarks. There’s still no VP news from the Obama camp but some commentators have speculated that Hillary’s misstep may cost her the VP slot (if she even wants it).

Americans as ‘presidential romantics’. It may be hard for Australians – who tend towards deep cynicism when it comes to all things political – but despite everything, Americans continue to be ‘presidential romantics’. Newsweek looks at this phenomenon in a review of a new book, The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power.

“Barack Obama recently said, ‘I believe in our ability to perfect this nation.’ Clearly there is something the candidate of “change” will not change—the pattern of extravagant presidential rhetoric. Obama is trying to replace a president who vowed to “rid the world of evil”—and of tyranny, too. But then, rhetorical—and related—excesses are inherent in the modern presidency.” — Newsweek

Castro weighs in. The LA Times described it as “an endorsement that no candidate wants” – retired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has written a column for the communist party paper, Granma, calling Obama “the most advanced candidate” in the race. The English-language Granma site translates his characterization as “this strong candidate.” — LA Times

Clinton for VP (not)? CNN may have reported that there have been “formal talks” about placing Hillary on the VP ticket, but both camps have denied it, according to Ground Game. The Beyond the Dome blog says Hillary’s remarks invoking the assassination of Robert Kennedy would cost her the VP nomination. — Beyond the Dome

McCain breaks with Bush over North Korea. The Washington Post’s The Trail blog has reported that John McCain has broken with George W. Bush’s new policy on North Korea, co-authoring an opinion article with Sen. Joe Lieberman in which he called for a return to Bush’s original demand of a complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear programs. Bush had softened his position, but McCain’s courting the more conservative Republicans in his call for a return to sanctions and other levers to prod North Korea. The Washington Post

Courting the blogosphere – and fumbling. Obama’s unprecedented success at grassroots fundraising via his website ensured that all presidential candidates are taking the ‘online vote’ seriously in this campaign. As BlogHer reports, most of them are traversing a bumpy road as they try to engage with the online medium. Hillary held a “blogger-only conference call” and Obama responded to blogger questions at BlogHer. But as Blogher commented: “Despite increased interaction with bloggers there is still somewhat of a feel of candidates not getting it, as the focus of the Clinton call was, in part, to request that certain talking points be seeded into the blogosphere.” — BlogHer

On Obama’s Table. – Presidential candidates always seem line up for the photo op with the local ‘food of choice’  – even if it’s as cheesy (and toxic) as a beer and a dog at the local baseball game. If you yearn to know what your candidate Obama eats, Reggie Love can help. ” In the last year, Barack Obama has learned a thing or two about running for president, and Reggie Love has learned a thing or two about Barack Obama. Reggie Love is Senator Barack Obama’s right-hand man. Mr. Love now knows that when it comes to food, Senator Obama “eats pretty much anything, from chicken wings and barbecue and ribs to grilled fish and steamed broccoli.” But when he is campaigning in a small town with limited options, a cheeseburger is always a good bet. (“Cheddar is the cheese of choice,” Mr. Love added.) — New York Times