“To jeers and boos that showcased deep party divisions,” the Democrats finally agreed on a deal to seat delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries — but they’ll only get half a vote each, which is considered a setback to Hillary, writes The New York Times today.
The New York senator won Puerto Rico and the Clinton camp is spinning it as Obama’s “Latino problem” but he’s edging closer to the nomination — in fact he may tie it up this week. So in preparation, he’s in damage control mode, cutting ties to his controversial church, while the Clintons are also hosing down a negative feature on Bill which appears in the latest Vanity Fair.
Crunching Florida and Michigan’s numbers Despite the marathon cable TV coverage and the breathless sense of showdown, Saturday’s rules committee meeting was never really about Obama vs. Clinton. Rather, it was designed to paper over the Michigan and Florida disputes, while, at the same time, underscoring that states that hold illegally scheduled primaries will be penalized. — Walter Shapiro, Salon
Dems race unprecedented The first black and first woman with solid chances to win the White House have split the Democratic Party nearly in half, with his coalition of young voters, affluent liberals and blacks against her coalition of women, older voters, Hispanics and working-class whites. Mr. Obama appears on track to a narrow nomination victory if he can win over just a small fraction of the roughly 200 superdelegates who remain undecided. But that numbing familiarity cannot obscure what makes this nomination fight so singular. In its cost, duration, competitiveness and breadth of citizen involvement, it stands alone in the history of American presidential politics. — The Caucus, NY Times
Hillary’s “2012 end game” If she becomes Obama’s running mate, which makes sense to most Democrats, it will be because she never believed a word she said about his unelectability in the first place. And once in there, she and Bill will also make his life, and presidency should he win, miserable, according to former advisors like Dick Morris. If, alternatively, she rejects offers to become the running-mate or play a major administration role, then she really believes Obama has no chance, she is not a team player and is willing to have Americans endure one term of McCain so she can take up White House residency in 2012. — Huffington Post
Obama’s double speak on church The Trinity cast of characters and Obama’s reaction to them have been more revealing than more a dozen-plus debates, all the speeches, and just about anything that has happened in over a year of campaigning. It might be even more revealing if the media would take their role seriously and press Obama on some of these obvious points. — Contentions, Commentary Magazine
Olbermann interviews Scott McClellan The tell-all book by the former Dubya press secretary dominated the news last week – and now he’s submitted to a grilling by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. McClellan talked about his experience as the President’s spokesman during the early months of the Iraq war, and during the Valerie Plame investigation: “I passed along false information,” McClellan says of the Plame leak. Olbermann also asked what the hell was up with the cosy relationship between Dubya’s White House and Fox News. — Media Bistro
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Clinton camp hits out at Vanity Fair The Clinton camp has responded to Vanity Fair‘s feature on Bill with its own 2,476-word memo, which includes attacks on the magazine’s “penchant for libel,” on editor Graydon Carter, and on writer Todd Purdum and his wife, former Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers. The memo calls the piece “journalism of personal destruction at its worst” and singles out, among other things, Purdum’s suggestion that Clinton’s heart surgery changed his personality. Purdum “is not an MD,” the memo points out. — Politico