If John McCain was hoping the end of the Obama-Clinton battle for the Democratic nomination would mean he could have some airplay back, so far no deal. Instead press attention in the US has turned largely to speculation about whether Clinton can clinch the VP slot.

The US election wonks haven’t moved far beyond the day of Two Speeches. Crooks and Liars turned up a video which we were hanging out for yesterday – Jon Stewart’s analysis of Obama’s nomination victory speech, and Hillary’s non-concession speech.

The Hillary question. Hillary may not have officially surrendered yet, but the post-mortems of her campaign have already begun. The Post ran a feature analysing the last chapter of Clinton’s campaign, saying “She could accept losing. She could not accept quitting.”Erica Jong describes Clinton’s failed campaign as “death by a thousand cuts”. Her piece chronicles the misogyny which dogged Hillary Clinton’s campaign (remember the chants of “Iron my shirt”?) and concludes “There isn’t a gracious way to talk about sexism.”

A number of outlets including the Washington Post have tipped Clinton to officially pull out of the race and endorse Obama this weekend. But of course, speculation is still rife about whether Obama will offer Clinton the VP spot. Hillary’s denial that she’s seeking VP may be stretching credulity just a tad – McClatchy reports she’s said she’s not actively seeking the job, “and suggested that people who are pushing her for vice president are acting on their own.” (did she say that with a straight face?). The report notes her allies say she does want the job.

The Huffington Post pointed out that a group of Clinton supporters in the Congress had planned to send Obama a joint letter “demanding” she be given the VP slot, but that the campaign had been killed off the next day, according to TMP Election Central.

Obama flexes his muscles. With the nomination clinched, Obama has moved quickly to stamp his authority over the Democrats. He moved quickly to announce that the Democratic National Committee will stop accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists and political action committees, just as his personal campaign had done. He also said that party chairman Howard Dean would remain in the job.

Obama also flexed his muscles by publicly upbraiding rogue Democrat Joe Lieberman – on the floor of the Senate, no less. Lieberman has “tested the patience of Democratic leaders by endorsing McCain and agreeing to speak at the Republican National Convention in September” and refers to himself as an “Independent Democrat”. But as Daily KOS put it: “The damage is done, and getting upbraided in the Senate floor by the future president of the United States should tell anyone exactly where Lieberman stands in Obama’s Democratic Party.”

Obama tackles “those video rumours”. Obama has hit out at the internet rumour mill which has been circulating stories about a video purporting to show Michelle Obama making “hateful” comments against “whitey” in conversation with Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. Obama criticised a reporter for asking him about the rumour — in the process ‘denying a rumour and questioning the question’ as the Politico blog put it. The Reason blog gave a run down of the affair here — concluding that “I’m now convinced that Larry Johnson, the blogger who’s done the most to make the rumors public, is spreading misinformation. At the least, he’s been unable to stick to his story.”

Where’s McCain? The Hill and Barry show is still the top of the pops, but McCain has managed to get a little airplay by jumping on the BlogHer bandwagon for a Q&A with its female blogging community. The big topics were Obama and national security. Think Progress reports that he’s made another move to “snub” George W Bush (presumably to make it look like he’s distanced himself from Dubya without actually coming up with any of his own policies?) this time he’s passed on attending a Dubya fundraiser.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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