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Campaign News

Dems eye end of primary season after superdelegate ruling and Lieberman balks at joining McCain ticket. Plus: Franken takes heat for Playboy article.

• "After a strong push from Sen. John McCain's allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone and Obama charging that McCain has yet to learn the lessons of President Bush's mistakes," the Washington Post reports.

• "Pollsters caution that" the issue of gay marriage "may yet return to center stage in the presidential election this fall," the Politico reports.


• "The people who should sit down and read" former White House press secretary "Scott McClellan's blockbuster new book are the people least likely to take the time to do so right now. They are the aides to" Obama, McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton "and perhaps the candidates themselves," the Washington Post reports.

• "Senate candidate Al Franken's satirical and explicit take on virtual sex and other topics, published in Playboy magazine eight years ago, is drawing concern instead of laughter from some Minnesota Democrats," AP reports.

DEMS 2008: Obama 'Disappointed' In Another Clergyman

• "Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both predicted a swift end to the Democratic presidential campaign once South Dakotans and Montanans cast the last ballots of the marathon primary season on Tuesday, saying there is little support among party leaders for a drawn-out fight by" Clinton "to secure support from unpledged superdelegates," the Washington Post reports.


• "Harold Ickes, a Democratic Party rules committee member and key adviser to" Clinton, "who last year voted to strip Florida and Michigan of their convention votes," will "argue the Florida and Michigan votes should be reinstated... when the rules committee meets this weekend," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

• "Former presidential candidate George McGovern's plan to bring" Clinton and Obama "together for a joint appearance will not happen, McGovern said on Thursday," USA Today reports. "McGovern's plan was aimed at bringing a peaceful close to the drawn-out campaign."

• "Obama said Thursday that he was 'deeply disappointed' by a supporter's sermon at his church that mocked" Clinton, the AP reports. "The Rev. Michael Pfleger... also apologized for last Sunday's sermon at Obama's church, in which he said Clinton's eyes welled with tears before the New Hampshire primary because she felt 'entitled' to the Democratic nomination and because 'there's a black man stealing my show.'"

• "Obama, 46, was in 'excellent health' at the time of his last examination more than a year ago and has no known medical problems that would affect his ability to serve as president, according to a letter by his physician released on Thursday," the New York Times reports.


• "Obama's likely spot at the top of the Democratic ticket may fuel a surge in turnout among black voters that could help the party pick up a half-dozen new House seats," Bloomberg reports.

• "Obama's campaign mastered some of the most arcane rules in politics, and then used them to foil" Clinton's campaign, AP reports. "'Their understanding of the nominating process was one of the keys to their success,' said Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist not aligned with either candidate."

• Obama's rating "among white women has declined significantly in recent months, particularly among Democrats and independents, presenting an immediate obstacle for the likely Democratic nominee as he moves to shore up his party's base," the Politico reports.

• "At rallies attended mostly by women, particularly older ones still riled by discrimination they faced early in life, Clinton is cheered as a hero for her White House bid, even if her chances now look slim to nonexistent," Reuters reports.

• The Wall Street Journal also reports on Clinton's staunch supporters.

• Meanwhile, the New York Times writes about Clinton's drinking habits on the campaign trail.

GOP 2008: McCain Embraces League Of Global Democracies

• McCain "has endorsed the concept of a new global compact of more than 100 democratic countries to advance shared views and has discussed the idea with French and British leaders," AP reports. "McCain said the League might impose sanctions on Iran, relieve suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan and deal with environmental problems."

• "McCain, who championed a law imposing strict new political contribution limits, is appearing at fundraisers nationwide where donors can give up to $70,100 each to help him win the presidency through a group set up jointly by his campaign and the Republican Party," the Washington Times reports.

• The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times report on the beginnings of McCain's political career.

• McCain "is taking a serious drubbing on YouTube, the most popular video-sharing service on the Internet and the virtual town square for millions of new young voters," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• Sen. Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., "said Thursday he had no plan to be the running mate for" McCain "as he had already 'been there and done that,'" Agence France-Presse reports. "Lieberman -- Al Gore's Democratic running mate in 2000 who has since turned independent -- is backing McCain, but said he believed there were stronger candidates for vice president."

• The Boston Globe writes about the financial advantage that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could bring to the GOP ticket.

AP reports on documents that detail the military career of McCain's father, John S. McCain Jr.

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