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« Strategy Memo: Raising The Barr | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Follow The Lawsuit »

Strategy Memo: Is It Finito In A Week?

Good Hump Day morning. Reid should be back for tomorrow's Strategy Memo, but here is what Washington is watching today:

--Both the House and Senate continue their Memorial Day week recess.

--A week from now it could all be over. Believe it or not, with just three primary contests remaining, Barack Obama is within about 50 delegates of reaching the magic number of 2,026 needed to secure the nomination, according to the RCP Delegate Count. Of course, that magic number could change this weekend, when the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, D.C., to hear oral arguments and decide the fates of the Michigan and Florida delegations.

--Marc Ambinder offers some notes about what the results of the bylaws committee meeting could mean for the race. As he writes, it's likely Clinton will receive some of the delegates she feels she won in both states, but the candidate probably won't be happy with the outcome, especially if the committee decides to seat half of the delegates.

--Clinton's use last week of Robert Kennedy's June 1968 assassination as a historical reference was not the only thing some saw wrong with her argument for why she is still in the race. She also stated that Bill Clinton did not wrap up the 1992 Democratic nomination until June of that year. The New York Times noted this inaccuracy in an article yesterday, and quoted campaign strategists who said the race was over well before the California primary, despite what Clinton now says.

--Carl Cannon, who covered Bill Clinton in the 1992 campaign, also noted Clinton's flawed reasoning in his Reader's Digest blog, and even offered a far more tactful argument for her. Here's a portion of what Cannon states she should have said: "This is the closest primary campaign since 1952 -- maybe the closest ever. If the person who's running second in the closest nominating contest in history is supposed to give up as soon as they fall a little behind, why were these primaries scheduled for May or June in the first place?"

--Clinton apparently had a great weekend campaigning in Puerto Rico. NBC/NJ reporter Mike Memoli had the tough assignment of following Clinton as she toured the entire tropical U.S. Territory, and he gave a stop-by-stop rundown of the weekend. "With a downsized traveling press corps offset by the friendly greetings of local supporters, Clinton enjoyed a short but seemingly reinvigorating trip, likely one of the last of her campaign," Memoli writes.

--McCain held a fundraiser with Pres. Bush yesterday in Scottsdale, Ariz., that was closed to the media. It's a delicate balance McCain is attempting not to upset: Bush still can raise lots of money for you, but the president has some of the lowest approval ratings in the country's history, so you don't want anyone to see you with him. Obama jumped on the moment during remarks yesterday in Las Vegas: "Today, John McCain is having a different kind of meeting. He's holding a fundraiser with George Bush behind closed doors in Arizona. No cameras. No reporters. And we all know why. Senator McCain doesn't want to be seen, hat-in-hand, with the President whose failed policies he promises to continue for another four years."

--Politico's Mike Allen reports that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's new book offers some "explosive revelations" about his time in the Bush administration. According to Allen, McClellan states that Bush used "propoganda" to sell the Iraq war, and that "the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war."

--Today On The Trail: Obama continues his Western state tour in Thornton, Colo. Clinton will visit Kyle and Rapid City in South Dakota, while Bill Clinton remains in Puerto Rico. McCain will speak in Reno, Nev.

--Kyle Trygstad