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« This Week On PN Radio | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Raising The Barr »

Strategy Memo: Memorial Day Style

Good lazy Memorial Day morning. Reid continues to work hard while out of town, we're sure, but he's taking a Strategy break. So, without further ado, here's an abbreviated look at what the vacated Washington is watching today:

--Both the House and Senate are in recess. For those of us who remain on Capitol Hill, this means no lines at the coffee shops in the morning or sandwich spots at lunch time.

--In its usual amazing fashion, Rolling Thunder took over Washington again yesterday. The annual Memorial Day weekend motorcycle rally along the National Mall honors all war veterans, specifically those of the Vietnam War. What seems like an infinite number of Harley Davidsons parade down Constitution Ave. And throughout the weekend you see the participants everywhere -- at hole-in-the-wall pubs as well as fancy hotel bars. For lack of a better word, it's awesome.

--What will life be like for Hillary Clinton when she returns to the Senate, as it appears she may have to eventually do? As the New York Times' Carl Hulse points out, after winning about half of the primary popular votes, Clinton will still be ranked No. 36 of 49 senators by seniority. And then there's the fact that so many of her colleagues publicly backed Barack Obama. "Though the Senate is a place where rival lawmakers daily work side-by-side, this family feud was more public and pronounced than usual," Hulse writes.

--Speaking of who their congressional colleagues are backing, Roll Call has an excellent list of who each member of Congress is publicly supporting. The score, as of today, is Obama 110, Clinton 99. According to the list, Obama has the backing of 16 senators, while Clinton has 13 Senate endorsements.

--Obama picked up three Hawaii superdelegates yesterday, the AP reported. According to the latest RCP Delegate Count, Obama now leads Clinton by 35 superdelegates, and 193 delegates overall.

--This is the week the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meets to decide if and how the delegations from Michigan and Florida will be seated at the convention in Denver at the end of August. In a conference call last week, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson and senior adviser Harold Ickes made a point of stating that the campaign would be going after the 55 delegates from Michigan that were won by the "Uncommitted" candidate on the January 15 primary ballot. There has been talk that the committee, in trying to reach a compromise, could slate those delegates for Obama. But the Clinton camp will be aggressively arguing against that, and will also be campaigning those 55 delegates to support Clinton.

--Politico's John Harris has, as usual, an interesting piece up. This one is on the media's ability to make a small story seem big. We'll never know exactly what Clinton meant last week when she mentioned the assassination of RFK when explaining why she has continued her campaign. But she once again tried to explain her comments, writing an op-ed for the New York Daily News yesterday.

--John McCain had a few prospective running mates over for a barbeque this weekend. But as the Washington Post reports, the campaign noted that this was just a "social" event. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are all considered possible choices for McCain, but the press so far learned nothing of what kind of discussions took place. "During an unseasonably mild Arizona weekend, McCain grilled barbecue for three possible running mates at his Sedona vacation house, but said nothing to reporters staked out at the bottom of a dirt road leading into the valley where his compound is located," the Post's Eilperin and Shear write.

--Today On The Trail: Both Obama and McCain are spending Memorial Day in New Mexico. Obama in Las Cruces, McCain in Albuquerque. Meanwhile, Hillary and Bill Clinton are jointly touring Puerto Rico, which holds the most delegate-rich nominating event remaining on the calendar.

--Kyle Trygstad