A round-up of this morning's must-read stories--live from sweltering Miami Beach, Florida.
AS RACE WANES, TALK OF CLINTON AS NO. 2 GROWS
(Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny, New York Times)
While Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers insist that she is determined to win the Democratic nomination, friends of the couple say that former President Bill Clinton, for one, has begun privately contemplating a different outcome for her: As Senator Barack Obama’s running mate.
OBAMA MAKES MOVES FOR FALL ELECTION
(Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times)
Increasingly acting like the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama is beginning to vet potential running mates, laying plans to take control of the party's campaign apparatus and trying to overcome vulnerabilities exposed in the prolonged primary season. Obama has not asserted the nomination is his, for fear of offending supporters of his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lags Obama among delegates to the party's nominating convention but shows no signs of conceding the race. Still, his recent campaign stops and administrative moves show that his central focus is the November election.
SEX AND THE SISSY
(Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal)
To address the charge that sexism did [Clinton] in: It is insulting, because it asserts that those who supported someone else this year were driven by low prejudice and mindless bias. It is manipulative, because it asserts that if you want to be understood, both within the community and in the larger brotherhood of man, to be wholly without bias and prejudice, you must support Mrs. Clinton. It is not true.
(John Heilemann, New York)
Both McCain and Obama are looking at Mayor Bloomberg for V.P. because he's rich, Jewish, and with a head for business. What's not to like?
SECRETARY OF STATE BIDEN?
(Michael Hirsh, Newsweek)
Biden, who has been to foreign policy in the Senate what Ted Kennedy has been to domestic policy (almost anyway!), is emerging as a major consigliere to Barack Obama—perhaps with his eye on State once again. Among the top items on Biden's agenda: making sure that Obama has better luck in November than Kerry did. That means, first, relentlessly attacking and counterattacking the Republicans on the campaign trail, especially on national-security issues. And, second, relentlessly defining John McCain as "joined at the hip" to Bush, as Biden put it in a speech in Washington on Tuesday.
THE FREE-TRADE PARADOX
(James Surowiecki, New Yorker)
The reality is that if we toughen our trade relations with China the benefits will be enjoyed by a few, since only a small percentage of Americans now work for companies that compete directly with Chinese manufacturers, while average Americans will feel the pain—in the form of higher prices—far more quickly and more directly than rich Americans will. Obama and Clinton, in their desire to help working Americans—and gain their votes—are pushing for policies that will also hurt them.
OBAMA CRITICIZES ABSENT MCCAIN ON THE SENATE FLOOR, MCCAIN HITS BACK HARD
(Jonathan Martin, Politico)
Jim Webb's GI Bill passed the Senate today with a bipartisan majority, 75-22. Clinton and Obama were both there, but McCain is in California today on the fundraising trail. Obama used the opportunity to once again tie his rival to the president... [and] the McCain campaign responded by issuing a sharply worded and lengthy statement in the senator's name. McCain notes his support for an alternative to the Webb measure, but points out his own military service and points out Obama's lack thereof.