The Note: Hopes and Dreams

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Wrapping it up early gives McCain an absurd amount of time to play the veepstakes game. "Mr. McCain and several senior campaign advisers insist that there is no short list of names, and no process to help him make his choice -- merely a process to find a process. He directed his campaign to study past methods," Michael Cooper writes in The New York Times. "The choice of a running mate is always important, but it may be particularly so in Mr. McCain's case, given that, at 71, he is seeking to become the oldest candidate ever elected to a first term as president."

He's still got plenty of work to do with his base, too: "Some of the same conservative activists who have recently signed on to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign are also still hard at work trying to undo his most famous legislative accomplishment," Matthew Mosk and Robert Barnes write in The Washington Post.

"Now, with McCain the apparent Republican nominee, these same activists have said they will support McCain but have no intention of dropping their challenges to the [McCain-Feingold] fundraising law. Their determination to undo McCain's legislation speaks to the deep fault lines that divide the Republican base from McCain -- and to the challenges McCain faces in winning them over."

In case you grabbed a few hours of sleep, Obama took the Texas caucuses, amid a flurry of accusations of Obama-engineered chicanery, and threats of legal action.

Obama lawyer Bob Bauer called into the Clinton campaign's conference call Tuesday, "in one of the most bizarre moments of the 2008 campaign," per ABC's Teddy Davis and Talal Al-Khatib. Asked Bauer: "how is this any different from the series of complaints that you've registered against every caucus that you lose?"

Texas Democrats find a new appreciation of how good Iowans are. Write Max B. Baker and Sarah Bahari in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Poll workers ran out of sign-in sheets. Voters didn't know whether they had to flash some kind of identification. After waiting for more than hour, they were shuttled into one group and then another before casting the caucus vote."

Vermont is the last state President Bush hasn't visited, and here's another reason to stay away: "Residents in this iconoclastic town [of Brattleboro] cast a symbolic protest vote Tuesday, directing town officials to draw up indictment papers against President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for violating their oath of office," Susan Smallheer writes in the Rutland Herald. "It was the second southern Vermont town to adopt the anti-Bush resolution on Vermont's Town Meeting Day, as Marlboro voted earlier in the day 43-25 in favor, with three abstentions."

Obama did take Vermont, rather easily.

The Chicago Tribune's Andrew Zajac delves into some Clinton Foundation finances, exploring the former president's "Midas touch." "The Clinton Foundation's good fortune with Accoona stock is among several lucrative transactions involving the former president's personal and charitable finances. Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has wiped out millions of dollars in legal bills and become a multimillionaire through a brisk schedule of speechmaking and book-writing, as well as a pair of consulting and investing agreements that have yielded as-yet-undisclosed sums."

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, survive their primary challenges. (Thus emboldened -- Kucinich-Paul '12)?

The kicker:

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