There's a Republican nominee, remember, and he's using his time well: "The Republican National Committee [Friday] will announce the appointment of three top John McCain loyalists to help coordinate the party's effort with McCain's campaign and to lead the joint voter contact program," Politico's Jonathan Martin reports. "Also involved in the effort will be Rudy Giuliani's former campaign manager."
The new faces: Frank Donatelli, Carly Fiorina, Lew Eisenberg, and Mike DuHaime
Bad job numbers out Friday -- think the economy may come up on the trail? Get all the candidates' schedules in The Note's "Sneak Peek."
Also in the news:
With caucuses on Saturday, the battle is joined in Wyoming -- both Obama and Clinton hit the state on Friday, and Bill and Chelsea Clinton were both there Thursday.
And in Mississippi: "Some people have said Mississippi will most likely be in favor of Obama. I said, well that's fine, but I want people in Mississippi to know I want to be there for you," Clinton said Thursday night in Canton, Miss., amid a decent collection of Obama signs, per Natalie Chandler of the Clarion Ledger.
Obama broke the negative seal with a radio ad highlighting Clinton's derogatory Iowa-Mississippi comparison.
Keeping an eye on Pennsylvania. . . . "Near the end of his term as president, Bill Clinton orchestrated marathon peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders at Camp David," Thomas Fitzgerald writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Today he will negotiate with another tough audience: the ward leaders of Philadelphia's Democratic City Committee."
Nobody's leaving out independents, per Karamagi Rujumba of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "With Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama headed for a Pennsylvania showdown, their operatives are scrambling to get supporters who are independents and Republicans to register as Democrats so they can vote in the April 22 primary."
They are still counting votes in Texas, believe it or not, but The Dallas Morning News' Karen Brooks has some (partial) answers: "Hillary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote in the state's Democratic primary, but Barack Obama is poised to walk away from the Texas two-step with more delegates, if his current lead in delegates from the precinct conventions holds through June." l
The Los Angeles Times' Maeve Reston writes up the five McCain loyalists who pulled his campaign from the ashes. "With headlines predicting the end, a small band of loyalists coalesced around McCain," she writes.
"The new campaign manager, Rick Davis, was on the phone with donors in every state, asking them to hang on. Mark Salter, McCain's aide of nearly two decades, walked from desk to desk at headquarters persuading core staffers not to bolt. Strategist Charles Black, McCain's longtime friend and a veteran of every Republican presidentialcampaign since Ronald Reagan's 1976 bid, dropped in to remind the staff that Reagan had survived a similar implosion."
"From California, consultant Steve Schmidt was on the phone with McCain, getting him focused on the path ahead. Media advisor Mark McKinnon, watching from Austin, Texas, as the team he'd assembled collapsed, called in to say, 'I'm still here.' "