The Note: High Roads, Low Roads

She's lost more delegate ground (another boring blowout), her governor (and superdelegate) is being run out of town (in slow-motion tragicomedy), and her supporters aren't exactly helping her with their observations about her opponent.

But being Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., isn't all bad news these days. After all this action, now comes an odd six-week lull -- and time is looking like Clinton's biggest ally these days.


As we bid temporary farewell to actual real-life voting (we hardly knew ye, yet somehow we'll find a way to occupy ourselves), several dynamics favor Clinton: Frozen superdelegates. Possible re-votes in Florida and Michigan. A looming contest in Pennsylvania where she can build on her core argument.

And Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is starting to play Clinton's game. It's him demanding that a Clinton supporter step down over off-message comments -- allowing Camp Clinton to claim some clean ground in the mud match that is the Democratic campaign these days.

"I don't think that Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or the Democratic Party," Obama told the Allentown Morning Call's Josh Drobnyk and John L. Micek. "I would expect that the same way those comments don't have a place in my campaign, they shouldn't have a place in Senator Clinton's."

Obama expanded on his comments on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. "When some of my surrogates have made statements that I don't think were appropriate, they left the campaign," he said. "I think that we have to set a tone in the Democratic Party that projects bringing the country together, unifying the country. I think that's what we're about."

What Ferraro is about is anybody's guess -- but she isn't making things go away quietly. She told ABC's Diane Sawyer that she is "not part of the campaign" and is "not a surrogate," then proceeded to ensure that the story will stay alive: "I was celebrating the fact that the black community in this country has come out with a pride in a historic candidacy, and has shown itself at the polls."

Her trip to the high ground: Obama, she said, is "doing precisely what they [Obama aides] don't want done -- it's going to the Democratic Party and dividing us even more."

This used to be the old, tired politics, but now it's fair game. The fact that the Obama campaign is pouncing means -- depending on your perspective -- that Obama is either rattled or ready to grow up.

This time it's Clinton on the high ground -- she ultimately said Tuesday that she would "reject" Ferraro's comments, per ABC's Jake Tapper, but her campaign is dismissing the dust-up as silliness.

"The controversy continued as Obama's advisers demanded a more dramatic renunciation and as Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams accused the Obama team of fanning the race issue," Anne Kornblut and Peter Slevin write in The Washington Post. Williams added "that Clinton had distanced herself from Ferraro but that the Obama campaign continued to raise the issue."

(Hmmm -- sound familiar?)

"Has Barack Obama decided to start 'playing the victim'?" ask ABC's Teddy Davis and Talal Al-Khatib. "[The] call for Clinton to remove the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee from her campaign came just one day after Obama decided to start making an issue of the DrudgeReport's claim that the Clinton camp forwarded a photo of Obama in Somali garb."

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