The Note: War Dance


ABC's Jake Tapper: "A closer examination of the story Clinton was originally told indicates that while Clinton erred slightly in relaying the tragic tale, that doesn't mean it's not fundamentally true. On that, the jury is still out."

McCain saw his fundraising pick up a bit last month: "The month of March was good to John McCain -- his campaign raked in more than $15 million, his best haul of this election cycle," ABC's Bret Hovell reports.

"But his two rivals for the White House, Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, and Barack Obama of Illinois far outpaced that total. Obama, in fact, raised more than Clinton and McCain combined."

Is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice campaigning to be McCain's No. 2? The State Department says no: "If she's actively seeking the vice presidency, then she's the last one to know about it," spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday, per ABC's Luis Martinez.

"She plans on going back west of the Mississippi to Stanford when she's completed her work as secretary of state."

After Obama and Clinton speak to the Communications Workers of America Tuesday morning, the candidates head to the Hill for the Petraeus/Crocker testimony. Get the candidates' schedules in The Note's "Sneak Peek."

Also in the news:

It's all about electability in the Democratic race, so who's right to claim that mantle -- Clinton or Obama? Both of them, and neither, per ABC News: "While both campaigns selectively cite polling data to make their cases to Democrats, a thorough review of the numbers reveals a more nuanced portrait than either campaign is wont to acknowledge. . . . Clinton and Obama claim they'd pull together very different electoral coalitions."

Matthew Dowd writes on his ABC blog that Obama is probably the stronger candidate: "I would rather have a candidate less defined going into the fall than one defined nearly completely with a large amount negative," Dowd writes. "This is why if you gave the McCain campaign folks truth serum, they would say they prefer Clinton to be the Democratic nominee because most of the work has already been done for them."

The latest from fast-changing Pennsylvania: "Another section has toppled in the once-solid Republican wall of suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia. Bucks County has joined Montgomery County in going Democratic," Larry King writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"For the first time in 30 years, more voters are registered as Democrats in Bucks as Republicans."

The New York Times' Neela Banerjee looks at the endorsement McCain isn't so proud of: the one from Rev. John Hagee.

"Mr. Hagee has been on the defensive over some of his views about Catholics and Jews, and he and Mr. McCain's campaign have been silent about his endorsement. The controversial endorsement points to Mr. McCain's tenuous relationship with conservative evangelicals, a group that President Bush courted with tremendous success and that Republicans have come to view as vital to their prospects in many states."

Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman profiles Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama friend described as a "constant, behind-the-scenes presence on the campaign trail."

"Friends and advisers say Jarrett is a powerful voice in the campaign -- attending strategy sessions with the candidate, serving as a sounding board for both Obama and people offering advice, and playing a key role on conference calls," Goldman writes.

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