The Note: War Dance


How exactly did former President Bill Clinton make as much money as he did giving speeches? By charging enormous amounts of money in speaking fees, Andrew Zajac writes in the Chicago Tribune, highlighting one charity he charged $450,000 for a single speech.

"The large fee paid to Bill Clinton attests to his continued drawing power, particularly overseas, and a drive to earn money that has invited additional scrutiny because of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign," Zajac writes.

Don't expect many Spanish-speaking crowds to pony up big cash to hear the former president speak. The Washington Post's Eli Saslow offers this glimpse of Bill Clinton on the trail in Puerto Rico: "As about 1,000 people crowded under white awnings to escape the heat, Clinton proceeded to give a jargon-heavy speech in English about health care and energy efficiency. Nobody interpreted, and only a handful of audience members seemed to understand him. The crowd -- raucous and dancing a few minutes earlier -- remained mostly silent during the 10-minute speech. Some people left. Others chatted on their cellphones."

The Harrisburg Patriot-News' Brett Lieberman is the latest to write up Chelsea Clinton's lack of media access, and gets this quote from a "Clinton friend": "She's an only child, she's been brought up in the White House and governor's mansion and she's phenomenal, but she's a young 28."

Chelsea got a question about her father's impeachment Monday in Indiana, "against a chorus of boos," per Meranda Watling Lafayette Journal and Courier. Said Chelsea: "If that's what you want to vote on, that's what you should vote on. But I think there are other people going to vote on things like health care and economics."

Clinton hits the Indiana airwaves for the first time, with an ad featuring Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.: "She's got a spine of steel," Bayh says in the ad.

Clinton picks up a superdelegate in Arkansas: Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont., tells ABC's Teddy Davis that his superdelegate vote will go the winner of his state's last-in-the-nation June 3 primary. (And you've got to love a governor who can say this to a reporter without it sounding like a threat: "Have you ever held a gun before?"

A superdelegate is at stake Tuesday in the special election to fill the late rep. Tom Lantos' seat in California's 12th district. The race pits Clinton supporter Jackie Speier against Obama supporter Michelle McMurry, with Speier considered the favorite, 29 years after her first run for Congress, per the Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht.

The end of the Penn era offers Clinton an opening, the New York Sun's Seth Gitell writes. "Just as throwing an infirm passenger off of a vessel preserves dwindling food and water for those remaining, Mr. Penn's resignation on Sunday will help keep the candidacy of Senator Clinton alive," Gitell writes. "The removal of Mr. Penn can breathe life into a campaign struggling to avoid a fatal death spiral."

But Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne offers a different take: "The immediate cause of Mark Penn's departure as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist was his private work on behalf of a Colombian free-trade agreement that Clinton opposes. But the fact that Penn could not hold on to his privileged position is a reflection of problems that plagued the Clinton campaign even before it lost the Iowa caucuses in early January."

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