The Note: Kitchen's Sink


Don't look for Pennsylvania to end the campaign, Democratic strategist Dan Payne writes in his Boston Globe column. "Regardless of what happens Tuesday in the Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton will not quit. Call it Divine Right or chutzpah, the Clintons believe she is entitled to the presidency. They've been planning it since their days at Yale," Payne writes. "They are also convinced Barack Obama will be clobbered in a general election, on a par with George McGovern and Michael Dukakis."

Among the endorsements Obama really doesn't want: "We don't mind -- actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will [win] the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance," Hamas political adviser Ahmed Yousef said in a weekend interview.

A frail Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., sought to hang on to his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday with a "carefully scripted but brave, even boffo, performance," David Rogers writes for Politico.

"But for all Byrd's success, the circus atmosphere takes its toll, and his admirers worry that the 90-year-old West Virginian risks diminishing himself -- and his legacy -- by continuing to hold onto what's become a husk of a chairmanship when he is so much more. . . . The hard political reality is that when a new Congress and a new administration take office next year, Byrd can't expect to handle the workload of the Appropriations chairmanship, unless his health and strength greatly return."

"Though he read most of his statements from pages filled with extra-large type while being closely attended by staff members, he frequently ad-libbed to emphasize his deep opposition to the war: 'Dead, dead, dead,' he intoned of the more than 4,000 killed while fulminating about the conflict's cost as a 'whopping, whopping $600 billion, spelled with a "b," ' The New York Times' Carl Hulse writes. "He called correctly on his colleagues, listened intently to the testimony and forewarned war protesters in the audience to keep quiet."

Clinton and Obama are being pushed toward populism, per the write-up by Bloomberg's Matthew Benjamin. "Protectionist and populist sentiments run strong among Democrats in three states holding presidential primaries, showing why the campaigns of candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are moving in those directions," Benjamin writes.

Get ready for Cindy McCain to guest host on "The View" on Monday (No recipes, please.)

The kicker:

"I don't know how you have done it for 15 months. I am bone tired after two weeks." -- Newly installed Clinton strategist Geoff Garin, to Obama adviser Robert Gibbs, in Wednesday's post-debate spin room.

"Shut up." -- Sen. Robert Byrd, to a reporter who asked how he responds to those who question his ability to run a committee.

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