"Despite his loss in Pennsylvania and other campaign bumps, Barack Obama is heavily favored to win what will be the final and decisive contest for the Democratic presidential nomination -- the 'invisible primary' for the convention votes of party leaders," Jackie Calmes writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"Democrats in both camps say that for many, these superdelegates' decisions to endorse someone -- or stay uncommitted -- reflect their answer to the question: What is best for my political future?"
This remains key: "Many superdelegates increasingly seem to share the view that ultimately they should support the candidate with the most pledged delegates," Calmes reports.
Obama added another endorsement Monday, this one with a psychological boost attached: Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., "put Obama over the top after his long slog to catch Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had a head start in winning the support of her peers," Jonathan Weisman reports in The Washington Post. "Obama now has 14 [Senate] endorsements to Clinton's 13."
(Per ABC's Karen Travers, in the Senate superdelegate race, Obama's up 15-12; Obama and Clinton both get their own votes, but Clinton loses two at the convention because Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., have been stripped of their votes along with their state delegations.)
And of the superstar of superdelegates -- there's only one Bill. "What is clear, among insiders, is that Mr. Clinton is playing a big -- and some say expanding -- role within the operation, one that might be sacrificing part of the accumulated prestige of his long public career for the cause of returning his wife (and himself) to the White House," Mark Leibovich writes in The New York Times.
It's ex-president as "bad cop": "His purple-faced, squinty-eyed, finger-shaking tirades have been a recurring feature of the 2008 campaign, usually generating unwelcome attention, but sometimes conveying a message -- that Mr. Obama's antiwar credentials are not quite what he claims, for example -- that other supporters of Mrs. Clinton might be reluctant to transmit."
Yet -- here's a distinction that may actually move votes. (Just ask the truck drivers who paralyzed downtown Washington Monday.)
"Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season," John M. Broder writes in The New York Times.
"But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton's Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports."
Camp Clinton gets it: "My opponent, Sen. Obama, opposes giving consumers a break from the gas tax," Clinton said in North Carolina, per the write-up by the New York Post's Carl Campanile. "I understand the American people need some relief."
"Obama's opposition to the so-called gas tax holiday provided yet another venue for Clinton and McCain to team up on the Democratic presidential front-runner," Mike Dorning and Rick Pearson write in the Chicago Tribune.
(Flashback to 2000: "One of my fundamental disagreements during this campaign with my opponent was when he called for the repeal of the gas tax," Clinton said in her first Senate campaign. That same year, Obama supported a bill to drastically cut the Illinois tax on gasoline.)