The Note: Exit Strategies

When does it become time to think about what's next? "Certainly she could run again, either in 2012 if Obama loses in November or, if he wins, in 2016, when she would be 68, three years younger than John McCain is now," Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh writes. "But the slash-and-burn tactics desperate candidates sometimes resort to in the hope of a miracle would undercut those prospects."

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., tells Lehigh: "At this point, her possibilities and her future in the party are very sound. . . . But the ending and the follow-up always make the difference."

Adding to that chorus (almost literally) is Al Sharpton: "The worst thing in the world is when an entertainer doesn't know when the show is over," Shartpon tells New York 1. "The audience is gone, the lights are down, you're getting ready to cut the mics off and you are still on the stage singing. It's over, it's all right, it's over. Come sing another day, but this show is over, Senator Clinton."

And Leon Panetta: "It's pretty clear unless there's a bolt of lightning, Barack Obama is likely to win the Democratic nomination," Panetta tells KGO-TV. "She's put up a good fight and put up a good race, but I think there's a time now where she needs to concede and unify the party." http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/05/panetta-time-fo.html

Hillary's still got Harvey: CNN's Ed Henry reported Thursday that Harvey Weinstein threatened to stop funding Democratic efforts if Speaker Pelosi doesn't support new votes in Michigan and Florida. Weinstein's denial, per the New York Post: "Never, ever was the thought about denying funding to Democrats."

The non-Clinton portion of the campaign plugs along as if she no longer existed. This looks like it's going to be fun: Obama told CNN that McCain's efforts to "smear" him show that he is "losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination" -- a comment Team McCain as "an insulting dig at Sen. John McCain's age," ABC's Ron Claiborne reports.

Top McCain aide Mark Salter: "Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton: "Clearly losing one's bearings has no relation to age," Burton said, calling Salter's statement a "bizarre rant."

McCain has other distractions to deal with this Friday: "Sen. John McCain championed legislation that will let an Arizona rancher trade remote grassland and ponderosa pine forest here for acres of valuable federally owned property that is ready for development, a land swap that now stands to directly benefit one of his top presidential campaign fundraisers," Matthew Mosk scoops in The Washington Post.

"The Arizona Republican became a key figure in pushing the deal through Congress after the rancher and his partners hired lobbyists that included McCain's 1992 Senate campaign manager, two of his former Senate staff members (one of whom has returned as his chief of staff), and an Arizona insider who was a major McCain donor and is now bundling campaign checks," Mosk writes.

And Arianna Huffington has witnesses -- former White House aides (sort of).

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