The Note: Math (and) Class

How ugly will this get? "It is possible to muscle your way into a vice presidential nod: You have something the nominee wants, and he has to give it to you," Politico's Roger Simon writes. "The question is: Does Hillary Clinton have that kind of muscle?" Said a senior Obama adviser, wary of the Clinton push: "You don't want your vice president taking away anything from the ticket, and she does."

May 31 is your next big day -- and it will be a show. "Busloads of Hillary Clinton supporters will swarm a meeting next week at a D.C. Marriott, where Democratic Party elders hope to forge a compromise over Florida and Michigan's now-voided convention delegates," Michael Saul and Ken Bazinet write in the New York Daily News. "Hoping to avoid a free-for-all at the powwow, the party laid down tough ground rules on Wednesday for its May 31 meeting: 'In order to maintain the decorum of the meeting, banners, posters, signs, handouts and noisemakers of any kind are strictly prohibited.' "

"For Clinton, it is crucial to turn the issue of seating the Florida and Michigan delegations into a matter of moral and civic principle if she is to gain traction among the members of the Rules Committee," Huffington Post's Tom Edsall writes.

Maybe a resolution to Florida and Michigan is all it will take to heal the party: "For all the talk that Clinton would rather blow up the party than see Obama chosen as the Democratic nominee, there seems to be little evidence that Clinton or her campaign are planning to push this fight to the convention,"'s Chris Cillizza writes. "If [Obama reaches the magic number] by June 15 or June 30 -- and if some sort of accommodation has been made that satisfies Florida and Michigan -- it's hard to imagine Clinton staying in."

If it doesn't work out -- there's always Chelsea. Bill Clinton tells People magazine that his daughter's "emergence" as a campaigner has been the "second best thing" about this race. "If you asked me [if Chelsea would run for office] before Iowa, I would have said, 'No way. She is too allergic to anything we do.' But she is really good at it," he said.

This, we presume, serves as a blanket apology: "When I was so tired, I either was not as precise as I should have been or I seemed angrier than I would have been. That's always my mistake. If I am to have any blame, that's it," the former president said.

McCain's close-up:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is set to dominate a news cycle or two -- starting with a new pastor problem.

Meet Pastor Rod Parsley, whom the McCain campaign was more than happy to trot out as an endorser in February: "As the senior pastor of the World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, Parsley has made no secret of his feelings that Islam is the enemy," ABC's Brian Ross reported on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

Two choice Parsley quotes: "Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." And: "America was founded in part with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed and I believe September 11th, 2001 was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."

Contrast that with McCain on the trail: "Our goal must be to win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of moderate Muslims who do not want their future controlled by a minority of violent extremists."

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