The Note: Politics of Okey-Doke

But Bill Clinton is still working it -- and what he's planting is not going to pretty for Obama if it starts to bloom. His wife, he said, is on her way to becoming "popular choice of the Democrats" -- an argument he wants to register at Saturday's meeting, and with the uncommitted superdelegates.

Then there's the swing-state advantage -- highlighted by Camp Clinton in the final push to supers.

"Hillary Clinton's campaign tried again Wednesday to convince Democrats, especially those on the party's rules committee, that she's their strongest candidate this fall, while her rival Barack Obama talked compromise and calm," McClatchy's David Lightman reports.

From the Clinton campaign's memo to supers: "When you look at her wins in the important swing states and her strength against (presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John) McCain in head-to-head matchups, there's no question that Hillary is the strongest candidate."

Bottom line on Saturday: The party is unlikely to shut out Florida and Michigan, but it's not likely to reward them, either -- and even full capitulation to Camp Clinton wouldn't be enough, not now.

"That decision could cost Barack Obama votes, but isn't likely to swing the nomination to Hillary Clinton,"June Kronholz writes in The Wall Street Journal. "But in an indication that Sen. Clinton sees the states as pivotal to her chances, her advisers said she may be willing to take the fight to the convention floor if she fails to win all the delegates she believes she is due."

Once again, it comes down to the math -- and the DNC's own analysis reminds everyone that rule are rules, even for the Clintons: "The lawyers' analysis said that as punishment for the primaries' being held early, party rules allowed the states nothing more than that their delegations be cut in half, or that the full delegations be seated with each delegate getting only half a vote," Katharine Q. Seelye writes in The New York Times.

"As a result, Mrs. Clinton would appear to need all the more superdelegates to swing her way if she has any remaining hope for the nomination," she continues.

Key insight: "It ain't over till Hillary says it's over," Michael McAuliff writes in the New York Daily News. "She still gets to say when that is -- no matter what an obscure party committee decides this weekend about votes she needs from Florida and Michigan."

There's always the convention -- which should be Obama's biggest fear. "Party lawyers determined that full restoration, as sought by Clinton, would violate DNC rules, although it did note a loophole that would allow her to carry the challenge to the first day of the Democratic National Convention in late August," Shailagh Murray and Karl Vick write in The Washington Post.

Assuming the status quo, "Obama could pull within about 10 delegates of the 2,026 needed for the nomination, assuming he wins the South Dakota and Montana primaries as expected on Tuesday," per Murray and Vick. "The Saturday meeting is likely to increase the threshold, possibly by several dozen delegates, but campaign officials said they are confident that uncommitted superdelegates will quickly move to endorse Obama, pushing him over the finish line as early as Wednesday morning."

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