NPR's David Greene, who takes note of Clinton's shifting rhetoric on whether Florida and Michigan count: "The Clinton campaign's best hope is that a compromise by the party on Florida and Michigan could bolster her argument that her popular-vote wins in Michigan and Florida should count. Even if some delegates are reinstated, Clinton will remain behind Obama -- which is the math that counts."
So why not be a little generous? "Should Clinton or her supporters come away feeling she was treated unfairly, they may prolong their argument all the way to the convention and hesitate to get behind Obama if the Illinois senator becomes the nominee," Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook write in the Los Angeles Times. "That outcome would leave the party weakened in its general election battle against John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee."
Said one Clinton ally on the Rules & Bylaws Committee: "At the end of the day, what we do on Saturday is not going to change the fact that Obama is going to win the nomination."
But it might get ugly: "Hundreds of her backers . . . plan to protest outside the Washington hotel hosting the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee," Joe Williams and Scott Helman write in The Boston Globe. "Clinton's loyalists are encouraging the protests -- and ratcheting up arguments for why Clinton deserves the lion's share of the unseated delegates because she handily won the two states' unsanctioned primaries."
"Outside the meeting, several hundred Floridians plan to protest on the sidewalk in front of the Marriott-Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.," Jennifer Liberto and Robert Farley write in the St. Petersburg Times. "Many of them will be Clinton supporters, but others say they are simply angry at the party."
"Some Clinton campaign surrogates quietly encouraging vocal protests at the meeting; this will almost certainly backfire and wind up steeling the committee's spine,"per The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.
Obama is not playing that game -- and his only incentive now is for comity. "Obviously with the click of a mouse it would be pretty easy for us to get thousands of people there," campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters Wednesday (showing off a little?), "but we don't think it's a helpful dynamic to create chaos and, in the interest of party unity."
Per ABC's Sunlen Miller, Obamaland is giving ground: "We're willing to compromise and I think that's where most of the party is," Plouffe said.
Throwing the Book:
The Scott McClellan media tour kicks off Thursday, with an interview on NBC's "Today," and later hits on NPR and MSNBC -- and plenty more rounds to come.
The first full day with the book in the public sphere gave his former colleagues a chance to tee off -- and remind McClellan of how coolly efficient this gang can be. All together now, with full mixture of pity and disbelieving anger: "It doesn't sound like the Scott we knew."
Said Ari Fleischer, on ABC's "Good Morning America": "It's so horribly unfair. . . . This is heartbreaking to me, that anybody could do this and turn so 180 degrees. It makes me wonder, did Scott ever believe [what he was saying from the podium]. . . . He's inventing facts."
Thomas M. DeFrank, in the New York Daily News: "It's hardly surprising the White House attack machine would furiously mobilize to turn Scott McClellan into a pariah. Now that he's off message, he never existed. . . . Confession is usually a powerful elixir. So is payback."