The Note: Drama Club

Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., delivers the lesson in politics: "There's no bargaining," he tells NY1. "You don't bargain with the presidential nominee. Even if you're Hillary Clinton and you have 18 million votes, you don't bargain. . . . The rule for the vice president is make sure you never upstage the president."

Dick Morris: "He gets nothing but an unbelievable headache and a disaster for his campaign," Morris tells the Washington Times' Joseph Curl.

Did she miss her best chance? "Hillary Clinton talked her way out of the vice presidency on Tuesday night," E.J. Dionne Jr. writes. "Clinton's choice was to present Obama with an implicit critique that might be seen as a set of demands."

"If Hillary really wants to be vice president, she's damaged her chances -- always slim, at best -- by refusing to acknowledge Obama's narrow but solid victory and positioning herself as an embittered obstructionist," Thomas M. DeFrank writes in the New York Daily News."So what's her game? It may be as simple as R-E-S-P-E-C-T. With 18 million votes in her pantsuit pocket, she's entitled, and Obama knows it."

Back to the dreamers -- outside pressure edition. "VoteBoth, a group founded by two former aides to Hillary Rodham Clinton, is ramping up its fundraising efforts with the expectation of sponsoring television ads in key swing states urging presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to pick Clinton as his running-mate," Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza reports.

Another type of dreamer: "Veteran Republican fundraisers and strategists hope that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) can revive their party's apathetic base even as her 2008 presidential campaign has reached its final hours," per The Hill's Alexander Bolton.

As negotiations begin, follow the money. Former senator Tom Daschle says helping Clinton retire her debt is on the table: "Certainly that is something that would be on the table," Daschle, D-S.D.,told Bloomberg News. "Obviously we want to help each other."

As auditions go, her presidential campaign would have gotten her on the "American Idol" stage -- but she would probably have been voted off.

"As he decides whether to invite Clinton to continue making history with him, Obama has her 16-month campaign to study. It's a mixed picture," Jill Lawrence writes for USA Today.

In the end, it was the superdelegates -- the party insiders who were supposed to be her bulwark of support -- who did her in. "The break in Mrs. Clinton's supposed firewall turned out to be one of the most important factors in her campaign," Katharine Q. Seelye writes in The New York Times. (And the Obama campaign mastered the timing of the rollout.)

"I think it's a mystery and an irony, and an irony in the sense that Hillary was seen as inevitable when it didn't matter and Obama was seen as inevitable when it did," strategist Geoff Garin tells The Washington Post.

Mark Penn (sidling up to martyrdom): "The superdelegates and elites kept drifting away, but the working class became more and more enthusiastic about her," he said. "She had truly become the president for the invisibles that she talked about all campaign, starting in New Hampshire."

But maybe Obama needs Clinton -- he didn't exactly wow the world in his final push to the nomination.

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