The Note: Signed and Sealed

More than money is at stake: "This year's most-watched group so far consists of women so disgruntled by Hillary Rodham Clinton's loss in the Democratic primary that they vow to vote for Republican John McCain in November, a group dubbed the 'Nobama Mamas' by Slate magazine," Thomas Fitzgerald writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Both McCain and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama have taken steps to court these women."

Clinton was back in public on Sunday, keeping a promise to deliver a high-school commencement address. (And she'll be back in the Senate this week, in advance of the Thursday joint meeting and some time on the trail with Obama Friday.)

"With flashbulbs firing and security guards working to keep the enthusiastic crowds back -- Clinton expressed no regret at being off the stump and back to her job as senator," the New York Daily News' Celeste Katz writes of her appearance in the Bronx.

Said Clinton: "I have just finished the most extraordinary experience that anybody could possibly have: being able to travel around our country, this great, sprawling, diverse country from one end to the other, meeting thousands and thousands of people who want a better life for themselves and their families, who believe in all their heart in the American Dream," Clinton said.

(She did not utter the word "Obama.")

Elizabeth Edwards is leaving no doubts about her support for Obama -- and sees the party coming together along the lines Clinton drew in her concession speech. "If we can keep that same feeling going, we have a great capacity to heal the bitterness," she said on ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday. "We'll go into the fall with a united party."

(On the veepstakes, Mrs. Edwards said: "This is not a subject of conversation at our house -- with two tonsillectomies and a lot of other daily life to take care of, this is not a topic of conversation.")

With bumps like these, why not feel confident? It's Obama 51 (yes, over 50 at last), McCain 36 in the new Newsweek poll. Per the write-up: "Obama is running much stronger at this point in the race than his two most recent Democratic predecessors, Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Al Gore. . . . In a July 2004 NEWSWEEK Poll, Kerry led Bush by only 6 points (51 percent to 45 percent). In June 2000, Gore was in a dead heat with Bush (45 percent to 45 percent) -- which is essentially where he ended up when that razor-thin election was finally decided."

Yet: It's 50-44 in the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll -- basically where it was just before Obama clinched the nomination. "Democrat Barack Obama begins the presidential campaign with some overwhelming advantages over Republican John McCain, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, but voters also express doubts about the Illinois senator's experience and ability to handle the job of commander in chief," Susan Page writes.

For as far as Obama has gotten, we're still in the get-to-know-you-phase: "For all his sudden fame, most voters know little about the texture of his life," Howard Kurtz writes in The Washington Post. "Now, in ways large and small, he and his staff are trying to add some dabs of color to a gauzy portrait, using media coverage to convey the sense of a down-to-earth fellow."

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