It's unity week for the Democrats -- and watch this tense tango: Hillary Clinton two-steps toward togetherness, Barack Obama congas for comity (with a fandango of a phone call) -- and Bill Clinton manages to shimmy out a statement.
While we ponder Sen. Obama's star choices (Samuel L. Jackson or Don Cheadle? Heidi Klum or Cindy Crawford?) and taste preferences (fruitcakes or martinis? -- combine them both and you have a drink worthy of "Sex and the City," female outreach settled) . . . a few questions to frame the day:
How many more polls like this before there's real panic in the GOP? (Answer: One.)
How many more panel discussions can turn into debates before there's a real-shakeup inside the McCain operation? (Answer: None -- and two more foreign trips next week? Is he seeing an electoral map we're not?)
Is this one of those weeks where it's good to be a candidate/senator or bad to be a candidate/senator? (Answer: Depends on the senator.)
How many more ads like this before Obama's upside is formally declared to outweigh his downside in down-ballot races? (Answer: Three.)
Is Ralph Nader trying to say things politicians just don't say? (Answer: Yes.) How carefully will Bill Clinton have to choose his words when he puts his endorsement into action? (Answer: Very.) How many of those words will be unscripted? (Answer: None.)
What will it take to complete step one of the Great Reconciliation? (Answer: $10 million -- and remember, that's only step one.)
There's nothing like a second-straight big polling lead to help Democrats feel good about themselves in what's supposed to be a feel-good week. It's Obama 49, McCain 37 in the Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll, and the margin expands to 15 if Ralph Nader and Bob Barr are in the polling mix.
"Democrat Barack Obama has opened a 15-point lead in the presidential race, and most of the political trends -- voter enthusiasm, views of President George W. Bush, the Republicans, the economy and the direction of the country -- point to even greater trouble for rival John McCain," Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla writes.
Przybyla: "Obama is unifying the traditional Democratic base after the divisive Democratic nomination battle with New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Women, who were Clinton's most loyal backers, now favor Obama by a 54-to-29 percent margin and Democrats give him more than 80 percent support."
"Obama's lead -- bigger in this poll than in most other national surveys -- appears to stem largely from his positions on domestic issues," Doyle McManus writes in the Los Angeles Times. "Both Democrats and independent voters said Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation's economic problems, the public's top concern. . . . But voters considered McCain better equipped to protect the country from terrorism, 49% to 32%."
And Obama took his first big move toward party healing on Tuesday -- seeking to answer the Clintons' big lingering question: money.
"On a conference call with his national finance team this afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, asked his top contributors to help Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, retire her more than $10 million in outstanding vendor debt," ABC's Jake Tapper reports. "He did not specify an amount. Clinton's debt has been a major point of contention as the two former rivals attempt to reconcile."