Clinton moves next, on Wednesday: "Sen. Hillary Clinton will urge her former supporters to back Sen. Barack Obama and will tout 'Democratic unity' in a closed-door meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today," per ABC's Jennifer Parker. "It is the first of several orchestrated events this week designed to show Democrats that the once-bitter primary rivals are reconciling."
Bill Clinton took a (baby) step in that direction Tuesday. The AP's Nedra Pickler: "Bill Clinton extended his support to Obama for the first time Tuesday in a one-sentence statement from spokesman Matt McKenna. 'President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States,' McKenna said."
Newsday's Glenn Thrush found it be "a less-than-thunderous endorsement" -- released through an aide.
"Hillary Clinton speaks for the Clinton family now, and aside from her campaign debt, she has no real difficulty supporting Barack Obama privately and publicly," The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reports. "But Bill Clinton has a beef. . . . Why should Clinton embrace a guy who spent the past twelve months bashing him and his accomplishments?"
Place the marker: "Bill Clinton's campaign debut on Obama's behalf is in the planning stages as both camps first aim to heal wounds opened during the bruising primary," Michael McAuliff and Ken Bazinet write in the New York Daily News. "Team Obama expects a ballyhooed rollout event, rivaling the Hillary-Obama unity rally set for Friday in New Hampshire."
Bill won't be at the Mayflower event Thursday or the Unity-unity event in New Hampshire Friday -- but Hillary will. "[Sen.] Clinton will have a chance to return Obama's favor Thursday night, when she introduces Obama to her most generous supporters at the Mayflower Hotel," per The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray.
But first -- a grand return for a candidate who came so close. (There's a ping-pong table set up in Clinton's Senate office now -- metaphor alert! -- and this is the Senate doing what it can on behalf of party comity).
"As she returned in defeat to her old home in the Senate yesterday, she was received as if in triumph," Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post. "And, in a sense, her stature had increased during the failed primary battle: She left as a legislator but returned as the leader of an 18 million-strong movement of women and working-class voters -- a group whose support Clinton's Democratic colleagues fervently desire."
"The United States Senate -- the well-paid, perk-laden consolation prize of a day job -- also doubles as perhaps the world's pre-eminent support group for also-ran presidential candidates," Mark Leibovich writes in The New York Times.
"But few returnees were greeted with as much fuss and anticipation as Mrs. Clinton, of New York, received on Tuesday. This is due in part to the fanfare that accompanies all things Hillary, but also to the fact that some onlookers were watching for signs of discord between Mrs. Clinton and colleagues who had endorsed Mr. Obama, of Illinois, in the Democratic presidential primary."
What awaits Obama?
For starters -- a map that looks in reach: "Barack Obama could make major gains in at least nine states the Democratic ticket lost in 2004 if he can achieve a relatively modest increase in turnout among young and African-American voters, a Tribune analysis of voting data suggests," per Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune.