early and often

Hillary Clinton’s Long Weekend

Hillary Clinton Happy

Bet you didn’t think that a smile could prove how tough you are.Photo: Getty Images

So, what did you do over the past few days? Go to Sheep Meadow and frolic around with your top off? See Sex and the City perhaps? Maybe you threw in some day drinking, too. It was relaxing, wasn’t it? Well, not so much for Hillary Clinton.

• On Saturday, the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan, but give them only half a vote each. In Florida, Clinton gained 19 delegate votes over Obama. In Michigan, she walked away with 69 delegates (34.5 votes) in Michigan. Based on exit polls and absentee voting, they also made a determination to give Obama 59 delegates, since he wasn’t on the ballot, handing him 29.5 delegate votes. At the end of the day on Saturday, Clinton gained only 24 full delegates. [NYT]

• On Sunday, Clinton walked away with a huge victory in Puerto Rico, trouncing Obama two-to-one. But the turnout on the island was low, and the 21 delegates she won over Obama weren’t enough to change the stakes. [AP]

• Meanwhile, if things weren’t cloudy enough on the political front, the Clinton family was attacked on a personal level. A scathing article about Bill Clinton from the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair appeared online, including unconfirmed rumors that the former president may still be philandering, and accusations that his raucous personality cost Hillary much-needed support from Senator Ted Kennedy and others. [VF]

• After Puerto Rico and the DNC Rules Committee meeting, the numbers were left at 1,915 delegates in the Clinton camp, and 2,070 for Obama. With the new tally of total delegates, the magic number needed to secure the nomination is now 2,118. Obama is 48 away. After tomorrow’s primaries in South Dakota and Montana, where a total of 31 delegates are up for grabs, Obama is expected to announce more superdelegates and claim he has clinched the nomination. [NYDN]

• The Clinton camp issues an aggressive rebuttal to the Vanity Fair article and attacks writer Todd Purdum and his wife, former Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers: “Purdum’s disclosure of [his marriage] in the piece does not, as Vanity Fair apparently concluded, remove the obvious conflict of interest,” said a memo from Clinton spokesman Jay Carson. “It’s a conflict that would likely not be contemplated at more reputable publications, especially considering that, as a result of this relationship, at least one source’s anonymity was revealed to others.” Purdum responded today by appearing on the Today show and pointing out that though the memo was harsh, it did not claim that anything in the article was false. [Politico]

• A somewhat hilarious, if ugly and honest, tirade by a Hillary volunteer shows up on YouTube. [YouTube]

• Obama finally severs ties with his controversy-laden congregation, the Trinity United Church of Chicago, thereby unburdening himself of his biggest personal baggage. [AP]

• Former Iowa governor and Clinton national co-chairman Tom Vilsack, one of Clinton’s biggest supporters and an oft-mentioned VP candidate for her ticket, tells the AP: “It does appear to be pretty clear that Senator Obama is going to be the nominee. After Tuesday’s contests, she needs to acknowledge that he’s going to be the nominee and quickly get behind him.” [Time]

• Going into tomorrow’s Montana and South Dakota primaries, Clinton is pondering whether to protest the DNC Rules Committee ruling as a last-ditch effort to stay in the race. [Political Punch/ABC]

• And Clinton hasn’t given up on the superdelagate front, either: “One thing about superdelegates is they can change their minds,” she said as she left Puerto Rico. [Trail/WP]

We’d say “stay tuned,” but that would imply that any cable news outfit was covering anything else these days.

Hillary Clinton’s Long Weekend