By Daniel Politi,Today’s Papers, Salte Magazine.
The Washington Post leads with a look at how Sen. Barack Obama began an effort to unify the Democratic Party behind his candidacy, even as Sen. Hillary Clinton continued to campaign and insist she has a better chance of winning the November election.
Even as Obama said yesterday that he’s likely to win a majority of pledged delegates after Kentucky and Oregon vote on May 20, he’s not publicly calling for Clinton to step down from the contest. It seems his campaign is being careful not to make it seem like Obama is trying to push Clinton to quit since he will need the backing of her supporters in November. The chairman of the Clinton campaign suggested yesterday that Clinton won’t take the fight to the nomination when he said that “after June 3, this is going to come to a conclusion.” The Post‘s Dan Balz says that while it’s possible that Clinton might end her campaign early due to lack of funds, the most likely scenario is that she won’t officially drop out until the undecided superdelegates move into the Obama column after June 3.
The WP fronts a look at how Sen. John McCain pushed a land swap deal through Congress that will “directly benefit” one of his top fundraisers. After approval of the legislation, which will allow an Arizona businessman to exchange remote land for valuable property owned by the federal government, SunCor Development was hired to build thousands of homes in the area. SunCor Development is run by Steven Betts, a longtime McCain supporter who has raised more than $100,000 for the Arizona Republican’s presidential race. Betts denies he ever talked to McCain about it, but besides that connection, there are plenty of other eyebrow-raising aspects to the deal. McCain wasn’t very eager to support the swap at first, but that all appeared to change after the businessman who owned the remote land hired a group of lobbyists that included several people who once worked for McCain. Some have also criticized the legislation, saying that the federal government got a raw deal. This isn’t the first time that land swaps pushed through by McCain have come under scrutiny because they benefitted campaign contributors. Last month, the NYT took a look at how McCain has sponsored legislation that helped a wealthy Arizona businessman, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the senator, get millions of dollars from the federal government in complex land exchanges.