Inside Politics

Cindy, too

In an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday, Sen. Barack Obama sternly warned the collective news media to keep his wife out of their sights - or else.

“If wives are off limits in the politics theater, then are Democrats not guilty of the same sin by attacking Cindy McCain for not releasing her tax returns?” countered Jake Tapper of ABC News yesterday.

“It was just this month that the Democratic National Committee issued a press release saying that by ‘failing to release Cindy McCain’s returns, the McCain campaign is raising serious concerns about his own credibility, about how McCain’s position as a U.S. Senator may have benefited John and Cindy McCain’s business ventures, and about how McCain’s political career has benefited from her personal wealth.’ ”

Look to June 3

Victory may not be imminent for Sen. Barack Obama , predicted Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report.

“If I were the Obama campaign, and I had a passel of superdelegate votes putting me over the top that I wanted to announce, would I want to do it during the daytime of May 20? It hardly seems sporting to do that while Kentuckians and Oregonians are voting, and when no one can be sure exactly how many delegates Obama has won in those states,” he wrote yesterday.

“Would I want to do it in the evening, when Kentucky has announced and Oregon hasn’t? It seems kind of weird to announce victory after you’ve been shellacked in two primaries within a week. Would I want to wait till the Oregon count is in? At that point, virtually everyone in the Eastern and Central time zones will be in bed. Would I want to wait till the next day? Probably so. But you then let Hillary Clinton have an opportunity for a victory speech after the Kentucky results are in.

“And the Clinton campaign will claim, as it has been doing lately, that the number of delegates required for the nomination is not 2,025, but 2,209. Which is true if the Florida and Michigan delegations vote at the convention - which the rules committee won’t begin deciding, at least publicly, until May 31. Which gives Clinton a warrant to go on campaigning - and to fight to seat Florida and Michigan - right up through June 3.”

The hordes

Keep in mind that just 28 American reporters covered the entire Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, according to a 1944 column by revered war correspondent Ernie Pyle.

We are suffering from journalistic inflation six decades later.

Officials at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions expect 15,000 journalists - each - at their shindigs in St. Paul, Minn., and Denver, respectively, later this year. There is one difference, though. The GOP is twice as generous with their space for the roiling news media.

The Democrats have allocated 200,000 square feet to their press area. And their rivals?

“The convention staff is in the process of allocating more than 450,000 square feet of working space for the media,” said spokesman Matt Burns, noting that press attendance will no doubt rival that at the Olympics.

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