The comeback of Barack Obama. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
While getting some R&R in Florida last week, I noticed something interesting. Some newspaper columnists all in the tank for Senator Obama wrote pretty much the same thing: Hillary Clinton can't win and is hurting the Democratic Party by staying in the race.
Is it a coincidence that Eugene Robinson of the The Washington Post, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times and Jay Bookman of The Atlanta Journal Constitution would all publish the same message? Maybe. But these guys are heavily invested in getting Senator Obama elected president, so there's doubt.
"Talking Points" believes the Obama campaign, sensing weakness after Hillary's embarrassing Bosnia misstatement, may have reached out, as they say in California, to their embedded people in the media. Of course, Robinson, Kristof and Bookman were more than happy to oblige.
The Obama campaign denies doing this, and it may have been done informally. The Clinton campaign says there's no doubt somebody did it.
Now by pounding home the message that Hillary Clinton can't win the nomination and is harming her own party, the Obama people put Hillary on the defensive, possibly suppress the vote in Pennsylvania, and ramp up the alleged selfishness of the Clintons.
Of course, to get that message out you need help, and the Obama people have it. Not only from shady columnists, but also from powerful politicians like Senator Patrick Leahy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAT LEAHY, D-VT.: There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama. Now obviously that is a decision that only she can make. Frankly, I feel that she would have a tremendous career in the Senate."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So how did the Clintons respond? Well, they really can't. She is behind in the popular vote and the national polls. Just today, a new Gallup survey has Obama leading Hillary 52 to 42, the biggest margin yet. So what can Senator Clinton say to that? Nothing.
Finally, opinion writers and broadcasters have the right to favor certain candidates. And that's fine if they're upfront about it. But no journalist should be taking marching orders from any campaign.
You may remember that Dan Rather accused FOX News of receiving Republican talking points. I challenged Rather to back that up, but he could not. He did say, however, he would appear on "The Factor" to make his case. After two years and counting, we're still waiting, Dan.
There's no doubt that Barack Obama is a favorite of many media outlets. Hillary Clinton must be stunned that so many of her former supporters have dumped her for the new kid on the block. But that new kid is running a shrewd campaign and has a lot help doing it.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Last week we reported that 10-year-old Jayci Yaeger, dying of cancer, wanted to see her incarcerated dad as her last wish. Well, that happened the next day. Warden J.D. Whitehead allowed Jason Yaeger a furlough to see his daughter one last time. She died just a few hours later.
Now, that visit happened because so many "Factor" viewers contacted the warden, who then did the right thing. So Warden Whitehead and the "Factor" viewers who got involved are patriots, and I thank you personally.
On the pinhead front, when Americans visit Muslim countries it would be nice to behave in a way that reflects well on the USA. Right? Enter Paris Hilton belly dancing in Turkey. A great image for America, right? Miss Hilton remains a pinhead.