(CNN) — Hillary Clinton compares herself to a famous - albeit fictional - Philadelphia resident and challenges Barack Obama to a "bowl off" in the latest CNN=Politics Daily.
Also, CNN's Dana Bash has a sit down interview with John McCain and reports on the Arizona senator's trip back to his high school.
CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's latest comments on the role of superdelegates and takes a look back at how they have influenced nomination fights years past.
CNN's Carol Costello takes a look at Chelsea Clinton's role on the campaign trail and her refusal to discuss the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Finally, CNN Election Express Producer Josh Rubin takes an inside look at the issues facing Pennsylvania voters.
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– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
"If I had to make a prediction right now, I'd say Barack Obama is going to be the next president," Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said in a Canadian public radio interview this weekend. "I will be stunned if he's not the next president of the United States."
Cleaver, an African-American, endorsed Clinton's White House bid last year and formally remained aligned with the New York senator even as other black leaders shifted their support to Barack Obama.
But after his district voted for Obama in the February 5 primary, Cleaver did indicate he would consider voting for the Illinois senator at the party's convention if the delegate count was extremely tight between the two candidates.
In the Canadian radio interview, Cleaver made clear he doesn't expect Clinton to overtake Obama, comparing his support of the New York Democrat to that of his hometown losing football team.
“Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs,” he said.
He also pushed back on the notion Clinton should take her fight for the party's nomination all the way to the August convention - though he acknowledged that is not the position he is supposed to take.
"If I do the party line, I'm supposed to say - and maybe I'll say, just so if anybody hears it they can say well, 'Cleaver did the party line before he told the truth' - we believe that a contest going all the way to the convention is good for America."
But, he added, an actual convention fight would be a “tragedy of tragedies.”
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A consortium of Indiana television stations and newspapers has invited Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to appear at a debate in their state ahead of the May 6 primary.
The Indiana Debate Commission (http://www.indianadebatecommission.com/) offered April 24 as the date for the event – two days after the Pennsylvania primary – but noted in the invitations sent this week that “we can work with you on the dates.”
The debate would air live nationally on CNN and PBS and on public television stations statewide, and made available to every commercial broadcast station in Indiana.
“It is precisely for opportunities such as this that the Indiana Debate Commission was formed,” Kevin Finch, president of the commission and news director of CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, said in a statement. “We want to give Hoosiers the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates in an open debate before the historic May 6th Primary.”
In addition to the media organizations, the commission is comprised of citizen groups, including the League of Women Voters of Indiana and the Indiana Coalition for Open Government. Finch and Vice President Dennis Ryerson penned the invitation. Ryerson is the editor of the Indianapolis Star.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the commission had not yet heard from the campaigns.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - As Sen. Hillary Clinton's underdog campaign soldiers on through Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina, she has begun casting herself as a champion of democracy.
"There are some folks saying we ought to stop these elections," she said in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 29 as the audience booed the notion. "I don't think we believe that in America," she said. "The more people that have a chance to vote, the better it is for our democracy."
As Pennsylvania's primary nears, Clinton's staffers have increasingly accused Barack Obama's campaign of trying to disenfranchise Democrats. On Monday, in a satellite interview with a television station in Montana, Clinton herself made the charge.
"My take on it is a lot of Sen. Obama's supporters want to end this race because they don't want people to keep voting," she told KTVQ in Billings, Montana. "That's just the opposite of what I believe. We want people to vote. I want the people of Montana to vote, don't you?"
It is a growing theme in Clinton's stump speech as she makes her way through upcoming primary states: that she alone, up against rival forces aiming to silence the millions of voters in the 10 remaining primary and caucus states, will stand up for their right to vote.
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed Tuesday that he supported a proposal that would ask Democratic superdelegates to weigh in publicly by July 1.
The plan, proposed by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, would mean the Democratic nominee would be known sometime between the end of the primary season in early June and the beginning of July – long before the August nominating convention in Denver.
"Sen. Reid agrees that superdelegates who have already made up their minds declare their support by July 1," Reid spokesman Jim Manley told CNN.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Tuesday that she “hopes” the contest will end before July, but did not back calls to make that deadline a mandatory one, saying she thought the process “will work its course” without interference.
–CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) – Day two of John McCain’s “Service to America” biographical tour took him back to Episcopal High School outside Washington, DC.The Arizona senator - who was part of Episcopal's graduating class of 1954 - told students and faculty that he had fond memories of the school but that there were “a few that I'm sure former teachers, school administrators and I would rather forget.”
McCain added that he resented the title of “worst rat” he was given after his freshman year, first-years being known as “rats” at Episcopal.
Much of McCain’s remarks focused on his English teacher and football coach William Ravenel, whose “influence in my life was more important and more benevolent than that of any person outside my family.”
High praise for his former instructor was shared with today’s teachers who McCain feels do a job that “is among the most honorable professions any American can join.” He added that he supported “No Child Left Behind” but that schools should be held more accountable if students don’t perform well.
As he usually does, McCain opened up the floor to questions following his speech. Several students asked how his time at Episcopal influenced his life, but one student was more curious about his motivation for the visit.
“What exactly is your purpose in being here?” asked junior Katelyn Halldorson, saying she was told the speech wasn’t supposed to be a political event but it was clear that it wasn't "completely absent political motivation."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Campaigns bring contrasts – and flashbacks.
For the second time in as many weeks, Chelsea Clinton confronted the downside of her father’s legacy on the campaign trail: A student at North Carolina State University asked her about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, taking issue with her assertion in the first encounter that such a question was out of bounds.
The exchange played out like this:
Student: “(You were asked) whether your father's relationship in the White House had any affect or did it detriment your mother at all, and you responded saying that it was none of that persons business and i would like you to say whether or not its our business and uh,
Clinton: “It's none of your business."
Student: "Right but I, because fortunately or unfortunately he is the president, or was president at the time so as American people, I feel that it is our business."
Clinton: “Well sir, I respectfully disagree. I think it is something that is personal to my family. I’m sure there are things that are personal to your family that you dont think are anyone else’s business either... but also on a larger point, I don't think you should vote for or against my mother because of my father.”
Off to class went the student, and off to the blogs and shows like The Situation Room went the debate, yet again, not only over the appropriateness of such questions but over the campaign role of a young woman who once was carefully shielded from the harsh political spotlight by two protective parents.
It is not my place as to whether Ms. Clinton’s answer is the right one – she has every right to draw the line where she sees fit, and voters have every right to agree or disagree with her decision.
But watching such moments, and her high profile role in this campaign, brings back two vivid memories of the 1992 campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate leaders have agreed to move forward on stalled legislation aimed at easing the impact of the falling housing market, the chamber's top Republican and Democrat announced Tuesday.
"The time has come for us to legislate, not continue our bickering," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Veteran Republican operative Charles Black stepped down from his job as chairman of a high-profile Washington lobbying and consulting firm, effective Tuesday, to move full time to the McCain presidential campaign, GOP sources tell CNN.
Black is a senior McCain adviser and one of his top campaign confidantes. He also is one of several top McCain advisers whose work at lobbying firms has been cited by McCain critics in challenging the senator’s credentials or commitment to lobbying and other political reforms.
Black, a veteran of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush political operations, was until Tuesday the chairman of BKSH & Associates. But the firm says he is now at the campaign full time, and referred all inquiries to the McCain headquarters. Black did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment, but two GOP sources, one of them a McCain campaign official, told CNN of the move and said it had been in the works since it became clear McCain would be the Republican presidential nominee.
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is a former lobbyist who left his firm last year to work at the campaign full time.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
For the second time in two weeks, Chelsea Clinton has been asked a question about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Campaigning for her mother at North Carolina State University yesterday, a student brought up the scandal that lead to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. The student said Chelsea should have answered the question because it happened while her father was president of the United States.
But the former first daughter was having none of it, saying quote, "It's none of your business. That is something that is personal to my family. I'm sure there are things personal to your family that you don't think are anyone else's business either." Unquote
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