WATERTOWN, South Dakota (CNN) – Long bus rides along rolling fields, small town stops, intimate crowds and diner pie typically symbolize the run up to the Iowa caucuses and the start of the presidential nominating season. But Hillary Clinton's two-day swing through South Dakota, a state that ends the primary process Tuesday, had all those trappings and neither the candidate nor her supporters were acting as though this race was nearing an end.
"A lot of people didn't want this campaign to keep going. They've been trying to tell me to stop running since January - and every time they say it, people rebuke it and keep voting for me. That's what I hope will happen here in South Dakota," she told a cheering crowd of several hundred in Huron.
As she stood in front of an enormous American flag, Clinton wound through her stump speech promising fiscal responsibility, universal health care, better and more jobs, ending the war in Iraq - all the issues candidates touch as they claw for every vote. She promised that between now and Tuesday there would not be a day without a Clinton in some corner of this state. As voters left they were given small Xeroxed fliers advertising a Bill Clinton event Friday in Mitchell.
Earlier Thursday die-hard Clinton supporters and some undecided Democrats waited patiently inside the smallish Second Street Diner in Madison hoping for a glimpse of and a picture with the presidential candidate. Upon arrival Clinton gripped and grinned with the all white, mostly middle-aged female crowd stopping at each booth and table to chat about issues or her Wednesday trip to Mt. Rushmore – "it's an honor, Madame President!" one woman shrieked as Clinton bounced through the door.
(CNN)— The Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee is preparing to make the final ruling Saturday on how many delegates to seat from Michigan and Florida. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux gives a preview of what the decision could mean for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's chances at the Democratic nomination.
Clinton’s hoping for a big win in Puerto Rico’s primary Sunday to bolster her argument she is ahead in the popular vote. The New York senator has been heavily campaigning on the island along with Bill and Chelsea Clinton. CNN’s Jessica Yellin reports.
Meanwhile: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are putting the pressure on the undecided superdelegates—asking them to help wrap up the Democratic nomination.
Plus: just as the controversy surrounding Rev. Jeremiah Wright seems to have subsided, Barack Obama’s campaign is forced to apologize for another pastor’s inappropriate remarks.
Finally: in a podcast exclusive, CNN’s Jennifer Mikell has your weekly dose of trail mix — the most memorable moments making waves on the campaign trail this week.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – The top two Democrats in Congress are coordinating an effort to get uncommitted superdelegates to publicly endorse a candidate and bring the Democratic presidential nomination fight to a conclusion.
A senior Democratic aide tells CNN that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already calling uncommitted superdelegates and pressuring them to back either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton between now and next week. Pelosi is working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
In an interview with a San Francisco radio station on Thursday, Reid said he spoke to Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “We all are going to urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly," Reid said.
A DNC aide confirmed that Reid and Dean spoke, but said it was the latest in a series of conversations the Democratic leaders have had on this topic.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said he was "deeply disappointed" by a sermon at his church this week that mocked Sen. Hillary Clinton.
A video making the rounds on YouTube shows the Rev. Michael Pfleger mocking Clinton for becoming teary-eyed before the New Hampshire primary in January.
In the video, Pfleger wipes his eyes with a handkerchief and suggests Clinton wept because she thought that as a white person and the wife of a former president, she was entitled to the presidency.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With just three contests left in the Democratic primary season, Sen. Hillary Clinton is making a big push for votes. But her presidential hopes may now hinge on a meeting of a Democratic Party panel.
At issue: Will Clinton's wins in the disputed Florida and Michigan primaries count at the convention?
On Saturday, the Democratic Party has to make two big choices: The first is how many delegates from Florida and Michigan to seat.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
CNN: Obama expects general election campaign to start next week
Sen. Barack Obama said that Democrats will know their presidential nominee after the final two primary states vote next week - and that in his view, the general election campaign officially will begin.
CNN: DNC faces big challenge Saturday
With just three contests left in the Democratic primary season, Sen. Hillary Clinton is making a big push for votes. But her presidential hopes may now hinge on a meeting of a Democratic Party panel.
Washington Post: Campaign Jousting Returns to Iraq War
After a strong push from Sen. John McCain's allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone and Obama charging that McCain has yet to learn the lessons of President Bush's mistakes.
Washington Post: McClellan's New Talking Points
Bush loyalists watching Scott McClellan kick off his media tour yesterday must have felt a revulsion akin to Dr. Frankenstein's.
Washington Post: For Future White House Aides, Required Reading
The people who should sit down and read Scott McClellan's blockbuster new book are the people least likely to take the time to do so right now. They are the aides to Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton - and perhaps the candidates themselves.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton attends a rally for Puerto Rico’s families in San Juan.
* Sen. John McCain holds an afternoon media availability in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
* Sen. Barack Obama holds a rally in Great Falls, Montana.