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Obama: Passing the plate for Hillary

"Obama asked members of his finance team Tuesday to help Hillary Rodham Clinton pay off at least $10 million of the debt from her failed White House bid. In an afternoon teleconference with his top fundraisers, Obama asked them to 'do what they could do' to help Clinton, according to a Democrat familiar with the call."

The New York Post's headline: "Passing plate for Hill."

VIDEO: When push comes to shove, will Bill and Hillary Clinton unite with Barack Obama? Lisa Caputo, her former White House press secretary, talks to TODAY's Meredith Vieira.

The AP on Bill Clinton's one-line endorsement of Obama: "Former President Bill Clinton, who has been noticeably reticent in his backing for Barack Obama, finally offered his endorsement yesterday, issuing a one-sentence statement through a spokesman."

It looks like Obama survived his Hollywood fundraiser without anything embarrassing taking place.

He raised nearly $5 million at the event. The guest list included actor Jennifer Beals; Sugar Ray Leonard; Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, who created two music videos for Obama during the primary season; Singer Seal performed two songs; Don Cheadle; and Dennis Quaid.

The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus unloads on Obama's decision to opt out of the federal campaign finance system. "What's galling is Obama's effort to portray himself through this entire episode as somehow different from, and purer than, the ordinary politician. Different might have been coupling the announcement with a self-imposed limit on the size of donations. Different might have been -- it could still be -- taking the big checks but acknowledging that, since bundlers will be bringing in even bigger hauls, disclosure should be adjusted accordingly, to reveal not only who raised $200,000 but also who brought in $500,000, who $1 million."

"Obama's not the first politician to break a promise. He may be the first to do so in the guise of John Hancock, exuberantly signing the Declaration."

Obama called for tougher international action and tighter US sanctions against Zimbabwe, and chided the South African government for not doing enough to resolve the political crisis in the neighboring country.
 
The AP profiles Sen. Claire McCaskill and her effect on the Obama campaign, including her urging Obama to campaign in rural areas, something Kerry did little of.

Regarding his speech on religion and policy two years ago -- criticized by Focus on the Family head James Dobson -- Obama said: "the speech made the argument that people of faith, like himself, 'try to translate some of our concerns in a universal language so that we can have an open and vigorous debate rather than having religion divide us.' Obama added, "I think you'll see that he [Dobson] was just making stuff up, maybe for his own purposes."

And what's in your iPod? "Bob Dylan. Yo-Yo Ma. Sheryl Crow. Jay-Z. These aren't musical acts in a summer concert series: They're artists featured on Barack Obama's iPod. 'I have pretty eclectic tastes," the Democratic presidential contender said in an interview to be published in Friday's issue of Rolling Stone.'"