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Ticket Takings: A few items to start the day

February 13, 2008 |  2:52 am

First, a brief announcement: As of this morning, right this second, it's official you can now search this blog for the first time. In fact, the search system for this whole website was upgraded while you were snoozing. The things we do out West while the East snores...

But since you're here, that means two things. One, you're awake. And two, you're interested in politics. You have two methods to seek stuff today. The old one is the subject cloud to the right here. Click on the word you want and pull up everything going back to June 11, 2007, on that subject.

The new one is the Search box at the top of this page. That should find everything for you from ads and Andrew to Ron Paul. Have at it.

Now, the rumor of the morning. The Buckeye State Blog reports that some Washington friends have told him that they've heard somewhere that there's a deal being cooked between Hillary Clinton's people and Barack Obama's people that if he wins both Texas and Ohio, she'll ....

step aside. He'll get the nomination. Howard Dean gets his fight-free convention. Sen. Harry Reid, the highest-ranking Mormon and lowest-ranking Senate majority leader, gets a cabinet post in the Obama administration.

While you-know-who from New York gets to be the first female majority leader in Senate history and gives Congress two women Democratic leaders. A chattable scenario that counts on two unlikely things: Clinton stepping aside for anyone and, if Obama wins Ohio and Texas, he's got it anyway. So why bother dealing?

Speaking of Clinton, Wonkette, in typical fashion, has a delightful video clip of CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reporting Clinton conceded in Tuesday's three Potomac primaries two minutes before the Virginia polls closed and two-and-a-half hours before Maryland's weather-delayed poll closings. The headline: "CNN Reporter Singlehandedly Ruins Election for Hillary."

But then, hmm, this morning CNN's Political Ticker says Clinton has refused to acknowledge or congratulate Obama for the second election in a row. Maybe she thinks she'll have ample opportunities to do so again down the road. (Update.)

In case you went to bed a little early last night and missed the victory speeches, here's John McCain's and here's Barack Obama's prepared remarks. Our partner Don Frederick already noted the not-so subtle McCain dig at his potential foe. Clinton, meanwhile, was far away as is her wont when defeat looms, speaking in El Paso. She evidently didn't have time there to say anything about Tuesday's primary results.

There is a chance that a few people were not watching the 138th Westminster Kennel Club dog show. So just in case, here's the inspiring news: the underdog won. Hope for Huckabee. For the first time in a century of selecting Best in Show, the judge picked a beagle. Frankly, the malamute was much more dignified. But the winner is Uno. He bayed a bit during the pooch parade, working the crowd into adoration. They gave a standing O when Uno won.

What's with campaign buses this time? Ominous for Arkansas Mike. First, John Edwards' bus died during a cold night in western Iowa, as many vehicles do there. Then, Edwards loses Iowa and eventually drops out. Then, after last month's Republican debate in Simi Valley, along the 118, McCain's press bus whizzes by Mitt Romney's -- on the right side, symbolically enough. Soon, Romney drops out.

Tuesday, Huckabee's press van ran out of gas -- twice. Seems when the triple-A arrived, they only put a gallon in. Wasn't enough to finish the trip. So how long can Huck have? And what do you suppose Ron Paul is driving after his $20 million fourth quarter?

No doubt, you already noticed but just in case, The Times' blogging crew now includes Kareem, yes, THE Kareem. But please finish reading here first.

ANSWERS YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET DEPT.: In case you look at Bill and Hillary Clinton and still see that wagging finger, the blue dress, Travelgate, Whitewater, reported screamings and other assorted soap opera episodes, the senator from New York has some assurance for you. During an interview this week, an online reader of Politico.com asked if there might be any "new business or personal scandal" to come out about her husband?

"I can assure this reader," replied the New York senator, "that that is not going to happen." So, scratch that off your worry list.

Finally, some people need a coffee to start each workday. We need Politico's Mike Allen, who never sleeps and writes the must-read morning Playbook that's always in our inbox about the time we're done writing The Ticket's morning posts. (Subscribe to Mike here) The Playbook has abundant political news, anecdotes, inside tips, sports updates and, oh my gosh, life-saving reminders like the one about Valentine's Day. Guys, it's tomorrow.

Don't even ask, "Would you like me to get you something?" She'll say, "Oh, that's not necessary." And when she does, you look deep into those pupils of hers like an FBI interrogator and what you'll see is a dead giveaway. They're dilating. Don't risk it.

-- Andrew Malcolm             O.K., now you can go to Kareem's new blog here.

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