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Barack Obama to yield spotlight to Hillary Clinton ... one last time

June 6, 2008 |  2:18 am

After tending to one last bit of pressing business -- an unpublicized visit Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in Washington for a chat the entire political universe would have killed to overhear -- Barack Obama headed to his Chicago home for what his schedule listed as three days of downtime.

Cant' say the fellow didn't earn a long weekend. It was roughly 17 months ago that he began the quest that ended successfully this week for the Democratic presidential nomination; his schedule has been mostly nonstop over that period. And he routinely notes that the biggest negative about aspiring to become the leader of the Free World has been the long stretches he's away from his two young daughters.

Still, his timing also happens to be politically perfect.

Clinton, after doing her best to pretend not to have noticed that Obama beat her to the delegate majority finish-line Tuesday night, carved out Saturday for a farewell bow as a presidential candidate (at least in '08). It's unorthodox -- most vanquished candidates don't linger in their also-ran status quite so long, or finally pull the plug with quite so much grandeur.

But Clinton was no ordinary candidate and she ran no ordinary campaign (as she will no doubt point out -- frequently -- on Saturday).

So if you're Barack Obama -- and you need a break anyway -- why not stand down.

We don't imagine, though, that he'll stray too far from a television set as Clinton prepares to take the stage.

-- Don Frederick