TIMES ONLINE: Barack Obama is poised to reach an important milestone tonight in his nomination battle against Hillary Clinton by capturing a majority of elected delegates on offer in all the primary and caucus states, as voters go to the polls in Kentucky and Oregon. Mr Obama, who is expected to win Oregon but suffer another heavy defeat in Kentucky, heads tonight to Iowa, the scene of his first breakthrough victory in January, as a backdrop to announce that after 53 contests, he has an unassailable lead among elected delegates. Yet Mr Obama will be still be short of the overall number of delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, and needs the support of more unelected superdelegates to claim the prize. Since the contests in North Carolina and Indiana on May 6, he has been backed by 46 superdelegates, to just 6 for Mrs Clinton. David Plouffe, Mr Obama’s campaign manager, said in an e-mail to supporters that “a clear majority of elected delegates will send an unmistakable message – the people have spoken, and they are ready for change.” Yet Mr Obama has issued a directive to aides not to declare outright victory tonight, or appear arrogant and gloating. MORE
BOSTON GLOBE: Barack Obama was projected the victor in Oregon, adding another state to his column on the night he reached the key milestone of winning a majority of all pledged delegates to be determined by voters in primaries and caucuses. Oregon was seen as Hillary Clinton’s last best chance to mathematically contend for the race and knock Obama off course. Clinton, former President Clinton, and daughter Chelsea campaigned aggressively in the state. Clinton and her daughter made several visits to Portland and other cities, while the former president canvassed the southwest and the east, where residents hadn’t seen a major political campaign in decades. But Clinton’s cash-strapped campaign couldn’t counter Obama’s sizable advantage in the state’s more urban, upscale corner — home to the state’s two largest cities, Portland and Eugene, and high-tech manufacturers like Intel and Hewlett-Packard as well as Nike and the 16,500-student University of Oregon. MORE
ASSOCIATED PRESS: LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Kentucky primary Tuesday, a victory of scant political value in a Democratic presidential race moving inexorably in Barack Obama’s direction MORE
FOX NEWS: Hillary Clinton has a loyal base and it came out strong for her in the Kentucky primary, according to early exit polling Tuesday. Among white voters with no college education, another key group, she was winning with 74 percent of the vote.
BARACK OBAMA: There are a lot of voters who get their news from FOX News. FOX has been pumping up rumors about my religious beliefs or my patriotism or what have you since the beginning of the campaign. MORE
FOX NEWS ON OBAMA
JUAN WILLIAMS, YOU JUST WON ‘ASSHAT OF THE WEEK’: Well, I think he’s playing to elites, Laura. I think, you know, a lot of people on the elite side, the San Francisco people who he told that, you know, those backwood rubes don’t understand, they’re clinging to their guns and religion. They also think that somehow those people are being influenced and misguided by FOX News. And so I think Barack Obama is playing to that base and writing off people who watch FOX and, I think, distorting the truth. Because as you just said, when he’s come on FOX, he’s been treated very well. I would challenge him to say give me some evidence where you have been mistreated. — JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS UNCLE TOM CONTRIBUTOR
FOX NEWS ON OBAMA 2
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. — Mike Rife is white, a semiretired factory worker with a high school education and a 2-foot-square sign on his lawn that makes friends and neighbors flip him the finger as they drive by. The sign reads: “Obama for President.” “I think I almost know what it feels like to be a black guy,” said Rife, his voice gravelly and defiant. “I take heat every day. I got an Obama sticker on my car, and I catch hell for it.” Munfordville is the seat of Hart County, a rural swath of Kentucky farmland. Its Democrats will vote, and vote hard, for Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s primary. And if Barack Obama goes on to win the nomination, many of those Bluegrass State Democrats say they will vote against him quicker than you can say, “Race doesn’t matter.” “They won’t vote for a black man,” Rife said of the people he has lived around all his 57 years. “That’s all there is to it. They just can’t bring themselves to do it.” A walk around this central Kentucky town of 1,600 supports Rife’s opinion. Whether in the Dairy Queen or the dollar store or along the sidewalks of a courthouse square ringed with shuttered businesses, people speak freely of their dislike for the lanky senator from Illinois. Terry Jordan, 47, who runs a year-round garage sale in front of an old filling station on Main Street, put it simply: “It’s his color.” MORE
CNN: “Clinton, who is banking on a large win in Kentucky Tuesday to keep her presidential hopes alive, also said she doesn’t believe racism has played a role in the presidential campaign. But the New York senator said sexist attitudes among voters and members of the media have been a constant detriment to her White House hopes.” MORE
ABC: Sen. Barack Obama said today that he agrees with Sen. Hillary Clinton that she has faced some sexism in the media coverage of her campaign. “No doubt there are certain burdens for Sen. Clinton running as a formidable but first-time front-runner as a woman in the same way I’ve got to deal with some issues as an African-American,” Obama told ABC’s Jake Tapper. MORE
POLITICO: Hillary Rodham Clinton, you’ve got a friend in Dirty Harry. Though a longtime follower of John McCain — dating back to the Arizona senator’s 2000 run against George W. Bush in the GOP primary — Clint Eastwood thinks Clinton deserves some serious respect. And enough already with the calls for her to quit. “Everybody’s trying to talk her into folding, but it doesn’t seem like the spirit of Americana,” Eastwood told Politico before heading to France’s Cannes Film Festival, where his period kidnapping drama “Changeling,” starring Angelina Jolie, had its world premiere Tuesday. “Put yourself in the place of [Clinton]: You’ve gone out there and made a thousand speeches, and you’ve shaken a million hands and you’ve been out there working your ass off,” Eastwood said. “And then somebody comes up and says, ‘Why don’t you just drop out of it?…I watch Clinton and feel kind of sorry for her and wonder, ‘What are all these people telling her to run away for?’” Eastwood said. “She’s showing her strength by hanging in there.” MORE
RELATED: The Greatest Hillary Impersonation On Earth
HOT DOCUMENT: A Thank You Note From A Class Act
The polls are closed in Kentucky and votes are being counted in Oregon, and it’s clear that tonight we have reached a major milestone on this journey.
We have won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people in this Democratic primary process.
From the beginning, this journey wasn’t about me or the other candidates. It was about a simple choice — will we continue down the same road with the same leadership that has failed us for so long, or will we take a different path?
Too many of us have been disappointed by politics and politicians more times than you can count. We’ve seen promises broken and good ideas drowned in a sea of influence, point-scoring, and petty bickering that has consumed Washington.
Yet, in spite of all the doubt and disappointment — or perhaps because of it — people have stood for change.
Unfortunately, our opponents in the other party continue to embrace yesterday’s policies and they will continue to employ yesterday’s tactics — they will try to change the subject, and they will play on fears and divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future. But those tactics will not work in this election. They won’t work because you won’t let them. Not this time. Not this year.
We still have work to do to in the remaining states, where we will compete for every delegate available. But tonight, I want to thank you for everything you have done to take us this far — farther than anyone predicted, expected, or even believed possible. And I want to remind you that you will make all the difference in the epic challenge ahead.
P.S. Phawker rules!
NEW YORK TIMES: Senator John McCain’s chief advertising strategist, Mark McKinnon, announced Tuesday that he was resigning, following through on a vow he had made months ago not to work against the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. In telling the Cox News Service last June that he would not work against an Obama candidacy, Mr. McKinnon had said that Mr. Obama’s election to the presidency “would send a great message to the country and the world.” In that interview, Mr. McKinnon had said that he had policy differences with Mr. Obama, especially on Iraq, and that he believed Mr. McCain was best suited for the presidency because of his national security positions. But, he added, “I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy.” MORE
HOT DOCUMENT 2: Follow The Money
New Obama donors in April: 200,000
94% of contributions were under $200
93% of contributions were $100 or less
77% of contributions were $50 or less
52% of contributions were $25 or less
Number of contributions given: 2,929,000 million
Number of donors to the Obama campaign overall at the end of April: 1.475 million
Average donation: $91
Amount raised in April: $31.3 million (plus an additional $600,000 for the general election)
Cash on Hand: $37.3 million (plus an additional $9.2 million for the general election)
[source: Obama ’08]
THE DUDE ABIDES: Obama, Independence Mall, April 18 [by VIC SUEDE]