With the next contest still weeks away, the Democratic candidates, their staffs and surrogates can hardly take a breath without a heated exchange between the campaigns in the form of an angry memo or conference call to the media. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Barack Obama has been but the latest opportunity for such organized squabbling.

But it is not the only example. In the last few days alone, the campaigns have signaled their shock and outrage over a number of mostly minor developments.

By far the most childish exchange was prompted by the Bill Clinton-Tony McPeak affair. Several rounds after the controversy had already spun itself out, the campaigns were still sniping at each other.

At this point the so-called dream ticket isn’t just unlikely, it’s difficult to fathom.

U.S. News and World Report:

Instead of using the six-week lull — when there are no primaries or caucuses — as an opportunity to debate big issues and elevate the tone, the run-up to Pennsylvania has been filled with recriminations and increasingly nasty charges. All this has intensified the concern of many Democrats that the animosities between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in their closely fought nomination race are getting out of hand.

The latest blowup came over the weekend. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Obama on Friday provoked an unusually harsh response from James Carville, one of Hillary Clinton’s informal advisers. Carville told the New York Times that Richardson had committed “an act of betrayal” and said it “came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”

Richardson fired back on Fox News Sunday: “I’m not going to get in the gutter like that. And you know, that’s typical of many of the people around Senator Clinton. They think they have a sense of entitlement to the presidency.” Richardson was energy secretary and United Nations ambassador for President Bill Clinton, and the Clintons seem more than a little angered at his endorsement of Clinton’s rival.

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