Author Archives: The Observer

Field Trip: Dave’s Brew Farm

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from my friend, The Musical Genius, to visit Dave’s Brew Farm. I don’t see a lot of TMG but certainly enjoy those occasions when we do manage to get together. When the spice of a field trip was added in, I was certain we’d have a terrific time.

I wasn’t disappointed. TMG drove us out and, knowing plenty about the place already, gave me the background. The brew farm is the dream, the ‘lifestyle business’ of Dave Anderson and his wife Pam. His vision is one of providing craft beers using sustainable growing and production methods. A large craftsman-style farmhouse-cum-brewery houses what Dave calls “the LaBrewatory”, the upper levels of which are the residence, and is towered over by a large wind turbine. The turbine is a Jacobs 31-20, a 20kW wind generator perched atop a 120-foot tower, which provides most of the power needed at the farm. The wind generator is only part of the ‘sustainability’ vision. The building also has solar panels and a geothermal heating/cooling system.

Who doesn’t like a field trip? As a kid, field trips were a sweet escape from school, a chance to buzz out of classes, board a bus, then drive hours to see something interesting. Since I grew up in the city, a field trip usually meant driving out to a field – somewhere out in the country. We’d see bee keepers gather honey. We once visited a cranberry bog. There was that time, too, where we saw a dairy farmer with a latex glove up to his shoulder checking to see if one of his heifers was pregnant.

Dave’s Brew Farm is in Wilson, Wisconsin which is about 50 miles east of St Paul and an easy drive on a Sunday afternoon. Though relatively close to the city, the final shot north of 94 to reach Wilson takes you through fields and forests and is enough to make you feel pleasantly distant.
The brew farm does feel a world away. Situated on a ridge at a ‘T’ in a country road, you’re greeted with a vista of cornfields, hills and woods.

The building sits on 35 acres, a few of which are used to produce some of the hops used in brewing with the excess sold off. The remaining acreage is rented out to neighboring farmers. “The BrewFarm is an innovative demonstration project showcasing the latest in renewable and sustainable business practices, and rural development,” Dave explains. “Our hope is that through ‘leading by example’ other businesses will adopt these (and other) sustainable strategies, realizing that every effort helps the planet – and the bottom line.”

TMG parks the car and we head into the tap room – one section of the lower level where the kegs and vats are housed which is set up with a long bar.

Now we get to the point of the visit – tasting some of the beer. Dave employs Belgian-style brewing and we’re treated to an assortment of brews with interesting flavors and varying levels of alcohol.

After creating a number of experimental batches in the LaBrewatory, Dave has settled on a few that he thinks are worthy of sharing with the dedicated crowd that makes the pilgrimage to his farm.

The interesting names match the interesting flavors. On our visit, we sampled a Matacabras (which is Spanish for ‘the wind that kills goats’) a dark ale with a creamy texture and a dash of spice that gave the beer a distinct tanginess. Another that I can recommend is the Mocha Diablo – a pepper stout and a hybrid ale/lager with a healthy dollop of hops.

Having enjoyed our short, refreshing visit, we say farewell to our hosts and settle in for the return trip. We’ll be back.

Dave’s Brew Farm
2470 Wilson Street
Wilson, WI 54027

Tap room tastings are frequently held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  Check the website (above) for details.

For those of you who can’t make the trek, you can get Dave’s Brew Farm Select – a full-flavored, all-malt craft-brewed golden lager – at major liquor stores throughout Minneapolis and St Paul.

Meet the Wodehouseans

If you happened to be relaxing in the lobby of Saint Paul Hotel on a June weekend last summer, you may have seen a collection of bowler-hatted gentlemen clustered in the bar chatting about the horse races, or seen a procession of fellows in white flannel trousers bearing cricket bats heading for the field at Harriet Island. You might have witnessed a diminutive woman in a flapper gown giving precise instructions to the bartender for making a proper martini – viz, using orange bitters, a bottle of which she discreetly produced from her handbag with a delicate flourish – or overheard a genteel-but-vigorous debate as to whether that chap’s memoirs were – not to put too fine a point on it – merely a manuscript rather than a book.

If so, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to Edwardian London instead of mingling, unwittingly, with the throng of attendees of the convention of The Wodehouse Society. TWS, as it’s known, is an organization of admirers of the author PG Wodehouse, the British humorist, with chapters and members throughout the world and who travel great distances to descend on some unsuspecting US city to engage in their biennial literary revels.

I suppose you’re saying to yourself that it sounds as though this would be a fairly tame bunch, and you’d be right, as a rule. Peopled with leaders of academia, commerce, and the military, members of TWS are a thoroughly respectable collection of citizens. They are the backbone of society – staunch and upright. But they do somewhat resemble that chap in the book “Cocktail Time”, who leads a blameless life in the country but can’t be trusted to stay out of trouble during his annual trip to London. There was that time, for instance, that a bread roll-throwing mêlée broke out during dinner.

The honors for this year’s event (or disgrace, depending on your perspective) fell on St Paul and, the city appearing to consider it an honor, welcomed the group with open arms. You may not have heard the town crier wandering about the square announcing the glad tidings of the event to one and all, but the weather was cooperatively sunny and warm and Mayor Chris Coleman went so far as to declare Friday, June 12, 2009 “PG Wodehouse Day”.

Describing the convention as a literary event may be a bit misleading. Considering that Wodehouse wrote a goodish number of books – 95 or so – there is much in a literary vein to discuss. He was, however, also just as successful as a Broadway and West End lyricist, collaborating on a number musicals with the likes of Jerome Kern.

Friday’s events featured an afternoon of pick-up Cricket, if you can imagine such a thing. Dozens of players, variously suited in white-ish outfits chasing or avoiding cricket balls, according to their preference, about sums up the level of competition.

The vigorous afternoon of sport was followed by an evening dinner and a terrific selection of songs with Wodehouse lyrics sung ably by Maria Jette. Maria, who is well-known for her appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion” (but who is less well known for carrying around a bottle of orange bitters in her purse and lecturing experienced bartenders on the art of mixing a proper martini) has a magnificent voice and a mesmerizingly-entertaining stage presence.

Other events included an entertaining series of lectures (known affectionately by the attendees as the ‘Riveting Talks”) on topics with a more-or-less-Wodehousean connection.

In harmony with the theme and Wodehouse’s timeless, vaguely-Edwardian era, the group continued their revels with a fancy dress/costume ball aboard a riverboat enjoying dinner and cocktails, with the more brave attendees dancing to the strains of a banjo band.

Capping off the weekend was a Sunday afternoon watching the races at Canterbury Park. The Society sponsored the Goodwode, an inside joke related to the pronunciation of Wodehouse’s name and a famous horse race, a variety of which figure throughout the Wodehouse stories.

So a literary event it was, of course, but add in these other things along with the general reveling and it becomes much more – a bit like The Chap Olympics. With books. If you missed it all, you may want to pay closer attention to what’s going on around you next time you’re hanging around the lobby of the Saint Paul Hotel.

Restaurant Review: NOSH

Humor is a difficult thing to begin with and we live in a humorless age.  After a visit to Rochester, I took the family on the scenic route for the drive home and we headed northeast to Kellogg to stop at a LARK toys.

LARK, known for its handmade, pre-electronic age toys, has a carousel, a collectors’ shop, and a decent kids bookshop. Unfortunately, it’s all housed within a building that would aspire to brown paper if it were a bag.

One of the most distressing elements of modern architecture is the unironic mix of high- and low-quality materials.  Like hand-joined oak paneling on walls which rise from poured concrete floors. And handmade, wooden toys on oak shelves labeled with sheets of letter paper printed from a laserjet.

Difficult enough, so far, I agree.  Yet taped to one of the shelves was a sign describing the displayed toys which said “Native Americans and Cow People”.  I can’t honestly tell you whether the author of this sign was serious or joking.  And it distressed me that I had to stop and wonder.  A chap needs to be able to tell whether he’s in friendly or hostile territory, after all, and it’s terribly disorienting when he’s not sure.

After refusing to allow my children to spend fifty cents to smash a penny into the shape of the White House (or some similar capital-destroying ruse), we headed north on 61 and enjoyed the winding drive along the bluff above the river.  With the smooth, black ribbon of road wedged in the snowy hillside, it’d be easy to think you were in the foothills of the Alps if it weren’t for the Treasure Island casino billboards and Kwik-Marts you encounter along the way.

Arriving in Lake City, we stopped near the marina and spotted NOSH. Stepping inside, we had the instant feeling of sanctuary.  The warm colors of the rooms, the dark wood and big windows overlooking the harbor are inviting.  The four of us were taken to a window table in the dining room upstairs. Not many people there but we were on the early side of prime time.

The bar selections were good. I had a Macallan 15 and the Long-suffering Wife ordered a Vinho Verde, an effervescent Portuguese white that we hadn’t encountered elsewhere.

Perhaps sensing our efforts to help our kids understand that they could enjoy foods whose names they can’t pronounce, the kitchen sent out a delightful amuse bouche (take that, kids!) of pumpkin puree topped with a small, crisp bacon chip for us to sample.

Our starters were the grilled shrimp, which were firm and whose garlic-and-oil saute had just the right amount of spice.  The calamari was, thankfully, both free of breading and very tender.

The LSW ordered a roasted beet salad followed by a small plate of seared Marlin.  The tenderloin I had was nicely done, covered with a brandy reduction and served withsimple, fresh mashed potatoes.  Nothing so difficult to pull off well as something simply done and they pulled it off.

The staff was patient and attentive and provided some eminently palatable, off-menu options to the junior members of The Firm.

This is a great, cozy place to have a winter dinner and it must really buzz on a lovely summer evening.  That’s when we’ll be back.

TED Conferences: For Genuine, Original Thought

This post-holiday time, this bleak mid-winter, has always put me into a thoughtful, planful (if there is such word) sort of mood.  I don’t think I’m alone either.  Seems to me that the chaps who plan the World Economic Forum feel the same way which would possibly account for this event being held at the end of January each year.

The Davos event is very attractive to many people. There’s an appeal to rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the world – Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Bono  – dining sumptuously amid elegant surroundings, and discussing important topics (sorry “Important Topics”) in one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland. Could just be that the skiing around Davos is good, too.

With all the events around the current worldwide economic trouble, interest in this year’s Davos event should be particularly high.  This event, though, has never really interested me.  Somehow it falls short.  There seem to be two groups of people at this event: the A-listers who headline the events, and the people who want to ‘network’ with them.  The whole thing has a feeling of a high school, model UN conference.  Like the cool kids in high school and the kids that wanted to hang out with the cool kids in high school.  Like Tyler Brule.

The forum’s website says the 2009 meetings will be ‘focused on managing the current crisis’ and will be attended by 1,400 chief executives, 250 public figures, and 41 heads of state. In other words, a lot of the people who got us into the current crisis.

I much prefer, an organization more geared toward original and innovative thinking.  In addition to well-known figures such as Al Gore and Rupert Murdoch – who will be found on the Davos circuit, too – TED events (which stands for technology, education, design) typically feature such interesting thinkers as Joshua Klein who invented a vending machine for crows as a means for researching and demonstrating their surprising intelligence and Evelyn Glennie, the Scottish percussionist whose deafness didn’t prevent her from being accepted to the Royal Academy of Music and whose talk on ‘feeling music’ provides a fascinating alternate understanding of sound and performance.

As with Davos, participation in the TED Conference is pretty limited but the TED talks, as they’re called, are readily accessible on and, unlike Davos, are worth watching whether right away or months or years later.  When I listen to Ken Robinson describe how schools could easily be performing much better or Malcolm Gladwell characteristic use of the engaging anecdote to help us understand the impact of personal choice, I am left thinking that the solutions to the world’s problems are much more likely to come, however serendipitously, from this group of thinkers than from Davos.

If your attention span is on the short side, listening to Richard St John’s ‘8 Secrets of Success’ will be three of the best-spent minutes of your life.  And you could do it from Davos, if you really need to be there.


Evelyn Glennie, ‘How to Listen With Your Whole Body

Richard St John, ‘8 Secrets of Success


Restaurant Review: Fuji-Ya

Tucked away in a small space at the corner of Divisidero and Geary in San Francisco is a little place which offers what may be the finest sushi in the world. Perhaps it was because it was my first time eating sushi, but Godzilla’s will forever be the best in my mind. It was also a dinner the cemented my now 20-year friendship with the High-Energy Bond Guy.  HBG and I were among the Friday night crowd trying to get into the place.

Divisadero and Geary is a bustling corner and Godzilla’s is a pretty small place so when they fill their 20 or so seats, the waiting crowd spills out onto the sidewalk.  HBG and I were among the Friday night crowd standing curbside to get into the place and the whole thing had a festival feeling.

In addition to the delicious tuna sashimi, the tender edamame was infused with just the right amount of saltiness, and I will forever be grateful for having been introduced to wasabi, truly one of the world’s most fabulous creations.

A few years later, I was staying and working in Knightsbridge, in a place just around the corner from Harvey Nick’s. It’s then that sushi became a staple of my diet.    On the fifth floor of HN’s is their famous food court and I would often run over there to have a rolls for lunch at Yo! Sushi. Yo! Sushi is a Kaiten-zushi restaurant, where plates of food come by on a conveyor belt.  You grab what you want, stack up the plates then hail the waitress who comes over to count them up, does the math (colors on the plates indicate different prices for the dish), and gives you your tab.  The food court had terrific atmosphere.  The great energy of one of the world’s great cities could always be felt at that counter and I had lunch there frequently enough to become a recognized regular.

There’s something terrific about being a regular.  They know your name, your preferred table, and, if they’re good, know enough to let you know what special things are on hand that you’ll care about.

Here in Saint Paul I’ve had trouble finding that place where I could return frequently without tiring of it – until Fuji-Ya opened at the corner of Wabasha and West Seventh a few years ago.  Like Godzilla’s, it’s a smallish space that provides an intimate atmosphere.  It fills up quickly providing a nice buzzing energy without feeling crowded.

Sit at the sushi bar, if possible, where ordering is quickest and you’ll get your sushi as soon as it’s ready.  Be sure to order the Wasabi Crunchy, a roll with cucumber, shrimp in a spicy mayo covered with wasabi tobiko flakes. The decor is bamboo-meets-bang and olufsen and the “Godzilla vs Mothra” movie playing on the big-screen plasma near the bar adds a hip-kitsch vibe to the whole experience. This is a place where you can pop in, be certain of a terrific meal, and simply enjoy the experience.  This is a place for regulars.

About Town: Irv Williams

A good sax player, over long years of playing ought to become known for range, deft handling of ‘the axe’, mellow tone, and skillful phrasing.

Irv Williams has mastered all these skills and more to attain a revered status, certainly among local jazz fans.

I’ll always remember Irv – not just for his skillful musical phrasing, but for one, very telling phrase. I was hosting an event at the University Club in the early 90s where he and his trio were hired to play. The crowd had assembled and, many of them having gotten their cocktails, started to have that ‘what now?’ look that crowds get.

Irv was sitting serenely in a chair at the far end of the room near the piano watching the crowd but showing no signs that he was on the verge of producing the mellifluous tones he’s known for. Although he came highly recommended, I’d never met the man before or heard him play so I walked over to introduce myself. We chatted briefly before I was able to bring myself to the key question: “When do you plan to start?”.

He looked me in the eye, paused for a two count, and let me have it:

“I play when I get a scotch and I’ve been paid.”

My eyes locked with his, I snapped my finger for a waiter and pulled out my checkbook, scribbling out Irv’s payment with a wry smile all the while taking his words to heart. The evening clicked along beautifully from there and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since.

In the years that followed, I’ve trekked all over town to hear him play. There were the gigs at the old Bristol Cafe in St Anthony Main and that lounge at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis in the late 90s.

Recently, the LSW and I sat through a couple of Irv’s sets at Il Vesco Vino, the Italian restaurant that replaced The Vintage. Ably accompanied by pianist Peter Schimke, Irv is clearly as comfortable as ever blowing out a range of tunes, mostly mellow and gentle but with occasional bursts of energy. As always, too, he welcomes the audience request but will adjust the range and tempo of these standards to his liking rather than play them as we might be accustomed to hear them in what we might think of as their definitive, recorded versions.

Irv is a gentleman and a generous performer, but, in keeping with the best tradition of jazzmen, make no mistake – it’s his world and you’re just passing through it.

Williams and Schimke perform Saturdays from 8-10 at Il Vesco Vino and have just released a new CD called “Duo”

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Settling into my plush seat at the Orpheum waiting for the curtain to rise on the evening’s performance of the Nutcracker, I was in a mood of pleasant expectation knowing that I could look forward to an evening watching an old favorite, familiarly done. Nor was I disappointed.

Anatoly Emelianov’s choreography delivered all the key elements one looks for in this ballet. The festive Christmas eve party where the entrances of the partygoers serve as an amuse bouche of dance and set the tone for the rest of the performance. The dreamlike sequences of the growing Christmas tree and the Nutcracker coming to life create the entrancing transition into the dreamlike world of the ethereal, the thrilling, the exotic.

Apart from one unfortunate fall in the second act, the corps de ballet showed their maturity as dancers who had become seasoned and practiced in their roles and delivered a taut, graceful and otherwise flawless performance. A highlight of the evening was provided by the pair performing the Arab dance sequences whose high-energy, athletic rendition added a staccato note.

By far the most delightful feature of this production, however, came from watching the promising talent contributed by the young dancers who are recruited locally for each city’s performance. The younger snowflakes in particular added a sweet, ethereal charm to the evening.

The theater itself helps set the stage, if you will, for properly enjoying the ballet which has become a perennial American holiday favorite even if Tchaikovsky himself preferred Sleeping Beauty. With its red and gold accented décor, the deep, comfortable seats, and the rococo paintings on the ceilings, there’s a feeling of old St Petersburg in the theater that helps provide the ideal setting for enjoying this holiday favorite. The house very sensibly, too, allows patrons to bring their drinks into the theater after the intermission thereby allowing a person to comfortably finish a cocktail while enjoying the second act.Something tells me Tchaikovsky would have approved.

Book Review: ‘Blandings Castle and Elsewhere’, PG Wodehouse

I suppose it’s typical, for most people who read, to read in the evenings. For those of us with this habit, picking up a diverting volume or treatise on some subject is really quite the best way to relax at the end of a day.

"Blandings Castle and Elsewhere" by PG WodehouseWith PG Wodehouse it may be a bit different. Of course, an evening spent reading PGW is an evening spent well and I highly recommend it. It’s just that, speaking for myself, after twenty minutes or so reading let’s say, Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, I sometimes find myself grinning so widely that my smile might meet itself at the back of my head.

That is to say a chap can get to feeling so cheery that it seems a waste to simply turn out the lights and drift off to sleep after a few pages of this joy. Seems much more sense to start a day this way. If the world was filled with people heading to work, twenty minutes of Wodehouse already under their belts and the milk of human kindness sloshing about their insides, the world would be a much better place.

It’s not hard to imagine a conversation like this:

“What a lovely dashiki, Rev Wright.”
“Thank you. It was a gift from Sen.., um, a parishioner.”
“I’m familiar with the Yoruba designs that became symbol of the black power movement of the ’60s but that pattern looks to be Kikuyu. And the orange in the pattern brings out the beautiful deep brown of your eyes. Very flattering”
“Why thank you. I had no idea you knew anything about Africa. At least nobody ever gave you any credit for your obvious intelligence, Gov Palin.”
“Well, West Africa anyway. And, please, call me ‘Sarah’.”
“And I’d like you to call me ‘Jeremiah’.”

See what I mean? Good things could happen.

Take this ‘Blandings Castle and Elsewhere’ I was just mentioning. Terrific book about a terrific place. If you’re not familiar with Blandings Castle, it is the country seat of Lord Emsworth, the amiably doddering peer who too often finds his peace broken by his aimless son, Freddie, or interfering sister, Lady Constance.

This volume is a loosely-related collection of stories around Blandings, is something Wodehouse called “the short snorts in between” and “a small dose” and is the perfect place for someone unfamiliar with Wodehouse to start. Apart from the these small doses, this volume includes a story about the cleverly mischievous Bobbi Wickham and some thoroughly funny send-ups of the motion picture business in Hollywood, drawn from his time as a screenwriter.

With Blandings Castle’s broad parklands, messuages, and, the gravel-free path through the yew alley (the importance of which you’ll understand if you read the story ‘Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend’) you’ll soon find that nothing could be nicer than to potter about the place” – if only in the mind’s eye – of a morning?

Sound and Fury: Looking Beyond the 2008 Elections

While standing in line today waiting to vote, I was reminded of that great line of George Carlin’s: “Think of how stupid the average person is and realize half of them are stupider than that.” Considering how sharply-but-evenly divided we are on the question of who should be the next US president, it is easy to think that the ‘other half’ is the stupider because they’re voting for ‘that guy’ and we are among the smarter – because we won or despite losing, whichever way it goes.

Although the choice of president is very important, he’s typically just the most visible element of the government. There are special powers and privileges and a gifted rhetorician can sway and engage popular opinion in support of his efforts to work with Congress. Nevertheless, let’s remember that much of what we have heard and been told until now is only so much sound and fury which signifieth, well, maybe not as much as we thought.

Regardless of which side you’re on, the most important thing to remember is that there are natural constraints to what the next president will be able to accomplish. We’re in a rough economy and we have a divided electorate. So, whether tomorrow you Greet the Dawn or fear the Apocalypse, let’s take a moment to look beyond the elections and consider the months ahead.

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s highly unlikely that Sen Obama, as President, would change the course of either of these wars from the one they’re on under current leadership. By leadership, I’m referring to the military leadership and not the Bush administration. The surge has shown itself to be a success with deaths in Iraq falling to the lowest point in the war. Indeed, there were fewer killings in Baghdad last month than occurred in Chicago. A president McCain can keep his campaign promise to support the troops and Obama will be forgiven if he accedes to realities on the ground if he abandons a fixed schedule for troop withdrawal.

The US and Worldwide Economy. Since government has only a few albeit very powerful tools available to influence the direction of the economy – the power to tax your money, spend your money, and throw you in jail if you don’t cooperate – much of what can be tried is underway: massive Keynesian stimulus spending via checks to US tax filers (not necessarily payers but we’ll discuss that another time) and massive, unprecedented bailout dollars to major financial institutions. In light of the major commitments already in place and the enormous existing government debt, it’s unlikely that the next president will be able to engineer major new spending programs in this weak economy. If McCain tried, the Democrat majority is likely to oppose his budget efforts. Massive spending by an Obama-led congress would probably risk a further market meltdown, as Clinton learned to his disappointment in 1993.

Where, then, can the next president get his way? For Obama, two places. Regulations, rules, and other soft-cost legislation and judicial appointments. Resurrecting the fairness doctrine, removing the secret ballot for union votes, and enacting other rules that are designed to guide the economy should be fairly easy for him to accomplish and the costs will be hard to calculate. A compliant, Democrat-led Congress will likely be quick to move on any judicial nominations they receive. A President McCain, on the other hand, would have a bigger hill to climb. He’ll need to be uncharacteristically Reaganesque and win the support of the public to put pressure on their own legislators to get his agenda through. And, assuming there’s no Democratic super majority, he’ll need to dust off the Veto pen.

In any event, we’ll soon see how my broad predictions pan out.

Sen Obama Becomes Dem Nominee for US President

Sen Barack Obama, addressing a cheerful and sporadically cheering crowd of supporters in Saint Paul tonight, declared victory in the primary contest and established his status as the Democratic candidate for the US presidency.

With the final Democratic primaries finishing earlier this evening in Montana and South Dakota, and with a significant number of undeclared super-delegates lining up behind him in the last 24 hours, Sen Obama today secured the 2,118 delegate votes necessary to attain an insurmountable lead over Sen Hillary Clinton.

“Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States,” he declared confidently in the hall where his Republican opponent, Sen John McCain, will accept the GOP nomination in September.

Striking a statesmanlike tone and in a clear effort reunify his Democratic base as he shifts his attentions to the general election, Mr Obama paid homage to Sen Clinton, citing her efforts with healthcare and children’s issues. “It was an honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said.

Setting the stage for the general election, Obama focused most of his energy tonight on Sen McCain. Visiting most of the liberal touchstones of the current election – Iraq, universal healthcare, US energy policy, ‘wealthy CEOs’, and ‘tax breaks for big corporations’ – Obama worked strenuously to tie McCain to the ‘failed policies’ of President Bush, giving a clear hint of what his strategy will be in the coming months.

While Sen Clinton congratulated her opponent earlier today, she has yet to officially withdraw from the race and there is continued speculation that she is seeking a negotiated exit from the competition.

Sen McCain spoke earlier this evening to his supporters in New Orleans.