Sen. Hillary Clinton has dinner with Iowa Democrats at her Washington home this evening. Earlier in the day, she gives an interview to NPR on the role of the National Guard and Army Reserve in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Daily News has former Iowa party chair Gordon Fischer offering some advice to her: visit every county and town before the primary, and stop being a "'control freak.'" Fischer, the paper adds, "is a fan of Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is already in the White House race."
The Hartford Courant looks at how Obama's surge from out of nowhere into the public's consciousness as a possible leading contender hurts his colleague Chris Dodd's chances. "If Dodd runs for the White House, he will count on strong support from the African American community. He could also suffer because Obama hurts efforts to get attention as well as raise money for his possible presidential bid... Dodd's troops say that whatever moves Obama or anyone else makes will not influence" Dodd's decision, which "he hopes to make next month."
The unglamorous side of life as a potential presidential candidate: On Sunday, Obama addressed a crowd of 1,500 wildly cheering party activists in New Hampshire. Yesterday, he and incoming House Government Reform chair Henry Waxman released a report finding "dangerous lead levels in jewelry and other inexpensive children's gifts sold in the four US Capitol gift shops. The Special Investigations Division of the minority staff of the Government Reform Committee found that seven of 13 items tested contained dangerous levels of lead."
Former Sen. John Edwards does the Hardball College Tour later today on MSNBC.
The AP notes that Al Gore "is waging a fierce campaign for recognition and an Oscar statuette for his global warming documentary, while reviving talk that he's pursuing a bigger prize: the presidency… 'I am not planning to run for president again,' Gore said last week… Then, he added: 'I haven't completely ruled it out.' Those words make Gore the 800-pound non-candidate of the Democratic field."
Recently, Sen. John Kerry said he'd make up his mind about running for president again later in the spring, but now his colleague Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is waiting to endorse him, is basically forcing him to decide sooner by saying he won't wait around for Kerry "indefinitely." "A Kennedy spokeswoman said Kennedy would continue to support Kerry if the junior senator jumps into the race on that time line. But in an hourlong interview with Globe reporters and editors, Kennedy offered strong praise for two of Kerry's possible presidential rivals:" Obama and Clinton.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich will announce today that he plans to run for president again. After centering his campaign on his opposition to the Iraq war, Kucinich got 1% in the Iowa caucuses and 1% in the New Hampshire primary in 2004.