From NBC's Mark Murray
By now, there has been plenty of coverage of the speeches by the Democratic presidential hopefuls at last weekend's DNC winter meeting. But here are two other observations that haven't received as much ink:
1) Dean and the 50-state strategy
Howard Dean's 50-state strategy -- investing the party's financial resources across the country, even in the reddest of states -- has been a subject of controversy among Establishment Democrats since he became DNC chair two years ago. But on Friday, the speakers seemed to be united in support of Dean's vision. Chris Dodd declared, "The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is being felt in 50 states across the country." Wesley Clark, whose own presidential campaign in 2004 was fueled in part to opposing Dean's bid, said: "The 50-state strategy is working." And even Hillary Clinton, who has been rumored not to be on the same page as Dean, credited the chairman for "helping to lead the charge for the victories we had in '06."
2) Criticizing Clinton
Many of the presidential hopefuls not named Clinton implicitly criticized the senator from New York (or some of her positions) in their speeches -- hardly surprising given her front-runner status. For starters, Dodd took aim at the non-binding resolution that she supports. "Frankly, I am disappointed that we can't find a way to do more than send a meaningless message to the White House." Obama railed against the current climate that has caused politics to become "small and calculating" -- which some have criticized Clinton for being. Edwards made the same point. "This is not the time for political calculation," he said. "It is the time for political courage."