The Washington Post front-pages former President Bill Clinton's haul from speaking fees since he left the White House: "nearly $40 million," including $9 million to $10 million just last year, all per his wife's financial disclosure and other records. "Two-thirds" of the fees have come from foreign sources. The former President directs many of his fees to his various non-profit groups. The Clintons are "worth an estimated $10 million to $50 million," some of which they could use for the Senator's presidential bid.
The New York Times covers the FEC's draft advisory on Obama's proposal that "would allow the nominees, if both agreed, to return contributions they had solicited for the general election campaign and limit themselves to public financing for it instead." But: "The plausibility of such an agreement is not clear. One nominee is likely to have a financial edge on the other at the outset of the campaign, and accepting public financing would mean relinquishing that edge."
The Chicago Tribune adds that the FEC said it will formally consider Obama's proposal at its March 1 meeting. "'We have never faced this question before,' said Bob Biersack, a commission spokesman."
The Los Angeles Times looks at the sources of Obama's fundraising over the years under a headline which arguably suggests he's trying to have it both ways on fundraising, holding out one hand for as much cash as he can raise, and "wagging his finger" at the broken system with the other hand.
The Wall Street Journal says Obama's record in the Illinois Senate paints a picture of a legislator "of lofty, liberal rhetoric who nonetheless pragmatically accepted bipartisan compromises that won over foes -- and sometimes left supporters dissatisfied." Also: "the scraps for which [he] is remembered... were with fellow black Democrats, some of whom were resentful of his ambition and his successes."
Just one day after Edwards implicitly criticized Clinton at the Nevada forum for not apologizing for her Iraq war vote ("'We need a leader who will ... tell the truth when they've made a mistake, who will take responsibility when they've made a mistake"), NBC's Lauren Appelbaum says he came out against making negative attacks during at stop in Knoxville, TN. "I think it's awfully early for there to be negative attacks between candidates," Edwards said. "I'm running a positive campaign. I'm focused on the things that affect people's lives, like what to do about Iraq, like what do about healthcare in America. That's what I intend to do throughout."
That said, just before he embarks on a tour of New Hampshire this weekend, Edwards told the Manchester Union Leader that if Clinton thinks her vote for the Iraq war was wrong, she should just "honest about" it. Edwards "said the validity of her position 'depends entirely on what she believes. It's entirely between her and her own conscience.'"
The New York Times profiles Bill Richardson, who very well may hold the broadest resume of all the declared presidential candidates. "But as he makes his case for the Democratic nomination, he is likely to be judged in large measure by his four years as governor, a record that has won him friends and foes."
Former White House press secretary Mike McCurry will emcee a fundraiser to raise money for the South Carolina Democratic primary, which is party-run, on March 7. Most of the party's presidential field is expected to attend. And Bloomberg looks at potential South Carolina Democratic kingmaker Jim Clyburn, at whose alma mater NBC and the state Democratic party are hosting a presidential primary debate two months from now. and
Tom Vilsack holds two town hall meetings today in Iowa. Per his campaign, these will be Vilsack's 17th and 18th town hall meetings since he kicked off his presidential campaign.
This weekend's campaign events: Edwards stumps in New Hampshire tomorrow with a series of house parties and media availabilities throughout the state, while Richardson headlines the Broward County Democratic Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Florida. On Sunday, Obama heads to Louisville, KY to attend a "low dollar fundraiser" (per his campaign), which is closed to the press.