From NBC's Carrie Dann
While Washington politicos and journalists have been finalizing their outfits for tonight's black-tie Radio/TV Correspondents' Dinner, the presidential hopefuls on the Democratic side have also used the last few days to try some new things on for size. Yet it's not chiffon and pinstripes that the oh-eighters are eyeing -- but rather new campaign catchphrases. At back-to-back labor conferences in DC (hosted by the Communication Workers of America yesterday and the Building and Construction Trades folks this morning), the candidates tweaked some of their tried-and-true stump stories and threw in some brand-new lines as well. John Edwards rolled out "the bleeding sword" Tuesday as a new way of describing the war in Iraq. (He must have found the phrase suiting, judging from his repetition of it again to the heavily Democratic crowd at today's conference.)
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, did not re-run the imagery she tested yesterday, when she joked "When I inherit all these big holes that have been dug over the last eight years... I'm gonna hand everybody in America a shovel and we're going to start digging our way out." Obama also appears to be experimenting with some material; in the two speeches this week, he's lambasted the Bush Administration for its "you're on your own" attitude on domestic issues, but today he backed off from the label of "social Darwinism" that he used on Tuesday.