The Los Angeles Times notes that at the California Democratic convention over the weekend, the candidates "opened a new divide over taxes," as John Edwards "said he would consider an added levy on businesses and individuals reaping the kind of huge financial reward enjoyed by some of the nation's wealthiest investors." Bill Richardson, meanwhile, said that "Democrats, whenever we have a solution, we want to tax. I'm different. I'm a tax cutter."
The New York Daily News had the following lead: "Hillary Clinton brought California Democrats to their feet, but her rival Barack Obama brought the house down yesterday at the party's state convention."
BIDEN: The Delaware senator sat down with NBC's Tim Russert for nearly a full hour on Meet the Press.
CLINTON: In case you weren't sure of it, pollster Mark Penn is in charge of Clinton's campaign. The Washington Post writes: "In the four months since Clinton officially became a candidate, Penn has consolidated his power, according to advisers close to the campaign, taking increasing control of the operation. Armed with voluminous data that he collects through his private polling firm, Penn has become involved in virtually every move Clinton makes, with the result that the campaign reflects the chief strategist as much as the candidate."
And for those that wonder if Penn can survive should things get bad sometime this year, note this graph. "Yet Penn also has everything that Clinton would want in a senior consultant: undisputed brilliance and experience, according to even his enemies; clear opinions, with data to back them up; unwavering loyalty; and a relentless focus on the endgame: winning the general election. And Clinton clearly adores him. She describes Penn in her autobiography, 'Living History,' as brilliant, intense, shrewd and insightful."
DODD: On Saturday, the New York Times profiled the Connecticut senator. "There could be a certain poignancy to Mr. Dodd's enterprise, the narrative of a man who has waited his whole career to do this — maybe too long, past his time — and who, for whatever reason, is not catching on. In the shoes of another character, someone who takes himself more seriously than Mr. Dodd does, it could be sad." But: "As he ambles through the early voting states, there is a decided 'Why the heck not?' feel to Mr. Dodd's joyous orbit. As in, why the heck shouldn't Chris Dodd run for president, and enjoy the heck out of the ride?"
EDWARDS: The North Carolinian is touting electability more and more lately. He did so again yesterday campaigning in the purple state of Nevada.
OBAMA: As mentioned above, Newsweek's Howard Fineman catches Obama in a small ethics flap regarding his use of a Senate fax machine for political purposes.
Meanwhile, Newsweek does a longer piece previewing how Obama plans to fill in the blanks when it comes to policy.
Obama was in Los Angeles yesterday, where he marked the 15th anniversary of the 1992 riots there. Per the LA Times, "Obama drew a sustained ovation when he rebuked the Bush administration for, as Obama put it, funding the war in Iraq instead of impoverished Americans — particularly those in minority neighborhoods." Obama "did not mention the 1992 conflagration to the convention Saturday, but he made it the primary focus of his speech Sunday morning from the pulpit of one of South Central's most vibrant African American churches."
Speaking of churches, the New York Times is the latest to profile the church that Obama attends in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ. "The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign."