CLINTON: The campaign is in major Iowa damage control mode after a memo leaked out that her campaign was considering bypassing Iowa. Clinton, herself, called the grand poobah of the Iowa press corps, Des Moines Register's David Yepsen, to reassure him and all of Iowa that she's in it to win.
The New York Times: "Any hint that Mrs. Clinton was not committed to winning in Iowa could hurt her there. Recent polls in Iowa have shown Mrs. Clinton trailing John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. And the disclosure of a memorandum suggesting she might not play in Iowa could also have the effect — intended or not — of lowering expectations for her performance there, softening a defeat and or making a victory that much more dramatic."
Here's the memo itself.
One other thought: This idea that the campaigns are going to need to save money for February 5 is an odd argument in this respect. Outside of some candidate that can spend $100 million in one week, is there a campaign that can actually afford 1,000 points to advertise in a slew of states like California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Texas? The truth is no campaign (outside of Romney's checkbook) can afford it. Even the front-runners will be riding free media by the time February 5 rolls around -- and that's assuming Tsunami Tuesday matters. Florida, on Jan. 29, may actually end this thing.
Bloomberg explores the potential conflicts Mark Penn is encountering between his work for Clinton and his work for some corporate clients. The heart of this piece involves excerpts Bloomberg obtained of an internal corporate blog Penn contributes to at Burson. Penn sees no conflict, according to the blog, "which he regularly writes for colleagues at the 2,500-person, New York-based Burson. In one entry, 'Workin With Hillary,' he wrote, 'I have found the mixing of corporate and political work to be stimulating, enormously helpful in attracting talent, and helpful in cross-pollinating new ideas and skills.' 'And,'' he added, 'I have found it good for business.'"
EDWARDS: A non-Edwards fan sent us a slew of examples where Edwards used the phrase "war on terror" during the '04 campaign. In fact, this Web site found references to the phrase earlier this year by the ex-senator's campaign.
His speech to Alabama legislators today may be postponed.
OBAMA: The Chicago Tribune explores what black Americans are saying about race and Obama's candidacy. "The basic question is whether society has made enough progress on race to elect a black person to lead it. In a country where a black man still can have a hard time catching a cab, can he be president of the United States? Opinions within the black community are mixed. In some circles there is a reluctance to believe that white people will vote for Obama. While some blacks question whether he is black enough, others think that in the end he will prove to be, in effect, too black. They say they are resigned to the notion that he is doomed, not by black ambivalence but by white prejudice."
RICHARDSON: The New York Times front-pages how the sole Hispanic candidate in the presidential race is handling the immigration issue. Richardson's mother, who is Mexican, lives in Mexico. Initially, Richardson supported the Senate compromise on immigration. But he told the paper that, after looking at the details, he's decided to oppose it. "'This is fundamentally flawed in its current form, and I would oppose it,' he said. 'We need bipartisanship, but we also need legislation that is compassionate. I'm not sure that this is.'"