CLINTON: In advance of her trip out west this week -- including a stop in Nevada) -- the Clinton campaign rolled out a series of endorsements, including ex-NV Gov. Bob Miller…
… And also Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who endorses Clinton today in LA. This nod is a big deal in this sense: He didn't go with either Richardson or Obama. Many of these endorsements are more important to Clinton because they are staying on the establishment reservation rather than flirting with one of her challengers.
The New York Times says that with the Villaraigosa endorsement, "Clinton has outflanked her Democratic presidential rivals — including Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, the first Hispanic to seek the party's nomination — in a crucial primary state with a large number of Hispanic voters and Democratic convention delegates." More: In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr. Villaraigosa described a lengthy courtship by both Clintons, starting with a phone call from Mrs. Clinton on the January morning when she announced her presidential candidacy."
Is the fact that Clinton's economic policy rollout on wage disparity got such little coverage compared to Obama's health-care rollout say more about the issue of health care or Obama's place in the campaign pecking order? Or a combination of the two?
Clinton meets today with the Culinary Worker Union Local 226 in Las Vegas today. NBC's Lauren Appelbaum notes that while it was not included in a public schedule sent out on Saturday, the most recent schedule sent out this morning notes that Obama has added a meeting of his own with the union for this Friday. Richardson held a forum with the union on May 1. And back in March, several Democratic presidential hopefuls -- Clinton, Dodd, Obama, and Richardson -- addressed the local at a rally.
OBAMA: The Chicago Sun-Times writes that Obama "unveiled his long-awaited health care plan on Tuesday, promising that everyone will be able to buy affordable health insurance and that people now covered will pay less. Employers would keep their insurance costs down because the federal government would pay for the most costly cases. Obama proposes mandating coverage of children but not adults, opening the question of whether his plan will lead to Obama keeping his first pledge, to sign a universal health care law by the end of his first term."
Time's Tumulty notes, "In truth, Obama's plan could fall somewhat short of real "universal coverage."
It's something Obama admitted himself in an interview with WHO-TV yesterday, calling his plan "virtually universal."
The New York Times: "Rival Democrats, recognizing the stakes on this signature issue, responded quickly, arguing that because Mr. Obama would not require every American to have insurance, it is not a true universal health plan. Neera Tanden, policy director for Mrs. Clinton … welcomed Mr. Obama to the health care debate. Ms. Tanden added, 'Senator Clinton believes that in addition to making healthcare more accessible, we have to achieve true universal health care so that every American has health care coverage.' Mark Kornblau, a spokesman for Mr. Edwards's campaign, said, 'Any plan that does not cover all Americans is simply inadequate.'"
By the way, how frustrated is Edwards, who didn't see nearly the level of coverage for his health care plan rollout that Obama received yesterday? Could it be some view Obama's plan as more plausible? The Los Angeles Times' Brownstein seems to edging in that direction: "Obama's plan is important first for what it is not. Like the other top Democratic presidential contenders, he rejects the left's growing support for a government-run, single-payer healthcare system. Instead, he proposes to reinforce the existing system, under which the vast majority of Americans receive coverage either through their employers or through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid."
This nut graph from the Chicago Tribune shows Obama's camp wanted to layout a plan that could sell in general. Obama "placed himself in the center of his party's mainstream with a plan that relies heavily on the promise of cost savings through a big investment in technology but also would be funded in part by allowing President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire."