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Oh-eight (D): Battling for Buffett

The Boston Globe writes that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will introduce the Democratic candidates at the Howard University debate in DC tomorrow night.


Last night's Warren Buffett event raised the campaign at least" $1 million, according to the Washington Post. Now Buffett has NOT endorsed Clinton. "But he has already donated the maximum $4,600 allowed by an individual to Clinton's presidential campaign. Buffett called Clinton 'the person to run the country.' He has not donated to any other candidate, according to public records, although he has said he would also support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a similar event." NBC's Lauren Appelbaum adds that Buffett said the American public will make the choice between Clinton and Obama. "I don't want to turn my back on either one of them. I think they're both terrific people," Buffett said, "but I think Hillary would make a wonderful president of the United States." Buffett did not answer yes when asked if Clinton is good for business, but he didn't say no, either. "I think Hillary Clinton is good for America. Anybody that's good for America is good for business." He continued to talk about Clinton's assets. "I've known her for a long time. I've admired her brains. I've admired her energy. I've admired the way she has carried out her job in the Senate. I think she would make an absolutely first class president. When she asked me if I would participate in an event like this, I jumped at the chance."

Newsday has followed up on blog reports about supposed push-polling (more like message testing) from the Clinton campaign via pollster Mark Penn, noting examples in Iowa that tested negative messages against Obama and in New Hampshire that tested Edwards negatives.

A quick follow-up to a post yesterday about Bill Clinton's fundraising email on behalf of his wife: We observed how Bill mentioned that Hillary turned down high-paying jobs out of law school to help children, which we noted is similar to what Obama says in his new TV ads. The Clinton campaign points out to us that Bill had said this about his wife earlier this month.

EDWARDS: Here's the transcript of Elizabeth Edwards calling into Hardball yesterday to take on Ann Coulter.

After taking her star turn on Hardball, she campaigned and raised money in Portland, OR.

OBAMA: Michelle Obama addressed the experience issue yesterday -- a day after Barack Obama himself addressed it. "'For people who say that Barack Obama is not experienced … I can't wrap my head around that,' Michelle Obama told hundreds of people crowded into the offices of the nonprofit Our Children's Foundation in Harlem. 'Yes, he's ready to lead,' she said. 'The question is: Are you ready? … Will you move out of fear, or will you move out of possibility?'" Michelle Obama added, "'What they are counting on is for us not caring . . . [and that voters will] stay at home.'"

It looks like the Obama camp wants some help from Buffett, too: "Warren Buffett is a great friend and an important force in the global economic community. We look forward to him helping out our efforts," Obama spokesman Bill Burton told the New York Daily News.

The GOP state senator who appears in Obama's first TV ads is getting a cold reception from some Illinois GOPers, the Chicago Tribune reports. But Dillard said he's not bothered. "'My caucus should thank me,' [he] said, 'for the last 48 hours of media attention, whether they realize it or not.'"

By the way, Obama quietly revised one of his new TV ads because Chicago-based Tom Balanoff, the president of SEIU Local 1, was in the original version of the ad. But Balanoff was worried his presence implied a national endorsement of Obama by SEIU and asked to be taken out. The campaign complied. 

RICHARDSON: Here's an excerpt of the governor's speech today on Iran: "As we know from the Cold War, deterrence is above all a matter of clarity and credibility. We need to be absolutely clear that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, and we need to be absolutely credible when we say what we will do about it if the Iranians continue to disregard the will of the international community. The clear message must be this: develop nukes and you will face devastating global sanctions. Desist from developing nukes and you will receive meaningful rewards, including robust security guarantees and guaranteed supplies of nuclear fuel from abroad."

Richardson held one of his "job interview" events in eastern Iowa yesterday. He outlined what he would do in his first six days in office. "From day one to day six, he vowed to introduce plans to remove troops from Iraq after de-authorizing the war, mandate a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, ensure universal health care, update education curricula, reinvigorate the U.S. economy, and recover the America he claims 'we've lost.'"