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Oh-eight (D): The Tax Man cometh

BIDEN:

Here's an interesting shot Joe Biden's New Hampshire chair took at Obama yesterday. There's a charge buried in here, but it's implied not direct. We'll let you, the readers, connect the dots. State Rep. Jim Ryan issued a statement following Paul Hodes' endorsement of Obama: "I am deeply disappointed by the comments of Senator Obama this morning. It does not say a lot for Obama's opinion of New Hampshire officials if he thinks that our endorsements can be bought and sold for 'favors.' We take pride in New Hampshire of the fact that we look beyond the hype and the money and really focus on where all the candidates stand on the issues. Our last two Democratic presidents started off low in the polls, however they won in New Hampshire based on the merits of their ideas."

CLINTON:

She'll be in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket at the end of August for at least three fund-raisers. "Tickets for the August 25 party go for $2,300 for the whole affair, or $1,000 to attend the reception but skip the 'town hall conversation,'" the Boston's Globe says. 
 
An ex-National Education Association president endorsed Clinton.

DODD: "Dodd promises universal coverage by the end of his first term, partly through the creation of a new entity called Universal HealthMart, modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan."

The Hartford Courant says Dodd's plan "faces at least three big hurdles: getting noticed, getting approved and getting funded."

EDWARDS: NBC's Kevin Corke previews Edwards' address to the National Urban League today. Per Corke, he will focus on familiar themes from his recent "Road to One America" tour -- notably, detailing his plan for universal health care. The campaign says 20% of African Americans don't have health care, and Edwards will call for broader research and more training to increase diversity in the medical profession. He will also talk up his "College for Everyone" program, which promises to pay for the first year of public-college tuition, books, and fees for students willing to work part-time and stay out of trouble. And he will look to pick up points by reminding the audience of his commitment to fighting poverty, decrying racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and calling for more fair housing enforcement and affordable housing for families.

Here's the Los Angeles Times' lead on Edwards tax speech yesterday, in which he called for tax increases for some wealthier Americans. "Tax hikes, once anathema to Democrats trying to shed their image as tax-and-spend liberals, are back… Edwards' plan, which dovetails with the populist tone of his campaign, would reverse the Bush-era trend toward taxing investment income more lightly than wages… Edwards' proposal may be a crowd-pleaser for Democratic primary voters who object to Bush's big tax cuts. But it may be a politically risky position for anyone heading into a general election contest against Republicans, who portray Democrats as incorrigible tax raisers."

The paper also notes that the Edwards tax plan was the most detailed of any candidate running.

Here's the plan in a nutshell, courtesy of the New York Times: "The Edwards campaign said his plan would raise the tax rate on capital gains, which are profits from investments, to 28 percent from the current 15 percent for taxpayers with incomes over $250,000. It would remain at 15 percent for those who earn less than $250,000… Mr. Edwards said the revenue gained from these tax increases would pay for a variety of tax cuts aimed at middle- and lower-income people, including exempting the first $250 of investment income from capital gains taxes, expanding the earned-income and child and dependent care tax credits, setting up special tax-free savings accounts."

Many in the media have been intrigued by the ideological makeovers of Clinton, Romney, and Giuliani. But there has been little attention to Edwards 'makeover. Here's a Concord Monitor header that does a good job of quickly noting how much the candidate has changed from his '04 campaign: "Edwards: Moderate no more." Subhead: "Candidate redefines himself on the left"

OBAMA: "Obama said he was proud to have Hodes' endorsement," the Boston Globe notes, "but conceded he would not have near the number of endorsements that other candidates, like Hillary Clinton will have. "'We haven't been in Washington all that long and we haven't traded that many favors,' Obama said."

 
 
Obama brought College Democrats to their feet at their convention in South Carolina. "Obama drew his strongest reaction when he mentioned the need for health care for college students and a means to pay for college tuition," the Columbia State reports. Students described the presidential hopeful as "amazing," "inspirational" and "makes me proud." Another student, though, handed out opposition literature and said Obama's "not ready for prime time." 
 

RICHARDSON: There was a contentious moment at one of Richardson's Iowa stops yesterday, when he was challenged on his Iraq withdrawal plan by a police officer from Des Moines.