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Oh-eight (D): The Labor of love


It looks like Big Labor could largely stay on the primary sidelines -- not because it isn't crazy about any of the candidates, but because it's very pleased with the field. "If the unions do delay throwing their weight behind any candidate early in the campaign, it would be particularly frustrating to" John Edwards, who has courted labor heavily. "Several unions that like Mr. Edwards are wary of endorsing him because he lags well behind Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in the polls… Clinton and Mr. Obama are wooing unions partly to prevent Mr. Edwards's securing the A.F.L.-C.I.O. endorsement and partly to pick up individual union endorsements for themselves."


The AP previews the senator's new book. "'Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics' offers glimpses of the Delaware lawmaker's life and thoughts from his childhood growing up in an middle-class Irish Catholic family to his current run for the White House. The book will be released Tuesday. The message, according to Biden, is to get back up after life knocks you down, a mantra instilled in him by his father, whose business setbacks never diminished his pride or his determination to provide for his family."


The New York Times piece on Chelsea Clinton: "So far, Ms. Clinton is more a character than a presence in the campaign, which seeks to portray Senator Clinton as a strong yet nurturing force, a friend to women and children and a symbol of progress from one generation to the next… Campaign officials would not say when — or even if — Ms. Clinton would appear on the trail. 'Even though President and Senator Clinton are public figures, their daughter is not,' Howard Wolfson, the campaign spokesman, said in a statement. 'While Chelsea Clinton has attended events for her mom and will be supporting her parents in their political and philanthropic endeavors, she will continue to focus on her own professional and personal interests as a private person.'"

Here's a fun stat: Ken Starr's law firm has given more money to Clinton than all the top Republicans combined.


John and Elizabeth Edwards yesterday kept their tradition of celebrating their wedding anniversary at Wendy's, according to the campaign. Yesterday was their 30th anniversary.The Columbia State checks in on the state of Edwards' South Carolina campaign and asks the candidate about why he's not doing better in the one state he won in 2004.

With Edwards on the cover of Men's Vogue this month with a photo spread by glam photog Annie Leibovitz, the Boston Globe's Canellos asks: "Could it be that Edwards is portrayed as a vanity case because he is just a little vain -- or at least overly attentive to appearances? Even as he was proudly presenting his 'What Really Matters' video at the YouTube debate he couldn't resist making a catty comment about Hillary Clinton's pink jacket."

The Politico also reports how Edwards and his campaign are picking fights with the media.

OBAMA: In Iowa yesterday, to a crowd of 600 in Cedar Rapids, Obama focused on government ethics.

The New York Times' Brooks believes Obama's approach to poverty is better than Edwards', but he seems to approve of both efforts.

The Washington Times reports Obama is working to balance capturing black voters with avoiding stereotypes.

O-boy and O-girl! The Oprah event is already sold out. And one of us at First Read profiles Michelle Obama and her unique role in her husband's campaign.