The Chicago Sun-Times curtain-raises tomorrow's forum, which is starting to look more like a debate, isn't it?
Here's the Boston Globe's wrap of the YearlyKos convention. "None of this season's Democratic presidential candidates have lit the blogosphere on fire the way Howard Dean did in 2004. Clinton's vote to authorize the war in Iraq puts her on the outs with bloggers. Barack Obama's efforts to appear bipartisan have dampened enthusiasm for him. John Edwards is the favorite here -- although not by that much -- for his liberal platform and his heavy use of the Internet.
CLINTON: Here's a new one: "cheerful boos" -- that's how Salon describes the reception Clinton received among the Netroots at YearlyKos, and that apparently is a good thing for her. Frankly, anything less than a mixed reception, and it would have been a bad weekend for her.
The AP's Ron Fournier -- the political journalist who has perhaps covered the Clintons the longest -- writes that not everything during President Clinton's eight years is a good thing for candidate Clinton. "A San Francisco blogger made that painfully clear to Sen. Clinton during the Yearly Kos Convention, when he asked whether she would support or repeal four major pieces of legislation enacted during the Clinton administration — the Defense of Marriage Act, the Telecommunications Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform. All four laws are unpopular with liberal voters who historically dominate Democratic primaries and caucuses. The political landscape for Democrats has changed since the 1990s on issues such as gay rights, trade and welfare reform — due in part to the rise of the influential and polarizing liberal blogosphere. That means candidates like Clinton must shift, too, or defend their refusal to do so."
On Saturday, the New York Times does a C.W.-setting story on the "slow" shift Clinton has made on the war. "The senator, who voted in 2002 to authorize the invasion of Iraq, has over the past year gradually repositioned herself on the war, the issue that her advisers have long viewed as the biggest obstacle to her winning the presidential nomination. In a series of speeches, interviews and Senate votes, Mrs. Clinton has brought her stance much more in line with Democratic primary voters and the positions of most of her Democratic rivals --and has done it, so far, without sustained accusations of flip-flopping."
So how did she pull it off without being called a flip-flopper? The credit/blame goes to her opponents, who didn't seem to call her on it with the intensity, let's say, that Romney's GOP foes called him on his policy evolutions. Of course, Clinton's opponents will blame the press -- and there's some merit there -- but the example of Romney shows how Clinton's opponents may have dropped the ball on this one. Of course, Clinton's shift on the war also was much more gradual than Romney's sudden shifts on key conservative issues.
The New York Times' Zeleny noted that Clinton and Obama aren't BFFs. "The relationship began to change, according to several Democrats who are friendly to both senators, when Mr. Obama began musing aloud about a presidential bid. The day he opened his exploratory committee, several Senate observers said, he extended his hand and said hello on the Senate floor. She breezed by him, offering a cool stare."
Environmentalists are not happy with Clinton and are using Obama to let her know about their unhappiness? So reports the New York Post: "Environmentalists charge that Hillary Rodham Clinton is stonewalling vital Senate legislation to halt the export of mercury - a deadly neurotoxin - sponsored by her chief presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)"
EDWARDS: The candidate was in Iowa on Sunday, where he said organized labor is "the single best anti-poverty movement in history."
OBAMA: Here's a question for ya: Had the Obama campaign not put up a TV ad claiming his campaign was not paid for by PACs and Washington lobbyists, would the Los Angeles Times bothered to examine his FEC reports as thoroughly as they did on Saturday to prove that he did accept money from folks who have business partners who lobby?
Check out this Sun-Times column, which seems to hit Obama for his lack of experience when it comes to talking. Says the columnist: "For a politician as eloquent as he is, Barack Obama can display a bit of a tin ear when it comes to talking about foreign policy and terrorism. It's not that what he says is necessarily wrong, it's just that the way he says it hits the wrong note."
Bloomberg's Al Hunt says the rest of the world is siding with Obama regarding the Clinton-Obama dust-up over meeting with world leaders. "How the issue will play in the American presidential election remains uncertain. How the rest of the world is reacting is not. Obama wins."
Could any other Democrat get "hundreds" to show up at a rally in Utah? Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland said the donors couldn't get enough of Obama. "It took a good half-hour just getting him 50 yards from the backyard podium to the living room to meet with public officials," he said. "Usually this is a group that's not star-struck."
We've noticed an uptick in the number of times Obama campaign folks have started to talk up their electability traits, particularly in southern states where the campaign claims Obama can put them in play because of increased African-American turnout. Realistically, though, outside of Mississippi, what other state could see enough of an increase in black turnout to put the state in play? And why couldn't a Bill Clinton be of similar help to Hillary Clinton? Isn't there another electability play the Obama folks should be making rather than one based on race for, maybe, one state in the South? Isn't his pitch about independents, not race?