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Oh-eight (D): Slings and arrows

BIDEN: Per the campaign, Biden today will pick up an endorsement from Iowa Assistant House Majority Leader John Whitaker (D-Hillsboro). Whitaker, whose son was deployed last week to Iraq, is the seventh Iowa state legislator to endorse Biden.

CLINTON: The New York Times continues to delve into Hillary Rodham's past -- today focusing exclusively on her ideological changes during the year of 1968.

Newsday has this buried at the end of a story mostly about the Clintons making the daytime talk show rounds: "Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that as the senator from New York was publicly pressing the flesh with New Hampshire voters this weekend, behind-the-scenes she was pressuring a top labor leader not to endorse John Edwards. Clinton phoned United Steelworkers of America boss Leo Gerard 'repeatedly' over the weekend, according to sources familiar with the situation. The union, which represents 1.2 million workers and retirees, endorsed Edwards on Labor Day."

On those talk shows, Hillary on Ellen and Bill on Oprah, neither committed any news, but news wasn't the point. Meanwhile, Bill's media tour this week continues, with appearances last night on Letterman and this morning on TODAY.

Clinton's Senate office sent the release last night touting her decision to vote against the confirmation of incoming OMB Dir. (and Iowan) Jim Nussle. From the release: "The President should be signaling a willingness to work with Congress to right our fiscal ship and to make the right investments in our infrastructure, in our schools, in our health care system, and for strengthening our middle class which have been ignored for far too long. Instead he has chosen a budget director that I fear will only serve to defend the Administration's failed economic policies. Unfortunately, Mr. Nussle's record doesn't reflect an understanding of the challenges being faced by America's middle class, nor does his background suggest any particular ability to accommodate views or priorities that differ from the President's."

By the way, Nussle was confirmed, 69-24 with seven senators not voting. Biden joined Clinton in voting no; Dodd and Obama didn't vote. No Republicans voted against Nussle's confirmation. Interestingly, the Senate's top Dem leaders were split on Nussle, with Harry Reid voting no and Dick Durbin voting yes.

Did you realize Bill Clinton will be a New York State Super Delegate?

DODD: Dodd, who is the chair of the Senate banking and housing and urban affairs committees, told the Des Moines Register "that he might support direct assistance to people who signed up for risky mortgages and didn't have the incomes to afford the homes they bought."

OBAMA: MoDo is at it again. She writes her umpteenth scathing Obama column. Dowd doesn't like Obama's new stump speech: "Suddenly, the candidate who had so consciously modeled himself and his wife on J.F.K. and Jackie was a simple rube, fighting the system…  The smooth jazz senator claiming no facility with 'Washington talk' struck a false note. In the traditional Labor Day kickoff to a campaign that has already left us weary of the inauthentic, the shopworn and the hyper-prepped, Obama told voters: 'Now, when the folks in Washington hear me speak, this is usually when they start rolling their eyes, "Oh, there he goes talking about hope again. He's so naïve. He's a hope-peddler. He's a hope-monger." Well, I stand guilty as charged. I am hopeful about America. Apparently, the pundits consider this a chronic condition, a symptom of a lack of experience.'"

Dowd continues, "Actually, the only thing we regard as a symptom of a lack of experience is a lack of experience. This pundit, for one, needs hope as much as any American these days. But the only time I roll my eyes is when my hope is dashed that Obama will boldly take on Hillary, making his campaign more than cameras and mirrors and magazine covers."

The Wall Street Journal notes that Obama has acquired so many foreign policy advisers, he has his own "virtual State Department." "But the makeup of Mr. Obama's team -- heavy on onetime aides to President Clinton -- also speaks to an internecine feud between Mr. Obama and his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, over which of them represents the future of their party."

The Des Moines Register saw Obama fanning a bit of the back-and-forth flame between he and Clinton saying, "Too many in Washington see politics as a game, and that's why I view that this election is not about who can play the game better, it has to be about who can put an end to the game-playing." Clinton said on Monday "I know we can set these goals and reach them, and I know too that you don't just do it by making a speech. You don't just do it by hoping it happens."

RICHARDSON: Per the Des Moines Register, Richardson said yesterday that "the United States' transportation system is 'fixated on highways' and should include more emphasis on energy-efficient modes of travel with planning to ensure preservation of open spaces."