The Washington Post takes a look at the lack of influence labor is having on the Dem field. But, don't miss the AFSCME note that an endorsement is coming in a month.
Kerry said, "President Bush is leaving a tarnished economic legacy that will haunt the middle class and their children," the AP reports. Kerry is urging his party to embrace a "bold new age in progressive politics. Under Bush, the economic gains made by the middle class and minorities during the Clinton administration have not only been eroded, but reversed, Kerry, D-Mass., said in prepared remarks to be delivered Monday at the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston."
CLINTON: What a fascinating weekend of coverage for Clinton this weekend.
Politico's Allen and Harris chronicle the shift in how Clintons' being covered, at least in this last week. Clinton "flew into a sudden burst of media wind shear. After months of mostly rosy portrayals of her campaign's political skill, discipline and inevitability, the storyline shifted abruptly to evasive answers, shady connections and a laugh that sounded like it was programmed by computer."
Frank Rich is not impressed with Clinton and is worried about her electability and compares her with the 2000 version of Al Gore. "None of this would matter if the only issue were Mrs. Clinton's ability as a performer. Not every president can be Reagan or J.F.K. or, for that matter, Bill Clinton. But in her case, as in Mr. Gore's in 2000, the performance too often dovetails with the biggest question about her as a leader: Is she so eager to be all things to all people, so reluctant to offend anyone, that we never will learn what she really thinks or how she will really act as president?"
Meanwhile, MoDo takes on the dynasty aspect to Clinton and probably captures the Beltway opinion as well as anyone: "The town is divided into two camps: those who think that, after 16 years of Hillary pushing herself forward, the public will get worn out and reject her, and those who think that, after 16 years of Hillary pushing herself forward, the public will get worn down and give in to her."
On "Meet" -- it looks like Bill moved his position closer to Hillary's on torture rather than Hillary moving toward Bill... Hmmmmm; So she did "talk to him about that..."
The New York Sun looks at the separate Bill Clinton Sunday show interviews and notes while he seemed to change his position on torture to conform to Hillary's position, he re-defended his support for NAFTA. "Substantive policy differences between Mr. and Mrs. Clinton have been few and far between. Other than trade, the most notable may be gay rights; the New York senator has called for an end to the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy initiated at the beginning of her husband's term. She also has backed off her support for the 1996 "Defense of Marriage Act," although she does not support same-sex marriage."
And more debate fallout in the Daily News regarding Clinton's position on torture: "Hillary Clinton is clearly being incredibly disingenuous when she says she reversed her position on torture after speaking with former military officers [in April 2007]," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz charged. "She was already aware they opposed exceptions to the Geneva Convention at the time she supported them." Clinton campaign officials said the candidate changed her position after meeting with senior retired officers who asked her to reconsider."
One thing overlooked from the Bill Clinton Sunday interviews: Bill's speculation that he may help "sell domestic programs." Really? Does this mean Bill will stump the country after Hillary State of the Unions? They'll stump together, separately? Fascinating thing to speculate about.
The L.A. Times looks at the nervousness Rocky Mountain Democrats have if Clinton is leading the '08 ticket. "One key advisor to a prominent Democratic congressional candidate, who asked not be to identified discussing tensions within the party, went even further. "It's a disaster for Western Democrats," he said. "It keeps me up at night."
The Clinton campaign said the alarm was unwarranted and expressed confidence that as voters in the West got to know Clinton, they would back her and the party's congressional candidates. "We expect to head a very strong ticket in the West," spokesman Mo Elleithee said.
One unintended consequence of Clinton's supposed Rocky Mountain electoral problem? Look for Schweitzer and Salazar and other westerners to dominate the VP short list should she be the nominee.
Clinton talking time: The Los Angeles Times reports that Clinton topped her rivals in speaking time at the Dartmouth debate. "She logged 17 minutes and 37 seconds of air time -- roughly four minutes more than the second-place finisher, Barack Obama. Reflecting how Clinton's been extending her lead in various polls (with the exception of that pesky little contest in Iowa), that's a reversal from the figures for some of the earlier debates, when Obama led and she ran second."
The New York Daily News reports on the criticism Clinton's baby bonds idea has sparked among her rivals: "It's a quick way of trying to buy votes, which is irresponsible when it comes to the economic future of the nation," said New York Conservative Party chief Mike Long, adding that the White House would have to raise taxes to finance the plan. The bonds would cost about $20 billion a year, based on the 4 million American babies born annually, according to Time magazine, which last month proposed a similar plan."
EDWARDS: Rut-ro... The L.A. Times looks at Edwards' Iowa campaign and finds some '04 supporters unhappy with the new sharper-elbowed liberal Edwards. "There are three big questions confronting John Edwards: Does he need to finish first in Iowa to keep his presidential hopes alive? Could he actually win the first-in-the-nation caucuses, a traditional springboard to later victory? And, finally, will he? To date, there are only two easy answers: "Yes." And "yes." After that, it's "Who the heck knows?"
By the way, it looks like Cate Edwards has the same biting campaign style as her mother. NBC-NJ's Carrie Dann notes C. Edwards said the following in Iowa over the weekend on supporting her father: "The choice was pretty easy for me, obviously. Not like Giuliani's daughter."
Cate also pushed her father's electability very candidly: "You have to talk like my dad talks" to have a chance to win in the South. "We can't concede the South."
KUCINICH: Kucinich talked peace at the University of New Hampshire.
OBAMA: Among likely caucus-goers, Obama enjoys a slim lead, polling 28% to best Clinton (24%) and Edwards (22%). Bill Richardson is the only other Democratic candidate to score in the double digits (10%).
NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan reports that the Obama campaign claims to have hit a fundraising goal of 350,000 donors raising more than $500,000.
Twice in Concord Saturday, Sen. Obama seemed to express frustration with the process of campaigning and how he was portrayed in the media. During the question-and-answer period after his speech, Obama was asked by a New Hampshire resident about keeping troops in Iraq until the end of his first term. He walked across the stage shaking his head and said, "classic example of, you know, the frustrations of some of these debates and how they play themselves out," Obama said before cutting himself short and correcting his answer for the record. Obama said that he would begin a process of removing combat troops from Iraq at the rate of one to two brigades per month, but he would leave forces behind to help with humanitarian issues, guard the U.S. embassy, and to be a counterterrorism force either in Kuwait or elsewhere in the region. "The question is do we have combat troops patrolling Baghdad or engage in firefights in Anbar province, that's not something we'll see in an Obama presidency," he told the crowd.
Later in the question-and-answer period, when Obama was talking about testing and No Child Left Behind, and he said, "Part of life is having to take tests, and I have to do it right now running for president and a bunch of them seem very silly to me but you have to take them," he said.
An interesting back-and-forth between Bill Clinton and Obama. After Bill Clinton told Bloomberg News on that he had more experience than Obama when he ran for president in 1992, Obama fired back quoting Clinton from 1992. The campaign passed this around: "I remember what was said years ago by a candidate running for President. [Obama] said, 'The same old experience is not relevant. You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience.' Well that candidate was Bill Clinton. And I think he was absolutely right." Clinton compared Obama now to the experience Bill Clinton says he had in '87, when he came a few weeks away from running.
Here's the graph the Clinton folks will be quoting to many in the press today: "Jay Stewart, executive director of an Illinois watchdog group known as the Better Government Association, said that in helping these and other executives as a state senator, Mr. Obama also benefited from the kind of special-interest-driven politics he now decries."
Meanwhile, today's Boston Globe has the type of story that the press is probably going to run a lot more. Header: "Obama's backers insist polls belie a buzz they see on the trail." We would not have seen stories like this four years ago. But thanks to the quick rise and fall of Howard Dean, this is the prism Obama's campaign is being viewed.
This is not a good headline: "Clinton edges Obama in black caucus." Clinton has 13 Congressional Black Caucus endorsements to Obama's 12.
The AP writes that Obama "would relax drug-sentencing laws and address vast racial inequities in the justice system as part of his crime policy."
The Boston Globe notes that Obama's New Hampshire supporters say he still has the buzz, if not the poll numbers.
And his campaign was working hard in South Carolina yesterday, visiting the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia and First Baptist Church in downtown Columbia. The Columbia State: "Just 2.7 miles, or eight minutes by motorcade on a traffic-free Sunday morning, separate the two churches. Rarely does anyone traverse the short distance -- or wider cultural gap between the two Baptist congregations -- to catch both services."