BIDEN: The Washington Post: "After a lengthy critique of Bush administration education policies, Biden attempted to explain why some schools perform better than others -- in Iowa, for instance, compared with the District. 'There's less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with,' Biden said. He went on to discuss the importance of parental involvement in reading to children and how "half this education gap exists before the kid steps foot in the classroom."
The Biden campaign moved quickly to clarify the senator's remarks in a statement: "This was not a race-based distinction, but a discussion of the problems kids face who don't have the same socio-economic support system (and all that implies -- nutrition, pre K, etc.) entering grade school and the impact of those disadvantages on outcomes."
CLINTON: Here's something the Clinton campaign may not have expected: a 527 attacking Clinton from the left in the early states. Politico's Smith reports on the group, Democratic Courage, and their leaders who have no official ties to any campaign -- but have given to Edwards in the past.
Hillary's on the cover of the New York Daily News: "My Big 6-Oh!" In an interview with the paper, Clinton talked about turning 60. On the race, she said, "Obviously I hope and expect that I will win. But I know it doesn't come from wishing, it comes from hard work. And I am going to do everything between now and then to make that happen." She said she didn't expect to be getting any presents from Rudy Giuliani and talked about a potentially fatal blood clot she'd had in 1998. If she weren't in politics, she said she might try teaching.
Here's the full transcript of the interview.
Remember Clinton's little dig at Mississippi when comparing Iowa's lack of electing women? Well, she apparently called Trent Lott to personally apologize for the remark, and Lott accepted -- though he said that since she lived in Arkansas for so long, she should have known better.
DODD: The Des Moines Register fact-checks Dodd's new ad running in Iowa. The paper reveals that the barbershop is real, but the barbers are not. They "are actors from Chicago, not barbers from Iowa." And the owner of the barbershop "is a registered Republican." The paper also takes aim at a news release the campaign sent out, saying the ad "introduces John and Jesse, two barbers at Jim's barbershop in Winterset, Iowa, where the ad was shot." The campaign apologized and said, "It was not meant to sound like they were actually barbers who work at Jim's."
EDWARDS: The candidate took aim at the rural vote, calling for an outdoor "bill of rights," the Des Moines Register notes. "I want to continue to ensure that people who live in rural areas and small towns in Iowa know that I have a commitment in Iowa to ensuring and strengthening their way of life and their economies," Edwards said.
The New York Times looks at the influence Elizabeth Edwards has on her husband's campaign. She's tried to downplay it, but even those on the campaign acknowledge she's his most trusted adviser. Also, recall earlier this week in the Post's Joe Trippi profile that it was his connection to Elizabeth Edwards that enabled him to receive his carte blanche over the campaign.
OBAMA: So is the gospel tour controversy behind him? As the campaign decided to add a gay minister to the South Carolina tour while NOT removing Donnie McClurkin, Human Rights Campaign decided to finally issue a rebuke -- but it wasn't as harsh as one might have expected.
Romney was present in spirit -- if not in the flesh -- at Obama's town hall in Dover, NH yesterday, NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan reports. A day after Romney confused Obama and Osama bin Laden, the Illinois senator responded to a voter's question on what the difference was between him and the world's most wanted terrorist. "I have a simple question. What's the difference between you and Osama bin Laden," the man asked.
"Well, Mitt Romney has been very confused about this. I have a lot of trouble growing a beard. I don't have a lot of facial hair. He lives in a cave," Obama joked. But he raised the issue of Romney's mistake again as an example of how Republicans would attack him, when a woman in the audience asked Obama how he could avoid being Swiftboated in a general election. Obama replied that the attacks hard already started against him, citing Fox News for running a story about him attending a madrasa in Indonesia soon after he announced he was running.
"We've already seen this. When Romney started saying this stuff … sometimes they may be honest mistakes, sometimes not," Obama said. "There will be some of that, I'm foreign, clearly I'm a black person." He added, "When people start to Swiftboat you, you have to respond forcefully, immediately, and truthfully. Don't answer a lie with a lie, you have to answer a lie with a truth but it has to come fast and it has to come strong."
Also in New Hampshire yesterday, Obama said that Al Gore would play a role in his administration. A voter also proposed an Obama-Gore ticket. Obama said, no, because it would be a step down for Gore having been veep once before and having won the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was probably a good thing for Obama that Floyd Mayweather was a no-show at the Nevada-Obama event.
After Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) formally endorsed Obama, the Boston Globe looks at other former friends of Bill Clinton that are now with Obama. Just a few: "Former energy and transportation secretary Federico Peña, former commerce secretary William Daley, foreign policy gurus Anthony Lake and Susan Rice, former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, and women's advocate Betsy Myers are among those who served Bill Clinton but have taken Obama's side."
Here's the Globe's graphic with the breakdown.
The Des Moines Register calls out Obama's campaign for the typo in its recent flier on Iran.