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Clinton ready for fight

From NBC's Andy Merten and Domenico Montanaro
Keeping with the boxing analogies surrounding last night's Democratic debate, AFSCME members presented Clinton with a pair of boxing gloves -- as well as their official endorsement -- today in Washington.

Later, asked by NBC News if she felt she was ganged up on in Philadelphia last night, she laughed and said, "Well, I got my boxing gloves. I'm ready; I'll go 10 rounds."

The Obama campaign called AFSCME's endorsement of Clinton "no surprise" because of Bill Clinton's relationship with AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, who endorsed Bill in 1992.

See Howard Fineman's piece on the Clinton connection from Oct. 23.

Here's the Obama campaign's statement: "We understand that Gerry McEntee and Bill Clinton have a long and close relationship so the push for a Clinton endorsement is no surprise. It is a bit surprising that the union probably most concerned with state and local election results would support the candidate with the likeliest least appeal in red states. When Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, he will not only win the presidency but his appeal to Republicans and Independents will lift down ballot candidates all across the country," said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.  "Illinois AFSCME endorsed Obama in his Senate primary in 2004 and in this campaign we are thrilled by the meaningful support we have from AFSCME members across the country. When he's in the White House, Obama will strongly advocate for the rights of AFSCME members and working men and women all over the country."