CLINTON: As expected Gerald McEntee's AFSCME, for the second time in 16 years, endorsed a Clinton candidacy in an open Dem nomination fight. The endorsement, by the way, is a reminder of just how few labor endorsements Barack Obama has received.
The Hill reports that the Clinton campaign held a conference call with key fundraisers yesterday. It was hosted by chief strategist Mark Penn and finance director Jonathan Mantz. They "told the supporters on the call, which The Hill listened to in its entirety, that they expect attacks from Clinton's rivals to continue, and she will need the financial resources to deflect their attacks."
"'I wouldn't say she lost her cool,' one caller said. 'But I would say she lost her footing." The caller added that Clinton's response to questions about records from her time in the White House that have been sealed by the National Archives 'made me roll my eyes.'"
Penn, "Mantz and several supporters hinted repeatedly on the call that Clinton was unfairly targeted by Tim Russert, debate moderator and host of NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'Russert made it appear that President Clinton had done something new or unusual,' Penn said, before adding that it 'is, in fact, an extremely confusing situation… I think there will be further clarification.'"
"'I hope so,' a female caller responded. 'To me, it was the most uncomfortable part of the debate.'"
"Penn turned again to Russert. 'The other candidates were asked questions like, "Is there life in outer space?"'"
Two conservative bloggers filed an FEC complaint against the Clinton campaign over the fundraising it did in Chinatown, which some media reports indicated led to some illegal fundraising.
This is likely to go nowhere. Then again, you never know when one of these complaints opens up a can of worms. Still, this is the FEC. Look for some resolution of this complaint sometime into Chelsea Clinton's second term as president or George P. Bush's first term. We kid, of course.
EDWARDS: John Edwards "is planning to kick off a new advertising campaign in Iowa today, with a 60-second spot that his strategists hope will boost his newly improved profile. Edwards challenged Clinton most forcefully on what he called 'double talk' in her rhetoric, after weeks on the campaign trail questioning her integrity."
It's being couched -- sort of -- as his first ad. In actuality, it's not his first, but more of a re-launch and the first one since Joe Trippi took over the media strategy. Apparently that qualifies as news. "It is time for our party, the Democratic Party, to show a little backbone, to have a little guts, to stand up for working men and women," the former North Carolina senator says. "If we are not their voice, they will never have a voice."
Edwards went trick-or-treating in New Hampshire. He wasn't wearing a costume, unless a zip-up fleece and jeans counts.
OBAMA: Obama went after Clinton in his stump speech yesterday. "After the most secretive administration in memory, an administration that consistently misled the American people," he said, "we need a president who is going to be open and forthright. I think last night's debate really exposed this fault line. Senator Clinton left us wondering where she stood on every single hard question from Iran to Social Security to drivers' licenses for undocumented workers."
Time's Joe Klein thinks the media judgment of Obama hasn't been fair. "Clinton's character, her tendency to lawyer questions rather than answer them, is now front and center in this campaign, and that is appropriate. But I'm still stuck on the frenzy to judge Obama's worth by his willingness to attack Clinton. I spent part of the day of the debate watching a parade of talking heads expatiate endlessly on how dire was the need for Obama to go macho. It was 'journalism' at its most useless."
More: "Obama's low-key campaign has been confusing to the press, and perhaps to the public, from the start. A few days before the debate, I spent a day with Obama in Iowa, and the most striking thing to me about the Senator's performances was the scrupulous honesty of his answers, his insistence on delivering bad news when necessary."
For those who've read Joe Klein's "Politics Lost" will realize that it appears Klein has found himself a candidate.