The new Washington Post/ABC poll has Clinton still clobbering the Dem field. And it didn't take Mark Penn but a few minutes to update his poll memo to use this survey as evidence that everything is fine for Clinton.
Meanwhile, a new University of New Hampshire poll (sponsored by CNN/WMUR) shows Obama's momentum continuing. Clinton's lead is now just one point, 31%-30%, with Edwards in third at 16%. On the GOP side, the picture is about the same as it was before in other polls -- with Romney at 32%, Giuliani and McCain tied at 19%, and Huckabee a distant fourth with 9%, just ahead of Ron Paul at 7%.
BIDEN: The Boston Globe front-pages Biden. "When Biden first ran for president in 1988 at age 44, he was the Democrats' candidate of passion, an idealist calling upon his generation to seize its moment to change politics - and often dismissed as a lightweight for it. "I was the Barack Obama!" he marveled over mozzarella sticks, spaghetti, and Coke at a Mason City sports bar. This time, lost in a race centered on the relative merits of experience and vision, Biden is emphasizing a less inspirational quality: expertise."
CLINTON: The New York Times has a fascinating piece on Clinton's Iowa campaign, which probably should be read in full by everybody. But here are our can't miss highlights: "Nowhere are her problems more on display than in this state, where success lies in building a person-to-person network of supporters. And nowhere is the Clinton campaign - which to some Iowans had appeared ignorant of the political subtleties, if not arrogant about them - working more urgently to recalibrate and head off defeat as the Jan. 3 caucus approaches."
"'Here's the bottom line: They had not worked this state,' said Teresa Vilmain, the Iowa state director, who was brought in here in a quiet campaign shake-up that took place early last summer, when Mrs. Clinton first saw signs of problems here. 'We had a lot of ground to cover. It's a challenge.'"
"The signs of Mrs. Clinton's concern have been on increasing display here in recent days as the campaign has been moving rapidly to make up for earlier mistakes. Her aides said she had largely cleared her schedule this week to prepare for the Democratic debate on Thursday sponsored by The Des Moines Register, the final encounter here among all the candidates, which they now view as one of their final opportunities to shift the momentum back to her favor."
Also interesting: "Mrs. Clinton has begun displaying a level of personal interest in the details of the campaign here that is unusual for even a presidential candidate named Clinton. After every stop, Mrs. Clinton questions her advisers about how many attendees have signed the pledge cards that she has come to learn are an integral part of nailing down supporters."
And this may be the most important factoid in the story: "Mrs. Clinton's advisers said they would continue at least some form of attack on Mr. Obama, even at the risk of allowing Mr. Edwards to gain ground by presenting himself as above the fray. Mrs. Clinton's aides said they were far more worried about Mr. Obama marching out of Iowa with a victory than they were about Mr. Edwards, who has far less money and lacks a strong base of support in New Hampshire."
According to the New York Daily News, Bill Clinton is unhappy with the state of the campaign right now. "Sources familiar with the ex-President's thinking say he doesn't believe his wife's situation is desperate. But he's unhappy with her operation - once hailed as a juggernaut - and concerned she could lose the Democratic nomination without major alterations in strategy and staffing."
KUCINICH: The candidate's campaign released this statement over the night regarding Kucinich's exclusion from Thursday's Des Moines Register debate: "The highest polling Democratic Presidential candidate among the Party's progressive, grassroots, activist base, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront."
OBAMA: Obama says in The Boston Globe: "And so the point is, whether it's cultural wars or how we think about our foreign policy or how we think about our economics, the baby boom generation resolved a lot of these conflicts in their own lives, but our politics remained stuck in this deeply polarized pattern. And that's the reason people are so frustrated. That's why people don't ever see themselves reflected in the debates. And part of the reason why I think we've done well historically is that I'm using a language that I think is more in tune with the American people, which says, I'm not going to demonize you because you disagree with me, that I don't think the Democrats have a monopoly on wisdom."
In a conference call yesterday with reporters to announce the endorsement of New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D), NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan reports, Obama argued that the latest New York Times/CBS poll that found that Democrats view Senator Hillary Clinton as more electable in a general election doesn't reflect the view on the ground in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. "Generally, national polls in terms of who Democrats think are most electable still track national polls in terms of who they are planning to vote for. And we haven't seen the shift at the national level that we've seen at the local level. And when you ask the voters in those early states who are now familiar with my record, her record, other candidates records, you see a very different result," Obama said.
RICHARDSON: Per his campaign, Richardson will deliver a policy address in Sioux City, IA on "the importance of renewing our commitment to jobs and education in America." According to excerpts, Richardson will say: "Everywhere I go, I see people working for America. But America doesn't seem to be working for them. I can sense the insecurity out there. And it's not just about keeping our homeland safe. It's about keeping safe our trust that the American government is on the side of the middle class. It's about keeping safe our belief that every American deserves a quality education -- and affirming that our country needs educated citizens if we are to stay strong."
And: "You know, every candidate in this race is asking for the biggest job promotion of their life. Now, if you've ever asked for a promotion, you know that the first question is going to be. 'What have you done lately?' So let's look at what the Senate has done in the last twelve months since my colleagues took over the leadership of Congress. Did they get us out of Iraq? No. Did they scrap No Child Left Behind and reform education? No. Do million of poor children have the health insurance they need? No. Did they stop an Attorney General who wouldn't say that waterboarding is torture? No. Have they done enough to stop this country from slipping into recession? No. Are millions of Americans worried about keeping their jobs and their homes and their quality of life? Yes. I know that we can do better. And I have done better."
And we thought Richardson was being Mr. Nice Guy in the Dem race…