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Oh-eight (D): More donor problems?

CLINTON: Here's a New York Times byline that has to scare the Clinton campaign: Don Van Natta Jr. His piece alleges a cozy relationship involving Bill Clinton may have been used by a Canadian mining financier to help secure a contract in Kazakhstan. The key graph: "Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton's charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra's more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton's inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges."

The campaign unveiled plans for a live web video-based town hall meeting on Feb. 4. From the campaign: "We believe it will be the first time in presidential campaign history that voters in the Super Tuesday states will have their voices heard in a single national town hall. The event, called 'Voices Across America: A National Town Hall' will be simulcast starting at 9 p.m. EST on hillaryclinton.com. The 22 cities where the campaign will host events are Birmingham, AL; Phoenix, AZ; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Wilmington, DE; Athens, GA; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Wichita, KS; Boston, MA; St. Paul, MN; Kansas City, MO; Cherry Hill, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; New York, NY; Grand Forks, ND; Tulsa, OK; Knoxville, TN; Salt Lake City, UT.

EDWARDS: The Boston Globe covers Edwards' exit from the race. "Although his angry populism enthralled crowds, and he had at times seemed on the verge of catching fire, Edwards failed to win any of the early state contests and had been written off by most political observers weeks ago. He came in second in Iowa, narrowly beating Clinton, but his distant third-place finish Saturday in South Carolina, where he was born and where he won the 2004 primary, was crushing."
"Still, Edwards's announcement came as a surprise because he had declared this week that he would stay in the race through the Democratic convention. Not only did he seem to have the stomach for a long fight, but he had the potential to play kingmaker if Clinton and Obama remain neck-and-neck in the race for delegates."

NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller cobbled together a list of some of Edwards' key support that's now up for grabs. On the superdelegate front:
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.)
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)
Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)
Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.)
Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.)
Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.)
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.)

Key Unions: Carpenters, Steelworkers, and SEIU state councils in California, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia. The other big gets with Edwards are his core trial lawyer fundraising bundlers. With both Obama and Clinton in desperate need for new donors, these folks may be the most sought-after in the short term than either the superdelegate supporters of Edwards or the unions.

The Washington Post has a few donor switchers on record already. "One of Obama's California organizers was the first to reach Deborah Rappaport, a San Francisco philanthropist who a month ago put $25,000 into an independent expenditure effort for Edwards. She told the Obama aide that she already had plans to attend a fundraiser this week for Obama, the candidate who would now 'get my wholehearted support.' Florida trial lawyer Mitchell Berger, who helped raise money for Al Gore and solicited contributions for Edwards in both the 2004 and 2008 campaigns, said he, too, will be joining Obama. 'That's where I will be,' Berger said. 'The reason? John Edwards and Barack Obama completely agree on the institutional problems that exist in Washington.'"

"Others said they were more inclined to get behind Clinton. Joseph J. 'Jerry' McKernan, a Baton Rouge trial lawyer, said he thinks Obama is 'just a very big flash in the pan right now.'"

Dangling his endorsement has a possible reward, Edwards got both his former chief rivals -- Clinton and Obama -- to pledge to make poverty a key part of their campaigns.

OBAMA: California Rep. Anna Eshoo (D) has endorsed Obama.

So was Ted Kennedy's decision to endorse Obama aided by the Clintons' praise of LBJ -- and not JFK -- for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Some are whispering that.

We're confused: what happened to the News Corp/Rupert Murdoch/Clinton conspiracy theory? Murdoch's New York Post endorses Obama. The editorial, though, is more anti-Clinton than pro-Obama. 

The Chicago Tribune's Zorn makes a good point about Rezko and Obama: The Obama folks could have put an end to this story much earlier had the returned all of this money sooner.

MoveOn is holding a virtual primary today to decide whom to endorse: Clinton or Obama. Isn't this Obama's endorsement to lose? Notes The Nation's Melber: "[I]f MoveOn does manage to unite 'as a progressive community around one of these candidates,' as Executive Director Eli Pariser explains in a new e-mail, its activists could play a pivotal role in this race. There are over a million and half MoveOn voters in Super Tuesday states. The group boasts 575,000 web activists in California alone--about 9 percent of turnout for the state's 2004 presidential primary."