BIDEN: The Delaware senator named an Iraq veteran -- who is a native of Mississippi and lives in Des Moines -- as the head of his veterans committee.
South Carolina conservative Rep. Bob Inglis said yesterday he was hoping that Clinton would be the Dem nominee. "I'm sort of hopeful Hillary is the nominee because I think that's winnable," Inglis told a small crowd Monday. "It's more of a challenge if Obama is the nominee because he has less of a record to defend." Inglis has yet to endorse in the GOP primary.
Bill Clinton was in Phoenix last night raising money for the Arizona Democratic Party.Â
Fortune's Nina Easton has a great look at how big business is being courted in the presidential race. The star of this piece is Clinton, who is having lots of success wooing some key business leaders who backed Bush.
Another Clinton cabinet official is officially on board of Hillary's campaign. Ex-South Carolina Gov./Clinton Education Secretary Dick Riley will endorse today.
The Connecticut senator was in Cedar Rapids yesterday, where he talked about national service. The Boston Globe's Scott Lehigh gave Dodd a much-needed positive review. "Watching Dodd reinforces something I've written before: Despite the fascination with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the lesser known Democrats are more experienced, less packaged, and every bit as interesting. They deserve a closer look -- and New Hampshire is just the place to give them one."
EDWARDS: During the Edwardses' appearance on the "Tonight Show" last night, the topic of gay marriage came up. "It's not the only thing we disagree about. She actually says what she thinks," Edwards said. The candidate said he only learned this weekend of his wife's views on gay marriage.
While all the advertising buzz involves Obama's first TV ads set to air in Iowa, there are new radio ads running in the state promoting another candidate: Al Gore. The 30-second ad, dubbed "You Who," will go national in July. It features a chorus of voices seeking Gore's attention and urging him to run. The ad is being paid for by something called the "Draft Gore Committee."Â The radio ad, being run on WHO-AM in Des Moines, included such pleas as "Mr. Gore we need you for president" and "We deserve a president we can respect." "Al Gore: Right on Iraq, right on global warming, right for the 21st Century," the ad says.
The timing for Obama's new TV ads is a tad odd, since some might argue starting an ad campaign a week before a major holiday isn't ideal. Then again, if this is about generating a week of momentum (new TV ads, big fundraising report), then maybe the timing is spot on. Also, note the campaign's use of Obama's convention speech. Clearly, many assumed he'd use that speech at some point. And it is the perfect introduction for him since it is how he got on the national landscape. But this also will probably be one of the final times we see the speech in his advertising. You only get one bite at that apple, right?
The Republican who appears in Obama's new ad (and who has endorsed McCain) tells the Chicago Tribune: "'Certainly I care what Republicans think, but Sen. Obama is a personal friend, someone I worked closely with on issues we're both proud of. He's my United States senator and I think his candidacy, whether he wins or loses, is good for Illinois and it's good for the United States.'"
The New York Times: "Mr. Obama is not expected to open a full-fledged advertising push until the fall, aides said, but the campaign will slowly start highlighting his life before he gained national prominence delivering the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in 2004."
Obama did something he rarely does -- he uttered the word "Clinton," the Chicago Sun-Times says. "'The only person who would probably be prepared to be our president on Day 1 would be Bill Clinton -- not Hillary Clinton,' Obama said when asked about unnamed Clinton backers questioning Obama's experience. 'I think that we're all very qualified for the job," the freshman senator said. 'The question is who can inspire the nation to get us past the politics that have bogged us down in the past. That was true, by the way, in the '90s as well as more recently.' It was an "obvious dig" at the political divisions of the Clinton years. Obama and Clinton held dueling fundraisers just blocks away from each other last night in Chicago with Clinton sporting the bigger affair.
Obama also addressed the fundraising race: "'I'm sure the Clintons can raise much more money than us,' Obama told reporters. 'She was president -- or he was president -- for eight years. She was the first lady. They've got a lot of chits out there. We're just trying to make sure that we can raise the paltry sums that allow us to compete.'"
The Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet has two interesting scoops today. "The Obama/Clinton contest is dividing the Jackson family. For now, Jonathan Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said he is not decided. 'I support the debate process,' he said. His father and brother Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) back Obama. His brother Yusef was a co-host of the Clinton fund-raiser."
Also, she -- as well as the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder -- notes a change in the press shop: "Obama communications director Robert Gibbs is now on the plane with Obama. The traveling press secretary, Dan Pfeiffer, is now doing long-range planning at the Chicago headquarters. Gibbs is still running the communications operation."
The campaign released its own recent Iowa caucus poll, conducted by Paul Maslin, June 18-20. Clearly, this is something that is being used for last-minute fundraising opportunities. In the poll, Maslin has Edwards leading by double digits with 34%, Clinton second at 24%, Obama next at 17%, and Richardson in fourth at 13%. And among their so-called "likeliest" caucus goers, the poll has Richardson in third (at 18%) and Obama in fourth (at 16%).
By the way, on the money front, the Richardson camp would like to dispute the notion that they will outraise Edwards this quarter. They will only say they are confident they'll beat the $6 million they raised in the first quarter. Fair enough.