From Edwards, not Obama, in a 2004 flashback that reminds us a) there are only so many campaign themes in presidential politics and b) just how much John Edwards has reinvented himself. [Via HillaryHub, now featuring clips meant to make her attackers look hypocritical.] --Michael Crowley
Politico's Mike Allen offers a highly entertaining excerpt from last night's "Hannity and Colmes": ALAN COLMES: "I want to remind you. I went through some old transcripts to look at what you said about Hillary Clinton before she was about to run and when she ran for Senate. You said that she wasn't going to win. She has 52 percent disapproval rating. She couldn't possibly win. As recently as November 6, just before the election, you said Lazio is going to win. Hillary can't win.
Mukaskey: No Can Do-dd [Greg Sargent, Talking Points Memo]: "Chris Dodd has just become the first Democrat to say he's voting against Michael Mukasey for AG. His reason: Mukasey's assertion that the President can overrule a Federal statute when the country's defenses are at risk." Edwards' "Burning Heart" [Tracy Joan, Daily Kos]: "Today in New Hampshire, Senator Edwards is delivering a major speech - in fact - it's a speech he considers the most important he's given to date, a speech that defines the moral test of our generation and the choice we have before us.
I'm not sure how tuned in most voters are to the controversy around Barack Obama and the "anti-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. But thanks to McClurkin's onstage comments last night, Obama is certainly getting murdered in the liberal blogosphere today. The blogs would be a great place for Obama to start a new campaign narrative that pressures the MSM to stop coronating Hillary. But for the moment it doesn't look like that's about to happen. --Michael Crowley
Jason asks a good question over at The Plank: Will a Romney win in Iowa matter if Huckabee takes second? The theory is that there's only room for so many stories out of Iowa, and Huckabee's surprise second could overshadow Romney's victory. This is, not surprisingly, the scenario the Giuliani campaign is banking on. And if you combine Huckabee with whatever happens on the Democratic side, it starts to look pretty plausible. That said, I think Romney will benefit from anything other than an extremely narrow victory in Iowa (under five points) - or, obviously, a loss.
Mickey Kaus raises what on its face is a nightmare scenario for Hillary: That either Obama or Edwards collapses and his supporters flock to the other candidate creating a unified anti-Hillary block which could total 40 percent or more. But this theory assumes that most Obama and Edwards supporters are in some way actively anti-Hillary, and that just doesn't seem to be the case.
This passage from today's LA Times story on why Obama hasn't soared higher strikes me as a very useful microcosm: In a meeting hall at the fairground in rural Tipton, Obama was pointedly invited to criticize Clinton recently when a 65-year-old woman asked, "Why should I vote for you instead of Hillary Clinton?" Instead, he gave a somewhat rambling answer that began by complimenting Clinton as "very capable," "smart" and "tough." He also said she would be a "vast improvement over George Bush." Then he mildly knocked her for what he called her "conventional" views on foreign policy.
There is an interesting and, at times, unintentionally hilarious, piece in today's Washington Times about the internecine conservative conflict over Mike Huckabee. The interesting part is that conservatives are genuinely divided about Huckabee, the one true social conservative in the race. The unintentionally hilarious part is that the conservatives who oppose him have serious delusions of grandeur. See, for example this: Critics want to block consideration of Mr. Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, as a running mate for Rudolph W.
The LAT has the shocking details. Alex Massie is appalled. --Michael Crowley
I've been alerted that the Detroit candy kettle explosion was nothing compared to the quite catastrophic Boston molasses disaster of 1919: Two million gallons of molasses, shattered buildings, dead horses, a US military response--and 21 fatalities. No one could have made that up. [Image via Wiki, which has loads more info.] --Michael Crowley