Kerrey Out [Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times]: "After flirting with the idea for months, Bob Kerrey closed the door today on the idea of returning to Nebraska to run for his old seat in the United States Senate. It was an anguishing decision for Mr. Kerrey, according to friends and supporters, who heard him argue both sides of the equation. But in the end, he said the time was not right for him to return to politics."
Don't Ask Fred [Jim Davenport, AP]: "Republican Fred Thompson played down a staff member's departure and a New Hampshire supporter's defection Wednesday, saying it's not up to him to know what's going on at every level of his presidential campaign. 'You know, the campaign can address that. I can't really address who's doing—and who was doing—exactly what at every level of this campaign,' Thompson said after speaking to about 300 people at a restaurant in South Carolina."
Culture War Reprise [Philip Elliott, AP]: "Republican John McCain contrasts images of Woodstock and his years as a Vietnam prisoner of war in a new television ad that pokes fun at Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. The commercial, set to air on New Hampshire television Thursday, decries a proposal, since scrapped, to spend $1 million for a museum in Bethel, N.Y., site of the August 1969 rock festival. Clinton and her fellow New York senator, Chuck Schumer, had backed the plan."
Clinton Sneaky on Social Security… [Dan Balz, Washington Post]: "Tracking Hillary Clinton's views on Social Security is becoming a full-time job. Over the past two months, she has been tantalizingly explicit in her views, deliberately vague about what she thinks, publicly steadfast in saying she doesn't want to talk about specific ways to ensure solvency and privately willing to share her thoughts when the situation has suited her."
…and Being Attacked by Liberals [Ben Smith, The Politico]: " A newly formed political action committee is aiming to stop Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by calling into question her progressive credentials. "We think there are other Democratic presidential candidates who are both more progressive and have a better chance of beating the Republicans than she does," said the president of Democratic Courage, Glenn Hurowitz."