1) After much back and forth as to whether Hillary or Obama won the "do you meet with despots?" argument the Democratic voters seem to say that Hillary did. The WSJ/NBC poll has her up now by 21 points. Obama today in his best example of passive aggressive diplomacy announces that he would authorize military action against Pakistan to take out terrorist forces there. This, as others have pointed out, would be widely ridiculed if proposed by the Bush administration and is simply preposterous considering Pakistan's population, military size, nuclear capability and strategic importance to the U.S. (Has Pakistan been a model ally? Of course not, but that seems not to be the standard for Democrats to condone military action these days.) No wonder even Democratic primary voters have concluded, at least for now, that Hillary offers a more sober and seasoned choice. (The Rudy camp is crowing that he did acknowledge that the "terrorists are at war with us" -- a Rudy phrase if there ever was one.)
2) On the Fred front, while I was gone for a few hours, my colleagues seem to have proposed and then rejected him as VP. He does face continuing challenges. Kim Kaegi, described by a rival campaign as "a powerhouse in Tennessee politics" and his key fundraiser has left the campaign. Politico reports that she insists she is just in need of a vacation. Others are hearing that she became exasperated with the Thompson organization, or lack thereof, but either way she will be missed.
From the 8872 form filed yesterday it is interesting to note that: 1) he raised only $500 from New Hampshire, $2200 from Iowa and $13,950 from South Carolina -- not a stunning start to garnering early state support; and 2) Thompson spent $90,000 in rent for two facilities (an extremely large sum according to those who do this for a living and perhaps includes renovating a space for long term use) -- another sign he is not just "testing the waters" but starting to do laps in the pool.
UPDATE: Spokeswoman Linda Rozett says that the amount represents only two months rent in McClean and first month's rent and security deposit in Nashville.
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