d. They think the Clintons are up to something.
The AP's Fournier and the New York Times ' Seelye both look at the presumed/alleged/actual role Bill Clinton is playing in all this.
Fournier has perfect pitch on it all (and not just because he covered Clinton in Arkansas long before the rest of us new what "the Heights" are). LINK
Fournier gets John Podesta, Mike McCurry, and Carville and Begala in the mix, and sees Clinton as "emotionally invested" in The General. LINK
Deborah Orin doesn't like that Senator Clinton keeps posting supporter messages encouraging her to run in '04 on her Web site. LINK
Lisa Caputo and Howard Fineman joined Katie Couric on Today today to talk about the prospect of Hillary Clinton get into the race. Caputo was sane, Fineman ("I love Howard Fineman," Caputo intoned.) not so much.
Even Brian Lamb was asking graphically this morning on C-SPAN: "Senator Clinton for President in '04?"
Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times looks at how comments Bill Clinton made Tuesday in California reignited the "Hillary buzz." LINK
The New York Daily News reports that Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy issued a statement Thursday that "tamped down any suggestion that Clinton was thinking about running." LINK
While all this swirls, a thematically perfect Bill Clinton is in … Kosovo today.
He's speaking at the University of Pristina and visiting troops at Camp Bondsteel today; then participates in ceremony at opening of Srebrenica memorial in Bosnia tomorrow. LINK; and LINK
The Des Moines Register 's Tom Beaumont still wants to know what the Clark campaign is planning for Iowa. LINK
Beaumont Notes," Despite the media buzz, no one with Clark's fledgling campaign or his Iowa supporters had contacted the Iowa Democratic Party as of the eve of Clark's first campaign visit to Iowa."
(And Pam Walsh makes the Des Moines Register !)
Clark, New Hampshire:
John DiStaso and George Bruno help fill in some of the details of next week's travel, with trips to Capitol Hill, the debate in New York, and to New Hampshire seemingly in the works. LINK
Clark, other states:
The trip to Florida, hastily thrown together though it was, seemed to have come off pretty well.
Here's ABC's Deborah Apton:
"If people think it is momentum that General Wesley K. Clark is lacking, those people were definitely not at Deli Den in Hollywood, FL today when The General showed up to shrieking fans who you would think mistook him for Elvis, just reaching out to 'touch him,' as they said."
"At exactly 17:00 hours, the General and his entourage made their way into the deli for what was his first campaign event — he shook hands, signed autographs, and thanked person after person for their support. While the crowd was mainly senior citizens, the energy level was that of 20-something year olds and the feel of the event was definitely that of a rally … a grass roots rally."
"The campaign claims they planned the event in only 24 hours, and the only reason I would believe it is because the advancing staff comprised of one Draft Wesley Clark woman from Broward County, and one gentleman who identified himself as a paid staffer of President Clinton's office in Harlem, and a former intern for Senator Nelson. This young man told me that he was vacationing in Florida when the Senator's office called him to ask him to help advance/set-up the event at the Deli and he jumped right in." (We wonder what Senator Graham thinks about that … .)