The Note: Looking Down at the Shoes of Life

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker writes Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama are both Tinseltown-bound, looking for cash. On Feb. 11th, financiers Sim Farar and Haim Saban will host two "meet 'n' greets" with Hollywood types for Sen. Clinton -- and on Feb.20th, movie moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen will host a fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton for Sen. Obama. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

Following up on a story he did about Sen. Obama last night for Nightline, ABC News' Jake Tapper asks on "How on earth did we get to this point? Where a United States Senator is explaining that he went to a normal elementary school and not a terrorist recruiting center?" LINK

In response to Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson vehemently denying that the Clinton campaign played any role in the smear, Jeffrey Kuhner, editor of Insight Magazine told ABC News that his message to the Clinton campaign is: "Sue us."

"'If he's so confident that this is a National Enquirer-style made up story,' the editor said, 'He and Hillary should sue the pants off us, because if they're right they could make millions and millions of dollars. But then we'll depose the investigators who have been conducting the investigation into Obama's background and they know it. This story is multi-sourced … I have never been more sure of a story in my life.'"

In a statement to ABC News, Bill Shine, Senior Vice President of Programming for FOX News acknowledged that "the hosts of 'Fox & Friends' gave too much credence to the Insight magazine report and spent far too long discussing its premise on the air. Those remarks, however, were clarified on the next 'Fox & Friends' program. Furthermore, when John Gibson focused on the item, he, like other news outlets, presented Senator Obama's statement on the subject. We consider the matter closed and believe the senator feels the same way."

Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet writes the Democratic candidates are vying for an edge in their health care agendas, with Sen. Obama saying he wants health care coverage for every American by the end of 2012, and Sen. Clinton saying, "we still need to make a commitment to universal health care." LINK

ABC News' Tahman Bradley has Sen. Obama telling Families USA: "In the 2008 presidential and congressional campaigns all across the country, affordable, universal healthcare for every single American must not be a question of whether, it must be a question of how." LINK

Sen. Obama upped the star power -- and turnout -- at Sen. Tom Harkin's press conference to introduce his bill on renewable fuels, the Des Moines Register reports. LINK

In his New York Times column, Paul Krugman keys off Sen. Obama's call for an end to the bitter partisanship that exists and writes, ". . . the nastiness of modern American politics isn't the result of a random outbreak of bad manners. It's a symptom of deeper factors -- mainly the growing polarization of our economy. And history says that we'll see a return to bipartisanship only if and when that economic polarization is reversed." LINK

The Boston Globe's Ellen Goodman wonders if questions about Obama's age have something to do with the aging of the baby boomers. LINK

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