THE NOTE: Hillary Set to Face Haymakers at Debate


Richardson's new ad on features (virtual) celebrities: Three influential liberal bloggers are shown talking up his plan for a total withdrawal from Iraq. "The subtext of the spot -- that the New Mexico governor cares about the netroots -- is almost more important than the primary message," Sarah Wheaton writes for The New York Times website. "The bloggers stop just short of calling their involvement in the spot an endorsement of Mr. Richardson's candidacy."

With the news that the NRA may make an endorsement in the primaries, Giuliani is (again, and sort of) explaining his position on guns. His views have been influenced by (surprise!) 9/11 and a recent federal court ruling. "You have to look at all of these issues in light of the different concerns that now exist, which is terrorism, the terrorists' war on us," Giuliani tells the AP's Liz Sidoti and Libby Quaid.

The California electoral college scheme is being backed (very generously) by a Giuliani donor, Charles A. Hurth III, a lawyer in Union, Mo., per The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer. The Giuliani camp says it's not involved, but this from Chris Lehane (who's ginning up opposition to the ballot initiative from his California perch): "Since almost all the roads lead to the Giuliani for President campaign, it raises the question of what does Rudy know and when did he know it?"

As Biden racks up endorsements among Iowa lawmakers, he "is dispatching almost all of his senior national staff to the state for the final months before the state's caucuses,"'s Chris Cillizza reports -- "quieting rumors (for now) that the Delaware senator might drop his candidacy before the end of the year."

Amid the mess over the Florida primary -- and now comes a lawsuit Florida Democrats are preparing against the Democratic National Committee -- Clinton is vowing to stay away from the Sunshine State, the Orlando Sentinel's John Kennedy reports. "I intend to abide by the pledge I signed," she said, referring to the commitment she and the other major candidates made to avoid states that violate Democratic Party rules by holding early primaries.

Get ready for the spousal invasion of Florida, led by Bill Clinton, who has been invited to the state party convention next month, the Miami Herald's Beth Reinhard reports. "The candidates themselves would typically attend the annual pep rally, with about 3,000 activists, but they've vowed to bypass Florida because the state's early primary breaches national party rules," Reinhard writes.

The Florida Republican Party is jumping on the turmoil, Adam Smith reports in the St. Petersburg Times. "Has being a Florida Democrat brought you to tears?" asks the mailer sent to Florida Democrats, complete with the registration form for voters to switch party affiliation (and a touching photo of a senior citizen wiping away tears). "There is hope. You'll find it with the Republican Party of Florida."

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reports that the White House wanted its Juan Williams interview of President Bush to appear on National Public Radio -- but NPR turned it down, leaving the interview for Fox News to broadcast. NPR didn't want the White House to select its interviewer, but this from Williams: "I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me."

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