THE NOTE: Short on Funds, Can Edwards Compete?


It's her position now that's right -- sorry, Bill. The Clinton campaign "belatedly explained that her flip-flop to oppose torture was an evolution inspired by talks with retired generals," the New York Daily News' Michael McAuliff reports. "Clinton (D-N.Y.) came out against all torture -- 'period' -- in Wednesday's Democratic debate after previously telling the Daily News last October it would be okay to torture a terrorist to foil 'something imminent.' Clinton's transformation on torture now aligns her perfectly with the voters she's trying to woo."

In another piece of debate fallout, former president Bill Clinton said yesterday that he "will not reveal the names of donors to the Clinton Presidential Library unless he is required to by law, rebuffing pressure from his wife's rivals for more disclosure," per ABC News. Follow this (Clintonian) answer: He's happy to release the names of his donors -- if his wife is elected, and if a law passes requiring presidents to do so -- and he only wants to name those who give in the future. "We don't believe in one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else," he said yesterday. (And we don't believe we know if Norman Hsu gave to the library.)

Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times sees rocky times ahead for Sen. Clinton, if Wednesday's debate is any indication. "Clinton's rivals are moving closer to translating that innuendo into full-bore attacks on some of the more unpleasant memories of the Clinton years, with its failed healthcare plan, impeachment and frequent showdowns with the GOP," Wallsten writes. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., probably came closest to delivering the line when he referenced "the old stuff" at the debate.

Clinton, of course, has the backing of the Democratic nominee from 1992 and 1996 -- and now she's reaching back to 1972 to secure the endorsement of George McGovern, ABC's Jake Tapper reports. Says McGovern: "She and her boyfriend, Bill Clinton, took over the McGovern organization in Texas. They did a terrific job against impossible odds. I never forgot that. They worked night and day in that state." For the record, McGovern went with Wesley Clark in 2004.

See why Clinton is this week's "Buzz Maker of the Week."

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation holds its legislative conference today, and Clinton will be the headliner, while Obama hits a smaller conference room to talk about . . . climate change? Per Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman, his choice of topics "underscores the delicate balance Obama, 46, is trying to maintain as he competes for votes with Clinton, 59, whose husband, former President Bill Clinton, was called the 'first black president' at the same event six years ago."

These MTV/MySpace forums could be fun. Edwards' was the first, and while he dressed down for the event, it quickly turned serious, per The New York Times' Julie Bosman. While Edwards "may have been expecting the playful questioning associated with MTV forums in the past (like Bill Clinton being asked about his underwear preferences), the students in the auditorium stuck stubbornly to questions on policy issues ranging from higher education to the violence in Darfur."

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