THE NOTE: Fred's Fumbles


Edwards may see himself as RFK, but for Obama, it's all the way with JFK. "Until now, those references have been subtle and oblique," writes the Chicago Tribune's Mike Dorning. "But this week, the Obama campaign explicitly laid claim to the Kennedy legacy, bringing in the man who provided much of the poetry for Camelot, Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen, to vouch for Obama as a worthy heir."

ABC's Charles Gibson kicks off his "Who Is" series with the presidential candidates today with an interview with Bill Richardson. "When I was growing up, I didn't know whether I was an American or a Mexican," Richardson tells Gibson. "I was darker than most kids. They called me 'Poncho.' I was kind of typecast." The interviews will air weekly through December on the "World News" broadcast and Webcast.

The Richardson interview airs the same day that the New Mexico governor delivers a major speech at Georgetown University criticizing his top Democratic rivals for not pledging to remove all US troops out of Iraq. Richardson "will detail a plan today to rebuild American diplomacy while reshaping the U.S. military with 50,000 additional troops and slashing $57 billion annually from Pentagon weapons programs," William Petroski reports in the Des Moines Register.

Biden is set to talk education today in Des Moines, with a proposal to expand guaranteed public education to 16 years -- by tacking on two years of preschool and two years of higher education for all children. "We are losing too many children in this country, wasting too much talent, leaving so much potential untapped," Biden plans to say, per his campaign. (No cost estimate yet, in case you were wondering.)

The battle over the Electoral College in California could be a proxy fight for a pair of titans, per The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer and Raymond Hernandez. "Rudy versus Hillary, the West Coast edition -- it's on," they write. "The fight could be a telling prelude to the 2008 presidential contest, with the political instincts and strategies long employed by Mr. Giuliani, a Republican, and Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat, cast in sharp relief."

If you're wondering how Democrats are viewing the veto of the S-CHIP expansion, all you need to know is that they're not going to try to override the veto for two (ad-filled) weeks. "For Democrats, President George W. Bush's veto yesterday of a measure expanding children's health care is a legislative setback -- and a political opportunity," Bloomberg's Laura Litvan and Christopher Stern report. "Even if the ads don't persuade a sufficient number of Republicans to switch their vote, they will continue a drumbeat of criticism on party lawmakers targeted for defeat in the 2008 elections."

The president "sounded a bit uneasy" in explaining his veto, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Carl Hulse write in The New York Times. "My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions," the president said. Stolberg and Hulse: "The veto has the potential to become a hot-button political issue, especially for Republicans in tight re-election races. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already begun radio advertisements and automatic phone calls against eight Republicans in swing districts."

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