THE NOTE: Does Nobel Win Push Gore Toward ’08?


Obama "has talked up tougher emissions standards in Detroit, gone to the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York to chastise Wall Street executives over tax loopholes and their 'what's good for me is good enough' mentality and told black men in South Carolina that they need to 'stop acting like boys' and face up to parental responsibilities," they write.

As for Clinton, her "reluctance to offend even extends to baseball: At a Sept. 26 debate, she equivocated about whether she roots for the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs."

Clinton, meanwhile, appears set to pick up the endorsement of another former Democratic presidential nominee: Walter Mondale.

The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that Mondale's endorsement "could prove especially valuable in Iowa, which borders his home state of Minnesota. Mondale won Iowa overwhelmingly in the '84 primary." So it's Mondale, George McGovern, and of course Bill Clinton lining up behind Sen. Clinton -- can Al Gore be far behind? (Yes.)

Also in the news:

Former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., is denying the National Enquirer report of him having an extra-marital affair.

"The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," Edwards told reporters Thursday after he was asked about story, per the AP. "I've been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years and as anybody who's been around us knows, she's an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known. . . . So the story's just false."

Most media outlets avoided reporting on the allegations until Edwards made his public denial.

Meanwhile, Politico's Ben Smith points out that "a key owner of the Enquirer is a prominent New York investment banker and one of Hillary Clinton's key backers, Roger Altman. Altman was an official in the first Clinton administration, and his name is often mentioned as a possible Clinton Treasury Secretary."

The Boston Globe's Scott Helman profiles Obama, focusing on his 2000 loss in a Democratic congressional primary. And add another nickname to his dossier: the "Kenyan Kennedy."

"Some of Obama's friends and advisers say he was morose after the loss to [Rep. Bobby] Rush; others recall his resilience," Helman writes. "The congressional campaign gave him reason to feel both: He got a glimpse of what he could be as a political leader, but he had chosen the wrong race to break into national politics and not run a strong campaign."

Clinton didn't engage on questions about Social Security options at the latest Democratic debate, but she went a bit further in Iowa, per AP's Nedra Pickler. "The Democratic presidential contender told an Iowa voter she would be willing to consider an idea that her Democratic rival John Edwards has been promoting -- raising Social Security taxes on high-income earners," Pickler writes.

The Chicago Sun-Times' Jennifer Hunter complains that Clinton doesn't answer questions from the reporters who follow her around the country.

"She is cautious, poised and very, very smart, and she is risk-averse when it comes to the press," Hunter writes. "Hillary often talks about the American people being invisible to their government. Well, Sen. Clinton, reporters are people, too, and we don't like being invisible, either -- it would have been great if you had held a little news conference in between stops. It's not whining, just a suggestion for the future."

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