THE NOTE: New Realities

Obama is making the promise: No planted questions at his events. "You'll have to ask her to defend the practices they've engaged in," he said Monday, ABC's Sunlen Miller reports. And there's this: "Despite the egging on of the national press -- I'm not interested kneecapping Hillary Clinton."

The Boston Globe's Michael Levenson looks at the business-like approach Romney is bringing to his campaign -- and he's playing by the rulebook. "Romney's disciplined approach stands as one of the biggest contrasts with his main rivals for the Republican nomination, all of whom are campaigning more as charismatic figures than as methodical politicians seeking to lock up various constituencies," he writes. This from Paul Weyrich: "I think he's thought through where he thinks he can win, how he thinks he can win, and what he's going to do about it. . . . Most of the other candidates don't really have a clue."

The Los Angeles Times' James Rainey looks at Romney's complicated relationship with what was once his proudest legislative accomplishment: Massachusetts' universal healthcare law. "Romney finds his most renowned legislative accomplishment to be, at best, a mixed blessing," Rainey writes. "Nonpartisan analysts continue to celebrate the state's healthcare reform, but liberals and even some business allies from Massachusetts criticize Romney for not embracing it more wholeheartedly. Conservatives, meanwhile, attack him for too readily adopting what they call the sort of big-government solution typical in this famously Democratic state."

ABC's Marcus Baram looks at the possibility of Clinton vs. Giuliani -- the battle that never quite was back in 2000. "Just like in the movies, this time the combatants are bigger and stronger," he writes. "Compared to their iconic status today, the 2000-era Clinton and Giuliani had significant weaknesses. At the time, Clinton was an untested quantity, pitied by many for her role as the dutiful wife forced to endure her husband's infidelity, and reviled by many conservatives. Giuliani was a lame duck mayor whose greatest achievements -- slashing the crime rate and taming New York -- were behind him, and New Yorkers had grown tired of his ornery nature and were ready for a change."

The task is getting tougher for the "Draft Gore" crowd. The former veep "will become a leading Bay Area venture capitalist," per the San Francisco Chronicle's Zachary Coile. "Gore announced today he would join Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, one of Silicon Valley's oldest and most prestigious venture capital firms, as partner heading up their climate change solutions group."

The kicker:

"It's the height of irony that the founder, excuse me, the father of McCain-Feingold, would now have supporters -- now he's saying he has nothing do with that, he doesn't want them to do it -- but nonetheless his supporters have put together this [ad]." -- Romney, showing the love to McCain.

"That's interesting coming from an individual who once supported public financing for political campaigns and of course like every other issue switched his position. I find it amusing." -- McCain, returning the affection.

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