THE NOTE: Hillary Starts Playground Fight

Huckabee has to love the daily sparring between Romney and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, R-N.Y., over immigration, "with each side impugning the other's record on the issue," Michael Luo writes in The New York Times.

(This is the big issue in the GOP -- as the new ABC/Post poll makes clear -- but this fight is becoming a blur of charges, counter-charges, dusty quotes, and old newspaper clippings -- enough for voters to tune the whole thing out.)

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is sharpening his attack, "casting himself as the only candidate from either party capable of confronting both national security crises abroad and political stalemates at home," per The Washington Post's Michael Shear and Juliet Eilperin. Romney, he told a Post editorial board, "switched on virtually every major issue in the last couple of years." Giuliani, he said, "chose not to serve" on the Iraq Study Group.

The Post's Lois Romano has a deeper look at the GOP ambivalence in Iowa. This from Ray Hoffman, chairman of the state party: "There is a void -- a piece of the puzzle is missing. . . . The field just never felt settled.

There's been a lot of waiting -- waiting for Gingrich, waiting to see if Fred Thompson would catch fire. Now, I think for a lot of committed conservatives, they wonder, do I just stand back or hold my nose and vote for someone I don't agree with but who can maybe beat Hillary?"

Back among the Democrats, the Clinton-Obama spat allowed former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., back into the conversation.

"Like so many other things, when it comes to mud, Hillary Clinton says one thing and throws another," Edwards spokesman Chris Kofinis said.

Elizabeth Edwards was out there again Tuesday slamming Clinton, saying the frontrunner delivers "gauzy answers [that] flow one into the other," per the New York Post's Daphne Retter. "You can't put up a placard and become the change candidate. You have to actually have policies and a perspective which indicates you are going to change things," she said.

Edwards has changed quite a bit since he was Sen. John Kerry's running mate, and The New York Times' Kate Zernike writes up the Kerry-Edwards relationship, which "ended in recrimination and regrets."

"To the end of their disappointing run, the two men were unable to agree on the script, whether for slogans or more substantive matters," Zernike writes.

Some choice quotes (and what does it say about Edwards' establishment support that these were on the record?): Said David Morehouse, Kerry's traveling chief of staff, "We were getting our heads taken off and he was still talking about two Americas." Said Stephanie Cutter, Kerry's 2004 communications director, "A lot of what I'm seeing now, I wish I'd seen in 2004."

This from Edwards (note the tense): "I respected and admired John Kerry."

For more Kerry memories, The Boston Globe's Sasha Issenberg has the details of Kerry's efforts to disprove the Swift Boat allegations -- albeit three years late. It looks like T. Boone Pickens is backtracking on his promise to award $1 million to anyone who could disprove the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's allegations, after Kerry, D-Mass., said he'd take him up on the offer.

Obama on Tuesday had an interesting day on the trail. There was rare frank talk about his drug use as a teenager.

There was not-so-rare tough talk in slamming Clinton and Edwards over No Child Left Behind, per the New York Daily News' Michael Saul.

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