Former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., sees "America Rising" in his latest campaign pitch, a sort of second stage of "Two Americas." "The very wealthiest and most powerful have manipulated our government for their own ends," Edwards plans to say Monday in Iowa, as he launches an eight-day bus tour, per his campaign. "They use their wealth and their power to keep themselves wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. And when they do that, they're holding America back."
After minimizing the value of celebrity endorsements, Edwards hits the trail this week with Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon, ABC's Jake Tapper reports.
(Forget six degrees: The temperature in Des Moines Monday morning was 11 degrees Fahrenheit.)
There are celebrities, and then . . . "Winfrey's visit was timed to maximize exposure while people are still paying full attention before the holiday season," John McCormick reports in the Chicago Tribune. This could be the biggest nugget in the story: "David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist, has been coy about whether Winfrey will be featured in campaign ads, but he stood atop a set of risers personally directing a camera filming the Des Moines event."
The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder goes by the numbers in Iowa: "Between the day three weeks ago when the Winfrey-a-thon was announced and today, the Obama campaign signed up more than 1,300 new volunteers directly through the media of pre-Oprah publicity. And the second number to keep in mind is the roughly 12,000 new names and e-mail addresses that the Obama campaign obtained in the Des Moines area alone in exchange for tickets."
Clinton has a new ad up, and it's something of a counter to Obama: "It takes strength and experience to bring about change," she says in the ad. "I have a very clear record of 35 years fighting for children and families, fighting for working people, fighting for our future."
Another Clinton volunteer is out because of one of those "Obama is a Muslim" e-mails. "Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday," the AP's Nedra Pickler reports.
On ABC's "This Week," Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., called for a special counsel to investigate the CIA's destruction of its interrogation tapes. "I think this leads right into the White House," Biden told George Stephanopoulos.
Biden has new ads set to go up in Iowa this week, with the focus on Iraq and his personal history overcoming tragedy. And he said on "This Week" that he remains realistic about what he has to do in Iowa. "If I'm not in the top three or there's not four people all bunched pretty close, yeah, I think the practical matter is everybody is out of the race. If I end up with the numbers the way you just read them in the national poll, sure I'm out of the race. But I'm not going to end up that way. I'm going to surprise you all."