7 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses
With only one week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has injected a real-life foreign policy crisis into the 2008 race.
For Barack Obama's top strategist, the day's events were an opportunity to go after Hillary Clinton's 2002 Iraq vote.
"She was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq," said Obama strategist David Axelrod of Clinton, "which we would submit, was one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan, Pakistan and al-Qaeda, who may have been players in this event today, so that's a judgment she'll have to defend."
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer rebuked Axelrod, calling his comments "baseless allegations" and accusing him of "politicizing this situation."
Clinton herself said in Dennison, Iowa, that the day's events are a "stark reminder" that it is "time to look hard and think deeply about what we need in our next president."
Chris Dodd used the assassination to rap both Obama and Clinton.
"Good, soaring speeches aren't the experience we need at this moment," Dodd told Radio Iowa, in an implicit swipe at Obama. "And frankly," he added in a swipe at Clinton, "even being the First Lady of the United States . . . doesn't necessarily qualify. . ."
Bill Richardson stood apart from his rivals by calling for Gen. Musharraf to resign. On Friday, Richardson is expected to call on the U.S. to halt aid to Pakistan until Musharraf steps down when he makes 10:15 am ET remarks in Des Moines, reports ABC's Sarah Amos.
While Richardson was calling on Musharraf to step down, John Edwards attempted to showcase his familiarity with the region by speaking with Musharraf by phone.
Joe Biden has been most outspoken in highlighting the potential threat from Pakistan. His campaign is using the assassination to encourage its supports keep his new ad, "Office," on the air. The ad urges voters to think about the kind of person they want sitting in the Oval Office.
Watch the ad here.
In the instant analysis, opinion was split on which Republican candidate would be helped most by the assassination: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote that "it could well work most to Giuliani's benefit by enabling him to thrust himself back into the daily political conversation after steadily losing ground to McCain and Huckabee."
The Hardball roundtable, by contrast, gave the edge to John McCain, citing the Arizona senator's argument that post-crisis experience does not amount to foreign policy experience.
Where Is Hillary Clinton on "No Child Left Behind"?
Per ABC's Eloise Harper . . .
Hillary Clinton went further than she has in the past on Thursday in repudiating "No Child Left Behind."
During an unscheduled stop at the Family Diner in Ida Grove, Iowa, Clinton was met by one voter who was there with her two daughters.
The woman said to Clinton: "get rid of that 'No Child Left Behind.' Clinton responded: 'I intend to, I intend to, and please caucus for me.'"
In the past, Clinton has taken rhetorical shots at No Child Left Behind. LINK
But prior to today, when asked for specifics, her campaign has always left the impression that what she wants to end is the law's unfunded nature -- not the law itself.