The Note: Good, Bad, or Ugly


A new radio ad in Texas is even sharper: "Hillary Clinton voted to send our troops to war," Gen. Tony McPeak says in the ad, adding that Clinton did not read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

Clinton, meanwhile, wants voters to make judgments based on more than "just words." "You know sometimes I finish a speech and people come up to me and say you know that was so inspiring and so wonderful it made me feel so good," she said, ABC's Eloise Harper reports. "I say, that's great. That's just words. Our job is to make a difference."

There's Rezko, and now another Chicago figures whose relationship with Obama matters (particularly in Ohio): The NAFTA story gains an intriguing wrinkle, with the AP's Nedra Pickler reporting on an internal Canadian memo based on government officials' conversations with Austan Goolsbee, a top Obama economic adviser.

The memo: "Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign. He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans." The denial: "He's not quoting me," Goolsbee said. "I certainly did not use that phrase in any way."

More important than the action in Dayton and Laredo could be what goes on starting Monday in a federal courthouse in Chicago, when the Tony Rezko trial kicks off to national attention.

"Mr. Obama's name is likely to surface during the trial, if only because $10,000 of the money Mr. Rezko is accused of extorting wound up in Mr. Obama's 2004 Senate campaign," Mike McIntire and Christopher Drew reported in Sunday's New York Times.

"There is nothing to indicate that Mr. Obama did any favors for Mr. Rezko, but there is ample evidence that Mr. Rezko did favors for Mr. Obama."

"Any mention of Obama in the trial -- he is a side figure -- could have political ramifications for Obama and be grist for ads," Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "While Obama's connections to Rezko have long been the subject of stories in the Chicago newspapers, the trial is the peg for other news organizations to be doing their own examinations."

The Clinton campaign is (of course) eager to play this up: "Throwing the kitchen sink at Barack Obama may not stop him, so Hillary Clinton's team Sunday hurled the whole house -- the dream home that the Illinois senator bought in 2005 with the help of an indicted Chicago developer going on trial Monday," Michael McAuliff and Michael Saul write in the New York Daily News.

And Republicans may be paying attention at just the right moment for it to have any impact on the Democratic primary. "The Democratic Party may once again nominate a first-time candidate they haven't fully vetted politically," warns Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund. "Democrats flocked to Michael Dukakis in 1988, ignoring Al Gore's warnings about Willie Horton; later they were blindsided by revelations about Bill Clinton after he was elected president."

On "This Week," old friends Wolfson and David Axelrod threw their playbooks at each other, in a blur of calls for disclosures and clarifications.

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