The Note: War Dance


This quote from new strategist Geoff Garin (in words that may be themselves mark a different tone): "I don't want there to be a thermonuclear climax," Garin said. "Senator Clinton is committed to having a united Democratic Party at the end of this process. Senator Obama is committed to having a united Democratic Party at the end of this process. And we will have a united Democratic Party at the end of this process."

The first major post-Penn move was a savvy one -- working on several different levels. Pouncing on the news, Clinton became the first presidential candidate to call on President Bush to boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies, ABC's Eloise Harper reports.

"The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership," Clinton said in a statement.

Here's one reason the move was savvy: "The Chinese Olympics present a quandary for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)," Lynn Sweet and Andrew Herrmann report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Chicago is competing for the 2016 Olympics and one of his top advisers, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of the city's bid committee."

Clinton's China-bashing also dovetails with a new trade issue that's hitting Pennsylvania this week: The Alliance for American Manufacturing Association is launching a statewide advertising campaign focusing on job losses due to Chinese trade practices. Tagline: "China Cheats. Pennsylvania Loses." "We need a President and a Congress who will stand up to China," the group's new print ad states.

More from Clinton's post-Penn pivot. "There isn't any doubt about where I've always stood, and where I stand," Clinton said on "GMA" Tuesday, responding to questions about her handling of the Penn affair.

"I took appropriate action with respect to my campaign, when there was a conflict with what I have said. I notice that Sen. Obama has never said or done anything with respect to his campaign representative who went to a foreign government and certainly gave a very different story about where Sen. Obama stood than what Sen. Obama's been saying on the campaign."

Similar comments in a key state: "I did take action when someone on my campaign took a position that was diametrically opposed to mine," Clinton tells the Indianapolis Star's Maureen Groppe. "And I haven't seen that from the other camp after his principal economic adviser told the Canadians not to pay attention to what the candidate was saying."

(And this on whether her post-White House wealth makes it hard to relate to average Indianans: "I don't think so," Clinton said. "We paid a higher-than-average percentage of taxes, gave away a higher-than-average percentage in charity. We had a lot of debts when we left the White House, all of which we have paid off. We are very scrupulous about that.")

But Clinton isn't quite done with Penn: ABC's Jake Tapper reported on "World News" Monday that Penn is still on the campaign payroll, and still participating in conference calls with top aides and advisers. Said Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr.: "She has to take decisive action, complete severance form Mark Penn. Not an adviser, not on the payroll -- nothing, gone."

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