The Note: Questionable Figures

1. Klein suggests that Clinton is temperamentally unfit to be president, comparing her "pained" demeanor after losing the '94 health care battle to the ever bigger challenges ahead. But don't people change in 10 years, and hasn't Clinton quite specifically weathered the storm of the burdens of public office quite nicely since then?

2. He suggests she isn't brilliant enough a politician to break the "ultimate glass ceiling," which may be true, especially if she polarizes the nation as Klein thinks she will. But in the same vein, he's suggests she's matured, moderated her image, and has some good ideas about how to mature and moderate even further. And what if the electorate surprises everyone and doesn't polarize as neatly as Klein assumes it must?

Peter Beinart argues in the Washington Post that the big story of Hillary Clinton moving to the center in anticipation of 2008 isn't really a move and it isn't really big -- she entered the scene in the center, he writes, and it'll be up to those watching and covering her to look at the whole and not just the stereotype. LINK

Newsweek's Jonathan Darman describes an awkward moment last month when John Edwards visited Harvard's Institute of Politics last month -- which Kim Rubey protested to Darman was a misunderstanding -- as he continues to make the rounds on poverty and keep himself in the public eye in advance of 2008. After speaking at the Urban Institute today, Edwards is in Washington DC this week on business for his poverty center at UNC before heading to Oklahoma on Saturday. LINK

On Sunday, the Boston Globe's Ellen McNamara wrote that in his ongoing work to maintain national name recognition and policy influence - and saying that adding same-sex marriage to the Massachusetts Democratic state party platform is a bad idea, Sen. John Kerry is "falling out of step with the state party that nurtured his political career." LINK

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe Notes that Sen. John Kerry has been on a cross-country tour revamping his image and message. Kerry spoke to a crowd in Louisiana last week saying that Washington is out of touch with American families and leaders like President Bush and Tom DeLay are only focused on their own agenda. Although Kerry has not decided yet whether to run again in 2008 he has been busily touring the country touting his healthcare plan for children and visiting local campaign headquarters to support local candidates. LINK

Steve Wiseman of The State writes that high school steroid use is becoming more of an issue resulting in action by state leaders. Bill Richardson of New Mexico has already committed funding to begin random statewide testing and South Carolina legislature are also beginning to recognize the issue. LINK

Abramoff, DeLay, travel, and ethics:

The New York Times reports that Jack Abramoff is again under investigation for a 1997 trip to Pakistan with lawmakers. Abramoff brought lawmakers over to the country and failed to disclose that he was on the Pakistan payroll as he aided with group meetings. < LINK

The Washington Post's John Harris and Mike Allen take an interesting look at the way House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has hunkered down as the controversy around him has continued and deepened, a Noticeably changed man who has stepped back a bit from the high-profile, mix-it-up persona he's known for -- including absences from party news conferences and strict ground rules in his briefings. LINK

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