• Lawyers everywhere are crossing their fingers for a Michael Clayton Oscar win. "In 80 years, only 10 legal movies or actors playing members of the legal community have taken home gold," a columnist sighs. Awwwwww. Wait a second. We didn't do the math, but isn't that more than like, every other profession? How many people playing bloggers have won Oscars, for instance? Slickster lawyers. Always trying to trick us with their fancy talk. [Law.com]
• Could John Edwards be our next attorney general? [The American]
• The Sean Bell "50-shot" case is set to go to trial on Monday. [NYT]
Today's a big day for third-place candidates, it seems. After news spread last night that Giuliani will drop out of the Republican primary race as early as today, news hit this morning that John Edwards is planning the same thing. According to the Associated Press, the former Democratic senator will make the announcement today at 1 p.m. in New Orleans. No endorsement is yet planned.
Edwards to Quit Presidential Race [AP]
Remember when we were surprised that, after "The Cry," Hillary Clinton suddenly was turned into a minority candidate? She is a woman, after all, but until recently both she and Obama had done a good job of sidelining their gender and race. Well, now we're really surprised. John Edwards is now claiming to be a accepting the title of "minority candidate," because he is the only white male running in the Democratic primaries. The above clip (click to view) is from an episode of The Tyra Banks Show to be aired on Friday. In it, you'll see the following exchange:
Tyra: What does that feel like to be a minority and to be a white male?
Edwards: It feels like you have to fight hard for everything you get.
Tyra: [Offering up a high five] Give it to me because I'm a black woman.
Next thing you know, the Republican candidates will be claiming to be minorities. And then we'll know the apocalypse is nigh.
Edwards Talks to Tyra Banks [Time]
Related:Hillary Clinton: Minority Candidate
As the primary season approaches its climax, each voter is faced with a choice: Is it better to back a candidate based upon the opportunistic ramblings of cable-news talking heads or the endorsement of the voter’s favorite actor? Folks who filter their beliefs through those of a television or movie personality risk surrendering their stake in actual issues. Then again, they’re secure in the knowledge that they’re for the same guy as the Fresh Prince. Who are these actors, and how might they help — or potentially destroy — the campaigns that are so carefully conducted by their buddies? Glad you asked! —Dan Amira
If you decided to watch the Democratic presidential debate last night instead of American Gladiators, you made the right choice. The brutal (and hilarious) squabbling between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was just as entertaining, if not more, as watching an overmuscled guy in spandex use a pillow stick to beat the living hell out of a civilian. "Senator Obama, it's hard to have a straight-up debate with you because you never take responsibility for any vote," snapped Hillary at one point, to boos. Obama, referencing the attacks on him by former president Bill Clinton, shot back, "I can't tell who I'm running against at times!" Snap! But unlike on Gladiators, there was no clear winner in the debates. Below, a roundup of speculation and analysis on who came out on top and who couldn't get past the "The Eliminator":
• Everyone lost a little bit by reducing themselves to familylike squabbling. "Any good psychologist would recognize the three classic defense mechanisms on display," explains Richard Wolffe. "Denial, repression and suppression." [Newsweek]
As we move out of last night's Republican primary in New Hampshire, and the fatigued Democratic debate, one thing has become clear: We don't know what's going to happen. Pollsters and pundits alike don't understand the dynamics of the race and can't seem to predict how the leads in either race will shift as we continue from state to state. But something interesting (or dreadful, depending on how you view it) is emerging. This year's contest, it seems, is soon going to become all about the delegates.
Sure, every national election is "all about the delegates," technically. But as we enter the South Carolina primary, we're hearing more and more about the importance of delegate-oriented campaign planning and how because of the complicated system that many voters don't understand, strategies might dramatically shift in the coming weeks.
• “I’m not sure it’s about the bump [after Michigan],” Romney told reporters this morning. “It’s about putting together delegates.” Romney, despite having Michigan as his first win, is leading with 42 delegates amassed so far. [Detroit Free Press, AP]
Just as Hillary last week renewed the debate over whether her gender was a factor in the Democratic primary, this weekend she raised the same question over Barack Obama's race. Her aggressive appearance onMeet the Press largely focused on remarks she had previously made about Barack Obama in comparison to Martin Luther King Jr. She tried to back up her idea (basically, that MLK is not like Obama because MLK worked for decades, and needed the help of elected officials, to get his goals achieved) and also accused the Obama camp of implying that there was a racial controversy buried in her words. Her tortuous explanation (much too convoluted to get into in a blog post), and the resulting interpretations, are still raising hackles this morning.
• Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson, speaking yesterday, sparked a firestorm of debate after saying: "An African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood — and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book — when they have been involved.” The Obama campaign reacted angrily, finding a reference to Obama's admitted childhood drug use in Johnson's words, an inference Johnson disputes. [The Caucus/NYT]
Right about now, John Kerry is stepping up on a stage in Charleston, South Carolina, to announce that he's endorsing Barack Obama for president. This sort of makes sense, as Kerry was the guy who picked Obama to deliver the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which rocketed the young politician onto the national stage. Except, wait, it doesn't make sense, because Kerry was also the person who chose John Edwards as a running mate that same year. Man, Edwards just can't win these days, huh? Oh, wait...
2004 Dem Nominee Kerry Endorsing Obama [AP]