Barack Obama's closing argument, in Des Moines:

"The truth is, you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Mine is rooted in the real lives of real people, and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. I believe deeply in those words. But they are not mine. They were Bill Clinton's in 1992, when Washington insiders questioned his readiness to lead,"

... MSNBC counts nine separate "distinctions" with Edwards and Clinton in the speech.... Obama's team dismisses questions about whether he percieves Edwards as a real threat to be "absurd" but leading Edwards adviser in Iowa acknowledges as much to reporters.....privately, candidate is update and confident....Obama team teases about "major" South Carolina endorsement it'll soon recieve, but it won't be Rep. James Clyburn......

2. Ex-defense lawyer John Edwards previews his closing argument, scheduled for tomorrow in an old labor town of Dubuque:

"“Why on earth would we expect the corporate powers and their lobbyists – who make billions by selling out the middle-class – to just give up just because we ask nicely? Nobody who takes their money and defends the broken system is going to bring change. And, unfortunately, nobody who thinks we can just sit down and talk them into compromise is going to bring change either. Compromise and conciliation is the academic theory of change. It just doesn’t work in the real world. Fighting for conviction is the historic reality of change.”



3. Hillary Clinton's campaign spends hundreds of thousands (in excess of $1 million?) to purchase two minutes of television airtime on every 6pm newscast throughout the state.

4. Well-regarded GOP operative Jay Ragley rejoins South Carolina Republican Party as its executive director. The immediate past ED Hogan Gidley will serve as a senior adviser.

5. Attention Paul Tewes: Iowa PIRG's "New Voters Project" estimates it has registered more than 54,000 18-to-30 year olds to vote in the caucuses...(most of them Democratic - that's my assumption), and has made nearly 100,000 voter contacts. A PIRG official says that young voter turnout in Iowa was the 4th highest, percentage-wise, in the nation in 2004, which is significant because Iowa's an old state.

A bonus:

6. Romney allies point to campaign's robust early voting program in Florida as a sign of strength. Normally loquacious advisers decline to discuss but hint that Romney is banking thousands of votes.

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