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The Daily 2008

California's new Feb. 5 primary date has given the state's politicians new clout as they become important proxies for presidential campaigns. One especially close relationship is between Rudy Giuliani and Bill Simon, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2003 and is now Giuliani's policy director and salesman to the right. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer doesn't want his state to be left out of the spotlight and said he would like to move the primary date to Feb. 5 as well.

In Washington today, Giuliani will not attend a presidential forum hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters as they and other first-responder groups criticize Giuliani's record from emergency preparedness to 9/11 search-and-rescue operations. As RCP was first to report yesterday: Sen. John McCain will not attend the Club for Growth meeting this month because of a prior committment in Iraq.

Speaking of Iraq, Bob Shrum's new book says John Edwards was "skeptical" about voting to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002. According to Shrum, Edwards voted for the war after being told by advisers he didn't have the credibility to vote against it and that he had to vote for it to be taken seriously on national security during his 2004 campaign. "It wasn't a political calculation. It was a mistake," Edwards said yesterday after claiming he had "no idea" what Shrum was talking about. Tomorrow Edwards is slated to deliver a "major policy address" on poverty in New Hampshire.

Elsewhere, Ben Smith at the Politico reports that a Democratic AIPAC member has asked Sen. Barack Obama to clarify his claim that "nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that he was open to the idea of loosening restrictions on direct aid to the Palestinians.

As Obama plays defense, Sen. Hillary Clinton is playing offense. This morning Clinton called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign during a "Good Morning America" interview. Yesterday Clinton reprised the "vast right-wing conspiracy" line that she originally used to describe efforts against her husband during the Lewinsky scandal. Clinton said it was "proven" in a New Hampshire court that the conspiracy exists after two Republicans pleaded guilty to charges concerning a 2002 case of Election Day phone jamming.

The rest of today's election news can be found at RCP's Politics and Elections page.