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The Daily 2008

The leading Democratic presidential candidates and Republican senators John McCain and Sam Brownback attended yesterday's meeting of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The forum was mostly uneventful as candidates lavished praise on firefighters and criticized their treatment by the government: from health care and labor issues to a lack emergency equipment. Of course the biggest story was Rudy Giuliani's absence after the union attacked his decision to reduce the number of firefighters doing recovery operations shortly after 9/11. The union endorsed John Kerry in '04 and Republicans "stand little chance of winning the union's endorsement" because of their opposition to labor initiatives.

Giuliani had his own meeting though: a 1,000-person fundraiser in Manhattan where he cast himself as a can-do candidate and said he's "impatient and singled-minded" about his goals. Meanwhile, a Quinnipac poll surveyed New Yorkers, 46 percent of whom said Mayor Bloomberg would make a better president than Giuliani.

Out in California, the state GOP is struggling with a proposal to open its presidential primary to independent voters, who would probably favor Giuliani or McCain. Michael Shear at the Washington Post writes that McCain is trying to recapture the maverick spirit of his '00 campaign now that he trails Giuliani.

On the Democratic side, the Des Moines Register has a long follow-up to a report earlier this week that quoted Sen. Barack Obama as saying "nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people" in a discussion of the Middle East, a remark that's now drawing fire from some Jewish Democrats. Obama is also under scrutiny for whether he believes homosexuality is "immoral" after dodging three consecutive questions about the issue yesterday.

For the second time this week Bob Shrum's revelations have struck another Democrat. Shrum writes in his new book that Clinton lobbied to be Kerry's vice presidential pick but was denied because of her high negative ratings in polls.

Find the rest of today's election news at RCP's Politics and Elections page.