Roundup: Busy Bill Clinton

The former president goes off the record with Mike Pride, on the record with Charlie Rose and out to drinks with the Des Moines Register brass. [Updated: That last bit paid off. See below.]

Oh, and apparently Clinton is reading from the same lower-the-expectations book as Mitt Romney. Clinton told Rose it will be a miracle if Hillary Clinton wins Iowa. Romney is saying he just hopes to finish in the top three.

Rudy Giuliani, hoping for new momentum in Florida, says he expects miracles.

A Wall Street Journal editorial writer reports on meeting with John McCain: "Mr. McCain is 71. But the tired, sluggish, former front-runner you may have read about was nowhere in evidence when the senator came to the Journal's offices yesterday. In his place was a combative and--yes--straight-talking candidate with no qualms about rising to a challenge or speaking his mind. In short, he looks once again like the spry 63-year-old who nearly knocked off front-runner George W. Bush eight years ago."

UPDATE: The Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton. The paper also endorsed John McCain.

From the former: "The choice, then, comes down to preparedness: Who is best prepared to confront the enormous challenges the nation faces — from ending the Iraq war to shoring up America’s middle class to confronting global climate change? The job requires a president who not only understands the changes needed to move the country forward but also possesses the discipline and skill to navigate the reality of the resistant Washington power structure to get things done. That candidate is New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. . . . Can she inspire the nation? Clinton is still criticized in some quarters as being too guarded and calculating. (As president, when she makes a mistake, she should just say so.) Indeed, Obama, her chief rival, inspired our imaginations. But it was Clinton who inspired our confidence. Each time we met, she impressed us with her knowledge and her competence."

From the latter: "McCain is most ready to lead America in a complex and dangerous world and to rebuild trust at home and abroad by inspiring confidence in his leadership. . . . McCain would enter the White House with deep knowledge of national-security and foreign-policy issues. He knows war, something we believe would make him reluctant to start one. He’s also a fierce defender of civil liberties. As a survivor of torture, he has stood resolutely against it. He pledges to start rebuilding America’s image abroad by closing the Guantanamo prison and beginning judicial proceedings for detainees. . . . The force of John McCain’s moral authority could go a long way toward restoring Americans’ trust in government and inspiring new generations to believe in the goodness and greatness of America."