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Gloves Off For Democratic Debate

Showdown: [Nedra Pickler, AP]: “Seven Democratic presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in a two-hour debate starting at 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday and telecast on MSNBC. It's their first debate in a month, and during that time Clinton has solidified her position as the front-runner, gaining in polls, taking the lead in fundraising and dominating the agenda.”

Copycat: [Klaus Marre, The Hill]: “Claiming that both Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) are going negative in the race for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (N.Y.) chief strategist said Tuesday that the former first lady is the only candidate running on “the politics of hope,” a term Obama used to define his campaign.”

With Friends Like These: [Ben Smith, Politico]: “Sources involved in the nascent effort said representatives of Democratic powerhouses like and the Service Employees International Union, along with super-wealthy individuals like the fund manager George Soros, are hashing out the details of a planned independent effort that could finance tens of millions of dollars of television advertisements.”

Heckuva Job, Rudy: [Michael Cooper, The New York Times]: “The Giuliani campaign announced Tuesday that it has a new senior advisor: Joe M. Allbaugh, who served as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Bush.”

--Ben Crair