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Des Moines Register Endorses Hillary

Boy, does this help her. Today the dominant campaign narrative was her alleged meltdown. This throws a major roadblock in that storyline. Personally I'm surprised: Today's Times story about the Clintons' lobbying of the paper sounded like overkill--a clumsy effort to dazzle the DMR's high-minded editor, Carolyn Washburn, with political celebrity (calls from Bill, Wes Clark, RFK Jr., Madeleine Albright, etc.).

Obama's pain is slightly mitigated by his Boston Globe endorsement. That's extra-interesting given that in 2000 the paper backed the stuffy experienced establishment figure (Al Gore) over the idealistic new-politics challenger (Bill Bradley). Still, no doubt Obama would gladly trade with Clinton.

Bummer for John Edwards who, as I predicted earlier, is already being taunted by rivals for having been endorsed by the Register in 2004 but passed over this time. One rival campaign aide claims this is "the real story here." Edwards's disappointment, however, will be greatly tempered by his appearance on the cover of the latest Newsweek.

It's also a bummer for Joe Biden, who misses a fine opportunity to get into the center of the Iowa conversation.

And check out the Register's weirdly meta reaction story in which the paper's Obama reporter quotes communications director Robert Gibbs (jokingly) assuring him that he won't be thrown off the campaign bus.

--Michael Crowley