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Edwards’ Evolution

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Updated

A quick note on an interesting story this a.m.:

John Edwards is the first ’08 candidate to really plunge into the Internet world, reports the New York Times’ Adam Nagourney. “After running a decidedly traditional race for the White House in 2004 and in the early stages of this contest, Mr. Edwards has quietly overhauled his campaign with one central goal: to harness the Internet and the political energy that liberal Democrats are sending coursing through it. In a slow but striking power shift, advisers who champion the political power of the Web have eclipsed the coterie of advisers who long dominated Mr. Edwards’s inner circle, both reflecting and intensifying his transformation into a more populist, aggressive candidate.” One of the big reasons is obvious: With the traditional news media concentrating on Clinton and Obama, he’s had to find some way to bypass it.

Edwards and the Gay Vote: Edwards, meanwhile, is in Southern California on Thursday, when he will raise money at a fund-raiser at the home of Tim Aldrete, a developer and the CFO of AutoMac Parking and a longtime philanthropist. The $250-per-person event is aimed at young professionals and the gay community.

Next week, on Thursday, Edwards will be back, along with most of the other Democratic 08ers, for the Human Rights Campaign/Logo forum on gay issues. Like his counterparts, he’s lined up an event/fund-raiser afterward. He will host a $15-per-person fund-raiser/viewing party at Republic Restaurant and Lounge on La Cienega Boulevard that starts at 5:45 p.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m. Edwards will stop by after the forum.

As I’ve reported earlier, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also hold events that night. Obama will be at the La Cienega club Area and Clinton will be at West Hollywood landmark The Abbey.

Contest for Comedy:
None of the 08ers get particularly high marks for their comic prowess so far this year, according to comedy writers interviewed for a piece in the The Washington Post. They have appeared on David Letterman, deployed YouTube videos and cracked one-liners on the trail, but nothing would generate hugh guffaws. Says Will Ferrell’s partner Adam McKay: “One of the conditions of comedy is it has to be subversive to be funny, and no candidate is going to be subversive. The whole beauty of the Web is that you can do things that are shocking and opinionated and dirty, and all of those things are things that candidates can’t be. They’re more like a priest making a joke at Christmas Mass about how the kids want to go home and open their presents.”

Last night Jay Leno and Letterman offered up virtually the same joke on the Washington Post story about Hillary Clinton’s cleavage, saying that she’s the first senator to show that much since Ted Kennedy. For the record, Leno got his joke in first.

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