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

After stumping in a big way for John Kerry, only to see him go down in defeat, Bruce Springsteen has not abandoned his political rhetoric. His latest album “Magic” is billed as a return to pop for the Boss, but it is nonetheless biting on the Bush administration, according to a profile in the New York Times.

Writes A.O. Scott, “While the songs on “Magic” characteristically avoid explicit
topical references, there is no mistaking that the source of the unease
is, to a great extent, political. The title track, Mr. Springsteen
explained, is about the manufacture of illusion, about the Bush
administration’s stated commitment to creating its own reality.

is a record about self-subversion,” he told me, about the way the
country has sabotaged and corrupted its ideals and traditions. And in
its own way the album itself is deliberately self-subverting, troubling
its smooth, pleasing surfaces with the blunt acknowledgment of some
rough, unpleasant facts.

“In conversation, Mr. Springsteen has a lot to say about what has
happened in America over the last six years: “Disheartening and
heartbreaking. Not to mention enraging” is how he sums it up.”

You may remember that back in 2004, much was made of the fact that Springsteen went out and campaign for Kerry, and the worries that by doing so he made alienate a portion of his audience. In fact, even though Kerry lost, that never happened. And Springsteen’s event with Kerry in Madison, Wis., was among the biggest and most successful rallies of the fall campaign.

Here’s a clip — albeit not the best quality.

Bill’s Will: On “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Bill Clinton modified his previous support of some forms of torture, and he did it by framing the issue in terms of “24” and Jack Bauer. From the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket blog:

“Clinton said he didn’t know what he would do if confronted with the
proverbial ticking bomb and terrorist in hand, but suggested —
currying no favor with the intelligence community — that agents could
torture but be prepared to face the consequences for violating the law
or Geneva Conventions.

“I think what our policy ought to be is to be uncompromisingly
opposed to terror–I mean to torture, and that if you’re the Jack Bauer
person, you’ll do whatever you do and you should be prepared to take
the consequences,” he said. “And I think the consequences will be
imposed based on what turns out to be the truth.”

Fred’s Money: Fred Thompson pulled in $8 million in the third quarter, with a big chuink from contributions from donors in Tennessee.

Obama Boost?: Barack Obama leads among likely caucusgoers in Iowa — ever so slightly — according to the latest Newsweek poll, giving his campaign a dose of good news at an opportune time.