Barack Obama may be trying to make up for his decision not to participate in last night's AARP-sponsored debate in Davenport, Iowa, but he still awoke today to a headline he didn't want in The Des Moines Register.
David Yepsen, the dean of political journalism in Iowa, writes in his column today that Obama hurt himself by not taking part. "There wasn't a big winner of Thursday night's debate among the Democratic presidential candidates, but there was a clear loser - Barack Obama," Yepsen writes. Close followers of Iowa politics know that a candidate never wants his or her name and the word "loser" anywhere near each other in a Yepsen column.
Obama, meanwhile, is bringing on one of his closest friends, Chicago businesswoman Valerie Jarrett, to help advise him in the closing months of the primary race. Jarrett has known the family for years, and she served as Obama's finance chairwoman in his 2004 Senate campaign. Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, told the Associated Press that the addition of Jarrett was part of "all hands on deck time" as the primaries approach.