A tasty morsel of hope in today's New York Times: Barack Obama is acting more and more like a candidate, giving well-attended speeches and meeting with possible donors. Some key graphs:One of the donors who met with Mr. Obama, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend Mrs. Clinton, said that he and several others had supported Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaigns but were not committed to her as a presidential candidate. “I like Hillary a lot, but I’m also impressed with Obama — his message, the way he connects to people,” said the donor, a prominent New York business person. “It’s a little too early for Democrats to be certain that Hillary is the strongest bet for 2008. There are a lot of good people interested in running.” Agreed. But this passage takes the cake: John Catsimatidis, a loyal Clinton donor, said he had recently received a phone call from Mrs. Clinton asking to have dinner before the holidays. He believes she wants to run for president and is moving to ramp up her Senate fund-raising operation for a White House campaign. “I think they have a phenomenal political machine set up that’s far superior to any of the other candidates, or theoretical candidates,” Mr. Catsimatidis said. “Now they’re getting ready to put that machine to use.” Oh yeah, nice machine! Too bad it's a machine with no voters involved! I don't know anyone who supports Clinton. When I ask folks out here in California about her, all I get is variations of a grimace. Speaking of variations of a grimace, it looks like the response to Senator Kerry's "botched joke" (which I sincerely believe was a simple mistake) has knocked Kerry off course when it comes to an '08 run. His previous plan to decide early in 2007 has been pushed to Spring. Even Nixon had to wait two cycles before his White House comeback. But I suspect Kerry's chance at a comeback will never come back. Even more hope on the 2008 front: Senator John Edwards appeared on CBS Sunday Morning over the weekend, showing off his new home in North Carolina, discussing his new book, and generally reminding me why he should not be counted out this time around. His genuine focus and confidence were evident; Elizabeth looked great and back to full form as well. Here's a link from the CBS website detailing the appearance that includes some clips from the show. Within the last few days, Edwards also snatched up former Michigan Congressman David Bonior as a senior advisor--a solid move in step with Edward's consistently populist behavior since his 2004 loss.