In This Week’s Observer: July 18

Jason Horowitz reports from Chicago on how Barack Obama ‘s intensifying attention to a number of traditional, vital Democratic constituencies . “We’re not worried about polling. At this point we’re worried about building enthusiasm at the grass roots,” Obama said.

Horowitz also reports on a John Edwards fund-raiser, where the candidate told a bunch of donors and supporters that he is the strongest candidate in the field — they know in their “gut” that he’d do better in a general election than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, he suggests.

I look at how Michael Bloomberg is mourning a potentially fatal setback for congestion pricing, and not taking particularly seriously the Assembly’s mostly straight-faced offer to keep talking.

Matt Schuerman looks at how Christine Quinn, once a rabble-rousing activist, is now a reliable supporter of some of the most ambitious real estate proposals.

Which helped Rudy Giuliani stumble to the front of a leaderless pack of Republican presidential candidates, writes Chris Lehmann.

Joe Conason explains why George Bush is downplaying his foreign policy victory in North Korea.

Michael Calderone looks at the impact Rupert Murdoch’s ownership may have on his new acquisition, the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times team in D.C. takes a lesson from their public editor, Clark Hoyt.

Chris Shott suspects the health department has a problem with the outer boroughs.

Steve Kornacki thinks there’s room, for a limited time, for another Democratic Senator on the national stage.

George Bush, again, is derailing John Mccain’s presidential aspirations, writes Jennifer Rubin.

And in case you missed it, Rebecca Sinderbrand had an occasionally tense conversation with Robert Novak about his legacy.

In This Week’s Observer: July 18