The Morning Read: Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The level of debate between the two Democratic candidates right now comes down to, according to DeFrank and Saul: “He copied him! She copied him! Waaaaaaaah!”

Clinton recalls duck hunting in front of a crowd in Wisconsin, saying: “The pressure was on. So I shot.”

Simcha Felder wants the city Board of Elections examined after the initial results from primary elections showed zero votes for Barack Obama in some districts.

Karen Loew reports on a Brooklyn group that is petitioning superdelegates to vote for the Democratic nominee who wins the popular vote.

Opponents to Eliot Spitzer’s Javits land-sale plan are organizing ahead of a March 5 board meeting.

Cardinal Egan and others will try to stop Spitzer from pushing a bill to protect late-term abortions in New York.

Spitzer and his aides allegedly berated aides to Christine Quinn and the Speaker herself after she signaled she would oppose his Javits plan last week, but the two electeds met on Friday to work things out.

David Paterson’s defense against allegations that he fired someone based on race is that he is legally blind and was unaware of the race of either employee. His aide later explained that it was a joke.

Alan Hevesi’s former campaign treasurer kept the books for the financial firm that got millions of dollars of work from the comptroller’s office when Hevesi was there.

Amtrak will now conduct random bag searches.

The O.T.B. will vote today on a plan to close all of its 70 outlets, which would lay off 1,500 employees.

The former mayor of New Paltz is now working as a painter, and hates it.

Fidel Castro has officially stepped down, handing power to his brother, Raul.

Peter Rivera as the next Bronx Democratic County leader?

During a meeting about running for Bronx Borough President, Helen Foster reportedly “was race-baiting Bronx/Queens Rep. Joe Crowley as a plantation owner in his job as Queens Democratic boss.”

The Darrel Aubertine and Will Barclay special election for a senate seat upstate has gotten really expensive, and may foreshadow a bitter fight later this year.

Bill Hammond thinks the state Senate Republicans are smearing New York City in order to keep the seat that Aubertine and Barclay are competing for.

Clyde Haberman laments, “’Tis our lot to be treated as a place that the political parties tap for campaign cash, not for national talent.”

Ben says that for Clinton to win the White House, she has to attack Obama’s readiness to lead, win primaries, and “win the argument about why she’s winning.”

Barrie McKenna says trade is the issue that seperates Obama and Clinton.

The New York Post editorial board is grateful for the small budget-trimming Spitzer proposed.

And The Daily News editorial board blasts Frank Padavan and Ann-Margaret Carrozza for trying to block a hospital expansion.

The Morning Read: Tuesday, February 19, 2008