On a day when it seemed that everybody was beating up on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -- even "Saturday Night Live" had run a skit making fun of her -- one person came to her defense on Sunday: Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.
Mr. Emanuel called to assail Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, for remarks he made when asked about the possibility of Senator Barack Obama of Illinois choosing Mrs. Clinton, of New York, as his running-mate.
"I have a lot of respect for Ted Kennedy, but I don't know how the hell he comes off saying that," said Mr. Emanuel, who has ties to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama and has not endorsed in the race. "The gratuitous attack on her is uncalled for and wrong. He is a better senator than that comment reveals."