The Party of National Insecurity

In Sunday's Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman had Grover Norquist saying, "John McCain thinks he can't be president if I'm standing here saying he's got a problem with taxes" while McCain chief of staff Mark Salter says: "Obviously, Gover is not well, It would be cruel for us to respond in kind." LINK

In his Saturday column, Bob Novak reported that "well-connected public figures" say "they have been told recently by Rudolph Giuliani that, as of now, he intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008." Novak's contention that Giuliani will have to switch on abortion, gays, or guns, is madness personified. LINK

Giuliani and McCain travel to Illinois this week to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, reports the AP. LINK

Religion may prove to be a focal issue of the 2008 presidential election, particularly for Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), who faces growing concern from evangelicals and others for his Mormon faith according to recent polls. The State's Lee Bandy has the story. LINK

Meanwhile, a group called "Evangelicals for Mitt" writes in its "Why We Support Governor Romney" section, "Yes, Gov. Romney is a Mormon. We are not. According to the liberal media, this is an unbridgeable gap, and evangelicals will never turn out to support a faithful Mormon like Mitt Romney. As usual, the media have it wrong. And they root their error (as usual) in a fundamental misunderstanding about American evangelicals -- seeing us as ignorant and intolerant simpletons who are incapable of making sophisticated political value judgments." LINK

The Boston Herald reports that Gov. Romney will spend this week "vacationing" in New Hampshire while studying bills on the minimum wage and other matters. LINK

The Boston Globe's Sunday coverage of spending-cutting Gov. Romney's final budget: LINK

Joan Vennochi's Sunday Boston Globe column praised Gov. Romney for putting politics aside and delivering some resources for Boston to fight youth violence in the city. LINK

(Note the potential Willie Horton moment Vennochi seemed to believe Romney risked.)

Per the Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont, Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-IA) told Iowans not to worry too much about North Korea, adding, "They are doing some saber-rattling, but their swords are very dull and very rusty." LINK

Fresh off a business trip-cum-tropical adventure in Asia, a "hopeful Huckabee," writes the Washington Times' Guy Pierce, will work this week to reinstitute an Arkansas ban on same-sex couples acting as foster parents. LINK

In Roll Call this morning, Stu Rothenberg evaluates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) chances as a GOP candidate for President in 2008, concluding that they will depend on the unknown answers to two important queries: Will Gingrich actively campaign this year? and "Do Republicans want to relive 1994 or forget it?" LINK

Fred Dicker's New York Post column includes an item about the "lame-duck" Pataki who has all but "checked-out," per administration insiders. LINK

The AP on "a disparate group" of Internet gurus, political junkies" and Clinton foes pushing a Condoleezza Rice candidacy "even though President Bush's top diplomat has said repeatedly that she has no desire to be president." LINK

2008: Democrats:

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