Micro-managing the Way(s) Forward

In their New York Post column, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write of the search for a true social conservative in the 2008 GOP field -- something missing from the top-tier McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Gingrich candidacies, they write. In Sunday's Washington Post, Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray reported that John Weaver and Beth Myers, the lead political strategists for 2008 Republican aspirants John McCain and Mitt Romney, "met more than two decades ago in Texas while working on the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Clements. Both Weaver and Myers were deputy campaign managers in Clements's victory over Democratic Gov. Mark Wells White. Their boss? Karl Rove." LINK

2008: Republicans: McCain:

In an interview on "Political Capital with Al Hunt," Sen. McCain said he would judge any surge proposal based on the assessments of people such as retired Army General Jack Keane, who has called for at least 30,000 additional troops. "'If it's not sufficient in the view of experts such as Keane, 'then I cannot support it,' he said. Bloomberg's Ken Fireman has the story: LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten writes about the 2008-Iraq nexis, with the focus on Sen. McCain. LINK

The AP's Liz Sidoti revisits Sen. McCain telling AEI, "I have presidential ambitions, but they pale in comparison to what I think is most important to our nation's security. If it destroys any ambitions I may have, I'm willing to pay that price gladly." LINK

2008: Republicans: Romney:

The Boston Globe's Scott Helman has former Gov. Romney addressing the shift in his political views by telling a gathering of influential Christian conservatives and GOP donors in Sea Island, GA: "Now, I wasn't always a Ronald Reagan conservative. Neither was Ronald Reagan, by the way." LINK

The Hartford Courant examines the Mormon factor. LINK

2008: Republicans: Brownback:

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) will declare his presidential candidacy on Saturday, Jan. 20 in Topeka, KS. Brownback, who is hoping to surprise his better-funded GOP rivals in the Iowa caucuses on the strength of his support among pro-life conservatives, has timed his announcement with the annual March for Life, which takes place in Washington, DC on Monday, Jan. 22. LINK

2008: Republicans: Hagel:

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter makes the case for Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as a Republican critical of the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq. LINK

2008: Democrats:

In this week's New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg dissects the foreign-policy views of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards and concludes thusly: "Obama and Clinton appear thus far to the the Party's strongest potential candidates, and each brings strengths to the debate. Obama's foresight on Iraq may be one of his most potent weapons, just as Clinton's expertise, and essential centrism, will be an asset to her candidacy. For now, though, Edwards has something that the others lack: a position on Iraq that resonates best with the party." LINK

Ben Smith of the New York Daily News offers up classic Schumer in his final column for the tabloid before heading over to "Politico." LINK

"'If you're going to quote me on this, make sure you use the whole quote,' he began. 'I won't say a bad thing about Obama. I think he's intelligent and understands people.'"

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