In a Saturday must-read looking at Sen. McCain's isolation on the Iraq war, the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray wrote: "As a forceful advocate for a policy that appears to fly in the face of the message voters sent in November, the politician who has long played for the center of the electorate now finds himself isolated on the right." LINK

Roll Call's David Drucker jumps ahead to the dilemma Gov. Janet Napolitano would face in appointing McCain's Senate replacement if he wins the Republican nomination.

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

The AP's Mike Glover reports that Giuliani has signed Jim Nussle, a former Iowa congressman and 2006 candidate for governor, to advise him on his possible presidential run. LINK

Note that Nussle has signed on with Giuliani despite what Glover calls "deep philosophical differences between the two Republicans" on abortion and gay rights. (And/but the two clearly share an appreciation for the pro skills of Maria Comella.)

National Review Online Editor Kathryn Lopez writes an op-ed piece in the Albany Times Union, laying out the Republican presidential field, and arguing that the strategy of waiting may prove fruitful for Giuliani. LINK

Stu Rothenberg writes in a Roll Call column how he finds it "very difficult" to conceive of Giuliani being nominated president by the Republican Party whose core, social views differ from the former mayor's.

2008: Republicans: Huckabee:

In a column that dubs him the "Next New Republican Thing," the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne writes: "If Republicans want a conservative nominee who has never attacked Bush on Iraq but can still signal a change in direction, Huckabee could be their man." LINK

The State runs an Associated Press story reporting that the South Carolina Republican Party has named Hogan Gidley as its new executive director, who among other credits has served as a spokesman for former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR). LINK

2008: Republicans: Hunter:

The North County Times' Mark Walker reports Rep. Duncan Hunter's (R-CA) long-shot bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination got a boost over the weekend when he emerged on top in a straw poll of Republican precinct committeemen in Arizona's most-populated county. LINK

Copley News Service's Dana Wilke writes that in the coming weeks, Rep. Hunter will counter pessimism about his long-shot presidential prospects with a message that contrasts his staunch conservatism on defense, trade policy, and immigration with the more moderate views of other GOP candidates. LINK

2008: Republicans: Thompson:

Iowa Muscatine Journal's Pam Martz writes up Gov. Tommy Thompson's (R-WI) recent visit to the area where explained some of his positions to the assembled 25 potential supporters. LINK

2008: Republicans: Tancredo:

Des Moines Register's David Yepsen reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo, who signed up Iowa activist Bill Salier to chair his Iowa campaign, "could be a real factor in Iowa's leadoff 2008 caucuses" and could potentially shift the field of GOP candidates to the right with his hard-line position against illegal immigration. LINK

2008: Republicans: Paul:

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