ABC News' Jake Tapper's reports Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) filed papers on Thursday with the Texas Secretary of State's office to set up the "Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Exploratory Committee" -- but Rep. Paul is considered a fringe candidate with the Republican Party and known for his eccentric congressional votes, Notes Tapper on his "Political Punch" blog at abcnews.com. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

The AP's Holly Ramer and Mike Glover Note that while both Clintons are first-rate players in their ability to strengthen their ties in early nominating states, forging new friendships is just as important. New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan explains that her state has changed since the Clintons first campaigned there and recommends presidential hopefuls to speak to the top five Democrats in New Hampshire: the governor, two members of Congress, the state Senate president and House speaker. LINK

Roll Call's Nicole Duran and Josh Kurtz follow Lynn Sweet's EMILY's List reporting with a look at the well-financed group's first potential foray into putting its muscle behind a presidential candidate.

2008: Democrats: Dodd:

The Harford Courant's indispensable David Lightman offers an excellent look at Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-CT) non pie-in-the-sky approach to his presidential run. LINK

2008: Democrats: Biden:

The AP's influential Jim Davenport reports Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) -- before an NAACP march and rally in South Carolina -- said Monday that the Confederate flag should be kept off South Carolina Statehouse grounds. LINK

2008: Democrats: Richardson:

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) delivers his State of the State address today. The New Mexico Daily Times has a preview. LINK

2008: Democratic National Convention:

The Rocky Mountain News' Penny Parker, in an editorial victory dance, rubs the Democrats' choice of Denver for their 2008 nominating convention in New York's face. LINK


The Los Angeles Times' Mark Barabak took a Monday look at the in-development Nevada caucuses. LINK

"The Democrats have hired experienced hands from Iowa to oversee the caucuses, along with a team of national political strategists. The state's gambling industry and other business interests are being tapped to finance the operation. Nobody wants to stumble in the spotlight, or embarrass Reid, Nevada's senior Democrat."

"Still, it is unclear how vigorously the Democratic presidential hopefuls will compete. No one is abandoning Iowa or New Hampshire -- the leadoff caucus and primary states, respectively -- to take up residence in Sparks or Elko. But no one is talking about ignoring Nevada, either. A one-two sweep of Iowa and Nevada could make nationally known candidates such as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois or former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina unstoppable heading into New Hampshire's primary, tentatively set for three days after Nevada's caucuses."

A Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial takes a critical look at Speaker Pelosi's move to exempt American Samoa from the minimum wage hike. LINK

Sen. Allard bows out:

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