The Note: Follow My Lead, Oh, How I Need

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) told Iowans on Tuesday that he may be the lesser known candidate, but he will do very well once his policy ideas are put forth and pass the more higher profile names. The hard-working Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa has more. LINK

Sen. Brownback said yesterday that he wants to focus on issues like human trafficking, climate change and poverty that are consensus builders, reports the Des Moines Register's Drew Kerr. LINK

When asked how he will overcome his current dark horse status, Sen. Brownback invoked Sen. Obama.

"'Did you know who Barack Obama was at this time a year ago? I think I will be in that spot once the voter contact is made,' he said."

The Cedar Rapids Gazette's Steve Gravelle Notes that Sen. Brownback, who drives a Honda Civic Hybrid, "figures simply getting his message out to GOP caucus-goers will propel him past Giuliani, who is pro-choice and supports same-sex civil unions, gun control, and embryonic stem cell research, and McCain, who supports increased troop levels in Iraq." LINK

"After a Cedar Rapids reception for county auditor candidate Dan Abolins last night, Brownback has events scheduled this week in Michigan, South Carolina, and Florida."

2008: Republicans: Pataki:

"Pataki said he does not expect to announce his intentions soon, but will be engaging in some 'thoughtful policy analysis about the real challenges facing this country,'" writes Garry Rayno of the New Hampshire Union Leader from his interview with Gov. Pataki on his plan for Iraq. LINK

"Two areas he mentioned for possible discussion are energy independence for the United States and ways of strengthening the country's economy by lowering the tax burden on working Americans."

2008: Democrats:

The Washington Post's high-concept Ruth Marcus compares Sen. Obama to Bill Clinton and Sen. Clinton to Al Gore. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

Howard Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the latest Quinnipiac Poll showing Sen. Clinton as the clear favorite among Democratic primary voters in Ohio, and within the margin of error against all potential general election rivals. Playing the expectations game, Hamilton County Republican Chairman George Vincent claimed surprise that Sen. Clinton was not even farther ahead at this early stage. "'With the strong showing the Democrats had in Ohio in November and her enormous name recognition, I would have guessed she'd be way out front,'" says Vincent. LINK

"Buckeyes on the Prize: Hil Leads all in Ohio," headlines the New York Daily News' look at the Quinnipiac poll. LINK

With the headline "Hill Trouncing Rivals in N.H. & Ohio," the New York Post's Ian Bishop writes up Sen. Clinton's current poll position in New Hampshire and Ohio. LINK

Pat Healy blogs at "The Caucus" on nytimes.com about last night's book party for Sen. Schumer thrown by his Empire State colleague, Sen. Clinton with her Letterman-esque proposed alternate titles for his new book. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

For the first time, Sen. Obama proposed "setting a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq," reports the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray. LINK

"Obama's legislation . . . would remove all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008."

"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is the only other prominent Democrat in the field to set a withdrawal timetable, declaring that troops 'can and should' be brought home by the end of 2007."

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf writes up the Obama plan for Iraq. LINK

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