The Note: Clean as a Whistle

Jim Davenport of the Associated Press writes up Sen. McCain's endorsements from 40 (a majority, that) South Carolina House GOP members. LINK

Those who aren't reading the daily McCain press releases are missing the reality: he is signing up a lot of people in key states -- real people, who can actually organize, raise money, and move votes. (OK: not all of them, but a lot of them.)

2008: Republicans: Romney:

David Wedge of the Boston Herald curtain raises Gov. Romney's "charge" through New Hampshire today. Note too in Wedge's last graph that Sen. McCain is apparently taking Notice. LINK

The Mobile Press-Register's Sebastian Kitchen keys off the Wall Street Journal story from earlier this week looking at Gov. Romney's use of state-based PAC's last year and writes up the predictably partisan reaction among Alabama pols. LINK

On Wednesday, the Romney press shop circulated an excerpt from a CBN story in which Dave Brody reports that Jim Bopp, the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, is endorsing the former Massachusetts governor. LINK

In a story looking at former Gov. Romney's ongoing effort to court social conservatives, the Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan writes that Romney's "rightward shift on abortion and gay rights poses one of the main challenges of his candidacy: Can he convince social conservatives that he is one of their own and capture his party's nomination? Or will his late-in-life ideological swerve raise too many doubts about whether he shares their core principles?" LINK

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

"The question is this: Can the thrice-married New Yorker -- a supporter of abortion rights, gay rights and gun control -- win the nomination of a Republican Party that has become increasingly dependent on and influenced by conservative Christians?," poses Susan Page of USA Today in her front page look at the conundrum Giuliani faces in his battle for the White House. LINK

Note that Family Research Council's Tony Perkins finds Giuliani "unacceptable," and plans to, basically, take him out if he shows strength. Note also Page marshalling data suggesting that Giuliani's liberal views are not well know within the party.

Jonathan Tamari of the Asbury Park Press reports that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) has lined up an army of Garden State GOP supporters including nearly 300 legislators, chairmen, and mayors, and failed U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean, Jr. New Jersey's presidential primary may be held as early as Feb. 5, 2008. LINK

The Newark Star Ledger on the same: LINK

2008: Republicans: Huckabee:

The Morning News' Aaron Sadler reports on Gov. Mike Huckabee's frugal spending on his Iowa campaign trip with a nod to the underdog's dilemma of raising the necessary funds to be competitive in his bid for the White House. LINK

While campaigning in Iowa yesterday, Huckabee "expressed doubts about hopefuls who are not anti-abortion" without mentioning names, reports Ed Tibbetts of the Quad-City Times. LINK

"'If a person is not right on this issue, then I'd be concerned about whether he or she would be right on some other issues,' Huckabee said."

"Huckabee just signed on the GOP's candidate for lieutenant governor in Iowa last year, Bob Vander Plaats, as well as former state legislator Danny Carroll."

Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazzette Noticed that fitness-freak Huckabee "didn't add an ounce" while campaigning in Tipton, IA, "opting not to eat." LINK

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