Keying off Sen. Clinton's fundraising blitz this week, the Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings writes "though party caucuses and primaries are still a year off, the money race begins in earnest this month, as candidates try to generate big numbers for the first quarterly financial disclosure report due on March 31. Advisers to Mrs. Clinton and Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have said their campaigns are shooting for about $30 million in that first report."
But Team Clinton has higher goals in mind. Note what finance director Jonathan Mantz said.
"Jonathan Mantz, the campaign's finance director, recently declined to specify his fund-raising target: "It's a huge number. I've seen a lot of different figures, whether it's $80 or $100 [million], it's a huge number."
The Washington Post's Matthew Mosk looks at the ways in which '08ers have carved an earlier presence in key states this cycle. LINK
Bloomberg News reports that Sen. Chris Dodd – who happens to chair the Senate Banking Committee -- raised $3 million from American International Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley in the last quarter of 2006, which amounts to more than what any other presidential candidate raised in that period. LINK
On the Republican side, "Sen. John McCain, who is pushing a bill for a federal crackdown on independent '527' political groups, has accepted campaign money from the prime financier of an independent group McCain accused of 'dishonest and dishonorable' tactics in the 2004 presidential race," reports Politico's Kenneth Vogel. LINK
Dick Morris' must-read Hill piece on the "inevitability" of Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani (more credible on the former than the latter) is a must read because it explains the importance of the 2007 primary better than has been done to date. LINK
If Sen. Obama's efforts to quit smoking have made you curious, ABC News is keeping track the other presidential contenders' smoking habits as well. LINK
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza on McCain and Romney battling for congressional endorsements. LINK
2008: Republicans: Romney:
ABC News' David Chalian reports that Mitt Romney will formally declare his presidential candidacy on Feb. 13 in Dearborn, MI, and will then travel to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He will punctuate his first official campaign swings with a gala fundraiser in Boston. LINK
More on the announcement plans from the Boston Globe's Scott Helman. LINK
2008: Republicans: Giuliani:
Maggie Haberman and Geoff Earle of the New York Post write up the latest CNN/WMUR poll numbers showing Giuliani with sky high favorability ratings and locked in a virtual tie with McCain in the GOP primary horserace. LINK
The New York Daily News' Saltonstall looks at how a nomination calendar with California, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey up front may help Rudy Giuliani's candidacy. LINK
The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody reports that Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, ripped Giuliani in a Tuesday interview.
Asked about Giuliani's status as the frontrunner, Perkins said, "He's the front runner but it's kind of like here in DC, you drive over the Potomac at night and it looks beautiful but if you get down near it you certainly wouldn't want to take anything out of it and eat it. It's polluted. It's got problems."