Pun and (War) Games

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Former solicitor general Theodore Olson "has emerged as a leading candidate" to replace Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, "despite initial concerns in the administration that he could face a tough confirmation hearing," ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg reports. "Olson was confirmed solicitor general by a razor-thin 51-47 vote in 2001, when Republicans ran the Senate," Greenburg writes. "President Bush's choice could send a signal: How much fight does he have left -- or feel like expending -- in the remaining 15 months of his administration?"

Former governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., is getting his wish of a one-on-one debate with Thompson -- sort of, and maybe. The Strafford County (New Hampshire) Republican Women's club is willing to sponsor the forum, per the Concord Monitor's Lauren R. Dorgan. "All the women need is a time, a place -- and an RSVP from Thompson," Dorgan writes. Says Huckabee New Hampshire director Debra Vanderbeek: "The only downside, I guess, is if the governor showed up for a debate and the other chair was empty."

Clinton is drawing some heat for campaigning in Florida yesterday, just a week after pledging to respect the early-voting states by not campaigning in states that break party rules by jumping the line. Though Florida is technically not yet in violation of DNC rules, everyone knows what the deal is, the Des Moines Register's David Yepsen writes in his blog. "One thing we learned during Bill Clinton's presidency was to study and parse his words carefully," Yepsen writes. "Apparently we'll need to do that with his wife should she become president."

They're not happy in New Hampshire

or Nevada either.

The kicker:

"I would have preferred to have somebody else tumble down." -- Hagel, after seeing his framed caricature crash to the floor at the Omaha Press Club, in the middle of his press conference where he announced his retirement from the Senate.

"Viewed in its worst light, [Craig's conduct] doesn't even rise to the level of annoying, much less disorderly." -- Attorneys Billy Martin and Thomas M. Kelly, in their court filing seeking the withdrawal of Craig's guilty plea.

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