THE NOTE: Short on Funds, Can Edwards Compete?


Newt Gingrich kicked off his "American Solutions" workshops with a speech last night in Atlanta. The former House speaker, R-Ga., is flirting with a presidential run, but that's just the start of what he wants to do, ABC's Teddy Davis reports. "It cannot only be about the presidency. The fact is that in our constitutional structure the president is only one of 513,000 elected officials," Gingrich said.

The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody gets former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, R-N.Y., to talk about faith and family. "I pray to God, and I pray to Jesus for guidance, help," he says. On family, he says, voters "can have confidence that my private life is not terribly different from most other people -- it's probably more difficult than some and less difficult than others." And why he took that cell-phone call from his wife: "It was quite an honest act. . . . It's me. I'm spontaneous."

Giuliani helped his California primary prospects -- though probably not his general-election chances in the Golden State -- by picking up the endorsement of former governor Pete Wilson, R-Calif., yesterday. The endorsements links "the Republican presidential contender with a strong supporter of Proposition 187, the 1994 ballot initiative that still echoes among California's Latino voters," per the Los Angeles Times' Scott Martelle. Those aren't the good kind of echoes, by the way.

Former governor Mitt Romney, R-Mass., was also in California yesterday -- and he was not impressed by the endorsement. "They're both pro-choice. That's probably pretty expected," he said, per the Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht. He also had this to say, on immigration: "Mayor's Giuliani's posture as having been a mayor that welcomed illegal immigrants to his city and presided over a 'sanctuary city' is a problem for Rudy Giuliani and a distinction between us."

With a new poll showing him dropping by 10 points in New Hampshire, the Romney camp is playing the memo game to recalibrate expectations. "By no means do we expect to win both Iowa and New Hampshire -- no Republican in the modern era ever has," strategist Alex Gage writes, in boldface type, The Boston Globe's Lisa Wangsness reports. But, under the "kindling" strategy, wouldn't that be nice?

McCain loves the support of the uniformed military, but he's got to be careful. "Seven on-duty Army personnel participated in a campaign event for Senator John McCain earlier this month in Londonderry, New Hampshire, in an apparent violation of a Pentagon directive against partisan political activity," Sasha Issenberg reports in The Boston Globe.

The Senate last night passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program expansion by a veto-proof margin, but that won't change President Bush's mind. "Regardless of the immediate political cost over a possible veto of SCHIP, these are fights the President welcomes in his last 16 months in office," Time's Jay Newton-Small writes. "After the largest expansion of government since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society four decades ago, he is bending over backward to show committed budget hawks that he is really one of them."

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