"The Kyl-Lieberman split between Obama and Clinton is escalating in importance to the campaigns as Obama is trying to sharpen differences between himself and the New York senator," Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Iran is spilling over into the Republican race as well. Former governor Mitt Romney, R-Mass., "in perhaps the broadest warning yet among the Republican candidates, told voters in New Hampshire that he would advocate a military blockade or 'bombardment of some kind' if Iran did not yield to diplomatic and economic pressure to give up its nuclear program," Marc Santora writes in The New York Times.
Here's another fight Romney would love to pick with Clinton: "No question in my view that one of the ways you instill family values is by having the White House be a place that demonstrates family values," he said, per ABC's Matt Stuart. "During the last Clinton presidency the White House did not demonstrate that in a way that was helpful to our nation's culture."
"Romney took the rare step of alluding to the Bill Clinton sex scandal," Ian Bishop writes in the New York Daily News (though we're still waiting for someone to utter the magic name with the initials M.L.). Responds Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson: "Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions on a daily basis."
Another Iran hawk, former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, R-N.Y., met with Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., yesterday before settling in to see his new favorite team beat the Colorado Rockies. No endorsement yet, but Brownback called him an "excellent leader" that he is "much more comfortable" with now after having met with him, per ABC's Z. Byron Wolf.
This from a man who has likened abortion to a "holocaust." Don't miss this Giuliani line (which could have been written by Brownback himself) on how he'll achieve a country without abortions: "I think you have to get there by changing people's minds and hearts." (Starting with your own, Mr. Mayor?)
If Giuliani does nab Brownback's endorsement, it may be this guy he can thank. Bill Simon is the latest to be profiled in The Washington Post's "gurus" series: Simon "has been the agent charged with managing the sometimes eager, sometimes awkward relationship between the former mayor of a liberal city and the conservative establishment," Benjamin Wallace-Wells reports in the Post. "Simon and the Giuliani campaign have tried, with some success, to suggest that his record in New York reveals a conservative's instincts."
Obama's three-day gospel tour starts today in South Carolina, "just the most visible element of the Obama campaign's efforts to target religious voters, especially churchgoing African-Americans," Mike Dorning writes in the Chicago Tribune. "The approach in part reflects the practical political implications of a highly publicized argument that Obama made shortly after his election to the U.S. Senate that faith should play a greater role in politics, particularly in communicating the moral basis for progressive political goals."
But the conference calls, memos, and hurried meetings haven't quieted the anger over the inclusion of a performer who thinks gays can "overcome" their sexual orientation: "The South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement decided to hold a vigil outside the Sunday concert in Columbia to protest gospel singer Donnie McClurkin," per The State.