THE NOTE: Huckabee Rising in Iowa

In case you were wondering, Hillary Clinton has become "the one thing the Republican candidates for president can agree on," Michael Shear writes in The Washington Post.

Leading the charge? McCain, who's featuring Clinton's Woodstock earmark in his new campaign ad -- and on Wednesday he's unveiling a new online game, "The John & Hillary Show." (The questions are about as difficult as celebrity "Wheel of Fortune.")

Also in the news:

With former senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., picking up the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee on Tuesday, ABC's Jake Tapper looks at the impact. "This was a key constituency telling its supporters that Thompson is to be believed," Tapper writes. "The National Right to Life Committee seemed to tacitly acknowledge that other Republican candidates -- such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- have purer records on the subject in its endorsement, in which the group made a nod to Thompson's electability."

"Some pro-life advocates were astonished by the National Right to Life Committee's endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson yesterday -- a move they say puts politics over principle," Ralph Z. Hallow writes in the Washington Times. Says Paul Weyrich (quoted often now that he's supporting Romney): "I think in all probability the Thompson people were engaged with the National Right to Life people in financial dealing." (Is that right-wing mumbo-jumbo talk for a bribe?)

You could never tell it from the candidate's smile, but dissension has paralyzed the Romney campaign from getting more aggressive with Giuliani, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports. "Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has television ads and mailings on standby to attack Rudy Giuliani but so far has not used them because of an internal dispute about the risks of a backlash," Martin writes. "The showdown is between Alex Castellanos, Romney's original ad man, and Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, the two media consultants brought on board this summer."

ABC's John Berman reports that Stevens was in Sioux City, Iowa, shooting commercials for Romney on Tuesday, while Schriefer is taking control of the daily message. Romney said yesterday that he was sure the campaign would come to the point where candidates would "throw bombs back and forth" -- but surely he was hoping the first bombs would fly outside his tent.

With all the clamor for Romney to deliver a major speech on religion -- would Romney's JFK-style speech be written by JFK? "John F. Kennedy gave the landmark speech on the topic. He said what needs to be said," Romney tells the Concord Monitor's Lauren R. Dorgan. "I don't know that there's something different that needs to be said than what he said. I guess I could go back and reprint it!"

The biggest Iowa GOP "get" won't be gotten this year. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, "said Tuesday he does not expect to endorse a candidate before the 2008 caucuses in part because no GOP candidate has emerged as a clear favorite to beat Hillary Clinton," Thomas Beaumont reports in the Des Moines Register. Says Grassley: "That practical approach keeps me from still backing anybody, because I guess I've got some faith in the primary system sorting it out so that the strongest candidate will float to the top -- and I haven't picked that strongest candidate."

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