THE NOTE: Mitt's Mormon Gamble

Oprah's challenge: "Senator Barack Obama's campaign is trying to turn years of feminist thinking on its head and argue that the best candidate for women may, in fact, be a man," Robin Toner writes in the Sunday New York Times.

ABC's Jennifer Parker writes up the developing ground game in Iowa, including Obama's efforts to get out-of-state college students to caucus for him. "In a move that is legal, but politically risky, Obama's campaign has distributed 50,000 brochures on Iowa college campuses telling college students they can caucus for him even if they aren't from Iowa," Parker writes.

"Many students who attend college in Iowa are from Obama's neighboring home state of Illinois -- something that could give Obama an advantage considering his strong support among young voters."

Says Camp Clinton: "The Iowa caucus should be for Iowans." Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen doesn't like it either: "They do politics a little differently in Illinois than they do in Iowa."

Former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., unveils a new campaign ad Monday in New Hampshire, with a double-barreled attack on Clinton that doesn't need to name her (or Obama) to make its point. He's blaming lobbyists for keeping 47 million Americans from getting health insurance, per the AP's Philip Elliott.

"You're going to sit at a table with drug companies and oil companies and they're going to give away their power. Right," Edwards says to a crowd in the ad.

Edwards held steady in the Register poll of Iowa caucus-goers, at 23 percent. He nabs the endorsement Monday of the first Democrat from Iowa's congressional delegation to choose a candidate, per the Quad City Times' Ed Tibbetts. Freshman Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa: "John Edwards has always fought for people who don't have a voice to speak for themselves."

It's Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., picking up the most coveted New Hampshire media endorsement: the Union Leader's.

"His record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination," read the Hearstian words of publisher Joseph W. McQuaid. "Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water."

Yet fresh off a New Hampshire swing, it's Huckabee who's riding the biggest wave coming into the week. (Notwithstanding the fact that, per ABC's Kevin Chupka, this is still a candidate who arrived in Des Moines commercial last night about 11:30 pm with no entourage to greet him. Let's hope his campaign does a better job on caucus night getting Grandma Betty from the assisted-living center in Ottumwa to the caucus site.)

Whatever he's doing is working in the small rooms that define campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa.

"What people are finding is a strong echo of the speeches and style of George W. Bush's 2000 GOP caucus campaign as Huckabee uses a smile instead of a hammer to portray himself as a non-confrontational conservative," Rick Pearson and Tim Jones write in the Chicago Tribune.

"With success comes scrutiny, though," Pearson and Jones continue. "Critics contend Huckabee's jovial campaign style contrasts sharply with a thin skin for criticism during his days as governor. His opponents say his conservative social ideology belies a decade-plus of liberal-style tax-and-spending as Arkansas' chief executive."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...