THE NOTE: 'He's the One'

Giuliani "insisted he had little to do with arranging a taxpayer-funded security detail to protect his mistress, Judith Nathan, now his third wife, though he was not asked why the costs were hidden in accounts of obscure city agencies," the New York Sun's Nicholas Wapshott writes. "The failure to address the issue will allow reporters to continue pressing for full disclosure."

ABC's Jan Simmonds notes that while Giuliani has been highly critical of Bill Clinton for not recognizing the threat posed by al Qaeda before 9/11, he said Sunday that he "wasn't very aware of it" before the terrorist attacks, either.

Yet all is not sweetness and light for the candidates with the hot hands. "As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee soared to first place in polls among Republican presidential candidates in Iowa and to second place in many national polls, he is being gifted with both opportunity and further scrutiny," ABC's Jake Tapper and Kevin Chupka report.

He's explaining this statement from 1992 -- yes, after fMagic Johnson announced himself to be HIV-positive, and four years after the US surgeon general sent out a brochure to American homes saying "the AIDS virus is hard to get and is easily avoided." Huckabee's words: "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."

The AP also broke the story over the weekend that, also in 1992, he referred to homosexuality as "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle." And, of course, there's Wayne Dumond. "In neither case has he admitted much in the way of personal error," Laura Meckler writes in The Wall Street Jounral. "He has said he feels awful about the DuMond murder but said the prisoner's release isn't his fault. And yesterday he said he would word his statements about AIDS 'a little differently' today."

Huck may want to work on this response, from Fox News Sunday: "Would I say things a little bit differently in 2007," Huckabee asked rhetorically. "Probably so, but I'm not going to recant or retract from the statement that I did make."

And busy oppo-folks land this 1998 Huckabee quote on Drudge Monday morning: "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen thinks it's time for some Obama scrutiny: "Clinton's negatives are well-known, Obama's less so. Any shortcomings, inconsistencies or misstatements in Obama's past will be exploited by Republicans in the fall campaign if he's the nominee. It's best for Democrats to vet them now."

And the liberal blogosphere is taking note of Obama's feud with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. "It's obvious that Obama feels comfortable attempting to trash the credibility of progressives like Krugman," Jerome Anderson writes on MyDD.com. "It's even more disturbing when coupled with the admiration that Obama holds for Republicans in his post-partisan quest. But this is just plain stupid."

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