The New York Post editorial board sees a tarnished Jimmy Stewart image in New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. LINK
Des Moines Register opinioner/reporter David Yepsen conjectures that -- for the sake of a 2008 campaign -- John Edwards may be praying that supportive Democrats have selective hearing when it comes to his poverty-related message. Edwards will essentially need to pull off a balancing act, Yepsen declares. By insinuating that individual citizens have a duty to shoulder some of the burden, the former Senator could antagonize leftists who have thrown their energy into welfare programs. On the other hand, if he is not forthright in assessing the low-income situation, voters might view his cause as a (self) attention-getting mechanism. LINK
Lee Bandy reports that Richland County Democrats in South Carolina held the nation's first straw poll for the 2008 presidential race Wednesday and Sen. Hillary Clinton won. LINK
Deborah Orin turns in a must-read New York Post column looking at how Republicans may be starting to treat Hillary Clinton as another "run-of-the-mill Senator" rather than the "arch-enemy" of the right wing. LINK
"Republicans may finally be wising up to the fact that it's dumb to turn Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton into a victim by always attacking her and trumpeting every possible scurrilous claim about her."
"'She is never stronger than when she's the national victim. People in our party finally get the joke -- we're not going to let her be the victim of the right,' says Republican strategist Rich Galen."
Virginia Gov. Mark Warner gets a mention in a Wall Street Journal editorial celebrating the defeat of "pro-tax" Republican lawmakers in the state.
Bob Novak writes these must-read-and-savor paragraphs:
"Any real doubt that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination should have been resolved by his performance Monday in suburban Oakland County, Mich. He did not merely drop into his native state for a political fund-raising speech. He spent a 12-hour candidate's day working a key presidential primary state." LINK
"Indeed, Romney's preparation for 2008 is more advanced than any of his potential GOP rivals. While he recently spoke in his neighboring state of New Hampshire, Romney's Commonwealth fund has raised and distributed $225,000, concentrated in three early primary states: Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan."
"Michigan is central to Romney's presidential hopes. It has been 36 years since George Romney, his father, served three terms as governor of Michigan, and the name is no longer familiar in the state. Mitt left Michigan at age 18 to attend Brigham Young University and has never lived here since. But Romney has made several political visits to the state, including three days starting last Saturday with his 40th class reunion in Oakland County.
"Romney strategists would like Michigan's still-unscheduled primary to come as early as possible in 2008 to give their man a boost."
"Behind the scenes, Republican politicians ask each other the same question that went unanswered when George Romney sought the 1968 nomination: Can a Mormon be elected president of the United States? Nobody talks about it, as Mitt Romney meticulously prepares the field for 2008, but that potential bias is his one great liability as a presidential candidate."