1. A Boston Globe poll of New Hampshire out tomorrow morning will show Sen. John McCain within breathing distance of Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney, and Romney sure knows this:
New Hampshire: Taking aim at a rallying John McCain, New Hampshire front-runner Mitt Romney said Saturday that his Republican presidential rival had failed to follow in the path of President Reagan by twice opposing President George W. Bush's tax cuts. Romney also sought to turn McCain's well-known maverick streak — a central theme in his campaign ads — against the Arizona senator. McCain's go-it-alone attitude, Romney suggested, will breed more divisiveness in Washington if he wins.
McCain's New Hampshire co-chair, ex-Rep. Chuck Douglass, responded later:
"From his claims of being a 'lifelong hunter' to receiving the NRA's endorsement to marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., it's clear that Mitt Romney has trouble with the truth. His latest attacks are yet another example of his complete inability to level with the voters of New Hampshire. The facts are clear: Romney refused to endorse the Bush tax cuts he now claims to champion, maybe because he was too busy raising taxes in Massachusetts by over $700 million per year -- more than any other state in his first year in office. New Hampshire voters expect and deserve integrity and authenticity in their leaders, not someone who changes his positions to fit the politics of the moment and can't seem to tell the truth."
2. The FEC will shut down, basically, as of the new year, as Congress clashes with the Bush administration of the Hans A. von Spakovsky nomination.
3. Hillary Clinton has dinner with her traveling press corps. Off the record. ,,,, Says Barack Obama:
In fact you could argue that there are a bunch of ex-Clintonites supporting me, in fact you could argue that there are more foreign policy experts from the clinton administratin supporting me than Senator Clinton should raise some pretty interesting questions. Why is the national security advisor, the secretary of the navy for Bill Clinton, the assistant secretary of state for Bill Clinton, why are all these people endorsing me? It's not just because I give a good speech. They apparently believe that my vision of foreign policy is better suited for the 21st century, and is not caught up in the politics of fear that we've been seeing out of George Bush for the last seven years.
The Clinton campaign releases a list of 85 names in response...
4. The New York Times' Michael Luo analyzes the semantics of Mitt Romney:
Indeed, with many of these instances, there has often been at least an element of truth in his claims. But for a candidate who has featured his business background and made much of his propensity for careful analysis of data, Mr. Romney is not always precise. Asked about it on Thursday, he said he would correct whatever was wrong.
5. A consortium of SEIU affiliates advised by former Edwards campaign manager Nick Baldick has purchased $750,000 worth of television ads in Iowa, and Sen. Barack Obama does not like the symbolism at all.
"I don't just talk the talk, I walk the walk, I've been doing this all my life, and John has not had that same record," he said. "John yesterday said that he didn't believe in 527s," he said. "We found out today that there's an outside group spending $750,000...and the individual who's running the group used to be John Edwards' campaign manager." "You can't say yesterday you don't believe in them and today you're having three quarters of a million dollars being spent for you," he said.
Playing umpire for a bit: in 2004, Jonathan Prince, currently an Edwards deputy campaign manager, left the campaign to run a 527 on Edwards's behalf. Baldick wouldn't tell me whether he contacted the SEIU or the SEIU contacted him, but he insists he's had no contact with the Edwards campaign for quite a while. Nevertheless, a pattern is developing, and Edwards, the reformer's champion, is being helped by independent groups who are advised by Edwards partisans.
Here is how Edwards responded today, courtesy of CBS's Aaron Lewis:
"The way the law operates as everyone here knows already... The way the law operates is we're not allowed to be involved in this. The campaign's not allowed to be involved, I'm not allowed to be involved. I found out about this probably after most of you did through the news media...
"I'll say a couple things about senator Obama. First, you know I guess he's seeing the same thing on the ground that we're seeing here which is why he's started talking about me, which is that we're moving."
"Second, I'm proud of the fact that I've never taken any money unlike senator obama - never taken any money from a washington lobbyist or a PAC.
"But from my perspective, this is not an academic or a philosophical question. This is about who has the toughness and fight to take on corporate greed and win. And I have been doing it my entire life"
6. Bonus: No more Borat.
7. US Magazine:
Everyone has an opinion on this week's news that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. (Over 62,000 readers responded to an Usmagazine.com poll on whether Spears is setting a bad example; the results were split.)
Even Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee – a Baptist minister and the former governor of Arkansas – entered the fray.
"It's a tragedy when a 16-year-old who is not really prepared for all the responsibilities of adult life is going to be now faced with all the responsibilities of honest-to-goodness adult life," he told CBS News in Iowa.
"Apparently, she's going to have the child and I think that is the right decision, a good decision, and I respect that and appreciate it," Huckabee continued. "I hope it is not an encouragement to other 16-year-olds who think that is the best course of action."
"But at the same time I'm not going to condemn her," he said. "I just hope that she will make another right decision and that's to give that child all the love and kindness and care that she can."
Tell Us: Should Spears be commended for her decision?