Kudos to Mitt Romney's team for putting his meeting with the Council for National Policy on the campaign schedule. The CNP is a redoubt of earnest conservative hardliners, intellectual warriors of the Cold War, assorted fringe figures and major Republican fundraisers. It is also very private and doesn't like to publicize the fact or location of its meetings.

Before Sen. Fred Thompson entered the race officially, he was a favorite of the CNP, and executive director Steve Baldwin was said to be pressing other CNP members to give Thompson a close look. (Thompson spoke to the CNP's Spring conference in Washington).

CNP seeded Pat Buchanan's protest presidential candidacy in 1992; if there's a third party movement to challenge Rudy Giuliani's nomination, it'll probably be born here, too.

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