WASHINGTON – The following is a new feature from FOXNews.com's political unit offering readers updates and the lowdown on newsmakers looking at their 2008 presidential prospects.
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden jocularly received a verbal lashing Wednesday night on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Before The New York Observer interview in which Biden had strong words for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, and described Illinois Sen. Barack Obama as the first mainstream African-American presidential candidate and a "clean" guy, he told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the lesson he'd learned from his 1988 presidential run was that "words matter." Host Stewart reminded him of this lesson and advised Biden to "take a deep breath" and "count to 10" before speaking in the future. Biden apologized if he offended anyone, but stood by his position that Clinton and Edwards are wrong on Iraq.
-- Arizona Sen. John McCain's political action committee spent $7.8 million last year, most of it on helping other Republican candidates get elected in 2006. Still, according to The Washington Post, some of that money went to help fund his fledgling 2008 campaign, and McCain spent by far the most of any of the White House candidates.
-- Sen. Obama has built up an impressive staff in a short amount of time, relying on a large, well qualified base of political strategists and operatives from his home city of Chicago. The Washington Times notes that Obama's celebrity is drawing top rate staffers in a profession where everybody wants to be on the winning team.
-- In a sign that it's opposition research team is going to be extremely tough on Republicans in 2008, the Democratic National Committee has hired former Michael Gerhke, opposition researcher for Sen. John Kerry's 2004 campaign, to head it's opposition research shop. His task? To dig up all the dirt in each GOP candidate's background and use it at the most opportune moments in the campaign. DNC chairman Howard Dean knows firsthand how effective Gerhke can be and McCain may want to watch out: The Hotline gives Gerhke and his encyclopedic knowledge of the Arizona senator credit for the perception in the media that McCain is pandering to conservatives.
-- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani faces an uphill battle for the nomination because of his positions on gay and abortion rights, gun control and last but not least his three marriages, affecting his standing with social conservatives who have a stronger voice in the Republican presidential primary than most. USA Today breaks down his electability.
-- In the wake of a Wall Street Journal story detailing Mitt Romney's use of Federal Election Commission loopholes to set up shop in states that don't limit presidential donations, the Politico notes that Romney isn't the only candidate to take advantage of holes in campaign finance law. Six other governors -- including George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Jim Gilmore, Bill Richardson, Tom Vilsack, and Mark Warner -- raised $22 million since the 2004 election in just nine states, none of which caps political contributions.