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.
11:10:14 EST The Democrats' plan to put Nevada ahead of New Hampshire in the 2008 primary calendar could be all but dead. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner tells FOX News that state law preventing any "similar election" to occur before the New Hampshire primary will require him to move the state's primary ahead of Nevada's, which is currently scheduled for the Saturday between the first Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. While Nevada's caucus-style system differs from New Hampshire's, Gardner said he believes it constitutes a "similar election" under New Hampshire statutes.
11:08:17 EST Sen. Hillary Clinton kicks off her fundraising effort in New York on Friday, holding a closed door meeting with potential fundraisers who the campaign will ask to commit to raising a minimum of $25,000 each. The New York Daily News reports the Senator will then host a fundraising dinner at trendy restaurant Cipriani.
10:44:15 EST Clinton proves her frontrunner status in new polls in Michigan and Oklahoma. The New York senator holds a 29-point lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan poll, and a smaller 5-point advantage over former Sen. John Edwards in the Tulsa World-KOTV poll. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holds a small lead over Arizona Sen. John McCain in Michigan while McCain leads Giuliani by 8 points in Oklahoma.
— Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards would pay for his $90 billion-plus universal health care plan by raising taxes on Americans making more than $200,000. On Monday, Edwards will release more details of his plan, discussed on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, and will hold a town hall meeting in South Carolina later this week.
— Arizona Sen. John McCain again blasted the Senate's non-binding resolution opposing additional troops in Iraq, telling ABC's "This Week" that it amounts to a "vote of no confidence" in the troops. "I don't think it's appropriate to say that you disapprove of a mission and you don't want to fund it and you don't want it to go, but yet you don't take the action necessary to prevent it." Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel disagreed, saying, "We can't change the outcome of Iraq by putting American troops in the middle of a civil war."
— Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is still getting off the ground, having grown up so quickly, organically and unexpectedly that advisers are just beginning the process of building donor lists and developing a primary strategy. The Washington Post reports that Obama's aides favor a pared down campaign style that suits Obama's personality, writing that examples could be seen Friday when Obama delivered a somber speech at the DNC winter meetings. He was the only candidate not to pass out bumper stickers and fliers. He then spoke directly to students at a web-driven rally at George Mason University that advisers say is an example of Obama's desire to reach out directly to voters, rather than rely on TV ads and direct mail.
— Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says there's a "real good chance" he'll run in 2008. Critics had complained that Giuliani wasn't doing enough to show that he was serious about a White House bid, including divesting himself of certain business interests and building campaign infrastructure. But the campaign told FOX News that Giuliani opened a campaign office last week and will announce the last few campaign staffers in the next few days.
— Edwards has finally been supplanted at the top of the Democratic heap in a new ARG poll in Iowa, where New York Sen. Hillary Clinton bests the former North Carolina senator 35 percent to 18 percent. Edwards had led virtually all recent polls in the state, with one showing Sen. Clinton finishing a distant fourth behind Obama and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Among Republicans, Giuliani leads McCain 27 percent to 22 percent.
— Vilsack is trying to stake out higher ground in an increasingly crowded field occupied by the anti-war left. He has urged Congress to cut off funding for additional troops in Iraq.
— Romney's attempts to convince Republicans that he really is a conservative on abortion and gay rights is being aided by adviser Peter Flaherty, his point man for conservative outreach. The Boston Globe profiles Flaherty, reporting that he's furiously working to woo pro-family conservative groups that have a significant role in deciding the GOP nominee.
— Ralph Nader said he may run again in 2008. He also said of Democratic frontrunner Clinton "I don't think she has the fortitude. Actually she's really a panderer and a flatterer. As she goes around the country, you'll see more of that," adding that he favors Democratic long shots Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.
— Campaigns aren't just competing for donors and votes in New Hampshire this time around. An economic boom in the state has made prime real estate and office space more expensive and harder to come by, reports the UnionLeader.