Eye on '08: Endorsement Fight Continues Among Romney, McCain, Giuliani

Breaking News

12:18:16 EST Another top Massachusetts Republican is endorsing someone other than ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Former Gov. Jane Swift has signed on to Arizona Sen. John McCain's stable of supporters. Swift will also advise the McCain campaign on education issues.

12:09:30 EST Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd makes The American magazine's list of the 10 most economically literate lawmakers on Capitol Hill, determined by interviewing Hill aides, think tank fellows and senior business lobbyists. Dodd chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

11:51:16 EST Touring South Carolina, Mitt Romney picks up the support of longtime senator Strom Thurmond's younger son Paul, a Charleston county councilman.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have widened their leads over competitors within their respective parties, according to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll. Clinton holds a 19-point lead over Sen. Barack Obama, while Giuliani leads McCain by 16. When the two titans go head to head, however, Sen. Clinton comes out on top, 50 percent to 48 percent.

A.M. Politics

— A new Quinnipiac poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Rudy Giuliani by 10 points in New York, 50 percent to 40 percent. Against Arizona Sen. John McCain, she extends her lead to 56 percent to 38 percent. But Clinton is not as strong within her own party as Giuliani is within his. Sen. Clinton gets 47 percent of the Democratic primary vote, followed by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with 16 percent. On the Republican side, Giuliani gets 51 percent, followed by McCain at 17 percent.

— It seems that some Bay Staters are miffed that Mitt Romney didn't talk more about Massachusetts during his presidential announcement in Michigan yesterday, instead highlighting what Michigan has meant to his family.

— McCain is continuing to court Christian conservative voters, with mixed success. But the AP reports that some like the Iowa Christian Alliance's Steve Scheffler say they're at least willing to give McCain a chance, citing his continued emphasis of his conservative record

— In New Hampshire, McCain announced the support of eight-term Nashua Mayor Bernard Streeter, who calls McCain "a solid conservative and an American hero."

— As expected, California lawmakers voted to move their presidential primary to Feb. 5, joining an ever growing number of states who will hold elections that day — the earliest date allowable under Democratic Party rules. Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and several other states are also expected to shift their presidential primaries to that date, arguing that holding elections earlier in the year gives their state more of a voice in the presidential process.

Rudy Giuliani has been barnstorming through California for five days, speaking to the party faithful, raising money and even securing endorsements from the likes of California Rep. David Dreier. Giuliani is focused mostly on the issue of terrorism, and found himself a bit out of place in a black suit and penny loafers at an Agriculture Expo Tuesday. He admitted that he knows little about agriculture but vowed to become an expert. Giuliani also erased any doubt that he would jump into the 2008 race, telling reporters "Yes, I am running."

— More rain on the Romney parade is expected this week, this time from a new source. Previously, the former Massachusetts governor has been attacked by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback over his shift to the right on abortion and several Romney defectors in Michigan moved to the McCain camp just hours after Romney's presidential announcement in that state. Now, the Hotline reports that Rudy Giuliani is set to receive endorsements from two to three of the five Republican state senators in Massachusetts.

The New York Observer says the persistent rumors that Al Gore may enter the 2008 race are no accident, citing one source that says Gore is telling fundraisers and Democratic power players that he may enter the race in September if an opening presents itself.

— Al Sharpton repeated his insistence that Obama will have to earn black votes, and told students in Tennessee that he himself was considering yet another presidential bid.