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And a Dash of Oh-Eight

The Los Angeles Times takes its turn considering how GOP Gov. Mitt Romney's Mormon faith might be a hindrance to a presidential bid.  "A recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that most religious barriers to high office had crumbled, but that 35% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon president." 

Romney, "who drew fire for calling the Big Dig a 'tar baby' during an Iowa speech and later saying he was unaware the expression was a racial epithet, will be the featured speaker today at a Detroit leadership summit on improving race relations," reports the Boston Herald.  "The speech is politically important for Romney's presidential hopes, especially now that rival GOP presidential front-runner Virginia Sen. George Allen is under fire for racial comments... and allegations that he slurred blacks in the past." 

The Wall Street Journal weighs Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd's late start and says his "considerations in jumping in reflect as much as anyone's just how the war on terror since 9/11 and the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might define the contest to choose Mr. Bush's successor.  Most significantly, Mr. Dodd is calculating that Americans will rethink their affinity for governors and self-styled Washington 'outsiders'...  In a post-9/11 world, his thinking goes, perhaps an experienced senator seasoned in foreign policy -- read, Mr. Dodd -- would be more the ticket."

Sen. John Kerry (D) campaigns with the wife of laid-up Senate nominee Jack Carter and House candidate Tessa Hafen in Nevada, home of the party's new second-in-the-nation caucus.