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Per a new Quinnipiac survey, Giuliani is the most popular politician in America.  "The survey asked respondents to rate their feelings about the 20 leaders on a 'thermometer reading' scale of 0 to 100.  Mr. Giuliani finished with a 64.2 rating.  Trailing closely were Sens. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, and John McCain, Arizona Republican, who tallied 58.8 and 57.7.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the top-ranking woman in the survey, finishing just behind Mr. McCain with a 56.1 rating...  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, finished ninth in the survey with a 49-point ranking" -- and Sen. John Kerry (D) was last.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States, which is co-hosting the NGO conference in Riga that Giuliani is addressing today, is making transcripts and video available on the web

NBC political analyst Charlie Cook, in his CongressDaily AM column, says that whether or not Giuliani runs is the biggest question on the Republican side -- along with whether or not he can win the nomination if he does in fact run.

Newt Gingrich, in New Hampshire yesterday to give a speech on the First Amendment, told reporters that the Iraq war has been a "failure," asking, "How does a defeat for America make us safer?"  Gingrich also "argued Republicans would have retained the Senate and just narrowly lost the House if President Bush had announced the departure of embattled Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld before, instead of after, the election."  And he said he'll decide next fall whether he will run for president. 

Outgoing Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) of Iowa has been busy filling the ranks for his 2008 presidential run, the Des Moines Register notes.  He has added Gary Hirshberg, an activist and donor from New Hampshire, and Lou Susman, a top fundraiser from Chicago, to his lineup.  "The support lends legitimacy to what Democratic insiders and Vilsack are calling a long-shot candidacy."  Vilsack will formally announce his candidacy for president this Thursday.