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Oh-Eight

In his Sunday column, Bob Novak reported some potential big news: Sen.Barack Obama informed a major Democratic financial contributor that he probably will announce formation of a 2008 presidential exploration committee this coming week."

The Sunday Chicago Tribune profiled Obama's inner circle.

The New York Times covers Edwards' speech yesterday at Riverside Church, the same venue where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his harshest speech against the Vietnam War in 1967. "'If you are in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction, it is no longer enough to study your options,' Mr. Edwards said… He said members of Congress 'have the power to prohibit the president from spending money to escalate the war,' adding, 'Use that power.'" 

The New York Daily News adds that Edwards' comments were "a clear shot at his likely Democratic presidential rivals, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, who have shied away from plans to block new war funding for fear of being accused of undermining the troops already overseas."

The Sunday New York Times examined how Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq has impacted both Clinton and John McCain. "As the politics of the war continue to shift, no prospective presidential candidates face more intensive scrutiny of their views or greater risk to their ambitions than Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton."

On the Saturday, the Washington Post focused solely on McCain. "No politician in the United States is more clearly identified with President Bush's new policy, and no politician has more to lose if it fails." 
 
USA Today adds that Bush's plan "is putting Republican presidential prospects in a bind as they look ahead to a nomination process dominated by party loyalists… David Woodard, a GOP consultant and a political scientist at the University of South Carolina, says presidential aspirants need to find a middle ground between the demands of the primaries and the general election. 'You cannot cut and run on your two-term president,' he says. At the same time, 'you've got to position yourself away from Bush.'" 

The AP covers Hillary Clinton's stop in Afghanistan yesterday, where she had breakfast with US soldiers and met with the top US general there, as well as President Hamid Karzai. "Mrs. Clinton … came from Iraq with Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, and Representative John M. McHugh, Republican of New York. The three are members of armed services committees."

The Des Moines Register reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo will announce today if he will seek the Republican nomination for president.

"Florida's leading religious conservatives grilled Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney on Friday over his changed positions on gay rights and abortion, suggesting the former Massachusetts governor could be a tough sell for the party's influential right wing," the Miami Herald says.

The Los Angeles Times examines the Nevada caucuses, which will be the Democrats' second nominating contest -- and a challenge to the candidates competing there. "Democrats here like guns, loathe taxes and see nature as a source of fun and profit, not a place that some Washington bureaucrat should lock away. And skip the Rust Belt rhetoric about all those manufacturing jobs fleeing to China and Mexico. Economic issues require a different approach in a state that has boomed for the last 40 years."

And Sunday's Manchester Union Leader looked at the effect other states -- who are jockeying to move up their primary -- are having on New Hampshire -- and it's not all negative. "As more and more large and populous states prepare to move up their 2008 Presidential caucuses and primaries to early dates on the nominating calendar, they are only enhancing the importance of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation Presidential primary to the nominating process, political experts agree."