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More Oh-Eight (R)

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's just-filed statement of candidacy prompts even more speculation about whether or not someone with his personal history and moderate positions on social issues can win the Republican nomination.  The Washington Post: "Giuliani's challenge, aides believe, will be to convince Republican primary voters that, despite his disagreements with conservatives, he will not overturn what has been party orthodoxy on many social issues...  Giuliani also believes that, in a time of global terrorism, personal attributes such as leadership, decisiveness and strength of character can win over conservative voters who may differ with him on social issues." 

The New York Daily News says his move yesterday "seemed mostly aimed at quieting persistent rumors that Giuliani isn't serious about running for President and might eventually pull out - just as he did in his Senate run against Clinton in 2000." 

The Boston Herald similarly notes that in "recent weeks, Giuliani's cautious and noncommittal attitude has caused some critics to question whether he would abandon his bid even before formally entering the race, as he did in 2000 when he was considering a Senate campaign against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton." 

The New York Times: "Appearing last night on the Fox News Channel program 'Hannity & Colmes,' Mr. Giuliani just skirted the line on declaring his candidacy.  'We still have to formally announce it and do a few more things,' he said, but added that yesterday's paperwork 'is about as close as you're going to get.'" 

Former Gov. Mitt Romney is edging out McCain in the race for members' support, Roll Call says.  "Members of Romney's team will appear at an afternoon news conference at the Republican National Committee.  About half of Romney's Capitol Hill supporters previously have been announced...  Giuliani has a quartet of Members supporting his candidacy but has yet to show he's been as aggressive as his two principal rivals in reaching out to Capitol Hill." 

Romney was in Texas yesterday meeting (and perhaps courting) Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, reports the Dallas Morning News

Surprisingly, McCain was also in Texas yesterday, where he said he's "pleased" with the relationship he has with conservatives and said he's not happy about how several states are trying to move up their nominating contests. 

The Boston Globe's Canellos looks at the not-so-impressive Republican field of candidates this year.