Someone please just let us know when Rudy Giuliani plans to make his actual announcement speech, because he's already announced his candidacy a handful of times. On CNN last night: "Yes, I'm running, sure." In California earlier this week: "Sure, I'm running." Etc.
The New York Times focuses on Giuliani's remarks on CNN concerning Iraq, which included criticism of Bush's handling of the war. "He said that the United States went to war with far too few forces and was wrong to dismantle Saddam Hussein's military and government, and he conceded that if more information had been available about Iraq's weapons, Congress never would have approved the war."
Giuliani is now checking with the Federal Election Commission about how to handle his $100,000 fees for the remaining speeches on his schedule. "Giuliani's aides said he will not accept any more requests for paid speeches."
Talking on Radio Iowa, Giuliani admitted to making mistakes in his previous marriages -- but added that he's tried to learn from them. "It was a rare moment of self-criticism for the former mayor, who lately has been trying to boost his image among conservatives by projecting himself as happily married to his third wife, Judith Giuliani, and massaging his views on abortion and other social issues."
The explicit theme of former Gov. Mitt Romney's post-announcement stump speech may be "innovation and transformation," NBC's Carrie Dann writes, but the steady and prominent presence this week of his wife Ann suggests a notable subtext to Romney's fight for the GOP nomination. In all of his public appearances since his announcement Tuesday, Romney has gushed about his "sweetheart" Ann, who in turn has used her time with the microphone to remind audiences that she and Romney fell in love in high school and have been married for 37 years. Besides being well-timed to Valentines Day, their adoring glances highlight Romney's family values cred -- a key advantage in courting conservative voters that Romney holds over rivals Giuliani, who's on his third marriage, and Sen. John McCain, who's on his second.
Romney will speak at the commencement ceremonies at Pat Robertson's Regent University on May 5.
McCain is outpacing his rivals and his 2000 track record in lining up endorsements from his Senate colleagues this time, which The Politico casts as "a vivid illustration of the onetime maverick's ability to make amends with colleagues and the conservative establishment that many of them represent." More: "A Senate Republican aide with knowledge of the endorsement derby said Romney's wooing has been based more on his ideas and policy vision while McCain's team has focused on 'the inevitability factor' and it being McCain's 'turn.'"
While it doesn't come as a surprise to many, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift (R) has endorsed McCain over hometown candidate Romney. Swift's endorsement adds to the list of Bay Stater's who have "forsaken" Romney in favor of other candidates, points out the Boston Globe.