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Oh-eight (R)


GIULIANI: The Sunday New York Times front-paged Giuliani's changing tone on immigration -- from defender of illegal immigrants to someone who now stresses that he will crack down on illegal immigration. Still, on the policy, Giuliani supports comprehensive immigration reform.

The Los Angeles Times examines Giuliani's early success at wooing Christian conservatives (which is something we've seen in polling for months).

His campaign, moreover, has an unofficial effort underway to get U.S. citizens living in Israel to support his presidential bid.

HUCKABEE: In a twist on a straw poll, Spartanburg County Republicans were asked to rate the various candidates on specific issues following presentations from most of the candidates in person (or a surrogate). And the candidate who came out on top? Huckabee. "Delegates gave each candidate up to five points, five being the best, for their skill in addressing each of those topics. Huckabee won 3,522 points, substantially more than second-place finisher Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, who scored 3,161."

MCCAIN: Per excerpts of his speech on energy today, the Arizona senator will say: "The world is already feeling the powerful effects of global warming, and far more dire consequences are predicted if we let the growing deluge of greenhouse gas emissions continue, and wreak havoc with God's creation… The problem isn't a Hollywood invention nor is doing something about it a vanity of Cassandra like hysterics.  It is a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge.  National security depends on energy security, which we cannot achieve if we remain dependent on imported oil from Middle Eastern governments."

More: "I have proposed a bipartisan plan to address the problem of climate change and stimulate the development and use of advanced technologies. It is a market-based approach that would set reasonable caps on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, and provide industries with tradable credits."

Also, in the wake of his "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" joke, don't miss line by McCain: "As we sacrifice blood and treasure, some of our gas dollars flow to the fanatics who build the bombs, hatch the plots, and carry out attacks on our soldiers and citizens. Iran made over $45 billion from oil sales in 2005, and it is the number one state sponsor of terrorism."

Meanwhile, the current issue of the Weekly Standard has a good rundown of why a group like National Right to Life is so anti-McCain, despite the fact that McCain has the best abortion record of all the top Republican contenders. Two words: McCain-Feingold.

ROMNEY: It's been one year since he signed a universal health-care coverage plan for Massachusetts. The Boston Globe assesses where things stand after a year and the challenges that lie ahead. "Massachusetts has made a strong start toward ensuring that all state residents have health insurance, but it faces major obstacles as it seeks to achieve the full promise of landmark legislation signed into law a year ago, according to more than a dozen analysts, policy makers, and advocates."

We're just shocked, shocked that a campaign is accused of helping to pay for entry fees to a presidential straw poll in South Carolina. So reports Salon of a Romney staffer. The trick is not to get caught, right?

F. THOMPSON: New York magazine's Heilemann lumps Al Gore with Fred Thompson to do a "shadow candidates" story, but realize that Thompson's explorations are real. By the way, be sure to skim the story long enough to find the "skirt-chasing" reference.

T. THOMPSON: A week after going negative on FRED Thompson, George Will used his weekend column to talk up TOMMY Thompson's chances.