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More oh-eight (R)

BROWNBACK: Building his Iowa campaign one supporter at a time, Brownback's campaign announced the support of Iowa State Sen. Mark Zieman.

GIULIANI: The Boston Globe's Pindell is not happy that Giuliani's "town hall" meeting in N.H. is closed to the public.

HUCKABEE: Yesterday, the ex-governor sent out a fundraising email playing off of his shot at Edwards' $400 haircut at last week's GOP debate. "A resourceful staffer came up with the idea of asking people to leave a comment on our blog telling us how much they pay for their haircuts (the consensus seems to be falling between $10-$15) and so I thought, why not ask people to contribute to my campaign what they would typically pay to have their hair cut, or contribute what I pay ($15) when I visit my barbershop."

MCCAIN: The Politico's Martin wonders whether McCain's more pointed barbs at Romney are helpful. "The question for his presidential campaign this time is whether such attacks are helpful reminders for many people of why they originally liked the man or enhance his image as someone inclined to lose his cool when threatened."

The New York Times posits that the McCain-Romney spat is only helping Giuliani. "If Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney have been skirmishing, Mr. McCain and Mr. Giuliani have something between a nonaggression pact and a mutual admiration society going. When they both appeared at a fund-raiser last week in New York, Mr. McCain praised Mr. Giuliani's debate performance, and Mr. Giuliani went so far as to say of Mr. McCain that 'if it weren't for another candidate, I might actually be supporting him.'"

Immigration is making life difficult for the GOP in a number of places, particularly in McCain's home state of Arizona, where the party is split on the issue.

And don't forget that the 2nd quarter fundraising for McCain is singularly important. The Washington Post hasn't. "It's the new McCain: Working furiously to rebound from a lackluster fundraising effort in the first three months of the year, he is forgoing many opportunities for public campaigning and sharply cutting back his role as a high-profile legislator with a knack for brokering deals." McCain has missed a ton of Senate votes to focus on the campaign and fundraising. What happens if McCain doesn't have a good fundraising quarter?

PAUL: In response to Giuliani calling out Paul at last week's GOP debate for saying that 9/11 was caused by the US presence in the Middle East, NBC's Abby Livingston reports that Paul will hold a press conference -- called "Educating Rudy" -- on Thursday with Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit. Paul's spokesman Jesse Benton said, "The leading advocate for a sound foreign policy in Congress will stand with the top expert on Islamic terrorism and Osama Bin Laden to teach Rudy Giuliani how years of intervention in the Middle East have motivated terrorism and violence against America. We hope the former Mayor pays attention."

BTW, Paul may be running for president, but he also has to watch his back if he seeks re-election to his Texas House seat. He got his first primary challenger yesterday.

ROMNEY: Is "Yankee" Mitt Romney having a problem connecting with Southern Republicans? The Boston Globe thinks so. "If you don't count the Bushes, who emigrated from New England to Texas, the last Republican from the Northeast to win the presidency was Calvin Coolidge, a native Vermonter and Massachusetts governor who led the country more than 80 years ago."

Team Romney is putting a new 30-sec. TV ad in its rotation, beginning Thursday. From the ad: ANNCR: "In the most liberal state in the country, one Republican stood up and cut spending, instead of raising taxes. He enforced immigration laws, stood up for traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life."  ROMNEY: "This isn't the time for us to shrink from conservative principles.  It's a time for us to stand in strength.  Strong military, strong economy, strong families." ANNCR: "In the toughest place, Mitt Romney's done the toughest things."

F. THOMPSON: The fledgling campaign-to-be added another staffer: ex-FEC GOP appointee Michael Toner, who has agreed to serve as the campaign's chief counsel.

The AP's Sidoti writes the he's-about-to-get-in piece.

T. THOMPSON: A few candidates really are focusing on Aug. 11 as their first -- or possibly last -- day on the campaign trail. Aug. 11, of course, is the day of the Ames GOP straw poll. According to one of our Iowa GOP spies, Tommy Thompson has been making more robo-calls to likely GOP caucus goers than any other candidate to date. Our spy received his SIXTH contact from Thompson yesterday. It was an auto-dial call from Thompson (his voice) where he asks for straw poll support. If you press 1, you are then connected to a live person in his Iowa campaign office. To date, this very active Iowa Republican (i.e. he's on every key supporter/activist list) has received six contacts from Tommy Thompson, two from Romney, one from McCain, and none from anyone else.