GINGRICH: So has Fred Thompson's entrance had an effect on the rest of the field? Well, Gingrich is now giving pretty good odds on the idea that he will NOT run. This is a change in Gingrich's rhetoric over the past few months, when he sounded much more like a candidate.
GIULIANI: The Wall Street Journal previews Giuliani's health-care plan. The release of the plan will be one of the first times since Giuliani announced that the issue focus of his bid will be something other than national security. "The principles Mr. Giuliani identified for health care mirror President Bush's call for an 'ownership society' in which the power of the free market could eventually shore up health and retirement security programs alike. That concept proved a political failure when Mr. Bush used it in 2005 to argue for partial privatization of Social Security. But in the campaign to woo Republican primary voters, it could provide Mr. Giuliani with an issue to appeal to economic conservatives at a time when some social conservatives have misgivings about his support for abortion rights and gun control."
HUCKABEE: The AP says "Huckabee said he made an 'absolute error' when he confused the dates of President Reagan's birth and death during a debate with his GOP rivals."
ROMNEY: The Romney-McCain rivalry may not have shown itself publicly at the debate on Tuesday, but it's back as far as the print media is concerned. In an interview with the Washington Post, Romney is critical of a number of McCain positions, including immigration and campaign finance reform. McCain's camp shot back at the criticism. Spokesperson Matt David: "It comes as no surprise that Governor Romney fails to mention his past support for campaign finance reform when he attacks John McCain. Whether it's campaign finance reform, immigration or abortion, Romney's shifting positions and intellectually dishonest attacks illustrate his willingness to say and do anything in an effort to win the nomination."
NBC's Carrie Dann says that Romney faced tough questioning in New Hampshire from a gay mother, who passionately insisted that Romney's anti-gay-marriage stance "invalidated" her family. "If we are sending our troops over to fight for liberty and justice for all," she asked at the Concord town hall, "Then why not for me? Why not for my family?"
Romney quickly congratulated the woman on her role as a parent, but insisted that heterosexual marriage is the best setting to raise children. "That's not saying that these other forms of raising a family aren't valid ... but that's the best setting we know of, since the beginning of recorded history, for developing and nurturing the children of the next generation."
Later in the afternoon, says NBC's Christina Jamison, Romney took a shot at John Edwards (for his bumper sticker remark regarding the global war on terror) and the Democrats, saying that their debate Sunday night proved that politics was very much involved when our men and women's lives are being lost.
Also, yesterday, Romney came out for "personal retirement accounts" when it comes to Social Security reform. Should he be the nominee, one can assume Florida voters will learn about this decision over and over and over and over and over again.
F. THOMPSON: USA Today looks at Thompson's lobbyist past. "Thompson declined to be interviewed for this article. His spokesman, Mark Corallo, said, 'Many of the candidates from both parties have been lobbyists or have been lobbied at one point or another in their careers. It is an honorable endeavor that goes back to the beginnings of this republic.' Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, reported that he earned $1.2 million last year from Bracewell & Giuliani, a Houston law and lobbying firm."
One of the must first stops on the campaign trail is Israel, so it should come as no surprise that Thompson is heading to the country very soon.