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Oh-eight (R): NH's importance

The Boston Globe's Scott Lehigh writes about the importance of New Hampshire in the GOP race: "From today's vantage point, you can divide the top four Republican contenders into two categories: Those who have to win New Hampshire and those who can survive without a victory here. Put Romney and McCain in the first group, Giuliani and Fred Thompson in the second." 

GIULIANI: Is he considering Huckabee for veep if he wins the nomination? "I don't know about running mates, but I sure like having him at the debates, because he makes me laugh. And he has got a nice approach to life. You know, he is a man that is -- he has got a happy approach and he has got an optimistic approach to life. And then I -- you know, I have great respect for him." 
On Mukasey, Giuliani reiterated, "No one, not a single person, can find a single reason why Michael Mukasey shouldn't be attorney general -- other than pure, blatant politics."

HUCKABEE: The candidate said he'd be "surprised and disappointed" if Sam Brownback endorsed Giuliani. "Huckabee said he would be surprised because on the issues Brownback was so 'adamant' about during his failed presidential run, namely abortion rights, Brownback and Giuliani are 'at opposite ends of the political spectrum.'"

"Huckabee also refused to say definitively that he would support whoever the eventually GOP nominee is, calling that a hypothetical question. He did say he would have trouble supporting the candidacy of Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) in the unlikely event the insurgent candidate won the nomination."

Meanwhile, Wayne Dumond came up again (expect it more often if Huckabee keeps climbing in the polls), and Huckabee tried to distance himself from the case. "Huckabee said he could not remember all the details of a meeting he had with parole board members during which the case of Wayne DuMond came up. But he asserted, 'I didn't try to, you know, push anybody's buttons on it.'"

MCCAIN: A flip-flopping McCain? So says the Washington Times. "Sen. John McCain has quietly been piling up flip-flops, including ditching his long-held support for the Law of the Sea convention and telling bloggers he now opposes the DREAM Act to legalize illegal alien students. The sea treaty has become the latest litmus test for the 2008 Republican presidential field, and after a decade-long record of public support for it, Mr. McCain has pivoted to bring himself in line with the rest of the candidates."

ROMNEY: The ARG poll out yesterday shows Romney ahead in New Hampshire over Giuliani and McCain, 30%-23%-17%. 
Romney, who is largely credited with turning around the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, said he would lobby for the Summer Olympics to go to Chicago in 2016 if he's elected.