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Oh-eight (R): Rudy's grilling

GIULIANI: The New York Post's headline on Giuliani's Meet the Press performance: "Rudy hard-pressed to defend gal pal's security" and wrote that he "stammered his way through." 

The New York Daily News puts his appearance on the cover with this banner head: "Rudy gets a grillin:' Faces grueling TV inquisition over business, love life and judgment." The News writes, "His explanation of Nathan's police car service doesn't square with Friday's Daily News exclusive report, citing multiple witnesses and a law enforcement source, that she was being protected by city taxpayers months before the affair was revealed in May 2000."

The Washington Post's Mosk picked up on Giuliani's statement on Meet the Press, in which he  "reaffirmed … that he continues to hold a financial stake in the security consulting firm he launched after leaving the New York mayor's office and said the company's client list will remain confidential." Giuliani on Giuliani Partners: "'Just about every single client of Giuliani Partners, which is my security company, has been discussed, has been examined, certainly every significant one,' he said."

More: "But many of the firm's clients have never been listed on its Web site or identified publicly by associates, and two of the most controversial arrangements among them surfaced only in recent weeks. One involved a 2005 agreement to provide security advice to the government of Qatar. The second stemmed from a deal to assist a partnership proposing a Southeast Asian gambling venture. Among the partners were relatives of a Hong Kong billionaire who has ties to the government of North Korea's Kim Jong Il and has been linked to international organized crime, according to a Chicago Tribune report."

The Wall Street Journal followed up on the Giuliani "Meet" interview, particularly on the part that focused on the story the WSJ broke: Rudy's ties to Qatar. 
The New York Times looks at Giuliani's days as a US attorney. It's a pretty good piece for Rudy. "He possessed a junkyard-dog toughness and moral clarity that left his deputies exhilarated. Action, he told them, was preferable to hesitation, and so they laid low the mob and pressed reform on Wall Street.

HUCKABEE: The former governor was asked about his 1992 AIDS comment on Fox News Sunday, and he said "he will not run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated." More Huck: "'I still believe this today,' he said in a broadcast interview, that 'we were acting more out of political correctness' in responding to the AIDS crisis. 'I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect."

The Los Angeles Times delves into the Dumond situation and focuses on how much Huckabee himself was lobbied on this issue.

Isn't a Frank Rich endorsement in the GOP primary a kiss of death? Check out Rich's lead in yesterday's New York Times: "COULD 2008 actually end up being a showdown between the author of "The Audacity of Hope" and the new Man from Hope, Ark.?" More Rich: "The real reason for Mr. Huckabee's ascendance may be that his message is simply more uplifting — and, in the ethical rather than theological sense, more Christian — than that of rivals whose main calling cards of fear, torture and nativism have become more strident with every debate. The fresh-faced politics of joy may be trumping the five-o'clock-shadow of Nixonian gloom and paranoia favored by the entire G.O.P. field with the sometime exception of John McCain."

MCCAIN: The Boston Globe examines the "sober" tone McCain has taken on the campaign trail. "The rousing, militant candidate of 2000 has given way to a frequently affectless noncombatant. His campaign carries a muted aesthetic - a logo with a simple, martial rendering of his last name, direct-mail pieces (typically designed to be eye-catching in a stack of junk mail) in a cold monochrome - and McCain often has the grave tone to match."

PAUL: The Libertarian Party released the following statement over the weekend: "In a meeting of the Libertarian National Committee held today in Charleston, South Carolina, former Congressman Bob Barr proposed a resolution urging Congressman Ron Paul to seek the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination." So there's Plan B... But doesn't Paul risk not being allowed to run in certain states because of sore-loser laws? Some states don't allow losing candidates in a primary to run on another party line. This is why Pat Buchanan had to withdraw from the GOP race so early in 1999 -- so he could get the Reform Party nod in 2000.

ROMNEY: Maureen Dowd was no fan of Romney's religion speech. "The world is globalizing, nuclear weapons are proliferating, the Middle East is seething, but Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial. Mitt was right when he said that 'Americans do not respect believers of convenience.' Now if he would only admit he's describing himself."