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Oh-eight (R): Rudy stands by strategy

GIULIANI: After the MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon poll showed Giuliani lagging far behind in Iowa, the New York Post headlines, "Rudy's got not heartland." "When you get to Florida and the Feb. 5 states, we're ahead in some cases by large percentages and in some case by closer percentages," Giuliani told Fox News. "We believe it's a good strategy and it's going to work."

The Washington Times' Dinan tracked Giuliani's Iowa campaign stops and notes the "reviews" are "far less kind" than they were during the summer when Giuliani was campaigning more regularly in the state.

Giuliani pens an essay on homeland security in City Journal, a quarterly published by the conservative Manhattan Institute. 

HUCKABEE: Other than appearing on "Meet the Press," Huckabee was down Sunday. What was he doing? Adviser Ed Rollins said Huckabee would spend part of the day taping a television ad, to run Monday, aimed at making sure that "the voters know the facts about the governor's record and Governor Romney's record."

PAUL: The Des Moines Register profiles Paul. "His message includes limited government, an end to the war in Iraq, protection of gun rights, lower taxes, strictly abiding by the Constitution and a balanced federal budget. It's a message that sets him apart from other Republican presidential candidates who mostly have supported the war and have not been nearly as aggressive about taking a stand on budget issues as Paul."

MCCAIN: This isn't quite the same story as we think the New York Times is working on, but the Washington Post writes that Mr. Campaign Finance Reform John McCain "has found himself assiduously courting both lobbyists and their wealthy clients, offering them private audiences as part of his fundraising. He also counts more than 30 lobbyists among his chief fundraisers, more than any other presidential contender."

"McCain aides bridle at the notion that the senator, who has consistently fought in the Senate against so-called pork-barrel spending from such interests and championed laws to restrict their lobbying and political donations, might favor his big contributors. 'There's never been anybody who's done more to rein in special interests and lobbyists than John McCain,' Davis said. 'If you give to him, you know there's no quid pro quo. People give to him because they want him to be president of the United States. They can't be motivated by any other reason.'" 

ROMNEY: The Boston Globe front-pages this headline: "Credibility pounded, Romney wrestles uncertainties."

THOMPSON: Interestingly, a candidate did something one rarely does this close to the caucuses: He raised expectations. "Campaigning heavily here over the past two weeks, Mr. Thompson has refined his message and yesterday released a 15-minute Web video laying out his qualifications and telling voters they need to pick a Republican nominee who is willing to call out Democratic leaders for abandoning their principles."

Thompson told reporters at a stop in Ames that he needs to finish second, though he refused to speculate what would happen if he doesn't meet that goal. Later, speaking to supporters in Webster City, he said, 'People say, "You'd be satisfied with a good third-place finish' -- No, no, no."

By the way, Thompson is back on the air in Iowa. As of late last week, he was one of the few major candidates (who was taking Iowa seriously) to NOT be on the air.