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8:20 PM ET, January 12, 2008


 Top Items: 
The State:
John McCain clearly the best in GOP primary  —  FOR SOUTH CAROLINA, and to some extent for the nation, the choice among Republican candidates for president has come down to two men.  —  First Rudy Giuliani, then Mitt Romney looked at political realities and fled the Palmetto State, deciding their priorities lay elsewhere.
Discussion: The Swamp and
Paul Vitello / New York Times:
A Combative Thompson Sways Voters  —  MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — John and Ann Berenberk dutifully watched the umpteenth Republican presidential debate on television on Thursday night and had an epiphany.  It was about the candidate they had previously referred to as the tall, silent one.  Fred D. Thompson.
Robert Novak / Real Clear Politics:
Women vs. Oprah  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The absence of Oprah Winfrey from the frantic four last days of the New Hampshire primary campaign after her heavy schedule in Iowa backing Sen. Barack Obama may be traced to heavy, unaccustomed post-Iowa abuse of the popular entertainment superstar by women.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Joe Won't Be The Veep Pick For McCain  —  Unlike in the 2004 campaign, when a still-angry McCain allowed rumors of a second-slot deal with John Kerry to percolate just a little before denying them, the McCain campaign wants to scotch rumors of a similar deal with Senator Joe Lieberman.
Discussion: PSoTD and PoliGazette
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Young Evangelicals Embrace Huckabee as Old Guard Balks
Discussion: protein wisdom
Francis Wilkinson / New York Times:
Fighting to Lose  —  Nyack, N.Y.  —  IF parts of Hillary …
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Newt: Hillary shows courage, integrity  —  Newt Gingrich's on-again, off-again adulation of Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be back on.  —  The leader of the 1994 Republican revolution — who as House speaker in the mid 1990s clashed fiercely with then-first lady Clinton and her husband …
Wayne Washington / The State:
Clinton camp hits Obama |  Attacks ‘painful’ for black voters  —  Many in state offended by criticism of Obama, remarks about King  —  Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign …
Discussion: American Street, The Caucus and QandO
Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
MINORITY REPORTS  —  After New Hampshire, a hint of racial politics. … The brief interregnum between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary may be remembered as a time when it appeared that the magical qualities ascribed to Barack Obama included an ability to suspend all the ordinary rules of politics.
Discussion: American Street
New York Times:
Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks About Recent Comments  —  WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans …
Meghan Daum / Los Angeles Times:
Hillary's gotta have it  —  In courting the voters, maybe she should play by ‘The Rules.’
Discussion: Unqualified Offerings
Booman Tribune:
The Clintons' Racial Strategy
Discussion: Firedoglake and Oliver Willis
Gateway Pundit:
VICTORY!... In Kuwait Bush Claims Surge a Huge Success!  (Video)  —  “History will say, it was when you were called upon, you served, and the service you rendered was absolutely necessary to defeat an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home...”
Stephanie Hooper /
Clinton adviser arrested in Nashua  —  —  NASHUA - A top Clinton adviser faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated after city police caught him speeding through Greeley Park a day before the state primary.  —  Sidney Blumenthal …
Discussion: BitsBlog
Washington Post:
Objects From Iranian Boats Posed No Threat, Navy Says  —  The small, boxlike objects dropped in the water by Iranian boats as they approached U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday posed no threat to the American vessels, U.S. officials said yesterday, even as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and AMERICAblog
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Ben Nelson To Endorse Obama  —  Now this is a predictable development as Ben Nelson is the king of bipartisanship, voting with Republicans more than any other Democrat: … Again, the national implications for me are not positive for Obama, they are negative.
Jake Thompson / Omaha World-Herald:
Nelson's support shows broad Obama appeal
Discussion: Daily Kos
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
Iraq to reinstate Saddam party followers  —  BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament passed a benchmark law Saturday allowing lower-ranking former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to reclaim government jobs, the first major piece of U.S.-backed legislation it has adopted.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Dissent Of The Day  —  A reader writes:
Discussion: TalkLeft, Althouse and The RBC
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Chris Matthews stands behind his words  —  Chris Matthews has been taking a lot of heat over his vitriolic analysis of Hillary Clinton's political career during MSNBC's coverage of the NH primary.  Is it possible that Hillary might have won her Senate seat without the scandal that Bill was involved in?
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles
Ezra Levant:
Kangaroo court  —  I have just returned home from my session …
Tristero / Hullabaloo:
Huckabee And The Murderer: The Mother Of A Victim Speaks.
Joan Z. Shore / The Huffington Post:
They're Driving Us Crazy (or, A Couple More Reasons Why I Love France)
Discussion: Don Surber
New York Times:
Inquiry Looks at Withholding of Loan Data
Discussion: Calculated Risk and RADAMISTO
Saudi activist released ahead of Bush's visit
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
New Poll: McCain leads Romney by 7% in Michigan
Washington Post:
U.S. Political Drama Compels — and Baffles
Little Green Footballs:
AP Rewrites Rathergate History
David Hardy / Of Arms and the Law:
Government files amicus — on DC's side!
Cutting Through the Katrina Krapola