The Run Around

Anticipation is beginning to mount for Hagel’s run at the White House. … except GOP insiders are still not seeing much of a chance. … Meanwhile, some are wondering whether Hagel would be open to running as an independent, something he will eventually have to answer.

Duncan Hunter

A youtube video of Glenn Beck’s interview of Hunter about the war. … Instapundit (Glen Reynolds) and his wife interviewed Duncan Hunter, listen to it here. …. This author considers Hunter the only real conservative in the field. … A position paper on Hunter’s stance on immigration. … Hunter also supports more money for health programs for troops. … A San Diego columnist defends his critical comments on Hunter, calling him no Reagan Republican.

Jim Gilmore

Gilmore’s expertise in terrorism and German is a stark contrast to Pres. Bush. … Gilmore is hosting a funraiser on March 27 to be attended by busniess leaders including former Treasury Sec. John Snow.

John McCain

McCain was in Manhattan yesterday raising attending fundraisers. He was strongly endorsed by none other than Henry Kissinger. McCain said while in Manhattan that he was not concerned about Giuliani’s lead. … McCain said earlier tonight in South Carolina that the path to victory would be found by appealing to the base; that may have been a subtle jab at Giuliani as well. … Get ready for “Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain.” The group is attacking McCain for leading the way in normalizing relations with Vietnam. I haven’t seen anything so far that would have the mass appeal that the Swift Boat ads did; most Americans seem to be content with normal relations with Vietnam in present day. The most bizarre part of the article is them accusing McCain of being a possible Manchurian Candidate sent by the Chinese. … On a lighter note, Sen. Burr of North Carolina is endorsing McCain.

Mike Huckabee

Debra Vanderbeek, veteran of Rep. Jeb Bradley’s House campaign, will manage Huckabee’s campaign in New Hampshire. … Huckabee’s long time chief political advisor has apparently lefthis campaign for reasons still unclear.

Mitt Romney

The wife of Sen. Jim DeMint is among the leaders of Romney’s South Carolina leadership team. … Romney is visiting Florida soon, and is using his Spanish language ad to pave the way; Jeb Bush’s team still closely supports him. … Romney is going to Idaho Tuesday for a fundraiser, and the governor Butch Otter will be in attendance. … “Massachusetts Republicans for Truth” are launching a campaign to ‘educate’ the public on Romney’s history of flip-flops. The ROmney campaign said they were a small but vocal minority of the Massachusetts GOP. … Georgia GOP, including some who endorsed Romney, introduced a English-only initiative the same day Romney started airing his Spanish ad. … Romney was in West Virginia and talked up coal, trade, and traditional marriage. He also mentioned initiating a Marshall Plan for the Middle East.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich coninues his rounds of personal atonement in preparation of his official run at the Presidency. He spoke to Jerry Falwell about his ‘moral shortcomings’ and will give the commencement speech at Falwell’s Liberty University this spring. … More on the Gingrich Katrina comment, including video …

Ron Paul

Ron Paul has a bill in Congress that would prevent the government from distinguishing firearms owned in self-defense from those owned for sport. …

Rudy Giuliani

It’s a common fact that revolutions are followed by counter-revolutions. The French Revolution was followed by the Thermidorrean Reaction. The White Revolution in Russia was followed by the October Revolution. And now the Giuliani revolution seems to be giving way to the anti-Giuliani movement. It started innocently enough, with his son mentioning his divorce, and that while he would support him, he would not campaign for him. In fact, even that report seems to be contested in its legitimacy. But the lid is being blown off now, starting with strong criticism by the International Association of Fire Fighters. The group, which has criticized the former mayor in the past, criticized Giuliani for his actions in November 2001, when he stopped the search remains of firefighters killed on 9/11. The stringent comments were in a “private” letter “accidentally” released after Giuliani turned down an invitation to speak to them. The letter stated: “Mayor Giuliani’s actions meant that firefighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like so much garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills landfill. … Hundreds remained entombed in Ground Zero when Giuliani gave up on them.” Giuliani’s campaign responded with the endorsement of a NYC firefighter and announcement of 100 more in South Carolina. However, there are reports that the letter came from an IAFF affiliate that supported Bush in 04, which would make the criticism obviously much more significant than it already is. … Continuing the run against Giuliani, the right-wing head of the Southern Baptist Convention went off on Giuliani’s second divorce. Video here. … Giuliani is also starting to attract comments about his history in NYC of being power hungry. … The coup de grace against Giuliani: failing in a comparison to Ann Coulter. … And even big names are saying that Giuliani’s liberal leanings on abortion and gay rights will come back to hurt him. … The only place not to turn against Giuliani so far: the polls. We’ll see how long that lasts…

Sam Brownback

Brownback introduced that Parents’ Tax Relief Act which aims to give married parents tax breaks. … Brownback is polling close to Clinton when pitted head to head. … Brownback might be to the GOP as Richardson is to the Democrats: an unknown candidate with large breakout potential. His strong stance on social issues is attracting people to him surely but surely. … Brownback would not rule out any other GOP candidate as a potential running mate.

Tom Tancredo

Tancredo blames “hyphenated conservatives” such as neo-conservatives, compassionate conservatives, economic conservatives, etc. for recent problems, and is calling for a return to plain old conservatism. … Tancredo is still throwing verbal barbs at next door neighbor Rep. Ellison, including one about an exorcist. … Tancredo has had more visitors to his website this year than any Republican candidate except John McCain. Tancredo strong anti-imigration following probably gave him an edge here. …

Tommy Thompson

Apparently, a Tommy Thompson official announcement of a Presidential run is forthcoming. Thompson stated, “I am absolutely, ninety percent certain that I will be a candidate for President. I will be making my announcement sometime relatively soon. I am in Iowa on a weekly basis. And, I have a tremendous organization building in Iowa, and that’s the first caucus state, and I feel very good about my position and where I am at.” That brings the total to one of the people who feel good about his position in the race. … Thompson was apparently booed at CPAC. …