Memo to Fred Thompson: Put up or shut up

In 1952, a noted editor wrote that Dwight Eisenhower was running for president "like a dry creek." His wry observation was credited with kick-starting what until then had been a non-campaign, with the famous general mainly content to rest on the laurels of a brilliant military career.

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Fixing the Republican funk

The $64,000 political question is what, if anything, will energize the Republican Party?

An undercurrent attitude is taking hold that it's inevitable that the White House in 2008 will follow the Congress and fall into the hands of the Democratic Party.

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Another (yawn) GOP debate

Under pressure from their rivals, the leading Republican presidential contenders defended their conservative credentials on abortion, gun control and tax cuts in a feisty debate Tuesday night.

"Republicans should be uniting" to defeat the Democrats, implored former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, rather than stressing their differences with one another.

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Religious leader Jerry Falwell dead at 73

Rev. Jerry Falwell
  Rev. Jerry Falwell (AP)

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. "CPR efforts were unsuccessful," he said.

Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell "has a history of heart challenges."

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Rudy’s potential conflicts of interest

Energy companies, FBI agents, a media tycoon and even a candlemaker: Rudy Giuliani's firm has lobbied for them all and dozens more in Washington, opening the door to a wide range of potential conflicts of interest should he become president.

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Romney: America ready for a Mormon President

Mitt Romney and wife
Mitt Romney & wife (AP)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he also is troubled by the Mormon church's past practice of polygamy, but that he can overcome voter concern about his religion.

"What's at the heart of my faith is a belief that there's a creator, that we're all children of the same God and that fundamentally the relationship you have with your spouse is important and eternal," he said Sunday on CBS' "60 minutes."

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McCain admits Bush hurts GOP

John McCain (AP)
Sen. John McCain (AP)

John McCain wants it both ways.

The Arizona Senator and Presidential candidate admits President George W. Bush's low poll numbers hurt the Republican Party but still believes he can run for President on a platform of unqualified support for the unpopular Iraq war.

In doing so, he appears oblivious to poll numbers that show his own Presidential numbers heading south.

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Presidential race tightens up

  Sen. Hillary Clinton (AP)

The races for both parties’ presidential nominations are showing signs of tightening. Yet a closer look at the numbers also reveals intriguing crosscurrents that raise questions about how solid the presumed Democratic advantage may be in November 2008.

Surveys show that people would clearly prefer that the Democratic Party win the White House next year, which political operatives and analysts attribute to the deep unpopularity of President Bush and the war in Iraq and a broad desire for change.

When top Republican and Democratic candidates are paired, however, the GOP hopefuls generally do quite well or at least hold their own.

Next year’s Election Day is eons away in political time, and many things could happen to alter today’s dynamics. For now, the surveys raise questions about whether the apparent Democratic edge would really hold up should GOP candidates with moderate credentials like Rudy Giuliani or John McCain face Democrats such as Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama.

When people are asked which party they want to capture the White House, "They tell you about the general climate or mood, and that’s not good for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster not working for a presidential candidate.

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Keith Olbermann: The left wing’s Bill O’Reilly?

 
   Keith Olbermann (AP Photo)

In an angry commentary on April 25, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann accused Rudolph Giuliani of using the language of Osama bin Laden with "the same chilling nonchalance of the madman" to argue that Republicans would keep Americans safer than Democrats from terror.

Eight days later, Olbermann hosted MSNBC’s coverage of the first debate among Republican candidates for president.

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