Here's new blog for those of you care about this stuff: Campaign Standard, a thoughtful many-times-a-day briefing by Matt Continetti. (Read my 2006 interview with Continetti here.) Bob Novak's weekly report, with reporting by Timothy P. Carney, remains essential.
A brief rundown of the week…
– Hillary Clinton ran the gauntlet of five Sunday talk shows without breaking a sweat. Ben Smith speculates that her satellite-delayed booming laugh was "probably the week's main contribution to pop culture" and started "the witch meme." When I met Terry MacAuliffe in early 2007 (the weekend Obama entered the race) he told me Hillary had a "great belly laugh" that voters were going to love, for what that's worth.
– On Wednesday the Democrats stared down Tim Russert in one of the less interesting debates so far. Obama was somnalent, Edwards was saurian, Hillary was sthenic. None of the frontrunners committed to pulling "all troops" out of Iraq.
– On Thursday all but four Republicans worked out their racial issues on PBS in a suprisingly substantive debate that you didn't watch.
– C.R.E.A.M. September 30 is the third quarter deadline for federal campaign fundraising. Everyone expects the newly-public-financed John Edwards to crumple up like a Shrinky Dink in a blast furnace. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder has been hounding the rest of the field and expects slightly lower numbers than last quarter from the frontrunners. Fred Thompson's expected to raise around $6 million. The Prowler reports that Giuliani, having set a $20 million goal, is going to fall short but beat the other GOP candidates anyway, with something north of $10 million.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul's fundraising machine is chugging along nicely. [UPDATE: In the hurry to get this post up I had the wrong number of days. The following numbers are correct.] A 7-day fundraising goal of $500,000 was met in three days: The new goal, according to Paul, is $1 million by Sunday. The campaign is confident that it will surpass the $2.4 million it raised last quarter. "We are going to beat it," a Paul adviser told me. "By how much is left to be seen."
– Newt Approacheth. Newt Gingrich baited reporters all week with rumors of a presidential run, and on Friday he slyly announced a new website: A prefabricated "Draft Newt" hub. If it was a ploy to win attention for this weekend's American Solutions workshops, it worked and it didn't work. It worked because, well, you're actually hearing about his American Solutions workshops. It didn't work because, as Chris Orr points out, few actual humans are attenting the hundreds of Solutions workshops.
Below the fold…
– As shadowly forces inside the California GOP watch their vote-splitting ballot initiative sputter, John J. Pitney peers into the debate between conservative and liberal wings of the party. Who's the heir to Reagan: Arnold, the hard righters, or both of them?
– Rolling Stone remembers when Joe Trippi, John Edwards' consultant, said that taking public financing would mean "getting the shit kicked out of him" in the election. He was right!