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The Daily 2008

National Journal released its '06 vote ratings, showing each party just how orthodox their presidential candidates are. Sen. Barack Obama is the most liberal Democrat running, followed by Sens. Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. For Republicans, Sen. Chuck Hagel voted more conservatively than Sens. Sam Brownback and John McCain.

In South Carolina, McCain and Brownback finished third and forth in yesterday's Republican straw poll, behind winner Rudy Giuliani and second-place finisher Rep. Duncan Hunter. Mitt Romney finished fifth. Romney and Giuilani will speak at today's CPAC conference in Washington, where conservatives attack the GOP as "big-government, free-spending coddlers of illegal immigrants." Romney tried to associate Giuliani with those positions during a New Hampshire interview by calling him "pro-gay marriage and antigun."

At today's AIPAC meeting in Chicago, Obama seeks to "convince skeptical Jewish voters that he is as reliable a supporter of Israel as any of the better-known" Democratic candidates. On Sunday, Obama and Clinton will attend the a commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, AL. The event is receiving even more attention now that Bill Clinton will join his wife and bring his "star power and popularity among African Americans" to the weekend that had been "shaping up as a showcase" for Obama's candidacy. This competition between Obama and Clinton entered into the SC Legislative Black Caucus' decision over who will keynote their spring gala.

Though the biggest news about Obama and African-Americans today is not political, but ancestoral. A "first draft" genealogical report says Obama's forebears of his white mother owned slaves in 1850s Kansas.

Notably absent from the news lately has been John Edwards, which Democratic insiders speculate is being coy to hide the strength of his fundraising. Edwards showed a little leg today with the announcement that he raised $1 million online since December -- the same amount Clinton raised in a week. Obama and McCain are trading proposals to stay in the public financing system if both men win their parties' nominations.

Staying out of the Democratic fray is Tom Vilsack, who said he hasn't decided whether to endorse one of the Democrats running for president or whether he'll challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2010.

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