I can't decide which title for Giuliani's scandal is better: The Shag Fund, or Sex on the City. (From TPM and Kos respectively.)
Yes, in one of your more spectacular scandals that a Republican has been involved in since, oh, last month, it would appear that Rudy Giuliani was baggin' his mistress on the taxpayer's dime. Which isn't going to sell him too well to the Republican faithful.
Yet none of the other big Republicans appear to be doing so well either. His putative opponent, Mitt Romney, is on the edge of losing Iowa to breakout Chuck Norris fan Mike Huckabee, mostly because Huckabee has been playing this primary like a Stradivarius while Romney has been too busy taking potshots at loyal American Muslims to do anything other than smile pretty for the cameras. Fred Thompson is napping through the whole thing, and John McCain is, well, John McCain.
I find it hard to care, because I'm still convinced that almost everybody in this mob would get their butts handed to them by any given Dem that isn't Mike Gravel, but I have to admit that the Republican battle is becoming quite the entertaining tossup. EVERYBODY's been taking hits, but SOMEBODY has to become the nominee, so it's a question of relative strength, not absolute strength.
Except for one thing: I'm becoming more and more convinced that Huckabee is the one to watch. He's the only one that hasn't been screwing up much, and while I find his "I'm a christian and they aren't" ads more than a little disturbing, I do have to admit that they're exactly what the sole viable protestant Republican should be doing if he wants to have a serious shot at this. He did well in the last debate, too. Yes, he has tons of weaknesses, particularly on taxes, but they aren't as glaring as those plaguing Romney and Giuliani.
That said, Obama would crush him, and I think the question now on the Democratic side is whether Obama's momentum and Clinton's continuing slide will happen quickly enough to make things a horse-race. Hard to say.
Tell you one thing, though: If Hillary keeps on pulling attacks this weak, I'd say that Obama's momentum might be stronger than we thought. They stink of desperation.