The Morning Read: Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rudy Giuliani has lost his lead and the top four G.O.P. candidates within six points of each other in the latest national poll, this one from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

Hours after that poll was released, Rudy Giuliani was admitted to a Missouri hospital with flu-like symptoms. Coincidence?

Giuliani’s lead is also evaporating in California, according to a new Field Poll.

Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton both want people to think they’re normal.

Shockingly, there are suggestions that Mitt Romney’s recent penchant for tearing up may be calibrated for effect.

The private correspondences of Mike Huckabee– with the now-obligatory Huckabee family Christmas card photo.

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register defends the Iowa caucuses as a vital American institution. (They’re also the only reason anyone has ever heard of David Yepsen.)

Barack Obama, who likes to paint Hillary Clinton as a timid leader, voted “present” 130 times in the Illinois state Legislature.

Good job, Democratic Congress: You’ve courageously slashed the number of earmarks in the budget to a mere 9,000.

A friend of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is probably a friend of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne barnstorm New Hampshire for John Edwards.

Not surprisingly, Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Schumer don’t like the idea of limiting flights at Kennedy and Newark.

Davidson Goldin says Bloomberg initially just wanted to be heard on a national stage. Also, Goldin puts the price tag of a Bloomberg presidential campaign at $2 billion.

Bloomberg is hosting incoming mayors at City Hall today.

Todd Beeton of MyDD thinks Bloomberg may be a redundant candidate: "You got the ‘CEO efficiency expert’ in Romney, you have the ‘tough big city mayor’ in Giuliani and you have the ‘post-partisan uniter’ in Barack Obama.

A poll conducted on the dating website, Jdate, named Bloomberg one of the most popular Jews of 2007, behind Larry David and Sarah Silverman (but ahead of Barbara Boxer and Arlen Specter!).

And Mort Kondracke of Roll Call just wants everyone to get along.

The Morning Read: Thursday, December 20, 2007