COMMENTS: Off & Running

Both NBC and ABC went on the campaign trail. ABC's John Berman (subscription required) covered the so-called money primary: the competition to rank highest in the Federal Election Commission's report on quarter-by-quarter contributions. This week has seen a fundraising frenzy: nine held by John McCain, seven by Rudolph Giuliani, five by Hillary Rodham Clinton in just two days and so on. Mitt Romney's son has promised a 10% commission to student fundraisers who bring in at least $1,000. Would-be First Husband Bill Clinton runs spinning classes--$2,300 per stationery bicycle--at a New York City health club.

NBC's David Gregory followed up on The New York Times' front page investigation into Republican Giuliani's hiring techniques when he was Mayor of New York City. Did Giuliani know that Interstate Industrial Corp, a business run by his close aide Bernard Kerik, was suspected of ties to organized crime? Kerik became one of Giuliani's Commissioners of Police and was later recommended, strongly but unsuccessfully, by Giuliani for the post of Homeland Security Secretary, Gregory reminded us. Kerik is a potential "skeleton in Giuliani's closet." Meanwhile Giuliani himself sat down with ABC's Barbara Walters (no link) for a profile on 20/20. Walters inquired whether would-be First Wife Judith would attend his Cabinet meetings. "If she wanted to," he replied. ABC's Kate Snow, substitute anchor for Charles Gibson, read Giuliani's subsequent clarification: "My wife is not political but, as a nurse, she is interested in healthcare issues."


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