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Pure Horserace: Rudy Is Agenda-Driven

It's not exactly the Ten Commandments, but Rudy Giuliani's campaign today unveiled a glimpse of the former New York City Mayor's campaign platform. They call it Giuliani's "Twelve Commitments," and, as you might expect, it kicks off with a commitment to "keep America on offense in the terrorists' war on us" in the top spot.

For all those who parse the phrasing of politicians, "the terrorists' war on us" is quite different from President Bush's usual "war on terrorism," and it echoes his rhetoric on the campaign trial where he describes the conflict as one of necessity more than one of choice. Giuliani's 12 commitments also includes a pledge to prepare "every community" for future attacks and natural disasters.

His list also includes some buzzwords and phrases for the conservative base, such as: "restore fiscal discipline," "end illegal immigration," "cut taxes" and "strict constitutional judges." No mention of overturning Roe v. Wade or the Second Amendment — but that's no surprise, as Giuliani appears to be hoping his emphasis on terrorism and fiscal conservatism will be enough to help him nab the nomination. — Vaughn Ververs

Surveying The Polls: We don't like to hyperventilate over polls here at Pure Horserace, but sometimes they hint at something new or unexpected, or indicate an interesting trend. It just so happened that three such polls were released today, showing good news for Hillary Clinton and bad news for John McCain.

A new Washington Post poll indicates that Hillary Clinton's biggest asset is one that cannot be taken away by any rival in either party: her gender. The nationwide poll gives Clinton a 15-percentage point lead over Barack Obama and attributes it entirely to her 2-to-1 edge over Obama among women voters. She drew support from more than half the women surveyed, well above Obama's 24 percent and the 11 percent who backed John Edwards.

Of course, there is a downside to this for Clinton: Conventional wisdom suggested that women voters would be drawn to Clinton — is her support among them really much of an achievement? It also tells her rivals where they need to focus their efforts.

But those points may be overshadowed by the latest poll from New Hampshire, which shows Clinton expanding her lead in the home of the nation's first primary. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, 36 percent of likely Democratic voters back Clinton — up from 27 percent in early April — compared with 22 percent for Obama. Faring poorly was Edwards, who saw his support fall to 12 percent from 21 percent in early April. The survey also showed Bill Richardson breaking into double digits. All four candidates received minor bumps when Al Gore was removed from the equation.

While Clinton has so far had little trouble maintaining her front-runner status, McCain's effort to regain the lead among Republicans appears troubled. In fact, the latest Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll paints the battle for the GOP nomination as a two-man race between former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and actor/former Sen. Fred Thompson. Giuliani was backed by 27 percent in the survey, with 21 percent supporting Thompson, who hasn't officially entered the race. McCain was far behind at 12 percent, just barely edging out Mitt Romney, who came in fourth at 10 percent.

McCain performs better in polls in early primary states, but coming dangerously close to single digits in a national poll can't be encouraging, especially when one also considers reports that McCain hasn't performed well in fundraising this quarter. The next three weeks — the fundraising quarter ends June 30 — are shaping up as a crucial test of McCain's viability. As always, take these polls with a shaker of salt. It's early and much is certain to change over the next six months. But, in this end-of-the-quarter near-lull, it's what political junkies have to chew over until those fund-raising numbers come in. — David Miller

Humor — With A Point? Bill Richardson is back with a third installment of his popular "job interview" ads. In this one, Richardson explains his commitment to combating global warming to a clearly uninterested job interviewer. The ad is running in Iowa and will soon be on the air in New Hampshire.

While Richardson is getting some attention for his humorous approach to introducing himself to early primary voters, this one has a rather pointed message beyond the subject of climate change. The annoying interviewer, who seems to be representing the media, cares little about the hefty subject Richardson discusses and only wants an answer to the question, "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" A not-so-subtle reminder of the media's inability to focus on the important issues? You be the judge. — Vaughn Ververs

Time To Update Your Résumé: If you're looking for a job in politics, the Wyoming Republican Party has a great position for you. The qualifications are pretty simple: Must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for nine years and a Wyoming resident. A bit of a commute is required though, because the job is in Washington, serving as one of Wyoming's senators.

The Wyoming GOP is soliciting applications from anyone who would like to be on the list of three candidates it submits to Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal to replace the late Sen. Craig Thomas, who died June 4. Wyoming is one of the few states that requires a replacement senator to come from the same party as the predecessor.

A caveat for potential applicants: Like many job listings, a few potential favorites are already out there, ranging from state legislators to Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife. But if you still think you have a shot, the application form is posted online. Hurry up though — it's due on Thursday. — David Miller

Editor's Note: Pure Horserace is a daily update of political news as interpreted by the political observers at Click here to sign up for the e-mail version.

By Vaughn Ververs and David Miller