Is Romney buying himself into the race?

Updated
 

In a new segment, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews gives his take on the day’s top headlines. 


Is Iowa for sale?

Mitt Romney is outspending everyone but with Rudy, McCain and Thompson not in the race, will he get what he paid for?  Is this a “shake-down” as Rudy calls it?  Is Romney buying himself into the race?  Here’s what Romney’s spending to win:  between $500 and $1,000 a month for 60 “super volunteers,” over $2 million in TV ads, $200,000 goes to a consultant who is running the whole thing and he’s leasing a whole fleet of buses to ship the voters in.  But will the straw poll serve to whittle down the field?  And who will finish second?

That gay debate
A new poll shows an endorsement from gay groups actually hurts candidates in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.   The Dems go a-courting but do they just want the gay money?

The Clinton contradiction
Sen. Hillary Clinton slammed Barack Obama for saying he would not use nuclear weapons against Bin Laden in Pakistan in her efforts to paint him as naive and inexperienced.  But just last year when asked about the possibility of the Bush administration might use a nuclear strike on Iran, Hillary said, “I have said publicly no option should be off the table but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table.”  Is Hillary opening herself up to that famous phrase from 2004?  Is she a flip-flopper?   

Rudy at ground zero
Rudy Giuliani asked about the health risks at ground zero said he was at ground zero as often, if not more than most of the workers. “I was there working with them.  I was exposed to the same things they were exposed to.  So in that sense, I am one of them.”   Really?   James Riches, a fire captain who firefighter son was killed on 9/11 said to the New York Post, “that’s insulting and disgraceful.  He’s a liar.”  Later today, Giuliani said he could have said it better and what he was trying to say was that he empathized with the ground zero workers because he feels like he faces the same health risk.

My five sons
Mitt Romney is casting himself as the hawk of hawks in this presidential campaign.  But asked this week in Iowa why none of his five grown sons is serving in the military - even though Romney is clamoring to increase the size of the army - he said they were serving the nation by helping him get elected.  But can anyone compare service in Iraq to the campaign trial in Iowa?

Is Romney buying himself into the race?

Updated