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Tancredo Out Of Race; Rudy Out Of Hospital

Mission Accomplished [Anne C. Mulkern, Denver Post]: "Rep. Tom Tancredo plans to withdraw from the GOP presidential field today, ending a campaign in which he failed to gain much attention or traction as rivals largely adopted his long-held immigration positions. ... Tancredo succeeded in pushing his immigration message, analysts said."

Rudy Sick, Better Now [Michael Cooper and Graham Bowley, The New York Times]: "Rudolph W. Giuliani was admitted to the hospital in St. Louis late Wednesday with flu-like symptoms but was expected to leave the hospital and fly to New York later Thursday after doctors said they found nothing of concern, his campaign said."

Kerrey's Sorry [Nedra Pickler, Associated Press]: "Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey has apologized to Barack Obama for any unintentional insult he committed by raising the Democratic presidential candidate's Muslim heritage while endorsing rival candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Vote For Me, I Love Christmas! [Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times]: "At least five presidential hopefuls have released ads or video Christmas messages. Most steer clear of politics."

Rudy Slides; SC Tied [NBC/Wall Street Journal; SurveyUSA]: New NBC/WSJ national poll (Dec. 14-17, MoE +/- 4.4 (D), 5.2 (R)). Democrats: Clinton 45 percent, Obama 23, Edwards 13. Republicans: Romney 20 percent, Giuliani 20, Huckabee 17, McCain 14, Thompson 11. New South Carolina Democratic poll (Dec. 17-18, MoE +/- 4.5 percent). Clinton 41 percent, Obama 39, Edwards 17.

--Josh Patashnik