Round Two: [Elisabeth Bumiller, The New York Times]: “Mr. McCain, who over the last seven years methodically courted important South Carolina Republicans and showered them with money from his political action committee, now has them on board to try to intercept the attacks before there is major damage.”


Lowering Expectations: [Jonathan Martin and Lisa Lerer, Politico]: “Romney’s South Carolina strategy amounts to being politically half-pregnant. He doesn’t want to raise expectations in a state he likely can’t win, so he’s dashing off to Nevada midday Thursday to compete in the lightly contested caucuses there Saturday.”


Unready for the Big Stage: [Michael D. Shear and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post]: “But the race turns national after Saturday's primary here, and none of the GOP candidates is showing signs of success in finding broader themes to unite the party ahead of the fall campaign against Democrats”


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, lagging far behind his opponents for the GOP presidential nomination in fundraising, has been very successful in maximizing free media exposure and unconventional campaign tactics to get out his message and jump to the top of the polls.”


Old Enemies: [Rebecca Sinderbrand, CNN]: “Karl Rove dismissed Hillary Clinton’s Michigan primary win Wednesday, telling a group of Republican party leaders that her victory showed signs of weakness.”


--Ben Crair