Even before he has formally entered the presidential race, the former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been embarrassed by the leak of a voluminous campaign document, listing possibly "insurmountable" obstacles, including his marital history and liberal social views, that could torpedo his candidacy.
Mr Giuliani, who is currently making up his mind whether to run, is at or near the top of every poll of possible candidates for the Republican nomination in 2008, mainly on the basis of his much admired handling of the 11 September attacks and their aftermath. But the 140-page strategy document, obtained by the New York Daily News lists his liabilities as well, including his stormy divorce from Donna Hanover, one of his former wives, his ties to his former aide Bernard Kerik, embroiled in scandal and controversy, and his support for abortion rights, gay civil union and gun control.
While these views give Mr Giuliani cross-party appeal, they may be too much to stomach for conservative Republican primary voters. The document also says that he needs to raise $100m (£50m) to fund a campaign. The document was apparently lost in the luggage of a staff member, before falling into the hands of someone "sympathetic to one of Giuliani's rivals for the White House" who then gave it to the Daily News.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the youthful first-term Illinois senator weighing a bid for the Democratic nomination, is coming under fresh scrutiny for admitting that he used cocaine and other drugs when he was student.