Long-shot Democratic presidential candidates Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson have recently been blessed with prominent profiles in the Times.
Connecticut senator Dodd got a highly flattering front-page profile  September 24 outlining his quest to vindicate his father, the late Sen. Thomas Dodd, censured by the Senate for diverting campaign funds to personal use.
This Tuesday, second-tier Democrat Biden made the front page with Michael Cooper's "A Senate Star Sparkles Less On the Stump ." And on Thursday, the flattering spotlight turned to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in Leslie Wayne's "Candidate Has an Eye On Edging Up to No. 3 ."
That makes three favorable profile stories on Democratic long-shots in less than three weeks, two on the front page, and none carrying a genuine news hook.
How are the GOP also-rans faring in soft profile coverage?
Checking the coverage of four second-tier mainstream Republican candidates (Sen. Sam Brownback, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Duncan Hunter, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee), Times Watch found a total ofone profilein the last three months, a front-page story on Mike Huckabee, but only after he made news by coming in a surprise second in the Iowa straw poll. (Tancredo got a less-than-favorable news piece in the August 21 Metro section by attacking Newark, N.J.'s sanctuary policy for illegal immigrants. In both cases there was a news hook.)