• In 1996 Steve Forbes bought enough TV ads to fill a network. For his second presidential campaign, he's hiring enough people to staff one. The publishing tycoon, who plans to make it official this week, is rolling out a team that dwarfs his rivals'. "Forbes' strategy has been, If it moves, hire it," says Senator John Ashcroft, a onetime rival.

    Forbes' new hires reflect his intense courtship of the G.O.P. social conservatives he so angered in 1996. This time he has recruited veterans of the Buchanan brigade and Christian Coalition chieftains in California, Iowa, Georgia and Alaska. These activists will be crucial if Forbes hopes to win early contests. "It's a smart move, snatching up every Christian Coalition and evangelical person that he can," says Bobbie Gobel, head of the Christian Coalition in Iowa, who lost her executive director to Forbes because she couldn't match his offer. Rivals, who back-load salaries to preserve precious cash, charge that Forbes is paying outsize prices to drain the talent pool. Says one who got away: "I don't even think I'm worth what they were offering me." --John F. Dickerson/Washington