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Oops! That Was the Year that Wasn't

On The Radar

A year ago, soon after the Tunisian uprising, I demonstrated my powers of prediction in a column about the democracy movement in the Arab world. The revolution in Tunisia, I wrote, "arose from local circumstances that don't foretell what will happen anywhere else." Three weeks later, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak fell, and the Arab Spring was in full bloom. This brings me to the subject of today's column: A confession of my year's errors and omissions (along with a mention of one or two things I got right).

Take That!

On The Radar

There is no more perennial, or potentially perilous, reality of the modern presidential campaign than the planned, canned, not-always-grand one-liner—as this year’s Republican primary has reminded the world. Herman Cain’s whole campaign, to be honest, was a string of one-liners, until the punchlines ultimately knocked him out. Michele Bachmann has gotten off more than her share, including her description of her interchangeable, ersatz-conservative rivals as “Newt Romney,” and her one-word-association for Romney, when asked: “Hair.”

Ron Paul's Fans: Will They Vote GOP in 2012?

On The Radar

Allen Huffman wouldn’t even be a Republican if not for Ron Paul. The Texas congressman’s promise to get rid of the income tax prompted the 42-year-old to register with the GOP and to caucus for Paul in 2008. Huffman has participated in phone banks at Paul’s campaign office about a dozen times in recent weeks, but don’t expect him to volunteer if Paul is not the GOP nominee.
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Romney Prepares Aggressive Iowa Finish

On The Radar

Mitt Romney unveiled plans Thursday for an aggressive finishing sprint in Iowa designed to lock down a victory in Tuesday’s caucuses that would leave his rivals scrambling to catch up. Romney is far from a clear favorite in Iowa: Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) continues to show strength in the polls and is banking on a well-regarded organization, and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) is on the rise. But no campaign can match Romney’s for the breadth and depth of its infrastructure, and for the first time the weapons he can deploy are all on display.

Could Romney Score an Early Knockout?

On The Radar

Mitt Romney's campaign did its best on Wednesday to lower expectations, but no one was really buying it. As six of the contenders for the Republican nomination for president barnstormed across Iowa, there was a clear sense that Romney could be in position to lock down the nomination far sooner than could have been expected just a few days ago.
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Odd Notes, Mad-Dash Trips Mark Iowa Closing Sprint

On The Radar

Iowa's GOP presidential contest remains deeply unsettled, if not downright strange, five days before the Jan. 3 caucus. Rep. Ron Paul, drawing big crowds, got a surprise endorsement Wednesday night from Rep. Michele Bachmann's now-former state chairman. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who has languished for months, suddenly seems to have momentum, just as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be losing his.
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Top Bachmann Aide in Iowa to Support Paul

On The Radar

The top Iowa adviser to Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota announced Wednesday night that he was jumping ship to support the candidacy of Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Kent Sorenson, a state legislator who has been at Mrs. Bachmann’s side for months, made his decision in the closing days of the Iowa caucus campaign. It was a significant blow to Mrs. Bachmann, who has struggled to regain the fleeting summertime glory of winning the Iowa straw poll.

Romney Targets Obama in Iowa Stretch

On The Radar

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicked off the last week before the Iowa caucuses warning that November’s presidential contest will be “an election to save the soul of America.” Romney, back in Iowa, assumed a frontrunner posture as his main rivals were mired in their own controversies.
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Gingrich Fights Back, Aiming at Romney as Iowa Caucuses Heat Up

On The Radar

The Republican presidential candidates opened an intensive week of campaigning in wide-open Iowa on Tuesday with the embattled Newt Gingrich casting rival Mitt Romney as an establishment defender of big government and accusing Romney’s supporters of lying about his record.
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Virgina Ballot Shows Gingrich Campaign Woes

On The Radar

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich made a last-minute dash to get on the ballot for the Republican primary in Virginia, in another sign his campaign may not be ready for prime time and could struggle to beat President Barack Obama next year.
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