Dec 30, 2011
Romney Prepares Aggressive Iowa FinishBy Philip Rucker and Dan Balz, Washington Post
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.
Ron Paul's Fans: Will They Vote GOP in 2012?By Beth Reinhard, National Journal
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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Let the Election Games BeginWith John Harwood, CNBC
CNBC's John Harwood previews the Iowa Caucuses
Take That!By Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair
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.”
Oops! That Was the Year that Wasn'tBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
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).
Romney Looks More Confident in Iowa Vote Run-UpBy Sam Youngman, Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign has a hint of a swagger about it as a good showing looks more likely next week in the Iowa caucuses, where his 2008 campaign crashed badly. While his staff dampened expectations of winning the caucuses vote this time, large crowds gathered at Romney events in the state and his Iowa poll numbers increased again.
GOP Candidate Mitt Romney at a recent campaign stop in Iowa (CNN)
GOP Candidates on a Mad Dash in IowaBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
Iowa's GOP presidential contest remains deeply unsettled, if not downright strange, just days before the Tuesday 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 ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be losing his. And Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who began the campaign by de-emphasizing Iowa, might be poised to finish on top.
Dec 29, 2011
Top Bachmann Aide in Iowa to Support PaulBy Jeff Zeleny, New York Times
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.
Iranian Oil Threat is Mostly Bluster, Say ObserversBy Nancy A. Youssef and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers
Amid an escalating war of words between the United States and Iran over the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. and European officials on Wednesday expressed confidence that there was no imminent threat to the passageway through which some 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil travels daily. Instead, they said, the latest Iranian threat to close the route reflected Tehran's anger at the U.S. pledge to impose sanctions on its nuclear program that for the first time directly target Iran's oil exports, the source of some 80 percent of its government revenue.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (CNN)
Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved on Payroll Tax Dealby Andrea Seabrook, NPR
Conservative Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers spent weeks vowing to oppose the short-term compromise bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. But in the end, the bill glided through the House, just before Christmas. The final moments of this latest congressional showdown were fascinating not because of what happened but because of what didn't happen.
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Odd Notes, Mad-Dash Trips Mark Iowa Closing SprintBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
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.
Could Romney Score an Early Knockout?By Sam Youngman and Jeff Mason, Reuters
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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