National Journal Online

Is Rick Perry the Iowa Dark Horse?

BOONE, Iowa -- While Iowa-watchers obsess over Rick Santorum's miniature surge and Mitt Romney's late strength, there's one other candidate on an upward trajectory: Rick Perry.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 8:40pm

Rick Santorum's Miniature Iowa Moment

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- In a stifling room filled with inquisitive Iowans, Rick Santorum was being Rick Santorum: plodding, long-winded and achingly sincere. The Iowans seemed to like it.

It was, he noted, his 361st campaign event in the state. "All year -- except for the last 5 days -- I got the same question: Why are you still doing this?" he said, noting pointedly that he was the only one to grind it out in this dutiful manner. "And I said it's because I want to earn the votes of Iowans."

What had changed in the last five days was evident from Santorum's surroundings.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 6:40pm

Can Gingrich, Santorum Win by Whining?

ATLANTIC -- Delivering their closing arguments before Tuesday's caucus, both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are making a similar pitch: Vote for me to send a message in favor of good, clean campaigns.

Gingrich began whining about the negative onslaught of ads against him weeks ago and has made it an essential part of his stump speech. The constant complaints have knocked him off message.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 6:40pm

2011's Top Breakout Stars

Happy New Year's Eve and welcome back to our series of year end posts/recaps (see our takes on 2011's Biggest Flops, Luckiest Candidates, Top Comeback Kids, The Year in Media, and the

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 6:40pm

Virginia Attorney General Intervenes to Get GOP Candidates on Ballot

FORT DODGE, Iowa – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other Republican presidential candidates who failed to get onto the Virginia primary ballot may have a glimmer of hope thanks to the intervention of Virginia’s top lawyer.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm

Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill

President Obama signed on Saturday the defense authorization bill, formally ending weeks of heated debate in Congress and intense lobbying by the administration to strip controversial provisions requiring the transfer of some terror suspects to military custody.

"I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists," Obama said in a statement accompanying his signature.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm

Gingrich Says He's Raised Almost $10M in Fourth Quarter

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa—Newt Gingrich is close to reaching the $10 million mark in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to an email the former speaker sent out to supporters Saturday morning. He writes that reaching this amount would be an “incredible achievement” that would dispel the notion that his campaign lacks the resources to compete. 

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm

Obama's Strategy Targets Republicans in Congress—Reports

The Obama administration offered a glimpse of its strategy going into the new year: Pillory congressional Republicans as obstructionist and sound populist themes in speeches across the country.

“In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a briefing, according to The New York Times, "the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C.”

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm

Romney Religion on the Road: Scripture on his iPad

Hillary Clinton carried a “tiny little Bible” in her purse during her husband’s 1992 campaign. Twenty years later, Mitt Romney reads Scripture downloaded onto his iPad.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm

What We Learned: Year End Edition

As 2011 draws to a close, here's a rundown of what we at The Hotline learned throughout the course of the year:

-- 2011 proved that in a national campaign, the basic building blocks, organization, discipline, consistent messaging and fundraising still matter most. With the repetitive rise and fall of GOP presidential candidates throughout the primary season, we saw time and again what happened to candidates who fell short on one or more of these fronts.

Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 4:40pm