National Journal Online

For Romney, Late Expectations

Iowa voters logging onto the Des Moines Register website this morning were confronted with a headline that seemed improbable mere months ago: "Mitt Romney: 'We're going to win this thing'"

It's quite the ironic twist of fate that a candidate whose campaign worked obsessively in recent months to lower expectations in Iowa -- and succeeded in doing so -- would awake on caucus day to a Joe Namath-esque prediction in the state's largest newspaper.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 4:40pm

Work Insurance Often Offers Coverage for Programs to Stop Smoking

Seventy percent of smokers say they'd like to quit, and now, just three days into the new year, many may already be struggling to stick to their resolution to make 2012 a smoke-free year. If quitting were easy, after all, chances are good that nearly one in five adults wouldn't still be smokers, a figure that hasn't budged much in several years.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 4:40pm

Obama's 'Promises Kept' Reminder: Will it Backfire?

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Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 4:40pm

Gingrich Bills Himself as `Genuine Old-Time Conservative’

MUSCATINE, Iowa – In his closing speech to Iowa voters before Tuesday night's caucuses, Newt Gingrich chose to reference a bygone era, calling himself a “a genuine, old-time conservative who represents the values of my grandmother’s generation.”

Speaking at a crowded tea house in Muscatine, Gingrich began by thanking Iowans for taking the caucus process so seriously.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 2:40pm

Candidates Show Fondness for World War II References

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –- The Republican candidates for president frequently tell voters that this is the most important election of their lifetimes. For some of them, the contest is so important that it’s worth comparing to one of America’s most decisive moments: World War II.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday became the second candidate to compare his presidential bid to the great battles of the 1940s. He invoked the 1944 Allied invasion of German-occupied Normandy.

The supporters were gathered for a last-minute training session ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 2:40pm

Four Caveats Obama Made Before Signing the Detainee Law

On the last afternoon of a mostly dismal year that saw him get kicked around endlessly by Congress, President Obama signed into law its controversial defense bill, the one which infuriated civil libertarians and many other reasonable people.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 2:40pm

Akin's Senate Campaign Shakeup

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's Senate campaign staff is undergoing major changes, with several key aides having parted ways with Akin during the month of December. It's the latest sign of turmoil in a struggling operation that has yet to leave a major mark in the Republican race.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 2:40pm

Mitt Romney's Excellent Scenario

Like everyone else in town watching the GOP presidential primary unfold, it's been on my mind that a victory for Mitt Romney in Iowa tonight, given the beachhead he's established in New Hampshire, would be a real game-changer, or, at this early stage, a game-maker. But an observation by my colleague Alex Roarty, who is on the ground in New Hampshire, drives home just how significant a Romney win would be.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 1:40pm

Déjà Vu: Santorum's First Senate Ad Targeted Opponent Over Government Spending -- VIDEO

As Rick Santorum finds himself the new target of criticism from the Republican presidential field, one line of attack might sound familiar to the former senator from Pennsylvania -- one he used in 1994 against a Democratic opponent: GOP candidates Ron Paul and Rick Perry on Monday went after him for his record on spending while in Congress.

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 1:40pm

Gwen’s Caucus-Day Take: 5 Things to Watch for in Iowa

We love it when voters take over the narrative, and that’s what will happen in Iowa on Tuesday night as voters meet to caucus and choose a possible presidential nominee. Here’s what we’re watching.

How will social conservatives split?

Will Ron Paul shake things up?

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Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 1:40pm