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Hotline Sort: Virginia Is For (Politics) Lovers

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The Virginia Senate race remains razor tight, President Obama sees some encouraging news in a new poll, Gary Johnson will leave the GOP race, Arizona maps move toward final approval and Joe Walsh is inspiring a lawmaker in Illinois -- but not for reasons he'd like. Here's today's rundown:

9) Gary Johnson will get out of the GOP presidential race and will run for the Libertarian nomination.

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:40am

Imagining a Gingrich Presidency

A serious debate is under way among those who know Newt Gingrich well, particularly those who served with him in Congress and watched him not just for the duration of a debate or speech but for hours at a time, day after day, year after year. Some fear for the country if he were ever to become president. That assessment seems a little extreme to others: they express no fear for the country because they believe (wrongly, I think) that he has no chance of becoming president. What they fear instead is the destruction of the Republican Party.

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:40am

QUICK TAKE: Boehner Calls on Obama to Recall Senate Dems in Op-Ed

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a USA Today op-ed called on the president to ask Senate Democrats to return from vacation to negotiate a year-long extension of a payroll-tax cut and unemployment benefits with the House. His remarks echoed those he made at a news conference on Tuesday.

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:40am

Happy Hanukkah! The Return of the Rick Perry Menorah Dance Video -- VIDEO

Late-night hosts on Tuesday celebrated the first night of Hanukkah by bringing back two of their favorite traditions: making fun of former President George W. Bush and playing a clip of Rick Perry looking silly.

Don't miss today's Must See Moment at 2:12 when David Letterman presents the viral video of the sitting Texas governor dancing the hora:

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:40am

Report: Gingrich Tells Gay Iowan to Vote for Obama

When asked at an Iowa campaign event how he would engage gay Americans, Newt Gingrich told the questioner to vote for Obama, the Des Moines Register reports.

"I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama," Scott Arnold, a Democrat, told The Register

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:40am

QUICK TAKE: North Korea to Be Led By Collective Rule, Headed by Kim Jong Il's Son

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:40am

Romney's Likability Tour

Dare to be unmoved by Mitt Romney talking about his wife’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

“She couldn't take care of the family in the way she had in the past,’’ he told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “And I said, look, I don't care what the meals are like. You know, I like cold cereal and peanut butter sandwiches. We could do fine with that as long as we have each other."

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 7:40am

Shiites the Only Winners in Iraq

It was merely hours after news broke about an arrest warrant for one of Iraq’s vice presidents that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.—one of the Iraq war’s biggest advocates on Capitol Hill—declared: I told you so.

“A deterioration of the kind we are now witnessing in Iraq was not unforeseen,” McCain and fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a joint statement. “The U.S. government must do whatever it can to help Iraqis stabilize the situation.”

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 7:40am

With Friends Like These, Your Poll Numbers Could Suffer

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 2:40am

Nebraska’s Johanns to Endorse Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected Wednesday morning to pick up the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, a development that could help him in the western reaches of Iowa in the state’s Jan. 3 GOP caucus.

Johanns is a first-term Republican senator who was a popular Nebraska governor from 1999 to 2005 and is also a former Agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush. He was one of only two freshman Republicans elected in the Democratic year of 2008. 

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 2:40am