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GOP watch: A GOP comeback?

Politico's Vandehei and Martin argue for a Republican comeback: "Polls show that the GOP is wise to focus most of its attacks on spending, government intervention and job losses. (Those same polls show the public has low regard for Republicans on these issues, but it's a significant development that President Barack Obama's numbers are slipping in these areas, too.) And just as importantly, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill privately recognize the need to distance themselves a bit from George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich -- even though they've done poor job of doing so thus far."

Video: Comedian Lewis Black comments on the Republican Party's funnier foibles including Gov. Mark Sanford's five day disappearance to go hiking. 
But are we seeing a shorter-than-expected bench? The AP: "South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's mysterious disappearance from his state is the latest sign that Republican governors, once thought to be President Obama's most credible adversaries, haven't quite lived up to their billing. From Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's cringe-inducing nationally televised response to Obama's first budget address to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's suggestion that his state might secede, GOP governors -- including those said to be eyeing a potential 2012 presidential bid -- haven't exactly looked like the political grown-ups many party strategists had promised. And none has had a rockier go of it than the party's best-known governor, Alaska's Sarah Palin."

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney has inked a book deal. "The book will be published in the spring of 2011 by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, where Mary Matalin, a former close aide to Cheney is editor in chief, the newspaper said. Simon & Schuster is a unit of CBS Corp."

The New York Daily News: "The memoir by Cheney, widely considered the most powerful vice president in history, is expected to be published in Spring 2011, a few months after President George W. Bush's book comes out. Cheney's work is currently untitled and will cover his long career in government, from chief of staff under President Gerald Ford to vice president under Bush, from Vietnam and Watergate to the first Gulf War and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks."
Who needs historians? Cheney tells the AP: "I'm persuaded there are a lot of interesting stories that ought to be told," Cheney said. "I want my grandkids, 20 or 30 years from now, to be able to read it and understand what I did, and why I did it."

Video: Former President Richard Nixon is heard making a blunt comment about abortion to aide Charles Colson.

Finally, new Nixon tapes were out yesterday that showed, most notably his views on abortion, including this choice bit, per the New York Times: "'There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,' he told an aide, before adding: 'Or a rape.'" As Ben Smith pointed out yesterday, Barack Obama, who was the product of a black father and white mother, was 11 at the time.