Newsweek writes in its “Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right” piece: “Surveying the crop of would-be Republican presidential contenders in 2012, some Christian leaders can’t muster much enthusiasm.” GOP 12 picks up on Richard Land telling Newsweek about Romney: “He put ‘Obamacare Light’ in place in Massachusetts. It’s going to be awfully difficult for him to surmount that.” And the hits kept on coming: On Palin: "Her problem is her very high negatives. Evangelicals want somebody they like, but they also want somebody who can beat Barack Obama.” On Gingrich: “Two ex-wives is one ex-wife too many for most evangelicals.” On Huckabee: "The problem Mike’s got is that he and Sarah Palin are appealing to the same base, and Sarah has stronger appeal to that base.”
BLOOMBERG: The New York Post's cover on Bloomberg's speech yesterday: "State of the Union."
GINGRICH: He said he’s in favor of the tax deal, separating him from the likes of Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint who are against it.
HUCKABEE: Huckabee was in The Villages in Florida selling his book.
PALIN: Drawing her with a Pinocchio nose, the Alaska Dispatch fact-checks several of Sarah Palin’s claims about her gubernatorial record that she makes on her Facebook page, finding many of them misleading or inaccurate.
Palin, by the way, came out against the tax cuts deal. “Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy & spins GOP tax cut goals; so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us & America’s solvency,” Palin wrote in a series of tweets, per The Hill. She cast her lot with Jim DeMint, who’s opposed to it because of the estate tax, and said he would vote against it.
Time magazine on Palin: What does she want?
PENCE: In voicing his support for a presidential bid by Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Washington Post columnist George Will compares him to Sen-elect Pat Toomey and Sen. Jim DeMint, two Republicans who “stuck to their conviction that America had quite enough unfunded entitlements” and voted against President George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003.
ROMNEY: “Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has tentative trips planned early next year to the Middle East and to Europe. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is trying to schedule visits to Israel and to the United Kingdom, primarily to visit former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is one of her political idols. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will make his 15th voyage to Israel in January.
“Most of the likely contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are planning later entries than are typical in the off year, giving them some extra time to burnish their foreign credentials,” Real Clear Politics writes. “The overseas trips are attempts to bone up on their knowledge of American interests abroad and project a strong grasp on foreign affairs as they gear up to launch potential campaigns.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE: “Inside the state GOP, there's a melodrama developing over who wants to take over for outgoing Chairman John H. Sununu, who has the credentials and, who may have -- or not have -- Sununu's blessing,” the Manchester Union-Leader says. He said Cheshire County GOP chair Juliana Bergeron meets the “criteria” he laid out this week but stopped short of endorsing her. “Veteran GOP operative and former congressional staffer David Tille has become active on behalf of conservative author and potential presidential hopeful Herman Cain,” the Union-Leader adds.