The Wall Street Journal notes that “at this point in 2006, five Republicans had made early filings to run for the White House in 2008. Today, none have declared for the 2012 contest.”
CHRISTIE: After facing criticism for his style, the New Jersey governor held a more muted town hall.
DANIELS: The Indiana governor is making a foray into education policy, pushing for school vouchers in his state.
HUCKABEE: Mike Huckabee signed copies of his books at a Sam’s Club in South Lakeland, Florida.
PALIN: “America by Heart," Palin's new memoir, has logged disappointing receipts since it officially went on sale late last month, publishing sources say. Although the book is second on the New York Times bestseller list this week (behind former president George W. Bush's memoir, "Decision Points”) its publisher, HarperCollins, hasn't ordered a second printing - a sign that sales haven't been overly brisk.
PAWLENTY: “Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will spend two days each in Iowa and New Hampshire during an upcoming tour to promote his forthcoming book, according to details put out Friday by his political action committee,” the Washington Post reports. His book “Courage to Stand” comes out Jan. 11. “After the book's release, Pawlenty begins his tour in New York with appearances on TV programs such as Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and ABC's "The View," and with a National Press Club speech in Washington. His multi-state tour includes late-January stops in early presidential voting states New Hampshire and Iowa. Pawlenty will also sign books in Florida, Minnesota, Ohio and Texas.”
Here are Pawlenty's book tour dates, per a release provided to First Read that’s going out later this morning from his PAC: It starts Jan. 13 at the National Press Club in DC; Jan. 14: Miami and Tampa, FL; Jan. 18: Woodbury, MN; Jan. 20: Dallas; Jan. 21: Dallas and Houston; Jan. 24: Concord and Manchester, NH; Jan. 25: Bedford, NH; Jan. 27: Burnsville and St. Cloud, MN; Jan. 29: Cincinnati; Jan. 30: Ankeny and Waukee, IA; Jan. 31: West Des Moines, IA.
SANTORUM: The Washington Post sizes up the former senator and presidential longshot’s chances: “The GOP has a tradition of anointing the next person in line. With more than a dozen other names being mentioned, Santorum is nowhere near the front. The last time he was on a ballot, in a 2006 bid for a third Senate term in Pennsylvania, he lost by 18 percentage points…Then there's the fact that the Republican establishment may not be in the driver's seat this time. And the other fact that Santorum was a tea party kind of guy before there was a tea party.”
THUNE: John Thune says no START. He writes on National Review’s Web site: “New START misses one opportunity after another to maintain a stable nuclear relationship between our two countries. To remedy this will require significant time on the floor of the Senate. Trying to force it through without ample time for debate and amendments would amount to a Christmas gift to the Russians.”
IOWA: “Matt Strawn’s likely to be re-elected chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, leaving the party in a strong position to build on its 2010 successes into the 2012 cycle,” the Des Moines Register reports. “Strawn did the groundwork to help rebuild the party after the 2008 caucuses. He traveled the state extensively, meeting with county chairs. He made early voting a priority, and saw performance increase by 83 percent compared to 2006.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE: “New Hampshire’s Democratic National Committeeman says that ‘talk is terrific’ about a primary challenge to President Barack Obama, but no one is signing up for a challenge or renting campaign office space and, as a whole, that is fine with him.”
SOUTH CAROLINA: The Washington Examiner sums up South Carolina’s opinion of Sarah Palin: “Conservatives in the state like Palin. They agree with her on most issues. They are inclined to defend her when she is unfairly attacked, which is often. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're convinced she should be president.”