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2012: Tea Party games the system -- again

Aside from New Hampshire’s election of Tea Party activist Jack Kimball as state Republican party chair, “two other tea party-affiliated candidates knocked off establishment picks to win state party chairmanships Saturday—radio talk show host Kirby Wilbur in Washington state and conservative activist Tom Morrissey in Arizona,” Politico writes. “A third GOP chairman elected Saturday, Oregon’s Allen Alley, didn’t hail from the grassroots conservative populist wing of the party but he aggressively courted it—and his message of tight-fisted spending appealed to tea party activists.”

The Wall Street Journal deems Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty the two rumored presidential candidates who have done the most so far to reach out to Hispanic voters.

BACHMANN: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia addressed a group of lawmakers at a gathering sponsored by the Tea Party Caucus, organized by Rep. Michele Bachmann, Bloomberg reports. “Scalia’s speech was the first in a series of seminars the Tea Party Caucus plans to hold twice a month to refresh members on ‘basic principles,’ said Doug Sachtleben, a spokesman for Bachmann.”

BARBOUR: “Mississippi Gov Haley Barbour will visit the Republican-heavy Upstate of South Carolina Wednesday for two private events with local GOP officials to discuss a potential presidential run,” Politico reports.

CHRISTIE: “Political analysts said the New Jersey governor on Monday significantly broadened his national credentials as a social conservative by joining abortion protesters at a rally and encouraging them to ‘stand up and speak strongly in favor for the protection of every human life,’” the Daily Record writes. “Marie E. Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said it was the first time a New Jersey governor had addressed a pro-life rally.”

HUCKABEE: The former Arkansas governor decision to delay his presidential decision until summer means he won’t participate in any debates scheduled for earlier in the year, Politico writes. “’You want to schedule a debate for March or May, knock yourselves out,’ Huckabee said. ‘If I'm not there, you can still have it. But I'm not going to be there.’"

PAWLENTY: From Concord, N.H., Roll Call writes, “He didn’t go after former presidential candidate Mitt Romney by name, but former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he has to work harder to connect with the people of New Hampshire than ‘anybody who ran last time.’” He said, “I didn’t run last time, so anybody who ran last time has a built-in name ID advantage and some legacy infrastructure. But we’re making good progress, because history shows there’s more than enough room in these races for somebody who didn’t run last time to build an organization. We’ve got to go out and earn support. That’s what we’re doing.”

Call it “T-Paw: The Movie.” The former Minnesota governor released a dramatic, minute-and-a-half long promotional web video for his book.

“About 100 people showed up at the Barnes and Nobles store in Manchester [New Hampshire] on Monday, where Pawlenty spent an hour signing copies of his book, ‘Courage to Stand: An American Story,’” WMUR reports.

Later last night, Pawlenty spoke to a “friendly crowd” at a Merrimack County Republican Committee reception in Concord, NH. “’We are the most successful and most prosperous nation because we're the freest nation the world has ever known,” Pawlenty told the crowd, according to the Concord Monitor. Today, Pawlenty speaks at a Politics and Eggs event in Bedford, NH, the Monitor adds.

THUNE: The senator changed his fundraisers, fueling speculation that it could mean he’s mulling a run in 2012. His former fundraiser has another prominent client – Rep. Mike Pence – and her husband was a top aide to Mitt Romney during his 2008 run. “It is possible that she and Thune separated because of the conflict that would ensue if both Republican Members enter the GOP presidential primary,” Roll Call writes, adding, “[T]here is speculation that she is poised to sign on with Romney for a 2012 run that is expected to launch at some point this year.”

IOWA: “A movie starring two Academy Award winners will make its world premiere in Des Moines this week. Promoters of the film, called ‘The Genesis Code,’ say they chose Iowa for the debut because of the state’s important political role as the first-in-the-nation Presidential Caucus state,” Radio Iowa reports.

The Des Moines Register previously wrote that the film is “a $5 million Focus on the Family-approved dramatic film that focuses on reconciling the Book of Genesis with science’s explanation for the origins of the universe.”