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2012: On Social Media

The Boston Globe’s Johnson looks at “the prominent role social media will play in the 2012 presidential campaign… It allows them to bypass what George W. Bush used to call ‘the filter,’ and what Sarah Palin has more tartly termed ‘the lamestream media.’ For the candidates, it's also an affordable and immediate way to spread their views.”

BACHMANN: Rep. Michele Bachmann has hired Wes Enos, who served as Mike Huckabee’s political director for the former governor’s winning Iowa caucus campaign, The Hill reports. “The hiring of Enos is also another sign that Huckabee won't make a run at the presidency in 2012. His former Iowa campaign manager, Eric Woolson, is already on board as an adviser to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.” 

Channeling a point one of us made from Iowa, The Hill says: “The vacuum created by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) absence from the 2012 campaign trail presents a major opportunity for the woman she once hinted might share a presidential ticket with her: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). With strategists and conservative activists increasingly convinced that Palin won’t make a run for the White House next year, she is losing some clout among her contingent of grassroots devotees who are eager to hit the 2012 campaign trail and rally behind an alternative to President Obama.”

DANIELS: Mitch Daniels will deliver a speech on his education agenda at the American Enterprise Institute on May 4, Politico reports, adding the timing is significant because “[t]he Hoosier has been mum about whether he intends to run for president, but has indicated he'll make up his mind after his legislative session, now slated to end on April 29. Should legislators meet their deadline, Daniels’s AEI speech could amount to his unofficial campaign debut.”

GINGRICH: “Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, in his third visit to New Hampshire in three weeks, laid out several tax proposals yesterday, saying they would trigger an explosion of investment and new jobs,” the AP writes. “Gingrich called for reducing to zero the capital gains tax, making permanent the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, allowing companies to write off 100 percent of new equipment purchases in the first year, and eliminating the estate tax. He also called for a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, saying a reasonable tax rate would stop such companies as General Electric from sheltering profits to avoid paying federal taxes. … ‘It’s not bad luck that we have high unemployment; it’s bad policies,’ he said.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader writes that Newt Gingrich’s speech at St. Anselm College was centered on fiscal issues, although he didn’t shy away from criticizing President Obama. “At the rate that Obama and others are running up the debt, you will pay for the equivalent of a house, just for this generation's politicians' debt,” he said.

Gingrich also accused President Obama of trying to “extort contributions” from donors by announcing his official re-election campaign, CNN notes.

He also distanced his own experience with government shutdown from the current atmosphere in Congress. “In every single way, Speaker (John) Boehner inherited a more complicated and a more difficult situation than I had,” Gingrich told reporters, according to the Concord Monitor.

PALIN: According to Mediaite, Sarah Palin will get her own E! “True Hollywood Story” later this month, Politico notes.

ROMNEY: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will participate in a tea-party affiliated presidential summit in New Hampshire at the end of this month, according to the host group, Americans for Prosperity. The forum will also feature Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain, National Journal writes.

While he has thus far avoided providing his own opinions on foreign policy issues, Mitt Romney has been quick to criticize President Obama’s decisions abroad, Real Clear Politics writes. Romney is also beginning to set up a dichotomy between himself and President Obama on foreign policy: that as a businessman, Romney has better negotiating skills than President Obama does.

Romney “called President Obama ‘inexperienced and naïve’ in light of the administration's reversal on military trials for suspected terrorists,” The Hill writes. “‘An inexperienced and naïve president has finally reversed himself on Guantanamo and terrorist trials; let’s hope he sees the light on his other flawed policies,’ Romney said in a statement.”

TRUMP: Stu Rothenberg, writing in Roll Call, doesn’t see the humor in Donald Trump’s flirtation with a presidential run: “Talk of Trump as a future president or even as a serious contender for the GOP nomination is so far beyond stupid that I almost don’t know where to begin. I can’t believe that so many people are chattering about the possibility that he might run and could be elected, though admittedly most of them are laughing about the absurdity of the prospect.”