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2012: Money Spring-s eternal

Spring is fundraising season, the AP writes, as Republican candidates scramble to raise money, “eschewing wall-to-wall public appearances with campaign speeches and interaction with voters. Instead, they're scurrying between private meetings and dialing phone lists to persuade donors to come aboard in hopes of meeting closely kept fundraising goals for the three-month period that ends June 30.”

“None of the best-known potential Republican presidential contenders has yet to formally declare his candidacy, but when they do, it's clear it'll be a two-fer,” The Boston Globe’s Johnson writes. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and especially Newt Gingrich all highlight their wives, almost to the point of them being on the ticket as well.

The NRA’s annual meeting will be held next week in Pittsburgh and will feature appearances by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, the Beaver County Times writes.

BARBOUR: The University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog writes: “The fact that Mississippi has not yet produced a U.S. President to date is not so unusual - the Magnolia State is one of 32 states to fail to do so. In fact, 28 presidents in U.S. history have come from just six states: Ohio, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas. But not only has a Mississippian never won the White House, the state has not produced a competitive candidate who has been even close to winning a major party nomination across four-dozen presidential elections since statehood in 1817. A Haley Barbour candidacy would make him the first serious GOP presidential candidate from Mississippi, after a small handful of failed attempts coming on the Democratic side.”

More: “Though not a candidate, in 1860 at the first Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, Mississippi U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis consistently received 1 to 1.5 votes across the nearly 60 ballots that were conducted before the convention dissolved….” Davis did, however, go on to serve as president of the CONFEDERATE States of America.

Roll Call goes to New Hampshire and writes: “He is not like them. And the breakfast crowd at Chez Vachon knows it the instant Haley Barbour opens his mouth.” And: “[T]he question is whether Barbour’s profound drawl will hurt his campaign to win over voters in the nation’s first presidential primary. The consensus on the trail this month was that the Mississippi native could be a hard sell in a Northern city set nearly 1,500 miles -— and a world away, culturally — from the governor’s mansion in Jackson.”

DANIELS: Mitch Daniels’ constant warnings of debt as the “new red menace” and calls for revamping entitlements mean that his entry into the race “could ensure that a debate between President Barack Obama and [Rep. Paul] Ryan becomes a central issue of the 2012 campaign. More than any other potential candidate, Daniels would test whether voters are ready for the kind of stiff medicine he prescribes,” the Indianapolis Star writes.

PALIN: Sarah Palin will visit California on May 1 to speak at the grand opening celebration of a new arena for the West Hills Community College, The State Column writes.

Rev. Franklin Graham said on ABC’s “This Week” that he doesn’t see Palin running for President, Politico points out. 

PAWLENTY: Tim Pawlenty wrote a statement on Friday urging the U.S. to recall its ambassador in Syria and seek economic sanctions to send “a clear and strong signal" opposing the nation's violent crackdown on demonstrators, the AP reports.

ROMNEY: A new Dartmouth College survey shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama 47% to 39%, The State Column writes.

SANTORUM: “Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) called his 2006 vote for the Medicare prescription drug benefit a mistake on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ The Hill writes.

TRUMP: Welcome to the New York media scrutiny: “Donald Trump's bankruptcies whittle away at his reputation as a great businessman” is the headline in the New York Daily News.

The New York City Board of Elections found that Donald Trump has skipped voting in at least three presidential primaries and two mayoral primaries over the past 25 years and also skipped the 2002 general election, according to CNN. When asked by NY1 about his record, he maintained that he’s “voted in every general election” and said, “You're going to pay a big price because you're wrong."

Franklin Graham says Donald Trump is his candidate of choice.

“Mayor Bloomberg scolded Donald Trump Sunday, saying the ‘New York icon’ and his fellow Republicans need to let the ‘birther’ issue die and ‘focus on the main issues,’” the New York Daily News writes.