BACHMANN: “Bachmann has had difficulty holding on to senior Congressional and campaign staff during her four and a half years on Capitol Hill, a problem that could easily persist in the pressure cooker of a White House bid. However, Bachmann’s inner circle of political advisers has remained constant — a fact often overshadowed by her Congressional staff turnover — and she does boast close relationships with Republican operatives who have presidential campaign experience,” Roll Call writes. Her inner circle: “Media strategist Ed Brookover; Chief of Staff Andy Parrish, a former campaign aide; fundraising consultant Guy Short; and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, a marriage and family therapist.”
CAIN: Gallup: “Newly announced presidential candidate Herman Cain, although still not widely known, has the highest Positive Intensity Score among Republicans of any potential GOP candidate still in the race.”
GINGRICH: “Newt Gingrich's Positive Intensity Score is below average, and is down from the week prior,” Gallup writes.
Politico notes that critics of Gingrich’s Tiffany’s debt are piling on.
The New York Times adds, “To the long list of rich-guy foibles that turned into defining campaign moments — John Edwards’s $400 haircut, John Kerry’s kite-surfing, John McCain’s inability to remember how many homes he owns — let us now add Newt Gingrich’s $500,000 revolving line of credit at the luxury jeweler Tiffany & Company.”
“The way Mr. Gingrich sees it, as he said on ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday, he’s ‘a guy running for president who pays all of his bills,’ who lives within his budget and who is in fact ‘very frugal.’ The way some voters out in the rest of America might see it, he’s a guy who paid more for jewelry than some people pay for their houses.”
HUNTSMAN: The Boston Globe’s Lehigh: “Jon Huntsman has just spent several drizzly days in New Hampshire trying to decide whether he can rain on Mitt Romney’s political parade. So what does the twice-elected former Republican governor of Utah and recently resigned ambassador to China offer that Romney doesn’t? Foreign policy experience, he tells me.” Huntsman adviser John Weaver framed it this way: “He is the only credible conservative in the field who can actually win the general election.”
“Jon Huntsman Jr. kicks off a fundraising swing to California [yesterday], looking to drum up support for his likely presidential bid,” the Washington Post reports. “The former Utah governor will meet with donors in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County, as likely opponent Mitt Romney continues to show his fundraising edge — last week, he raised $10 million in a single day.”
“In an interview with The [San Francisco] Chronicle Tuesday, Huntsman said he doesn't regret the TV spot for the Environmental Defense Fund, in which he starred with fellow Republican Schwarzenegger and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat. He also talked about his support of civil unions for gay couples, immigration, and whether he sees himself as a moderate: "Sometimes people just throw that tag around and say, if you're willing to sit down with people and solve problems -- and bring all people together at the table -- they call you 'moderate,' whether your record would suggest that or not,” he said. “I think I'm a conservative problem-solver."
The Atlantic’s Fallows writes, “As a favor to Huntsman and as a public service, I'll get on the record a video clip that I suspect his own campaign (if/when he declares) won't be rushing to publicize. It is Huntsman's nomination speech for Sarah Palin at the 2008 GOP convention.”
PALIN: After the 2010 elections, Sarah Palin reached out to a conservative filmmaker to make a film about her “extolling” her governorship and lay “to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office,” RealClearPolitics’ Conroy reports. “The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.”
PATAKI: “Former New York Governor George Pataki, who recently started an organization focused on reducing the federal debt, has not ruled out a 2012 presidential run,” the Boston Globe’s Johnson reports, adding, “I’m not a candidate at this point, but down the road, you never say never,” Pataki said during an interview after a speech at New England College. “I’m not running now. …We’ll see what happens over the course of the next month.”
PERRY: Is Rick Perry “thinking” about a run for president? Perry strategist Dave Carney tells the Texas Tribune, per GOP12: “I’m sure he’s thinking about it because it’s just human nature when you have Rush Limbaugh spend 20 minutes talking about you and have all these other people mention you, that you don’t sort of think that’s flattering and think about it. But I don’t see any change in his direction, what he’s planning to do."
The Romney money machine pumped out $300,000 in Jacksonville, FL.
Romney and the Obama administration sparred yesterday over the administration’s handling of auto company bailouts. So how’s it playing in Michigan? “Romney's prediction, of course, proved incorrect. General Motors and Chrysler both accepted taxpayer money and have enjoyed rather rapid ascents back to profitability,” the Michigan Live’s Oosting writes.
The Detroit Free Press: “Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm used the Chrysler federal loan payback Tuesday to club Republican presidential candidates -- especially former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- for opposing the loans that also helped rescue General Motors in 2009.”