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2012: Comebacks, callings, and (bad) pizza

GOP 12's Heinze writes, "It’s rare that a presidential aspirant opts out of a run if he truly believes he can win. But the hesitance on the part of some dynamic GOP presidential prospects seems to reflect the fact that most Republicans think President Obama is unbeatable. But that leaves the GOP in a pickle: In complaining that Republicans have no one to beat Obama, the party establishment worsens its fortunes by scaring away candidates who can actually beat the president."

BACHMANN: "Presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann says she has the highest endorsement she can get: an endorsement from above," the New York Daily News writes. "The Minnesota congresswoman said she received a 'calling' to enter the 2012 presidential race. She spoke in an interview with Iowa Public Television on Friday."

Bachmann has hired prominent Republican pollster Ed Goeas, president of The Tarrance Group, according to National Journal. But Goeas told NBC yesterday that a final conversation hasn’t taken place yet. So it’s not a done deal…

CAIN: Herman Cain will deliver three speeches as part of Iowa conservative powerbroker Bob Vander Plaats’ Family Leader Presidential Lecture Series, Politico reports. He will speak in Iowa City, Pella and Sioux City in a one-day swing through the state on June 6th

CHRISTIE: "A group of influential Iowa Republican activists dined with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Princeton last night in a bid to get him to run for president," the New York Post reports. "The unusual trip by Iowa leaders to the Garden State to draft Christie is a sign of growing displeasure with the current crop of Republican candidates stepping forward to take on President Obama in 2012, GOP officials said." Christie said, "I'm a kid from Jersey who has people asking him to run for president. I'm thrilled by it. I just don't want to do it," Christie told a radio interviewer.

The AP adds, “Over a dinner of chicken, rib eye and sweet corn, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie thanked a team of seven Iowa campaign donors and GOP activists for coming to his home Tuesday night, but said his job is in the governor’s office — not the White House.”

DEMINT: "Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he is considering running for president after frustrated conservative activists have pleaded with him to run," The Hill reports. He said, “It’s humbling and out of respect, my wife and I have talked about it. Out of respect for the people who have asked us to think about this, that’s what we’re going to do. I don’t want to imply that I’m changing in mind, but I want to consider what all these folks are doing.”

HUNTSMAN: Breaking away: President Obama’s former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman stressed, in an interview with Real Clear Politics, that he doesn’t have a “personal relationship” with the president. He also criticized the president’s handling of the economy, saying, “We have no pro-growth policies.”

On the other hand… Time notes that in 2007, Huntsman was quoted as saying whether he’s comfortable with requiring every Utahan to purchase health insurance. “I’m comfortable with a requirement,” Huntsman says. “You can call it whatever you want, but at some point we’re going to have to get serious about how we deal with this issue, and that means there will have to be a multitude of different policies that are available in the marketplace.”

PALIN: Sarah Palin and Donald Trump ate pizza in Times Square, of all places, yesterday at a Famiglia's Pizza, a chain equivalent to a Sbarro's. Nothing screams attention more than Times Square.

"The meeting, part political parley and part reality TV show, capped the third day of Palin's bus trip through historic sites along the East Coast," the AP writes.

PAWLENTY: Pawlenty had a “day of hiccups” yesterday in Iowa, as his campaign canceled two of its events with little or no notice, and at a coffee shop stop with a handful of Iowans, some participants voiced views about illegal immigration and gay marriage with which Pawlenty had to politely disagree, according to the Des Moines Register.

ROMNEY: "For anyone who listened to Mitt Romney during his first campaign for president, it’s no surprise that Olympic speedskater Dan Jansen attended the biggest fund-raiser to date for Romney’s second campaign," the Boston Globe's Johnson writes. "Jansen became an international sports celebrity with his example of picking himself up after defeat and pushing on to victory. It’s an example the former Massachusetts governor hopes to emulate starting tomorrow, when he publicly kicks off his 2012 White House bid."