Politico is already digging into the veep speculation. “In part due to successful election years in 2009 and 2010, one year out from the GOP convention in Tampa there’s no shortage of eligible vice presidential prospects—and some of them generate even more excitement in Republican circles than the presidential candidates themselves. They range from the geographically and demographically ideal (Rubio, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez) to establishment and intelligentsia heartthrobs (Christie, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, South Dakota Sen. John Thune). Some are swing-state ticket-balancers while others bring different assets to the table—such as charisma, policy heft or regional appeal.”
BACHMANN: Bachmann gets her own Super PAC, the Washington Post’s Cillizza reports.
CHRISTIE: New Jersey had its credit downgraded from AA to AA-: “The credit rating agency Fitch has lowered New Jersey's general bonds, citing unfunded pension and employee benefit liabilities,” the Star-Ledger reports. “The agency wrote that making an increased pension payment, which Christie has said he will do, will ‘conflict with other long term challenges, such as property tax relief, school funding, and infrastructure needs.’” The state had already been downgraded in February by Standard & Poor’s. Ben Smith calls it “the shortest Christie boomlet ever.”
“The evangelical organizer who helped Michele Bachmann win the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa Saturday was previously charged with terrorism in Uganda after being arrested for possession of assault rifles and ammunition in February 2006, just days before Uganda's first multi-party elections in 20 years,” The Atlantic writes of Peter Waldron. The Bachmann camp responded this way in the article: “Michele's faith is an important part of her life and Peter did a tremendous job with our faith outreach in Iowa. We are fortunate to have him on our team and look forward to having him expanding his efforts in several states."
PAUL: Ron Paul has a message from the Tea Party -- Rick Perry isn't your man. Despite his fierce opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank, making "End the Fed" a central theme of his campaign, Tea Party grandfather Ron Paul said in a swipe at Perry last night, "He makes me look like a moderate. I have never once said Bernanke committed treason."
PERRY: The Boston Globe’s has this headline on its front page: “Texas style toned down a notch, Perry tests message in Granite State”: “Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who has held statewide prayers for rain in his home state and holds many positions dear to social conservatives, came to moderate New Hampshire yesterday to fish for votes in the backyard of front-runner Mitt Romney… But whether Perry, a pistol-packing Texan fond of cowboy boots and cuff links, can attract broad-based support in a state known for its frugal, independent-minded Yankees is a major question that will help determine the contours of the race. … Perry, fresh from a trip to Iowa, is spending two days in New Hampshire meeting with political and business leaders as he tests his message and determines whether to invest heavily in the first-in-the-nation primary state that is so prized by Romney.” And this quote from a GOP consultant working at St. Anselm’s College: “This guy’s got swagger that makes George Bush look like a college professor.”
And note this point: “Perry took 10 questions from the audience, calling on them with a drawled ‘Yes ma’am,’ and ‘Yes sir,’ but avoided any inquiries from the media. He also spoke from prepared remarks, and appeared determined to avoid making controversial statements as he did Monday when he said the actions of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may border on treason.”
The Globe’s Vennochi sums it up this way: “The breakfast showed he is off to a serious start. The room was packed, but the crowd was cool. The governor, looking Back Bay buttoned-down in a gray suit and striped shirt, read the vibe perfectly. He ditched some of the swagger and just worked the ‘Yes, Ma’am’ twang. Focusing on the economy and President Obama’s handling of it, he offered a simple, standard, business-friendly message to a standard business crowd.”
Bloomberg: “Subdued Perry Woos Voters in New Hampshire After Bernanke Barb.”
The Post's Rubin wants answers on Perry's turnaround on the HPV vaccine mandate.
The AP's lede out of Bedford, NH, looked at his comments on global warming. "GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters Wednesday that he does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven."
Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Texas's school system under Perry: “I feel very, very badly for the children there.” “U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Texas’s school system ‘has really struggled’ under Governor Rick Perry, a Republican candidate for president, and the state’s substandard schools do a disservice to children. ‘Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college,’ Duncan said on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Political Capital With Al Hunt’ airing Aug. 19-20. “I feel very, very badly for the children there.”
ROMNEY: Karl Rove hugs Romney on health care, something GOP 12’s Heinze calls a “complete reversal” and a “total reversal.” Yesterday on FOX, Rove said, in part, “There are big differences between what they did in Massachusetts and what they did in Washington.”
In May, Rove said this: “I mean, it has an individual mandate just like President Obama’s, and it’s got a bunch of bad things that are happening. We’ve got rationing, we’ve got a new survey out that was in the Wall Street Journal editorial page today, where doctors are saying, in essence, they’re not accepting new patients.” And he said he’s “not certain” Romney’s reasoning about states’ rights and the 10th Amendment is “satisfactory.”
RYAN: Mitch Daniels is a Paul Ryan fan: “If there were a Paul Ryan fan club, I'd be a national officer,” Daniels told the Weekly Standard (via GOP 12). “I don't think it's a secret that he was strongly encouraging me to try. I've been strongly encouraging him to run as well. He has all the qualities our party needs to be emphasizing in these elections.”
SANTORUM: He hit Perry as well for calling Bernanke “treasonous.” "I mean, you're charging someone with a high crime punishable by death. I mean, you know, that's worse than impeachment, as far as I'm concerned," Santorum said on FOX, per GOP 12.