BACHMANN: AP looks at Bachmann trying to broaden her appeal: “Pigeonholed as a right-wing disciple, Michele Bachmann is offering herself as a presidential candidate who can unite the GOP's disparate base and appeal to Republicans of all ideological stripes.” But: As a candidate, Bachmann isn't eager to revisit her past controversial statements even though Democratic and Republican rivals alike use them to paint her as a fringe Republican in the race to challenge President Barack Obama.”
“Michele Bachmann has a reminder for Republicans: I’m still here,” Politico writes, adding, “[O]ne week off that triumph, Bachmann is feeling the effects of the latest GOP comet, Rick Perry. Her momentum, which ought to be on the rise, suddenly shows signs of ebbing amid questions of her electability. Her privileged position as the newest, hottest candidate in the GOP field has been usurped by the Texas governor, who’s also sped past her in the polls.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks into Bachmann’s record as an IRS lawyer: Bachmann “has repeatedly cast herself as a former tax litigator without mentioning that her job was to represent the IRS against taxpayers.”
CAIN: Cain said this Thursday in South Carolina: "If ObamaCare had been fully implemented when I caught cancer, I'd be dead.”
HUNTSMAN: “After taking to Twitter last week to declare his belief in evolution and global warming, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Sunday again sought to cast himself as a moderate in a field of more extreme Republican presidential candidates,” The L.A. Times writes, adding, “The performance came after weeks of relative quiet from Huntsman, whose momentum had slowed as media attention turned to Bachmann -- the winner of the Iowa straw poll -- and Perry, the newest entrant into the race.”
“Lanny Wiles, the Republican advance man and John McCain campaign veteran, resigned from Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign team on Friday, he told POLITICO. … The Florida-based operative is the latest of several Huntsman staffers to exit the campaign. His wife, Susie Wiles, was Huntsman’s campaign manager until stepping down in July.”
PALIN: Karl Rove says – if he had to - he’d bet Palin gets in: “I’m not a gambler, but I’d put in a bit more money that she does get in than she doesn’t. The schedule she’s got next week in Iowa, it looks more like that of a candidate rather than a celebrity,” Rove said on Fox News Sunday, per National Journal. But, he added, “you can only tease so many times in the political process, and it looks like she’s getting to the end of that.”
But she won’t likely announce anything at the Sept. 3rd rally she’s holding in Iowa. “Scott Conroy reports that Sarah Palin probably won't use her much-hyped, September 3 address in Iowa to launch her bid,” GOP 12 writes.
“Political organizer Peter Singleton, who is putting together a big Tea Party event in Iowa keynoted by Sarah Palin, tells National Review that the former Alaska governor will likely launch a presidential campaign by the end of September,” Taegan Goddard writes. Singleton said, per Goddard: "Labor Day will kick off the Republican campaign for the nomination. She is going to make a major, major speech."
GOP 12 picks up on Palin being against mandatory chicken pox immunizations. “I would not propose govt mandating anything like shots for our kids,” Palin wrote in an email, posted by Conservatives4Palin in a post meaning to point out the differences between her and Perry.
PATAKI: “Sources tell NY1 former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) ‘is strongly considering entering the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination,’” PoliticalWire writes, adding, “The New York Daily News reports Pataki does plan to enter the race but has not set an announcement date yet.”
PAUL: He turned 76 Saturday. Check out NBC’s Anthony Terrell’s piece on why Ron Paul was ignored even after his close second-place showing at Ames.
PERRY: The New York Times A1 on Sunday: "Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry’s administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses."
“America’s trial lawyers are getting ready to make the case against one of their biggest targets in years: Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” Politico writes. “Among litigators, there is no presidential candidate who inspires the same level of hatred – and fear – as Perry, an avowed opponent of the plaintiffs’ bar who has presided over several rounds of tort reform as governor.”
The Texas Tribune offers a primer on Perry's energy policy. New York magazine on Perry's ascendancy: "The entry of Rick Perry into the Republican presidential race has been something like the application of defibrillator paddles to its collective solar plexus—bracing and clarifying, exhilarating or terrifying (depending on your point of view), and, most of all, impossible to ignore."
The Washington Post gives Perry two Pinocchois for his claim that President Obama has “killed more jobs” than any president in his lifetime. “Unless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era. That would be an accurate statement. But he also became president in the midst of the worst recession of our lifetimes — and it seems a real stretch to make him personally responsible for every one of those lost jobs, without bothering to offer a shred of evidence for the claim,” the Post writes.
National Journal’s Reinhard wrote Friday: “Largely overlooked is the undeniable advantage Perry would bring to November 2012: a track record of appealing to the Hispanic community, the fastest-growing part of the electorate and an increasingly pivotal swing bloc.”
Sasha Issenberg tells the New York Times about his new book on Perry: “No candidate has ever presided over a political operation so skeptical about the effectiveness of basic campaign tools and so committed to using social-science methods to rigorously test them. As the 2006 election season approached, the governor’s top strategist, Dave Carney, invited four political scientists into Perry’s war room and asked them to impose experimental controls on any aspect of the campaign budget that they could randomize and measure. Over the course of that year, the eggheads, as they were known within the campaign, ran experiments testing the effectiveness of all the things that political consultants do reflexively and we take for granted: candidate appearances, TV ads, robocalls, direct mail. These were basically the political world’s version of randomized drug trials, which had been used by academics but never from within a large-scale partisan campaign.”
Rick Perry picked up the key endorsements of David Wilkins, a former George W. Bush fundraiser and ambassador to Canada under Bush, and Florence physician Eddie Floyd, whom McClatchy newspapers called “one of the state’s most influential Republican fundraisers.”
ROMNEY: “GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, scheduled to attend a series of fundraisers this weekend in San Diego, is also working on plans to nearly quadruple the size of his $12 million oceanfront manse in La Jolla,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “Romney has filed an application with the city to bulldoze his 3,009-square-foot, single-story home at 311 Dunemere Dr. and replace it with a two-story, 11,062-square-foot structure.”
“A Romney campaign official confirmed the report, saying the Romneys want to ‘enlarge their two-bedroom home because with five married sons and 16 grandchildren it is inadequate for their needs. Construction will not begin until the permits have been obtained and the campaign is finished,’” The Washington Post writes. In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain was criticized and mocked when he said he was unsure how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, owned. The answer was eight. Since then, perhaps sensing that the issue could be a liability for him, too, Romney began consolidating his real estate portfolio.”
Politico’s Simon writes in his column about the summer of discontent: Four years ago, Republican nominee John McCain could not remember number of his houses; today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney cannot remember size of his. But Romney says he wants to increase size of his home in ultra-posh California beach community of LaJolla until he can see Tahiti from his window.
RYAN: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been quietly looking at a president bid ‘for nearly three months, since Indiana governor Mitch Daniels called him to say he wasn't running,’ the Weekly Standard reports,” per Political Wire. And get this: Ryan called Chris Christie to get his thoughts.
NBC’s Carrie Dann and Ali Weinberg contributed to this report.