Discuss as:

2012: A new GOP front-runner?

BACHMANN: “All presidential candidates try to control their image,” the New York Times says. “But the campaign of Mrs. Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll this month who is now battling to be seen as a national front-runner, is more controlling than most, carefully stage-managing her contacts with the news media and the public.”

Forbes magazine ranks Bachmann ahead of Sarah Palin on their most power women in the world list. And Palin’s ranked in the “celebrity/lifestyle” category. Bachmann’s in politics, per GOP 12.

PALIN: “On Fox News last night, Karl Rove called out Sarah Palin for her belligerent response to speculation that she's planning to jump into the race,” GOP 12 writes. He said he was “mystified” and that she has an “enormous, thin skin.” Rove said: “[I]f we speculate about her, she gets upset, and I suspect if we didn't speculate about her, she'd be upset and trying to find a way to get us to speculate about it.... it's weird, very odd."

PERRY: Politico: “Rick Perry vies for front-runner title.”

The Hill: “Perry eclipses Romney as front-runner in newest Gallup poll.”

Conservative Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe - a leading climate change skeptic - is backing Perry over Romney, whom he called "mushy" on environmental issues.

Politico looks at Perry's efforts at fundraising in DC and New York power centers. "In a sense, the debate over fundraising reflects a central question facing Perry’s candidacy: whether he should stick to the themes and support base that propelled him to success in Texas or seek to broaden his appeal to a wider range of Republicans and independents."

Perry won the endorsement yesterday of Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon.

The Texas governor's RGA fundraising is under the spotlight, from the Houston Chronicle: "Although state law prohibits Texas elected officials from accepting campaign contributions during the legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry this year raised a record $22 million for the Republican Governors Association - a nonprofit political powerhouse that has been Perry's own top benefactor during his decade as governor."

He signed the SBA List anti-abortion pledge.

ROMNEY: The Boston Globe: “Mitt Romney is the Republican front-runner no longer.” Maybe that accounts for his backtracks and shifts yesterday on global warming and Dodd-Frank.

In June, Romney said at a town hall in Manchester, N.H., on global warming: "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that.”

But yesterday, he said: "Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is. I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."

And then there was this: “I’d like to repeal Dodd Frank, recognizing that some revisions make sense,” he said.

Yet, in July, the Boston Globe notes, “Romney was unable to name specific parts of the bill that he liked or disliked. When asked, he said only, ‘It’s 2,000 pages. I’m sure there’s something in there that’s good…I’d be happy to take a look at it perhaps line by line at some point and lay out the provisions that I think are unfortunate.’”

In a feisty town hall here along the Vermont state line, Mitt Romney declared "No harm, No Foul" on the mysterious W Spann LLC donation a few weeks back, and delivered some harsh criticism of the President, NBC’s Garrett Haake reports.  That answer came in one of several spirited exchanges at a senior center. Romney was asked about the effects of money in politics and added he'd like people to be able to make contributions to campaigns, but also that we know who made each contribution.  He added that he believed Ed Conard, the man who set up the dummy corporation, intended to give to multiple candidates, but then changed his mind, which is why he disbanded W Spann. In the same answer he placed blame on the president for not accepting limits or matching funds last cycle for raising the monetary stakes.

The New York Times: “At his evening town meeting in Lebanon,  Mr. Romney faced a fiery crowd — a mix of independents, Republicans, Democrats and staunch supporters of President Obama — but he parried with them and sought to turn the focus back to the president. ‘You know, there’s leading, and then there’s blaming other people and campaigning and golfing,’ Mr. Romney said. ‘He’s good at the last three.’”

“For nearly a month, Democratic Senate candidate Alan Khazei has been mocked by a ‘CrazyKhazei’ Twitter account that pretends to represent his thinking and offers sometimes-nasty statements about the news of the day,” the Boston Globe writes. “Now the author has been unmasked. Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior campaign adviser to US Senator Scott Brown, the Republican who Khazei hopes to challenge in next year’s election, sent out a “CrazyKhazei”-type tweet last night from his personal Twitter account.” Fehrnstrom is also a senior adviser to Mitt Romney and was a 2008 spokesman.