After his narrow victory in Iowa, Romney makes the cover of Time magazine: “So You Like Me Now?
The Washington Post: “Fresh off the slimmest of victories in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney landed here Wednesday and immediately faced intense attacks from Republican presidential rivals who vowed to challenge him more aggressively. Newt Gingrich held a news conference in Concord to say that Romney is a liberal and a political chameleon, willing to change positions to suit his needs.”
Romney has a new TV ad airing in South Carolina that plays up the NRLB-Boeing flap in the Palmetto State (though the matter has now been resolved).
BACHMANN: She’s out. “Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann suspended her presidential campaign today, after a dismal finish in last night’s Iowa caucuses,” the Boston Globe writes. “Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside,” she said.
The New York Post in a rough headline: “Dud Michele quits.”
“Michele Bachmann's decision to end her presidential campaign leaves the Minnesota Republican with another big one: whether to seek a fourth term in the U.S. House or direct her newfound political celebrity elsewhere,” AP writes. “Bachmann would be heavily favored to keep her seat in the Republican-leaning 6th District unless it's significantly reshaped by redistricting early this year. But after months in the national spotlight of the presidential race, she could determine she'd be more influential in a different role. ‘I don't think she'll run for re-election,’ Kent Kaiser, a Minnesota GOP operative who supports Mitt Romney for president but remains a Bachmann fan, wrote in an email to The Associated Press. She could try instead for an appointment in a new Republican administration, he wrote, or consider a potentially lucrative spot on the speaking circuit.”
The Minnesota Star-Tribune also notes Bachmann “gave no indication of what's in store for her future -- or whether she even plans to stay in politics.” More: “The question that remains is whether the 55-year-old Bachmann, a party maverick who has built up a national brand through her campaign, is ready to return to Washington lawmaking as one of 435 House members. A founder of the Tea Party Caucus, Bachmann has developed a reputation for occasionally hijacking the message of Republican Party leaders in the House, where she is thought to have little chance of upward mobility. As she demonstrated in earlier protests against President Obama's health care legislation in Washington, her true power base lies outside Congress, not within it.”
SANTORUM: Now that Santorum is the anti-Romney front runner, the scrutiny is coming. NBC’s Michael Isikoff finds that a wealthy Wyoming financier is the principal backer of a pro-Santorum Super PAC Restore Our Future, which spent more than half-a-million dollars in Iowa on ads for the former Pennsylvania senator, and it figures to play prominently in South Carolina and other contests. Here’s his report and interview with Foster Friess.
Bloomberg digs through his financial disclosure and notes, “Since his 2006 re-election defeat, the former Pennsylvania lawmaker has gone from being one of the poorer members of the U.S. Senate to earning $1.3 million between January 2010 and August 2011.”
First Read noted back in November, as scrutiny was coming Newt Gingrich’s way on his payments from Freddie Mac, that Rick Santorum was also “not a lobbyist”: “A review of the financial disclosure form for Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, shows he made $65,000 for “legislative policy consulting services" from American Continental Group, a government affairs and consulting firm -- a.k.a. a lobbying firm -- in Washington in 2010 up until Aug. 2 of this year when he filed his form. Santorum lists that he began working for them as a consultant in July 2009 and lists them as a "present" employer.”
PERRY: The Texas Tribune asks: “After Poor Iowa Showing, Why is Perry Still Running?”
“GOP contender Rick Perry seemed to change course Wednesday on his decision to bail from the race — announcing on Twitter that he was headed to South Carolina,” the New York Daily News notes.
ROMNEY: “Mitt Romney, able to seize the offensive in Iowa’s Republican presidential contest, turned overnight into a front-runner on the defensive as rivals stepped up attacks on the former Massachusetts governor in advance of New Hampshire’s pivotal Jan. 10 primary,” Bloomberg writes.
The Boston Globe similarly writes, “A shrunken field of Republican candidates yesterday launched a hectic one-week dash to win over New Hampshire’s famously fickle voters. Front-runner Mitt Romney, who holds a wide lead in statewide polls, came under assault from four remaining competitors as a flip-flopping moderate, presenting a new test of whether he can survive sustained scrutiny of his record.”
The New York Daily News: “Fresh off his paper-thin win in Iowa, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney swept into New Hampshire on Wednesday with a giant bull’s-eye on his back. Romney did his best to stay under the radar in the long leadup to Iowa as a rotating cast of candidates surged ahead in the polls and then flamed out. But no more.”
Joshua Green at Bloomberg notes, as NBC’s Garrett Haake did, that Romney declared he would win Iowa. “Less than 24 hours before the Iowa caucuses got under way, Mitt Romney, paragon of discipline, stood among empty oil drums and rusting tools in a Marion asphalt plant and let himself get a little carried away,” Green writes. “ ‘We’re going to win this thing!’ he declared to a cheering throng. His staff scrambled to tamp down this impromptu bit of expectations-setting. But his elation was understandable. The growing crowds validated his last-minute decision to compete all out in a state that four years earlier had spurned him, and he sensed a big win coming. And while his eight-vote squeaker didn’t provide the decisive margin he would have preferred, Romney still looks to have a clear path to the Republican nomination.”
“A political action committee called Restore Our Future, which supports Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, ran more than $1.2 million of negative ads in Iowa, mostly aimed at Gingrich. The PAC made at least one false statement and several misleading ones over the course of five of its last commercials,” Bloomberg notes.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical difficulty, we were unable to get in several other clips earlier. Those have been added in now.