From Steve Kornacki at the WAR ROOM at Salon:
If his goal when he officially launched his presidential candidacy last month was to inflict a massive amount of humiliation on himself in as short a time as possible, then Newt Gingrich has succeeded spectacularly.
After an epically botched campaign roll-out — which included accusations of ideological treason from influential conservatives and a nationally televised exchange with an Iowa voter who called him “an embarrassment to our party” and urged him to quit the race “before you make a bigger fool of yourself” — Gingrich was left struggling to explain how he and his wife racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges at Tiffany’s jewelers. Then he randomly took off on a vacation (a lavish Greek cruise, it turned out), and now he’s returned to find that virtually his entire staff has quit.
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From POST POLITICS at the Washington Post:
A sparse crowd of tea party activists gathered beneath the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to urge Congress to cut more spending from the current federal budget and to cheer on some of their favorite politicians, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Steve King (R-Iowa).
One organizer estimated that a couple of hundred protesters had gathered near the Robert A. Taft bell tower north of the Capitol at lunchtime Thursday. According to a media sign-in sheet, at least 50 of those present were journalists documenting the latest tea party rally in Washington.
Because there’s nothing more important for them to be covering than a handful of members of the Batshit Bachmann fan club?
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
In a statement this afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor acknowledged what top Republicans have hesitated to acknowledge since they won back the majority in November: a government shutdown is a real possibility and, he says, the country will blame Democrats if that happens.
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Tuesday’s breakdown in Republican discipline weakens Speaker John Boehner’s hand in White House budget talks and raises the chances of a government shutdown next month unless he and President Barack Obama greatly step up their game.
Fifty-four Republicans broke ranks with Boehner, leaving him suddenly dependent on Democrats to win House approval of a must-pass three-week spending bill to keep the government operating past Friday. Tea-party-backed freshmen contributed to the embarrassment, but an equal force was a set of more veteran conservatives — some with their own political agenda but also more willing to risk an immediate fight with the White House.
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From Jonathan Capehart at POST PARTISAN at The Washington Post:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is pushing Sarah Palin off her throne as queen of the Tea Party. This considered opinion comes after watching Bachmann on “Meet the Press.” I didn’t agree with 99.9 percent of what she said, but in 12 minutes on MTP she demonstrated why she is a better leader of the angry wing of the Republican Party than Palin.
Bachmann, who is in her third term in Congress, is relentlessly on message. Her main talking point was that “secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress, over $105 billion was hidden in the Obamacare legislation to fund the implementation of Obamacare.” No matter the question asked — Will there be a government shutdown? Has Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) failed the Tea Party? — she came back to that $105 billion.
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From The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:
Newt Gingrich on Thursday announced that he’s going to explore running for president. He has set up a website, NewtExplore2012.com, where donors can give him money to fund this effort.
“We will try very methodically to lay out the framework for what we do next,” said Mr. Gingrich, speaking to reporters at the Georgia state Capitol.
Allow me to translate: This is yet another scam to sucker money out of idiots who can still be convinced that I could beat Barack Obama (or anyone else, for that matter).
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