From POST POLITICS at The Washington Post:
Forget the sound bites from the stage. Some of the most memorable moments from a series of Republican presidential debates have come not from the candidates competing for the nomination but from the intensely partisan audiences there to appraise them.
In four of the most recent debates, assertive audience members have managed to make their mark on the proceedings.
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From THE TICKET at YAHOO! NEWS:
When NBC’s Brian Williams asked former Gov. Mitt Romney at the most recent Republican presidential debate if he considers himself “a member of the tea party,” it may have been the toughest question of the night.
As anyone who aligns himself with the small-government movement will tell you, the question was overly simplistic–the tea party is more of an intellectual concept than an actual centralized organization–but Williams’ question clearly struck a nerve. It was one of the only questions during the debate that Romney hesitated before answering, and his meandering response took far more time and effort than what some of his contenders would have expended in the same exchange. Herman Cain, for instance, probably would have whistled by the query and just said, “Yes.”
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We’ll have to take a little break in the continuing coverage of St. Ronnie Reagan for a different saint. I didn’t have time to photoshop anything today, but I did make a pic for Seneca Doane over at the Big Orange, so we’ll use that over here tonight. My apologies.
From Hot Dish Politics at the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Rep. Michele Bachmann might have arrived a half-hour late for the first nationwide Tea Party Town Hall, but she got there in plenty of time to raise the alarm – Paul Revere style – about the imminent threat of a faraway government with designs on its citizens’ freedoms and liberties.
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From The Wire at BUSINESS INSIDER:
Last year Rachel Maddow proved herself adept at media criticism when she took Fox News to task in a number of blazing segments over their coverage of Shirley Sherrod and the ACORN debacle.
She appear to be back at it this week. Except this time around her focus is not Fox News. It’s CNN.
She is still scorching.
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Washington (CNN) – There may be two House Republicans giving high-profile responses to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor made it clear that it’s the new House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, not Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is speaking for the GOP.
“Paul Ryan is giving the official Republican response,” Cantor said when asked at his weekly session with reporters if Bachmann’s response will step on the GOP message.
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From Andrew Romano at THE DAILY BEAST:
Michele Bachmann has certainly been keeping busy.
Within hours of winning her third congressional term in November, the colorful Minnesota Republican began campaigning for conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House GOP leadership. Why? Because “constitutional conservatives”—like her and, presumably, unlike the rest of John Boehner’s team—”deserve a loud and clear voice!” A few weeks later, news leaked that Bachmann would be traveling to Iowa for a fundraiser—and that “nothing,” according to her spokesman, “is off the table.” Asked whether she was considering a presidential run, Bachmann told ABC News “I’m going to Iowa—there’s your answer.”
Then on Friday Bachmann announced that even though Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is slated to deliver the official Republican response to President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, she would be giving her own online rebuttal on behalf of the Tea Party Express “shortly after” Ryan’s speech concludes.
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Delaware is not normally where you go for exciting politics. It’s a small state, totally dominated for most of the last three or four decades by three or four guys who keep getting reelected, except when they trade one of the state’s four major offices and get elected again. Mike Castle’s been getting elected for about thirty years. He was Governor. Then the state’s sole Representative since 1993. And now he’s trading up to be Senator. That’s just how things work in Delaware.
Until about a month ago.
Now it looks like he’s about to get rocked by totally wild-eyed Tea Partier Christine O’Donnell. She’s the one who says it’s not enough to be abstinent. You have to eliminate sexual desire entirely. Which suggests she’s what you’d call an aspirational politician rather than a realist.
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From Joan Walsh at Salon:
Credit where it’s due: Just days after insisting there are no racists in the Tea Party movement, Tea Party Federation leader David Webb told CBS’s “Face the Nation” today that Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express had been expelled from the group. Last seen trying to start a sponsors’ boycott of MSNBC’s “Hardball” because of Chris Matthews’s tough reporting on the Tea Party, Webb was apparently appalled by Williams’s blatantly racist Letter to President Lincoln from “Colored People” signed by “Precious Ben Jealous,” asking Lincoln to repeal emancipation because “coloreds” had it better under slavery, not having to look for a job and such. Webb called the letter “offensive.”
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(Yes, that is Mark Williams’s real computer.)
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