Buddy Roemer, the one-term Louisiana governor from long ago (whose reelection campaign ended in defeat at the hands of a Klansman), was none too happy when Fox News announced Wednesday that it was barring him from participating in the first Republican presidential debate, to be held in South Carolina Thursday night.
But he may actually be catching a break.
Tonight’s event could well be the first time in history that a nationally televised presidential debate lowers the stature of every participant.
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From Paul Harris at the Mail & Guardian online:
The bright lights of the Las Vegas strip were an apt setting for the Donald Trump carnival roadshow to end up in last week. Amid the garish neon of the gigantic Treasure Island Casino, the business mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned-potential Republican presidential candidate made his latest stop.
Speaking at an event called The Reagan Revolution: From Ronald to Donald, Trump made his pitch to an audience of Nevada Republican bigwigs and curious onlookers in one of the key early-voting states in the nomination process. In the casino’s ballroom, which featured an ice statue of himself, Trump gave a virtuoso performance that was full of braggadocio and littered with expletives. “Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people,” he said, before referring to the Chinese government as “motherfuckers” against whom he’d raise trade tariffs.
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Newt Gingrich has come a long way since criticizing Latinos a few years ago for continuing to speak “the language of living in a ghetto.” He’s taking Spanish lessons, reaching out to Hispanic community leaders, and supports “finding a way for residency” for some illegal immigrants.
But mounting a successful presidential bid means winning over GOP primary activists — many of whom favor a hard-line immigration crackdown — and that means Gingrich’s moderate positions could spell big trouble for him in the early-voting states, strategists say.
He recently attended a Texas conference on strengthening Latino and Jewish dialogue, and regularly publishes op-eds in Spanish.
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From YAHOO NEWS:
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will join former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and businessman Herman Cain at a New Hampshire event next month hosted by the tea party-affiliated Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF).
Also invited, but not yet confirmed are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., was invited, but his office “politely reminded us that he’s not running,” said AFPF New Hampshire State Director Corey Lewandowski.
Just as noteworthy are the contenders who didn’t make the cut at all, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a tea party favorite.
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From politicalticker at CNN:
Phoenix (CNN) – With no Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or other potential presidential candidates in attendance, Tim Pawlenty did not have to elbow much for speaking and face time with conservative activists gathered at the American Policy Summit in Phoenix on Saturday.
Amid the thin lineup of potential candidates at the Tea Party Patriots’ three-day event, the friendly crowd was served red meat from the former Minnesota Republican governor – who emerged on stage to a splashy video presentation.
“I’m here today to say, ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for standing up to the ruling class. Thank you for standing up to the liberal power brokers, guardians of the status quo and the royal triangle of greed: big government, big unions and big bailed-out businesses.”
Thank you, because I can’t blow each one of you individually.
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
As the conflict in Wisconsin shifts from a battle over budget deficits into an ideological debate, some high-profile Republicans — potential presidential contenders — are lining up behind Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Former Minnesota governor and possible presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty released a video today that uses dramatic music and quick cuts of protest footage to show support for Walker. At the end of the minute-long video, Pawlenty is shown on a news program saying, “It’s really important that America stand with Walker, stand with Wisconsin.”
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From the Atlantic:
One is a bald, blue-eyed former hospital executive brand new to public office. Another is a career politician who leads statewide motorcycle tours to boost tourism. And the other is a former congressman and FOX News host who called a cop who gave him a traffic ticket last month an “idiot.”
All three are newly elected Republican governors facing massive political upheaval over their slash-and-burn approach to state spending and rejection of billions of federal dollars for high-speed rail projects.
Call them the “Three Scrooges”: Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and John Kasich of Ohio. Walker and Kasich replaced Democrats, and Scott replaced a Republican-turned-independent.
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