Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Is Paul Ryan rethinking his decision not to run for president?

    Ryan (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Paul Ryan has long insisted that he is not interested running for president in 2012. But is he on the verge of changing his mind?

    Sources close to the House Budget Committee chairman tell The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes that Ryan is "strongly considering" launching his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination and has been meeting with GOP strategists in recent weeks to plot out a potential campaign.

    "He's coming around," a Republican close to Ryan tells Hayes.

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  • For Michele Bachmann, momentum in Iowa means greater scrutiny

    Bachmann in Waterloo (Charles Dharapak/AP)Michele Bachmann's narrow win at last weekend's Iowa straw poll crowned her the unofficial Republican frontrunner in the early presidential caucus state. But with that momentum comes greater scrutiny.

    Just three days after the Ames poll, Bachmann faces fallout from not one, but two, potentially damaging stories in which the candidate was caught not quite telling the truth.

    On Sunday, Bachmann irked Republican voters in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, when she showed up late to a party fundraising dinner. Politico's Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin noted that Bachmann delayed her arrival on stage, even though she had been already introduced, as staffers fussed about stage lighting.

    While this was happening, Bachmann wasn't shaking hands or mingling with potential Iowa voters, as rivals Rick Perry and Rick Santorum--who were also on hand--did. Rather she was "camped out" in her bus, according to Politico, and the crowd was, in turn, puzzled by her absence and her seeming unwillingness to step out of her campaign bubble.

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  • Here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Bill Clinton thinks Rick Perry is a "good-looking rascal." (PolitickerNY)

    • Rudy Giuliani endorsed Bob Turner in the race for Anthony Weiner's old House seat. (NY Daily News)

    • Tim Pawlenty's exit from the GOP field was one of the fastest ever. (Smart Politics)

    • Perry slams President Obama's lack of military experience. (The Note)

    • Would a stronger Obama help Mitt Romney clinch the GOP nomination? (The Atlantic)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: Bill Clinton thinks Perry is ‘good-looking’; Pawlenty’s exit was among the quickest
  • Romney suggests Perry lacks experience in the ‘real economy’

    Romney meets voters in NH (Jim Cole/AP)Mitt Romney has played nice about Rick Perry's decision to jump into the GOP nomination race, calling him "a fine man" and a "fine governor."

    But the former Massachusetts governor hinted  at what will be his key argument against Perry's candidacy during a New Hampshire appearance today. Asked specifically about Perry's arrival in the race, Romney reiterated how much he "respects" the Texas governor, but insisted the president should have private sector experience.

    "I think understanding how the economy works by having worked in the real economy is finally essential for the White House, and I hope people recognize that," Romney told reporters today, per the Boston Globe's Glen Johnson.

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  • Amid sagging poll numbers, Obama kicks off bus tour through key 2012 states

    (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images)In the midst of what is shaping up to be one of the worst months of his presidency politically, President Obama will kick off a three-day bus tour through the Midwest today focused on job growth and the economy.

    The trip, which starts off with a town hall today in Cannon Falls, Minn., is aimed highlighting at economic development in rural areas and small business success stories--which he'll argue has been possible because of his administration's policies. But the larger focus of the trip is to rebut Republican criticism that Obama isn't focused on improving the economy and creating jobs amid near-record unemployment and fears of a double-dip recession.

    The tour comes as the latest Gallup Poll finds Obama's national approval has hit a new low. Just 39 percent of Americans polled approve of Obama's job performance—the lowest number of his presidency. His disapproval rating is at 54 percent, according to Gallup.

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  • Tim Pawlenty ends his bid for the presidency

    Pawlenty (Charlie Neibergall/AP)Tim Pawlenty is dropping his bid for the 2012 GOP nomination.

    The former Minnesota governor made the announcement in a conference call this morning with supporters and later confirmed it in an interview on ABC's "This Week." He's the first high-profile GOP candidate to drop out of the increasingly crowded race.

    The move came a day after he finished a distant third place in the Iowa straw poll Saturday--a contest that he had hoped would provide some desperately needed momentum for his campaign.

    "We needed to get some lift to continue on," Pawlenty told ABC. "That didn't happen. Obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist, and so we're going to end the campaign."

    Read More »from Tim Pawlenty ends his bid for the presidency
  • Michele Bachmann wins, Ron Paul a close second at Iowa straw poll

    Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, in Ames (Chip Somodevilla/AP)Michele Bachmann claimed a narrow victory over Ron Paul in Iowa's GOP presidential straw poll on Saturday, becoming the first woman to ever win the famed contest.

    With nearly 17,000 votes cast, the Minnesota congresswoman received 4,823 votes in Ames--narrowly beating Paul by just 152 votes.

    Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished in third place, with 2,293 votes--a disappointing finish for the 2012 hopeful who was counting on a good showing to give some much needed momentum to his campaign.

    Still, Pawlenty offered no signs that he is thinking about quitting the race, citing his third place finish as "progress." "We are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign," Pawlenty said in a statement.

    Read More »from Michele Bachmann wins, Ron Paul a close second at Iowa straw poll
  • Rick Perry officially declares 2012 presidential bid

    Perry (Gerry Broome/AP)Rick Perry officially kicked off his long-expected bid for the 2012 GOP nomination Saturday, insisting the country's standing in the world is "in peril" because of President Obama's "rudderless leadership."

    Speaking at a conservative gathering in South Carolina, the Texas governor delivered a harsh critique of Obama, slamming his handling of foreign policy and accusing the president of leading the country off a cliff when it comes to federal spending.

    "How can a country fail so miserably to pay its bills?" Perry demanded, citing the nation's recent credit downgrade. "We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership . . .  A great country demands a better direction. A renewed nation needs a new president. It's time to get America working again."

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  • Questioner under fire for asking Bachmann what it means to be a ‘submissive’ wife

    Bachmann (Charlie Neibergall/AP)A moderator at last night's GOP presidential debate is coming under fire for questioning Michele Bachmann on what it means when she says she's a "submissive" wife and how it might affect her presidency.

    The Biblical phrase came up in a recent Washington Post profile of Bachmann's husband, Marcus, which reported the Minnesota lawmaker had told congregants at her church in 2006 that she'd pursued her degree in tax law only because her husband had told her to.

    "The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands," Bachmann said at the time, according to the Post. Her campaign hasn't disputed the remarks.

    On Thursday, the Washington Examiner's Byron York, a conservative columnist who was one of the moderators of the 2012 debate, asked Bachmann directly about that quote.

    "As president, would you be submissive to your husband?" he asked, a question that prompted the crowd to erupt in loud boos.

    Read More »from Questioner under fire for asking Bachmann what it means to be a ‘submissive’ wife
  • Obama strategist threatens to fire staff who smear Mitt Romney

    David Axelrod (Brian Kersey/AP)President Obama's chief political strategist said staffers who attempt to smear rival Mitt Romney in the upcoming election risk being fired by the campaign.

    In an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe, Obama strategist David Axelrod attempted to distance the president from a Politico story earlier this week that reported the Obama campaign is preparing to unleash a "ferocious personal assault" against Romney in coming months to paint him as "weird."

    "Anyone who purports to be a source within the Obama camp who used that term and some of the other terms that were in that story according to unnamed sources should be ripped out of whoever's Rolodex considers them sources," Axelrod insisted. "That doesn't reflect our thinking. We have real legitimate differences with Mitt Romney."

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