Forget Iowa. Jon Huntsman did. He's campaigning here right up until the clock strikes 2012. But will that resolve last a few more days longer until the New Hampshire Primary? Or will auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Mind yourself, this is your Primary Countdown for Wednesday, Dec. 28. There are 13 days until we see if Huntsman's eggs-in-one-basket approach will allow him to pass Go and woo voters in other early states.
Barnstormin' Jon Huntsman even has a party on New Year's Eve–albeit at midday–at the house of Jim Rubens, a former state senator and gubernatorial hopeful who has a share of conservative street cred.
Some really, really like him: We asked Rubens what he likes in Huntsman. Rubens emailed back: "I like that Gov. Huntsman is sane, witty, intelligent, has what the WSJ calls the best tax reform plan of any candidate, has broad foreign policy experience, wants to align military policy with fiscal reality, has delivered market-based healthcare reform in his state, has governed in a manner that achieves broad consensus, rather than partisan fights to deadly stalemate."
Tell it to the judge: Romney criticizes Gingrich's position on federal judges. In Londonderry, Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement of state Sen. Sharon Carson. When a voter asked him a question on activist judges, Romney picked apart his rival's positions on it. Before he hopped a plane to Iowa, Romney visited a traditional primary stop, Geno's Chowder & Sandwich Shop in Portsmouth, where a large crowd turned out to see him,
Organic buzz, or political stagecraft? The Romney stop caused quite a hubbub, the crowd being so big – and one guy parking his car in the middle of the street in all the excitement – that Portsmouth Police called in a detail officer and Romney was given the bill, $50.10 per hour with a minimum detail time of four hours, according to the Portsmouth Herald.
Jump Ball: A new Gallup nationwide poll taken Dec. 20-26 shows Newt Gingrich a point ahead of Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul at 11 percent, Rick Perry at 8 percent, Michele Bachmann at 6 percent, Rick Santorum at 3 percent, and Jon Huntsman at 2 percent. The other Gallup polling of note: Gingrich and Romney are tied when it comes to a match-up against President Obama.
- The Boston Globe had an editorial yesterday saying that former Louisiana governor and congressman Buddy Roemer should be allowed in the final debates in New Hampshire.
- The New Hampshire Union Leader has an editorial today knocking Mitt Romney and praising Newt Gingrich. The paper lauds Gingrich's "ideas" next to "Romney's millions." It also takes pot shots at establishment Republicans in Romney's corner: former U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, and former Gov. John H. Sununu. There's even a swipe at former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Not Anybody But Obama II: Newt Gingrich has said in the past that any of the GOP presidential candidates would be better than President Obama. But he tells CNN that he wouldn't vote for Ron Paul if the Texas congressman were to win the GOP nomination.
Around the Horn:
- Newt Gingrich's Glory Days. A Matt Bai piece that asks the question (among others) whether younger Americans would even recognize the man behind the Republican revolution nearly 20 years ago.
- Perry toughens anti-abortion stance. Several stories are up today on Texas Gov. Rick Perry honing his message in the final days until the Iowa caucuses.
- Nation Needs Romney. The Boston Herald's endorsement today of the former Massachusetts governor.
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