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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Morning Bits

Remember when Mitt Romney had a super hard time with conservatives? “Mitt Romney leads Rick Santorum by 16 percentage points in Feb. 29-March 4 Gallup Daily tracking of national Republican registered voters’ preferences for their party’s nomination. Romney is at 38%, Santorum 22%, Newt Gingrich 15%, and Ron Paul 12%. Santorum led Romney by 10 points as recently as Feb. 20. . . . Romney leads Santorum by 35% to 27% among conservatives, and is ahead of Santorum by 32% to 31% among weekly churchgoing Republicans.”

Super disappointed with President Obama’s election year snuggle-up-to-Israel ploy. “West Bank Palestinians say they are disappointed in President Barack Obama but not surprised by his especially warm embrace of Israel in an election year. Still, his weekend speech to the powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC was perceived in the West Bank as unprecedented in its show of support for Israel. It raised eyebrows even among hardened skeptics who have lost faith in Washington’s ability to serve as an honest Mideast broker.”

Super Tuesday may hasten this trend. “Huckabee: GOP starting to unite behind Romney.”

Super difficult if he doesn’t win in Ohio. “Santorum may blame an Ohio defeat on money, but it will not dampen the damage of such a loss, says Dave Carney, a veteran GOP politico and Rick Perry’s former strategist. ‘It would really hurt his rationale for running,’ he says. As a candidate who ‘talks about populism and who says he understands manufacturing culture,’ he needs to win here, period.”

Super embarrassing when an admired foreign policy guru in your own party dumps on you. “President Obama failed to request enough money to fully fund critical U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, according to a top Democratic lawmaker on the House Appropriations Committee. Asked today if President Obama had sought adequate funding for joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs in his 2013 budget proposal, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) replied, “No. . . . We’re going to succeed in getting more money for these vitally important joint U.S.-Israel defense programs.”

Super small crowds suggest not much excitement, I guess. “Paul’s campaign announced that 1,300 people attended his town hall in Sandpoint, Idaho, which has a population of 7,400 people. ‘This contrasts with less-inspiring candidates struggling with diminished interest, including small crowd sizes for Rick Santorum in [the] much larger Coeur d’Alene, which neighbors Spokane,’ his campaign observed. ‘The ‘leading’ competing candidate drew a paltry 600 there on February 15th, and turnout for the Paul town hall event also contrasts with turnout for a previous Sarah Palin book signing in Sandpoint — her hometown — that drew about 750.’”

Super jealous? “So to have Palin complaining about weariness with the ‘pettiness within the GOP process’ and for ‘bickering back and forth’ is a bit much. Among other things, it shows an utter lack of self-awareness by the former Alaska governor and, I would imagine, some degree of projection. Whatever complaints some Republicans might have about the current field, at least Sarah Palin isn’t in it. Call it a small blessing for the GOP.” Ouch.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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