Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards arrives outside federal court in Greensboro, N.C. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Harder they fall — Former senator John Edwards once had a promising political future, and now he’s reduced to the life of a pariah as he awaits trial. As our colleague Michael Leahy reports, he was even hissed at at a local restaurant. But tellingly, he’s still in defense-attorney mode: “John thinks that the treatment of him is so unflinchingly horrible and that what he did is not so different from what others did,” a friend says.

Busy day — Hope Mitt Romney gets a good night of sleep the day before his potential presidential inauguration. He’s got a huge “to-do” list for day one, report our colleagues David Fahrenthold . “An oath. A speech. A parade. Some mandatory dancing.” Plus a ton of policy goals. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.

Thanks for reminding us — We’d forgotten where we’d heard Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) line before about Communists in Congress. Not just Joseph McCarthy, but... former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), who is now in federal prison after a corruption conviction.

Our colleague Aaron Blake chatted with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who was the one to recall Cunningham’s claim. “Mr. West is in really very extraordinary company here,” DeFazio said. ”He should get in touch with Duke in prison, and they can chat about this conspiracy that’s going on.”