Mike Huckabee doesn’t want a shutdown, Jon Huntsman isn’t wasting time, Democrats are thanking Mitt Romney, and Donna Edwards likes the White Stripes.

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* Mike Huckabee, for one, is telling his party to cut a deal. “Nobody’s more pro-life than me. Nobody,” he told Fox Business. “But as much as I want to see Planned Parenthood defunded, as much as I want to see NPR lose their funding, the reality is the president and the Senate are never gonna go along with that. So win the deal you can win and live to fight another day.” He said Republicans should focus on the “Paul Ryan battle” instead.

* Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is planning to attend the launch of her husband’s space shuttle on April 30, less than four months after she was shot in the head. “The Congresswoman has always been very supportive of her husband’s career, and Captain Kelly has always been supportive of hers,” a spokeswoman said. “There’s no reason for any of that to change now.”

* Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) is warning the Republicans not to shut down the government... with some White Stripes lyrics. Relevant portion: “Well, first came an action/And then a reaction/But you can’t switch around/For your own satisfaction/You burned my house down, then got mad at my reaction/It’s just that you can’t take the effect/And make it the cause.”

* President Obama is cancelling another trip to work on budget negotiations. This time it’s a weekend family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia. So the shutdown showdown may be ruining a lot of Washingtonians’ plans, but at least the Obama children won’t have to spend their weekend watching people in colonial garb pretend to churn butter.


* Jon Huntsman is coming back from China and heading straight to the early primary states, a sign that he is serious about running for president.The U.S. ambassador leaves China on April 30; he’s speaking at the University of South Carolina on May 7 and the University of Southern New Hampshire on May 21. But strategists close to the U.S. ambassador say they’re urging him not to participate in a May 5 South Carolina primary debate.

* Who is expected to attend that debate, the first of the cycle? Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Pawlenty, former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum have all confirmed. Former Reagan staffer Fred Karger, a gay rights activist, has been trying to get his name on the list.

* Democrats in Massachusetts plan to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their universal health care legislation by sending a giant “Thank You” card next Tuesday to their former governor, Mitt Romney, who they call “founding father of modern health reform.” Romney is presumably thrilled.

* David Plouffe, the architect of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, will be on “Meet the Press,” “Fox News Sunday” and “This Week” this weekend. A half Ginsburg? Anyway, he’ll be giving the White House line on the budget showdown, wherever that stands by Sunday morning.


Music for midnight tonight:

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake