Jim DeMint is not only comfortable with Mitt Romney, he’s excited about him, Rick Santorum suggests he’d rather have Obama, Eric Fehrnstrom mocks himself and Larry Kissell says he’s not in such bad shape.

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Why Louisiana could prolong Romney’s Southern slide

The Etch-a-Sketch incident and the art of the political gaffe

Rick Santorum’s end game (and why it matters)

The next big endorsements for Mitt Romney

Conservative groups confronting super PACs

The Fix’s “Sweet 2016” bracket: Introducing the Elite Eight!

New Mitt Romney ad touts ‘Conservative Record’

Why Louisiana could stop Romney’s Southern slide


* Another sign that conservative opposition to Mitt Romney is melting. Sen Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said today that while he wasn’t endorsing the former Massachusetts governor, “I can tell conservatives from my perspective is that, I'm not only comfortable with Romney, I'm excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee.” In a memo, Romney’s campaign argued that former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is “Obama’s MVP,” urging the rival candidate to drop out and let Republicans unite.

* In Texas today, Santorum suggested he’d reelect President Obama over Romney. "If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-a-sketch candidate of the future,” he said. Romney responded in a statement, “I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. ... Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

* President Obama called today for federal agencies to speed up their review of the Keystone XL pipeline, a largely symbolic demand intended to send the message that his administration supports domestic oil production.

* Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom joked on Twitter today about a poor choice of words that led to two days of attacks from his boss’ rivals. “Etch A Sketch stock is up?” he wrote. “Psst, I'll mention Mr. Potato Head next. Buy Hasbro.”


* The Club for Growth has endorsed former congressman David McIntosh in Indiana’s 5th district. Retiring Rep. Dan Burton (R) endorsed Marion Mayor Wayne Sebold in the crowded primary. McIntosh served three terms in the House, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2000 and went on to become a lobbyist.

* House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to helping Democrats take back the House of Representatives, has hired Andy Stone as its communications director. Stone comes from the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); in 2010 he worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

* Polling done by Anzalone Liszt Research for North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell (D) finds the incumbent leading his likely opponents by double digits in the new 8th district, despite his new seat’s GOP-friendly lines. But he’s still under 50 percent and he’s a top Republican target.

* A Quinnipiac poll out today finds a dead heat in the Connecticut Senate race between former Rep. Chris Shays (R) and either Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz or Rep. Chris Murphy. Both Democrats would beat former wrestling executive Linda McMahon. But McMahon currently leads Shays in the Republican primary, 51 to 42 percent. Murphy leads Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary 37 percent to 25 percent.


An early contender for 2012’s Best Picture winner:

With Rachel Weiner