1.) Gingrich unelectable as Brooks sees no pant crease — David Brooks famously said he was looking at then-Sen. Barack Obama’s crisp pant crease during a meeting when he realized Obama would be president. But Brooks has no such positive premonition about big Newt. TheDC’s Jeff Poor writes:
“On Friday’s ‘PBS NewsHour,’ Brooks said that despite his ascent in the polls, Gingrich has too much negative baggage — and that will play itself out in a general election. ‘The guy has, I think, a 27 percent national approval rating,’ Brooks said. ‘He’s just unelectable.’ ‘Maybe I’m just an elite pundit out of touch, but I can read numbers,’ he continued.”
There are two unalterable rules of nature. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If David Brooks doesn’t see a crease in your pants, you will not be president. No exceptions. Sorry Newt.
2.) Dear Mitch, please save us — The Republican field is down to four, but some conservatives think that all four candidates aren’t particularly appealing, to put it politely. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:
“An online petition for the Indiana governor [Mitch Daniels] to ‘Run, Mitch, Run!’ launched at 8 p.m. Saturday evening, shortly after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was declared the winner of the South Carolina primary. Over 1,000 people have since signed the petition to date. Word that Daniels, who publicly announced he would not seek the GOP presidential nomination back in June, might reconsider was sparked when Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol published a blog post Thursday imagining Daniels announcing his candidacy when he gives the official Republican response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.”
Unfortunately for these dream weavers, a source tells Levinson that Daniels has no intention of reconsidering his June decision not to run.
3.) The Great Ron Paul-Rick Santorum Sign War of 2012 — And so it was on the 22 day of January in the year 2012, a great war broke out in the Coral Springs of Florida between supporters of Ron Paul of Texas and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. And not just any ordinary war. The most destructive type of war man has ever known: A sign war. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein (ME!) reports:
“During Rick Santorum’s Sunday rally in Florida, a great sign war erupted between supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul and supporters of the former Pennsylvania senator … A coterie of Paul supporters showed up with signs promoting their man, initially positioning themselves toward the back. But some sign holders slowly began to migrate up front, annoying the Santorum faithful. Some Santorum sign holders in turn attempted to block the Ron Paul placards by placing their signs in front if them. And so it went throughout the rally.”
It is safe to say that history won’t quite be the same ever again. As long as we have breaths in our body, let us never forget Jan. 22, 2012.
4.) Obama: Maestro of Manufacturing? — No one screams populism more than Barack Obama, the a community organizer–turned Harvard Law grad–turned Chicago law professor–turned career politician. Which is why it makes perfect sense that President Populist will be pitching himself as the savior of American manufacturing during his State of the Union address Tuesday. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“The growing competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector ‘is a good news story … so we’re going to keep on pushing that and you’ll see that as significant focus in our State of the Union’ speech, Obama said as he ended the Jan. 17 meeting. The focus on manufacturing is intended to help jump-start his 2012 campaign.”
5.) Words of wisdom: New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait on Rick Santorum’s belated victory in Iowa — “There was an old FedEx commercial depicting an aging pool cleaner suddenly discovering a 20-year-old acceptance letter from Harvard he had never received, and imagining the life he could have had. That man is Santorum.”
6.) BIRTHDAYS — Obnoxiously large signature-signer John Hancock turns 275; Goose-killer (and aviation superstar) Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger turns 61; Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo turns 48 (h/t French Guiana President Rodolphe Alexandre); Chinese soccer player Dong Fangzhuo turns 27.