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TheDC Morning: Obama puts Weiner on stick, holds over fire

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1.) First GOP presidential debate happened — Yep. It certainly did. Might as well get it over with, huh? Here’s who showed up last night: Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, and of course Ron Paul. CNN’s John King was the moderator, presumably due to his unmatchable name recognition among the American public. The post-debate consensus seems to be that Romney didn’t do anything to harm his frontrunner status, and the rest of them were polite enough to cooperate with him. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports: “Those expecting a Mitt Romney feeding frenzy didn’t get one. If the Republicans on stage with the former governor of Massachusetts were smelling blood at Romney’s first debate of the 2012 cycle, they didn’t go for his jugular over RomneyCare. The six other candidates had plenty of chances to nail Romney here at St. Anselm College, but they instead saved their energy for President Obama.” So, that occurred. Mark Steyn points out why modern presidential debates are dumb and pointless: “The trouble is it’s all ‘This or That’. As Newt pointed out, most of the questions posit ridiculous choices: Are you in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants or are you in favor of deporting 20 million people? Are you in favor of seizing private property in New Hampshire for a Hydro Québec power line or are you in favor of continued oil dependency on psychotic dictators? The remainder fall into cutesie-pie stuff that John King lacks the personality to pull off, and the last embodied in its perfect post-modern stupidity the awfulness of these ‘debates’: ‘What have you learned during the past two hours?’ Hmm. What I learned is that John King makes Tim Pawlenty look like Lady Gaga.”

2.) Michele Bachmann is running for president, which apparently was in question for some reason — Bachmann’s very presence at the debate last night might give you the idea she’s running for president. But it’s not that simple. Pappas again: “Chris Matthews’ nightmare is coming true. Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party favorite that the MSNBC host devotes countless hours to complaining about on air, announced during Monday’s CNN debate that she is planning to run for president. Even though she was slated to participate in Monday’s debate, she was not a candidate yet, and hadn’t even filed papers to form an exploratory committee. She had begun hiring staff and making moves indicative of someone who is preparing to do so. She said during the debate that she plans to make a formal announcement soon. In an interview after the debate, a campaign aide for Bachmann said she plans to announce within the end of the month.” Once upon a time, you just said, “Hey guys, I’m running for president.” Now you have to announce that you’ll soon be announcing your announcement.

3.) Obama puts Weiner on stick, holds over fire — No rest for the whacker. If Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was hoping for a day off from the news cycle yesterday, the head of his party had other plans. President Barack Hussein Obama has finally poked his head into the Weiner tent and made a face at the smell. According to TheDC’s Paul Conner, here’s what Obama told Ann Curry of the Today Show: “Well, obviously what [Weiner] did was highly inappropriate. I think he’s embarrassed himself, he’s acknowledged that, he’s embarrassed his wife and his family. Ultimately there’s going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign. Because public service is exactly that, it’s a service to the public. And when you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back.” That’s right: once again, Obama is taking his cues from Andrew Breitbart.

4.) Still no news from the Palin e-mails, unless you’re a crazy person — Despite the best efforts of the finest minds in journalism, the release of 24,000 e-mails from Sarah Palin’s tenure as governor of Alaska has told us little we didn’t know about her already. Even The Daily Show is goofing on the squeaky-cleanness of the e-mails, tweeting, “Tonight: What scandalous behavior could the #PalinEmails reveal? Does she ever slip up & call it a ‘snowmobile’ instead of a ‘snow machine’?” The whole thing is a bust, Palin-haters. Or… is that just what the teabaggers WANT you to think? According to Henry Blodget at Business Insider: “Andrew Sullivan and others who have read one of Sarah Palin’s newly released emails think it supports the theory that her Trig pregnancy was a hoax. For those who haven’t followed the Trig question closely, a few days after Trig’s ‘birth’ in April 2008, Sarah Palin sent an email to friends and family announcing the birth. The email was written in the voice of God (really), and it described how and why God had created Trig and bestowed him upon the Palins. Many people have admired the email–and justifiably so. But now Sullivan and others think it may inadvertently reveal that the pregnancy was faked.” (Does Blodget buy this? If not, why did he put “birth” in quotes?) Other evidence that confirms Andrew Sullivan’s theory, in Andrew Sullivan’s mind: every single thing he sees and hears, every single minute of every single day.

5.) Barack’s bux-bash a bust — It’s great to be part of a fad, until you realize that a fad is all it is. Politico reports from Miami: “A low-dollar fundraiser here Monday felt like a throwback to the 2008 campaign. There was the same old soundtrack – including ‘City of Blinding Lights’ by U2, the president’s 2008 anthem — the enthusiastic organizers and the abundant appeals for supporters to rally behind President Obama. The one missing element? Overflowing crowds. Granted, it was a fundraiser, not a free rally. But the empty seats were hard to miss.” The interesting thing here isn’t that Obama is losing steam. It’s that Politico is actually reporting it.

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed — “Mitt Romney is Rick Perry without the death penalty jones.”

VIDEO: Romney takes Obama’s creepiness and makes it even creepier

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