When Jon Huntsman announced last month that he would not be actively campaigning for votes in the Iowa Caucuses, he said, "I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason. I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol." It was assumed that Huntsman -- former supporter of the stimulus, climate-change solutions, and civil unions for same-sex couples -- was ducking out of Iowa to avoid confrontation with the state party's active social conservative base. By rejecting ethanol subsidies, he might indeed be offending Iowans of all stripes.
President Obama stopped by the White House briefing room late Tuesday afternoon to make a speech that announced, well, essentially nothing. The only straight news from Obama's speech was scant information on an invitation extended to Congressional leaders for a meeting at the White House on Thursday. After he interjected himself in the debate during a press conference last week, it isn't surprising that Obama will assume a prominent role in pinning down a deal, so the announcement of the meeting isn't too noteworthy.
Earlier this morning Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann launched her presidential campaign for real with a speech in Waterloo, Iowa. What made this declaration different from Bachmann's pseudo announcement at the Republican debate two weeks ago? This time she turned her full attention to wooing Iowa Caucuses goers.
The Wall Street Journalwrote yesterday afternoon that Rick Perry was ready to jump into running for president. The sourcing for the piece was incredibly unconvincing; I'm not sure how one "normally reliable Republican source" who is clearly not part of Perry's camp would know the Texas governor's intentions (and for what it is worth, Perry's official advisers have said a decision is still weeks away). But my major qualm lies with the timeline described for Perry's announcement.