Ding! Welcome to "Ringside Seat," The American Prospect’s daily guide to Election 2012. Each afternoon we'll send an end-of-the-day compendium of the campaign news you might have missed—but shouldn’t. Please send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a weekend dominated by the latest miracle victory engineered by Tim Tebow—the quarterback who puts a happy, winning face on evangelical Christianity—a smaller one occurred on Saturday night in Des Moines: Rick Perry had a pretty good debate. He didn’t misidentify any Supreme Court justices, or conflate Iran and Iraq—and he cannily refused to shake hands on Mitt Romney’s disastrous $10,000 bet. But if Perry’s not bettin’ on that, he is counting on Christian phobias to salvage his presidential hopes in Iowa. In the most-loathed campaign ad of the season, Perry donned a Brokeback Mountain jacket and in just 30 seconds managed to invoke just about every imaginary assault on Christianity that right-wing evangelicals (and Bill O’Reilly) have been able to dream up in three decades of feverish paranoia. At last count, “Strong” had 19,942 likes and 641,071 dislikes on YouTube. See, says Brother Rick: They really do hate us!
So They Say
"We've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it's tragic."
—Newt Gingrich, interview with Israeli TV
Daily Meme: All Bets Off Romney!
- The End of Mitt, Daily Beast
- Comeback for Romney? He'll Need Help. National Journal
- Overestimating Romney, Weekly Standard
- Romney: Newt's the Frontrunner, TPM
What We're Reading
- Newt says he almost quit the race
- Donald Trump attributes Romney’s downward slide to turning down Donald Trump
- As president, Ron Paul would demand a salary cut
- A gay-married Vietnam vet confronts Romney in New Hampshire
Poll of the Day
Gallup finds that a record 64% of Americans rate Congress’s honesty and ethics either “low” or “very low.” Even journalists (27% low or very low) fare much better.