Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
- The media is fixated on Michele Bachmann's launch and her alleged gaffes. In a review of the Politifact hit job, a number of her gaffes were her citing media reports.
- While focusing on Bachmann's statements, the media has largely ignored President Obama's gaffe, claiming to have given a medal of honor to a soldier in person, but the soldier had actually been killed.
- Tim Pawlenty has come out aggressively for an interventionist Republican foreign policy. Look for Romney and Huntsman to try to steal the spotlight since foreign policy is something Romney needs to work on and it is considered Huntsman's forte.
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
- Bachmann's Launch: John Wayne Gacy and John Quincy Adams gaffes notwithstanding, Bachmann's Iowa announcement was another scripted success. But with her rise in the polls will come greater scrutiny of her past statements, policy beliefs and her legislative record – which are far-right, fringe and thin, respectively. She's raised a lot of activist cash by making incendiary statements, but that sort of serial incitement does not get rewarded with the White House. As for the idea that she can be a unifying political leader, touted in her announcement, is absurd because of the way that she has chosen to make her name to date. If she wins the Iowa caucus, which is entirely possible, the GOP might belatedly recognize that they have made a mistake by empowering the extremes in their party.
- Palin in Iowa: It's a movie premiere, not a presidential announcement. Sarah Palin continues to do everything she needs to build her brand but nothing to actually build a presidential campaign. And with Bachmann's rise – and their over-lapping political constituencies – it's unclear who she would take support from in this already crowded field.
- Pawlenty's Fade: The biggest news out of the Iowa poll wasn't that Romney and Bachmann were statistically tied – it was that Tim Pawlenty was at the bottom of the pack. With conservatives hoping for another candidate like Rick Perry to get in the race, Tim Pawlenty's long-shot campaign has decidedly failed to convert to date, compounded by his failure to stand strong in the first NH debate – and the second quarter fundraising totals are likely to reflect that fact.
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