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When Trump is a player, politics has entered the Twilight Zone

Once again, publicity hound Donald Trump has turned the Republican presidential primary race into a freak show. And, for reasons that defy logic and political sense, some of the wannabes seeking the GOP nod, are going along with the Donald’s circus. Even after his publicity-driven flirt with a Presidential run came to a close, Trump continues to command the spotlight. Some GOP candidates disgraced themselves with high-profile meetings with the real estate magnate and reality show host, apparently suffering from some drug-induced illusion that a nod from Trump is somehow worth seeking. Now Trump is hosting a “debate” in Iowa,
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Occupy Wall Street comes to Capitol Hill

Occupy Wall Street activists brought their cause to Capitol Hill Tuesday, invading Senate and House offices and prompting the arrest of at least one protestor. Capitol Police arrested a protestor in the office of Tea Party Republican Vicky Martzler (R-MO) on a charge of illegal entry but police reported office sit-ins at other offices, saying “we’ve been monitoring activity all over the Hill. Other targets included Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “We respect their right to voice their opinions,” a spokesman for Boehner told Capitol Hill Blue.  “The Speaker understand the American people
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Gallup: Gingrich surges, Romney fades, Paul drops

The latest Gallup daily track poll shows former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich surging further ahead of previous frontrunner Mitt Romney while Ron Paul fades to a distant third and into a virtual tie with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Gingrich has 37 percent in the nationwide poll and Romney 15 points behind at 22 percent.  Paul slips badly, down to eight percent while Perry has seven percent and Bachmann six. “At the moment, we’re looking at a two-man race,” a veteran GOP political operative told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday. “That could change after Iowa
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Can Newt sink Romney’s political ship?

The Good Ship Romney’s once-smooth cruise towards the GOP Presidential nomination has sprung a leak, probably from a land mine named Newt Gingrich. With Gingrich continuing to surge in polls, Romney faces a dilemma — how to sink the attack sub Newt without alienating the GOP voters he needs to win the nomination. Gingrich has a solid lead in Iowa, is closing in New Hampshire, and could upset the Romney campaign in critical South Carolina. Meanwhile, the Obama White House sits back and watches the GOP political circus with glee, knowing Gingrich will be a lot easier to beat in
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Gingrich gains from Cain’s withdrawal

With Herman Cain out of the GOP Presidential sweepstakes, Newt Gingrich benefits most. Republican conservatives who saw Cain as a viable alternative to the more moderate Mitt Romney are likely to turn to Gingrich — at least for the time being and until something more palatable comes along. Still, Gingrich carries a lot of baggage that that causes heartburn for the “family values” right-wing of the GOP.  The thrice-married former Speaker of the House moved from wife to wife after adulterous affairs.  His lavish lifestyle doesn’t sit well with some and his habit of shifting positions worries others. “Newt Gingrich
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Cain throws in the towel

Like Richard Nixon in the final days of his doomed Presidency, Republican presidential challenger Herman Cain tried to ignore he obvious. Sources close to the Cain campaign tell Capitol Hill Blue that even those closest to the candidate didn’t know until the last minute Saturday if he would abandon his campaign or not. But, dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct and 13 years of cheating of his wife, Cain reluctantly accepted the truth:  His campaign for President was over. “As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspended my presidential campaign,” Cain said in an
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Newt on Newt: ‘I’m going to be the nominee’

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich continues to surge in polls and his rise is hurting presumed front-runner Mitt Romney. Gingrich’s entry to the top tier of the GOP Presidential field turns the up-and-down political road to the nomination into a two-man race with backbenchers Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman jockeying for  distant third and fourth place. Gingrich sees the new numbers as proof that he will be the nominee. “I will be the Republican nominee,” he declared Thursday. Romney, long the dominant front runner, has dropped below 50 percent while Gingrich has surged to nearly 40 percent. Romney
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Gingrich’s always-massive ego is out of control

Talk to Republicans and Democrats alike about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and one word emerges. Ego. In a field where ego reigns supreme, Newt Gingrich’s ego is considered supersized by those surveyed by Capitol Hill Blue. “He’s out of control,” says former Congressman and MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough. In recent days, Gingrich has taken credit for ending the cold war, for engineering the “Reagan Revolution,” bragged about how he doesn’t need money because people pay $65,000 a pop just to hear him speak and compared himself with legendary world leaders like Winston Churchill. “Give me
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Herman Cain: Dead man walking

Scandal-scarred Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain may not admit it publicly yet but his hobbled campaign for the GOP nomination is over. That’s the consensus of Republican campaign operatives and political professionals contacted by Capitol Hill Blue and other news organizations. Comments from those who run and advise campaigns for a living range from “he’s had it” to characterizing the former Godfathers CEO as “the walking dead.” “He’s like a zombie at this point,” says Atlanta-based Republican strategist Don McLagan.  He’s dead. He just hasn’t noticed yet and keeps on walking.” Rick Wilson, a Florida Republican consultant, says the rise
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Is ‘New Newt’ an electable commodity?

Meet the “New Newt,” a repackaged Newt Gingrich currently grabbing the spotlight as the GOP flavor of the month in a crowded and volatile race for the presidential nomination. Some see him as the long-sought conservative alternative to frontrunner Mitt Romney. Others see him as just another Washington establishment hack with too much political baggage and too many ties to special interests. “Gingrich’s past is a problem,” a longtime GOP operative tells Capitol Hill Blue. “He’s damaged goods.” Damaged goods or not, Gingrich is surging in recent polls, rising to a strong second place in New Hampshire, leading in some
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