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White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on MSNBC that Herman Cain is not a top-tier threat in the 2012 election, The Hill reports. Axelrod said he expects Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will ultimately duke it out for the GOP nomination.

While leading the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain served as the industry's lobbyist-in-chief, leading the charge against laws that could harm the food service business. One of his signature causes: stopping stricter drunk driving laws.

When Cain took over as CEO of the NRA in 1996, anti-drunk driving groups were leading a campaign to lower the blood alcohol limit for a DUI to .08 across the country: the equivalent for a 170 pound-man of about five beers in two hours. The majority of states used a .10 limit as their standard, which advocates argued was an insufficiently tough deterrent and left plenty of still-dangerous drivers on the road.

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While you were on your summer vacation, or paying attention to the candidates leading the GOP field at the time, Herman Cain was running for president.

And for much of that time Cain stood out as the most inflammatory Republican in the field when it came to Islam. Months before a voter ever heard the phrase "9-9-9," Cain attacked the faith again and again, culminating in a disastrous Fox News Sunday appearance where he actually said Islam is not a religion in the same way Christianity is and therefore does not deserve the same the same Constitutional protections.

Cain has walked some of this back a bit, but even so the fear of Sharia stuff is still very much a part of his campaign. Though you might not know it if - as with many people - he only hit your radar in the past couple weeks.

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The Occupy Wall Street movement, now a month old, has raised nearly $300,000, the Associated Press reports. Many of the donations have been made through the movement’s website, and the protesters have an account at Amalgamated Bank.

The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama and his campaign team have decided to turn the vitriolic public sentiment against Wall Street into a central tenet of their strategy.

The new strategy sets up a powerful line of attack: portraying Mitt Romney, the founder of Bain Capital, as a wealthy Wall Street sympathizer. The Obama team hopes to keep centrist independents from supporting the GOP contender by painting him with the Wall Street brush.

“We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year,” Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said. “One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.”

“I’m pretty confident 12 months from now, as people make the decision about who to go vote for, the gut check is going to be about, ‘Who would make decisions more about helping my life than Wall Street?’ ” Plouffe concluded.

Anger at the financial system is at a high level. A recent poll found that 68% of independents and 68% of Republicans say they have unfavorable impressions of the big financial institutions.

Washington’s approval ratings have been very low for a very long time, but just how low is illustrated in a new poll from The Hill: voters are more sour on DC than they are on Wall Street, the site of the ongoing protests.

“The movement appears to have struck a chord with progressive voters, but it does not seem to represent the feelings of the wider public,” the Congressional newspaper reported. “The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country’s financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56 percent — blame Washington.”

A new poll from Christopher Newport University and Richmond Times-Dispatch shows former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney up by three and half points in Virginia, a state that President Obama carried in 2008 and will likely be a major battleground in the upcoming Presidential election. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the President are essentially tied at 43 percent.

A trial heat of the Republican primary vote in the state is no contest at all: Romney gets 44 percent, creeping close to a majority within a crowded GOP field. Businessman Herman Cain and Perry follow behind with 12 and 10 percent, respectively.

The poll also confirmed many of the previous numbers on the US Senate race in the state: “And like every other poll released for months, the CNU survey shows the race — which will be one of the tightest and highest-profile Senate contests in the nation — as a toss-up between Kaine and Allen. Kaine has 43.9 percent to Allen’s 41.5 percent, a difference within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.”

Roll Call, citing “knowledgeable GOP sources,” is reporting that Sen. Jim DeMint is leaning towards endorsing Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican nomination.

“Jim is for more likely to endorse Mitt than anyone else currently in the race,” a Republican with South Carolina ties told Roll Call.  “Jim is a business guy and that’s his background.  He’s not really the good ol' boy conservative type.  So Mitt in a lot of ways is a more comfortable fit for him.”

Asked to comment specifically on Romney, DeMint said “He’s doing really well; he looks like the steady hand in the race.  I think he’s done well in the debates.”

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group on Monday announced a TV ad released in Virginia and North Carolina to “counter President Obama’s efforts to sell his second stimulus plan at state and local events,” according to the group’s press release.


Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…