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Mitt Romney has spent a lifetime around politics. His father George Romney was a governor of Michigan and a one-time candidate for president, and his mother Lenore Romney also once ran for the Senate. And starting in 1994, and then much more intensely in the past decade, he has run for Senate and governor of Massachusetts, and then for president. But despite all his hard work and preparation, he might be facing his most formidable opponent yet: The primary calendar.

Taking a step back from the various state polls, and looking at the flow of the calendar itself, something starts to become clear: If a person had sat down to write a primary calendar, designed around the goal of making things hard for Romney, they could not do much better than the current one.

It is, of course, too early to know what will happen. But on the other hand, if the current trends do end up continuing -- and if his new main rival, Newt Gingrich, does not collapse -- Romney may be on the verge, despite his long march of running for president in 2008 to now, of having a very rough time in January.

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Jonathan Martin scoops:



Jon Huntsman’s former campaign manager is coming out Monday in support of Mitt Romney, POLITICO has learned. Susie Wiles, who left Huntsman’s campaign this summer after clashing with other aides, is to be named a co-chair of Romney’s Florida advisory council. Wiles ran Rick Scott’s gubernatorial campaign last year and is based in Jacksonville.



Wiles left the Huntsman campaign a while ago, so she’s probably not bringing Romney many internal secrets. But Martin reports she’s bringing with her a growing concern that Huntsman’s ready to bolt the GOP:



Sources familiar with Wiles' thinking indicate that she’s signing up with Romney now because she’s concerned about Huntsman’s refusal to rule out running as a third-party candidate.

Jonathan Martin scoops:



Jon Huntsman’s former campaign manager is coming out Monday in support of Mitt Romney, POLITICO has learned. Susie Wiles, who left Huntsman’s campaign this summer after clashing with other aides, is to be named a co-chair of Romney’s Florida advisory council. Wiles ran Rick Scott’s gubernatorial campaign last year and is based in Jacksonville.



Wiles left the Huntsman campaign a while ago, so she’s probably not bringing Romney many internal secrets. But Martin reports she’s bringing with her a growing concern that Huntsman’s ready to bolt the GOP:



Sources familiar with Wiles' thinking indicate that she’s signing up with Romney now because she’s concerned about Huntsman’s refusal to rule out running as a third-party candidate.

The security contractor company formerly known as Blackwater will again change its name, the Wall Street Journal reports. On Monday, the company is expected to unveil a new name: Academi.

Reuters reports:



Manuel Noriega, Panama’s drug-running military dictator of the 1980s, was extradited back to the country on Sunday and taken straight to prison to serve a 20-year sentence for the murders of opponents during his rule.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet with President Obama at the White House Monday for talks aimed at US-Iraq relations after the U.S. withdraws its troops, the Washington Post reports.

President Obama’s interview with 60 Minutes aired Sunday evening, and Obama made his case for a second term. He said changing the long-term culture of Washington is a “long-term project,” and that the GOP presidential candidates ideals are all the same. Watch part 1 of the interview below:

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is down in a new poll from Winthrop University, clocking a 34.6 percent approval rating against a 43 percent disapproval rating. Haley has had a rocky tenure so far, but in an interview with the Charelston Post and Courier Winthrop Political Science professor and director of the poll Scott Huffmon put the blame for Haley’s poor performance on the weakness of South Carolina’s economy.

The poll also showed that Haley is taking some heat from within the GOP.



The Winthrop poll shows Haley rapidly is losing support among her fellow Republicans.

A slim majority of Republicans, 52.5 percent, approve of the way Haley is handling her job, but almost 22 percent of Republicans said they disapprove of her performance.

That compares with a 69.3 percent approval rating for Haley among Republicans and GOP-leaning voters only three months ago, according to a September Winthrop poll.

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