TPM News

I just spoke with Minnesota Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton, who is faced with an interesting situation: Heading up a state party that could have not one, but two native candidates for president.

Earlier this week, former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that he was forming an exploratory committee. And today, it was reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann, a national star of the Tea Party movement, plans to create an exploratory committee by June if not earlier.

"Well, I think it's great for Minnesota that we have two people who are, you know, considering runs for the presidency," said Sutton. "That's fantastic, an embarrassment of riches for Minnesota."

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A new Pew poll of Republican adults shows that Mitt Romney is the top choice among voters who identify with the Tea Party to win the Republican presidential nomination.

In addition, the poll showed Romney tied with Mike Huckabee as the top choice among conservative voters, a crucial demographic in Republican primaries, and one which Romney has previously struggled to court. When combined with Romney's strong performance with more moderate Republicans, the survey shows the former Massachusetts Governor with a broad support base.

Pew's poll, it should be noted, has a very small sample size of just 260 Republicans, and a high 7.5% margin of error.

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Look out, liberal media: You've not seen the last of Sarah Palin -- even if she might have said so!

In a Wednesday night appearance on Greta Van Susteren's TV show, Palin said: "You know, I am through whining about a liberal press that holds, especially conservative women, to a different standard. Because it doesn't do me any good to whine about it. I made my point."

This might lead a person to think that Palin would no longer spend her time tweaking the "lame-stream media," as she often calls it. But Palin posted this note on Twitter, early this afternoon:

I'll hold LSM accountable MORE THAN EVER;my comment acknowledged personal coverage(not unfairness to others).Happy to defend others re: bias

A retired Army general is taking to the radio to call out leaders of the Republican party for making it more likely we'll be blown up by a terrorist's nuclear bomb.

Lt. Gen. Robert Gard is the star of a series of radio ads targeting Republican leaders in the House and Senate for supporting "deep cuts to the U.S. Government's signature nuclear security program to remove highly enriched uranium and other dangerous nuclear materials from countries in the former Soviet Union and other unstable regions around the world."

Gard is a veteran of the Vietnam and Korean wars and a top official at Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a nonpartisan group (with center-left lean) focused on reducing the spread of nuclear weapons and other threats.

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Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the social conservative group the American Family Association, says that when it comes to Islam, the First Amendment is a privilege, not a right. "Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam," Fischer wrote today.

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Will the liberal media not have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore? In an interview Wednesday night on Greta Van Susteren's TV show, Palin declared she's "through whining about a liberal press," and that she has "made my point."

Van Susteren and Palin discussed Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN), response to her gaffe about placing the crucial Revolutionary War towns of Lexington and Concord in New Hampshire, when they are in fact in Massachusetts. Bachmann has argued that the media plays up the gaffes of conservative women such as herself while ignoring similar slips from liberal politicians.

"Yes, of course women are held to a different standard in all areas," said Palin. "But my point is gonna be -- so what? You know, let's just work harder, produce more, produce better, and get over it. You know, I am through whining about a liberal press that holds, especially conservative women, to a different standard. Because it doesn't do me any good to whine about it. I made my point."

Of course, considering how much of Palin's public discourse involves attacking the "lame-stream media" and its perpetration of "blood libel" against her, will she have much left to talk about?"

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For the first time since the Justice Department relaxed the requirements in December on when federal law enforcement have to inform terrorism suspects of their Miranda rights, a reporter has seen a copy of the guidance issued by Attorney General Eric Holder and reports it gives FBI agents more latitude and flexibility in delaying informing suspects of their right to remain silent.

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The Republican presidential field could be on the verge of having two Minnesotans -- and one of them a national Tea Party movement star, with Rep. Michele Bachmann reportedly set to establish a presidential exploratory committee in June.

As CNN reports, a source close to Bachmann says it could potentially happen even earlier:

"She's been telling everyone early summer," the source told CNN regarding Bachmann's planned June filing and announcement. But the source said that nothing is static.

"If you [debate sponsors] come to us and say, 'To be in our debates, you have to have an exploratory committee,' then we'll say, 'Okay, fine...I'll go file the forms.'"


Bachmann's fellow Minnesotan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, established his own exploratory committee earlier this week. What Bachmann can bring to the table is an ability to excite enthusiasm with the Tea Party base -- and also some interesting expertise with alternative American history.

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Stephen Colbert isn't convinced that Japan's nuclear crisis should derail the construction of new nuclear plants in America.

Last night, Colbert noted that white smoke is still pouring from a quake-damaged nuclear reactor in Japan.

"It either means the reactor has gone critical, or they've elected a new Pope," Colbert said.

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LiveWire

Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

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