TPM News

Jon Hunstman is very conservative. This is news to no one, save for conservative commentators.

But they're coming around. As they continue their desperate quest to find an alternative candidate to Mitt Romney, conservatives are starting to come around to Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and Obama ambassador to China who kicked off his campaign with a full-throated endorsement of the Ryan Budget.

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Current GOP frontrunner — and the man most likely to benefit from Herman Cain’s departure — Newt Gingrich tweeted the following after Cain’s announcement.

I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.

Herman Cain was supposed to tip big donors off to what he’ll announce this afternoon about the future of his campaign. According to CBS, donors were told he’s staying in. But not by Cain.

“Five different people coming out of meeting w Cain tell @bkappcbs and me he’s in,” CBS' Jan Crawford tweeted. “But Cain didn’t speak—-just photos. So they don’t know!”

Influential Iowa Rep. Steve King ®, a prominent voice in the tea party wing of the GOP that helped propel Herman Cain to fronrunner status, tweeted Saturday Cain’s campaign for the White House is done.

Cain is expected to say later today whether or not he’s still running, but King says the die is cast no matter what Cain says.

“Virtuous or not, declaring in or out, however we feel for him, Herman Cain’s campaign is over,” King tweeted. “I thank him as a friend and wish him well.”

Will embattled GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain end his campaign today?

Cain is holding an event — still officially advertised as the unveiling a new campaign headquarters — in Atlanta, GA.

The event begins around 12pm eastern and Mr. Cain is expected to speak around 1pm eastern.

Watch live here:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

No one really knows what Herman Cain is going to do today with his flagging campaign, but respondents to the generally GOP-leaning Rasmussen survey have weighed in.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Cain should end his bid for the GOP nomination. Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree, and 21% are not sure.

Unfortunate as the bankruptcy of California solar panel company Solyndra was, considering it defaulted on a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, it isn't reflective of the overall performance of the Energy Department's loan guarantee program.

In fact, aside from Solyndra, the loan guarantee program is actually extremely sound, supporting low-risk investments and maintaining a reserve of funding to draw upon, and ending it -- as Republicans have tried to do -- wouldn't help balance the budget. Instead, it would probably sacrifice advances in clean energy.

That's at least the conclusion of a new independent report from Bloomberg Government analyzing the $16.1 billion Department of Energy's loan program, which appears to further vindicate Energy Secretary Chu and the rest of the Department of Energy, who have said all along that they did due-diligence on Solyndra and all other energy companies that received loan guarantees.

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Phew. Yesterday was quite a day indeed in Chevy Volt land.

A bevy of news items hit the wires, following Monday's offer of loaner cars to Volt owners who weren't comfortable with their cars' safety until the NHTSA finishes its investigation into battery-pack fires in cars that had been wrecked in crash tests:

--CEO Dan Akerson said (maybe) that the company might redesign the Volt's battery pack

--The company offered to buy back any Volt from owners with safety concerns who no longer wanted their cars (Esquire editor David Granger wants one, please)

--GM's sales chief officially admitted Chevy won't sell the 10,000 Volts it said it would during 2011 (Automotive News opines that it doesn't matter)

--And a group of anxious Volt owners on Facebook are putting together an Open Letter saying they believe the car is safe and do not intend to take the loaners

We spoke today with more than one GM source to try to add some clarity to all this. Because they frequently went off the record, we're summarizing rather than direct-quoting.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says Republicans can forget about using the looming expiration of a year-long payroll tax holiday for workers to squeeze a host of unrelated conservative priorities through Congress, and projected confidently that her party has the GOP cornered on the issue.

In an exclusive interview Friday with TPM, Pelosi sketched out the Democrats' strategy for renewing (and possibly expanding) the payroll tax cut, which most economists say would promote job creation next year -- when persistent unemployment will be at the center of the election debate.

"It is really a stalling tactic," Pelosi said of recent reports that Republicans want to use the lapsing tax cut as leverage to pass key GOP priorities, including construction of a major oil pipeline from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, and rolling back Obama's health care law. "It's unworthy of the needs of the American people for them to go all around the mulberry bush with this stuff. If they want to do something for the American people -- to remove the uncertainty as to whether these payroll tax cuts will be extended, whether [unemployment insurance] will be extended ... let's just get about doing it."

"They know that this stuff isn't going to fly, that the President's not going to sign it -- so why are they doing this," Pelosi says. "It's about votes at the end of the day, and some of their people are never going to vote for anything, so they're going to need our votes, we're going to have to work together, and they're going to need the President's signature -- and they're going to need it to pass the Senate."

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