TPM News

Remember when Michele Bachmann was the darling of the tea party and the woman who could rally rabid supporters to defend her? Those days appear to be over.

On Saturday night, Bachmann and her campaign accused CBS of making a concerted effort to marginalize her at the network's foreign policy debate. Her campaign pulled out all the stops: the manager called CBS Political Director John Dickerson "a piece of shit" and demanded he be fired. A fundraising email based on the bias claim was dispatched to supporters and and a Facebook post with the offending emails Bachmann's campaign says proves her allegations was posted.

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This is a big week in Wisconsin -- with the state Democrats officially kicking off their effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Under the Dems' official game-plan, the effort to recall Walker will begin on Tuesday, November 15. For the last few weeks, the Dems have been holding a series of training events and kickoff rallies, with even more happening today and tomorrow. They will need all that effort and preparation they can muster.

In order to trigger a recall, the Dems must meet a strong threshold: Signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window. That means the Dems must get over 540,000 signatures -- over 9,000 per day, statewide -- plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.

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The U.S. Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of a key part of President Obama's health care law, and will likely issue a decision by July 2012, in the middle of next year's election.

Monday's announcement comes just days after the latest appeals court ruling on the law's mandate that people purchase health insurance. The three judge panel in the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of the provision, as have several other appeals courts. One has ruled that the provision should be stricken.

However, it's that particular case the Supreme Court has chosen to review -- one joined by over two dozen states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. It has journeyed through conservative district and circuit courts, both of which ruled with plaintiffs, so it may not be the ideal bellwether. But as conservative reporter Philip Klein notes, very bright conservative litigators are arguing this one.

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The ex-boyfriend of Sharon Bialek, one of the women who has accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990’s, says he has no doubt that Mr. Cain knows his ex-girlfriend, despite claims to the contrary by the Republican presidential candidate. Dr. Victor Zuckerman, also represented by attorney Gloria Allred, held a press conference on Monday saying he recalls Ms. Bialek telling him in 1997 that Mr. Cain had made inappropriate advances.

Ah, another Republican presidential debate. It had been so long -- a whole month? -- that expectations at the CNBC debate were high.

Thankfully, Rick Perry didn't disappoint. The Texas governor searched -- and searched and searched -- for the third government agency he would cut when he gets to Washington. So Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader gave Perry another shot this weekend, and the result was perhaps even more awkward than the original flub.

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Herman Cain's wife is finally speaking out, and it sounds like she agrees with her husband: sexual harassment doesn't even sound like anything he would do!

Gloria Cain, in an interview scheduled to air Monday night on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" said, "I know that's not the kind of person he is. He totally respects women."

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she is confident the Supreme Court will find President Obama’s health care reform law constitutional. Here’s Pelosi’s full statement on the Court’s decision:

“Today’s announcement places the Affordable Care Act before the highest court in our country. We are confident that the Supreme Court will find the law constitutional and Americans will benefit from lower health care costs and greater access to high-quality medical care.

“Millions of our nation’s families, seniors, young adults, and workers are already benefiting from the law. Seniors are receiving discounts on prescription drugs and free preventive services. Young people are gaining insurance by staying on their parents’ plans. And children with pre-existing conditions are now protected from discrimination.”

It’s not just PPP showing Newt Gingrich vaulting to the top of the Republican primary field. A new survey from CNN out Monday shows Gingrich tied with Mitt Romney at the top of the field and last week’s frontrunner, Herman Cain, falling.

From CNN:

According the the CNN/ORC International poll, 24% of Republicans or GOP-leaning independents say Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is making his second presidential run, is their most likely choice for the party’s nomination. While Romney’s numbers have remained fairly steady, Gingrich surged 14 percentage points in popularity, up to 22%, since October. That 2-point difference is well within the poll’s sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

At the same time, Cain has fallen 11 percentage points from 25% in October to 14% now. The poll was conducted from Friday through Sunday, well after the news of the Cain controversy broke.

Mitt Romney’s campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, on Monday morning issued a statement saying President Obama and other democrats are “obsessed” with attacking Romney. Here’s her full statement:

“With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that President Obama and his Democrat allies are fixated more on Mitt Romney than on turning around our struggling economy. If the past is any guide, we expect this obsession will grow. A Romney Administration will be focused on reviving the economy and adding jobs, not consumed by campaign politics.”

Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins told The Hill over the weekend that, after 10 or so debates so far, we’re reaching “overload.”

The debates are a good way to meet the candidates, Rollins said, but 20-plus primary debates is “way too many.”

Rollins is Michele Bachmann’s former campaign manager, and he has recently spoken critically about her campaign.