The Daily Digest (POTUS to Cannon Falls, debate is not so Minnesota Nice, Does the Straw Poll matter?)

Are they running for President of the United States or President of Minnesota?

Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann directed a lot of their time and energy in the two hour Fox News debate at each other. They criticized each other’s leadership and records.

“She’s got a record of misstating and making false statements,” Pawlenty said.

“You said the era of small government is over,” Bachmann told Pawlenty. “That sounds a lot like Barack Obama if you ask me.”

MPR details the blow by blow between the two.

CNN says the long simmering tensions between the two have boiled over.

Fact-Check: Bachmann says Pawlenty implemented cap and trade in Minnesota. He supported it but later backed off the proposal.

The New York Times and AP put forward these fact-checks.

Before we get to the post game, judge the debate for yourself by watching it.

The Fix rates winners and losers.

The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich says Pawlenty bested Bachmann. The column will help Pawlenty among Republicans who didn’t see the debate but read the local paper (or the paper’s website).

GOP pollster Frank Luntz said he wasn’t impressed with Pawlenty. Salon said he had a “bafflling bad debate performance.”

Tidbit: Pawlenty’s problem is he’s in a major political conundrum. He’s trying to be the viable alternative to Romney but Bachmann’s strength (especially in Iowa) is standing in his way. And in order to defeat Romney, Pawlenty will need Bachmann’s supporters who won’t be too happy that he went after her in the debate.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin says Bachmann may have single handedly ended Pawlenty’s campaign.

The Post’s Ezra Klein says Bachmann misstated basic facts.

The National Journal says Bachmann held her own.

Does this weekend matter?

Stu Rothenberg says the Iowa Straw Poll is “close to being irrelevant” since none of those in the Straw Poll are likely to be POTUS.

More 2012

Mitt Romney made a campaign gaffe on Thursday when he told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair that “corporations are people.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s spokesman says Perry is running.

AP says Perry and Bachmann could vie for Evangelical voters.

Sarah Palin is in Iowa today.

Politoco’s Mike Allen features Tim Pawlenty at his Playbook Breakfast this morning.

GQ profiles Bachmann. The most interesting nugget comes at the end.

Will politicos start running Facebook ads via zipcode?

Bachmann gets a SuperPAC.

POTUS

President Obama will hold a town hall in Cannon Falls on Monday.

On Thursday, Obama was in Michigan. He blamed the economic situation on the political impasse in Washington.

Under the Dome

A DNR study says Asian Carp are in the St. Croix River.

Gov. Dayton announces the first annual Pheasant Opener.

Congress

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named the three House Democrats who will be on the deficit-reduction committee.

MPR says GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack is urged to meet with constituents in Duluth.

A State Department official gives a status report on the famine in Somalia.

Markets

Stocks continued their roller coaster ride. They surged on Thursday.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Ezra Klein makes a critical point in the linked WaPo piece. The GOP has become a Cult.

    Overwhelmed by dogma, Republicans not only have no new ideas, they won’t permit themselves to have any ideas at all. Today’s Republicans mindlessly chant an extremist mantra, or risk excommunication. We’ve seen it in Minnesota, and it’s now obvious on the national stage. Functioning brains are no longer allowed in the Republican Party.