The Daily Digest (Obama visits, Bachmann wins and Pawlenty quits)

The Upper Midwest, Iowa and Minnesota in particular, are the main focus of presidential politics right now. President Obama will kick off his economic bus tour in Cannon Falls later this morning.

His trip comes as his approval rating hit an all-time low.

MPR News will air President Obama’s comments live from Cannon Falls at 11:30.

MPR says Cannon Falls message to POTUS is jobs.

The Red Wing Republican Eagle says Cannon Falls spent the weekend preparing for the visit.

Cannon Falls residents grabbed tickets to see President Obama.

MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton and RNC Chair Reince Priebus will hold a media availability in Cannon Falls before Obama speaks. The RNC released a news release calling it the “debt-end” bus tour.

Race for the GOP nomination

Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for president – saying the pathway forward doesn’t really exist.

Pawlenty announced his decision one day after he placed a disappointing third in the Iowa Straw Poll. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, another Minnesotan, won the Straw Poll.

MPR, The Atlantic and The Fix take a look at why Pawlenty’s campaign didn’t catch fire.

Tidbit: Pawlenty’s website says nothing about his decision to quit the race.

MPR quotes Tony Sutton as saying he’d like Pawlenty to run for the U.S. Senate against Klobuchar. Klobuchar declined to comment. Pawlenty’s Lt. Gov., Carol Molnau, says Pawlenty’s run shows the state wants a more conservative candidate.

The Star Tribune also takes a look at what Pawlenty may do next and the only definitive is to take his daughter to college over the next few days. He told reporters in Iowa that the he won’t challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012.

Tidbit: Pawlenty told reporters on Friday that he would not challenge Klobuchar in 2012. For those wondering, Public Policy Polling did a head to head match-up of Klobuchar and Pawlenty in June. Klobuchar led by 13 points.

The Pi Press quotes Pawlenty supporters as saying he’s not damaged politically.

Politico says the other candidates are working to poach Pawlenty’s staff and supporters.

Republicans face a new landscape now that the Straw poll is over.

Bachmann will appear at an event in South Carolina on Tuesday.

Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry appeared at a local Iowa GOP fundraiser last night.

Politico reports on what will be a major problem for Bachmann – her campaigning is prepackaged, she avoids the media and isn’t doing the the on the ground retail politics. Several people who attended the fundraiser in her hometown criticized the lack of access to the candidate.

Tidbit: Minnesota reporters aren’t surprised by Bachmann’s campaign style. She’s run like this in the last few cycles.

Bachmann is still celebrating her Iowa win.

Bachmann also told O. Kay Henderson that Iowa Radio that she’s “not a politician” but a “real person.”

Congress

The U.S. fears that China got a good look at the U.S. helicopter that was destroyed in the raid of Osama Bin Laden’s hideout.

There are little tools left to fight a new economic crisis.

Food prices

Cargill’s head blames the global surge on food prices on government hoarding.

Race for U.S. Senate

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will appear at a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

Race for Congress

A Democratic affiliated group is running ads ripping GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack.

The NRCC is running ads ripping DFL Rep. Tim Walz on health care.

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