Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

Anna Wintour

[credit provider=”telegraph.co.uk”]

Good morning!  Here’s what you need to know:1.  Newt Gingrich announced yesterday that he was a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, citing his record as Speaker of the House as proof that he could accomplish big things in Washington.  Dan Balz assesses Mr. Gingrich’s weaknesses here.  Our take is here.

2. Cherie Daniels, wife of Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), will address a GOP gathering in Indiana today. Notoriously press-shy, Ms. Daniels speech will be watched carefully for signs that she has given her husband the go-ahead to run for president.

3. Mitt Romney will give a “major address” on the subject of health care today in Michigan.  The issue is considered by many to be Mr. Romney’s most glaring vulnerability as he gears up for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination campaign.

4. The Wall Street Journal editorial board today is sharply critical of the healthcare plan Mr. Romney proposed and eventually signed into law as governor of Massachusetts. 

5. Donald Trump, whose candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination is widely perceived to be in free-fall, campaigned in New Hampshire yesterday.  He mentioned President Obama’s birth certificate only in passing.

6. The National Journal reports: “President Obama repeated on Wednesday his belief that any long-term agreement to cut the national debt must include tax increases as well as spending cuts, suggesting that the threat of incremental tax hikes, built in to negotiations if spending exceeds a certain amount, will push Republicans to the bargaining table.”

7. Many Republican Congressional candidates in 2010 campaigned as “defenders” of Medicare.  They now find themselves under attack for “threatening” Medicare

8. Dow Jones reports: “The Treasury Department auctioned $56 billion in new debt Tuesday and Wednesday, enough to take the U.S. over its federal debt ceiling when the three- and 10-year notes settle on Monday.”

9. The Assad regime in Syria stepped up its crackdown on popular uprisings across the country.  The regime has indicated it will do whatever is necessary to maintain its grip on power.

10. Muammar Qaddafi appeared on Libyan television yesterday, dashing speculation that he might have been killed in a NATO airstrike.  The war in Libya, meanwhile, grinds on.  The latest dispatch from C. J. Chivers is here.