Cain’s New Accuser - Herman Cain’s live interview and preemptive strike denying claims by an Atlanta woman who alleges that she had a 13-year affair with him took up a good portion of the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. It brought the former CEO and self-described “flavor of the week” back into newsrooms. And it had nothing to do with 999. ”Here we go again,” he told Blitzer. A full report from the ABC News Investigative Unit: http://abcn.ws/w0GMOe
On Imperfection and Who’s the Most Conservative - Speaking of imperfect candidates – here’s how Newt described himself on a South Carolina radio station: “Anybody who is honest about it knows that no person except Christ has ever been perfect,” Gingrich said. “I don’t claim to be the perfect candidate. I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney, and a lot more electable than anybody else.” More from Elicia Dover: http://abcn.ws/swbvB0
Bye Bye, Barney – The pugnacious liberal and gay rights champion with the rumpled appearance who helped usher TARP and Wall Street reform is stepping down after his district was drastically changed by redistricting.
“One of the advantages to me of not running for office is I don’t even have to pretend to try to be nice to people I don’t like,” Frank said, drawing laughter. “Now, some of you may not think I’ve been good at it, but I’ve been trying and the notion of being a lobbyist and having to go and try to be nice to people I don’t like would be ridiculous.”
“I will neither be a lobbyist, nor a historian. I promise you on both,” Frank pledged today in a thinly veiled swipe at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. “I do not intend to practice law, although I have a law degree. I might show up pro-bono some day for a gay rights case. My intention would be to do some combination of writing, teaching and lecturing.” http://abcn.ws/w4Jejk
Dodd Frank No More – This means both Dodd and Frank – the namesakes of the Wall Street reform bill Democrats view as one of their major accomplishments – will have left office.
17 Democrats Leaving House (so far) – Of the 17 leaving Congress, nine Democrats are retiring. Those nine have a combined 88 terms between then, totaling a 176 years of service to the United States House of Representatives, according to John Parkinson and Elizabeth Hartfield. http://abcn.ws/uL5wLG
Brownback Apologizes to Teen Tweeter – A Kansas teen who refused to apologize to Gov. Sam Brownback for an insulting tweet got an apology today from the governor himself for his staff’s “over-reaction.” More from Huma Khan: http://abcn.ws/uCc2xg
Obama’s Swing States Frequent Flier Miles - It’s not campaigning on the taxpayer dollar for President Obama to focus his travels on swing states, according to Jay Carney. Jake Tapper asked him about the Wall Street Journal report that Obama has traveled more to battleground states than either of his predecessors. Carney argued that the results were skewed by trips to North Carolina and Virginia, which were not classified “battleground” for George W. Bush.
Carney to Tapper: “So I just think that if you took off the map and said the president of the United States can’t travel to states that are perceived to be battleground states, you would severely limit the capacity of this president and many of his successors to travel anywhere, because the fact is we live in a country that is very close politically in terms of which way states could go in any given presidential election, and increasingly we’ve seen that more and more states find themselves on the political map as potential battleground states and swing states.”
First Look: A History of Newt – Elicia Dover also gets a first peek at a new authorized book out next Spring. The title is “Citizen Newt.” “The same quick-witted, abrasive Gingrich we see today is followed from the start of his political career in 1973, when he first ran for congress and ends the night of the Republican take over of congress in 1994. It is also full of flash-forwards to his current campaign.” It includes student evaluation forms from years ago — all glowing, apparently. It would be interesting to put Gingrich student evaluations from West Georgia College up against Obama student evaluations from the University of Chicago. http://abcn.ws/tiXaPQ
Santorum says Newt’s Immigration Policy is Amnesty – “I think amnesty-and do I believe what Newt is suggesting is amnesty?” Santorum asked the moderators. “Well, even he said after the debate the other night that millions of people would be able to stay in this country as a result of this proposal. I don’t know what you call amnesty. Does amnesty only mean full citizenship or does it mean you are forgiven for your transgressions and you are allowed to stay here under some status? If that’s amnesty then that’s clearly what Newt is suggesting.” More from Shush Walshe:
Romney’s Conference Call Blitz – From Emily Friedman – The Mitt Romney campaign scheduled a series of 12 conference calls with various surrogates around the nation to refute a DNC ad that further sought to classify him a political opportunist. Tim Pawlenty referred to President Obama as the “Barney Fife of Presidents,” referencing the fictional character on the Andy Griffith Show. On the program, Fife was known for overreacting. http://abcn.ws/ttoKfL
Dems Plan for Payroll Tax, Extend and Shrink Cut – The current 2 percent payroll tax cut is set to expire on Dec. 31. The legislation would extend the cut through next year, and expand it to 3.1 percent, saving the average American family about $1,500 on their taxes over the next year. The tax cut would also cut in half, from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent, the tax on the first $5 million in wages to businesses. More from Sunlen Miller: http://abcn.ws/sadTwQ
White House Shooter Competent for Trial – Alleged White House shooter Oscar Ortega-Hernandez has been determined to be competent to stand trial, but will undergo further psychiatric testing and evaluation, according to ABC’s Jason Ryan. http://abcn.ws/tL23x7