Romney Calls Gingrich ‘Zany,’ Government Shutdown – Holiday Edition, the Obama Iraq Legacy and Rick Perry’s Coffee (The PM Note)

Zany: za·ny  [zey-nee] adjective "1. ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish. " Zany is how Mitt Romney described Newt Gingrich in a video interview with the New York Times. That's one day after Romney said he wouldn't do anything to hurt a different candidate's chances against Obama. Then, on CBS, he called Gingrich "a very wealthy man." Gingrich told Sean Hannity he's going back to being positive after several days of being "baited" by Romney.

Rick Perry Drinks Coffee with Honey - They say everything is sweeter in the south, but Per Arlette Saenz: The Texas governor told reporters he normally drinks an aged Sumatra blend of coffee with a "little Splenda, a little half and half," and he shared one of his secret health tips. "Actually, when I'm home, I put a honey in it," Perry said. "Honey that's produced in the area you live is a good way to fight off allergies. There's your health tip for the day." "Health tip. No charge for that," Perry joked to the press.

Secret Weapon? - Romney's Army of Volunteers in Iowa - Good stuff from Michael Falcone and Shush Walshe.

"Commander in Mischief" - Romney isn't the only one using weird phrases and hijinks. Democrats are lobbing eggs from the sidelines. Matt Negrin's headline: "Commander in Mischief: Is Obama Trying to Sabotage the GOP?"

Government Shutdown, Holiday Edition - Santa's not the only person in a mad dash of preparation. He's got 'til Dec. 25th, but the government may shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday. Federal workers will get an email tonight telling them to get ready.

"Presumptive Nominee" - It's a little early, but Harry Reid seemed pretty happy to talk about government shutdowns and bring up Newt Gingrich this morning on the Senate floor, according to Sunlen Miller. She also has this report on the senate stalling on House Passed Payroll Tax Bill.

The Looong Goodbye - Devin Dwyer and Mary Bruce report there's no mission accomplished banner for Obama. But he's certainly making a campaign of ending the war.

The magic number for Obama is 50  - The Gallup tracking poll has President Obama well south of that level of approval. He's going to need to get back up to even if he wants to get reelected (according to history). More from Matt Negrin.

Good Morning Iowa -Shush Walshe's must-read report includes a lot of interesting string on Newt Gingrich and how evangelicals in Iowa could mobilize against him.

'It's Finished': Last of U.S. Soldiers Leaving Iraq - Martha Raddatz follows three soldiers.

Obama's Iraq Legacy - Counterpoint - McCain Envisions Scorn and Disdain for Obama on Iraq.

Trump Courts Americans Elect - Is anyone else surprised it took Donald Trump to cozy up to the Americans Elect movement?

Devin Dwyer on Obama's Message to Military Guys: Marry Up

Invented People Blowback - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in today on Gingrich's recent comments on Palestinians. She thinks they were unhelpful.

Perry Launches Bus Tour - Arlette Saenz reports Rick Perry kicked off his bus tour today, hoping to inject some energy into his campaign ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Wisconsin Governor Faces More Heat - A contributor to Governor Scott Walker's campaign was arrested.

Romney Files for Candidacy in Washington, D.C. - Why do we care? - Chris Good answers.

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