Giffords Goodbye, Florida Dead Heat, Buffett’s Secretary Speaks, Flashback to Newt’s Nudie Gaffe (The PM Note)

Jan 25, 2012 6:27pm

Today we’ve got news of a dead heat in Florida, some great moments caused by Univision’s Jorge Ramos in Miami – “How much money do you have?”, a good profile of Sheldon Adelson, a rare Nightline interview with his wife (and co-benefactor of Newt) Miriam, and a funny little flashback item that recalls the award a Newt Gingrich group almost gave a strip club owner.

But first a quick stop in DC -

Giffords Goodbye – There was a rare moment of genuine bipartisan emotion on the House floor this morning when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz read a letter from Giffords while Republican Jeff Flake held her hand – http://abcn.ws/wGba6S

…Boehner wept when she resigned at the rostrum – http://abcn.ws/yGfiOc

The full story from John Parkinson: http://abcn.ws/z0cbPX

“Good Job Tonight” – Watch Obama congratulate Leon Panetta Just after the State of the Union Address. We now know he was talking about the SEALs rescue of missionaries in Somalia – abcn.ws/wZ9Fja

Ask Obama – What should Diane Sawyer Ask Obama tomorrow? Hit the “Ask Obama” button at OTUSnewshttp://bit.ly/sj5NiO

Warren Buffett’s Secretary Talks to ABC Newshttp://abcn.ws/xuHye5

Flashback: Newt’s (Almost) Nude Awards – Org. Once Almost Gave Strip Club Owner Entrepreneur Award – http://abcn.ws/ysG0wj

The Fed on Rates – Barring a Supreme Court decision or a GOP wave, there will be an individual mandate to buy health insurance before the Fed hikes interest rates – abcn.ws/w2oeUe

Road Show- Obama takes America: Built to Last message to Iowa, Nevada. http://abcn.ws/xemqDe

Newt’s Populism v. Obama’s Populism – Matt Dowd: And, so, we have a president who has for now chosen to run as an economic populist against economic elites (as he sees Romney), and the rising candidacy of Gingrich, who is running as a cultural populist against cultural elites in this country.  And both are attempting to appeal to the exact same group of voters: frustrated and disillusioned blue-collar and middle-class voters. http://abcn.ws/xXbgUf

A Step Forward and a Step Back for Same Sex Marriagehttp://abcn.ws/zYM7GA

Back to Florida -

Florida Heat – Walter/Berman/Falcone on a new CNN / TIME / ORC poll – Romney is laying claim to 36 percent support compared to 34 percent for Gingrich. But, like other polls out within the last few days, the survey shows Gingrich taking a large bite out of Romney’s lead here just within the last week. In another CNN-Time-ORC poll taken Jan. 13-17, Romney stood at 43 percent with Gingrich trailing at 18 percent. Wednesday’s poll, which was taken from Jan. 22-24, shows something of a silver lining for Romney. On the first day pollsters were out in field (Sunday) Gingrich was up 38 percent to 32 percent, but on the second two days (Monday and Tuesday) it was Romney who had the advantage, 38 percent to 29 percent. It’s more evidence that Monday’s GOP debate in Tampa helped Romney and that Newt-mentum may be ebbing. http://abcn.ws/xTqoJY

Univision / ABC Poll  in Florida – Matt Jaffe, who splits time between the networks, reports:  While Latinos tend to side with Democrats — and voted for Obama by a two-to-one margin in 2008 — they also have a prominent role to play in the upcoming GOP nominating contests in Nevada and, more immediately, in Florida, which votes on Jan. 31. In the Sunshine State, where about one in 10 likely Republican primary voters are Latino, Mitt Romney has a large, 26-point lead over his closest rival Newt Gingrich, 49 percent to 23 percent among Latino Republicans. Among all Florida Latinos, the margin is 35 to 20 in favor of Romney, with 21 percent undecided. http://abcn.ws/zGRVWD

Newt on “Self Deportation” – “”How close are you to breaking up laughing out loud?” Gingrich said to Univision correspondent Jorge Ramos, who moderated a forum this morning. “I think you have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic – you know, $20 million a year of no work – to have a fantasy this far from reality.” More from Jaffe / Dover – http://abcn.ws/w1YQTU

“How Much Money Do You Have?” – Romney defends Immigration stances as well – http://abcn.ws/AhqOCA

Newt Tries to Defuse Freddie Mess, Releases New Docshttp://abcn.ws/ArH1S1

The Adelson Files – From Matt Negrin’s profile – “Before Newt Gingrich dominated the South Carolina primary, a so-called super PAC supporting him spent millions of dollars savaging Mitt Romney in negative ads and fliers. A driving force behind that super PAC is Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino tycoon who has translated his deep friendship with Gingrich into a financial bonanza to buoy his candidacy. Adelson gave the PAC, Winning Our Future, $5 million just before the South Carolina primary, and this week, his wife gave the group another $5 million.

The Adelsons make Mitt Romney look like Tom Joad. Adelson, the eighth-richest American, is worth more than $20 billion. He built the iconic Venetian hotel (and another in Macao to match) and has given to a host of Jewish causes — in addition to funding a nonprofit group that led to Gingrich’s presidential run. http://abcn.ws/xd2BVS

Nightline Anchor Cynthia McFadden interviewed Adelson and wife Miriam in 2010http://abcn.ws/w5A9cd

Watch it here – http://abcn.ws/wVVP1x

Newt’s Reagan Bona Fides Questioned – The former House speaker has mentioned conservative hero Ronald Reagan 55 times in the past 18 debates, more than every other Republican candidate combined, according to an analysis by the New York Times’ Nate Silver. From touting the work he did with Reagan as a member of the House, to drawing parallels between Reagan’s underdog upset of former President Jimmy Carter and Gingrich’s own resurgent campaign, the candidate has made no secret of his admiration for the former president. http://abcn.ws/xsQfXr

Ay Caramba. East Haven Mayor puts foot in mouth with “taco” comment, apologizes – http://abcn.ws/wrTuBa

Santorum to Release Tax Returns- http://abcn.ws/ApTDxi

The State of the Union Analysis you missed but should have seen – (from Terry Moran, Amy Walter and David Chalian) -  http://abcn.ws/wsXNrF

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