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Romney, Bachmann, Perry: The Shape Of The GOP Field

Texas governor Rick Perry enters the GOP fray. We’ll look at how the Republican field of presidential contenders is shaping up.

Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman walk on stage for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate in Ames, Iowa. (AP)

Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman walk on stage for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate in Ames, Iowa. (AP)

It was a clarifying weekend in Republican presidential campaign politics, though by no means a conclusive one. Michele Bachmann nosed out Ron Paul to win the Iowa straw poll. Tim Pawlenty dropped out. Mitt Romney rolled on.

And Mr. Texas, Rick Perry –- “the conservative id made flesh,” wrote one conservative commentator — jumped in. Republicans are talking about Barack Obama as the weakest incumbent since Jimmy Carter. He’s certainly playing a rough hand. But what –- who -– will the GOP bring to the fight?

This hour On Point: the new GOP pack, and leaders, after Ames, Iowa.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jonathan Martin, senior political reporter Politico

Paul Burka, senior executive editor at Texas Monthly

Kellyanne Conway, Republican pollster

Bob Shrum, a senior fellow at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, he was senior advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004

From Tom’s Reading List

The Week: “Barack Obama is being blamed right, left, and center — by almost everyone for one thing or another — including the credit downgrade, the market crash, a slouching economy, and the miasma of the Washington swamp. Critics and erstwhile admirers grumble among themselves — and, mostly anonymously, to the press. Columnists once ready to cheer Obama’s rise now jeer his timid, professorial leadership; Maureen Dowd ridicules him as the “Withholder in Chief.””

The National Review Online: “In filing her papers, Bachmann became the first serious female U.S. presidential candidate who is neither a career politician nor married to one. She has an everywoman appeal that connects her to millions of Americans; she is accessible, authentic, and affable. She is passionate but not angry; intelligent but plain-spoken. Like many women, she came to her beliefs through a series of events and over a number of years. She has been a Democrat, a Republican, a tax attorney, a businesswoman, a mother of five, and a foster mother to 23 others.”

Texas Monthly: “So please, heed this advice. Rick Perry, as you have no doubt already discovered, is not the easiest man to write about. He is secretive and leery of the media (sometimes to the point of hostility), and he has a strategically valuable knack for being underestimated by his critics. I have been writing about him since the eighties, when he began his career in the Texas Legislature. Along the way I have learned a few things, which I have arranged in this handy list of Eight Points to Keep in Mind When Writing About Rick Perry.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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