Morning Must Reads: 2012 Checkup

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(White House Photo by Pete Souza)

–Mike Huckabee tells the Iowa Family Policy Center the state supreme court ousters “may have been singularly the most important election that happened in America.” Back story here.

New York Magazine‘s Jason Zengerle details how Chris Christie relishes his viral moments of confrontation.

–The New York Times takes a look at Mitt Romney’s creative use of state political action committees.

–Eric Ostermeier points out there’s no historical evidence that battleground governors affect presidential elections.

–Chris Cillizza considers four dark horses for 2012: Rick Santorum, Mike Pence, Scott Brown and Marco Rubio. I’d say all of these of really far-fetched. Make no mistake, Santorum is already running; but he hasn’t generated much buzz despite his overt ambition and there’s no indication he’ll be more than a blip on the radar. Pence is probably the most viable of this bunch — bridges the worlds of fiscal and social conservatives, and has done well in some straw polls — but I think he’s more interested in running for governor of Indiana. Simply put, Brown is too liberal to win a Republican presidential primary, full stop. Two years as a Senator isn’t much, but while Rubio on a presidential ticket isn’t unimaginable, it’s far more likely to be as a veep pick.

–Polling 2012 at this point isn’t worth much, but the latest from Quinnipiac reflects conventional wisdom about the field so far: Palin would be a primary force but trails badly in a hypothetical general, where Romney and Huckabee run strongest.

–Tim Pawlenty’s backup plan involves margaritas, Kenny Chesney and a flower shirt.

–Matt Yglesias revisits an interesting thesis that presidential democracies are doomed t0 fail.

–Virginia’s Republican party has decided to hold a Senate primary (rather than a convention) in ’12, lessening the chances that establishment fave George Allen will get bumped by a Tea Party insurgent a la Bob Bennett.

– Utah Sen.-elect Mike Lee, the man who claimed Bennett’s scalp, and Majority Leader Harry Reid are old LDS acquaintances.

–After 11 years, the Senate settles up with black farmers in the Pigford v. Glickman case.

–Politicized Fed criticism blunts QE2′s impact.

–The impending debt ceiling vote will test GOP unity in the House.

–On START, Obama wants to make it Jon Kyl vs. the world.

–TSA chief John Pistole blinks on pat downs.

–And Matt Drudge is having a field day.

What did I miss?

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