Morning Must Reads: Acceleration

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Egyptian anti-government protesters clash with riot police in the port city of Suez on January 27. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)

–Economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter to a 3.2% annual rate. That’s up from 2.6% in the third quarter and slightly below what economists were expecting.

Widespread protests continue Friday in Egypt. BBC has a stream of updates and our colleague Tony Karon provides some context and points out something I think a lot of Western cheerleaders fail to grasp: “There’s no way for Egypt to be democratic and exclude the Islamists from political participation. The same is true for most other parts of the Arab world…”

–The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned an appellate court decision to remove Rahm Emanuel from the Chicago mayoral ballot, restoring his eligibility and, essentially, making him mayor.

–Mike Pence has removed himself from 2012 presidential contention (by all accounts a coup for the Republican Governors Association) and it further opens up the field. With Pence out, signs Huckabee will pass and Palin being Palin, there’s a lot of room for a social conservative to step into the breach. Consider Jim DeMint’s interest piqued.

–Mitt Romney’s light-flying “Jet Blue” campaign hasn’t (yet) included some major players from his last run.

–The Tea Party Express won’t try to claim Orrin Hatch’s scalp in 2012, a big break for the senior Senator from Utah.

–Secret holds are gone from the Senate but the filibuster remains mostly untouched.

–Floyd Norris on what can be done with Fannie and Freddie.

–Tim Geithner will be an important bridge to the House GOP.

–The post-Jay Carney era of Joe Biden’s public life has begun: “Biden thinks The Onion’s spoofs of him are ‘hilarious.'”

–And a notable Swampland flashback to the new White House press secretary tussling with Nicole Wallace over the McCain camp’s dismissive attitude toward the media. That is, of course, outgoing Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (then of the Obama campaign) over on the right absolutely loving the whole thing:

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