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Politics

Presidential Derby

July 14, 2011 - 6:00pm

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to keep the door open to jumping in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Palin said during an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday that she could afford to wait a few more weeks and could make a final decision in either August or September. While surging U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, like Palin a favorite of the tea party, has overtaken the former vice-presidential candidate for second in many polls, polls this week showed Palin continued to have momentum of her own in Iowa and New Hampshire...Making his sixth trip to New Hampshire since the 2008 elections, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to insist he may run for the Republican nomination. Giuliani said this week that he expects to have a decision by September...Speaking in New Hampshire on Thursday, Giuliani said congressional Republicans should seek a deal with the White House for spending cuts while agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. The former New York mayor predicted Republicans would be held accountable by voters if the federal government went into default...

Keep an eye on the results of the Iowa straw poll in Ames coming up in August. More than a few presidential hopefuls pulled the plugs on their campaigns after poor results in Ames. Lamar Alexander ran up the white flag on his White House ambitions after a bad showing in 1999. Tommy Thompson did the same thing in 2007. Could there be another casualty waiting in the wings?...Yikes. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum had less than $230,000 in the bank by the end of June. Santorum's team counter that their candidate formally entered the race in June and noted the first fundraiser was on June 22. They added that the campaign and Santroum's PAC brought in more than $1.17 milion in the second quarter of 2011...Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is going all out to win the Ames straw poll and he could be running on fumes soon. Pawlenty only had $1.4 million to spend in the primary race at the start of the month and there are reports that he has already dumped more than $400,000 in Iowa in recent weeks. With former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah staying away from Ames, Pawlenty has an opportunity to make a strong showing--and its increasingly appearing that he will need it to regain momentum for his campaign...On the plus side for Pawlenty, he is unleashing Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the Hawkeye State. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucus, cut a television ad for Pawlenty and was a key player in leading her dad to victory there...

Of course there is another Minnesota Republican with her eyes on the Iowa straw poll. Michele Bachmann continues to work the state as she looks to make a splash in Ames. Bachmann continued to tour the state this past weekend, hitting Knoxville and Pella on Saturday before hitting Des Moines and Urbandale on Sunday...Former Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore injured his ribs in a horseriding accident at the end of June but there are signs that he is starting to recover and continue his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The Moore team is showcasing a biographical video that runs for more than six minutes and he will be speaking to young conservatives later this month. Still, Moore has not ranked as one of the more active Republicans on the campaign trail and there continue to be whispers that he will run for the conservative Constitution Partys presidential nomination...Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer held a rally in Bossier in his home state earlier in the month and continued to make his pitch for a presidential campaign calling for reform. One of the first candidates to launch an exploratory committee, Roemer is expected to formally launch his bid for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire come August...

President Barack Obama turns 50 on August 3 and will be celebrating with a fundraiser for his campaign in Chicago...The Windy City continues to be one of the chief bases for the Obama fundraising team. On Wednesday, Jim Messina, Obamas campaign manager, joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel at a fundraiser geared to young activists and smaller donors on Wednesday...California is looking to move its presidential primary back from February to June when it has traditionally taken place. Both chambers of the California Legislature have passed the change and it now sits on Gov. Jerry Browns desk...Attorney Carl Person, who was the Libertarian nominee for New York attorney general in 2006 and 2008, announced that he will be seeking his partys presidential nomination.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859

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