Tales from the Trail

Cain in the spotlight

The spotlight burns a lot brighter when you’re the one leading the field (or tied for the lead).

Just ask Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO has been under increasing scrutiny since his rise to the top of the polls.

Analysts and pundits have been analyzing his “9-9-9″ tax plan and he’s gotten the “Saturday Night Live” treatment.

His recent proposal to use an electrified fence to fortify the border against illegal immigrants was a hot topic on cable news.

And then there’s video of this musical performance Cain gave when he was head of the pizza chain.

Palin’s 2012 plan: help others defeat Obama

“I apologize to those whom are disappointed in this decision…  But I believe that they, when they take a step back, will understand why the decision was made and understand that really you don’t need a title to make a difference in this country,”  Sarah Palin said on Fox New after closing the door to a 2012 presidential campaign.

The former Alaska governor, and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, ended months and months of speculation on Wednesday by announcing her decision not to throw her hat into the ring.

While she isn’t hitting the trail as a White House candidate, Palin clearly intends to remain a player on the political stage.

Team Bachmann lays out “Path to Victory”

From victory in the Iowa straw poll to lesser rival in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Michele Bachmann may be down but don’t count her out.

The Minnesota Representative is right on track on her “Path to Victory” that began with her win in Iowa, Team Bachmann Campaign Manager Keith Nahigian says in a video outlining the campaign strategy.

From Iowa, the campaign’s path to the nomination winds through New Hampshire and South Carolina, the crucial early states in the presidential primary races.

Perry still leads Republican pack – CNN/ORC poll

Rick Perry is still the front-runner in the field of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll released on Monday.

The Texas governor’s latest debate performance — rated shaky by some political analysts — apparently did not disappoint actual potential voters who support him.

Perry leads his nearest opponent, Mitt Romney 28 percent to 21 percent among Republican voters, according to the poll taken over the weekend — after last Thursday’s Republican debate in Orlando, Florida.

Netanyahu on Obama ties: Under the bus? What bus?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to take the bait on Sunday when asked if he agreed with Republican presidential candidates that President Barack Obama is not pro-Israel enough.

He was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s recent comment that the Democratic president “threw Israel under the bus.”

“You are trying to throw me under the bus of American politics and, guess what, I’m not going to be thrown there,” Netanyahu joked.

Perry video brands Obama “President Zero”

“Rick Perry – Proven Leadership,” a new campaign video for the Texas governor and Republican frontrunner opens with the voice of President Barack Obama — and footage of dreary, gray scenes.

The focus is on gloomy economic news.

With unemployment over 9 percent and the economy near another recession, the state of the U.S. economy is expected to be crucial to Obama’s re-election prospects for 2012.

The video brands Obama “President Zero”…  and fades to black.

Ron Paul vs. the “pretty boys” – Corrected

The race for the 2012 presidential nomination comes down to this: Ron Paul against the “pretty boys” — at least that’s what some of the most ardent supporters of the Texas congressman think.

The political action committee Revolution Pac , dedicated to Paul’s candidacy, compares their man to “media darlings” Mitt Romney (“this pretty boy”) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (“that pretty boy”) in a new ad branding the congressman  “a  statesman not a plastic man.”

“Wait a minute, can’t we do better?” the announcer asks, referring to Paul’s more popular opponents (who appear in animation) in the polls.

Obama campaign goes on the attack against “attacks”

The website is dark and ominous-looking.

Pictures of conservative commentator Glenn Beck and leading Republican presidential candidates fade in and out.

Headlines such as “Rick Perry’s massive jobs lie” and “Romney’s job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts” scroll across the top.

Is it a left-leaning blog meant to criticize a “right wing conspiracy”?

Tea Party flavors Republican debate in Tampa

Maybe it was the Tea Party Express influence or maybe it was just being in Tampa where Republicans hold their presidential nominating convention next year.

But the atmosphere at Monday’s  Republican debate had the festive feel of a major sporting event and the stars of the game were the eight candidates vying for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.

The pregame show began with a video introduction of “tonight’s players”…

What Powell wants in a 2012 presidential candidate

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

But the former top U.S. military officer, who once considered a presidential run of his own, tells NPR’s “Morning Edition” he’s undecided about which candidate to vote for in the 2012 election.

“I’m always undecided in every election,” he said in excerpts of an interview taped for Friday. “I always measure each candidate against what I think the country needs at that time and I will vote for the person I think who is most qualified to serve the nation at that time.”