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12:40 PM ET, January 4, 2012


 Top Items: 
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Winning Ugly, but Winning  —  I don't care if you call it a win or a tie.  In Iowa on Tuesday, Mitt Romney had a performance that looks ugly on the stat sheet , but which accomplished quite a bit when you consider it in its broader context.  —  The two most important things that Mr. Romney accomplished are as follows:
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Everything You Heard Last Night Was Bull, Perry Might Want to Stay In, & a Newtlear Attack  —  As you wake up this morning, Rick Santorum only lost to Mitt Romney by 8 votes.  Santorum spent about a dollar per vote and Romney spent hundreds of dollars for his votes.
Ron Fournier /
Bachmann Ends Presidential Run — Source  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann is suspending her presidential campaign, said a senior Republican official with direct knowledge of the lawmaker's plans.  The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Minnesota lawmaker, a favorite …
McCain To Endorse Romney Tomorrow  —  The 2008 Republican nominee will endorse his former rival in New Hampshire, a source tells BuzzFeed.  The move will give Romney some high-profile good news after a close and ambiguous finish in Iowa.  —  (Getty Images / Mark Wilson)
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Romney Wins Iowa Caucus by 8 Votes  —  “Onto New Hampshire, let's get that job done!”  Mitt Romney told supporters before being declared the winner.  More Photos »  —  DES MOINES — Mitt Romney's quest to swiftly lock down the Republican presidential nomination with a commanding finish …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Conservative elites to huddle  —  A group of movement conservatives has called an emergency meeting in Texas next weekend to find a “consensus” Republican presidential hopeful, POLITICO has learned.  —  “You and your spouse are cordially invited to a private meeting with national conservative leaders …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and GOP 12
David Weigel / Slate:
Rickrolled: Three Lessons from Iowa … - Is the Virginia Law Keeping Perry and Gingrich Off the Ballot Constitutional?  — The Real Threat to Marriage Isn't Gay Marriage—It's Straight Civil Unions  — The App That Keeps You Going to the Gym by Charging You Money When You Don't
Russell Goldman / ABCNEWS:
Michele Bachmann Drops Out of Presidential Race  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann will “suspend her campaign,” a senior campaign official told ABC News today, hours after placing last in the Iowa caucuses and vowing to continue in South Carolina.  —  Bachmann cancelled plans to travel to South Carolina …
Discussion: The Other McCain
Emily Schultheis / Reuters:
Bachmann ends campaign  —  Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday morning that she would drop her presidential bid following her sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday.  —  “Last night, the people in Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside,” Bachmann told supporters in West Des Moines.
Paul Begala / The Daily Beast:
Iowa Results Show Romney's Weakness Even Against GOP ‘Unelectables’  —  What can you say about an alleged frontrunner who could barely top the Man-on-Dog guy?  If Mitt Romney can't beat Rick Santorum, he ought to find another party to run in.  —  You gotta love a party in which Mitt Romney …
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Saint Petersblog
Kevinliptak / CNN:
BREAKING: Bachmann ends GOP presidential bid  —  (CNN) - Michele Bachmann ended her bid for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday, hours after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.  —  The Minnesota congresswoman suspended her campaign, a legal technicality …
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Bachmann cancels South Carolina trip  —  Per a tweet from the AP, Michele Bachmann has canceled her planned trip to South Carolina, and has called a press conference for 10 a.m. central time.  —  I've emailed a campaign spokeswoman and haven't heard back.  —  But after Bachmann's …
First Thoughts: What we learned from last night
Discussion: The Politico and Associated Press
Rick Manning / Pundits Blog:   The three-headed Republican Party emerges from Iowa
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:   Rick Santorum Compares ‘Social Welfare Programs’ Like Medicaid To Fascism In Iowa Speech
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
A weak frontrunner
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
Santorum Surge in Precinct Numbers Exceeds Poll Projections
Ronald Brownstein /
Why Romney and Santorum Fought to a Draw in Iowa
Discussion: Betsy's Page and CNN
Emily Schultheis / The Politico:
McCain to endorse Romney tomorrow
Kasie Hunt / Associated Press:
Bachmann cancels SC trip after poor Iowa finish
Discussion: Reuters, Guardian and The Raw Story
Washington Examiner:
Facing embarrassing Iowa loss, Romney squeaks by
Discussion: FrumForum and Hot Air
NBC's Ali Weinberg /
After strong Iowa showing, Santorum campaign looks ahead to SC
Discussion: USA Today and The Agonist
Associated Press:
AP sources: Obama bucks GOP, OKs consumer watchdog  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate …
Ben White / The Politico:
Romney wins Iowa by 8 votes - Fallout: Perry done; Santorum strong; Gingrich angry - Cordray recess appointment?  - Oil surges on Iran fear  —  By Ben White (; Twitter: @morningmoneyben)  —  ROMNEY WINS IOWA BY 8 VOTES - With 100 percent of Iowa precincts reporting …
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Gingrich Floats Idea of Anti-Romney Alliance  —  In an interview with Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich raised the possibility of creating an anti-Mitt Romney alliance with Rick Santorum.  —  Ingraham: Can you see a scenario under which the two of you would align together to try to defeat the establishment candidate, Mitt Romney?
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
DNC chairwoman: Romney's Iowa caucus win is ‘a loss’  —  The chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday sought to slow Mitt Romney's momentum as the winner of the Iowa caucuses, the first vote of the 2012 primary season.  —  “When is a win a loss?
Discussion: The Politico, CNN and Weasel Zippers
Amy Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
Rick Santorum, Social Conservative Hero
Discussion: neo-neocon and Outside the Beltway
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Oedipus Rex Complex
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Jon Huntsman: Mitt Romney Would Be An Agent For The Big Banks
Grace Wyler / Business Insider:
Ron Paul May Have Secretly Won The Iowa Caucuses  —  DES MOINES — Ron Paul may have officially come in third tonight, but if the campaign's caucus strategy went off as planned, then Paul may actually be the real winner of the first Republican voting contest.
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 More Items: 
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
$480: The Price Rick Perry Paid for Each Iowa Caucus Vote
Dominique / Certified Tax Coach:
Competing Tax Proposals in GOP Race
Discussion: Angry Bear
Investor's Business Daily:
The Great Golden State Business Exodus
John Hayward / Human Events:
Alan Colmes Accuses Rick Santorum of “Playing With” His Son's Corpse
Clive Crook / Bloomberg:
A Crisis of Leadership, Not a Crisis of Capitalism: Clive Crook
Mackenzie Weinger / The Politico:
Ron Paul calls Newt Gingrich a ‘chickenhawk’
Discussion: Hot Air and The Hinterland Gazette
New York Times:
Bring Back Boring Banks
Discussion: naked capitalism and EconLog
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Cohen / The Atlantic Online:
A Federal Judge Responds Defiantly to Chief Justice Roberts
David Frum / CNN:
Why we're getting fatter — and what to do about it
Discussion: FrumForum
RealClearPolitics Video Log:
Michelle Obama Jokes: “I Kind Of Like” Being Called “Your Excellency”
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Moonbattery
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Stuff in Politico That Makes Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze, Field of Mediocrity Edition
Adam Martin / The Atlantic Wire:
Occupy Wall Street's Livestream Operators Arrested
Graham Bowley / New York Times:
3 In-Laws of Afghan Girl, 15, Are Held in Her Torture