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Newt, Mitt, Mike, Sarah, get ready. Or make up your minds, anyway. The New Hampshire Union Leader, ABC-affiliate WMUR-TV and CNN have announced they will present the first Republican presidential primary debate on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Manchester.

WOO WOO

To woo or not to woo, that is the question for President Obama. Should he shore up his base in the Democratic party or try fancy footwork with independents and swing voters? A new Zogby poll finds his approval rating languishes at 39 percent, with 63 percent describing him as a “weak leader.” Among independents, that last number is 68 percent; among Republicans, 88 percent. About half of Democrats and six out of 10 liberals say Mr. Obama “gives in too easily to Republicans.”

Lawmakers, meanwhile, have more to worry about; 12 percent overall approve the job performance of Congress. Another 28 percent approve of the Republican party, and 27 percent give the nod to Democrats. The poll of 1,914 likely voters was conducted Dec. 8-10.

“It was a bad week for Obama’s relationship with his party’s base, which sees him giving in too easily to the Republicans,” says pollster John Zogby. “That has to be a worry for the White House, but Obama is more concerned about showing swing voters he can get things done, especially anything that might stimulate the economy.”

WIKI FATIGUE

Fed up with WikiLeaks folly? Tired of founder Julian Assange and his $310,000 bail money financed in part by filmmaker Michael Moore? For some free diversion, there is WikiLeaks: The Game, which allows players to control Mr. Assange as he tries to sneak his way through the White House as President Obama sleeps at his desk, a laptop in front of him. In a matter of days, the game already has attracted a million players, its creators say.

“We created it as a sort of joke, a social commentary on a developing story,” says developer Sebastiaan Moeys. “We knew the topic was hot, but didn’t expect so many players for a relatively simple game.”

Play the game here: www.jeuxjeuxjeux.fr/play/special/wikileaks.html.

POLL DU JOUR

• 66 percent of Americans are following news of the tax cut agreement between President Obama and Republican leaders “closely.”

• 60 percent of that group support the agreement, 35 percent disagree.

• 49 percent overall support the agreement, 32 percent disagree with it.

• 47 percent say tax cuts should be extended, with “new limits” for wealthy Americans.

• 49 percent of that group say Congress should pass the agreement.

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