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THE NEXT REAGAN?

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is more like Ronald Reagan than any of his rivals, according to a new survey of Republican voters in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire - an indicator that could reveal the power of nostalgia, not to mention the emotionally charged leanings of skittish conservatives.

“We decided to see who among the GOP candidates comes closest to being the next Reagan, and the results were decisive,” says Bill Pascoe, president of Citizens for the Republic, which polled the 500 likely voters. “In each of the three early primary and caucus states we polled, likely Republican voters answered with one name more than any other - and that candidate was Newt Gingrich.”

In the race for conservative standard-bearer and “the next Reagan,” Mitt Romney came in second in Iowa and New Hampshire and third in South Carolina; Herman Cain placed second in that state. Rep. Ron Paul had a strong showing, however, placing third in Iowa and New Hampshire in the three surveys, conducted Nov. 18-21.

TWITTER FEEDING

“Hey Tweeps: Looking for outlandish/incorrect predictions from Newt Gingrich’s past. Any ideas for me?” asked Washington Post political blogger Aaron Blake in a tweet to his 8,796 followers on Monday, later thanking them for “tips on Newt’s many predictions.”

The practice of creative outsourcing to research the candidate did not sit well with Newsbusters analyst Noel Sheppard.

“Still in the camp that doesn’t believe the media are liberally biased?” he asks. “As for the Post, what would one expect from a newspaper that only five months ago called for readers to sift through former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s email messages? Why should we be surprised that they’d be looking for dirt on the current Republican presidential front-runner?”

PRIEBUS PRESENTS

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus himself is urging procrastinators to hasten to the online GOP Store for Christmas and holiday gift ideas “for all the patriotic Republicans” they know. Among the goodies: the collectible “Take Back the White House” ornament, emblazoned with a fearless “Merry Christmas” and a symbol of what tops Mr. Priebus’ wish list.

In addition, there’s a GOP elephant cookie cutter, a “Cook right” chef’s apron, a “Weepublican” bib for baby, plus stickers, buttons, polo shirts, hoodies, a snappy GOP camouflage cap and T-shirts of many persuasions, including a “Peace Through Strength” shirt featuring the menacing silhouette of a sleek B-52. Hey, once upon a time, such things were only available on, say, Carswell Air Force Base.

See it all here: www.gopstore.com

FRANKLY SPEAKING

“American taxpayers say good riddance,” proclaims Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson, in the wake of Rep. Barney Frank’s decision not to seek re-election. “Frank leaves behind a disastrous record that will have consequences for years if not decades to come. His departure comes about 20 years too late.”

Mr. Wilson calls the Massachusetts Democrat a “staunch defender” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who “ignored the warning signs of the crisis” and later led the House’s efforts to bail out them out.

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