1. Osama bin Laden has already assumed a starring role in the 2012 presidential election, with Barack Obama taking credit for ordering the hit on the 9/11 mastermind and Mitt Romney's camp zinging the president for politicizing the issue. (Note the cameo appearances by Bill Clinton and John McCain.)
The bin Laden strike was an obvious political plus for the president, though not one that had much impact on his overall numbers. But this does reignite the debate over whether Bush-era Republicans took their eye off the ball on al Qaeda in their focus on going to war with countries like Iraq. Romney could point out that Obama ended up keeping most of Bush's national security policies, but that would undermine his attacks on the president as weak relative to Republican leadership.
2. Newt Gingrich was expected to drop out of the Republican presidential race Tuesday. Now some reports are suggesting his departure will come Wednesday. May Day is for commies, anyway. Gingrich had hoped to land some blows against Romney now that Rick Santorum is out of the race, but instead finished third or worse in all but one primary held last week. He is expected to endorse Romney for president.
3. There have been questions as to why Santorum hasn't endorsed Romney yet. Many observers expect an endorsement to come in time, after reflection and suitable breathing space. But given Ron Paul's recent under-the-radar success at gathering delegates -- he dominated the Louisiana caucuses Saturday after coming in last in the state's primary earlier this year -- I wonder if Romney might not prefer that Santorum hold on to his delegates for now.
4. Marco Rubio's foreign policy speech this week heightened speculation that he is near the top of Romney's list of vice presidential prospects. But let's not count out Kelly Ayotte, the Republican senator from New Hampshire. Romney and Ayotte are scheduled to appear together tomorrow morning in Portsmouth. Romney's lieutentant governor in Massachusetts was a woman, as was a majority of his cabinet.
5. Speaking of New Hampshire, will the Granite State's House seats keep flipping back and forth between the parties depending on which way the pendulum swings? The latest polling makes it look that way.
6. Richard Lugar has definitely gone on the offensive in his primary with Richard Mourdock. Lugar and Mourdock have even invoked dueling poll numbers, differing as to who is favored to win the Republican nomination. Lugar was first elected in 1976 and this race is considered the biggest Tea Party pickup potential this year.
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