Afternoon Fix: Ex-Bachmann aide dismisses 2012 bid, Republicans say Democrats trying to embarrass them
Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff says she's not ready to be president,
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Laying out the CPAC stakes
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
*Rick Santorum is repudiating a Politico article that claims he criticized Sarah Palin for skipping CPAC, calling the report "garbage." He adds, "All I said was- she is VERY busy, PERIOD."
* "Politicians, I think are too bland today," says Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who is considering a Senate run. "I don't know what they believe in. Nothing wrong with throwing a coffee cup at someone if you're doing it for human rights."
*In a statement on retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine gave no hint of his own thoughts on getting into the race, saying only, "I am confident that our party will hold on to this Senate seat in 2012."
*Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff says she's not electable and that even if she did win the presidency, "I don't believe she would be ready for the position." He quit her office after five months, so there might be some bad blood there.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS
* CPAC starts tomorrow! Get excited! Full Fix coverage -liveblog, streaming video, Twitter updates, Blingees, etc - here.
* Speaking of CPAC, freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) will give the closing keynote speech on Saturday evening. "His fulsome efforts on conservative issues important to his constituents and his thoughtful leadership among the newest Members of the U.S. House make him the perfect keynote speaker," said organizer David Keene.
* Republicans are accusing Democrats of switching their votes on the Patriot Act to embarrass the new majority.
* Meg Whitman paid the campaign manager for her unsuccessful gubernatorial bid nearly a million dollars.
THE FIX MIX
This guy should be in the NFL! Or at least the professional opening-doors-with-footballs league...
With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake