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GOP race for President heats up

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

January 19, 2012 1:10:21 PM PST
So the Republicans are trying again to coalesce the conservative base around one - or to be more accurate just two candidates.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas dropped out today, two days before the South Carolina primary and then endorsed Newt Gingrich.

Perry's erstwhile campaign to become the GOP Presidential nominee never really got off the ground, thanks in large part to his fumbles during debates and speechesm fumbles that brought reasonable people to question his ability to speak clearly on his feet. Perry never got out of single digits in the polls.

The second headline, behind Perry's departure, is the re-count in Iowa, which shows that instead of winning the caucuses by 8 votes, Mitt Romney actually lost by 34, to Rick Santorum. It's another in the long litany of the "anybody but Mitt" mentality among many conservative Republicans.

The third headline is Perry's "nobody's perfect" endorsement of Gingrich, which means he forgives Gingrich his trespasses.

And it's the former House Speaker's personal life that tonight will make more headlines than Perry's dropping out.

ABC News' chief investigative reporter Brian Ross tonight has an interview with Gingrich's second wife who says when her husband told her about a six-year affair with his secretary (his current wife) he also asked if they could have an "open marriage" going forward. Mrs. Gingrich refused, and divorce followed.

There are many Americans who believe that a candidate's personal life shouldn't be part of the political equation. But in Mr. Gingrich's case it's more about the contradictions than the personal pitfalls. Because at the same time he was asking his wife for an open marriage so he could continue carrying on with his staffer, he was pushing for Pres. Clinton's impeachment for his little encounter with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

It's that hypocrisy that will make Brian's interview have "legs" as they say.

We'll have the latest from the campaign trail, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, in this winter-that-hasn't-really-been-winter season, a dose of winter! Meteorologist Lee Goldberg tracking two systems that could bring us snow tonight and Saturday.

And we take a closer look at home cooking which is thriving these days because of the bad economy and tight money.

As Mr. Natural used to say in those R. Crumb comics, get the right tool for the job. And that's especially true in the kitchen these days, although I'm not sure Mr. Natural had cooking in mind when he said that. Consumer Reports tonight takes a look at the right gadgets to have in the kitchen.

And in the irony-of-the-day story, one of the members of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness today announcing his company is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez overseeing the reorganization of what was once a giant among corporate behemoths. At one point in the 70s, Kodak accounted for more than 85% of all film and camera sales. But it fell behind the times, failing to embrace the new digital age even though it could have.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers in San Francisco for the Giants' playoff game against the 49ers on Sunday. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.


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