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A political tip sheet for the rest of us

By Michele Salcedo

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 10 2012 8:20 p.m. MST

TIME FLIES: It's been five years since then-Sen. Barack Obama announced he was running for president. Several thousand people filled the plaza in front of the Illinois statehouse in Springfield on Feb. 10, 2007, a scene immortalized along with other highlights of the past five years in a video urging supporters to deliver Term 2. A link to the video is part of a campaign email to supporters, in which Obama characterizes his quest for the White House as "an experiment in our political process, testing whether ordinary people really can still come together to change this country." They passed the test, but they've also learned "that entrenched interests adapt and claw back even harder, which means this election will be even more of a challenge. I can't wait to see what you can do," Obama writes.

NEWT'S DREAM TEAM:

The play: Rallying fearless conservatives around his candidacy.

The team: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Godfathers Pizza executive Herman Cain, former Sen. Fred Thompson, president's son Michael Reagan, Iowa state Rep. Linda Upmeyer, former Rep. J.C. Watts, pollster Kellyanne Conway, Hollywood tough guy Chuck Norris.

The goal: Taking on the Saul Alinsky radicalism of the Obama administration.

No mention of taking on the tea party, though, whose leaders apparently have had some Alinsky training of their own. Former House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey reportedly gives copies of Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals" to tea party leaders, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.

IN THEIR WORDS:

—"I am personally grateful for his wisdom in not trying to sing as a candidate. He knows his limitations." — Callista Gingrich, speaking at CPAC about her husband, Newt.

—"Religious liberty will be protected, and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women." — Obama, announcing a change in administration policy that required religious affiliated employers to include contraceptive coverage in the health care plans offered employees.

—"Barack Obama is the poster child for the arrogance of government." — Romney, at CPAC.

—"If he wins re-election, he will wage war on the Catholic Church the morning after he's re-elected. We cannot trust him. We should not — we know who he really is and we should make sure the country knows who he really is." — Gingrich, at CPAC.

—"Rights come to us from God. Government's one job is to protect those rights." — Santorum, at CPAC.

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