news brief
10:16 am
Sun January 22, 2012

Sunday News Roundup

South Carolina never turned out the way Perry expected. Attention is shifting to the Texas Senate race. Camp Mabry soldiers celebrate their homecoming. And Joe Paterno is dead. Here is your Sunday news roundup.

South Carolina Chooses Newt

For the past eight presidential nominating contests, Republicans in the Palmetto State have chosen the candidate who goes on to lock up the nomination. Last night, they bet that winning streak on a long shot by choosing the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

And the Texas governor who until last week had put all his chips on the Palmetto State was back at home, mending his wounds and rebuilding relationships.

“Perry has taken some steps to acknowledge how bad things were,” a Perry advisor told the Texas Tribune on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record. “The outreach has been humble and gracious, in the financial community and in the campaign community. He’s telling people he learned a lot.”

More than a half-dozen of Perry’s campaign operatives described their experience to the Austin American-Statesman, on a condition of anonymity. They said the campaign was marred by internal turmoil, and in particular, a clash between Perry operatives Dave Carney and Joe Allbaugh.

"The fear is gone. The aura of invincibility that surrounds him has been punctured," Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein tells the Los Angeles Times. Even Herman Cain beat Perry last night. The former pizza executive, who suspended his campaign in December, had a little help from comedian Stephen Colbert to score more than twice as many votes as Perry.

Texas Senate Race Heats Up         

With the Texas political press no longer following Perry around early primary states, they are free to turn their attention to the other big campaign story: the race for one of Texas’ two U.S. Senate seats.

A “civil war” is breaking out within the Texas GOP between Tea Party activists and establishment conservatives to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

"There is a 'battle' of sorts within the Republican Party between the more establishment Republicans and the Tea Party constituents," University of Texas at Arlington government professor Allan Saxe told the Star-Telegram. "Rightly or not, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is viewed as the establishment candidate -- sort of the state version of Mitt Romney. Ted Cruz is the Newt Gingrich in the Senate race while Tom Leppert and Craig James are both Rick Santorum."

Camp Mabry Comes Home

More than 500 soldiers at Camp Mabry celebrated the end of a mission that sent many of them to southern Iraq. Men and women with the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard managed the drawdown of U.S. military operations in Iraq from January through September, KXAN reports.

"I'm extremely proud. We have a dual role as a National Guard division -- we have a state mission and then our federal mission," Major General Eddy Spurgin told KVUE. "They’ve accomplished the mission and been successful."

Soldiers now get to return to civilian life and spend time with their families.

Joe Paterno Dies

The longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died today at the age of 85. Paterno won more games than any other major-college football coach, according to the New York Times, but he was fired last year amid a child sex abuse scandal that echoed across the country and grabbed the attention even of people who don’t care about collegiate sports.

When he was fired last year, Paterno said he wished he had “done more” after learning of allegations his defensive coach Jerry Sandusky had raped boys as young as 10.

But some coaches accept they are held to higher moral standards, the Christian Science Monitor has reported.  Mack Brown, the University of Texas head football coach, told the Dallas Morning News in 2003, “We’re role models for kids. We get paid a lot of money to be role models for those kids.”