Gov. Rick Perry rules the roost at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7. But his endorsement of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst fell flat this week as Tea Party fave Ted Cruz crushed Dewhurst in a GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. LM Otero/AP hide caption

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Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22. LM Otero/AP hide caption

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Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before announcing her candidacy for president last June in Waterloo, Iowa. Steve Pope/Getty Images hide caption

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Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute. Tim Shaffer/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating Friday will play a role in President Obama's political future. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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