Opening Act: Apre Dick Armey, Le Deluge

Mother Jones scoops that Dick Armey has left FreedomWorks, the second conservative coalition he’s left in a huff over direction. (The first: The original Citizens for a Sound Economy. Armey didn’t like where the Kochs were taking it. The Koch rump became Americans for Prosperity.)

David Winston’s look back at election polling both 1) suggests that Republicans could have won and 2) reveals that increasing voter optimism about the economy undercut the Republican case.

According to the exit polls, at a personal level, 33% said they were worse off as compared to four years ago, while 66% said things were either better or had remained the same. So twice as many voters disagreed with the Republican assertion than agreed with it. The largest group were those who thought things had stayed about the same (41%). Among those voters, Obama won by the wide margin of 58-40.

Woodward scoops that Roger Ailes tried to turn David Petraeus into a presidential candidate.

[Fox News analyst K.T.] McFarland said she had spoken “directly” to the Fox News chairman and the “advice to you from Roger Ailes is. . . . He says that if you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president.”

Petraeus demurred, saying he would consider the CIA directorship if Obama offered it, as the president did several weeks later.

Ben Jacobs explains the Bob Costas controversy, which I confess to not really understanding ‘til now.