A suicide bomber struck a checkpoint near the Baghdad home of Haider al-Abadi, the man who is set to succeed beleaguered Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It was one of many attacks to hit the Iraqi capital killing over a dozen people and wounded scores of others.

The news came just hours after Maliki doubled down on his play to stay in power, calling it his "patriotic duty" to remain prime minister. Hundreds gathered for a pro-Maliki demonstration amid heightened security. At least 12 people have died today and 36 wounded in several attacks in the Iraqi capital. Four car bombs detonated across the city.

Despite all of Maliki's bluster, Abadi has received some pretty vital endorsements from Iran and the United States, including a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden earlier this week.

As Maliki's support ebbs, Reidar Visser told The Washington Post, Abadi seems poised to govern with broader support from minorities like Sunnis and Kurds.

Many of the elites from the governing council-era consider him one of their own in terms of a prestigious family background, whereas Maliki was seen as more of an upstart from humble origins. Things like that count in the (old-fashioned and traditional) Iraqi establishment."

But first, he has to take power.