Archive for March 27, 2012


March 27, 2012

The 2016 Guessing Game

Alex Pareene: “Being that it’s still March 2012 and we have no way of knowing who will actually be president by the end of January 2013 (besides “not Ron Paul,” obviously), it would seem to be a bit premature to speculate as to how the 2016 presidential race will shake out. And yet political reporters, finally bored perhaps with the inevitable Republican nomination of Mitt Romney, are already spewing forth predictions…”

“But you see where we are, at this point: Randomly tossing out names. It’s like predicting the 2016 NFL Draft. Some of these kids are still in high school!”

Etch-A-Sketch Maker Wants to Keep Buzz Going

Larry Killgallon, president of Etch-A-Sketch maker Ohio Art Co., told Bloomberg TV he’s loving the use of his company’s toy in the presidential campaign debate.

Said Killgallon: “We’re talking about creating T-shirts and the kind of things we could bring to the convention.”

He added: “What we need is a long time period of time and we need to sustain this into the fall. If we keep this dialogue going between the campaigns and Etch-a-Sketch, it will be great.”

Reporters Stop Following Gingrich

Newt Gingrich “has lost his last embedded print reporters,” reporters on the trail confirm toPolitico.

“The last two print reporters covering Gingrich full-time on the trail — from Politico and theAtlanta Journal Constitution — pulled out on Friday. The Associated Press pulled its embed after Tuesday’s Illinois primary.”

How Obama Changed His Mind on the Mandate

Ryan Lizza has the memos that show exactly when President Obama changed his mind about the individual health insurance mandate.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If we only have a two-month campaign, [the Obama campaign’s] money advantage, and it’ll be an advantage, won’t make much difference because there is only so much money you can spend in two months to have really any impact. There are diminishing returns after awhile. But if we have a nominee next week, all of the money advantages they have, now, are going to be trained on destroying the nominee.”

— Rick Santorum, in an interview with National Review, on why a contested convention would be a good thing for the Republican party.

Santorum Open to Veep

Rick Santorum told David Brody he would consider being Mitt Romney’s running mate if he doesn’t become the Republican presidential nominee.

Said Santorum: “Of course. I mean, look. I would do in this race as I always say, this is the most important race in our country’s history. I’m going to do everything I can. I’m doing everything I can. I’m out there. In the last 10 months, I’ve had five days off. Two for Thanksgiving, and three for Christmas. I’ve been working every single day. My wife and my kids, we’re just busting our tail, because we know their future and all of our childrens’ future is at stake in this election and I don’t want to be the guy who has to sit with my granddaughter, 20 years from now, and tell stories about an America where people once were free. I don’t want to have that conversation.”

Of course, Mitt Romney seemed to rule out the possibility earlier this month.

Why Obama Has Embraced “Obamacare”

After President Obama spent months fighting back against opponents’ use of the term “Obamacare” as a pejorative for his health care reform law, the President and his team have begun to embrace the term in a reversal that is no accident, reports The Fix.

“What the White House and the Obama reelection team in Chicago clearly believe is that the Supreme Court case amounts to the opening of a new front of the message wars surrounding the health care law. And, if they lost the first fight because they played too much defense, now they are doing their damnedest to get on offense — early and often… Embracing the term ‘Obamacare’ is a recognition that the president owns the law politically-speaking no matter what the court decides. That reality means he must re-define ‘Obamacare’ in the eyes (or, more accurately, ears) of the public. ‘Obamacare’ currently stands for everything people don’t like about the law. The White House has to make it stand for all the good things in the law.”

The campaign even launched a “I like Obamacare” Facebook page.

Obama Holds Double-Digit Lead Nationally

A new Suffolk University poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in a general election match up by 10 points, 47% to 37%, with 7% saying they would vote for a third-party candidate and 7% undecided.

Obama led the other GOP candidates by even larger margins: Rick Santorum by 14 points, Newt Gingrich by 19 points, and Ron Paul by 21 points.

Lugar’s Time in Indiana

The Evansville Courier & Press highlights a tough statistic for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), who is already facing attacks on his legal residency in Indiana.

“A week ago, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar’s campaign — under fire from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the Republican primary — offered details on exactly how many days he’s spent in Indiana over his 36-year tenure in office. The answer: 1,805 days, or nearly five years total.”

The campaign of Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) noted that in just five years in office, he had spent 1,151 days and 1,029 nights in Indiana.

Is Romney Actually Underrated?

Chris Cillizza considers whether Mitt Romney’s political abilities are actually underrated, as he has managed to lead the Republican presidential primary field despite being a Northeastern moderate in a party of Southern conservatives, a Mormon in a party of evangelicals, and the author of Romneycare in a party opposed to Obamacare.

“Romney is no world-beater as a candidate. He is awkward and somewhat tin-eared, and can seem aloof. And yet, when you scan the hurdles — demographic and ideological — that Romney has overcome to emerge as the all-but-certain Republican nominee, it’s clear that he doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s accomplished.”

King Picks Bipartisan Campaign Team

“In a move that will keep them guessing in Washington,” the Portland Press Herald reports Maine U.S. Senate candidate Angus King (I) “has named two new campaign aides: one a Democrat and one a Republican.”

“It will be difficult for King to operate in the Senate without joining either the Democratic and Republican caucus, since the party caucuses make committee assignments. Many Democrats are hoping the socially liberal, but more fiscally conservative, former Maine independent governor joins the Democratic caucus. King supported George W. Bush in 2000, but Democrat John Kerry in 2004 and he is backed Barack Obama in 2008 and this year.”

Cain Puts Out New Video

There’s just one word for Herman Cain’s new video: disturbing.

See more…

What’s at Stake at the Supreme Court

“In taking up President Barack Obama’s health overhaul Monday, the Supreme Court wades into an issue that not only could sway this fall’s elections but also could help define for generations what Congress is and isn’t entitled to do,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

First Read: “So, that’s all, just the fate of the president’s re-election and the limits on Congressional power, but beyond that, nothing major. ”

A ruling from the court is expected in late June.

Romney’s Invisible Campaign Manager

Mitt Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades hasn’t given a single on-the-record interview this entire cycle, and never goes on television, BuzzFeed reports.

“This determined obscurity is part of the myth of Matt Rhoades, the behind-the-scenes operative successfully steering the Romney campaign down a narrow path to the nomination… Indeed, like a hipster for the blue-blazer-and-loafers set, Rhoades’s political persona is deeply invested in giving the impression that he doesn’t care what you think of him.”

Rubio Positioning Himself for Veep

“For a guy who keeps insisting he has no interest in being vice president, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio appears to be feverishly positioning himself for the job,” the Tampa Bay Timesreports.

He’s asked the Florida Ethics Commission to “close out a complaint” that he misused campaign money, his PAC spent more than $40,000 for investigators to research for negative attacks that could surface against him, and he announced he is rushingpublication of his memoir to this summer which “will help him frame his story before a presumably less-flattering unauthorized biography is released in July and will ensure him waves of publicity before the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.”

Santorum Curses at Reporter

Rick Santorum grew heated and accused a New York Times reporter over the weekend of distorting a statement he made in an earlier speech, yelling “It’s bullshit” to him, ABC Newsreports.

Here’s the video.

Santorum defended himself on Fox News this morning: “If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not a real Republican.”

See more…

Obama Says He’ll Have “Flexibility” After Election

An interesting exchange between President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room at the end of a 90-minute meeting, ABC News reports:

Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

More Disapprove of Health Care Law

As the Supreme Court takes up President Obama’s health care plan today, a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows 47% of Americans disapprove of the law, including 30% who strongly disapprove. Just 36% of those questioned said they support the law either somewhat or strongly.

Ezra Klein notes the court hearing “will last six hours and stretch over three days, the longest arguments in 45 years. One reason these oral arguments will last so long has to do with the variety of the topics that the justices will address. The Court won’t consider the Affordable Care Act as one single issue, but rather has broken the case into four, separate issues.”

National Journal reports “a survey of legal insiders released Monday morning found a widespread expectation that the Court would uphold the central pillars of the law.”

Quote of the Day

“If Romney wants to diminish Santorum the way Clinton did Brown, he’s going to have to beat him in Pennsylvania,” said Paul Begala, the Democratic strategist who was a top Clinton aide in 1992.”

— Paul Begala, quoted by Politico, looking ahead to the next GOP primary contests.

The Sad End to Gingrich’s Campaign

Walter Shapiro: “Despite Newt Gingrich’s best efforts, it looks like the world is going to have to save itself. A humiliating third-place finish in Saturday’s Louisiana primary should have extinguished the last embers of Gingrich’s wildfire dream of a second-ballot victory at the GOP Convention. Any Newtonian fantasy about stopping Mitt Romney in Tampa requires the former House speaker to continue to accumulate convention delegates. But Gingrich — after winning a combined 9 percent of the vote in Louisiana and the prior Illinois primary — is now in the goose-egg phase of his descent into irrelevance.”

Lawmaker Accused by Staff Member

In an explosive resignation letter, a disabled veteran and aide to Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) told the lawmaker that she’d “rather be at war in Afghanistan” than continue working for the congresswoman and accused a senior staff member of engaging in improper political activity on government time, Politico reports.

Brenda Cruz wrote that Richardson and the senior staffer “mistreated her during and after her pregnancy, forcing Cruz to conclude she had to leave the office for her own health and that of her child. More important to a sprawling House Ethics Committee investigation into Richardson, Cruz alleges the congresswoman used her staff for political purposes.”