The Clintons Have a Romney Problem

First Read: “By itself, making money shouldn’t be an issue for Bill and Hillary Clinton; after all, so many of our past presidents have been wealthy. By itself, Bill Clinton having a shell LLC wouldn’t be an issue either. But when you add the two together, you see that the Clintons have a Mitt Romney problem on their hands — wealth and ‘otherness’ that voters might not be able to relate to, especially when the likes of Bernie Sanders are campaigning against wealth.”

“Of course, there’s one BIG difference between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney: Romney wanted to cut taxes for the wealthy, while Hillary likely wants to raise them and eliminate tax loopholes benefitting the well-off. As the Clintons have said before, people like them should be paying more in taxes. And you probably won’t hear that rhetoric from the eventual GOP nominee. Still, Hillary Clinton could arguably be the wealthiest (or close to it) candidate in the 2016 field. And this shell LLC story is going to sound the drumbeats for her to release her taxes.”

Santorum II

Rick Klein: “He comes to the race as last time’s runner-up, the guy who outlasted the Cain-Bachmann-Gingrich-and-company primary to be the last man standing against Mitt Romney. That might be Rick Santorum’s advantage, but it will also be his burden. Yes, the party’s moved on so much – and the field is so much better – that Santorum is in danger of not even getting one of the 10 invites to the first GOP debate, in August. He won Iowa (belatedly) last time, but still lost the nomination; next year’s caucus field will include another former winner, Mike Huckabee, plus Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul, just to name a few who’ll be competitive.”

“His path back needs to include his same small handful of wealthy friends – Foster Friess is on board again – and a revitalized message. As he makes his big announcement Wednesday at a manufacturing plant in the working-class Pennsylvania town he grew up in, we’ll begin to see how and if a second Santorum run can expand his social-conservative message to include economic empowerment. Pizza Ranches, the “Chuck Truck,” and maybe even sweater vests await.”

Are Democrats Now More Extreme Than Republicans?

Peter Wehner: “Among liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.”

“This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. On most major issues the Republican Party hasn’t moved very much from where it was during the Gingrich era in the mid-1990s.”

Rubio Says Christianity Is Under Threat

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christianity faces a “real and present danger” from same-sex marriage supporters who cast opponents as intolerant.

Said Rubio: “We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech, because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

He added: “So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. And that’s a real and present danger.”

Digital Video Will Play Big Role in 2016 Campaign

Boston Globe: “Digital in 2016 will be faster, more intense, and more mobile than it was in 2008, and that has repercussions for how this season’s crop of presidential candidates will behave and how their campaigns will unfold in New Hampshire and beyond. Candidates will still shake hands, give speeches, and pose for photos, but successful campaigns will also need to amass a suite of high-tech tools.”

“What’s changed in recent years… is the ease of producing, sharing, and watching online video. Instead of just reading about a candidate’s speech, voters can see it for themselves anywhere they can connect to a Wi-Fi or 3G signal. And, thanks to live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope, video is likely to be even an even bigger part of 2016.”

“The availability of video has shifted the tenor of campaign events in early states like New Hampshire… Candidates used to be able to slip into a remote town hall to quietly test a few sections of a stump speech. Now, anything they say has the potential to go viral online.”

Biden Wins the Internet

“President Obama may be the first digital president, but on the Web, his number-two plays second fiddle to no one,” the Washington Post reports.

“Vice President Biden is simultaneously the most intentionally, and unintentionally, funny politician on social media. While it may be a chicken-and-the-egg question to ask which came first, the vice president’s office have leveraged his folksy mannerisms and personal quirks to advance specific policy proposals and establish him as an online personality in his own right.”

Christie Plans Swing Through Early States

Gov. Chris Christie (R) will travel to five states next month as he moves closer to launching a presidential bid, according to an itinerary obtained by the Washington Post.

“Included are June stops in Iowa and South Carolina, as well as three separate trips to New Hampshire, where Christie’s advisers believe his hawkish fiscal pitch and loquacious style at town-hall meetings could revive his wilting prospects.”

Does Digital Media Make Us More Polarized?

Washington Post: “Barack Obama rose to prominence as a politician who could deliver broad, sweeping speeches with universal themes, and he has leveraged the opportunities of the digital age to maximum political advantage. But often, this now means speaking narrowly to his base voters or to groups disconnected from the mainstream political process.”

“The new strategy offers benefits as well as risks. The White House can reach more people without the filter of the traditional media, target its audience with precision and receive almost immediate feedback. But the approach raises the prospect of fostering further political polarization if the president opts to communicate mostly with parts of the electorate that identify with him ideologically or can be helpful politically.”