May, 2012

Are Romney and Obama Bad at Politics?

Peggy Noonan: “Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have risen to the top of the American political system in an intensely political era. And yet neither loves politics or appears to have a particularly oversized gift for it. This is a central and amazing fact of the national election.”

“Mr. Obama has become actively bad at politics. Here is an example of how bad. Anyone good at politics does not pick a fight with the Catholic Church during a presidential year. Really, you just don’t. Because there’s about 75 million Catholics in America, and the half of them who go to church will get mad. The other half won’t like it either…”

“Mr. Romney, too, has had his bad moments. Donald Trump this week is an example. Mr. Trump brings with him the freak-show aspects of the primaries. Mr. Romney has to kick away from that, start a new chapter, begin an appeal to the sane center. Does he think keeping Trump close gains him some kind of right-wing street cred? My goodness, who does he think lives on that street?”

Hung Jury in Edwards Trial

The jury in the John Edwards trial could not reach a verdict on five of six counts of campaign finance violations against him, the AP reports. The judge sent them back for further deliberations.

However, the jury found Edwards not guilty on whether he received an illegal campaign contribution from Bunny Mellon.

Update: The Raleigh News & Observer reports the judge declared a mistrial.

Obama Praises Some of Bush’s Legacy

At the unveiling of the official portraits of George W. Bush and Laura Bush, President Obama has some kind words for his predecessor.

Said Obama: “Finally, on a personal note, Michelle and I are grateful to the entire Bush family for their guidance and example during our own transition. George, I will always remember the gathering you hosted for all of the living former presidents before I took office. Your fine words of encouragement. Plus you also left me a really good TV sports package. I use it.”

Clinton to Campaign in Wisconsin

Bill Clinton will head to Wisconsin on Friday to campaign on behalf of Tom Barrett (D) in the race to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R), CNN reports.

Clinton will be the most high profile Democratic surrogate to travel to Wisconsin to campaign for Barrett. As of now, there are no plans for President Obama or Vice President Biden to travel to Wisconsin prior to next Tuesday’s election.

Obama Seen as Best for Women

A new Kaiser Foundation poll finds people think President Obama would be better for women than Mitt Romney on a host of issues.

“On who looks out for the best interests of women, Obama leads 52-26%. Among women voters, it’s 59-25%.”

“But on who’s best to deal with the deficit, Obama and Romney are essentially tied, with Obama getting the narrow edge, 40-39%, hardly a good sign for an incumbent president. That vulnerability is one reason the Romney campaign has been pushing
the issue. Even on jobs and the economy, President Obama has a 10-point
lead.”

Warren Acknowledges She Told Schools of Heritage

Elizabeth Warren acknowledged for the first time “that she told Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American, but she continued to insist that race played no role in her recruitment,” the Boston Globe reports.

Said Warren: “At some point after I was hired by them, I provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.”

“Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.”

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

“A Boston court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, in the second federal appeals ruling this year to side with gay-marriage proponents,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The court said the 1996 law denying benefits to same-sex spouses improperly targeted a minority group and infringed on states’ prerogatives over family law. Neither ruling this year, however, has recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, instead citing narrower grounds. Both cases raise issues expected to be resolved ultimately by the Supreme Court.”

Quote of the Day

“I’ve been assigned six states. Pennsylvania, my home state. Ohio, Iowa, believe it or not, New Hampshire, Florida… Now they are talking about assigning me either Virginia, Nevada or North Carolina. We started off with Michigan, but we look like we are in pretty good shape in Michigan.”

— Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with Time magazine, on the 2012 presidential race.

Roemer Ends Longshot Presidential Bid

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer announced that he was ending his independent campaign for president and will instead create an organization focused on getting big money out of politics, Politico reports.

Said Roemer: “As I am no longer a candidate for president, I am free to pledge a good portion of the rest of my life to enacting campaign reform in the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House. Instead of using my right to the floor of Congress to lobby for corporate clients, I will lobby for the American people who want reform. To be successful, this endeavor must cross party lines. In truth, the two major parties are addicted to special interests and corporate money. I have said it many times: they are joined at the billfold. The two parties have been graveyards of reform too often in the past. They don’t want reform. They only want victory and reelection.”