Here’s a book to put on your reading list: It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.”
“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 Times reports.
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 rushing publication 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.”
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 News reports.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”