While many continue to list Michigan in President Obama’s column in the presidential race, Charles Mahtesian
notes that “with native son Mitt Romney as the nominee, big GOP gains
in 2010 and the state’s continued economic woes, it looks competitive at
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In an interview with Bloomberg, Alec Baldwin reopened talk about running for New York City mayor:
“I have a contract to work for NBC through some point in 2013. We don’t know how long the season is going to be or how long we are going to work, but I do know that there is one more season to do next year, contractually. Right now I am just looking at finishing what is in front of me. It is something that I would love to do. The only thing that I can suggest is that two years, four years, is an eternity in an American political life. Let’s see what things are like in 2014 and maybe I can find some opportunity. I would love to do it because I have had a job that has been very good to me. I have been very lucky and very successful in a lot of ways, but I would still like to consider doing that because I do a lot of this kind of work now and I wonder what it would be like if I had a staff and budget to do it.”
Jeffrey Toobin: “The President and his campaign have been strikingly quiet about plans for a second term. As a rule, all incumbents, of whatever office, run for reëlection on their records rather than on their future promises, but Obama appears to have taken the strategy to an extreme.”
John Edwards was criticized for getting $400 haircuts while running for president, but the New York Post reports he “now goes to Supercuts in Raleigh, NC, for a $12.95 job, employees say.”
Said one hairdresser: “We just talked about his hair.”
Al Hunt: “It’s the time of the political season when conjecture runs wild, much of it ill-informed. Mr. Romney’s choice of a vice-presidential candidate will evolve, in ways unforeseeable today, over the next four months.”
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed to 4 percentage points from 11 points a month ago, 47% to 43%, now that Romney has established himself as the probable Republican presidential nominee.
Meanwhile, Obama’s approval rating remains steady, with 49% approving and 49% disapproving of his performance as president.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) rips his colleagues in a new book out today, The Debt Bomb, saying the U.S. Senate is “heavily sedated.”
ABC News has excerpts: “Congress today is a stagnant pond that needs to be drained and refilled with a steady stream of new public servants. I’m a fan of the Jack Welch principle in reverse for Congress … fire 90 percent of members every election and only keep the 10 percent who were productive.”
ABC News reports that the Secret Service officials accused of misconduct in Colombia revealed their identities by boasting at a brothel “we work for Obama” and “we’re here to protect him.”
Rick Santorum “sounded no closer to endorsing Mitt Romney than when he dropped out of the presidential race last week, telling supporters on a conference call that he hasn’t even had a chance to speak to his onetime rival,” CBS News reports.
Santorum has spoken with Newt Gingrich, however.
Said Santorum: “I haven’t had a chance yet to talk to Governor Romney, but we’ll be talking to both of them and we’re going to go out and do what we believe is in the best interest of our country.”
“I even endorsed Newt Gingrich at one point because I thought that he had a shot. Well, not now. He doesn’t have a shot.”
— Herman Cain, quoted by ABC News, backing off his presidential endorsement.
Jon Huntsman “has forked over another $1.5 million from his personal fortune to pay down campaign debt since abandoning his presidential bid, but he still owes more than $1.3 million to vendors,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“Huntsman, who has now loaned his campaign just over $4 million, said recently that he planned to pay down his debt through a combination of loans and fundraisers, though he collected only $6,000 in donations in recent months.”
A new Monmouth University poll shows New Jersey Chris Christie with a 51% to 35% approval rating.
However, the gender gap in the governor’s ratings, which closed for a short time in the fall, has widened again. Currently, 59% of men approve of Christie while 28% disapprove. Among women, approval stands at 43% and disapproval at 42%.
Nate Silver: “In the early stages of general election campaigns, a president’s approval ratings have often been at least as accurate a guide to his eventual performance as the head-to-head numbers. Thus, for at least the next couple of months, I would pay as much attention to Mr. Obama’s approval ratings as his head-to-head polls against Mr. Romney.”
Jay Parmley, the executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, resigned “as questions mounted about a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
He denied harassing any employee and blamed right-wing political enemies for “spreading a false and misleading story.”
He added, “Even though I have not done anything wrong, it is clear to me that I need to move on.”
Ann Romney told ABC News that Seamus, the family’s Irish setter, “loved” their vacation trips even though he was in a crate strapped to the top of a station wagon.
Said Mrs. Romney: “The dog loved it. He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”
McKay Coppins: “The religious dynamic of the Romneys’ Leave It To Beaver lifestyle has been largely lost on the partisans making hay out of the latest flare-up in the mommy wars, which was sparked by a Democratic strategist charging that Ann ‘has never actually worked a day in her life.’ But while much of the debate has centered on class — with liberals casting full-time motherhood as a luxury for the rich, and conservatives hoping working-class women will identify with her — the fact is that even if Mitt were a middle-class schoolteacher, there’s a good chance Ann still would have foregone a career.”
“That’s because for many Latter-day Saint women, staying at home to raise children is less a lifestyle choice than religious one — a divinely-appreciated sacrifice that brings with it blessings, empowerment, and spiritual prestige.”
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Mitt Romney has emerged from the Republican primary season with the weakest favorability rating on record for a presumptive presidential nominee since 1984, trailing President Obama in personal popularity by 21 percentage points.
Romney is the first likely nominee to be underwater – seen more unfavorably than favorably – in eight presidential primary seasons across the past 28 years.
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