A new daily blog, covering the latest news and controversies across a wide range of races and issues. As the author of three books about influential political campaigns, I also bring a certain historical perspective to this very topical task. You can bookmark the blog by clicking my name at the top or by going here. Send me tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3:15 REVERSE BIRTHERISM Now we’ve heard it all. That Arizona elections official—also a co-chair of Romney campaign there and possible candidate for governor in two years—has changed his tune about Obama not being born in USA after much ridicule. Now he claims that he was born in Hawaii—but lied and said he was born in Kenya to get into college, and has spent millions covering it up. It’s a good thing Obama is too young to have been on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
3:00 PUBLIC STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HEALTH REFORM And that can’t help Dems in election, no matter how SCOTUS rules, maybe tomorrow. Trudy Liebeman at CJR probes Kaiser Foundation finding that fewer people know about certain aspects of Obamacare than they did two years ago.
1:30 AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Classic: Herman Cain in new column hits our own Ari Berman and The Nation in general… It’s now clear that even if Norman Solomon pulls out 2nd place in that California primary for House seat (counting continues) that the national Democratic party will be backing the first place finisher, a more conservative Dem… CJR with full report on the ad barrage in one swing state—Virginia—focusing on local TV and a newspaper… Tax expert says Romney/Ryanplan will indeed grow the deficit… Romney plans retreat with Rove, PAC men, Veep candidates…
12:35 ROMNEY: VAMPIRE JOB KILLER? New Obama attack ad:
11:55 UNITED STAKES From The Atlantic: Can unions survive in a post–Citizens United world? Unable to match the Koch brothers in campaigns, “The AFL-CIO revealed last week that it is pulling back direct contributions to political candidates, including President Obama, and pouring more money into its own internal infrastructure.”
10:55 CAMPAIGN BAD FOR ENVIRONMENT Politico titles its story, ‘”EPA in the bullseye.” GOP attacks have made Obama back off needed regulations. “The Senate is voting on whether EPA planes can take pictures of farms—after it was mistakenly reported that drones were flying over the heartland. House Republicans want to cut the agency’s funding to pre-1998 levels. And the president has threatened to veto a House bill, due up Wednesday, that would restrict Clean Air Act rules.”
10:10 AND NOW: “THE ASIAN VOTE” You may have missed the news this week about immigrants to the USA from Asia topping all others now. Combined with Romney’s problems with Hispanics, and presto, you’ve got a Fiscal Times piece on Mitt needing the “Asian Vote” this year to “shrink the ethnic gap.” (h/t Zoe Schlanger)
9:50 ROMNESIA From my old pal David Corn, Mitt misremembers, Part 86, with three key examples—beyond that hair-cutting incident in college. “He has adopted an overly flexible attitude toward his personal history, showing that he is an unreliable source of information about himself. If he cannot tell his own tale accurately, can he be trusted to tell the nation’s?”
9:40 SHOCK AND AWE David Axelrod (Obama campaign chief) tweets: “Koch-Rove cabal launches shock & awe. GOP SuperPacs and Romney pour $20m in neg attacks on TV in JUST NEXT 10 DAYS!”
VOTE—OR ELSE Peter Orszag (Obama’s former OMB guy) at Bloomberg View calls for making voting mandatory. “Voter participation rates are running below 60 percent, a candidate would have to win 85 percent or more of the vote to be elected by a majority. Compulsory voting, as exists in Australia and more than two dozen other countries, would fix that problem. As William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues, ‘Jury duty is mandatory; why not voting?’ ”
POLL APART Outlier only? New Bloomberg national poll finds the biggest margin yet for any candidate in race for White House — with Obama up by 13 points, 53% to 40%. Whoa. Can’t be that many DREAM fans. Latest Gallup has him down 46%-45%. Same Bloomberg poll has “generic” Dem candidates up 7% for Congress.
ATTACK ADS: “GAME” ON Mother Jones has created three campaign spots based on HBO’s Game of Thrones characters. Here’s one.
FACTS = STUBBORN THINGS NYT today with lengthy look at Obama and Romney both stretching truth in campaign statements. It refuses to say clearly who is biggest liar bur provides examples so you can decide, I guess.
GRIN AND COLBERT IT Stephen on Obama picking John Kerry to play Romney in mock debates. Says that for once he is backing Kerry — to beat Obama. Elsewhere he had full take on Mitt’s horse and “dressage” meme.
HOOSIER SHRINK Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party darling who upset Senator Dick Lugar in GOP primary in Indiana, now says employers not only should not have to cover contraception (if they are opposed) but also drop coverage for something like cancer if they object to the cost.
A PILL TO CURE ROMNEY Planned Parenthood has revealed that starting today Mitt Romney will be trailed on the campaign trail by a human-sized birth control pill named “Pillamina.” The costumed figure “ties into a campaign on the organization’s website, detailing the role birth control has had throughout history. According to Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, the group hopes to highlight that access to contraception is an ‘economic issue for women.’ ”
CRASHING THE TEA PARTY Not a new video—dates from last November—but very cool and MoveOn last night gave it big push under heading “how to beat the Tea Party.” Clever fight to combat anti-tax crowd and save a library by seeming to promote “burning books” party.
BILL BUCKLEY ROLLS OVER IN GRAVE In case you thought National Review had gotten rid of all of its worst contributors. At Mother Jones, meet “a writer who suggested blacks are “the most murderous of peoples” and declared that “there’s a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote.”
TOP OF THE MORNING TPM has polling average in every swing state, also puts Florida in Romney column and Wisconsin for Obama (for now)… Should be fun: Romney to address NAACP convention… Buzzfeed complains: no one wants to read about Romney, hurting web traffic (they even did an experiment to prove it)… Andy Borowitz: “BREAKING: Egyptians Dismayed to Learn They Imported Democracy from Florida.”
From late Tuesday
MARCO SOLO? And now, after a full day of reports that Romney had axed Marco Rubio as a Veep contender, he comes out and says Rubio is being “thoroughly vetted.” Maybe the fact Rubio is (1) fundraising for Romney today and (2) has a book coming out today, had something to do with it.
OBAMA WANTS CROSSROADS DONORS UNVEILEDJust out via NYT: “The lawyer for President Obama demanded on Tuesday that Crossroads GPS disclose its donors, saying in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that the group is plainly a ‘political committee’ subject to federal reporting requirements. In the complaint, obtained by The New York Times, Robert F. Bauer, the campaign’s chief counsel, writes that the group—founded by Karl Rove, among others—can no longer shield the identity of its donors by defining itself as a ‘social welfare’ organization.”
BARRY HUMOROUS It seems like it came out a month or so ago, but actually today is release date for the David Marannis book about Obama. New York magazine responds with a fun “26 Minor Facts” about Obama that emerge in those many pages. Sample: Obama “loved to peek at us when bathing,” his Indonesian step-cousin Noeke recalls.
PLUMBING THE DEPTHS In new video ad for his House campaign in Ohio, Joe (Sam) the (Former) Plumber blames the Holocaust for gun control.
MADISON’S OLD COLLEGE TRY As some may have guessed by now, one of my pet peeves (re our democracy) is the good old Electoral College, which guarantees that the vote of hardly anyone in USA now counts in presidential elections. Now here’s a great piece at the Fair Vote site on how even James Madison wanted to make changes. “One of the most common criticisms of plans to modify or eliminate the Electoral College is that to do so would be to deviate from the wisdom of the Founders of the American political system. But the ‘Father of the Constitution’ himself, James Madison, was never in favor of our current system for electing the president, one in which nearly all states award their electoral votes to the statewide popular vote winner. He ultimately backed a constitutional amendment to prohibit this practice.”
Greg Mitchell’s campaign books include The Campaign of the Century (Upton Sinclair, 1934), Tricky DIck and the Pink Lady (Nixon-Douglas, 1950) and Why Obama Won.