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.
7:20 CHECKERS ANYONE? If you have somehow never seen, or not viewed it for years, here is complete Nixon “Checkers” speech as he was maybe about to get pushed off ticket with Ike in 1952? It’s all here, with the dog and Pat’s “Republican Cloth Coat.” With, ahem, strong claim that taxpayers should not pay a dime for campaigns… Note: my book on the notorious Nixon-Douglas 1950 race "Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady' published in new print and ebook editions this past weekend.
3:30 AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Chris Cillizza: Why the SCOTUS ruling won’t help Obama win AZ… Buzzfeed interviews woman in charge of bringing minorities into the Tea Party via Freedom Works… Top GOP leader in Pennsylvania thinks voter ID move will guarantee Romney, behind in polls, carries state… SCOTUS decision on Obamacare now expected (demanded) on Thursday… Primary season official concludes tomorrow in Utah. I guess that means the 2016 is on!
2:20 MITT & MONEY James Downie at Wash Post on the three key weekend hits on Romney’s jobs and money deailing, in the Post, NYT, Boston Globe. “While there is room for debate about the effect of Romney’s business approach on the health of the American economy, what’s important for the election is how Romney’s approach to running Bain translates to what he’d do as president.”
1:00 SAVING PRIVATE CRYIN’ Did you know our troops stormed Normandy to defend the tight of corporations to be considered people and exericse “free speech” by buying elections willy-nilly? So says this new ad, also starring brave warrior, Mitch McConnell. (h/t Dave Weigel)
11:15 SCOTUS OVERTURNS PARTS OF AZ IMMIGRATION LAW Upholds one “controversial” part, for now (unanimously), allowing Governor Jan Brewer to declare “victory.” Romney response muted until he figures out which way wind is blowing (as usual). The court “overturned parts of the law that criminalize one’s presence in Arizona without documentation, criminalize working or looking for work without legal status, and permit police to arrest people without a warrant if there’s suspicion that they’ve committed a deportable crime. But the provision of the law permitting police to check a person’s immigration papers during lawful detainments was not thrown out by the court. Rather, the court declared that it was premature for the lower courts to block that provision of the law and left open the possibility of revisiting its constitutionality after it goes into effect.” And here’s NYT assessment.
11:00 UNITED IT FALLS SCOTUS shoots down Montana case against Citizens United. “Montana, supported by 22 states and Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), had argued that their law should be allowed to stand because of the state’s unique history of corruption around its mining industry, which led to its passage by referendum. The court ruled against them 5-4, the same majority that determined Citizens United.” Much more here.
10:55 GOP RICE & PIZZA DIET Condi Rice now raising money for GOP women… Adam Serwer tweets: “If you asked Mitt what he wanted on a pizza, he’d lament Obama’s tragic failure to lead on pizza.”
9:25 GOING PUBLIC Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook, along with his fiancé, Sean Eldridge, are starting a new 501(c)(4) called Protect Our Democracy that will parter with Governor Cuomo’s administration to push for publicly funded campaigns. (h/t Zoe Schlanger)
BAIN OF THEIR EXISTENCE Latest Obama Super Pac ad hitting Romney and Bain for closing down Muncie factor. Like “we built our own coffin.”
MORNING BULLETINS Jimmy Carter with NYT op-ed hitting Obama’s human rights record. Ouch… Dem congressman from N. Carolina says he won’t endorse anyone in prez race… Financial Times on Romney plans to deploy “Mormon Army” during campaign. So, yes, that could be Donny and Marie at your door… Yes, Senator Orrin Hatch being challenged in Utah but poll shows will win easily… Lot of folks having fun with Campbell Brown’s “concern troll” advice to Planned Parenthood in NYT… Cruel and unusual punishment of dressage horse by Ann Romney? …Elizabeth Warren to introduce Obama in Mass. today…
OBAMA GOES GAY Big NYT piece today on Obama team seeing “gay pride“ and parades and the “legions” of gays as great opportunity for vote surge and cash and volunteers. “At times, the parades could have been confused for Obama campaign rallies. In Chicago on Sunday, 300 of his campaign staff members and volunteers marched down Halsted Street through the heart of the gay district to chants of ‘Four more years! Four more years!’ ”
MEANWHILE, A MAINE EVENT Voters there will re-consider gay marriage this November, with better shot of passing than three years back. “But the weight of history is against them. The fight has never been won at the ballot box. In states where same-sex marriage is legal now—Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, as well as in the District of Columbia—it has been made possible through court rulings or legislative action. In the 32 states, including California, in which voters have had a say, they have rejected it.”
THE SCOTUS “COUP” Important James Fallows blog post at The Atlantic on SCOTUS and healthcare decision—perhaps the climax, looking at the past twelve years, up to last week’s hypocritical anti-union decision, of “what we’d identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.… Norms have given the Supreme Court its unquestioned legitimacy. The Roberts majority is barreling ahead without regard for the norms, and it is taking the court’s legitimacy with it.” He adds: “Underscoring the point, a Bloomberg poll of twenty-one constitutional scholars found that nineteen of them believe the individual mandate is constitutional, but only eight said they expected the Supreme Court to rule that way.”
BUT SCOTUS WONT DECIDE ELECTION Not like 2000. Our pal Ari Berman tweets: “Some perspective is in order: SCOTUS health care decision, while obviously very important, won’t decide election one way or the other”… But media ready to claim a loss for Obama either way—major program will go down or if a win will energize Romney as hero who can axe it… Liberal poised to respond and much more from Greg Sargent… A full guide to coming decision with many links.
NEW BOOK My book Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady on the notorious Richard Nixon–Helen Gahagan Douglas race for the US Senate in 1950, appeared in a new print edition this weekend—and for the first time as an ebook. Also, see my piece from Saturday here at The Nation on Helen Douglas’s paving the way for the (still too small number of ) female candidates for Congress ever since. The book also probes 1950 as a high point of the Red Scare in America in all its forms—and, of course, as launch pad for Nixon (and his dirty tricks) in his rise to the White House.
OBAMACARE “JOB KILLER” CLAIM FINALLY X-RAYED Good piece by relaible Trudy Lieberman at CJR on challenges to Romney and GOP over claim that Obama health bill already has or surely will kill jobs. She suggests that reporters read all studies, ” weigh the quality of the evidence, credibility of the sponsors, and exactly what questions were asked. And beware of presenting false equivalence.”
POLLS APART Classic—Gallup has Obama approval rating plus six while Rasmussen has him minus ten.
WHAT’S UP, MURDOCH? Thank god Politico monitors Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter feed so we don’t have to. Latest: “When is Romney going to look like a challenger? Seems to play everything safe, make no news except burn off Hispanics.” And: “Easy for Romney to spell out restoration of the American dream and bash incompetent administration. But not a word.”
ATHEiSTS WORSE THAN MUSLIMS? We cited Gallup poll yesterday finding that 18 percent still would not vote for a qualified candidate for president if he happened to be a Mormon. Now the full results are in and they find that a much higher number would not back a gay. Fully four in ten would never vote for a Muslim—but this is topped by the 43 percent who would shun an otherwise qualified atheist. Thankfully, there’s an enormous age gap, with younger folks much more likely to back gay, Muslim and atheist candidates.