WATCH: Bill Clinton Video on President Obama as Commander in Chief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD75KOoNR9k&feature=player_embedded
N.H. could be decisive battleground
Boston Globe // Matt Viser
WASHINGTON – New Hampshire offers a mere four electoral votes. But President Obama and Mitt Romney are fiercely pursuing the hearts and minds of the Granite State’s notoriously finicky electorate in a race that could come down to the wire in November. New Hampshire is seen as one of about 14 swing states in this election, and the only one in New England. Obama visited the state twice in the last five months; Michelle Obama was in Concord last month, and Vice President Joe Biden has been to the state three times this year. For Romney, the significance of New Hampshire is personal as well as political. The state is home to his summer residence and was the launch pad of his candidacy last summer. He was a regular visitor before the hotly contested primary in January. And Tuesday night, instead of celebrating in one of the five states holding a primary that day, Romney is returning to the Granite State for a speech and a victory party that his campaign considers his official pivot to the general election.
Big money in a big way for Obama’s reelection campaign
Washington Post // T.W. Farnam
President Obama’s reelection campaign has been rapidly increasing the number of big money “bundlers” collecting checks for his reelection, doubling the number of financiers who have brought in at least $500,000.The influx during the first quarter of the year shows the president is getting an especially warm embrace from Hollywood and the broader entertainment industry, partly making up for a drop in support from Wall Street after Democrats passed broad new regulations for the financial sector, according to a list of fundraisers released by the campaign on Friday.
Swing-state unemployment down, Obama’s chances up
AP // Paul Wiseman
The improving economy is swinging the pendulum in President Barack Obama’s favor in the 14 states where the presidential election will likely be decided. Recent polls show Obama gaining an edge over his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in several so-called swing states — those that are considered up for grabs. What’s made the difference is that unemployment has dropped more sharply in several swing states than in the nation as a whole. A resurgence in manufacturing is helping the economy — and Obama’s chances — in the industrial states of Ohio and Michigan.
Poll Finds Public Skeptical, Leaning Slightly Democratic
National Journal // Matthew Cooper
As the presidential and congressional election season rolls on, the political landscape seems somewhat more favorable for Democrats than for Republicans, but neither party has been able to overcome the deep distrust that Americans seem to have for Congress, and neither side can afford to be anything less than nervous come Election Day. The newest findings of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll show a public that’s predisposed to voting more Democratic. In a head-to-head race, President Obama bests Mitt Romney 47 percent to 39 percent, with 9 percent of respondents saying neither and 5 percent refusing or not knowing. Likewise, 50 percent of respondents wanted Democrats to keep control of the U.S. Senate, compared to 39 percent who favored a GOP majority. And by a 3 point margin, 46 percent to 43 percent, those surveyed said they wanted Democrats to take control of the House—down from a much sharper 11 percent lead as recently as January. Democrats found their strongest support among minorities and women.
Romney’s fiscal fantasy plan
Washington Post // Lawrence Summers
Political arithmetic is always suspect, and one should always examine carefully the claims of those seeking votes. Smart observers have learned to distinguish between the claims of political candidates and their advisers and proposals that have been evaluated by independent scorekeepers such as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This principle was aptly illustrated by the “budget analysis” Mitt Romney’s chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, recently put forward. In a Wall Street Journal op-edthis week, Hubbard constructs a budget plan that he imagines President Obama might propose someday, engages in a set of his own extrapolations and then makes assertions about it. He does not discuss the actual Obama plan or how it has been evaluated by the CBO. Nor does Hubbard invest his credibility in defending the claims that Romney has made about his own fiscal plans. He simply states that “Yes, President Obama and Mitt Romney have budgets with competing visions. But Gov. Romney’s budget makes tough choices” — without delving into the specifics or trade-offs that Romney’s “tough choices” entail.
Mitt Romney’s media coverage has been more positive than President Obama’s, study finds
Boston Globe // Callum Borchers
Mitt Romney complained last week of a “vast left-wing conspiracy”in the media, but a study published todayrevealed the presumptive Republican nominee has enjoyed more positive press coverage than President Obama in recent months. The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that negative coverage of Obama outweighed positive coverage in each of 15 weeks between Jan. 2 and April 15. Romney, meanwhile, had six weeks of mostly positive stories and another four in which positive and negative coverage were roughly equal. In fact, positive stories about the former Massachusetts governor have outnumbered negative ones almost 2-to-1 since the Feb. 28 Michigan primary, which Romney won.
Mr. Romney’s secret life
Washington Post // Editorial
MITT ROMNEY’S contemptuous attitude toward the importance of public disclosure is increasingly troubling. Whether it involves the details of his personal finances or the identity of his big fundraisers, the presumptive Republican is setting a new, low bar for transparency — one that does not augur well for how the Romney White House would conduct itself if he were elected. First is the matter of tax returns. Mr. Romney’s campaign, belatedly and under pressure, released a single year’s worth of tax information in January along with a summary for the 2011 return
The Amnesia Candidate
New York Times // Paul Krugman
Just how stupid does Mitt Romneythink we are? If you’ve been following his campaign from the beginning, that’s a question you have probably asked many times. But the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right — but not in the way he intended. First of all, many reporters quickly noted a point that Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obamafor his predecessor’s policy failure?
Karl Rove: Obama Is Winning
TIME // Adam Sorensen
Conservative horcrux Karl Rove is out with his first official electoral college projectionof 2012 and… it’s really bullish on Obama. Rove has South Carolina, which McCain won by 9 points in 2008, rated as a toss-up, and Texas–Texas–merely leaning Republican. The result, in Rove’s model, is 284 electoral votes within Obama’s grasp, 172 for Romney and 82 toss-ups.
Now, maybe this is some kind of devilishly brilliant plot to sow complacency among the ranks of the enemy, but Rove’s predictions were pretty spot-on in 2008and 2010. Either way, it has to be a little spooky for Democrats or Republicans looking at his map. [Via Weigel]