Think Progress: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has often expressed concern for how Obama administration policies are supposedly a “grave danger to America’s prosperity.” Now, the Wall Street Journal finds that Cantor actually invests in an exchange-traded fund that “takes a short position in long-dated government bonds” – effectively betting against the U.S. Treasury bonds that the government uses to fund its operations:
[Cantor] bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds – and perhaps on inflation in the future.
If Cantor truly cares about “America’s prosperity,” one would have to wonder why he is literally betting against its financial future. The Washington Independent’s Annie Lowrey adds that “Cantor is not a very canny investor. The fund is down 31 percent this year.”
DFP: Michigan native Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann are neck and neck in a new poll of likely participants in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, claims 23%, and Bachmann, a tea partier from Minnesota, has 22%. Neither has done heavy lifting in Iowa. Retired pizza CEO Herman Cain of Georgia is in third, with 10%.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is tied in fourth place at 7% with Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is at 6%; former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is at 4%, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is at 2%….
Seattle PI: From afar, it’s easy to get swept up by the hype: Jon Huntsman is accomplished, handsome, smart, and his civility message has appeal beyond the meat-eaters who dominate this early phase of the Republican presidential campaign.
This is the reason his small base, largely in the media – the select group of pundits like Mark Halperin and the “Morning Joe” stars, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski – have been unabashed in their Huntsman swooning. We have our share of swooners at POLITICO, too.
….But there is a problem: Up close, Huntsman’s challenges …. are unmistakable – and, by all measures of modern Republican politics, likely insurmountable.
…There’s a reason he barely has a pulse in the polls. He speaks so softly that even his aides sometimes have trouble hearing him at events. He is making civility a cornerstone of his campaign, at a time when Republican voters are ravenous for red-meat conservative policies, and an epochal showdown with Obama.
…There were warning signs throughout, starting with the interview, which Huntsman conducted on a sweltering patio because he said air conditioning gives him bronchitis. It was one of several moments when we started to wonder about Huntsman’s fitness for the rigors of a campaign that will go at least seven months and, for the nominee, 15 months. New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of only three reporters traveling with Huntsman on the second formal day of his campaign, wrote that the candidate “has already complained about being tired.”
….”I just don’t know how this works,” the former official said. “It’s a great idea, and lovely and all that: He’s actually intelligent, and has actually been outside the United States. He speaks Chinese. He’s handsome. What’s not to like? But how do you make it through this primary? It’s a complete media creation so far.”
First lady Michelle Obama waves as she boards her plane in Gaborone, Botswana, at the end of her week long trip to Africa, June 26. The first lady left Botswana Sunday morning, she is due to arrive at the White House early Monday.