Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama hug after his victory rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center January 26, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sen. Obama is the winner of the South Carolina Democratic primary, a critical one for him, followed by Sen. Hillary Clinton with former Sen. John Edwards coming in third.
LA Times: Among the people watching Mitt Romney’s European misadventures with interest on Thursday was President Obama’s top campaign strategist, David Axelrod.
“It’s been quite amazing so far,” Axelrod remarked Thursday. “I’m almost speechless. That doesn’t happen too often.”
Romney made headlines on his first day abroad by calling some elements of the British planning for the Olympics “disconcerting,” to the apparent annoyance of some of his hosts…..
…. British news outlets also pointed out that Romney appeared to commit a faux pas by disclosing the fact that he met with the head of MI-6, the British foreign intelligence service.
Axelrod said he was following the developments on Twitter – an unrivaled venue for the sort of brutal snark well-suited to political gaffes, but particularly ones in which the Brits weigh in. (See #romneyshambles)
Steve Benen: …. As for why Michigan trees “are the right height” — unlike those other rascally states, where the trees are either too tall or too short — I’m yet to see someone explain what on earth Romney was talking about.
Mediaite: Here’s a moment in recent history that you’ll be hearing a lot about this week: In a 2008 speech given at Ave Maria University (a Catholic institution), current presidential hopeful Rick Santorum warned those gathered that “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.”
Michael Tomasky: …. Romney is just a coward. If he were half the man his father was, he would do something like what his father did in 1964, when he warned the party nominating Barry Goldwater that it was headed off the rails. (Today Goldwater, considered a fanatic in his day, would be maybe about the 15th-most-conservative Republican senator.) But all Romney cares about, all any of them care about, is getting and keeping political power. They can’t see the obvious paradox — that their lust for the White House is making them submit to all the wishes of a fanatical base, which is exactly what will keep them from winning the White House.
Remember that satirical Brecht line about it being perhaps easier for the government to dissolve the people and elect a new one? It’s not a new candidate the right needs. It’s a new electorate.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with U.S. Senator John McCain at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 4
Time: Announcing his support for Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain said, “The time has arrived for Republicans to choose a presidential nominee; a new standard bearer who has the ability and determination to defeat President Obama …. I’m pleased to have made my choice, and to endorse Governor Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President.
Governor Romney offers us the commonsense reforms of government policy that are necessary to turn around our economy. His record of accomplishment in government and business are a testament to his leadership abilities…
“I had the privilege of running against Governor Romney for the nomination four years ago, and I know he is a tough competitor. I have no doubt he is the best candidate we can nominate. And I am proud to support him for President.”
President Barack Obama greets people outside the Eason home in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Paul Begala (Daily Beast): You gotta love a party in which Mitt Romney can do no better than virtually tie with the guy who compared gays to “man on dog” sex and thinks contraception is evil.
I would have never guessed Rick Santorum would be so happy about two men being tied up together….
So while the winner of Iowa in terms of expectations is Santorum, the story is the man he basically tied: Mitt Romney. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when you can’t beat the Man-on-Dog guy, who lost his home state by 18 percent, you stink. You really stink.
…. Four years ago, Romney received 25 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Unencumbered by the need for gainful employment, Romney has been running nonstop ever since, and, along with a pro-Romney super PAC, spent at least $4 million in Iowa in 2012. Yet he garnered – wait for it – 25 percent …. it seems to me that spending $4 million to gain zero points is a bad return on investment. That is one expensive treadmill. I’ve seen Astroturf with stronger growth…..
Boston.com: Members of Congress of both parties often complain about fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid (M&M), usually charging that the President is not doing enough to keep bad guys from stealing money from these vital programs.
Guess what? Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) and to an unprecedented effort by the Obama Administration, more progress has been made in the past three years to combat health care fraud and abuse than ever before.
Mitch Stewart (from email): People have been sending around two videos here at headquarters this morning, and I thought you’d want to see them, too. This first one was posted to YouTube almost exactly four years ago. It’s Barack Obama’s “closing argument” to Iowans the night before the caucuses in 2008.
It’s pretty incredible to see candidate Obama talk about what President Obama ultimately did. He makes four specific promises – on reforming health care, making college more affordable, ending the war in Iraq, and putting us on the path to energy independence – all of which today, four years later, are promises kept.
The second video is from yesterday – posted by the New York Times reporters on the ground in Iowa. It’s a sneak peek into the “the best-organized presidential campaign in Iowa.” Spoiler alert: It’s not Mitt Romney. Or Ron Paul. Or Rick Santorum.
Both these videos are pretty near and dear to my heart. I was the campaign’s Iowa caucus director in 2008, and I know how hard people are working there right now, opponent or no opponent:
ThinkProgress: After canceling a speech on income inequality last week at the University of Pennsylvania after learning it would be open to the public, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke today at the University of Michigan. It was clear why he had avoided the public previously, as 99 Percent Movement protesters stood silently during the speech while other audience members responded vocally to Cantor’s statements.
Steve Benen: Lindsey Graham sure does sound confident about 2012: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says the 2012 presidential election is the GOP’s to lose. “President Obama has done everything he knows how to do to beat himself,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union….
Now, as I recall, Graham’s record of election predictions isn’t exactly sterling. A week before the 2008 election, Graham was in North Carolina touting John McCain’s chances:
“McCain fits North Carolina like a glove…. I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina.”