Steve Benen: It was easy to imagine Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. It was harder to imagine Romney winning Iowa and looking weaker at the same time.
And yet, that seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning….
….. there’s not much for Romney to boast about here. After five years of near-constant campaigning, Romney managed to get fewer votes in Iowa last night than he did in his first campaign. He also picked up the dubious honor of the weakest win in the history of the caucuses – no victor has ever managed to finish first with less than 25% of the vote until last night.
After spending nearly $4.7 million, most of it towards the very end of the contest, these are not results Romney should be proud of.
Most of the local channels have posted either their full interviews with the President, or clips:
Portland – KGW, NBC, Tracy Barry
Phoenix – KSAZ, Fox, John Hook (no video yet)
Denver – KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa
Minneapolis – WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello
Houston – KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward (no video yet)
Omaha – KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney
Tampa – WTVT, Fox, Mark Wilson
Hampton Roads – WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad
Philadelphia – WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff
Daily Beast: ….. Dorothy Rodham’s early life was difficult, and at the age of 8, when her parents divorced, she and a younger sister were sent alone by train from Chicago to Alhambra, Calif., to live with grandparents. It was not a happy home, and at 14, she left to make her way on her own, first as a mother’s helper, then after returning to Chicago, doing clerical work. There she met Hugh Rodham, a traveling salesman eight years her senior, and after a five-year courtship, they married in 1942.
…. Dorothy Rodham was a secret Democrat …. Hugh Rodham was a staunch Republican … After Hugh Rodham died in 1993, Dorothy spent much of her time at the White House, caring for Chelsea and bucking up her daughter through a minefield of policy and personal setbacks…..
WH: In 2009, President Obama challenged the Federal Government to lead by example by becoming leaner, greener and more efficient. He asked agencies and departments to become more energy efficient, reduce waste and water use, and use its purchasing power as the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy to support more environmentally responsible products and technologies in their operations.
The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama’s challenge. Given in six different categories, the awards honor Federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify President Obama’s charge to lead by example toward a clean energy economy.
Meet this year’s winners and learn about the award they are receiving – here
Steve Benen: …. “Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Rick Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto (see video)
…..So what’s the problem? There is no “Jeremy” – the quote Perry paraphrased appeared in a satirical piece that ran in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. The piece became a chain email, Perry’s son sent it to him, and the governor failed once again to separate fact from fiction…..
TPM: A potentially huge shoe is dropping in the Herman Cain harassment scandal: one of his accusers indicated through her lawyer on Tuesday that she wants to come forward and tell her side of the story.
Joel P. Bennett, an attorney to one of the two National Restaurant Association employees who allegedly accused Cain of sexual harassment, told the Washington Post on Tuesday that his client is currently barred from speaking by a mutual non-disparagement agreement with the organization. But he says that agreement is being violated by Cain already, who has taken to the press to slam the harassment claim as “baseless,” and that she now wants to come forward and reveal herself to set the record straight.
Daily Beast: The Tea Party Pork Binge – They brought the nation to the brink of default over spending, but a Newsweek investigation shows Tea Party lawmakers grabbing billions from the government trough. Plus, view the letters submitted by the ‘Dirty Dozen.’
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Republican leadership’s tether to the Tea Party, flutters the hearts of the government-bashing, budget-slicing faithful with his relentless attacks on runaway federal spending. To Cantor, an $8 billion high-speed rail connecting Las Vegas to Disneyland is wasteful “pork-barrel spending” ….
But away from the cameras, Cantor sometimes pulls right up to the spending trough, including the very stimulus law he panned in public. Letters obtained by Newsweek show him pressing the Transportation Department to spend nearly $3 billion in stimulus money on a high-speed-rail project – not the one he derided in Nevada, but another in his home state….
CBS: Individuals making more than $1 million a year could see an average tax cut of more than $500,000 under Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s complicated tax proposal, while some taxpayers at the other end of the income spectrum would see a tax hike compared to the current tax rates, according to an analysis released Monday.
Perry’s plan would also reduce federal tax revenues by hundreds of billions of dollars, forcing the government to make dramatic spending cuts – long a goal of many conservatives pushing for a smaller federal footprint…..
ABC: While President Obama hosts a global economic summit for the first time this month, the first lady will take spouses of the world’s leaders to the valley where ABC-TV’s “Lost” and the classic ”Jurassic Park” were filmed.
When the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit opens in Hawaii Nov.12, Michelle Obama will take as many as two dozen spouses to Kualoa Ranch, where the lush vistas and remote access lured the producers of Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, Fantasy Island, the film Pearl Harbor and Karate Kid, among many others.
This is the first time President Obama has played host to such a big summit – APEC is the conference of economies that ring the Pacific Basin. He chose his home state of Hawaii for two days of meetings, centered in Honolulu.
Rich Iott, second from right, in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform
Washington Jewish Week: Notorious Nazi impersonator Richard Iott, who’s also a former GOP House candidate, donated $2,400 (the maximum amount permitted) to Rep. John Boehner earlier this year via the House speaker’s political action committee, according to recent FEC filings.
Iott came to prominence late last year when it was revealed that the one-time candidate in Ohio apparently spent his weekends prancing around in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform, reenacting battles….
…. given what we know about Iott’s pastime, should a leader like Boehner keep the contribution? …. I asked the speaker’s office for comment and was told, well, nothing ….The National Jewish Democratic Council called on Boehner to give back Iott’s money this afternoon.
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: …. At this point two years ago, Republicans quickly became outraged if Democrats dared to criticize so-called “Tea Party” activists. After all, how could Dems have the audacity to disparage law-abiding Americans speaking out against abuses that offend them? How could Democrats have the gall to condemn sincere patriots who want to have their voices heard?
Two years later, Cantor is entirely comfortable chastising Americans who disagree with his failed, regressive economic vision as a “mob.” How tolerant of him.
…. Is it “pitting Americans against Americans” when Cantor and his cohorts to go after Planned Parenthood, its employees, its patients …. unions, school teachers, trial lawyers, scientists, economists, journalists, community organizers, and advocates for the poor?….
Or does the dimwitted Majority Leader believe “pitting Americans against Americans” is fine just so long as the Republican Party doesn’t like the Americans on the receiving end of the criticism?
President Barack Obama talks with staff in Senior Advisor David Plouffe’s West Wing office at the White House, Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Jonathan Cohn (The New Republic): Remember when President Obama wouldn’t even utter the word “Republican”? Those days are long gone. And maybe, just maybe, the change in rhetoric is starting to pay off.
We’re now into week four of the administration’s campaign to promote its jobs proposal. And instead of dialing down the pressure, Obama has been dialing it up….
…. A new ABC-Washington Post poll suggests that, so far, Obama’s campaign is working …. public support for the elements of his jobs bill is high. And, more important, Obama has opened up a substantial gap with the Republicans over which party voters trust more to handle “job creation.”
… whether or not the Democrats have every single member in line is less important than whether they have 50 votes to pass it – because if they have the 50 votes, then the obstacle to enactment won’t be Democrats. It will be Republicans….
And that ought to matter to the voters. Everybody assumes Obama is campaigning hard for his jobs plan primarily to make a point to the voters about who stands for what, in advance of the 2012 elections. That’s probably true. But he’s adopted this posture because Republicans refuse to compromise. And if Republicans start to pay a political price for holding up popular legislation, there’s still a chance they will relent – and pass legislation before the year is done….
Based on Symmetry’s brilliant twitpic here (Thanks Meta)
Business Week: Railroads shipments are the highest in almost three years, helping to defy concerns about a double-dip recession.
Total rail volumes averaged 381,831 carloads in August, the most since October 2008 … these shipments represent the bulk of materials for industrial production, so rising volumes show the economy is still growing…
… since reporting quarterly earnings in July, the three largest U.S. railroads haven’t given any indication of a sharp decline in demand similar to 2008 and 2009, when volumes fell as much as 24 percent on an annual basis.
…. Earlier this month, CSX’s Chief Financial Officer Oscar Munoz said he isn’t concerned about “any kind of overarching sort of dire circumstances around the corner,” as there is still a “general level of optimism” among customers and suppliers.
“Sure, things have moderated, but there is no one in that near state of panic that we saw certainly in late ‘08 and ‘09,” Munoz said….
Greg Sargent (Washington Post): John Boehner has a new line he’s trying out to justify the Republican House’s rejection of Barack Obama’s jobs bill: “We’re legislating. He’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”
… legislating? The House of Representatives? The 112th Congress? Hard to believe that Boehner could say that one without bursting out laughing. The current House has done hardly any legislating at all. They could barely pass a bill to keep the government’s lights on back in the spring, and they almost send the nation into default in the summer…..
And outside of that there’s … well, almost nothing. As Obama pointed out today, there is no Republican initiative that can meaningfully be called a jobs bill…
…. The key here is that real legislating requires compromise, especially during times of divided government. And House Republicans have no intention of compromising with either the Senate or with Barack Obama … Even now, if Boehner really offered to deal on jobs, I don’t think anyone doubts that Obama would hop off the campaign trail and try to work something out. But there will be no legislating, because the House isn’t going to do it.
No matter what talking points John Boehner might trot out.
About one thousand people gather and form a large ‘99%’ in the middle of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, October 6
Perry and Bachmann finally talk some, err, sense:
GOPolitico’s race-baiter supreme, Julie Mason – get over it Julie, your President is black ;-) – had yet another pitiful dig at the President today for not mentioning, when he hosted the Texas A&M University women’s championship basketball team at the White House, that her beloved Rick Perry attended the college. Maybe Julie missed her buddy Knoller’s tweet…..
The President invited Perry to the White House?! See, that’s what you call class, Julie – you should try and acquire some one day ;-)
Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during a retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
The photo I love more than any:
Forty years after their silent protest at the 1968 Olympics, Gold Medalist Tommie Smith hugs Bronze Medalist John Carlos, and their wives Delois Smith and Charlene Carlos after Barack Obama is officially sworn in as the President of the United States. (Boston Globe/Stan Grossfeld)
President Obama will directly call out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his speech in Dallas today, saying:
“Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now, he won’t even let the jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. He won’t even give it a vote. Well I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn’t believe in. Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?”
“Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas, look Kim Russell in the eye, and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to get a paycheck again. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.
Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools.
Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class.
And if you won’t do that, at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every Member of Congress stands.”