NYT: Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, standing before the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln began his political career, announced his candidacy for the White House on Saturday by presenting himself as an agent of generational change who could transform a government hobbled by cynicism, petty corruption and “a smallness of our politics.”
…. It was the latest step in a journey rich with historic possibilities and symbolism. Thousands of people packed the town square to witness it, shivering in the single-digit frostiness until Mr. Obama appeared, trailed by his wife, Michelle, and two young daughters….
…. The formal entry to the race framed a challenge that would seem daunting to even the most talented politician: whether Mr. Obama, with all his strengths and limitations, can win in a field dominated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who brings years of experience in presidential politics, a command of policy and political history, and an extraordinarily battle-tested network of fund-raisers and advisers.
…. “If a campaign is premised on personality, then no, I don’t think you can stay fresh for a year,” he said. “But if the campaign is built from the ground up and there is a sense of ownership among people who want to see significant change, then absolutely. It can build and grow.”
….. As the First Lady put it, she’s “Eeyore,” and he’s “Mr. Happy Guy, seeing the glass half full.” “I’m like regular people. It’s like – we’re losing! The sky is falling! Oh no!” she said. “And he’s like, just calm down.”
First lady Michelle Obama reaches for a hand as she arrives for physical activity with kids at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida, Feb. 11
AP: Add another dance move to Michelle Obama’s repertoire. This one has to do with a certain celebrity platypus. The first lady gave “the platypus walk” a try on Saturday during a visit to Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The dance was inspired by Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” show, whose characters include Perry the Platypus. It required some flapping of flippers, or arms if you’re human, shuffling left and right and yanking limbs up and down, all to a pulsing rock beat.
Mrs. Obama did the dance at an event marking the second anniversary of her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity.
…. with Perry the Platypus from the children’s TV show “Phineas and Ferb”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, after the President signed H.R. 3801, the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012, in the Oval Office, Feb. 10, 2012. This bill is the last piece of legislation that Giffords sponsored and voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: If the right was outraged by the patriotic message in Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler ad, conservatives will be looking for the fainting couch after seeing Bruce Springsteen’s new video.
“Is it patriotic to stash your money in the Cayman Islands?”
First lady Michelle Obama joins experts from WebMD for a town hall on healthy families at the Homestead YMCA Family Center, Florida