Air Force One kicks up a cloud of snow after landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport
Richard Cordray, who will be appointed as head of the country’s new consumer financial protection watchdog, awaits President Barack Obama upon their arrival in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dan Pfeiffer: Today the President will appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has one important job: look out for the best interest of American consumers. He’ll work on behalf of millions of families across the nation to ensure they’re not being taken advantage of by debt collectors and credit reporting agencies. As America’s consumer watchdog, Cordray will work to ensure that families and students don’t get saddled with sky-high interest rates by mortgage or payday lenders. Bottom line: he’ll strengthen oversight and accountability in order to protect millions of families across the nation. This is an important step to protect the American people.
Steve Kornacki (Salon): …if this does end up being the end for Anthony Weiner’s public career, it might not be quite the injustice it seems like – at least if you know how his career began.
Twenty years ago, Weiner’s opening came when the City Council was radically expanded … One of the new districts, the 48th, would be in Southern Brooklyn. It was a neat match for Weiner … there was no incumbent, and the population was heavily Jewish. He jumped in the race.
He was not the favorite … as the all-important Sept. 10 Democratic primary approached, the consensus was that he’d come up short…
It was at this point that Weiner’s campaign decided to blanket the district with leaflets attacking his opponents. But these were no ordinary campaign attacks: They played the race card, and at a very sensitive time. They were also anonymous.
Just weeks earlier, the Crown Heights riot – a deadly, days-long affair that brought to the surface long-standing tension between the area’s black and Jewish populations – had played out a few miles away from the 48th District…
It was just days after order had been restored that Weiner’s campaign distributed its anonymous leaflets, which linked (Democrat rival) Adele Cohen – whose voters he was targeting in particular – to Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins, who was then New York’s mayor. It is hard to imagine two more-hated political figures in the 48th District at that moment … The leaflets urged voters to “just say no” to the “Jackson-Dinkins agenda” that Cohen supposedly represented. At City Hall, Dinkins held up the flier and branded it “hateful.”
….Weiner finished in first place … only after the ballots were counted did he admit that he’d been behind the leaflets, claiming that “We didn’t want the source to be confused with the message.”…
… who knows where Weiner would be today if he hadn’t made such a dark appeal to racial hostility days after a notorious riot?
…..Is it unfair if he loses his political future because of a scandal as dumb as this one? Sure. But it’s also not exactly fair that he ever made it this far.
President Barack Obama with Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos, during a town hall with students, parents and teachers at Bell Multicultural High School, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, March 28
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama said bolstering the education system is as crucial to the U.S. as keeping defense strong, saying “we won’t be able to project military strength or any other kind of strength” without an educated population.
“Over the last 10 years the defense budget was going up much more quickly than our education budget,” Obama said at a discussion with about 600 students, parents and teachers in Washington. “We are only going to be as strong as we are here at home.”
The president was speaking at a town hall-style event that is part of an administration campaign to make the case that improving the education system is vital to the nation’s future….
The question-and-answer session is scheduled for broadcast at 7 p.m. Washington time on Univision…
Asked to preview his speech on Libya, the president repeated his message that U.S. involvement in Libya “is going to be limited both in time and in scope.”
…Obama said he’s proposed putting more money in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal for early childhood education even as other federal programs are being frozen or cut.
…he said he still believes the Dream Act can be passed …. “We’ve got to keep the pressure up on Congress,” he said, urging Hispanics to contact members of Congress to contact their lawmakers to help get it passed. He said the immigration system is “broken right now” and he said there has to be “pathway to citizenship” to immigrants to the U.S. even while borders are being secured.
The president has called on Congress to overhaul the country’s signature education law, known as No Child Left Behind, before the start of the next school year. Duncan said the law is too punitive and it needs to be more flexible and reward success.
In response to an audience question the President said he has an iPad and a BlackBerry, but he took off the latter before the start of the program
“I didn’t want it going off during the show.”
Asked if he owns a personal computer, Obama replied, “I’m the president of the United States, you think I don’t have a computer?” to laughter.