CBS: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., will officially launch a bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday, an adviser for McCotter has confirmed…The five-term Michigan congressman will file the necessary paperwork on Friday and formally announce his entrance into the race in Livonia, Michigan, on Saturday evening.
The little-known politician has for months hinted at a possible candidacy: In addition to several trips to early-primary states and an appearance at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this month, McCotter recently secured a place in Iowa’s crucial Ames Straw Poll, which will take place in August. (The representative reportedly paid $18,000 for the prime spot.)
…Despite the Republican congressman’s relative lack of name recognition, his strong conservative credentials could earn him support in Iowa … According to the adviser, McCotter was inspired to enter the race after perceiving the discourse as “lacking in the current field.”
“He has something to say and has some ideas and some policies to put out there that nobody else is discussing right now,” the adviser said. “His presence in the race is going to force these issues and force this discussion that the country has to have right now.”
Oh dear. According to Steve Benen, Huntsman’s people forgot to register JonHuntsman.com – so when you visit the site the image above greets you, ie that glowing letter Hunstman wrote the President when he accepted the position of Ambassador to China.
ABC: Every detail of Jon Huntsman’s long-awaited campaign launch was meticulously planned, except of course for one minor detail: the misspelling of the candidate’s name. Members of the media were handed a press pass that read “John Huntsman for President” – adding an unnecessary H in the candidate’s first name. Huntsman’s staffers promptly scrambled to remove the passes from reporters before they caught the snafu.
Steve Benen: …. worse, visitors to Huntsman’s online donation page this morning saw this message alongside the contribution form:
If you prefer you can contact us by mail or by telephone.
Jon Huntsman for President
123 Main Street
Charlotte, NC 12345
All of this is wrong, and was obviously just put in as placeholder text the campaign forgot to replace. As Jamison Foser noted, “So far today, Huntsman campaign has gotten his name, phone number & address wrong. That’s a rough day in first grade.”
That’s not all. The Huntsman campaign picked a location for the kick-off speech where the Statue of Liberty would be in the background, but put the television cameras in such a place where the Statue of Liberty wasn’t seen by viewers at home. Some pundits knocked the new candidate for a “bland, uninspiring speech,” and the cable networks didn’t stick with his remarks very long.
Well, at least Huntsman had a good crowd for the campaign launch, right? Wrong. Only “about a hundred” people showed up, and roughly 60 of them were political reporters…..
The Hill: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took a direct shot at Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on the same day Romney made his bid official, and in his own backyard.
Less than an hour before Romney was set to officially announce his presidential bid, Palin criticized him for signing Massachusetts’s healthcare plan…”In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously … there will be more the explanation coming from former Governor Romney on his support for government mandates”….
….Palin’s sharp rhetoric toward Romney sends a clear signal that she’s not willing to let the former Massachusetts governor have his day in the sun. Tea Party activists might be less inclined to vote for Romney because of his healthcare law, Palin said. “That perhaps will be a big challenge for him because tea party activists are pretty strident, in a good way, in making sure that the candidate that many of the tea party patriots will support – the candidate has a record of living out the principles that tea party patriots do embrace”…
Orlando Sentinel: President Barack Obama plans to attend the April 29 launch of space shuttle Endeavour, adding even more star power to NASA’s second-to-last shuttle launch, according to a White House official.
The president will bring his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Sasha and Malia, to the launch, now scheduled at 3:47 p.m. a week from Friday.
…Obama already plans to be in Florida that day for a commencement address at Miami Dade College…
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., severely wounded during an assassination attempt in January, also is planning to attend and watch her husband, Endeavour commander Mark Kelly, lead a crew of six into orbit. Supporters see the trip as a sign she is recovering from her gunshot wounds.
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I’d like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:
In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we’ll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I’ll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that’s farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.
We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight.
This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.
There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you’re in to help us begin, and then spread the word:
CNN: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords plans to attend the launch of the space shuttle endeavor on April 19, almost three months after she was shot in the head outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket, spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, is the shuttle mission’s commander.