2:20 PM: PBO visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
5:15 PM: Delivers remarks at a conservation event.
President Barack Obama at a dinner honoring Iraq war veterans, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 2/29/12
In this composite image, President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md., (top) and arrives at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, N.H., (bottom) March 1, 2012. The President traveled to Nashua, N.H., to tour Nashua Community College and deliver remarks on his blueprint for an economy built to last with a focus on American energy. (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza)
Snow falls as people stand in line to see President Barack Obama, March 1, 2012, in Nashua, N.H.
Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Romney’s claims about jobs continue to crumble: A colleague emails: “Can you remember another time a candidate did as much damage to himself as Romney has done in the last 24 hours? I cannot.”
In that amount of time, two things happened. First, Romney has provided Dems with the perfect fodder for misleading but potentially devastating attacks on his primary vulnerability – his corporate past, which Dems will paint as emblematic of the predatory and unfettered capitalism that has produced untold economic misery for millions.
And second, the national political press – and even some leading Republicans and conservatives – have come around to the conclusion that the foundation of the whole case driving his candidacy, his career as an alleged “job creator” at Bain Capital, is based on a series of claims that are entirely untenable.
Here’s the latest, from Glenn Kessler, who weighs in with an epic fact check of Romney’s claim that he created over 100,000 jobs at Bain, and concludes that it’s unsupportable on every level…..
Greg Sargent: Conservative doubts rising about Obama: A key dynamic to watch: The assault on Romney’s Bain years is causing rising alarm in conservative circles. Jonah Goldberg gives voice to the worries, suggesting we now know that Romney really may not be as electable in a general election against Obama as we keep hearing.
Key footnote: Goldberg suggests that rising doubts about Romney’s electability may be what triggers a brokered convention.
The front page of the New Hampshire Union Leader website today:
The context: “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to.”
Even if the context lessens the stupidity of the remark, I’d guess Romney’s people are now on their 15th bottle of brandy. How many ads do you think will quote Mr Bain saying “I like being able to fire people”?!
Reuters: New claims for unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 last week in the latest sign the labor market was improving and could help the country resist the effects of a likely euro zone recession.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s claims data was revised up to 387,000 from the previously reported 381,000.
…. Claims have now fallen in four of the last five weeks, and the four-week moving average – a better measure of trends – fell 3,250 to 376,500, the lowest level since June 2008.
The Hill: President Obama on Thursday will unveil a summer-jobs initiative that the White House says is already on track to create 180,000 “work opportunities” in the private sector in 2012.
That is the number of opportunities, which includes mentoring and unpaid internships, that companies have told the administration they are willing to create. Some 70,000 jobs are paid, the White House says.
…. “Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of executive actions the Obama administration is taking to strengthen the economy and move the country forward because we can’t wait for Congress to act,” a White House statement reads.
President Barack Obama talks about extending payroll tax cuts in the White House’s Brady Briefing Room
President Obama put out a statement commending Phil Schiliro, who is leaving the administration: “As my advisor and chief liaison to Congress during one of the most productive legislative periods in our history, Phil Schiliro helped shepherd through a series of historic accomplishments on behalf of the American people, from health care reform that will make coverage more affordable and accessible to Wall Street reform that will protect consumers and our economy. The White House will not be the same without Phil, but more importantly, the country would not be the same without his steady leadership and tireless effort over the past three years.”
Time: Andrew Kaczynski digs up a 2004 video of Mitt Romney explaining to fellow Republicans why flip-flopping is so devastating to a presidential candidate. He was talking about John Kerry of course. But this kind of footage presents all kinds of opportunities for devious ad-makers to slice and dice Romney, and his repeated use of “this guy,” which, taken out of context, could be made to seem self-referential, seems destined for some absolutely brutal attack ad.
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.
President Obama on Wednesday announced a plan to allow college graduates to cap federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income starting in January, two years before the cap was due to take effect under federal law.
The accelerated “pay as you earn” program, which Obama will authorize through executive order, could benefit up to 1.6 million borrowers and reduce their payments by as much as a couple hundred dollars a month, administration officials said. All remaining debt on the federal loans would be forgiven after 20 years – five years earlier than under current law.
Reuters: …. President Obama’s appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” lifted the show to its highest Tuesday-night ratings since March 2, 2010, the night after Leno returned to the show.
Tuesday’s episode received a 4.1/11 metered-market household rating, a 52 percent leap over his Tuesday-night average so far this season. With Obama’s appearance,” The Tonight Show” handily surpassed “Late Show with David Letterman,” which posted a 2.7/7 household rating, “Nightline,” which drew a 3.6/9, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which received a 1.8./6.
Ruth Marcus (Washington Post): In an interview with Parade magazine, the Texas governor declared Obama’s place of birth a “distractive” issue even as he happily latched on to the opportunity to distract ….. It was classic Perry, combining logical incoherence and a smarmy cheap shot.
…. Is this a presidential campaign or a middle-school playground? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours? By the way, if I had Perry’s grades, I wouldn’t be mentioning them. Certainly not if I were running against a former president of the Harvard Law Review.
…. You might think this was the candidate cannily trying to have it both ways: a nod to the birther crazies with a simultaneous wink at those who know this is a ridiculous distraction. Except that Perry managed to step on his real message of the day: his unaffordable and unfair proposal to “simplify” the tax code – by grafting a flat-tax alternative onto the existing system.
…. The matter of Obama’s birth certificate should be a closed case. It is astonishing that a sitting governor, no less a serious candidate for president, would stoop to playing this game.
… The country is facing serious problems. This will be a fateful election. Voters deserve better than scare tactics and drivel.
This would probably be HuffPo’s version of the photo:
People wait in line for tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech on jobs at Asheville Regional Airport. Citizen Times – thank you Jovie
This news is kind of embarrassing for the Firebaggers …. if the President is so kind to Wall Street, why are they not supporting him?
NYT: It is no secret that the relationship between President Obama and Wall Street has chilled. A striking measure of that is the latest campaign finance reports.
Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street’s top sources of donations for the two candidates ….. The imbalance exists at large investment banks and hedge funds, private equity firms and commercial banks ….
…. “There’s no doubt that Governor Romney has raised money off of his belief that Wall Street should be allowed to write its own rules again by repealing Wall Street reform,” said Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman. “The president put in place protections to ensure that the financial crisis is not repeated and that unacceptable risks aren’t taken with Americans’ life savings.”
…. But anger at big banks – manifested by the growing Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City and elsewhere – is palpable enough that Mr. Romney must avoid being seen as a friend of an industry that many Americans blame for onerous bank fees and underwater mortgages….
Politicususa: Tea Party darling Christine O’Donnell’s book signing in Republican Naples, Florida drew a total of five people. Five. Five people. That’s it. Just like a Sarah Palin event, the media outnumbered the actual attendees.