President Barack Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Sgt. Carlos Evans, USMC, after greeting wounded warriors in the East Room during their tour of the White House, March 6, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama first met Evans, who was injured in Afghanistan while on his fourth combat deployment, during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Supporters of Mitt Romney wait for his “Super Tuesday” primary election night rally to begin in Boston, Massachusetts, March 6
Washington Post: Super Tuesday confirmed anew that Mitt Romney remains the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, but his slow, unsteady march is coming at a steep price. As he advances toward victory in the primaries, he is losing ground in the general election.
…. Romney is in worse shape at this point in the campaign than virtually all recent previous nominees …. Demographically, his image among independent voters, the most critical swing group, is more negative now than it was when the primary battle began. He could be hurt among women. He is in trouble with Latinos, a growing part of the electorate that is tilting even more Democratic than it was four years ago….
Geographically, the numbers from several key states have been discouraging for the former Massachusetts governor. Pre-primary polls in Ohio, Virginia and Michigan showed him running behind Obama by low double digits. Ohio is a must-win for the Republican nominee in the fall, and Virginia is a state the GOP is determined to take back from the president. Republicans once thought Michigan would be a possible battleground, but at this point it isn’t.
NYT Editorial: Long before Super Tuesday, the Republican Party had cemented itself on the distant right of American politics, with a primary campaign that has been relentlessly nasty, divisive and vapid. Barbara Bush, the former first lady, was so repelled that on Tuesday she called it the worst she’d ever seen. We feel the same way ….. the Republican candidates are so deep in the trenches of cultural and religious warfare that they aren’t offering any solutions.
The results Tuesday night did not settle the race. Republican voters will have to go on for some time choosing between a candidate, Mitt Romney, who stands for nothing except country-club capitalism, and a candidate, Rick Santorum, so blinkered by his ideology that it’s hard to imagine him considering any alternative ideas or listening to any dissenting voice.
….. There is also no space between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum in the way they distort reality to attack Mr. Obama for everything he says, no matter how sensible, and oppose everything he wants, no matter how necessary…..
Washington Post: Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.
With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). With about 90 percent of the vote in, Kaptur led 60 to 36 percent….
Charles Pierce: ….. there remains a substantial amount of Republican voters who would rather remove their spleens with a melon baller than vote for Willard Romney for anything.
…. Is there anything else he can do to pander sufficiently to the crazoid elements in his party’s base short of immolating himself on Sarah Palin’s lawn? ….. And when, oh, when will they finally see that, even though Willard is struggling to beat the colossal dick Rick Santorum, he is still The Only Man Who Can Beat Obama? ‘Ees a puzzlement, no question.
…. As he spoke, you could see the people stealing away, huddling around the TV sets. It will go on. This time next week, Romney will be telling voters in Alabama and Mississippi what a hellhole that state was where he used to be the governor. The rubes will find this very funny. And he will know in the unsold part of his soul that he’s going to be running for president for a very long time.
TPM: Rush Limbaugh may be steering the GOP into another Democratic-friendly trap with his consistent bashing of the Chevy Volt.
America’s attempt to to one-up the Prius …became an important symbol for the administration, and thus an immediate whipping boy for Limbaugh. Right-wing pundits and Republicans have followed suit, putting them in the bewildering position of rooting against a product of American engineering and manufacturing.
….. “As for the Volt, it is emblematic of a larger problem the GOP has: the sense that they are rooting for America to fail,” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and adviser to President Obama’s super PAC told TPM. “When a good jobs report comes out, Mitt Romney looks sad. When Clint Eastwood makes an unapologetic, patriotic Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, Karl Rove says it makes him sick. They booed a gay soldier at a GOP debate, and didn’t even want to give the President his due for ordering the mission that killed bin Laden. One wonders if they will be rooting for communist China during the summer Olympics.”
Boston.com: First Lady Michelle Obama will headline two Democratic National Committee events in Boston on Friday evening, the White House has announced …. Earlier Friday she will be in Concord, N.H., as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative to foster healthy eating and active living. She will visit the Penacook Community Center to highlight an example of a collaborative community effort to promote health and wellness, good nutrition, and physical activity.
President Obama and President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador during their meeting in the Oval Office, March 8, 2010
Time: Of all the politicians President Barack Obama encounters during his current Latin American tour, none is likely to be more welcoming than Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes. Elected in 2009 as El Salvador’s first leftist leader since the end of its bloody civil war in 1992, Funes — much like Obama himself — is a youthful populist who campaigned as a progressive but governs as a pragmatist. A political neophyte, Funes’ pro-business and anti-crime policies have transformed the former CNN en Espanol correspondent into the great Gringo hope of Central America.
As El Salvador struggles with a stagnant economy, rising drug-trafficking trade and one of the world’s highest murder rates, the Obama visit on March 22 is a high-profile effort to ensure Funes’ hope is not merely hype. Unlike Chile and Brazil — Obama’s other Latin American destinations — El Salvador offers little in terms of natural resources or geopolitical might. Instead, El Salvador’s success is as much symbolic as strategic — a Cold War-era battleground that’s traded civil war for civil society while neighboring governments still deal with coups, corruption and communism.
“Funes has cultivated a sense of inclusion, tolerance and civility within a very stable democracy,” says Joseph Tulchin, visiting fellow at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. “He represents [America’s] bet on peace, a bet on democracy — he’s a reformist in a region where there aren’t that many around.”