3:0: Delivers remarks at a DNC Fundraiser, Private Residence, Santa Monica
5:05: Departs Los Angeles
5:55: Arrives Palm Springs
8:0: Participates in a photo opportunity with President Xi Jinping of China, at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, California.
8:05: Holds a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping
11:0: Holds a working dinner with President Xi Jinping
Steve Benen: … The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, slightly better than expected, though the overall unemployment rate inched higher to 7.6%. As is usually the case, there was a gap between the two major sectors – America’s private sector added 178,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector lose 3,000 jobs.
One key figure to keep in mind, however, was local-government hiring, where 13,000 jobs were created. We’ve grown accustomed to municipalities doing the opposite, and if this holds up (and continues), it will strengthen the overall job market…
PS Loved this: “Do you folks remember the last time Steve Benen took a day off? Yeah, we had to go back and look, too. I’m happy to report that Steve is taking vacation today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.”
But…. “Steve says he’ll be escaping vacation at least long enough to post the new unemployment report – and his famous bikini graph – on Friday morning.”
Yes, he took a break from his two day vacation to post on the jobs’ figures. He’s a hoot.
Must-read – although, Tomasky makes the mistake of suggesting the deranged hate only comes from the right:
Michael Tomasky: Nothing will stop Republicans from trying to turn the IRS scandal into Watergate. They simply despise Obama too much to settle for anything less ….. That’s all this is really about — their base’s rage at the continued existence of Barack Obama, and their own twisted craving to acknowledge and stoke it.
…. all that is to say nothing of the racist invective that is the constant background music of this presidency …. We in the media never discuss this, but it is a daily diet in this country — yes, daily — and nothing said about any president in history that I can think of comes close to matching its relentless and savage sickness.
…. The liberal base hated George Bush all right, but the hate wasn’t quite as existential, wasn’t quite as drenched in the same kind of suppurated derangement one finds in quarters of the right.
Besides which, Bush discredited himself through his uniform incompetence. Obama, clearly competent, has not done that and is unlikely to do it. So the Republicans have to do it to him. Tarnishing Obama is the only way they can emerge from these eight years not completely humiliated by him, so we’re just going to have to endure it.
Tuesday: PBO and the Vice President will meet with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at the White House.
Wednesday: PBO will travel to Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last based on American manufacturing and the importance of companies insourcing and investing in America. He will then travel to Los Angeles, California where he will attend campaign events. He will spend the night in Los Angeles.
Thursday: PBO will attend campaign events in Corona del Mar, California before traveling to San Francisco, California to attend campaign events. He will spend the night in San Francisco.
Friday: PBO will travel to the Seattle where he will continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last. He will also attend campaign events in the Seattle area before returning to Washington, D.C. later in the evening.
PoliticalWire: Obama campaign manager Jim Messina rallied local volunteers in Arizona over the weekend by assuring them that Obama intends to compete in Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic.
Said Messina: “People said last time, ‘Oh, you can’t win Virginia,’ until we did. ‘You can’t win Florida,’ until we did. ‘You can never win North Carolina,’ until we did. And so a whole bunch of people are saying, ‘Can he win Arizona? Can he not win Arizona?’ The fact is you all are the secret weapon we have.”
The campaign will soon have four offices in the state.
Pew Research: Barack Obama now holds an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney in a general election matchup, and he has gained significant ground among independent voters. A month ago, 40% of independents said they would back Obama over Romney – today 51% say they would, while the number expressing support for Romney has slipped from 50% to 42%.
Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney has a gift for words – self-destructive words. On Friday he did it again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was a “severely conservative governor.”
As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.” Indeed. Mark Liberman, a linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, provided a list of words that most commonly follow the adverb “severely”; the top five, in frequency of use, are disabled, depressed, ill, limited and injured.
That’s clearly not what Mr. Romney meant to convey. Yet if you look at the race for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, you have to wonder whether it was a Freudian slip. For something has clearly gone very wrong with modern American conservatism.
A boy looks out as mourners pray during the funeral of a rebel killed by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi, March 22
John Judis (The New Republic): ….I looked at various blogs and websites that air opinion on the left. With some notable exceptions (like Juan Cole), all I have found is opposition to the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in Libya.
So I ask myself, would these opponents of U.S. intervention (as part of U.N. Security Council approved action), have preferred:
(1) That gangs of mercenaries, financed by the country’s oil wealth, conduct a bloodbath against Muammar Qaddafi’s many opponents?
(2) That Qaddafi himself, wounded, enraged, embittered, and still in power, retain control of an important source of the world’s oil supply, particularly for Europe, and be able to spend the wealth he derives from it to sow discord in the region?
(3) And that the movement toward democratization in the Arab world – which has spread from Tunisia to Bahrain, and now includes such unlikely locales as Syria – be dealt an enormous setback through the survival of one of region’s most notorious autocrats?
If you answer “Who cares?” to each of these, I have no counter-arguments to offer, but if you worry about two or three of these prospects, then I think you have to reconsider whether Barack Obama did the right thing in lending American support to this intervention.
…Should Obama, as some critics have charged, have gone to Congress for a war powers resolution? I am not sure there was time for a full-scale debate…
…isn’t Obama repeating the same mistakes that George W. Bush did when he invaded Iraq in order to oust a despot? There’s a big difference between then and now: The United States is supporting an active revolt; it is preventing carnage; and it is encouraging real, rather than imagined, democratic movements across the region. These are all reasons why, even at this late date, and with uncertain prospects, it made sense to intervene.
NYT: Mitt Romney – “I like President Obama, but he doesn’t have a clue how jobs are created …. I know how jobs are created and how jobs are lost.”
Steve Benen (Washington Monthly): Nice timing, Mitt. These remarks come one day after we learned the economy created 222,000 private-sector jobs last month – the second-highest total in five years – and the unemployment rate finally dipped below 9%, reaching its lowest level in two years. All told, the private sector has added 1.5 million workers in the past year, while the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.8% to 8.9% in just three months – the sharpest improvement in nearly two decades.
…Romney was governor for four years, and during that time, his state’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country.” Adding insult to injury, “By the end of his four years in office, Massachusetts had squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 1 percent, compared with job growth of 5.3 percent for the nation as a whole.”
How bad is Romney’s record? During his tenure, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in jobs growth. There’s a reason he didn’t seek re-election – Romney was wildly unpopular in his home state.
Boston Globe (2007): Real world experience has shown that a governor is limited in his power to influence the course of economic development in a state. A full-time governor who is deeply committed to the economic well-being of a state’s workers can, however, make some difference. The state unfortunately did not receive such leadership over most of the past four years. Jokes about Massachusetts may receive some half-hearted laughter on the national campaign trail, but few working men and women in Massachusetts should see anything funny about the state’s lackluster economic performance during the Romney years. (More here)
NY Post: Romney’s past is more a working class zero – Likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been out on the pre-campaign trail saying he is the man to get Americans back to work, despite a spotty jobs record while on Wall Street.
…the former private equity firm chief’s fortune – which has funded his political ambitions from the Massachusetts statehouse to his unsuccessful run for the White House in 2008 – was made on the backs of companies that ultimately collapsed, putting thousands of ordinary Americans out on the street. More here