Washington Post: President Obama holds a wide lead among Hispanic voters when matched against potential Republican challengers, even as widespread opposition to his administration’s stepped-up deportation policies act as a drag on his approval ratings among that group, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, revealed a general-election weakness for Republicans among an increasingly influential voting bloc — with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry each winning less than one-fourth of the Hispanic vote in hypothetical matchups against Obama.
Obama leads Romney by 68 percent to 23 percent and Perry by 69 percent to 23 percent among Hispanic voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points for the sample.
Bloomberg: Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in the past three years, a sign the U.S. labor market is on the mend heading into the new year.
The four-week moving average for claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, dropped to 375,000 last week, the lowest level since June 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Applications rose for the first time in a month in the week ended Dec. 24, climbing by a more-than- forecast 15,000 to 381,000.
The jump in claims last week may say more about their volatility during this time of year than about the state of the job market …. Their recent decline has stoked speculation the world’s largest economy was on the cusp of showing bigger gains in employment.
David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy): Watching this weekend’s Republican presidential debate …. by God’s good graces … the views expressed represented those of people who will have precious little influence over America’s international course. Only one of these people can be the Republican nominee. And, in part thanks to performances like what we saw on Saturday, even that individual is very likely not going to ever be president of the United States.
…. Romney isn’t going to be the next President either. In all likelihood that will be Barack Obama. Here are 10 reasons why….
…. Whoever is the Republican candidate has to run against the very disciplined, intelligent, well-prepared, charismatic president. Which of those folks you saw Saturday night can hold their own versus Obama?
…. And so, while making predictions a year out is a sucker’s game, for those of you who watched the Saturday debate and were disheartened there is at least all the above to suggest that none of it mattered that much anyway. As of right now the favorite to be the next president of the U.S. has to be the current president of the U.S.
Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivers his first major speech for President Barack Obama Saturday in Des Moines, drawing the spotlight away from Republicans who have been dominating the 2012 presidential news from Iowa.
“We could not be more thrilled,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky told me. I’m told by an Obama team member that a good portion of Emanuel’s speech will be personal testimony about working with Obama. It will “focus on his leadership and his character coming from someone who worked by his side for two years.”
Remember that deadline we kept emailing you about a couple weeks ago? Here’s what you should know about what we’ll report to the FEC tomorrow:
– In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign – even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter.
– Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations – 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That’s more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign.
– Together, Obama for America and the DNC raised more than $70 million. And it all happened during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do – a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper.
If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: Supporters like you came through.
Here’s even bigger news: Right now, 982,967 people have donated to this campaign. We’re within striking distance of 1 million donors.
…. Thanks for all you did to get us here. I’m excited for what’s ahead, and I hope you’ll take part in the push to 1 million grassroots donors today.
Match someone’s pledge, double your impact, and become part of the first million today:
President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands during their joint news conference in the East Room at the White House
NYT Editorial: It was all predicted, but the unanimous decision by Senate Republicans on Tuesday to filibuster and thus kill President Obama’s jobs bill was still a breathtaking act of economic vandalism. There are 14 million people out of work, wages are falling, poverty is rising, and a second recession may be blowing in, but not a single Republican would even allow debate on a sound plan to cut middle-class taxes and increase public-works spending.
…. The Republicans offer no actual economic plans, only tired slogans about cutting regulations and spending, and ending health care reform…. Their lack of serious ideas was on full display in both the Senate and the presidential debate on Tuesday night in New Hampshire. The debate was ostensibly about the economy, but when the freshest and most-talked-about idea is Herman Cain’s ridiculous “9-9-9” tax plan, it is clear that the economy they were debating is not the one Americans are forced to live in…..
The other candidates were no less vacuous. Mitt Romney offered an ash heap of used ideas … Rick Perry, when he could be stirred to speak, vowed to somehow put 1.2 million people to work in the energy industry, as if the whole country were Texas and drills could pop up on every block.
Republican candidates fear the Tea Party too much to acknowledge that economists are solidly behind government intervention to awaken growth …. But at least the record is increasingly clear who is advocating real ideas and who is selling an empty vessel.
First Lady Michelle Obama and South Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-Ok arrive to watch a musical performance during a visit to Annandale High School
Greg Sargent: The public really likes the Obama jobs policies that the GOP blocked: The internals of the NBC/WSJ poll are now up online. Check out this bit:
The jobs bill would cut the payroll tax rate, fund new road construction, continue to extend unemployment benefits, and give tax credits to companies who hire and train long-term unemployed workers. The plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy and increasing taxes on businesses by closing some corporate tax loopholes. Do you favor or oppose this plan?
The Obama campaign announced in an email this morning that the president’s reelection effort and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $70 million in the third quarter of the year:
— In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign — even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter.
— Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations – 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That’s more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign.
— We are focused on building infrastructure that will help us win in 2012. And each quarter we set a combined goal for the campaign and our allies at the Democratic National Committee. We far exceeded our goal of $55 million this quarter between the two organizations. Great work.
— Together, Obama for America and the DNC raised more than $70 million. And it all happened during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do — a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper.
The Obama campaign raised $42.8 million on its own and the DNC took in $27.3 million, an Obama campaign official said.
The announcement follows an $86 million second quarter for Obama and the DNC, and sets up the president to outraise by far the whole GOP field, combined, in back to back fundraising periods.
(Video takes 10 seconds to start! Thanks Tally)
9:0 President Obama, Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome South Korean President Lee and First Lady Kim to the White House
11:0 The First Lady invites the Republic of Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-ok to Annandale High School in Virginia
11:05 The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Lee and official U.S. and South Korean delegations
12:20 The President holds a joint press conference with President Lee
7:0 The President and First Lady welcome South Korean President Lee and First Lady Kim to the White House for a state dinner
The U.S. Senate is supposed to vote on the American Jobs Act as early as tonight. It’s a bill that will put people to work immediately, and it contains proposals that members of both parties have said in the past that they’d support.
But Senate Republicans want to block it. Not because they have a plan that creates jobs right now – not one Republican, in Congress or in the presidential race, does. They only have a political plan.
Their strategy is to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory. They think that the more folks see Washington taking no action to create jobs, the better their chances in the next election. So they’re doing everything in their power to make sure nothing gets done.
There’s still time for principled Republican senators to declare their independence from this kamikaze political strategy.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, needs to hear what Americans like you think.
You can reach his office at (202) 224-2541. Tell him not to let politics get in the way of creating jobs.
Will you take three minutes and call now? Then click here to let us know how it went.
If Sen. McConnell’s office says he won’t support the American Jobs Act, ask which parts he doesn’t support:
— Making sure that those who served our country can get good jobs at home by providing incentives for businesses to hire unemployed veterans? — Preventing layoffs of teachers, cops, and firefighters, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more? — Rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, and airports with a bipartisan, public-private infrastructure bank? — Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools in rural and urban areas? — Providing job training for the unemployed, especially young people who have been hit especially hard?
The President has been forceful and clear: Action on jobs is desperately needed, and Congress should pass this bill right away. And he has specifically asked those of us who agree to make sure Republican lawmakers know it.
This bill – and the simple idea that every American who works hard and plays by the rules has a fundamental right to economic security – is a big part of what we stand for as a campaign and as a movement.
There’s no good reason for Congress to delay any more – and if they do, you deserve to know why.
Call Sen. McConnell’s office. Tell him you’re watching, and you expect Republicans in the Senate to do the right thing and move forward on this bill today.
Volunteer Hattie Hester answers the phone at the Obama 2012 campaign headquarters in Chicago on May 12. The campaign recently occupied about 50,000 square feet of office space in the Prudential Building.
Patrick McConville and Joseph Tennial work on signs at the Obama 2012 campaign headquarters
Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina talks with reporters at campaign headquarters
President Barack Obama meets with Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina in Messina’s West Wing office at the White House, Dec. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Jeff Zeleny (NYT): …Jim Messina, previously a White House deputy chief of staff, is running the president’s re-election campaign, which will formally open its doors in a Chicago high-rise this week and file the paperwork necessary for Mr. Obama to begin accepting campaign contributions.
…“I really believe that the president is the art and I am the science,” Mr. Messina said. “You have to start out with the assumption that this will not be 2008 again.”
…Since leaving the White House two months ago, Mr. Messina has been on a listening tour, visiting donors and activists in nearly two dozen cities. The private sessions were intended to improve frayed relations, particularly with some liberal groups, while reconnecting with supporters.
…Messina is the most influential person in the president’s inner circle whom many people have never heard of … Four years ago, he left the office of Senator Max Baucus of Montana to join the Obama campaign as a national chief of staff. After the election he became a deputy to Rahm Emanuel, the first White House chief of staff, and the president began relying on him for legislative strategy, political advice and football talk.
“Some people go to meetings so they can hear the sound of their voice,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview in Chicago, where he is now the mayor-elect. “Jim goes to a meeting to come up with solutions to problems.”