2:15: Delivers remarks at a campaign rally at Elm Street Middle School, Nashua
4:30: Vice President Biden, Jill and Beau Biden campaign in Lynchburg, Virginia (live on C-Span)
5:05: President Obama departs Nashua
6:45: Arrives White House
On Wednesday, the President will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio and Akron, Ohio for campaign events. In the evening, the President and the First Lady will welcome local children and children of military families to trick-or-treat at the North Portico of the White House.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson:
Paul Krugman: For a few days there the Romney campaign was boasting a lot about having Big Mo — and the press corps actually fell for it, briefly. At this point, however, the reality seems to be sinking in: if Romney has Big Mo, it looks like this:
Despite the Denver Debacle and its aftermath, state polls are showing a clear Obama lead in the electoral college, which if anything is getting a bit stronger….
Why? Jonathan Cohn singles out the auto bailout, and rightly so. I’d add, however, that the killing of Osama bin Laden mattered too …. what the auto rescue and the bin Laden strike have in common is that they were both very courageous decisions — decisions that could easily have gone wrong, that faced lots of second-guessing. You can criticize Obama for many things (and I have, and will in future), but he showed true grit when it mattered, and now seems likely to reap the reward.
Mediaite: Bill Maher used his final New Rule of the night to warn voters unhappy with President Obama of the political and social consequences of the other guy winning. Maher argued that Mitt Romney winning the presidency would not just be a victory for him, but for every Republican extremist Romney has ever supported in his recent political career. Maher said Romney “may seem like a nice fella,” but he’s “a compulsive liar whose whole life is secret” and would bring too much unwanted baggage into a relationship with America.
…. Maher also warned about the “fresh can of nuts” in Congress with wildly anti-scientific beliefs that would have more free reign under a Republican administration. Maher said that a Republican in the White House would mean the return of “Bible-thumping bullshit” in government.
Salt Lake Tribune: …. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
…. If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes….
…. our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.
Two-year-old Sacha Marzett waits in line to attend a campaign rally with her mother Lazette Marzett and friend Catherine Ignacio at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
Tampa Bay Times: Four years ago, Barack Obama offered an inspiring message of hope and change to an uneasy nation bogged down in two wars and facing economic collapse. The rosy idealism quickly gave way to the harsh realities of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president’s steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.
…. We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.
For president of the United States, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama.
Steve Benen: Jon Huntsman certainly isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate who supported an individual health care mandate. He is, apparently, the only one who persists in fudging the truth about it.
Two weeks ago, Huntsman and his team assured reporters that the former governor did not back a mandate as part of his reform package in Utah, adding that Huntsman’s record on health care reform stands in stark contrast to the measures backed by President Obama and Mitt Romney.
There’s ample evidence that Huntsman just wasn’t telling the truth, and that as governor, he threw his support to a reform package that included a mandate. Today, a conservative blog moves the ball forward with a video clip from 2007.
Verum Serum: In light of this clip, you have to love the headline from the Salt Lake Tribune piece (May 23): “Huntsman considered health care mandate for Utah, some say”. Some? I have to say it really was not that difficult to dig up this clip and there was even a reporter from the Tribune at the press conference. Is it really too much to expect local media to look through their own archives and report accurately on questions of national significance like this? It seems to me that Huntsman’s support for the mandate would have been common knowledge amongst the reporters assigned to cover the governor in this timeframe, and I suspect this wasn’t the only time he was questioned about this.
I see Huntsman has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (where else?) and he’s worried about America becoming a “declining power”. He doesn’t mention the President once, though – but then, he’s a “remarkable leader”, isn’t he? 😉
PM Carpenter: For Huntsman, a new low – This is pathetic. Just pathetic. More evidence that no low is too unthinkably low when it comes to “getting right” with 2012’s increasingly isolated pseudoconservatives.
….”the two living Republicans” the congenitally moderate Jon Huntsman says he “most admires” are – ready ? – Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee….
Mr. Ambassador, by selling your soul now you’re only creating your own demons for 2016; they’ll come back to haunt you at the most inopportune time – that is, when the GOP has rendered the likes of Ryan-Huckabee scurrility to the flaky, untouchable margins of third-party Tea Partyism.
Chicago Tribune: For the Obama administration, the crisis in Libya represents more of a risk than an opportunity. Moammar Gadhafi has always been a tyrant, but in recent years he has given up his nuclear program and stopped sponsoring terrorism, defusing threats to our security. Already fighting two major wars, the U.S. can ill afford to join a new one.
But when armed rebels rose up to fight the regime, provoking a brutal response from Gadhafi, President Barack Obama nonetheless found himself under pressure to take military action. Calls to intervene came not only from Republicans like Sen. John McCain but from Democrat John Kerry. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the president looked “weak and uncertain.”
In fact, he was neither. What he exhibited was shrewdness. Obama was not about to be pushed into a commitment fraught with uncertainty in a country that presented no clear danger to the U.S.
He didn’t affect cynical indifference. He accused Gadhafi of “appalling violence against the Libyan people” and called on him to step down. Obama left open all options. But he let the world know that if military action were going to be taken, other nations were not going to get to cheer on the sidelines while the U.S. did the work.
And what do you know? Someone stepped up. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for air strikes against Gadhafi’s forces. The Arab League, which is historically loath to turn on one of its own, endorsed a no-fly zone.
Britain announced it would deploy warplanes to the region to “take the necessary action.” On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military steps, including enforcement of a no-fly zone. All this without Washington promising to play anything more than a supporting role.
We’re still skeptical about this mission. In effect, the world has declared war on Gadhafi, ordered him to give up power, but telegraphed that it won’t send ground troops to complete the task.
Hours after the UN vote, Libya announced a cease-fire in an evident attempt to head off an attack, but it pretty quickly became apparent that Gadhafi wasn’t abiding by his own truce.
Best case, the cease-fire becomes real, the bloodshed stops, the rebels get in a position to negotiate. If not, Gadhafi will encounter outside force that could doom his rule. Either way, the U.S. will not be terribly exposed at a time when it is already stretched thin.
All in all, Obama played his cards well. Prudence is an underrated virtue in a national leader. A president like this one who finds a way to advance worthy foreign policy goals without taking big risks is not showing weakness. He’s conserving strength.
Peter Fenn (Democratic media consultant: Cool, calm, collected and deliberate wins over impetuous and knee-jerk, every time. Presidnet Obama was right not to act precipitously and to get the U.N. and nations around the world to join together.
Arthur ‘Jerry’ Kremer (Chairman, Empire Government Strategies; former member, New York State Assembly): The president’s far-right critics were itching for there to be another incursion into a foreign country at a time when the country doesn’t need another war. Their desire for another war has more to do with the president being embarrassed in the next election than anything else. It is obvious that the U.S. government wanted the Arab League to get on board and approve a no-fly zone, which it did. That precipitated a U.N. resolution that also turned up the heat on Qadhafi. It is clear the president’s strategy was totally correct and today’s events prove it.
Sens. McCain and Lieberman were “trigger-happy” for the country to get into another war. Luckily no one was listening to either one. You can score this as a big victory for the president.
President Obama salutes his former staffer on his victory Tuesday in Chicago’s mayoral election: “I want to extend my congratulations to Rahm Emanuel on a well-deserved victory tonight. As a Chicagoan and a friend, I couldn’t be prouder. Rahm will be a terrific mayor for all the people of Chicago.
“I’ve also just talked to President Obama,” Emanuel said in his victory speech, to which the crowd broke out in cheers. “He sends you his love and affection for his hometown.”
Chicago Tribune: It was all in a recent day’s work for Valerie Jarrett. She reassured Jewish leaders about White House strategy on Egypt, helped the First Lady sync her spring agenda with her husband’s, ushered a former Fed chairman into the Oval Office, soothed Rev. Al Sharpton’s concerns about education policy and took a stroll with President Obama across Lafayette Park to patch things up with some irritated CEOs.
The schedule illustrates why no one else in the White House now has a range of responsibilities equal to Jarrett’s. When Obama took office she was the least seen of his four senior advisors. Now chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and chief political strategist David Axelrod have returned to Chicago, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has also departed. Jarrett, 54, remains, picking up new duties from each of them. Long the closest personal confidante of Barack and Michelle Obama, she is steadily becoming more visible at Obama’s side…..
Steve Chapman (Chicago Tribune): We all know that Barack Obama could have had a pretty good career as a law professor, a writer or a state legislator. What had never occurred to me before is that he might have made a good pastor.
His remarks at the memorial service in Tucson — steeped in emotion, infused with wisdom, animated by a generous spirit — were exactly what his shocked, grieving countrymen needed to hear. They were consoling, they were cathartic and they were inspiring.
The powerful address was also a reminder of the qualities that caused the citizenry to elect him in 2008. He rose to the occasion by eloquently invoking themes that dramatize our essential unity even in the face of events that have the potential to polarize. “Our hopes and dreams are bound together,” he emphasized.
It was not his purpose to score political points. On the contrary, he gracefully absolved conservatives of the charge that their angry rhetoric was to blame for the massacre. He made it plain that this is one of those events too large for glib scapegoating.
But he also used the occasion as an opportunity for the sober, humble reflection that individuals and nations need to do every so often. He urged us to act according to the better angels of our nature. But more important, he provided an example of how it’s done.
A lot of Americans don’t agree with his policies or like his personality. But I suspect that tonight, even many of them must have felt, at least for a moment, that Obama is their president, too.