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Homepage / CAMPAIGN 2012

72 Minutes in the Pressure Cooker

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney(Ralf-Finn Hestoft)

June 14, 2012

President Obama has chided Mitt Romney for a campaign that Obama says can fit into 140 characters. Republicans have responded that Obama’s failures are so sprawling that a more nuanced message isn't necessary.

As if to accommodate the metaphorically minded, Romney’s “pre-buttal” today ran 18 minutes. Obama, across the state in Ohio, spoke for 54.

Their messages were dully familiar to anyone who has lent even half an ear to this race, each man only stiffening the resolve behind his chosen message: he’s had his chance, blown it, and we can’t let him stay at the controls for another four years on the one hand, and those guys would drag our country back to a precolonial state of self-reliance on the other.

 

But most normal folks haven’t been listening, are just starting to listen, or won’t tune in until after Labor Day. And what they’ll find is a campaign between two candidates who aren’t trying to box each other out in the center, but offering a rich contrast that goes beyond speech clocks.

-- Jim O’Sullivan
@JOSullivanNatJo

NATIONAL JOURNAL'S
PRESIDENTIAL REPORT

Politics Forward and Backward in Ohio

[National Journal, 6/14/12] Neither President Obama nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said anything on Thursday that Ohioans hadn’t heard a million times before, leaving a number of questions unanswered by their dueling speeches.

President Obama’s Cleveland Speech: An Independent Appeal
[Washington Post, 6/14/12] Obama's speech today indicated he believes his base is solidly behind him, so now his work lies in convincing independents to go to the polls for him in November.

How Obama Became Black
[Washington Post, 6/14/12] In an excerpt from his forthcoming biography, historian David Maraniss charts President Obama’s journey of racial self-identity.

Obama's CEO: Jim Messina Has a President to Sell
[Bloomberg Businessweek, 6/14/12] When Jim Messina began as Obama's campaign manager, he arranged personal seminars with the CEOs and senior executives of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, DreamWorks, and other companies as part of his preparation. Each CEO taught Messina something--Steve Jobs told him that mobile technology must be central to the campaign and Steven Spielberg explained how to capture an audience's attention.

AFL-CIO Pulling Funds From Obama Campaign
[U.S. News and World Report, 6/13/12] The labor organization will be pulling money away from political candidates--including Obama--saying that it’s not meant as a slight to the president, but that they need the money for internal use. The AFL-CIO donated $1.2 million to Democrats in 2008 and has extensive Get Out The Vote experience.

New Data Show Obama Ahead in Social-Media Race
[National Journal, 6/14/12] If the presidential race were based on Facebook fan engagement, Obama would be far ahead of Romney, according to a report released today. While Romney led his competitors for the GOP presidential nod, the social-media analytics firm Socialbakers found that Obama appears to be winning the social-media race.

Rubio, Portman Challenge Obama’s Understanding of His Country
[National Journal, 6/14/12] Republican Sens. Rob Portman and Marco Rubio, both potential vice presidential picks, suggested Thursday to a conservative gathering that President Obama and Democrats don’t understand the nature of the United States on an economic or a religious level.

Adelson's Pro-Romney Donations Will Be 'Limitless'
[Forbes, 6/14/12] A "well-placed source" tells Forbes that the $10 million the billionaire casino mogul is donating to pro-Romney efforts could just be the start and that his contributions could well be “limitless.”

Romney Says Obama's Russia Policy Has 'Clearly Failed'
[National Journal, 6/13/12] Mitt Romney attacked President Obama on Wednesday over reports that Russia was arming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces with high-powered weaponry, calling it a failure in Obama's foreign policy. Romney’s hard-line position on Russia has been criticized by Democrats and Colin Powell.

Romney Points to Failures, GOP Governors Tout Jobs
[Wall Street Journal, 6/14/12] Republican governors in crucial states for this election--Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and Iowa--have cited job growth, higher corporate investment, and rebirth of domestic manufacturing in order to protect their own political future. One problem: Romney has targeted these states as a place to point out a feeble recovery.

Romney Calls Obama 'Eloquent,' but Says 'Words Are Cheap'
[National Journal, 6/13/12] President Obama plans to give a major speech on the economy today. Ahead of the speech, Romney slammed the president for not presenting any new ideas on the economy, saying that although the president is “eloquent,” his “words are cheap.”

Who's Spending What and Where—In One Chart
[Washington Post, 6/13/12] The Post tracks the ad spending in the presidential election from June 12 to June 18, and finds that the Obama campaign is spending significantly more on-air dollars than Romney--roughly $7.2 million for the period. Romney, in contrast, will spend just $2.5 million.

Dems: Obama Could Lose, Donors Better Get Moving
[Associated Press, 6/13/12] More and more Democratic strategists fear that Obama could, in fact, lose the presidential election if he doesn’t shape up his message and Democrats step up their fundraising in the coming months.

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