With Tropical Storm Isaac threatening the Gulf Coast, Republican Party officials said Saturday they will postpone convention activities originally scheduled for Monday in Tampa. It is the second straight Republican convention that will be cut short a day thanks to weather.
A disgruntled former employee of an apparel company shot and killed a one-time co-worker and wounded nine others near the Empire State Building in New York on Friday. It was the third mass shooting in five weeks, after deadly rampages in Aurora, Colo. and Oak Creek, Wis. Overnight, 19 people were shot in Chicago, including 13 in a single half-hour span.
I think it's fair to say, with at least two big data points now in front of us (John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2012; one could also throw in Bill Clinton, 1992 and 1996), that the Swiftboating of Democratic presidential candidates by aggrieved right-wing retired military people is a phenomenon that's not going to go away.
Republican Mitt Romney has been airing a series of television ads criticizing President Obama's welfare policy that carry faint echoes of Ronald Reagan's attacks on "welfare queens.'' Obama began airing a spot Wednesday that chides Romney for not backing smaller class sizes, an issue that played out in statewide elections before the recession hit.
But there's obviously strategies at work here beyond an affection for retro. Romney appears to be targeting white, working--class workers, while Obama's ads are aimed at voters who put education at the top of their list, like married women and Hispanics.
Brace yourself for the sight of Romney in bellbottom jeans.
Republican Mitt Romney's campaign has been frustrated that President Obama has mischaracterized his position on abortion in several television ads. The spots say Romney backed a law that would outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Not true, says the Romney campaign.
Now, with Democrats all ginned up to exploit Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" remark, the platform committee of the GOP convention is poised to hand its opponents more ammunition. The committee is expected tonight to approve, once again, an anti-abortion plank that does not include an exception for rape. The Republican National Committee isn't releasing the draft language, though spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski says it's essentially the same as the 2008 platform.
"We don't get into specifics such as exceptions because that is left up to the states,'' she said. "We give a strong, 100 percent pro-life sentiment.''
Tom McClusky, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Family Research Council, who is in Tampa monitoring the platform deliberations, said exceptions for rape or incest would set off alarms in the conservative wing of the party.
Once upon a time Newsweek magazine had, arguably, the best political coverage in the business (full disclosure: I'm a former staffer). Stocked with star reporters, columnists and writers, it blanketed the presidential races, often set the tone for other journalists and produced a closely read election book every four years. So when Newsweek turned out a cover like "Fighting the 'Wimp Factor'" in 1987, raising questions about whether George H.W. Bush was tough enough to be president, stuff happened: pundits went into overdrive, campaign flunkies got angry, and the magazine had impact. But when Newsweek tried to do a "Wimp Factor" cover again a few weeks ago -- this time about Mitt Romney -- no one seemed to care very much.
The conventional wisdom that has long dictated vice presidential politicking can be boiled down to a pair of hard and fast rules. Number One: do no harm. Number Two: never allow the bottom of the ticket to overshadow the top of the ticket.
Has a Pennsylvania court done what the Romney campaign has been unable to: Erase President Obama's advantage in the state?
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan were the Capitol Hill veterans known for friendly relations - sometimes even working relations - across the aisle. Mitt Romney was the competent pragmatist who turned around the 2002 Olympics and enacted health coverage for almost everyone in Massachusetts. Barack Obama was the youthful symbol of hope and change.
Where are these people and will we ever see them again?
The latest exchange of Campaign 2012 - Romney calling Obama a desperate, angry candidate running a reckless, hate-filled campaign, and Obama's team responding by calling Romney "unhinged" - was the most ferocious so far. This is not a campaign destined to enhance reputations. The only question is how much wreckage it leaves behind.
In politics, nothing says you're the future more than getting a coveted prime time speaking slot at a national convention. Except when it doesn't. Keep that in mind as the two parties fill those slots for the upcoming conventions in Tampa and Charlotte. It can get pretty confusing.
Ever since Mitt Romney named Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick, he's been touting the Wisconsin Republican's bipartisan credentials. "This guy's a real leader," Romney said in their joint 60 Minutes appearance. "He's reached across the aisle. He's worked with Democrats, Republicans. Tried to take on the toughest issues America faces."