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Homepage / CAMPAIGN 2012

N2K Presidential Race: A Campaign, Not a Movement

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

May 30, 2012

Four years ago next week, Sen. Barack Obama stood before a crowd of 17,000 in St. Paul, Minn., having won the Democratic nomination to become president of the United States. "You chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears, but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations," he said. "Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another."

On Tuesday night, when Mitt Romney locked down the Republican nomination by winning the Texas primary, he celebrated with a 118-word statement while he held a fundraiser with Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, two of the biggest loudmouth distractions in American politics today.

Blame the increased polarization in our politics, or the millions of dollars in non-stop advertising. Blame the slow economic recovery, or the cable news noise. Whatever the cause, the effect is that the electorate is deeply divided: half for Obama, half for Romney, and the few in the middle likely turned off by the entire debate.

 

That suggests we won't see the kind of movement that swept Obama into the White House. He and Romney start at the end of one historic journey, and at the beginning of another—one that looks much more conventional. Read more

—Reid Wilson, Hotline Editor-in-Chief

NATIONAL JOURNAL
’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT

Some GOP Foreign Policy Giants are Tepid on Romney 
[New York Times, 5/30/12] As GOP leaders fall in behind Romney, many members of the party’s foreign policy establishment have been more muted, reflecting an unease over some of the GOP nominee’s positions – like his hard line on Russia and opposition to a new missile treaty. But Romney is about to get a boost: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to formally endorse him Wednesday night. 

Axelrod Heads to Romney’s Home Turf 
[Fox News, 5/30/12] The Obama campaign is turning up the heat on Romney by sending its senior strategist, David Axelrod, to Boston, home to Romney’s own campaign headquarters. The trip is an effort to push the notion that the former Massachusetts governor is purposefully trying to avoid talking about his time in office. 

Romney Clinches Nomination, But Trump Overshadows
[Associated Press, 5/30/12] Donald Trump reasserted his position that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. during a combative interview on CNN Tuesday, taking center stage in the news for much of the day—even as Mitt Romney finally clinched the GOP nomination for president in the Texas primary.

Obama Congratulates Romney on Becoming GOP Nominee
[National Journal, 5/30/12] President Obama and Romney briefly set aside their differences today when the president called the now-official GOP nominee to congratulate him on securing the nomination. 

Poll: Obama Popularity Slips While Romney's Rises
[National Journal, 5/30/12] Obama’s once-substantial popularity edge over Romney has tightened considerably. Fifty-two percent of adults view Obama favorably, a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll found, while 45 percent of people see him unfavorably and conversely, Romney’s ratings have risen: 41 percent see him favorably while 44 percent don’t.

Rubio Making the Most of His Moment in the Veepstakes Spotlight
[National Journal, 5/30/12] Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is wiping the floor with his competition in the  unofficial race to become Romney’s veep pick --even if it’s unclear whether he’s really interested in the number two slot, or if Romney is interested in him. 

What Obama Needs to Be Reelected 
[Forbes, 5/30/12] In today's polarized electorate, the most decisive factor will be turnout from voters who would be expected to choose one party over the other. John Zogby examines the key groups Obama must turn out in order to win in the fall.

Fox News Airs Segment Resembling Campaign Attack Ad
[National Journal, 5/30/12] Fox News aired on Wednesday a four-minute video that was billed as a look back at Obama’s “hope and change” campaign message of 2008 but had the look and feel of a campaign attack ad. The video contrasts Obama’s statements about the importance of reducing the deficit, unemployment rate, gas prices and food prices with ominous music and on-screen cartoons that depict the increases in each category.

New DNC Video Says There's 'Little to Like' About Romney
[National Journal, 5/30/12] On the heels of Romney securing the GOP nomination, the Democratic National Committee launched a new Web ad called "Little to Like" that chronicles Romney's arduous path to 1,144 delegates.

Obama Camp Mounts New Assault on Romney's Record as Governor  
[ABC, 5/30/12] The Obama campaign has planned new attacks on Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts and the campaign promises he allegedly left unfulfilled. Romney's rhetoric on job creation, size of government, education, deficits, and taxes will be the focus.

GOP Groups Plan Record $1 Billion Blitz
[Politico, 5/30/12] Republican super PACs and outside groups are planning to spend a historic $1 billion in advance of Election Day this November, which will substantially increase the already-formidable spending power of the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The Smart Argument for Bain That Romney Won't Use  
[National Journal, 5/30/12] If private equity is so destructive for workers, how come pension funds invest so much in it? National Journal's Matthew Cooper writes that if Romney were wise, he'd cite all the cop and firefighter and teacher funds that fueled Bain Capital's rise—and his own.

As Governor, Romney Picked Winners and Losers of His Own
[Reuters, 5/30/12] Romney supported public investment in and tax breaks for businesses to bring jobs to Massachusetts, but some critics say his choices on what to fund weren't efficient or equitable.

Tales Out of School  
[The Daily, 5/29/12] The Daily's Mara Gay interviews Sidney Barthwell, who went to school with both Romney and Obama and was friendly with both men before they entered political life. Barthwell contributes to both campaigns and speaks highly of both candidates, not saying what he thinks will happen.

Economically, Obama is No Jimmy Carter  
[New York Times, 5/30/12] The comparison between Obama and former President Jimmy Carter is as inappropriate as comparing Obama and former President Ronald Reagan, who benefited from economic growth, as The New York Times' Nate Silver writes. Silver offers a comparison of how major economic indicators looked on Tuesday and in 1980.

Romney iPhone App Misspells 'America' to Web's Delight 
[CNN, 5/30/12] Welcome to “AMERCIA.” Romney’s new mobile app had a misspelling and everyone on the web had a good laugh. Exhibit A, a new Tumblr: “Amercia Is With Mitt!”

Why Romney Keeps Donald Trump Around  
[TPM, 5/30/12] Trump took over the Romney campaign on Tuesday, turning a quiet fundraiser into a cacophony of birther theories and ensuing pushback. So why does Romney keep Trump around? Perhaps because the media mogul could be infinitely more dangerous as a spurned Romney supporter than as a troublesome surrogate.

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