Today may be April Fools’ Day, but the big day to part voters from their money was on Saturday.
As the latest reporting deadline closed for first-quarter campaign finance reports in the presidential race, inboxes nationwide filled with appeals from Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney’s campaign, Karen Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul and others—even President Obama himself.
While the numbers will say something about each campaign’s strength, the solicitations say something about style.
Obama’s subject line was simply “Hey.” Inside were three sentences, leading with “I need you with me on this one” and asking supporters to give $3 or “whatever you can.” He signed it “Barack.”
Paul, by contrast, wrote under the subject line “Smelling Blood” and his appeal on behalf of Rep. Ron Paul, his father, went on for more than 500 words. “Like sharks smelling blood in the water, the establishment is looking for any excuse to close in, declare this race over, and crown Mitt Romney the winner,” he wrote.
Some tried humor. Rufus Gifford, national finance director for the Obama campaign, wrote, “Sorry to bug you on a Saturday. The FEC wouldn't let us push back their big March 31st deadline. (I tried.)” Others, like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, were blunt.
“I can promise you this: We won't be asking you for a donation tomorrow,” she wrote.
Hmmm. April Fools?
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Romney: I Can Bridge the Partisan Divide
[National Journal, 3/31/12] Echoing a refrain common to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, Mitt Romney told a Wisconsin crowd that he'll work to overcome political polarization in Congress and touted his bipartisan bona fides during his time as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney Predicts Wisconsin Victory
[National Journal, 3/31/12] With a new poll of voters in the state giving Romney a 7-point lead over Santorum, he's confident enough to start predicting his victory there on Tuesday.
Wis. Sen. Ron Johnson Endorses Mitt Romney
[National Journal, 4/1/12] The freshman senator from Wisconsin said that Romney is "ready, willing and able" to lead the nation, another endorsement ahead of Wisonsin's Tuesday primary.
Romney, Eyeing Wisconsin, Moves to Close Out GOP Nomination Battle
[Washington Post, 3/31/12] The pitched battle in Wisconsin is just one of the ways Romney is attempting to force Santorum out of the race. He's also making efforts to take delegates away from Santorum in Pennsylvania and caucus states that have already voted.
In Wisconsin, Romney Nears the Tipping Point
[New York Times, 3/31/12] A win in Wisconsin would give Romney a big boost not only in delegates, but in momentum, showing doubters that he's been able to overcome intial weaknesses with certain demographics through superior campaign organization and sheer hard work.
Rick Santorum Predicts a Win in Pennsylvania
[National Journal, 4/1/12] Despite a recent poll that shows his lead in Pennsylvania diminishing, Rick Santorum says he expects victory in his home state.
Pennsylvania Primary Could Be Last Stand for Santorum
[The Hill, 4/1/12] Although polls give him a lead in his home state, it's not at all clear that Santorum will win in Pennsylvania after Romney's typical barrage of attack ads takes hold there. That has some GOP consultants suggesting he either has to cement his win or get out of the race before Pennsylvania votes, in order to save face.
GOP Mega-Donors Slow to Switch Candidates
[Politico, 3/31/12] Most of the biggest super PAC donors have remained loyal to one super PAC and one candidate, and few have indicated a willingness to throw their weight behind another. Will they back the nominee?
Santorum Calls Rubio, Ryan Endorsements 'A Mistake'
[National Journal, 4/1/12] Santorum said that "anybody who endorses my opponent is [making] a mistake," calling out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisonsin Rep. Paul Ryan specifically.
Young and Restless
[National Journal, 3/29/12] In 2008, Obama achieved a 66 percent performance level with younger voters -- a level of participation that seems like a tall order today, when younger voters are disillusioned with Obama for promising big things and failing to deliver, writes National Journal's Charlie Cook.
The Other Wisconsin Fight
[Wall Street Journal, 3/30/12] Scott Walker's recall fight in Wisconsin has overshadowed Santorum's run there, taking away GOP activists and energy from his presidential campaign.
Romney Looks to Fall Campaign, Doubts Linger
[Associated Press, 3/31/12] Even though polls show Romney winning Wisconsin, doubts about his ability to nab the nomination remain, keeping potential supporters from fully coalescing behind him.
Biden Questions Romney's Foreign Policy Grasp
[National Journal, 4/1/12] Vice President Joe Biden said that Romney's recent comments casting Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe" indicated Romney is "stuck in a Cold War mentality" and doesn't understand the current relationship between Russia and the U.S. Naturally, the Romney campaign hit back.
Romney Needs a Latino Running Mate -- But Who?
[Real Clear Politics, 3/31/12] As it becomes increasingly clear that Romney will be the GOP nominee, political speculators are turning to his potential running mate. Real Clear Politics' Carl Cannon writes that Romney will need to pick a Latino politician to join his ticket, and offers four options.
Mitt Romney Is Human! (But Media Thinks He Shouldn’t Act Like It)
[Daily Beast, 4/1/12] If Romney is chastised as being too robotic, it may not be entirely his fault. The political media tends to attack him when he makes even the slightest gaffe, sending Romney back into overly-scripted mode simply to avoid further damage.
The Man Behind Massachusetts’ Republicans
[Roll Call, 3/31/12] Eric Fehrnstrom is serving as a top adviser to both Mitt Romney and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. If both win their elections this fall, that could make Fehrnstrom one of the most powerful men in Washington.
Paul Says No Romney Ticket
[National Journal, 4/1/12] Ron Paul said he has a "hard time" seeing Romney asking him to join his ticket, because "there's too many disagreements" between the two.
From BBQ to Burritos: Candidates Chow Down on the Campaign Trail -- PICTURES
[National Journal, 3/31/12] Mitt Romney ordered cherry pie, Rick Perry ate fruit, and Newt Gingrich flipped pork chops, all on the campaign trail.