Any hint of quarrel with one’s own party is inevitably refashioned and used by the opposition to cleave the variation deep, deeper, down to the bone, exploiting other areas of disagreement and portraying a party at odds with itself.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker just didn’t have to make it so easy.
Booker’s criticism of President Obama’s argument against Mitt Romney’s private equity record as “nauseating,” followed by his subsequent walk-back and the puckish Republican “I Stand with Cory” petition obscures what some Democrats believe is Obama’s best line of attack on Romney: that he is a callous plutocrat who, given control of the levers of government, would ply the same techniques as he did in the private sector.
The “very uncomfortable” queasiness of Democrats such as Booker -- a moderate Democratic mayor who has received wildly admiring national press --is unlikely to draw Obama onto another target, this one’s effectiveness already having been proven. But, in luring the debate onto the legitimacy of the attack rather than its substance, they’ve already cut into its efficacy.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Obama’s Bain Mutiny NEW!
[Politico, 5/21/12] Obama seems to have no qualms about damning Romney’s years at Bain capital, but comments over the past two weeks from former high-profile Democrats like White House “car czar” Steve Rattner and Newark Mayor Cory Booker underscore the different campaign needs of Obama and the fundraising needs of his party.
Why Obama is Doubling Down on Bain Capital Attacks Against Romney
[National Journal, 5/21/12] Obama's successful 2008 campaign had an image of hope and change but he ran as many negative ads as Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., and sometimes more. The message in those negative ads from 2008 wasn’t so different from the anti-Romney theme today: The presumptive GOP nominee favors the wealthy at the expense of the struggling middle class.
Bain Spat Could Spark Real Debate on Role of President NEW!
[National Journal, 5/21/12] Obama provided voters on Monday with the clearest explanation yet from the incumbent of what he thinks a president is supposed to do. National Journal’s George Condon writes that, if Romney engages, we could be treated to a substantive debate that goes beyond the issue of the day.
Republicans Narrowing Money Gap
[National Journal, 5/21/12] While Obama is currently enjoying a cash advantage over Romney, outside groups have helped the presumptive GOP nominee narrow the gap in the race for money. A Politico analysis shows that super PACs, party committees, and the campaign supporting Romney have actually raised more money since the beginning of the cycle than Obama and his backers.
Obama Defends Campaign Attacks on Romney's Bain Experience
[National Journal, 5/21/12] Obama defended his campaign's attacks on Romney's record at Bain Capital on Monday -- a line of attack that has been questioned by several Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker. “This issue is not a, quote, ‘distraction’,” Obama told a news conference in Chicago. “This is part of the debate that we’re going to be having in this election campaign."
Ten Revelations From the New Chris Christie Biography
[Daily Caller, 5/21/12] A biography of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is about to hit the bookshelves. The Daily Caller has 10 revelations that you may not have known about the potential GOP veep pick: He once admitted to donating to Planned Parenthood, and is bothered by those who say his weight suggests a lack of discipline.
Ex-Rivals' Donors Didn't Flock to Romney in April
[USA Today, 5/21/12] Donors to former Romney rivals have kept their purse strings shut tight, despite the fact that he is the clear GOP nominee at this point. Clearly, Romney will have to work harder to win over much of the Republican party's conservative base before November.
Booker Commits the Classic Washington Gaffe
[Washington Post, 5/21/12] It's when you tell the truth, writes The Post's Chris Cillizza, who argues that Booker's gaffe was a minor moment, but one that will make life difficult for the campaign. Oh, and the Obama camp is out with a new attack on a different Bain entity -- Ampad.
Three Elections' Worth of Bain Attacks on Romney
[The Atlantic, 5/21/12] Every time Romney has run for office, his Democratic opponent has made a big deal about his career at Bain Capital. The Democratic attack and Romney's response to it has changed over the years, so will Obama's ads be effective?
Pro-Obama Super PAC Head: Attacks on Romney's Mormon Faith Off the Table
[The Hill, 5/21/12] Priorities USA, a super-PAC supporting Obama, will not engage in attack’s touching on Romney's Mormonism, according to the group’s senior strategist, Bill Burton. Burton contrasted this approach to Republican strategists pushing campaigns tying Obama to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The Price of the Romney-Cheney Bromance NEW!
[National Journal, 5/21/12] The budding Cheney-Romney bromance allows Romney to tap the former vice president’s fundraising network, but the strategy comes with some risk: National Journal’s Jackie Koszczuk writes that by tying himself to Cheney, Romney ties himself to the unpopular George W. Bush.
Romney Faced Leadership Test in 'Big Dig' Tragedy
[Associated Press, 5/21/12] When a construction project disaster in Boston killed a woman in 2006, it posed a challenge to then-Gov. Romney. The Big Dig collapse offers insights into the kind of leader the expected Republican nominee would be if elected president; his stiffest leadership test as governor produced mixed results.
J.T. Jezierski Connects Congress to Mitt Romney Campaign
[Roll Call, 5/21/12] J.T. Jezierski, Romney's top staffer for legislative affairs, has the task of serving as the chief conduit between hundreds of GOP members and Romney's campaign. He tells Roll Call, "My job is to coordinate, communicate and inform Members of Congress and the campaign about what each other is doing."
Worst Market Since Reagan Greets Obama Before Election
[Bloomberg, 5/21/12] In part because Obama's hands are tied on spending government funds to boost the economy at this point, he's facing one of the worst markets in modern election history, which won't help him win come November.