Karl Rove checked in this morning with a “lessons I learned from vetting vice-presidential candidates” Wall Street Journal column, essentially advising Mitt Romney to steer away from electorally calculated decisions and instead “put governing first.”
Rove, a prominent critic of Sarah Palin's selection in 2008, is neither the first nor the last to offer this rather pat counsel, but it’s likely unneeded. For all his occasional stiffness and goofiness on the campaign trail, Romney is, as one of his vanquished rivals might say, a fundamentally serious person who knows better than to gamble the way past nominees have. And he isn’t up against the same political bolide that John McCain encountered four years ago. President Obama’s historic luster is lost, and the election is almost certain to be close.
But Romney likely doesn’t mind the advice, either. Aides from both his governorship and his multiple campaigns insist that the venture capitalist likes to rope in all the data, hear all the input, before he goes and makes his own call.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Supreme Court Moves to Center of Presidential Race NEW!
[Associated Press, 4/26/12] Though the Court is ostensibly apolitical, two very political rulings espected from the Court before election day -- on Arizona's controversial immigration law and health care reform -- have thrust the body into the public spotlight and into the center of the general election debate.
The Truth About V.P. Picks
[Roll Call, 4/26/12] Stuart Rothenberg wants you to stop wasting your time reading his stories about potential running mates, arguing that Romney’s selection will have little or no effect on the general election.
For Obama and Romney, 2012 Is a Referendum on the Past
[The Atlantic, 4/26/12] Both Obama and Romney focus on the past quite a lot in their stump speeches, but in different contexts -- for Obama, the past was "the bad old days," and we need to avoid returning to them; for Romney, the past was a golden age that Obama has brought us far away from.
John Boehner Escalates Attacks on Obama
[Politico, 4/26/12] The general election has begun not only for Obama and Romney, but also for Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, as evidenced by Speaker John Boehner's attacks on Obama during a news conference at the Capitol this morning. And because neither side needs the other for many "must-pass" bills this year, they're not pulling any punches.
Biden Takes Aim at Romney on Foreign Policy
[Washington Post, 4/26/12] In a Thursday speech at the New York University School of Law Biden slammed Romney for having out-of-date foreign policy views, calling them “dangerously divorced from today’s realities."
Obama Campaign Ready to Roll
[National Journal, 4/25/12] Although it seems like Obama has been running hard for reelection for some months now, his team announced on Wednesday that the campaign will officially kick off next week. The campaign has scheduled two events in the battleground states of Virginia and Ohio.
Biden: Most Powerful VP Ever?
[National Journal, 4/26/12] Over the past three years, Obam and Biden have achieved something close to a mind meld across a whole range of issues, including foreign policy, the economy, and political strategy. That aspect of their relationship will come in handy as Biden is poised to act as one of Obama's strongest campaigners on the trail this election season.
RNC Calls for Investigation of Obama Trips
[National Journal, 4/25/12] The Republican National Committee on Wednesday asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate Obama’s use of government funds for campaign trips, crying foul over his trips to attend fundraisers and to rally support for student-loan legislation on college campuses.
Yielding to 'the Real World,' Gingrich Tells Romney He'll Quit Race
[New York Times, 4/25/12] Newt Gingrich, though always an improbable candidate, had a good run. But ultimately, his roller-coaster campaign was brought down by a combination of gaffes and a barrage of negative advertising. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes that in the end, Newt was who we thought he was. Meanwhile, why is Newt taking a week to actually drop out?
For Paul's True Believers, A Study in American Optimism
[CNN, 4/26/12] Even though Paul's followers know now there's no way he can win the nomination, they're just as fervently supportive as ever, and their excitement for Paul and the "movement" he leads is uniquely American.
Obama Reelection Campaign to Target a New Voter Set: Military Families NEW!
[Washington Post, 4/26/12] President Obama and the first lady will be at an event for military families tomorrow, and today, Vice President Biden gave a speech contrasting Obama's policies, of winding down America's wars and helping veterans, to Romney's lackluster policies on the same issues. That seems to indicate that the Obama campaign will be gunning for votes from military families.
Ann Romney Had Pre-Super Tuesday Health 'Scare'
[National Journal, 4/26/12] In the days leading up to the big Super Tuesday contests that helped Mitt Romney seal the GOP nomination, his wife, Ann, began suffering symptoms from multiple sclerosis, a disease she’s battled since the 1990s. In her words, "I had a little bit of a scare."
Romney and the Youth Vote: Srsly?
[National Review, 4/26/12] No Republican candidate has won among 18-to-29-year-old voters since George H.W. Bush in 1988. And Obama’s unprecedented strength among that age group makes it crucial for the Romney campaign to successfully woo some of those young adults. But how will he do it?
'Old Thinking' Makes for Easier Convention Financing
[National Journal, 4/25/12] Democratic convention organizers are struggling to hit their fundraising goals because Obama has decreed that no money can be accepted from corporations or lobbyists and that individual contributions must be capped at $250,000. National Journal’s George E. Condon Jr. writes that the president may regret the restrictions he put on his convention organizers.
Gingrich Wins Race for Biggest GOP Debt
[Talking Points Memo, 4/26/12] Newt Gingrich is leaving the race with big wins in South Carolina, Georgia, and in the category of most debt. The former House speaker is leaving the Republican primary with more debt than any of his former rivals—and more than any other Republican who did not end up winning the nomination in recent history. According to FEC reports, his campaign is $4.3 million in the hole, with $1.5 million cash on hand. Meanwhile, an authorizewd Gingrich biography's release date has been pushed back to 2013.
Manchester's Biundo, Former Santorum Campaign Manager, Moves to Rommey Camp NEW!
[Union Leader, 4/26/12] New Hampshire political strategist Michael Biundo, who formerly worked as Rick Santorum's campaign manager, will join the Romney campaign as Deputy Coalitions Director, in a move that makes clear just how important New Hampshire will be this fall.
New Ad From American Crossroads: 'Cool'
[YouTube, 4/25/12] It seems not everyone found the humor in the president’s appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night. American Crossroads, the group cofounded by Karl Rove, is out with a new ad called “Cool,” mocking the “celebrity president” and what the group says are his failed policies.
Accepting the Neocon Torch: Marco Rubio
[National Journal, 4/25/12] Sen. Marco Rubio's major foreign policy pronouncement on Wednesday felt like a generational passing of the torch, National Journal’s James Kitfield writes. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Rubio’s foreign policy falls into the proud, bipartisan tradition of Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman.
Republicans Urge Romney to Go Positive
[New York Times, 4/25/12] Prominent party leaders, unsettled by the frequently combative tone of Romney’s campaign, are pressing the presumptive nominee to balance his harsh criticism of Obama with a positive conservative vision that can inspire the party faithful and appeal to swing voters.
Fact Check: Romney on His Dad Growing up Poor
[Associated Press, 4/26/12] Romney likes to talk on the campaign trail about how his father "grew up poor" and “never graduated from college,” but that's not the whole story, according to the AP.
Romney's NYC 'Bundlers' Are Primed for Fundraising Push
[Real Clear Politics, 4/26/12] A private equity investor in New York City is getting a network of finance, accounting, law, and other elites together to organize a bundling push for Romney’s fundraising efforts. Andy Busser is gathering donors who are willing to spend at least $10,000 to pull off lavish fundraisers.
Will Ann Romney Go on 'SNL'? NEW!
[ET Online, 4/26/12] Ann Romney does think her husband should go on SNL, saying it would be "odd and fun" for him to do so, and she said that her own appearance on SNL "would be a thrill." Ann was recently asked by Kristen Wiig, who portrays her on SNL, to appear.