Would you want to be the aide to Mitt Romney who has to call New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and ask him, politely, to take it easy on the whole sidling-up-to-President-Obama thing?
“I don’t give a damn about Election Day,” Christie said on Tuesday, every bit the parochially-concerned chief executive looking to enlist every available resource to help the Garden State get cleaned up and back to business.
Can’t fault him for that. Unless you’re on Team Romney, in which case you’re thinking that the guy who waited until the back half of his convention keynote to mention your candidate, and today enabled Obama to stand next to the country’s most recognizable governor, a Republican, and evince the same chief executive persona, save on a larger scale -- probably shouldn't have.
Six days from an election whose result is by any honest measure unknowable, anxiety starts to crest, and little things can become big things. Romneyites can hope that the Christie presidential buddy movie is a little thing that stays little. But they can’t be sure. It’s the gift-wrapped image that Obamans love.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
One Week, Two Versions of Reality
[Politico, 10/31/12] The Romney narrative: The electoral map is expanding, particularly in former true-blue Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and we could win a smashing victory. The Obama narrative: There they go again. Politico’s Jonathan Martin writes that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Obama and Chris Christie Tour Superstorm Sandy’s Devastation
[ABC News, 10/31/12] Both the president and New Jersey’s governor said Wednesday’s tour of the hurricane-ravaged state was apolitical. But the popular Republican’s praise of Obama’s storm response could help the president heading into Election Day.
Obama Gets Boost in Swing-State Polls
[Los Angeles Times, 10/31/12] New polls out Wednesday show Obama up 8 points in Wisconsin, up 5points in Ohio, up 2 points in Virginia and up one point in Florida. Marquette University Law School, which has Obama up 8 points in Wisconsin, had him up just a single point there in a survey taken in mid-October.
Romney Back in Full Campaign Mode in Florida
[Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/31/12] Romney bracketed his stump speech in Tampa Wednesday with appeals for storm relief. Though Romney returned to politics, he struck a muted tone and avoided criticizing the president.
Paul Ryan to Voters: Keep the Faith
[AP, 10/31/12] At a rally in Wisconsin Wednesday, Ryan continued to project a sense of urgency that has been creeping into his speeches in recent days. “When we wake up a week from this morning, let’s make sure we did everything we could,” he said.
Biden Calls Romney Jeep Ad an ‘Outrageous Lie’
[National Journal, 10/31/12] At a rally in Florida Wednesday, Biden joined fact-checkers, GM and Chrysler in decrying a new Romney ad that implies Obama’s auto policy led to the outsourcing of American jobs to China. He made the case that the misleading ad shows voters Romney can’t be trusted.
Race Back on After Storm Hiatus
[Wall Street Journal, 10/30/12] Even as Romney and Obama cancelled political appearances on Monday and Tuesday due to the storm, the two campaigns escalated a heated exchange over Romney’s suggestion that the president’s auto bailout had benefited China rather than U.S. autoworkers.
Is Hurricane Sandy the Election’s Tipping Point?
[National Journal, 10/31/12] The long-anticipated October Surprise seems to have been delivered up by Nature in the form of Hurricane Sandy, which altered the political landscape as well as the New Jersey coastline. And, as NJ’s Michael Hirsh writes, it’s all very likely to redound to the president’s benefit.
Why Exactly Is Chris Christie Subverting Mitt Romney?
[The Atlantic, 10/31/12] Jeffrey Goldberg scratches his head over Christie’s assessment of Obama’s hurricane response and concludes that the N.J. governor is an emotional and sentimental guy who appreciates the help, but also having Obama as president for the next four years would obviously improve chances for a Christie run in 2016.
'Cuban Conundrum' Vexes Pollsters, Obama
[Miami Herald, 10/31/12] Not only are Cubans reliable Republican voters -- they are about 70 percent of Miami-Dade’s registered Republicans -- they are also more likely to answer surveys. This poses a problem for pollsters, who find Florida Hispanics are far more Republican than anywhere else in the nation.
Obama, Romney in Search of Independent Voters
[Associated Press, 10/31/12] Despite the state’s offering only four electoral votes, in battleground New Hampshire the battle for independent voters is being waged hour by hour. This phenomenon reflects the quest for independent voters across the map in a critically close race.
Conspiracy Theorists Weigh in on Sandy
[Time, 10/30/12] From punishment for “pro-homosexual” policies to a covert weather manipulator controlled by the Obama administration, several conservative critics, religious fundamentalists, and conspiracy theorists have a slew of explanations for the destruction caused by Sandy.
Presidential Race Makes Little Girl Cry
[YouTube, 10/30/12] Elizabeth Evans’ daughter Abigael started crying after listening to NPR on the way to the grocery store, so she asked her why. “I’m tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney,” the girl said through sobs. Abigael, we know how you feel.
Three Colorado Counties' Touch-Screen Voting Machines Worry Activists
[Denver Post, 10/31/12] Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler argues that touch-screen voting machines used throughout the state are reliable, but critics say that in a close presidential election the devices could become the “hanging chads” of 2012.
Ohio Working Class May Offer Key to Obama’s Reelection
[New York Times, 10/31/12] Obama is running nearly even in Ohio with Romney among white voters who do not have college degrees, which may explain his stubborn advantage in the polls there. The president appears to be benefiting from an economic recovery in the Buckeye State that is running ahead of the national recovery.
Suddenly, Campaigns Remember Pennsylvania
[Philadelphia Daily News, 10/31/12] Romney and Obama were distant for months while claiming to hold the Keystone State near and dear. But with new polls showing a narrowing race in Pennsylvania, guess who is turning up on TV?
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